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nickyb (Hong Kong)

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Neat Narrow, 4 Mar. 2015
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This has to be one of my top ten reads of all time. Thought the writing was wonderfully sensitive, and both the love story and the horror of war sequences were beautifully told. The stories were so well intertwined creating tension and intrigue. The author keeps you guessing about the fate of the characters and really involves the reader in the lives of all involved. There are great stories within stories. Some reviewers say it's full of cliches, but this is a love story and a war story and an aftermath of war story and lost love, so to some it may be cliche ridden but so is life. And this is a true depiction of life. I also thought it provided an interesting insight into the Japanese and japanese life and values. It's only one of probably one or two books that actually made me shed a tear.


Guilt: Alex Delaware 28
Guilt: Alex Delaware 28
Price: £3.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Gleefully Guilt(y), 24 Feb. 2015
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Another fine read by virtue of the excellent dialogue. Mr Kellerman really has a refined ear. Sturgis and Delaware are unbeatable. And the excellent and moody back stories are always relevant. But I felt that although this is a very smart and intriguing story Mr Kellerman loses the thread a little. **SPOILER ALERT** Perhaps the movie star couple could have entered the tale a little earlier. More explanation could have been given for the movie star's motives. I see where he's coming from, babies, family life, abortion. But you have to concentrate on that to appreciate the story. Sometimes you spend more time on trying to solve the mystery than on understanding the deeper issues the author is trying to present. Looking at it that way then this is a fine thriller.


First Lady
First Lady
by Michael Dobbs
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Flacid First, 24 Feb. 2015
This review is from: First Lady (Paperback)
Although enjoyable this book lacked teeth. Dobbs is famous, of course, for House of Cards and the ruthless protagonist. But here the First Lady lacks that killer instinct. She's resilient, tough and towards the end uncompromising but one felt that such a character needed a little more brio. Dobbs is tremendous with his Westminster insights. He's great with dialogue and story telling and this is an enjoyable read. Picked it up in a local giveaway shop a long time after its publication;so perhaps it's a bit dated.


I Am Pilgrim
I Am Pilgrim
Price: £3.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Pilgrim, 16 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: I Am Pilgrim (Kindle Edition)
I can see how this book can split an audience. If you're looking for a read that is inteliigent and challenging then this not really the novel for you. But if you want smart and exciting then turn to Pilgrim. It is well written, covering all angles and extremely detailed. Very much like an early Freddie Forsyth if you can remember that far back. Believable protagonist and I thought pretty believable set of circumstances. It's a big novel, full of ideas and back stories. I always wanted to return to it. It's a beach or pool book. Makes you think a bit. Well worth your time.


A Time of Mourning: A Sandro Cellini Novel (Sandro Cellini series Book 1)
A Time of Mourning: A Sandro Cellini Novel (Sandro Cellini series Book 1)
Price: £1.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Tantalising Time, 16 Feb. 2015
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Never read any Donna Leon but loved Michael Dibden. Now I have found Christobel Kent and so I can return to fiction based in Italy. Thought this book was wonderful. Atmospheric of course. It's set in Florence and so has to be. But what made it for me was the former detective. A sad character, still in love with his wife and just about hanging on to his life through a sort of post career depression. It was a smart storyline combining the wild mistakes of youth with the crime of fear commited by the aged. I thought it was beautifully told and certainly held my attention throughout. As I read so much now that I've retired I quickly know what I like. It has to be intelligent and intriguing. Certaily not formulaic. And that's quite hard for thriller writers to accomplish. But Kent has it in spades. Looking forward to reading her follow-up.


This Book Will Save Your Life
This Book Will Save Your Life
Price: £4.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book, 2 Feb. 2015
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After reading "May We Be Forgiven" I knew that I had found one of those special authors. Yes a bit like Jonathan Franzen I suppose. Reading a Homes novel is like being on fast forward. The dialogue is never ending, sharp and stylish. You immediately engage with the characters, you really want to know what's going to happen next. Yes it's LA and the craziness, I suppose, of that city. But it's the modern, rich lifestyle that touches us all. It's a book that you I really had to keep returning to during the day. The Kindle said there was another 10 per cent to go, and then it ended. I was so dissapointed. The remaining 10 per cent was a preview of the next novel. Don't miss Homes - a really great writer.


Everyone Lies
Everyone Lies
Price: £4.27

3.0 out of 5 stars Elusive Everyone, 30 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Everyone Lies (Kindle Edition)
After reading some reviews and recommendations I was really looking forward to this new author or authors, but at the end of the day it was a let down. Don't get me wrong this is a perfectly good, if not run of the mill, crime thriller. It's well written and includes some excellent forensic detail which I thought was very readable. it's just the storyline was so hum-drum. Drugs, prostitutes and corrupt police. Same old, same old. You have the added interest, as a background story, of the forensic scientist's murdered wife and lost daughter and I suppose that will be of more interest in later books. But overall it may be a good holiday read but nothing more.


Elizabeth is Missing
Elizabeth is Missing
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Elizabeth, 22 Jan. 2015
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An extremely intelligent and smartly written story. For me it covered new grund in a most entertaining and fascinating manner. The use and description of a person suffering from dementia to basically solve what appears to be a crime was a masterstroke. Healey was also able to convey the confused mind of Maud is such a brillantly, can I say, entertaining way. The reader feels very close to Maud and at the same time frustrated with her, just like her long suffering daughter. And then the emotional strings are pulled by the missing Suky although so much time is spent searching for Elizabeth. This is a great read. I can see why some people might think it is boring but for me I really wanted to return to the book because the writing was just so good.


The Paying Guests
The Paying Guests
Price: £8.55

3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing Paying, 16 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Paying Guests (Kindle Edition)
The writing saves this book. Overall it is quite dull. An unlikely lesbian affair which drags on awfully and then causes a terrible event that adds the nescessary interest that holds the reader to the end. But like all of Sarah Waters' books it is so beautifully written and put together that the end product is good. I just wanted that magic ingredient that made her earlier work so brilliant and not just good.


Everything I Never Told You
Everything I Never Told You
Price: £4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Everything, 11 Jan. 2015
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Following the excellent Station Eleven I was looking for another five star read and decided to opt for this novel after reading a number of top reviews over the past few months. I was relieved to have found a really well written book with an deep and moving storyline backed with a dash of intrigue. there's so much hapening in this book on a number of levels - murder/mystery? Racial tension. Marital problems. And a lot of family stress. After reading a lot of pretentious rubbish which somehow got on best seller and award lists in 2014 I was very happy to find a proper well written book.


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