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Reviews Written by
J. Mellor "stayleyvegas" (Manchester, UK)
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Where's Peter?: Unravelling the Falconio Mystery
Where's Peter?: Unravelling the Falconio Mystery
by Roger Maynard
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read, 26 Feb. 2007
This book is very similar to And Then The Darnkess by Sue Williams in that it gives you the facts and lets you come to your own conclusion with a couple of conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure. What I found interesting about this book were the questions raised about DNA, which was the only physical evidence presented at the trial but does it raise reasonable doubt? Well worth reading to find out.


Ricky
Ricky
by Ricky Tomlinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 19 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Ricky (Paperback)
What a brilliant book. Honest, funny and makes you warm to the man even more.

Probably the most interesting autobiography I have read.


Being Freddie: My Story so Far
Being Freddie: My Story so Far
by Andrew Flintoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 19 Feb. 2007
I must confess that this bored me rigid which left me very disappointed as I was really looking forward to it.

Was left with the impression this was cobbled together as an exercise to cash in on the Ashes success (which I fully understand).

I think Freddie comes across as quite boring really.


The Innocent Man
The Innocent Man
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compelling, 19 Feb. 2007
This review is from: The Innocent Man (Hardcover)
I have long been a Grisham fan and in the early days used to positively drool awaiting the next book. However, I began to lose interest after A Painted House and since The King of Torts, whilst passable, I do not think any of his books have been anything special. In fact the last 4/5 novels merge into one and I cannot remember individual story lines. You cannot say that about The Firm or A Time To Kill.

It was with a little bit of uncertainty, therefore, that I recently bought his latest book, The Innocent Man. I was intrigued about him writing a non fiction book and the write up also captured my imagination:

"If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will shock you. If you believe in the death penalty, this book will disturb you. If you believe the criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you".

So I thought, why not try it?

Well, I must say that I was absolutely hypnotized and read this book in one sitting last night. I have no idea how long it took and have no concept of time as I was captivated with the book.

I do remember, however, going through a whole range of emotions the most common of which was frustration. Not with the book itself but thinking "how can this happen?".

If this was a book of fiction written by Grisham then I would have thought he had lost the plot, that he had writer's block and was struggling to find a realistic storyline - I had to keep reminding myself it was a true story (but won't spoil the storyline for anyone!!)

I can certainly seeing him writing further true crime books in the future.


The Cold Moon: Lincoln Rhyme Book 7
The Cold Moon: Lincoln Rhyme Book 7
by Jeffery Deaver
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more twists than a Chubby Checker concert?, 21 Jan. 2007
The latest Lincoln Rhyme novel and Deaver back to his best. For me the best since The Bone Collector.

Two people are brutally murdered on the same night and their deaths marked by eerie calling cards: moon faced clocks ticking away the victims last minutes. Rhyme and his team (and the introduction of a new character to the team) have hours to stop The Watchmaker, whose obsession with time drives him to plan his carnage with the precision of a fine time piece.

More twists than a chubby checker concert, Deaver keeps you on a roller coaster and just as you think you are there he whips it away in another direction. Just when you think you know whodunit then another twist is thrown into the works.

Just as you thought he was losing his way - Deaver is back.


The Collectors (The Camel Club)
The Collectors (The Camel Club)
by David Baldacci
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars damp squib?, 21 Jan. 2007
I must confess that Baldacci has grown on me. I didn't much care for his early work but his writing and storylines get better with each book. However, whilst this was enjoyable I feel it dragged on a little too much.

If you are planning on reading this book then read The Camel Club first which was an excellent book. Whilst the storylines are not connected the characters are similar and you get to know the main characters from The Collectors as they are introduced in The Camel Club.

There are two very different storylines at the start of the book and whilst clearly there is a connection between the two it isn't until around page 200 until it becomes clear what this is and I felt from that moment the book could explode but it felt as though it whimpered along.

I also kept feeling that if a group of misfits and librarians can investigate what's going on and find answers/motives whilst on the doorstep of the Capitol then surely the FBI/CIA/police whoever etc can do so also. It just seems beyond the realms of possibility that the characters can come up with things that the authorities can't.

