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Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England)
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The Kind Worth Killing
The Kind Worth Killing
by Peter Swanson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Two psychos meet in a bar......, 30 April 2015
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This review is from: The Kind Worth Killing (Hardcover)
A story of dark characters and murder. A casual chat in an airport lounge leads to murder and revenge. Very few sympathetic characters here but a plot that is dark and twists in all sorts of directions. Much like Gone Girl, the main leads here are not nice people and the things they do are very much not nice either. But in the main it keeps you guessing and on your toes throughout and is very well delivered, perhaps the only flaw being in the final twist. It is a solid, engrossing and deliciously dark journey and recommended to those who enjoy fully fleshed out darker characters.


The Whites
The Whites
by Harry Brandt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

2.0 out of 5 stars far too much like hard work, 22 April 2015
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This review is from: The Whites (Hardcover)
“Whites” are, from the group of NYC cops in this novel, the ones that got away. Clearly guilty of unpleasant murders but the ones that were not put away. The cops concerned were one ex-young gun type cops but now are either at the end of their careers or actually retired.
When a murder victim is identified as a “white” it triggers a number of events that very much bring the past back into the present. This is a dark novel in many ways and it almost reminded me of the Choirboys at times (but without the obvious humour). Our main character, Billy Graves tends to work the night shift so much of this takes place in the dark underbelly of New York.
The author is Richard Price writing under the name of Harry Brandt, he is a well-known novelist that I have never heard of! I picked this up based on newspaper recommendations and ended up confused and underwhelmed. This sounded like exactly the sort of story I would enjoy, but very little worked for me in this. The narrative is constantly confusing and the characters are both hard to like or relate to in any way. I just found it a very hard book to read and to enjoy. I had to keep re-reading passages to understand them while resenting the time spent.


Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney
Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney
by Piers Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective, 21 April 2015
He’s like marmite is Piers Morgan, you tend to like him or loath him, not usually much middle ground. But either way, this is an interesting and informative read and one that gives an insight into the underbelly of the US.

This is in a diary format and picks up at the point that Morgan is about to join CNN as a talk show host taking over from the famous Larry King. We see the need to kick off the show with strong guests and the chase for ratings. As his tenure develops, we move away from celebrity interviews to some of the breaking news covered by Morgan, from the Presidential election, Katrina, and the many shootings that place. This allowed Morgan to find his voice as part of the lobby for improved gun controls but also exposed him to those who consider the right to own automatic weapons as their constitutional right.

Piers Morgan is a journalist and experienced interviewer, something many people chose to ignore or forget. I thought this was an honest and interesting glimpse into American culture and attitudes. This finishes well before he left CNN, covering the first year or so of the show. Be interested in the next volume to understand why he decided to move on.


The Flames of Cyzicus: A Cassius Corbulo short story
The Flames of Cyzicus: A Cassius Corbulo short story
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fun, 20 April 2015
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This is set just after the first book, Corbulo now has a strange reputation and the Roman authorities are not sure what do do with him. For the moment he really is a "grain man", looking after the army's grain stocks. Sadly someone is setting fire to the stocks and nobody seems too fussed about investigating, but Corbulo is on the hook if the suppliers fall too low. So he starts his own investigation...

It's short and it is fun and in terms of timeline, Corbulo is at an early stage in the chronology of the books, younger, more immature and still finding himself. Mr Brown is a talented writer and is working with some great characters so it is always a pleasure catching up with them.


Hunter Killer: Danny Black Thriller 2
Hunter Killer: Danny Black Thriller 2
by Chris Ryan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars By The Numbers, 20 April 2015
This is the second of the “Danny Black” adventures, I missed the first one and now not sure if I will ever pick it up. For me, Chris Ryan, has gone off the boil and seems to be churning out by the numbers stories now. The plots feel weaker and it is hard to like the characters.

In this, as a result of significant terrorist attacks in London, Danny Black and fellow SAS trooper “Spud” are asked to ‘take out’ those known to have been part of the attacks. Very much off the books assassinations of bad guys/girls. This leads to them going to Yemen to remove the main protagonist (a “hate preacher”) and at that point they find that they themselves might be targets. But who is it that is targeting them, and why?

This takes a long time to get going and at best is average. The Yemen bit works best but all the London nonsense really doesn’t hang together all that well.


THE GHOST MOON ORCHESTRA
THE GHOST MOON ORCHESTRA
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.79

5.0 out of 5 stars great discovery, 12 April 2015
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I only discovered the band a few weeks ago and am already catching up on their albums and finding out what I have been missing. There are influences from a number of areas, including The Floyd but the end product is still individual. Great vocals from the female lead, and some fantasic guitar work that balances them out perfectly. It is a very accomplished rock album from a very talented band.


The Lady from Zagreb (Bernie Gunther Mystery 10)
The Lady from Zagreb (Bernie Gunther Mystery 10)
by Philip Kerr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Stars and murders, 12 April 2015
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Not only is this the tenth book in an exceptional series, the good news is that Bernie will return some time in 2016.

This is mainly set in 1942 and Bernie is still mixing with the sort of people he would rather not in Nazi Germany. Coerced into speaking about one of his past cases at a conference he soon finds he has a murder to solve before he is whisked away by Goebbels to undertake a task that will help him convince a famous film star to be in a propoganda film. Of course Bernie falls in love (in a world turned dark, Bernie is aways turned towards the underdog or those with normal human emotions) and accepts some tasks that he knows will not end well. We do get a view of the horror of Yugoslavia and then we peer beneath the cracks of a neutral Switzerland. And Bernie comes up against killings and plots and may need all of his wits to get out of some deep trouble.

Author Kerr has a real skill in exposing aspects of WW2, the culture and attitudes and to give it a really menacing atmosphere in which our hero is trying to survive. Bernie continues to tilt at Nazi windmills with his wise-cracks and attitude and remains a joy to read.

The books can be read in isolation but they are also a little like a jigsaw by which we are connecting the dots of Bernie's life and timeline.
Highly recommended both as a book and a series.


Beatles Coaster, Yellow Submarine
Beatles Coaster, Yellow Submarine
Offered by MugBug
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bright and cheerful, 7 April 2015
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Nice coaster from Yelow Submarine. Does the job well.


Viking Bay (Agent Kay Hamilton Novel)
Viking Bay (Agent Kay Hamilton Novel)
by Mike Lawson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong female actioner, 7 April 2015
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I do enjoy the author’s books, especially the Joe DeMarco series, but this is the second Kay Hamilton novel. Whereas DeMarco is no action hero, Hamilton definitely gets stuck in. In the first book she was a DEA agent but her off-piste actions meant she was fired. In Viking Bay a mysterious black ops organisation gives her a job, but when a job she is on goes bad she decides that “need to know” is a principle she is going to follow. Hamilton is a strong female character and a good one, but writing good characters is something the author is very good at.


The Devil's Detective
The Devil's Detective
by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak but very clever, 7 April 2015
This review is from: The Devil's Detective (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is even bleaker than you might expect. Fool is one of Hell’s “information Men”, kind of detectives in a place where death, horror and abuse are the norm. But, while escorting a couple of visiting Angels, Fool also is asked to actually investigate something – humans are being slaughtered and emptied of their souls. And how do you investigate a murder in Hell?

Bleak indeed, but very clever. The world building of Hell is very clever and well thought through and there are some very interesting views on hope and survival in a place that should have none. Once I got into the unusual environment I started to enjoy this more and more, it felt very different. I ended up hoping this was a one off and there will be no sequel as I thought the ending was just perfect.


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