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Tom Stronach (Essex, United Kingdom)

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Henry Wood Perception (Henry Wood Detective series Book 3)
Henry Wood Perception (Henry Wood Detective series Book 3)
Price: £4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry knocks it out of the ballpark!, 8 April 2014
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Book 3 in the Henry Wood serial and both Mr Meeks and the character are maturing into their stride. I enjoyed the first two books, I did, as evidenced from my previous reviews but this one, to use a Henry Woodism, (or as I imagine he would say) Mr Meeks has just, "knocked it out of the ballpark", he really has.

I have been watching, on and off, another one of those American TV imports recently, not an avid watcher, but tune in now an again to The Americans which is set in the 50's and 60's and has Russian spies embedded in US Society. Last week and I wasn't paying too much attention to it but I think part of the story was about the Russians trying to get their hands on US naval submarine technology as the US were making vast strides in improving the quality of their 'pipes' and what not, allowing their submarines to go even deeper than they could at that time and of course the Russians were desperate to get their hands on this material and of course the plans......

Well, switch off the telly folks and turn to Mr Meeks cos, he tells it a whole lot better, did the script writers get a hold of Henry Woods Perception or were they just looking at the same historical info at the same time and did a poorer job of retelling it, you decide but my money is on Mr Meeks being a better story teller.

Celine is now firmly embedded as Henry's boss, I mean secretary but is soon demoted from boss, I mean secretary when Mr Buttons turns up and takes over as head of the office.

Big Mike of the NYPD has been promoted to detective and Bobby, well he is still a bit of an anachronism, although we do learn one of his little secrets.

Francis is still a food critic and now wants to write a novel, don't we all .....

Lawrence, one of the kids from the last book is back and it looks like Henry may be getting a new sidekick .....

And Luna is still enticing Henry with goodies from the bakery, he'll need to watch his waistline in future episodes ........

The cupboard in the basement continues to spill out 'clues' from the future, in this outing a DVD and a CD, both of Billy Joel from the 70's, but we are no nearer to discovering the provenance of this contraption, how Henry came by it, where it came from or from whom, I suspect Bobby has something to do with it but Mr Meeks is keeping us guessing and as usual the clues are pretty abstract and thank goodness Henry gets there in the end because I never figure them out on my own .....

Anyways, Henry is engaged by the personal secretary of Daniel Kupton who has recently thrown himself out of a window of the Woolworth Building. Amy Silverton doesn't believe that it was suicide, he had a wife, he had a mistress and the fortunes of the family business had been turned around and was again making money and would make even more through being awarded a new Naval contract.......

Henry takes the job and the cold war intrigue really begins, we even get to sit in on a meeting with Nikita Khrushchev and the chairman of the KGB, Alexander Shelepin. The CIA are operating on US soil, oops and the FBI are sniffing around, bodies are piling up and Henry is racing to save not only himself but those close to him, who is gonna kill him first, the CIA or the KGB ......

Perception turned a corner for Mr Meeks, his writing has improved tremendously and the dialogue is much crisper although a few more contractions wouldn't go amiss and he still needs just a tiny bit little more work on editing, but nothing too much to complain about and character development is excellent, can't wait for number 4 in the series now .....

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 90
Page length: 283

The Prophet
The Prophet
Price: £3.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Words of Wisdom for Everyone, 26 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Prophet (Kindle Edition)
A very short book, only 133 pages published in 1926. To be honest I have no idea why I downloaded this. I have a vague memory of listening to a radio programme on the author some time ago, which I found interesting, so it must have been that! Gibran is described in Wikipedia as, 'the third best selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi.'

The book is written in bible-esque so if you are not a fan of that or indeed of religion it may not be a book for you. On the other hand and bearing in mind this was published in 1926 almost every passage can be related to every single one of us and our lives today.

There are no chapter numbers in this short volume but they are defined by the questions asked of 'The Prophet' by the assembled town folk as he prepares to leave them, returning to his 'home'.

Eating and Drinking
Joy and Sorrow
Crime and Punishment
Reason and Passion
Good and Evil

So many of the words written by Gibran over 80 years ago, must surely, if you are tempted to purchase this book, resonate with something in your life today and his simple but reasoning outlook will remind you to step back and reflect on how you look at life and maybe think that there is something that you can do to change, for the better, on how you interact with others and with yourself!

