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PHanson

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Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance Book 2)
Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance Book 2)
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Summut daft well done, 21 Sept. 2014
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This author knows his trade and he's pulled off another tall story. I had no difficulty getting through this at all and I don't usually read John Grisham - I happened to be in the mood for summut daft well done - and the author delivered.

Characterisation is a bit thin here and there, and I never had any clear idea what some key characters were meant to look like - perhaps this is the 'broad brush' approach to story-telling. The courtroom shenanigans and plot kept things moving along nicely tho'.

Assuming you're not readily upset by racial issues, historical and current, in the southern states of the USA, I'd recommend this for a relaxing weekend read. If you are sensitive about these issues and apt to be offended by their use as a plot strand in a commercial enterprise, give it a miss.


The Gods of Guilt (Mickey Haller Series Book 5)
The Gods of Guilt (Mickey Haller Series Book 5)
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better, 21 Sept. 2014
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I couldn't finish it. I got two thirds of the way through and I'd had enough; I could not suspend my disbelief. How could a supposedly sharp, savvy, lawyer be so stupid? So callow? In this book Mickey Haller displayed the emotional maturity and judgement of a 12 year old boy (sorry to any 12 year olds out there, I'm doing you a disservice).

I've read most of this author's books but this one was hard going. He can do better.


The Long Divorce (A Gervase Fen Mystery)
The Long Divorce (A Gervase Fen Mystery)
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eupeptic joy, 4 Sept. 2014
A genuinely good book. It's funny and engaging, with a set of nicely drawn characters. A good choice for fans of classic crime in general and Edmund Crispin in particular. Oh, and I learnt a new word - I usually do with this author - maybe everyone knows what eupeptic means but I didn't .

As with many classic books adapted for kindle usage there are some typos that need sorting - but they're easily forgiven because of the quality of the story-telling.

I should add that I rarely give five stars and can be put off by unpalatable snobbery and smugness that can be found in some classic crime ( I name no names but you probably know who I mean). This book raised no such qualms. Highly recommended.


I Will Have Vengeance (COMMISARRIO RICCIARDI Series Book 1)
I Will Have Vengeance (COMMISARRIO RICCIARDI Series Book 1)

3.0 out of 5 stars He sees dead people and no-one likes him, 26 Aug. 2014
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He sees dead people. A green-eyed, morose, aristocratic, senior policeman who unsettles his colleagues. He's damaged, naturally, by this curse of seeing those who have died violently - he sees their wounds and feels their final emotions. He has difficulty making friends and is isolated. Women seem to find him attractive tho' - surprise, surprise.

Set in 1930's Naples with the rise of fascism and its inherent threat of irrational brutality, the scene is set for an unsettling story.

Characters are competently given back-stories, relationships are explained, motivations explored and unearthed. Imagery is nicely satisfying and surprising at times. So why only three stars?

I was disappointed. In the middle third of the book I found my mind wandering repeatedly and I kept on putting the book down. The mystery lost dramatic tension and I flagged. I'm glad I persisted to the end because things picked up again. I will probably buy more of these, to read in order of publication, but only if the price is right.


The Dark Angel: A Lola and Ingrid Investigation (Diesel & Jost 1)
The Dark Angel: A Lola and Ingrid Investigation (Diesel & Jost 1)
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A wondrous book - more please!, 19 Aug. 2014
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A wondrous book. Thoroughly enjoyable. Characters astutely drawn in rainbow colour. A winding, modern Gothic plot. Some violence, not gratuitous, but theatrical. An excellent sense of place and time. And weather. Written by somebody who loves language and can tell a cracking story. What a turn-up! What fun.

I found this book by following 'recommendations' for those who've read Fred Vargas (and I've read the lot). It's a good match (for once).

My only complaint is that other books by Dominque Sylvain don't seem to have been translated yet. Hurry up Nick Caistor - get your translating skates on. I want more.


Strangled in Paris (A Victor Legris Mystery)
Strangled in Paris (A Victor Legris Mystery)
Price: £3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hammer horror lost in translation, 18 Aug. 2014
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An oddity. I've read of a number of Victor Legris mysteries and they're all a bit strange. This is due, I think, to characters behaving erratically for no good reason and their enjoyment of tantrums and tiffs; in effect, a bunch of toddlers required to deal with a set of gruesome adult circumstances.

There's a good sense of time and place. Tho' occasionally some of the dialogue got lost in translation and I was wondering who was saying what to whom and why.

Perhaps best regarded as a Hammer House of Horror movie, hammed-up by divas, heroes and villains, played by drama queens. Worth a go if you've got the patience - but try and read the series in order if possible because it might help to make some sense of the characters' motivations.


A Single Breath: A summer of secrets with a twist you won't see coming
A Single Breath: A summer of secrets with a twist you won't see coming
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, 18 Aug. 2014
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Got bored. It became predictable. Read two thirds but didn't finish it. For all that the author can put a sentence together and I've read worse. Simply not my cup of tea.


The Little Victim (Country House Crime Book 4)
The Little Victim (Country House Crime Book 4)
Price: £2.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Smug and snobbish, 17 Aug. 2014
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Smug and snobbish main characters with outdated views - I really couldn't bear them - what's more, there wasn't one likeable character within the book. The 'heroine' I've forgotten already. Our 'hero' Major Payne is well named - given his incontinent leaking of facetious comments, clunking racial stereotyping, and his 'clever' literary references. Ugh. Had the story been set in the 1930's and not the 2000's - the characters' faults may not have rankled so much and could've been regarded as a pastiche of the some of the crime literature of that time, but it wasn't. The whole thing is underpinned by an insidiously nasty main plot-line and an even more rotten sub-plot which, to say the least, I found disagreeable.

If you're already a fan of this author I doubt anything I say will change your mind. If you've not read anything by him before, you've been warned. But go on, give it a whirl, see what you think. On the other hand, you could spend your money on something else.


A Spider in the Cup (Joe Sandilands Investigation Book 11)
A Spider in the Cup (Joe Sandilands Investigation Book 11)
Price: £7.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull, 3 Aug. 2014
Having read all the previous books in the Sandilands series, I was looking forward to reading this, but was a bit disappointed. I was bored by long homilies delivered by some characters, and in places, the dialogue lost me completely. Sandilands began to irk too - was he always so simplistic and sanctimonious? I pushed on tho' and finished it. Okayish, but not the author's best.


Summer Guitar
Summer Guitar
Price: £11.02

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland and oddly sterile., 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Summer Guitar (Audio CD)
I bought this having heard one track and read the rave reviews here. Unfortunately I found while listening to one track is pleasant enough, more than that quickly became background music because they're all similar in tempo and style. Oddly sterile. Possibly okay to load onto an i-pod shuffle though. Disappointing but a lesson learnt - I won't be buying any more Classic FM promoted compilations.


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