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Marilyn Z. Tomlins (Paris)

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Another Spring: Five heart-warming seasonal tales
Another Spring: Five heart-warming seasonal tales
Price: £3.48

5.0 out of 5 stars An wonderful selection of stories., 14 Feb. 2015
I consider myself a John Needham reader. I am indeed one of his very many fans.

This collection of five stories, will take you out of your own world, take you into another, not an imaginary one the likes of which do not exist, but one very real, very human world, one you will identify with.

Also, Author Needham tells a story extremely well which means that this is a book you will greatly enjoy.

The One Of Us
The One Of Us
Price: £3.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book wondefully told, 17 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The One Of Us (Kindle Edition)
This is author Needham's fourth book I am reviewing - the novels 'Convergence' and 'Forbears' and the selection of short stories 'Another Spring' - and he never disappoints.

Author Needham tells a story in such a way that those he writes about become real: in a quiet way they draw us in and at the end of the novel we consider them friends so that we are happy when they are and when they are sad we share their sadness.

I never tell the plot of a book I am reviewing,but in this case I will say that Author Needham takes us into the life of two couples, each couple adopting a boy child, and who then make what could have been a distressing discovery into a life-changing experience. But not in a bad way.

The end is sad, but beautifully told. Do you cry watching movies,and do you cry when you come across something sad in a book? Then be prepared that there will come a moment when you will need to dry your eyes when reading 'The One of Us'.

Certainly, as I did when I reviewed John Needham's previous books, I will yet again tell you that you will not be disappointed with this one.

It is a great read.

Naming Jack the Ripper: New Crime Scene Evidence, A Stunning Forensic Breakthrough, The Killer Revealed
Naming Jack the Ripper: New Crime Scene Evidence, A Stunning Forensic Breakthrough, The Killer Revealed
by Russell Edwards
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.45

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book reads like a whodunit, 1 Oct. 2014
I pre-ordered Russell Edwards' 'Naming Jack the Ripper' and when it arrived read it in 48 hours.

The book reads like a whodunit: of course such it is.

Being a writer myself and having written the book 'Die in Paris' about French WW2 serial killer, Dr Marcel Petiot, I can fully understand the dedication which had gone into naming Jack the Ripper. I 'lived' with Dr Petiot for 6 years, and I am still not totally free of him, so I do hope that Mr Edwards has been able to get 'Jack' out of his head.

I've read more detailed books about the modus operandi of 'Jack', but this book is undoubtedly the most fascinating as it is also about a man's effort to name 'Jack'.

I highly recommend this book. Believe me, you will not be able to stop reading it once you have started.

To Russell Edwards I say, "well done!"

Necropolis: London and Its Dead
Necropolis: London and Its Dead
by Catharine Arnold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating., 30 July 2014
On a recent visit to London I saw ‘Necropolis’ on a table on the pavement outside a discount bookshop. I immediately bought it: a writer myself and having written about Paris’s cemeteries (like Père Lachaise) I began reading the book on the Eurostar returning to my home in Paris and on arrival at Gare du Nord station I realised that I had not once lifted my eyes from the book to have looked out the window! The book is *that* fascinating.

There is criticism in the reviews that Author Arnold has some details wrong and also that she wanders off to cemeteries in other countries. Not knowing London cemeteries as I know those of Paris, I was not able to spot the incorrect details (I am sure there are only a few), but the story of London and its dead is such a fascinating one, that I cannot find fault with it.

Author Arnold takes the reader through the streets of London during plagues, pandemics, the two world wars and finally to the day of Princess Diana’s funeral. Personally, I would not have included the Princess’s death, but what Arnold wrote does show how death and mourning have changed over the centuries.

I am going to briefly quote from ‘Necropolis’ (I hope that Catherine Arnold won’t mind) but I want to show potential buyers what they will find in this book.

This is what Author Arnold writes about Horatio Nelson’s death: Elaborate funerals were part of the rich panoply of nineteenth-century life. Horatio Nelson set the standard after he was mortally wounded by a sniper at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson’s body was pickled in brandy, which was replaced with wine in Gibraltar, and brought back to England, amid macabre speculation that the Admiral’s crew had drunk the embalming brandy in transit…

In this book you will discover why black is the colour of mourning, why we eat and drink after a funeral, why we bury in wooden coffins, why some religions forbid the cremation of a body, and so on and so on.

You may say, "not my cup of tea" but I can assure you that the book is by no means depressing or frightening. On the contrary it is very informative.

I am now going to buy Catherine Arnold’s other books because I am certain that they will be as informative and fascinating as this one.

Price: £0.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah! Wonderful!, 1 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Drivers (Kindle Edition)
So happy I was to learn that Peter Carroll has a new novel out.

I adore his novels, and I know that you who are reading this review now, will too.

Peter Carroll has a way with words which results in a fast-moving plot. His characters are real. The situations in his novels are real. Yet, this novel, as his others, will take you out of your world and into that of his characters.

To say it plain and simply: Peter Carroll is a good writer.

Stark Choices (An Adam Stark Novel Book 2)
Stark Choices (An Adam Stark Novel Book 2)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be overlooked, 1 Jun. 2014
See the heading above? Well, checking for Peter Carroll here on Amazon, I was astounded that I did not review this novel of his - Stark Choices. That I had overlooked it.