I'm not saying that I have had a religious or moral epiphany while reading this book, I personally still have no idea whether I am an atheist, agnostic or just a plane old fence sitter waiting for something different or better to come along, if that is indeed possible. I did write somewhere in regard to the Bible, and I suppose in the same tone the Koran would be included, that I look upon the former as a good novel and if only more people would read it (them) without the religious zealotry and bigotry surrounding it (them), the world would probably be a far better place for all humankind, but that aint gonna happen. But that should not take away from the fact that there are important life lessons in these works that are as relevant today as they were when they were written, as Mr Gibran's words, I believe, fall firmly within that description.


Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Page length: 133

Stone Cold (Joe Pickett series Book 14)
Stone Cold (Joe Pickett series Book 14)
Price: £4.29

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't flatter yourself cowboy, I was looking at your horse, 21 Mar. 2014
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Mr Box took a little break from writing about Wyoming Game and Fish Warden Joe Pickett and the ensemble cast of characters that inhabit Joe's world to give us 'The Highway' but he has come back with a real cracker.

Nate Romanowski kicks off this book and he appears to have finally gone of the reservation and who could really blame him for that considering what happened in 'Force of Nature'

Joe is back in Saddlestring and is found trying to retrieve ANOTHER trashed department truck that has been buried under snow on top of a mountain for months. Dave Farkus is with him, you'll recall Dave from 'Nowhere to Run' and that oft repeated line, ‘Shut up Dave’, and he is just as dumb and talkative in this one too....

There is a new director in charge of the department, Lisa Greene-Dempsey or LGD as she likes to be known, and like all of her predecessors, she doesn't much like Joe Picket either. Joe has been reinstated, again and this time has his old badge number, 26 back, and of course his seniority, thanks to his association with Governor Rulon.

Sheridan is still at college in Laramie and is now a Resident Assistant looking after freshmen and has a 'gut feeling' about a new student, April and Lucy are still at home and April seems to have changed from being vlad the impaler to April 'sunshine' but the interest of Dallas Cates in her and Joe's dislike of him is about to change all that, again... all in all business as usual in the Picket household with Marybeth as the peacekeeper in the middle dodging the bullets. I oft think of my son in law Steve on reading about the Pickett family as he too is in a household with four strong willed women.....

It's been over a year since he has had any contact from Governor Rulon and out of the blue receives a call to tell him the Governors private plane will be arriving at Saddlestring airport to collect him and deliver him to the State Capitol, the proverbial S... is going to hit the fan again.

The Governor sent a state CID officer to Medicine Wheel County at the request of the Feds. Apparently he fell asleep smoking in bed in his motel room; It burnt to the ground, with him in it.....

As the Governor's 'Range Rider' he tasks Joe to be briefed by FBI agent and old 'friend' SAC Chuck Coon with both informing him that he only needs to go there, sus out the lay of the land, try and find out what is going on with Wolfgang Templeton a retired Financial whiz kid and who has recently bought up most of the county, oh, and to find out if Nate Romanowski is involved... Under no circumstances is he to ask any questions or get under anyone's skin. Observe, note and report back ... yeah like that is gonna happen.

The rest is up to you guys but you just know that when Joe Pickett sees wrongdoing of any kind he just cant help himself, so go on do yourself a favour get this and the other Joe Picket books and buckle yourself in for a great read

One of the best lines in this book was from a barmaid to a customer. "Don't flatter yourself cowboy, I was looking at your horse!" Loved it

Editing for Kindle: 5 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 31
Page length: 336 no page numbers on electronic devices

The Tournament
The Tournament
Price: £4.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Chess, it really is a murderous sport!, 17 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Tournament (Kindle Edition)
Move over, Cornwell, Stockwin, Sidebottom and Iggulden and any other writers of historical dramas/fiction that are out there, a 'new kid' has firmly arrived on the street... Matthew Reilly has continued his blockbusting cinematic writing style of contemporary novels with his latest novel, The Tournament set in the Middle Ages.

