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JS (UK)

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Loot: Inside the World of Stolen Art
Loot: Inside the World of Stolen Art
by Thomas McShane
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, pacey read, 9 Oct. 2007
I loved this book! It is basically about the career exploits of Thomas McShane - an FBI agent working in recovering stolen art masterpieces. Each chapter covers another exciting brush, usually with the Mob, who have made off with various treasures from Picassos to Rembrandts to Rubens and are often lured into selling them back to one of McShane's art expert aliases. McShane usually goes in to these meetings wired up and sometimes with a pistol and at the drop of an agreed catch phrase or word at some point during the transaction, the police will burst in to apprehend the crooks. Great stuff based on real events and written in a rather amusing typical stereotype NY 'cop' language in my opinion, complete with cheesey metaphors which only adds to its appeal. It's a great read and you certainly won't get bored!


Turkey (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay)
Turkey (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay)
by Sawday Alastair
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great but needs updating, 12 Sept. 2007
I used this book for a 2 week vacation Aug-Sep '07 travelling through Turkey and on the whole the places it recommended to stay were very good. On average beds were comfortable with clean white linen, and the bathrooms clean and in a good condition. What I liked also, was that each B&B seemed to have a real character of its own including that of the host! The breakfasts were good value too.

The only reason I am not giving 5 stars is because the book clearly needs updating (which should happen in 2008): prices are no longer accurate e.g. on average rooms are an extra 20 Turkish Lire a night on top of the printed price and one place - Villa Carla at Datca was no longer open. So calling ahead to make a reservation is best if you can. In conclusion, if you want to drive around Turkey do get this book or pick up the bi-lingual English/Turkish version by the real Turkish authors (not Mr Sawday)in Turkey entitled: 'The Little Book of Small Hotels in Turkey.' It is worth it and it will bring you into contact with local people of character, rather than the mass tourism phenomenon.


26a
26a
by Diana Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written but incredibly sad, 22 May 2007
This review is from: 26a (Paperback)
26a is a story about a mixed White/Nigerian family growing up in Britain and briefly in Nigeria in the 1980s and 1990s. The characterisation is deep, emotional and superb and one is really drawn in to feel empathy with each character in some way. The prose is beautiful and the pace is constant with a good rhythm. I understand from another reviewer that this is partly autobiographical which makes the story only more impacting. In summary, this is an excellent read and gives the reader a great insight into the lives and thoughts of four girls growing up in late 20th century Britian but my only warning is that this is a tragedy. It is incredibly sad and the descriptions of onsetting mental illness/depression and its outcome at the end are poignant and perhaps too upsetting for some.


The Wedding Officer
The Wedding Officer
by Anthony Capella
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but lacking pace at times., 17 May 2007
This review is from: The Wedding Officer (Paperback)
I found this book to be reasonably well-written and entertaining although there were places where I felt the pace of the prose became rather slow, the content a little dull and the dialogue somewhat predictable. Personally, I thought the immensely detailed descriptions of the food and cooking were a bit 'overdone' but of course, that is Capella's big selling point - that he does have an incredibly in-depth knowledge of Italian food and culture, so if you like that sort of thing you will really enjoy this novel. Capella certainly does succeed in evoking Naples and the surrounding countryside during the Second World War and in giving the reader a good insight into what Allied and Italian life must have been like then with all its amusing contradictions and local colour. I would recommend 'The Wedding Officer' as light, often humorous romantic reading but do not expect a riveting plot or superbly written prose. I would rate this as average to just above average for plot and prose.


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