The novel, as Peter Carroll's other novels, is a really enjoyable read. He writes well; has an interesting turn of phrase, and is never boring.

Mr Carroll when is your next novel out?

You who are reading this: do buy this novel. Take it on your summer holiday, take it on your weekend outing, take it on bus or the underground, because it will make your day.

Well, done Mr Carroll.

Babi Yar
Babi Yar
by A. Kuznetsov
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be more understanding of the situation in the Ukraine, read this book., 3 May 2014
This review is from: Babi Yar (Paperback)
I first read Anatoly Kuznetsov's 'Babi Yar' in April 1990. I bought the 5th Dell Publishing Edition which was published in November 1969. Because of the situation in Russia and its former allied satellite states of Ukraine and Crimea, I decided to read Kuznetsov's book again.

Kuznetsov begins his book with a notification which had been issued by the Soviet Information Bureau. It read: 'Evening Communiqué September, 21 1941. Throughout September 21 our troops fought the enemy along the entire front.After fierce fighting lasting many days, our troops have left Kiev'.

The story that Kuznetsov tells us is horrendous. Sadly, it is not unique, because wherever Hitler's Nazis went, they acted just as they did in the Ukraine and there in Kiev and at the ravine named Babi Yar.

Of the 175,000 Jews who lived in Kiev in the 48 hours which preceded the city's fall to Nazi Germany, an estimated 130,000 died being shot or beaten to death at the hands of the occupying Germans and at those of Ukrainian 'polizei'. The word of course means police, but as Leo Gruliow, Editor of 'The Current Digest of the Soviet Press' explains to us in his note written in New York in January 1967, polizei was what the Ukranians called Ukrainians who had become police under and for the Germans. Sadly (again I use this word) they were as cruel to their fellow Ukrainians as were the Germans: indeed like the Capos of Hitler's concentration and death camp's. (The Capos were fellow camp internees, some of them Jews, who had been made guards.)

Who went to the aid of the suffering Ukranians? Russian soldiers. This was in 1943. The Germans, defeated and on the run, and the Soviet Ilyushin bombers overhead, some 200,000 Ukrainians in and around Kiev lay dead.

Kuznetsov, then a child of 14, wrote in his book of seeing the Soviet bombers overhead: 'Hysterical tears were pent up within me. I loved those planes. Those were our men up there ... They were hammering away with all their might . They had the fascists on the run!'

He shouted out: "Keep at them friends, pound away!"

Maybe there are a few politicians - I have Obama and Kerry and Hillary Clinton foremost in my mind - who should read Kuznetsov's book. They may then be a little less ready with their criticism of Putin and Russia.

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
by Reza Aslan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-absolutely-read book, 1 May 2014
I am neither a biblical scholar nor a zealot.

I thus write this review as simply someone with an interest in many things (and a writer into the bargain), one of the 'things' being Jesus of Nazareth. As such I say: a more in-depth study of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth you will not find.

In 'Zealot - The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth' - I discovered a Jesus very removed from the one I had come to know as a child in the compulsory Sunday-before-Church-Service classes I had attended from the age of 5 to my confirmation into the Calvinist Dutch Reformed Church. The man I discovered in Reza Aslan's book is much more 'human' than the one of those classes. He is a 'flesh-and-blood' human being, not a celestial entity, which, according to the interpretation of the bible of those classes, was going to send me to hell if I did not, for example, say my prayers every night before I went to bed. He is a man with compassion for his fellow men.

I practice no religion today. Instead I believe in mankind and in science. Stalin once said: 'Who needs a god, when you have science?' I will not go that far.However, science we do have.

This is the first book of Reza Aslan I have read. How to tell you that no matter what religion you practice, and even if you do not practice any, this book is a must-absolutely-read.

I will now read Reza Aslan's other books too.

Mr Aslan, you have my respect and admiration

Price: £2.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 18 April 2014
This review is from: Convergence (Kindle Edition)
Having read John Needham's 'Forbears' and having loved it (you can read my review here on too) I had a good idea that 'Convergence' would not disappoint me. It certainly has not.

'Convergence' is a wonderful love story. It is about mature love, and it is told in a wonderful way. It is almost as if Author Needham takes the reader by the hand and leads the way through a green field, every minute of the 'walk' to be remembered.

It is often written in reviews that a book will stay with the reviewer for always. I am now going to say it. 'Convergence' will stay with me for always ... for a very very long time.

John Needham, you've done well here. Congratulations.

A Call From France
A Call From France
Price: £3.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Not my first 'Catherine Broughton' and certainly not my last, 4 April 2014
I always admire people who can face their lives and have the honesty to share it with others - even with total strangers. Share it 'warts and all' so to speak which is what Author Broughton does in 'A Call From France'.

Catherine Broughton beautifully tells the reader in this book of hers that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Yet, the grass is green in France, and this is what I like about this book. I could not only see France,but smell it too and taste it. And this is because this author, has yet again, brought a country to life for me. I know she will do so for you too because she is a wonderful writer, her prose never dull, never boring.

I highly recommend you click on 'order' right now.

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