He has taken 13 year old Bess along on a journey, accompanying her teacher and Royal Court attendant, Roger Ascham, with Mr Giles, the latter, King Henry VIII's choice of representative in the worlds first Chess Championship to determine who truly is the best Chess player in the world......

The Tournament is invitational only to be held in the Ottoman capital of Constantinople at the invite of 'His Exalted Majesty Suleiman The Magnificent, Caliph of the Sons and Daughters of Allah, Sultan Lord and Ruler of All That He Surveys".

Thirteen year old Bess, if you haven't read the clue above, is the daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII and will eventually rise to become Queen Elisabeth I of England. Ensconced in Hatfield House, away from Court she is under the tutelage of Roger Ascham a Cambridge Scholar and a firm believer that a good 'education' is not something to be trifled with, even if his methods sometimes bring down the wrath of the King!

It would be difficult to review the story of this book without giving away many spoilers, so in broad terms only, Suleiman The Magnificent has issued invitations to the main and upcoming rulers of the day in all known Christendom. Contained within that invitation is a secret message and all are instructed to send their own chess champions along with a 'gift' for the Sultan.

King Henry consults Ascham as to his friend and fellow Cambridge teacher, Gilbert Giles, as to whether he is 'the best chess player' in the land. Ascham confirms that it is his belief that he is, and so Gilkes, accompanied by Ascham, Bess and the Ponsonby's, chaperones for Bess, set off across Europe for Constantinople. Bess is also allowed to take a travelling companion and chooses Elsie Fitzgerald who around 5 years older than Bess and much more worldly, and a very interesting character, finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.

However, notwithstanding Elsie's liaisons, there is much more trouble and intrigue in the Royal Palaces of Topkapi and Hagia Sophia in the heart of Constantinople. The city is being terrorised before the tournament by a murderer who once the murder has been committed , then skins the lower jaw of his victims leaving the skin, jawbone and teeth exposed and then leaves the bodies on display.

On the opening night;s ceremony's Bess leaves the banquet hall to get a better view of a fireworks display and is met with the sight of Cardinal Farnese, an envoy accompanying the Holy See's player and an outspoken opponent of Allah and the Moslem faith, dead, in a courtyard pool, with a disfigured jaw!

All in all there are 6 murders over the remaining pages and after the first The Sultan tasks Mr Ascham with finding the killer after hearing from Michaelangelo - did I mention that this book is sprinkled with many famous characters from history, yep Michaelangelo of Sistine Chapel and other famous works of arts and invention, and an old friend of Mr Ascham's - that he has some detective skills.

That's all I can really tell you without giving the whole thing away, suffice it to say Mr Ascham does on more than one occasion come close to losing our future Queen in the most terrible of circumstances....

Matthew Reilly writes big descriptive scenes, he lays it all out there like a cinema screen and you are visualizing these scenes in your minds eye as you race through this book and it does become a race as he writes so intelligently and with a fluidity that makes it difficult for you, the reader/ watcher, to stop turning pages. I should warn you though, that this book, like most of Mr Reilly's other published works, is not for the faint hearted. The descriptions of priests, and others, and their 'use' of young boys and others, could offend and there are, through Elsie Fitzgerald's descriptions, some 'racy' sexual encounters too.

He has done some marvellous research both on Chess, and the period of history described, that he almost convinces you, like those fine authors mentioned in the opening paragraph and in their historical pieces, that the events unfolding in front of you, DID REALLY OCCUR. He weaves true events into the story line and informs us that even some of the maladies of our own time started even before the setting of this tome and continue to vex as now as they did then and we realise, that just maybe, there are no solutions to the ills of man and religion so long as 'faith' has followers and the predilections of the weak willed are covered up by their unswerving following and adherence to that 'faith'..

This really is a marvellous read and your reading enjoyment will only be increased by adding this to your TBR pile, but when you start it, you wont be able to stop.

At the end of the book Mr Reilly informs us of the material he used for reference and also reproduces an interesting interview he gave on the subject of the book

Editing for Kindle /iPad: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: Not given, but about 432 pages in length
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Foot Note. If you want to get a taste, FOR FREE of Mr Reilly's writing and of Mr Roger Ascham then I recommend his little FREE prequel to the Tournament, Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl The whole thing is about 88 pages in length with only about 25 of them a very short and interesting tale of murder in Cambridge, introducing us to the analytical mind of Ascham.

