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Reviews Written by
Dominic Swayne (London)

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Little Murder, A
Little Murder, A
by Suzette A. Hill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coal, cocktails and fifth colimnists, 27 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Little Murder, A (Hardcover)
The start of Hill's surreally inventive novel -- set in the early 1950s -- reads like Conan Doyle on amphetamines. It brings to mind his short story The Five Orange Pips where those about to die get an orange pip by post but it is lumps of coal in elegant boxes that Hill's demi-mondaine victim received prior to her forced demise... The heroine Rosy, on the other hand, is very much in the Agatha Christie tradition of adventurous, attractively spunky girls, such as Anne Beddingfield in The Man in the Brown Suit, Victoria Jones in They Came to Baghdad and of course Tuppence (of Tommy & Tuppence fame).

Hill has achieved the rare feat of delivering a story that bears the hallmarks of the classic whodunit-cum-thriller genre in the unique voice of a literary farceuse -- a voice already made famous by her 'Bones' chronicles.

The central whodunit rule of mystification followed by gradual elucidation is scrupulously observed throughout this splendidly sinewy Little Murder. The pacing is perfect, so are the suspense and the period detail. The novel's language and style will delight aficionados of the Wilde/Saki/Benson/Wodehouse school of writing. To give a few examples -- the victim had a 'knack for chaos', a Miss Collinger's eye displays a 'dart of impatience', the peculiar coal despatches make a police inspector think of someone with a 'fetish for carbon'. This is a treat for any true connoisseur of high comedy and of mysteries that are, above all, original.

The Cabin In The Woods [DVD]
The Cabin In The Woods [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Hemsworth
Price: £3.00

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Post-modern overdrive, 24 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Cabin In The Woods [DVD] (DVD)
The central idea is interesting enough to make you want to know exactly what is going on -- what is the Facility, why has the cabin in the woods been created and for what reason are Facility members rejoicing at each gruesome death...However, in the end it is all a bit too much: the unleashing of highly aggressive monsters, the rushing about, the gore, Sigourney Weaver and the final annihilation...The slasher/splatter genre has its faithful -- somewhat immature? -- emotionally stunted? -- embryo-psychopathic? -- nerdish? -- followers and, judging by the number of 5-star reviews, they are clearly in a state of ecstasy over the film. For viewers of greater orthodoxy and more sophisticated tastes A Cabin in the Woods will be no more than of curiosity value. It is clever, yes, but within very narrow limits. 2-plus stars.

My Late Wives
My Late Wives
by Carter Dickson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Killer husband, 1 Aug. 2013
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This Henry Merrivale is only marginally better than some of the others I have read and NOT enjoyed. What the book has in its favour are 1) suspense, at least at the start as we are told exactly what the killer's name is and what he has done; 2) an unusual twist as the killer also writes a play describing his murders; 3)the killer's identity is carefully concealed till the end. However, the whole thing is too laboured and ridiculously over-complicated; the characters rush about doing unlikely things while the human interest is practically nil.

Sir HM is actually quite annoying with his jokes and catch phrases and bouts of anger, not a patch on fellow Golden Age detectives such as Alleyn, Poirot and Miss Marple. I really had to push myself to finish reading the book, especially after the denouement, as it was all too tedious for words.

Green Zone [DVD]
Green Zone [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon
Price: £1.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous faction, 30 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Green Zone [DVD] (DVD)
This is excellent: cleverly scrpted, superbly shot (with a hand-held camera) and directed. The film is sensitively acted by the whole team led by Matt Damon and manages to be at once serious (almost documentary-like), suspenseful, thrilling and very moving. A major achievement.

Edge Of Darkness [DVD]
Edge Of Darkness [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mel Gibson
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £2.18

2.0 out of 5 stars Edge of Dumbness, 30 July 2013
This review is from: Edge Of Darkness [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent start and for about twenty-five minutes it was riveting to watch. Then the story became progressively unlikely, as chases, shoot-outs and brutal killings multiplied. By the final bloodbath I had stopped to care. Was going to give it three stars but won't. It really is quite ridiculous, an insult to the intelligence.

Human Stain [DVD]
Human Stain [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Hopkins
Price: £4.00

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid, 29 July 2013
This review is from: Human Stain [DVD] (DVD)
Despite its stellar cast, this is a poor film and the fault is largely Philip Roth's, on whose novel the film based. The racial slur of which the main character is accused at the start and which brings about his wife's death simply fails to convince. The sexual relationship at the centre of the story -- between young attractive Nicole K. and middle-aged, somewhat Mr-Potato-like Anthony H. -- is at best highly awkward, at worst grotesque and ridiculous; one can't help thinking of it as a perversely self-indulgent fantasy on the part of an ageing author who has always been out to shock. (Roth is after all the man behind that paean to masturbation, Portnoy's Complaint.) The film's narrative itself is tedious in the extreme, and it is watered down by lengthy flashbacks.

Dot the I [DVD]
Dot the I [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gael García Bernal
Price: £3.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How Not To Make a Film, 27 July 2013
This review is from: Dot the I [DVD] (DVD)
Amateurishly shot and acted. The story fails to engage as it is so unconvincing. The idea of an amour fou is always interesting -- but script and direction need to be in the hands of a master. If I had noticed that he film was a British indie, I wouldn't have watched it. A lot of British films go straight to DVD, with good reason.

No Title Available

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Impeccable service offering one of the best skin-care products on the market at a much better price than you can find it at Boots! Highly recommended.

The Other Man [DVD] [2008]
The Other Man [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Antonio Banderas
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £4.01

3.0 out of 5 stars The Men She Loved, 30 May 2013
This review is from: The Other Man [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
2.5 points. The central situation -- husband discovering wife's affair, tracking down the lover and making friends with him without the latter realising who he is -- is very interesting. It is a cat-and-mouse game in which jealousy and obsession play a part -- suspenseful enough to make one watch on. However, incredibly, it all goes to the dogs the last twenty minutes, following the 'twist'. From this point on both plot and performances rapidly deteriorate and the actual ending is flat beyond belief.

The Walker [DVD] (2007)
The Walker [DVD] (2007)
Dvd ~ Woody Harrelson
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.67

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Walker's Dilemma, 20 May 2013
This review is from: The Walker [DVD] (2007) (DVD)
While the central character is interesting and Woody Harrelson is fascinating to watch, the thriller plot is not developed particularly imaginatively. As the credits start rolling, one can't help a 'so-what?' kind of feeling...

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