Having said that, if you accept this then the book is still enjoyable although not one that I would probably read again


Next
Next
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will fiction become fact?, 21 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Next (Hardcover)
A book that I enjoyed tremendously although I am still not sure why! I think it is the only book of fiction that I have read that didn't actually have a plot that I can think of although Crichton gets away with it as only he can. Next is a tale of transgenics (for example what happens if you breed man and ape amongst many other things - some of which are light hearted like the talking parrot) although the technology/science side is beautifully explained in an easy to understand way.

Whilst a book of fiction it does provoke thoughts of what if and you are certainly left with the feeling that the various stories could one day become reality. In this respect the book is a resounding success.

The book is basically a set of short stories with very little connection other than a common theme of genetic modification and I suspect there will be little middle ground - you will either love it or hate it.

I must confess I loved it simply because the technology is explained in such an easy to understand way, it is light hearted and if you don't take the subject matter too seriously then you can open up and enjoy the book.


Foul!: The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals
Foul!: The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals
by Andrew Jennings
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Public are cheated again, 21 Jan. 2007
Andrew Jennings is in a similar genre to David Yallop and having read his The Great Olympic Swindle highlighting the vote rigging and corruption behind Olympic Bids I thought I would try out his latest book. This was also subject to a recent Panaroma episode.

Rather bizarrely (not sure if this is by accident or design) the book covers the period from 1998 to the 2006 World Cup ie, almost a continuance of Yallop's How They Stole The Game although this time Sepp Blatter is the main protagonist. Additionally, this is largely a story of how voting is rigged and FIFA members are paid off/induced/persuaded and at times impersonated to get the right vote result.

Again, this is an excellently researched book which takes a slightly different tack to Yallop's although the underlying story is one of lies, bribes and corruption within FIFA.

Similar to How They Stole The Game this is another book FIFA tried to ban through the courts although this attempt was unsuccessful and as far as I am aware there nothing within the book has been disproved by FIFA since publication.


How They Stole the Game
How They Stole the Game
by David Yallop
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening, 21 Jan. 2007
David Yallop is, for me, the world's greatest investigative writer. If anyone thinks otherwise then please let me know as I am looking for new authors. He has written only a handful of books over a 30+ year career and to my knowledge nothing he has ever uncovered has been disproved.

How They Stole The Game is about football and Yallop probes to the very heart of FIFA. More specifically, the FIFA president from 1974-1998, Joao Havelange and how he abuses his power to create his own fiefdom and abuse, control and corrupt his way to the top job, stay there for 24 years and furthermore, ensure this continues after his reign comes to an end.

This is the book that the FIFA president tried to ban and having read it I can understand why. If there was a single untruth in the book then I am sure Havelange would have taken matters further legally although to my knowledge, 8 years after publication, nothing has happened. Is this because the accusations are true?

A very well researched, detailed book that is fascinating and the story infuriating because, as ever, it is the fans who are the ultimate losers.


The Professor, The Banker And The Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of all Time
The Professor, The Banker And The Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of all Time
by Michael Craig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!!!!!, 21 Jan. 2007
This is one of the best gambling books I have ever read and is a true story. The story behind it is that in 2001, a stranger from Texas entered the high-stakes poker room in the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas and challenged the world's top poker pros to a series of heads up, high stakes cash games which in the end resulted in millions of dollars on the table. All the names are familiar from all the various poker shows on TV (except the stranger!)

The writer has obtained access to all the characters involved and gotten everyone's side of the story and re-constructed what happened over a period of challenges covering three years.

It is fascinating how the challenger, a very wealthy banker, won and lost millions of dollars and played, beat and also lost to many of the worlds top players. How he constantly tried to improve his game and pit his bankroll against the wits of the top pros. How he proved that even pros can be made to feel twitchy when they are re-raised into a multi million dollar pot

He certainly didn't do it for the money and appears he wanted to prove to himself that the pros could be broken.

The question is - what was the outcome?

For anyone interested in gambling stories, again, this is highly recommended.


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