Henry Wood: Time and Again: Volume 2 (Henry Wood Detective Series)
Henry Wood: Time and Again: Volume 2 (Henry Wood Detective Series)
by Mr. Brian D. Meeks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.57

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did George read this before making the Monuments Men?, 11 Mar. 2014
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Book 2 in the Henry Wood Detective Agency series, Time and Again was every bit as good as the first, my review of that first book is here in fact Mr Meeks, or Brian to me, as I follow him on Twitter at @ExtremelyAvg seems to be getting into his stride and I actually enjoyed this one even more than the first, which clearly bodes well for number three in the series....

So, we are still in 50's New York and Henry has settled in to his new office in the Flatiron building with some of the quirky characters, such as Bob, turning up here again , this time helping Henry in a new case.

Can it be called new case though. Henry receives a visit from one of New York's finest telling him that he needs to come with him, there's been an accident!

On arrival at the scene of the accident Henry learns the news that his mentor and boss, Michael Thomas Moore a PI, who trained Henry in Detective work, is the victim of a hit and run, while that in itself is a crime, the police are looking at it as an accident.

It doesn't take Henry long to look at it as a crime, a street full of parked cars and where the only gap is, a bunch of dog ends discarded from someone sitting in a car ... waiting and watching.

Henry asks to look at the body and lifts Mickey's note book from it to look at later.

Henry soon discovers that his old boss, mentor and friend hasn't changed his ways and that the notes of the case he was working on are all in code but he does discover that he was working on a case that involved the shady side of the art world with secretive collectors who were willing to pay vast sums for black market art. Interestingly and as an aside I recently watched The Monuments Men at the cinema and Mr Meeks does touch on this in this book, without actually referring to that film title, I suspect, like the rest of us he did not know of their existence while researching for this one but he does describe what was happening to works of art during WWII in the same way as the movie, which makes for a contemporary and fascinating link!

An old flame appears on the scene, well not really, more a case of unrequited love on Henry's part which complicates the mix and a secret auction being set up to buy a piece of lost art that most people, even in the art world, had never heard of. Henry finds he needs to call in reinforcements and enlists the help of Big Mike, from book 1, who has accumulated leave from the NYPD and Professor Dr Brookert from NYU. He even manages to get a secretary to manage his life, I mean office, and things begin to pick up in that area but the case has more twists than a spiral stair case.

The strange cabinet in Henry's wood work cellar makes a couple of appearances disgorges clues once again, but Henry so wrapped up in the case and the reappearance of Katarina in town, that he misses the first set of clues, which he believes, had he found them, may have prevented Mickey's death and this troubles him greatly. I'm sure that in book three, or at least I hope, in book three that the mystery of this time shifting magic cabinet will be explained and while it is an anomaly it somehow doesn't seem to out of place here!

Mr Meeks does need to slow down a little and maybe take a little more time in editing, before pushing the upload button to find and correct the few minor errors sprinkled throughout, but and I do emphasise that they were minor, they did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the story. My only criticism of the story line would probably come at the end of chapter 54 leading into chapter 55. I finished off the chapter started the new one and then had to go back as I thought I had missed either a chapter or at least a couple of paragraphs as some of the main characters were being followed to a destination and then suddenly seemed to have somehow been kidnapped by other unknown characters. It did confuse a little but did become clear in the end!

All in all, another good book from Mr Meeks and Henry Wood ......

Editing for Kindle /iPad: 4 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: 225 with proper page numbers too. Oh what joy....
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

One Foot In Heaven, Journey of a Hospice Nurse
One Foot In Heaven, Journey of a Hospice Nurse
Price: £2.75

5.0 out of 5 stars And What a Journey... You should join it too, 19 Feb. 2014
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Not sure that this was a good choice of book to read in my current condition, but hey, life is all about taking a risk, isn't it. In the end it didn't make me feel any worse. Indeed like most of those dying in the book, I accept my fate with equanimity and really have done so since the moment the surgeon told me, "I can operate but the thoracic surgeon who needs to be working on you at the same time as me and the consulting anaesthetist also feel that your chances of surviving the eight and half hour surgery that it will take to cut that foot long tumour out, are slim to none."

