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Carmen "mystery lover" (Derbyshire)

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Labyrinth [DVD] [2013]
Labyrinth [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ John Hurt
Price: 5.00

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly grating and awful. So not as bad as the book., 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Labyrinth [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Well let me first admit that I had to be forced to sit down and watch this garbage on television despite having warned my entire circle of friends that the book was so dire that nothing good would come from putting it on film. I hate to say 'I told you so' to friends but I'm afraid I had little choice after being subjected to this and it was gratifying to see almost all of them agree with me. The one plus I suppose is that they will not feel tempted to read the book and I guess if I were honest I wished I'd seen this first and saved myself weeks of anguish and unintended hysterical laughter after ploughing through the badly-written tome with its mix of made-up history and cardboard characters.

Labyrinth is a mittel-european co-production, which is not always a sign of poor quality (See, The Name of The Rose) but on this occasion it proves beyond any creative talent to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse. To be fair, cast and crew do their best but really the source material is unsaveable. And to watch John Hurt phone in yet another foreigner-attempting-cod-English performance is more than anyone should have to bear. He must be smirking all the way to Threshers.

Avoid like the Hammer of the Cathars.

A Family Affair: Truth in Lies, Book 1
A Family Affair: Truth in Lies, Book 1
Price: 0.00

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for the neck-up numbed, 22 Nov 2012
Jeez I've read some rubbish in my life but this just about takes the biscuit. In fairness it cost nothing and I've paid proper money for some traditionally published howlers like Kate Mosse's execrable Labyrinth. Okay, if you left school at a young age and never really got into the academic side of things - you might find this undemanding fare acceptable, even credible but for those of us who've taken our education mildly seriously this tosh is waaaaay beneath anything we could ever hope to give us a few hours of drama never mind aimless escapism. Terrible grammar, patronising characterisation and layer upon layer of cheesy, folksy homilies and "life lessons". Avoid at all costs if you value your brain cells. Alternatively download for free and just sit back and laugh.

The Two (January David 2)
The Two (January David 2)
by Will Carver
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.65

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and ill-judged, 16 July 2012
I've tried to finish The Two but have finally given up on it halfway through and that's very rare for me, even for a book I didn't buy. I've given an extra star for the fact that it might be my own prejudice against books written in 1st person that contributes to my disliking the novel.

But 1st person or not, the book begins in very confusing manner with several characters "talking to camera" as it were, in short sharp chapters. But even taking my prejudice into account, the first person accounts are completely unbelievable because ALL the characters speak with the same voice, presumably that of the author. Victims, killer, cops all speak with the same rhythms and cadences with no attempt made to find a unique voice for each seperate character. Naturally this adds to the confusion about what is going on, particularly at the start.

I don't mind being made to work a little but having to second guess who is supposed to be talking and then retracing my steps to reread became increasingly irritating. Find a new style Mr Carver, then I can make a better judgement about your content.

The Dark Winter
The Dark Winter
by David Mark
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.39

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose let down by humdrum plot, 11 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dark Winter (Hardcover)
I really loved the opening of this book and David Mark set the scene very well. His prose is wonderfully evocative and original and he sketches his backdrop with great skill. Unfortunately, because of Mark's skill, Hull becomes the book's outstanding character and the only one that rings true. The plot is both unbelievable and dull at the same time and guessing the perpetrator was ridiculously easy when we met him, even if his motive is not quite as clear until the denouement.

DS McAvoy (I won't use his first name because it became an unnecessary distraction in the novel) is also quite hard to take as a gentle giant. I know men are supposed to be more in touch with their emotions but a Detective Sergeant in a crime unit of any kind wouldn't survive for five minutes if he was as near to tears as McAvoy often is. At one point he almost faints so overcome with emotion is he. I mean, come on.

The other annoyance is the de rigeur padding of police in-fighting which spoils so many procedurals these days. I find it hard to believe a senior detective would arrest the wrong person just to score points of a fellow officer and even if it is realistic, it has been done to death and feels like filler for the thin plot. Overall a promising debut for a great thriller to come but this isn't it.

The Stonecutter (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3)
The Stonecutter (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3)
by Camilla Lackberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eat, Pray, Love with a murder tossed in., 6 July 2011
Is it just me? I bought this on a recommendation because I enjoy a good, slow-burning thriller. I loved the Dragon Tattoo series, read all the Mankell's and was a keen follower of BBC 4's The Killing just so readers know that I'm not the impatient kind. However, The Stonecutter bored me to tears. Slow is not a problem but a thriller at some point has to have some thrills in it and they just weren't there.

What you get instead is reams and reams of emotion particularly, but not exclusively, from the female characters. It's not a spoiler to say that at the start of the book a child is found murdered and at this point the novel goes into baby-rearing overdrive, presumably because of Lackberg's own experience. They say write about what you know and Camilla does this in spades.

We get pages and pages of mother's guilt, beating herself up for allowing her difficult daughter out of her sight. Then we get the husband's guilt, followed by endless family grieving and wailing. All fair enough, up to a point but it doesn't end there.

The detective's wife has a small baby and is also the friend of the grieving mother so we're treated to lashings of her guilt for having a living child. She wants to support her friend but feels guilty turning up with her baby. But it doesn't end there. We get pages more. The detective's guilt and feelings of helplessness that such a thing could've happened in their small community. His guilt that he has to question the family members about their whereabouts, his worries about the mother's mental state, his concerns about his own wife who is suffering post natal depression. On and on and on it goes. I know the weather's bad out there but the navel-gazing reaches new heights. Oh and by the way an investigation of sorts gets under way.

I know the writing is competent and the denouement was a mild surprise but any book that has me skim reading after 40 pages deserves only one star. At one point I could stand it no more and skipped 100 pages and picked it up pretty much where it left off. Some people will enjoy this and apparently have but it was not for me.

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