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Reviews Written by
Dillon the Villain "Pierre" (St Nazaire)

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Vous revoir (French Edition)
Vous revoir (French Edition)
Price: £8.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Same again second time around, 14 Jun. 2016
I loved et si c'était vrai ans if was always going to be a hard act to follow. This partly succeeds as it takes the love affair on, but there is too much of the same story line and events. The plot moves with frustrating slowness but that does reflect the relationship and almost add to the emotional tension. Enjoyable but a somewhat pale imitation. Hopefully he will be encouraged not to attempt a vous revoir encore.


Blood at the Bookies (A Fethering Mystery Book 9)
Blood at the Bookies (A Fethering Mystery Book 9)
Price: £4.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Bet you can't solve this one., 21 May 2016
Another wonderful outing for Jude and Carole and yet another body in Fethering! Daft and light hearted, it is what it is and these Fethering Mysteries are ideal summer brainless reads. You are never trying to work out whodunnit, as the convoluted workings of Fethering society are solely the domain of J&C. Great secondary characters - especially loved Gerald (even duller than Carole!) and Andy Constant (great name Simon!). Loved it, but not a five star book - but if you haven't read Simon Brett's witty murder mysteries, I would encourage you to try them. You'll be back for more - this is my 9th.


A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015
A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015
by Patrick Gale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars A Cooler Gale than expected, 21 May 2016
There is so much to love about Patrick Gale's writing and this is no exception. But for me, it lacked the heart and wit of his other books and dragged rather in the Canadian farming saga. The characters, as always with Gale, are exquisitly drawn with a sense of belonging, purpose and soul. The arc of the narrative is wonderful when we stay within the confines of Harry's story; the Bethel sections for me seemed forced and unnatural, something I had never encountered in Gale's works before. Definitely worth reading, but not I feel one of his best. Having said that the ending was extraordinary and completely unexpected.


Bring Up the Bodies
Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Just as dull as Wolf Hall., 8 May 2016
This review is from: Bring Up the Bodies (Paperback)
Not as long and so not as drawn out and tedious as Wolf Hall but OMG what a dull and pointless book. I'm glad I've read these two mantel novels as at least I now know not to bother with the others. Utterly bored throughout and the denouement - if you could actually call such an ending this - was such an anticlimax. The best bit was the end - the very end, when it was all over and I could read something else.


Charles Hawtrey 1914-1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle
Charles Hawtrey 1914-1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle
by Roger Lewis
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars A horrid little book, 18 April 2016
What a travesty for such a publishing house of the status of Faber to dirty their hands with such trash. This is a truly horrid little book. The author (and I use the terms generously as this man has no skill whatsoever as a writer, researcher or biographer) divides the book in Art (a collection of ramblings more concerned with Mr Lewis's opinions than anything of even the slightest interest on Charles Hawtrey) and Life (a collection of ramblings more concerned with Mr Lewis's opinions etc etc). Tryly appaling writing, no research of any kind whatsoever - we learn far more about Roger Lewis and his small-minded little world than any aspect of what could have been a sympathetic life of a clearly rather sad man - and an abysmal lack of editing. This should have been sent back with a note to "try another career as writing doesn't suit". Why write a biography of man you clearly dislike, whose drinking you mock, whose sexuality you abhor and about whose life and art you know nothing more than the man in the street. It is incoherent - what on earth is the Art section about? - and vulgar. I shall remember Charles Hawtrey as the truly funny and odd one in the Carry Ons - which are not as Mr Lewis states "abysmal". They are what they are, childish, slightly naughty and rude pieces of farce OF THEIR TIME. I loved them as a child, and this is their intended audience. To quote himself back, slightly amended, I found this "an absymal (book), let's make no mistake about it, as lacking in stbtance as the air". Goodbye Mr Lewis. I shall remember never to waste my time on your opinionated drivel. Truly a horrid, horrid little book.


The Miniaturist
The Miniaturist
by Jessie Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.20

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 1 April 2016
This review is from: The Miniaturist (Paperback)
Without doubt one of the best books I have ever read. Beautifully crafted from the beginning, characters and their situation - both physical and emotional - powerfully developed with a storyline that keeps unfolding. The surprises were well exposed but easy enough to devine if you read between the corseted dialogue of these trapped characters. Highly recommended. I cannot understand the reviews giving this less than 5 stars, and cannot wait for Burton's' next offering.


The Carrier (Culver Valley Crime)
The Carrier (Culver Valley Crime)
by Sophie Hannah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great mystery, 31 Mar. 2016
Don't let the opening hilarity of Gaby and Lauren's predicament fool you. This is a mystery, just one with perhaps Hannah's funniest ever character, the quite believably thick Lauren Cookson. The ongoing police drama behind the scenes continues to be a great source of fun (can't wait for the wedding and want Simon is going to read!) and the psychology of the situation is quite disturbing. Not a five star Culver Valley drama but still a highly engaging read. I have said this before, but these books need to be read in order - half the fun is in the snowman, Waterhouse, Zailer and the lovely Sam not to mention Liv and Gibbs. Can't wait to read the telling error - will the wedding actually happen and will Simon steal the show?


A Change In Altitude
A Change In Altitude
by Anita Shreve
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A simple but engrossing tale, 31 Mar. 2016
This review is from: A Change In Altitude (Paperback)
This is my 14th anita shrive and whilst it is not perhaps her finest hour, it made for a day of great pleasure in the simple writing and honest emotional journey taken by Margaret. Yes the setting is maybe a little shoe horned - the ongoing metaphor of conquering mount Kenya (we get it) and a woman in a foreign land both physically and emotionally is a little laboured. Nevertheless the story line and the limited number of characters draws you into this exotic landscape. I really found it hard to put down (partly due to large-scale print size and wide margins the pages fly by) and I wanted to see Margaret happy in her future life, whatever that may be. The secondary characters are beautifully presented and add to the sense of place and emotional power of the book. Highly recommended. And I'm a man by the way - shreve is not only for female readers!


Le Voyage D'hiver (Ldp Litterature)
Le Voyage D'hiver (Ldp Litterature)
by Amelie Nothomb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.95

2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing journey and not worth the time, 15 Mar. 2016
This was my third novel by nothomb and by far the least convincing. The narrative is awkward and stilted and lacks a real journey. The narrator has an unbelievable voice and his relationship with the women is implausible and leads to the whole purpose of the book being undermined. The hijacking idea is hugely distasteful and the whimsy with which it is considered is neither amusing nor quirky. I am frankly surprised this ever made it past the editors desk. I read it in French and there are quite a few idiosyncratic words but for a reader of a decent level this is understandable but I wouldn't bother.


An Officer and a Spy
An Officer and a Spy
by Robert Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly political drama, 9 Mar. 2016
This review is from: An Officer and a Spy (Paperback)
I don't often give up on books, but the first 127 pages of this are slow and to be honest rather tedious in their detail. But on page 128 Harris writes the sentence, "and then quite unexpectedly all of this changes and with it my life and career and everything else". In hindsight this long preamble has been like a long slow climb up the initial slopes of a roller coaster and from this sentence the book grabs you and pins you to the seat of the carriage and does not let you go. Nor do you want it to. The twists and turns off this incredible story - made more so by the fact that it is true - are breathtaking. Never is the outcome of each and every trial predictable and the pace with which evidence and lies are laid before us is masterly. Those initial scene setting pages had to be written in painstaking detail if the rest of the unfolding drama were to have a base and the characters a history. Definitely one of Harris's finest achievements and thankfully a return to form after the roman holiday. Just don't give in before page 127!


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