I have to say it was a little disappointing to be told that, and I did shed a tear or two, but only because Ishbel was in the room with me and SHE burst into tears, which set me off. But all in all at 57, while not quite ready to die, I have come close to it on any number of occasions in the past and so wasn't too surprised that it had finally caught up with me......

But this is a book review and not about me although I do feel/ hope that it highlights the positivity of what you would probably think of, by looking at the fly leaf of this relatively short volume and think, death equals doom and gloom equals depressive reading.

Not at all, Ms Telpner, (and I do have to confess at this juncture, to knowing the author and she hadn't told me she had produced this book, as an RN specialising in Hospice Care) I imagine, decided to write about her patients and the specialist care they need as a means to show that death, like life itself, should not frighten those who are coming to the end of theirs and nor should families and loved ones fear what is to come.

My understanding of hospice Care was people going into a 'home or unit' to live out their final days, weeks or months. I am not sure if that is the case now even here in the UK as even in my condition I haven't actually considered that far ahead and so have not looked into it at all. But here, the author informs us that this is not the norm in the US and that Hospice Care normally involves the patient being looked after at home with Hospice Carers visiting as often as required to tend to the patient and to support the family. She describes a variety of cases frankly that go from the sublime to the ridiculous; some with loving caring family rallying round, supporting the dying from both poor and wealthy backgrounds to the downright crazy of visiting the dying relatives of 'caring' drug producer/dealers and occasionally to the dying with relatives who all find it such an inconvenience.

It is a little surreal in places, as Ms Telpner has both strong beliefs and views. Me on the other hand, while I wasn't particularly religious at any point in my life although have been known to read the scriptures from the lectern on more than one church attendance, I can't say I every fully believed in an all powerful god of any denomination. But, what I can say with some certainty is that when the author talks about and refers to 'out of body' experiences, I am a believer in those, having experienced one myself circa 1999/2000 when I had been engaged to run a car park operation at Scotland's premier outdoor event, T in The Park. I became so stressed out over the course of the week/ weekend that during a briefing to my senior operational staff I suddenly became aware of floating above myself and those present and watching from above as my deputy grasped me and sat me down while he continued the briefing.

Is it stress on becoming aware that you are close to death or just stressful situations that bring you closer to these experiences. Clearly from the authors patients point of view it is probably a combination of both and while my experience was borne from the stress of the operational requirements for the event I am not sure if this then leads on to a belief in an afterlife!

I found the book, in parts quite moving and in other places a little disturbing, only because of what might be my future, but through it all it was clear that the author is a person with deep feelings for those who were entrusted to her through Hospice Care and it seems a shame but entirely understandable that due to later incidents that she has taken a 'sabbatical' from a calling that she was clearly meant to be involved in.

This book clearly isn't for everyone but I don't think I would hesitate to recommend it to a family member who has someone close to them who is dying. It gives insights into what you can expect to cope with in terms of your loved ones body beginning to shut down and the problems that you will have to cope with and reminds you that while their body may be shutting down that in many cases their minds are still active and lucid and that WE know what is happening but can't always communicate that to you whom we love. Give it a go, if becomes too much for you you can always put it down...

Editing for Kindle: 5 out 5
Reading Enjoyment:
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 5
Page length: 148

The Highway (Cassie Dewel)
The Highway (Cassie Dewel)
Price: £3.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Highway - A Visceral read from Mr Box, 15 Feb. 2014
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Another departure for Mr Box from Joe Pickett, but not totally unexpected as he has done so now on a few occasions.

The Highway is a pretty terrifying read describing in pretty explicit detail how to become a serial rapist, torturer and murderer..... And all you need is a very large truck and a tremendous amount of guiltless ruthless guile and cunning.

This is the story of one long haul truck driver who has turned the act of kidnap,rape, torture and murder into almost an art form as he travels about the U.S. This is a loners existence as you would expect but circumstances and his carefulness in avoiding the risks that have allowed him to do what he does without being caught for years were circumvented by a domineering mother with a big mouth and a hoarding complex who said the wrong thing to the wrong person, and he was caught by a state trooper who pulled him over.

