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derekmas (UK)

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Eye for an Eye
Eye for an Eye
by Frank Muir
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars St Andrews, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes,what does it matter?, 13 Jan 2008
This review is from: Eye for an Eye (Paperback)
An excellent novel from an author and a publisher who are new to me. Totally disagree with the reviewer N. King. A novel has to be set somewhere and an evocation of place by referring to street names, pubs, landmarks is inevitable and helps to set the scene. If a book is set in my home town (as many have), I'd feel an immediate sense of closeness to the author and plot, whether he/she lived there or not.

Since this is a review of a book and not a review of a review, I'd like to commend Mr Muir on his plot (interesting and not at all derivative), characters (Gilchrist is easy to empathise with since he's both intelligent and flawed) and dialogue (seems realistic though I'm not a Scot).

If this is the beginning of a series, I look forward to future entries.


The Murder Book (Alex Delaware)
The Murder Book (Alex Delaware)
by Jonathan Kellerman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Return to form, 21 Dec 2007
One of the better of the more recent entries in the series. The plot works well and the ancillary characters are interesting. I particularly enjoyed Milo's back-story which dovetails nicely with the denouement, which is exciting, if a little too explicatory. My only other criticism is that Robin has become an encumbrance rather than an enhancement and I hope (no spoilers here!) she disappears forever, leaving Alex to get on with what he does best, which is to provide Milo with all the good clues, with perhaps the odd dalliance with a delectable floozy thrown in. Sexist! I hear you say ... Don't muddy the waters, I say.


The Death of Dalziel: A Dalziel and Pascoe Novel
The Death of Dalziel: A Dalziel and Pascoe Novel
by Reginald Hill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exploitative, 21 Dec 2007
Bit of a rip-off. I read the Dalziel & Pascoe series mainly for the interplay between the main characters so to have Dalziel in a coma for most of the book was a disappointment For me, Pascoe only works as a foil for the Fat Man and Ellie gets annoyingly in the way, though Wieldy is usually good value for money. Am not a fan of the TV series but would be interested to see how they try to bring this one to the screen.


Red Sky Lament (John Ray Horn Thriller)
Red Sky Lament (John Ray Horn Thriller)
by Edward Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy!, 6 Nov 2007
Wonderful. Fell in love with the book on page one and when had to put it down (only twice cos of uncalled-for interruptions), coudn't wait to get back to it. Wright's sense of place and time seems real (at least from a 2007 British perspective) and the dialogue authentic (though I wondered if they really said 'smacked upside the head' in 1947?). Although I had read about the McCarthy communist witch-hunts of the 1950s, I didn't realise it had started much earlier (and have since looked it up).
Although I don't require a history lesson from crime fiction, it's good to have one in the context of such an engrossing and well-written story such as this.
I am looking forward to reading the other books Edward Wright has written (Clea's Moon, The Silver Face, Damnation Falls).


Writer's Handbook Guide to Crime Writing (Writer's Handbook Guides)
Writer's Handbook Guide to Crime Writing (Writer's Handbook Guides)
by Barry Turner
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninformative, 6 Nov 2007
Read this book as am currently thinking about writing my first crime novel and was disappointed . Despite its featuring such luminaries of the genre as Rankin and McDermid, it told me nothing I didn't already know and the publisher's perspective wasn't much better. Perhaps the best feature of the book is the listings pages but they can be obtained elsewhere. Not recommended.


Microsoft Windows Vista: Peachpit Learning Series
Microsoft Windows Vista: Peachpit Learning Series
by Larry Magid
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.61

3.0 out of 5 stars Insufficient detail, 6 Nov 2007
Good basic introduction to Vista, though not nearly detailed enough for a user and with insufficient comparisons with XP to make it clear whether it's worthwhile to upgrade.


Bottled Spider
Bottled Spider
by John Gardner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Does Tom takes Suzie's virginity (eventually)?, 6 Nov 2007
This review is from: Bottled Spider (Hardcover)
After 'Troubled Midnight', which was impressed with, was interested to see how series started and wasn't disappointed. Gardner's sense of place and time rang true and though I got a bit tired of Suzie hankering after Dandy Tom and his incessant 'heart' endearment (wishing she'd just get her boots filled), enjoyed it till the end. Will read the rest in the series.


Vertical Coffin (Shane Scully Novel)
Vertical Coffin (Shane Scully Novel)
by Stephen J. Cannell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 6.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Acronym warning!, 6 Nov 2007
Well-written, as have come to expect from Cannell, though a bit too political for my tastes, with the ATF and Sheriff's dept SWAT teams at each other's throats through the machinations of a villain denied access to any police department. The denoument, in an aerial gunnery range in the Chocolate Mountains east of LA is spectacular. WARNING! There are more acronyms (most, but not all, explained, than in any other ten US police procedurals put together.


Blood And Honey (Joe Faraday Mystery)
Blood And Honey (Joe Faraday Mystery)
by Graham Hurley
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a Paul Winter mystery, 8 Oct 2007
Not bad. Plot is confusing and goes nowhere. Relationship between Winter and Maddox (prostitute), and Winter's illness, which seem incidental to begin with, are what sustain the book and make it worthwhile reading. Faraday is almost secondary and his deaf son J. J. (a strong presence in previous novels in the series) barely makes an appearance.


The Right Madness
The Right Madness
by James Crumley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't start here, 28 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Right Madness (Paperback)
One of the most astonishing thrillers have ever read, which doesn't make it good, just astonishing. Totally unbelievable, with characters that you alternately want to like or shoot. If I had a gun, I'd put it to CW's head and tell him to get to Minneapolis and tell Whitney he's sorry. Or I'd tell him to submit to Cleo's advances. Whichever I did, he'd go his own sweet (and sour) way.
It's not often I feel this strongly about a book and I don't know whether to recommend it. Guess you'll have to make your own mind's up. Will have to read other titles by Crumley which may be the point of the exercise.


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