S Sykes

Helpful votes received on reviews: 83% (15 of 18)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 114,308 - Total Helpful Votes: 15 of 18
After the Silence: Inspector Rykel Book 1 (Jaap Ry&hellip by Jake Woodhouse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I read a lot of crime and much of it feels formulaic - but not so this novel. For a start there are three detectives to follow, rather than the usual one. The story centres around Inspector Jaap Rykel, but we also have the out-of-town junior Tanya, and the fantastically flawed Kees - a man who would do anything to get ahead. The balance between the central crime plot and the back story is spot on as far as I'm concerned. I want to know what drives these three detectives to behave the way they do. I also very much liked the setting in Amsterdam - it feels fresh and different after so much scandi-crime. The crime plot is complex, twisting, and very, very dark. Once started, this novel is… Read more
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
This is sumptuously written - and I can see why it won the Booker prize, on the strength of the writing alone. But, I've got to be honest, I gave up half way through. Too many characters, and for a book which is heavily plotted - I just wanted it to cut to the chase more often. Also, I'm rather nervous of books which need a cast list - shouldn't it be obvious who the character is from the writing on the page?. But - I'll take it on my next holiday and try again. I think, without the distractions of everyday life, I could devote the hours needed to reading this properly. And, I believe, in those circumstances I would enjoy this a lot more.
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I'm new to Tom Rob Smith, but bought the book after reading a very interesting article in the Times with Rob - where he spoke about the psychotic episode experienced by his own mother which inspired the book. Set mostly in the wilds of Sweden, it is a dark story brimming with atmosphere. We are never sure if the main character is telling the truth or not - or whether she is deluded about the string of sinister events which she experiences when moving to a remote farm. I found the ending entirely surprising, but totally logical in retrospect. The other aspect of this book which I loved was the style. The writing tells the story without resorting to tricks, or drawing attention to itself -… Read more