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Reviews Written by
Rocke Harder "Mr Pineapples" (Dorset UK)

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The Birthday Present
The Birthday Present
by Barbara Vine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars So slow with horrible characters, 27 Aug. 2015
This review is from: The Birthday Present (Paperback)
Painfully slow and ponderous development of the story. I just wanted her to get on with it a little quicker.

And the characters were so dislikeable. Jane Atherton was a grim, mean spirited misery guts and I shuddered every time we entered upon her chapters in the book. In fact there was no one on this book that was remotely likeable - I couldn't stand any of this grisly bunch. The main man Ivor was repulsive and it would appear that he was based on Cecil Parkinson.

It was a well written book and I will probably read more Barbara Vine - though not 100% on that.


The Dead Secret
The Dead Secret
Price: £0.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Economical writing, 8 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Dead Secret (Kindle Edition)
Modern feel to this story: written in a reserved and economical way - hard to imagine that he was a contemporary of Dickens with his florid and grotesque descriptive writing.

The story is lot about nothing much and by today's standards would not amount to a row of beans when it comes to plot and suspense.

Still - enjoyed it.


Beloved
Beloved
by Toni Morrison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.74

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Written in riddles - too clever for its own good, 4 May 2015
This review is from: Beloved (Mass Market Paperback)
Took this book with me on holiday after hearing it was a masterpiece of writing etc. Started reading the first chapter and realised I didn't understand very much of what I had read. So read it again and then the penny dropped - well in part at least.

Proceeded to read the second and struggled again.

It dawned on me that this book was written in riddles which no doubt I could master with patience and perseverance but I took the view that life is too short to wrestle with understanding a book and dumped it.


Advocacy Skills
Advocacy Skills
by Michael (Resident Judge Hyam
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and helpful book, 11 April 2015
This review is from: Advocacy Skills (Paperback)
Superb book - great organisation of topics and the skills of advocacy are explained in detail. This is a very useful book for would be trial advocates.

Great tips and insight throughout.

The weakest chapter was the one on non-adversarial advocacy - although it did have some useful tips especially in children work there was much too cutting and pasting of the Family Law Rules re children work and a bit of commentary on each point; I got the distinct impression the writer was as bored writing this as I was reading it.

Nonetheless a very good book for aspiring advocates.


My Brief Career: The Trials of a Young Lawyer
My Brief Career: The Trials of a Young Lawyer
by Harry Mount
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars He couldn't cut it as a barrister and now he's bitter, 11 April 2015
The writer just didn't have the intellectual minerals to cut it as a barrister and he has been bitter about this ever since. In any debate about funding cuts for the Bar this chap turns up and sticks his two penneth worth in - arguing that barristers are over-paid and not worth the money.

Talk about sour grapes.

This book is an easy read but describes a barrister chambers that is far removed from reality. Okay so there are bad practices and arcane strands of thinking but I sense that the writer has hammed this up somewhat and lathered up incidents to add some outrage. Some of what he describes I simply do no not believe happened - or certainly not in the gruesome way he describes.

At its highest I think this book described a barristers chambers of 50 years ago and is nothing like what happens today. So at best this is a historical narrative more than anything.

He just couldn't cut it - plain and simple - and he needs to accept this fact - instead we have bitterness and exaggeration.

Not a good book at all really - bit of a disgrace.


The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience
The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience
by Kent A. Kiehl
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £11.68

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The stupid title says it all, 3 April 2015
Did not like this book (or the author) and was sorry I bought it - an impulse purchase at the airport waiting for a delayed flight.

It is has the usual psychopath stories - grotesque murders and cold blooded killers - things we have read about many times before - nothing new at all in this offering. There is quite a bit of coverage of brain patterns and brain functioning and I was not at all convinced about this.

What did annoy me was the crud that the writer uses to turn a very mundane piece of reporting into a long-winded spiel about nothing. For instance he mentions that one of the patients was sent to get an MRI scan - and instead of saying "and the results showed that....." he choses to give us the blow by blow account of the phone calls arranging the review - what the psychopath was wearing on the day and all the little chats that took place whilst he waited for the scan. It was such a lot of twaddle and added ink to the page and nothing more.

And a lot of the book is filled with such mindless meandering - adding a lot of unnecessary ballast to dull stories.

There is very little new in this book.

And the writer seems such a drip - he talks to these psychopaths each and every day (it would seem) but he is still upset and has to dab his feavoured brow with cold water to get over the experience - or drink a bottle of wine all alone when he gets home.

Not impressed by this big whimp and not impressed with this tired and jaded book.

Next time I am delayed at the airport - I am drinking a beer.


A Kind Man
A Kind Man
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another little gem from Susan Hill, 28 Mar. 2015
This review is from: A Kind Man (Paperback)
Sad tale about hardship, loss and family life. Almost an allegory or fairy tale with magical properties and happenings.

It reminded me a little of Susan Hill's "In the Springtime of the Year" - with death and recovery - hope and regret.

Perfectly and sensitively written.


The Poisoning in the Pub: The Fethering Mysteries (Fethering Mysteries 10)
The Poisoning in the Pub: The Fethering Mysteries (Fethering Mysteries 10)
by Simon Brett
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Simplistic tale for the more undiscerning reader, 28 Mar. 2015
No doubt many people would like this book. It does what it says on the tin - in other words its a story involving a poisoning in a pub. In fact the writer delights to give simple and descriptive titles to all of his books.

The book is a light hearted take on murder - with two amateur sleuths gadding about - sipping wine and asking questions. it tipples along at a gentle pace with a cast of stereo-typed characters. Nothing much happens and the outcome is predictable and the whole things ends quickly and very neatly.

The two sleuths are drawn quite nicely and their personalities come out well. However, I am not convinced the author is able to write credible dialogue with words an phrases emanating from the wrong mouths i.e. people saying things that in normal life wouldn't quite fit.

In summary - a jolly little detective book which like a bottle of pop - fizzes up and settles down quite quickly - light hearted and all very harmless. Perfect for those who only want a tiddly little read.


A Soldier's Story [DVD] [1985]
A Soldier's Story [DVD] [1985]
Dvd ~ Howard E. Rollins Jr.
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars But dull, 13 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Its obvious that the film was lifted from a stage play: there are two many speeches and staged set twos.

I think it lacked a little bit of dynamism and life and I did find it a bit boring.


Archbold 2013: Full Print + Supplements: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice
Archbold 2013: Full Print + Supplements: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice
by James Richardson
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars The cost is ridiculous, 7 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Needed - by why so expensive.

Archbold is a necessary evil for criminal barristers and the normal price of over £385 is extravagantly expensive.


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