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Troy Beal

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Damaged (Maggie O'Dell)
Damaged (Maggie O'Dell)
by Alex Kava
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hurried Hurricane?, 28 July 2012
This book is nothing like as good as the previous Maggie O'Dell books. The main character does not even seem to be Maggie, and the plot, whilst not without interest, is slight. As other readers have mentioned, the book suddenly just ends, as if the writer could no longer be bothered with it- a puzzle that the editor allowed this, as it is a major fault and drawback.

After the story comes to this abrupt end, there are a further 30 or so pages of the book. These are just a myterious and superfluous add-on. They seemed to be an unnecessary explanation of why the book is set in Pensacola, and a short story written by Kava and some other person. Given how bad the book was I certainly was not going to waste further time on this stuff.

On balance do not bother reading this book!

Let's hope for a return to form soon.


The Dying Game (Griffin Powell Book 7)
The Dying Game (Griffin Powell Book 7)
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dying for it to Stop, 9 July 2012
What a terrible book- half of it seems to be an appalling Mills and Boon (complete with utterly trite slush romantic cliches) and the other half a slasher killer.

The supposed Powell agency stretches all credibility, and Griffin Powell is simply absurd- as if the FBI would tolerate him dipping in and out of their cases in his sneering manner.

Other characters, Dr Meng, and Sanders are also endowed with all the reality of a free plastic doll which comes in a Cornflakes packet.

Do not waste time on this execrable book.


A Perfectly Good Man
A Perfectly Good Man
by Patrick Gale
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not So Perfectly Good?, 10 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Perfectly Good Man (Hardcover)
I found this to be rather weaker than Patrick Gale's preceding novels; but that is not to say it is not absorbing, and well written.

For me it jumps about too much both in time and from one character to another. The final quarter of the book has rather too many new characters loaded into it for an over sweet finale.

Maybe there's something in the air in Cornwall, making the characters all rather hippy-dippy, and fey.

This is all not as concentrated as the other novels, and more disparate, vague even.


The Playroom
The Playroom
by John Connor
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Unlikable Police, 28 April 2012
This review is from: The Playroom (Hardcover)
Interesting story, quite a lot of action, and tension.

It is however very hard indeed to believe that individual police officers flatly disobey direct orders as frequently as in this story.

Time after time an officer is told to stop doing something (or start doing something) and they simply carry on following their own private line of investigation. They never seem to be held to any account by their superiors.

The ending was a bit of a scramble, as if, as often seems to be the case in crime novels, it was added on in haste just to get the thing finished.


Asta's Book
Asta's Book
by Barbara Vine
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Journey Through Time, 11 April 2012
This review is from: Asta's Book (Paperback)
I bought this book in 1993, and now nearly twenty years later have just read it for the second time. I found I had forgotten all the complex details of the story, which was good, as it was like reading it for the first time (again...)
The story progresses quite slowly, but not quite as irritatingly as some Barbara Vine tales. There is none of the "But I didn't know that then" or "As I know now but was unaware of then" which can characterise Vine.
The book is well written, the mystery intricate and well resolved.
It really is Vine in full command, a brilliant piece of work.
Highly recommended.


Perception Of Death
Perception Of Death
by Louise Anderson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Is There a Point?, 21 Mar. 2012
I found this book made less and less sense as the plot went on, and by the end had no idea what was happening, or why- even worse I just didn't care.


Orpheus Trail, The
Orpheus Trail, The
by Maureen Duffy
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Trail to Follow, 11 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Orpheus Trail, The (Paperback)
May Contain Mild Plot Spoilers

This book is nicely written, but the problem is the plot, and the actions of the hero/museum curator.
Like characters in a Robert Goddard novel, the curator seems to spend all his time inanely shuttling about from place to place, accompanying and assisting the Police to an extent they simply, one hopes, would never involve a lay person, particularly one as clueless,inept and ineffectual as Alex. At least two people die due to his meddling.

Unlike most of the Robert Goddard characters, Alex does have a full time job, but one from which he can absent himself at no notice and and with zero accountability.

Why are these elaborate murders being carried out? We get a vague idea.
Who did the murders? We never find out. But by then we just don't care either.

All that lingers is dissatisfaction at a whole story which might have been so much better.


Grasshopper
Grasshopper
by Barbara Vine
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revisited After Ten Years, 29 Feb. 2012
I first read this book about ten years ago. Barbara Vine books can generally be read more than once, and between library visits, I took this one down from my shelves. I could not remember any real detail about it, so it was in some ways like reading it for the first time. The reviews here are on the whole negative, and one can fully see why: the irritating characters, no one ever has a job, the silly roof climbing, the lack of any real explanation for the characters actions.
Yet I still wanted to follow the story- despite the endless Vine habit of "But that was then. Later I found out....", despite the boringly dull, utterly tedious roof climbing- most of which I recommend skimming, it does not bear detailed reading-despite the many drawbacks, well signposted in reviews here, I found it interesting, and the ending, when at least I felt the irritating Clodah had grown up and become less stupid, was in its way moving.
As with Vine/Rendell, the descriptions of districts of London, and the various dwellings the characters inhabit were well drawn, and vivid. The motley and wholly unbelievable cast of young people did at least remind me of student days.
The book is far too long, (roof climbing could be cut by 70%) and the events all most unlikely.
But still worth reading.


You're Next
You're Next
by Gregg Hurwitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Implausible, 16 Feb. 2012
This review is from: You're Next (Paperback)
After quite a good first half, the story stretches credulity when we find the reason the main character (and his relations) is being persecuted, and hunted.
I've rarely come across such a weak reason for so much detailed pursuit, which goes on over more than one life time- simply not believable.
I did like the comeuppance meted out though.


The Third Party
The Third Party
by Harry Ritchie
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abandon This Party, 22 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Third Party (Hardcover)
I rarely have to abandon a book half way through, but could not read this novel. It seemed to lack plot and any interest. I have no sense that I've missed anything by not continuing reading it.


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