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B. Hyland (Merseyside, UK)

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Windows Forensic Analysis Toolkit: Advanced Analysis Techniques for Windows 7
Windows Forensic Analysis Toolkit: Advanced Analysis Techniques for Windows 7
by Harlan Carvey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 38.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 30 Nov 2012
If you're doing forensic analysis of Windows computers then you need this book. Virtually every page is packed with the sort of day-to-day techniques and tactics that you need for getting the job done. It's well-written, timely and doesn't make any false promises - where the behaviour or significance of an artefact is in dispute or uncertain, the author highlights this and gives pointers for further research. He also links topics in the book to other analysts in the community, so if something's of particular interest you can follow up. There's a strong emphasis on understanding the evidence you're recovering as well, rather than just relying on tools to do the work for you. I really can't recommend this book highly enough.

Zombie Writing!
Zombie Writing!
Price: 0.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Table of contents, 22 Jan 2012
This review is from: Zombie Writing! (Kindle Edition)
I've just bought this on Kindle (missed the free promo!) a few minutes ago so I can't comment on the book itself yet, but it really, really needs a table of contents urgently! I don't read books like this sequentially, so it's going to be hard to find the essays I want until it's fixed.

Crack-Up: A Psychological Thriller
Crack-Up: A Psychological Thriller
Price: 2.44

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you could want in a thriller, 23 Feb 2011
I have a 50 minute rail commute to and from work, and my test of a good novel is whether it keeps my head down for the entire trip. Crack-Up kept me utterly oblivious of the world around me for a good few days.

I bought the book because of the interesting premise - a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic who did close protection work for the US Secret Service and now runs a successful private security company - and also because I've been enjoying sampling self-published authors on the Kindle at a very low price.

It's gripping from the very beginning, and stays well-paced throughout. The characters are believable and sympathetic, especially the protagonist Argus Ward. I was interested to see how the psychotic episodes would be handled, as the book is written in the first person, and they were done very well, with humour and sensitivity. The parts where Ward's medication was just starting to wear off and the madness kick in were particularly poignant.

I wasn't 100% convinced by the reveal at the end, but funnily enough this didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

A cracking read - I look forward to reading more of Eric Christopherson's work. I've read paperback thrillers backed by huge poster ad campaigns that weren't one tenth as polished or well-written as this.

by David Moody
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely unnerving, 16 Feb 2011
This review is from: Hater (Paperback)
Hater is one of the few books that has genuinely creeped me out. The central character, Danny, is an underachieving modern everyman with a soul-destroying job, a family that he loves but who drive him crazy, a flat in a blandly-bad part of an unnamed everytown and a general sense that things could be better

This world starts to unravel as a spate of murderous, motiveless attacks on strangers sweeps the UK. The attacks come out of nowhere, from people who were showing no signs that anything was amiss, and the fear and uncertainty are brought out very well in the book - by the end, I was actually feeling anxious and for the next few days found myself looking at people with a slight element of mistrust. It's been a long time since a book got to me that much! The way that the author builds up the ridiculous stresses of modern life is done very well, particularly the pressure-cooker home life of Danny. The ending comes like a hammer blow.

I've only given this 4 stars because I'd like to save 5 stars for the follow-up, 'Dog Days'. This carries straight on from 'Hater', but by now we know what's going on, and our relationship with the characters from Hater has been turned on its head. The simplicity of the premise of the books is shocking and every effective.

I read both books one after the other, and recommend doing this. It's a pity that the Kindle edition costs more than the paperback though - yet another bizarre pricing decision from the world of books..

Slow Horses
Slow Horses
by Mick Herron
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and a cracking thriller., 11 Sep 2010
This review is from: Slow Horses (Hardcover)
I bought Slow Horses after reading a very favourable review of the audiobook edition in the Guardian. The book starts with a terrorist chase through Kings Cross station and, although the author does the exciting shooty-chasey bits of a thriller very well, he's equally good at painting believable, interesting, complex characters and using them to people a wonderfully twisty world of deceit, masks and very human failure.

As the Guardian review said, this is one of the books that makes you glad to have discovered the author - especially as he seems to be just hitting his stride in terms of output. The dialogue is fantastic and, although at times it skates close to being too clever to be believable, it fits the characters well and some of the longer passages have the flow and sheer, impish wordsmith's joy of le Carré at his most eloquent.

I read this book in a day and a half, and wanted more when I'd finished - it'd be interesting to see the back-stories of some of the characters fleshed out in the future, especially Jackson Lamb.

Epson Stylus DX8400 All-in-One Printer
Epson Stylus DX8400 All-in-One Printer

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 22 Aug 2009
The print quality's OK - when it prints. It told me that it had run out of ink (it hadn't), so I replaced it with cheap ink as I've always done with Epsons, this being the main reason I buy that brand. It wouldn't take the ink, so I grudgingly bought some Epson stuff. That worked for a while, then it decided that all the cartridges were empty - after printing about a dozen pages of text.

by Simon Kernick
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the title of the book says..., 28 Jun 2009
This review is from: Relentless (Mass Market Paperback)
What I love about this book is that you're in it from the first couple of sentences. Kernick takes an average suburbanite and drops him straight into peril, and keeps the pace going until the end.

If you're looking for a pared-down, bare-bones, breakneck thriller, you won't get better than this.

Red Storm Rising
Red Storm Rising
by Tom Clancy
Edition: Paperback

4 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cold and Slightly Distasteful, 15 Jan 2004
This review is from: Red Storm Rising (Paperback)
It's all very exciting and it's extrememly interesting to read a book written during the Cold War about the Cold War turning hot, but Red Storm Rising is kind of...empty, somehow. The characters are poorly drawn and 2 dimensional which is nothing new for the weaponporn genre and I was expecting that, but the whole book is written solely from the POV of military personnel in strategic positions. Germany is being overrun by Soviet tanks, Scotland is being strafed by Soviet aircraft, merchant ships are being sunk by submarines but there's no mention of the civilian experience or the feelings of the general population, or even troops on the ground seeing their countries invaded. The only non-military character is a rather dubious plot contrivance. Maybe I'm just in the wrong genre, but it's an incredibly soulless book.
I also got the impression that Clancy wrote the whole thing in a state of arousal, that he was consumating the flirtation with submarines that he began in The Hunt for Red October.
War is such an intensely human thing, but there's no humanity in the book at all. I'd have been very interested to read a serious novel about a European war in the 1980s, but this left me cold.

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