Unfortunately for the victims though this particular Trooper, Rick Legerski, wasn't out to save anyone, he had his own agenda too and Ronald Pergram aka The Truck Lizard found himself with a partner in crime who wanted to share the victims without taking the risks!

This is the story of Danielle and Gracie Sullivan on a road trip to visit their father when older sister and airhead Danielle decides to visit her long distance boyfriend instead, the son of Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Dept Investigator Cody Hoyt, and who end up in the headlights of the Truck Lizards headlights.

At the insistence of his son, even although the girls have only been missing for a few hours, Hoyt begins to investigate aided by his partner Cassandra Dewell.....

As is usual for a Mr Box novel, the pace of the novel is insistent but much much more visceral, invoking base emotions in the reader with his hard descriptive prose. It keeps you rooted turning page after page and surprises you when a sudden twist happens that was unexpected (Hoyt/Legerski) even although you forgive yourself afterwards as the signs were clearly there in the first place......

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 42
Page length: 320
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2014 6:43 AM BST

Book of Shadows (a thriller)
Book of Shadows (a thriller)
Price: £2.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Headless in Boston......, 24 Jan. 2014
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Bought this book way back in March 12 on a whim after coming across the author who had written a piece on the 'Murderati' web site in regard to the casting of a rather diminutive actor to play the role of an extremely large peripatetic loner from the world of crime fiction .... the trolls were giving her a hard time over her comments and for some reason I bought this book and it's been sitting there since then, but better late than never......

I thought I had never read any occult and then suddenly I remembered finding Dennis Wheatley in the 70's and devouring almost all of his novels, how could I have forgotten, particularly since I had a clear out a couple of weeks ago and there were at least a dozen of his books donated away to make space .... memory

Anyway to the book at hand: Erin Carmody, a Bostonian socialite teen and student is found dumped in one of Bostons rubbish infill sites. Well, we find out later that it is she, as when the body is discovered it has no head or hands....

Detectives Adam Garrett and Carl Landauer are assigned the case and quickly find themselves dealing with what appears to be a murder linked to the Occult; something neither of them have any belief in or understanding off.

On chasing down what little leads they have they soon arrest Carmody's boyfriend, another college student and band member who appears to have gone off the deep end psychologically speaking and also has an unhealthy interest in the occult. The detectives believe they have the right guy for the murder but someone called Tanith Cabarrus, an occult shop owner from Salem turns up at the police station and gives details of the mutilation that had not been, as far as they knew, to the press or anyone outside the investigation, then she informed them that the boy they had arrested for the murder was not guilty and that it was in fact a ritual killing, that one other had already taken place and that more would occur before Samhain or Halloween to you and me.

There is no record or reports of a previous murder of this type in the system and clearly the detectives are more than a little sceptical of this walk-in witness......

This is a complicated thriller, mainly for the characters, doubtful and disbelieving detectives with one having his whole belief system challenged the other totally dismissive of an occult connection and with an arrest in his pocket and all the evidence pointing to a conviction. The Assistant DA, the girlfriend of the doubting Thomas detective not wanting anything to get in the way of securing that conviction, a conviction that will turn her and the arresting detectives into superstars, and his confusion and turmoil as he is assailed with information from Tanith Cabarrus that he just can't bring himself to believe is true.

It turns into a bit of a rollercoaster and a race, with Garrett putting his life and career on the line. His partner in a coma and three more lives at stake, can he put his prejudices aside and can he stave of the suspension long enough to get the job done..........

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 49
Page length: 321

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Book 14)
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Book 14)
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars You have to cook the potatoes first Mr J.L.B. Matekoni!, 18 Nov. 2013
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If you have not read Mr McCall Smith, why not? He writes gentle humorous stories filled with a cast of star studied characters who seemingly make the the most innocuous comments on life but at the same time can be so thought provoking. Homilies of a bygone time when respect for our, families, friends, fellow man and neighbours was once upper most in our minds ..... and he reminds of us those times in a modern day setting with Mma Ramotswe in Botswana.

