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Reviews Written by
johnverp "@johnverp1" (Budapest)

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Hollow Mountain: A Spike Sanguinetti Mystery (Spike Sanguinetti 3)
Hollow Mountain: A Spike Sanguinetti Mystery (Spike Sanguinetti 3)
by Thomas Mogford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I think you need to have read the prequels, 24 May 2015
I think I felt disadvantaged not having read the two previous novels and didn't understand the roles and relationships in ways I perhaps should have to get the best out of this book.

There is a bit of a treasure-find story here, as well as a separate lost-love story (a legacy thread). But there is nothing really deep here as a crime mystery. I guess I expected more courtroom time, or sleuthing, because Spike, our protagonist, is a lawyer, and his friend, Jessica, is a policewoman. I didn't fully warm to him either because of a couple of strange things he did.

I found the Gibraltar angles to be both fascinating and instructive and these certainly gave the book a unique dimension.

In short, though, while the setting was interesting, I found it hard to catch up and wasn't blown away by the mystery elements. 7/10


Touching Distance (Jimmy Suttle Book 2)
Touching Distance (Jimmy Suttle Book 2)
Price: £3.59

3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, 19 May 2015
This was an OK rather than sensational read.

The core plot was a little mundane and didn't contain too much intrigue. That said, the police team worked the available clues well. The ending, I felt, was a bit lame as well and the wrap-up was aided by a rather large coincidence.

Our "protagonist", Suttle, didn't really carry the role I expected he would, being one of many rather than the stand-out. But there were strange characters and relationships too and, I must say, I had little time for Suttle's estranged wife.

The novel provides a number of messages about participation in the Afghanistan war, but is not overtly political or offensive in the way these are delivered.

I liked the novel as an easy read and would read more by the same author, but I didn't really find much which was special about this effort. 7/10


The Exit
The Exit
by Helen FitzGerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow and dull, 12 May 2015
This review is from: The Exit (Paperback)
There are suspicions that mysterious deaths are occurring at a Care Home, but the accuser is an elderly patient suffering from dementia. Our other protagonist is a twenty-three old who finds temporary employment at the home.

I almost threw the book in several times but kept going in the hope that some mystery or intrigue would develop. Sadly, I stayed disappointed. I also found it difficult to align with anybody and the characterisations otherwise were weak.

I worried that the first and third person deliveries, coupled with past and present narrations, would make the read challenging, but I must say these aspects were well-handled and didn't cause confusion. The story does get gruesome, without being graphic, if that makes sense, so the book won't be for everyone.

I just didn't find any substance to the novel and really couldn't have cared how things played out. I just wanted the book to end. Sadly, therefore, I need to be the exception here and report that this novel did very little for me. 5/10


Air Apparent
Air Apparent
Price: £2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Colourless and Slow, 4 May 2015
This review is from: Air Apparent (Kindle Edition)
Gee, this was a slow and uneventful read. I really couldn't get into it, but finished the book in the hope that the story would take us somewhere. Sadly, it all stayed pretty mundane.

At times I thought the author was trying to be light or funny with the tale but, if that were case, the humour failed to keep up.

There were a few typos and instances of mis-placed punctuation in the Kindle version, but nothing terminal.

I think I'll skip more by the same author given the absence of any real mystery, intrigue or pace here.


The Lie
The Lie
by C.L. Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, different and suspenseful, 28 April 2015
This review is from: The Lie (Paperback)
This is a very different novel which captures a present day life story and relates it to events during a venture in Nepal five years earlier. The tale is delivered in the first person.

I was worried that the timeline changes would become intimidating or confusing, but the author dealt with the two threads seamlessly and thus built the intrigue level skilfully.

You do need to get used to some strange scenarios (unless a hippie lifestyle is your thing), and relationships, and also accept some weird behaviour by our protagonists. That said, the story is well-constructed and delivers a good deal of suspense.

There were a couple of typos and some problems with tenses too, I think, but neither issue will spoil a reader's enjoyment of the novel.

In summary, this was not an outstanding read, but there was enough there for me to read more by the author. I am vacillating between 3 and 4 stars so have called it 7/10.


All the Lonely People (Harry Devlin Book 1)
All the Lonely People (Harry Devlin Book 1)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery, 25 April 2015
This is a well-written novel with some good twists and turns as Harry, our protagonist, seeks to work out who killed his estranged wife. It is a somewhat dated novel (early nineties perhaps?), but this does not come at any cost to the reader as the mystery element is strong.

At the same time, Harry is both a person to align with, given his predicament, yet also quite a source of frustration given many of his actions.

A few typos in the Kindle version, but nothing terminal.

Overall, there was enough in this book for me to look for more by the same author.


Concealment
Concealment
by Rose Edmunds
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, 17 April 2015
This review is from: Concealment (Paperback)
This is a well-written novel with an infectious story line and some good insights.

I also liked the first person delivery, but some of the actions and decisions of our protagonist frustrated or annoyed me. The plot was pretty plausible, had a good level of intrigue and there was no nonsense with A-Team antics or similar.

I am definitely going for another book by the author which, at this point, means her debut novel. 9/10


Death on Demand (Tito Ihaka)
Death on Demand (Tito Ihaka)
by Paul Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars In two minds about this one - 3.5 stars, 10 April 2015
On the one hand, this was a well-written mystery with a different and likeable protagonist. There was a good twist or two (although the ending was slightly so-so) and Thomas threw in some good insights as well.

On the other, though, I admit to getting thrown by the number of characters and murders. Things were not helped by the very long prologue which lasted for about 10% of the book - there were so many different characters, situations and time periods to get the head around that it was not difficult to get confused once the real story started.

I probably would have left a 3 star rating normally, but have kept it at 4 in case I was the problem by not paying enough attention! 7/10


Falling Glass
Falling Glass
by Adrian McKinty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, 4 April 2015
This review is from: Falling Glass (Paperback)
I have read three McKinty novels and rated them all highly. This one didn't reach the same heights, in my view.

The writing was OK, but the plot lacked depth as a hide-and-seek game played out. I had trouble warming to the characters, although our protagonist was very much trying to do the right thing. Things were also left open and the ending was otherwise a little strange too.

For me, there wasn't the colour I was expecting based on my prior McKinty reads. Put differently, this was a plain or simple read, albeit with some pace. 7/10


Betrayal (Ryan Drake 3)
Betrayal (Ryan Drake 3)
by Will Jordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too long and too over-the-top, 1 April 2015
Apologies for being the odd man out here amongst all the 4 and 5 star reviews on both the Amazon UK and US sites, but I must say this book didn't do it for me.

While the "What's going on?" factor was OK and sort of kept the intrigue level up, the book was much too long at roughly 580 pages and contained too many unbelievable elements. Yes, I can accept some considerable licence in fiction, but this novel was just packed with too much nonsense.

So many people had so many lives, there was reversed double-crossing and other elements which made the whole package all so hard to believe.

There was pace, making the book a page-turner, but, for me, the action and nonsense did not make up for a lack of substance.

This is probably for fans of Drake, our protagonist, and those who have read the prequels. But even though some important matters were left open, I won't going back for the sequel.


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