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is in a state of flux as 'associate' Detective Mma Makutsi takes maternity leave to have her and her husband Phuti Radiphuti's first child, mind you, as usual when Mma Makutsi doesn't want to discuss something, she won't and so the fact that she is pregnant and the subject of maternity leave are not open for discussion until it is to late, not to late in that something goes wrong except for the fact that another encounter with a cobra brings the pregnancy to an end and the delivery of a healthy boy is announced. So snakes do come in useful, sometimes, and this again proves to be the case in dealing with a Radiphuti aunt later on, so funny .....

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, husband to Mma Ramotswe and owner of Speedy Motors on Tlokwen Road, has a desire to become a more modern husband and enrols in a new course at the university and then Mma Ramotswe finds him, for the first time ever, helping to prepare dinner, but she is gentle with him in explaining,

"So you are mashing them now?' He nodded. `And it's rather hard work, Mma.' `You're mashing them even before you have cooked them, Rra?' He frowned. `You cook them first?' Mma Ramotswe reached around him and took the pan from his hands. It was half-filled with water in which fragments of raw potato floated morosely, like a soup. Very gently she poured the mixture down the drain. `I will show you how to start with new ones,' she said. `You cook the potatoes first and then you take them out and mash them up with butter and salt. That is how mashed potatoes are made, Rra.' He turned away sheepishly. `I was only trying to help, Mma.' She felt a warm rush of affection for the man beside her. `But of course you were, Rra. But I am quite happy to cook mashed potatoes."

In the background of course there are two cases to be solved as business still has to continue even without the assistance of the Associate Detective and Mr JLB Matekoni's lack of cooking skills, but he is still an excellent mechanic...

These books are for anyone who wants a gentle meander through the countryside surrounding the city of Gaberone in the wonderful country of Botswana or so it appears to be from the descriptions in these books, waiting on the rains to revive the country and it's people's, dealing with the serious and the not so serious.

For the first time in reading though I have only two small criticisms; 1. We don't get to read the outcome of the case with Mma Sheba the Lawyer, although we know what Mma Ramotswe wants to do, it is left somewhat unresolved, and 2. how did the cooking of the sausages go with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni?

Reaping The Harvest (Harvest Trilogy, Book 3)
Reaping The Harvest (Harvest Trilogy, Book 3)
Price: £3.44

5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Zombie Fest, 3 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What can I say about Hick's 'Harvest' trilogy people, if you haven't read any of the three books, you really should, and he even makes it easy for you by giving the first book in the trilogy, 'Season of the Harvest' free across all e-book reader formats, so whatever you read on, there is no excuse.

Hicks weaves a tale of terror across these three books borne out of his mistrust of GMO's, or rather his mistrust of the self regulation of the companies behind GMO's as allowed by the US government.

An organism has been discovered by a few people that seems to have been around on planet earth for hundreds of years. It has achieved sentience and can mimic human form. The organism believes that it is the ultimate life force on the planet and that human kind are nothing more than a food supply for them, but as yet and even after being around for lord knows how long, their numbers are too few to take what is rightfully theirs, the whole planet.

They devise a plan to genetically modify wheat that once ingested will wipe out the human population.

Once in human form the harvesters as we come to know them, are undetectable except for the insane frenzy that they send cats into when they come near them. They kill by deploying a poisoned stinger from their bodies and they take the form of any human they kill with all the knowledge that the human possessed, after digesting the body.

Reaping the Harvest is a non stop blood bath from beginning to end with first the Russians nuking large parts of their own and adjoining countries, including Moscow and then the Americans doing the same to some of their own cities in a bid to slow down the spread of the larval harvesters. These creatures have not and will not attain sentience, they only have one goal to consume anything in their path human or material, anything that is carbon based is digestible to them and as they eat, they multiply and there aren't enough high explosive rounds or bullets or manpower on the planet to stop them from spreading.... The age of the human is not just collapsing in on itself it is being consumed and it's final annihilation is only months away in this final book of the trilogy.

Can Jack Dawson and Naiomi Perrault find a solution that will slow their demise down and reverse it ......

Hicks has written a clever series here and joins up all the dots for all three books. He writes well and gives you a story that is gripping as it is horrific but compels you to turn page after page......

Editing for Kindle: 5 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 43
Page length: 373

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