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George W

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Omega Dog (Joe Venn Crime Action Thriller Series Book 1)
Omega Dog (Joe Venn Crime Action Thriller Series Book 1)
Price: £1.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Superman without the underpants whose name is Joe Venn, 11 May 2016
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Confession time. I transferred this to my Kindle as it was free, A sprat to catch a mackerel as ever was. I have to admit that the first chapters were quite promising. We had a new 'hero' on the block, the type of man we need in a crisis. He ticks all the boxes. Ex marine, ex detective in a rough, tough city; good, earthy and trustworthy name. It's difficult to write an accurate review without giving away the plot, characters or denouement but here goes. Joe is coerced into finding a missing scientist and the reward for finding him will be his salvation. As the short chapters closed, we were more and more on the hook and that is, for me, skilful writing. We get to learn more about him, his strengths and weaknesses and we are introduced to other characters who all contribute to the story in significant ways. There is a very surprising twist about half way through that no one could have anticipated. I read on and on into the cold, dark night. Then it started to insult the reader. There were outrageous and frankly incredulous acts of violence that bear no relation to reality. I was reminded of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons when Tom would get sticks of dynamite to catch the cheeky mouse. The last chapters seemed to have been rushed and didn't give a satisfactory explanation about why certain characters had acted as they did and why they were never suspected. Fiction is supposed to have licence to thrill but this book stretched any reasonable credibility and that is its fundamental weakness. If you don't mind accepting some characters can defy the laws of physics and are almost indestructible, then you may enjoy this book. I probably won't invest in any other of this series. Shame; good start but author run out of steam and substituted a good yarn with thinly disguised nonsense.


Black List (Ryan Drake Book 4)
Black List (Ryan Drake Book 4)
Price: £3.47

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much focus on the focused., 16 April 2016
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This started off promisingly but then the author seemed to get obsessed with the word 'focus' or derivations of it (focused, focusses, etc). Not only that, the word was persistently misspelt. No one looked: they focused. No one stared or concentrated or attracted or imagined. The word cropped up in nearly every (short) chapter and caused me great irritationas they are lethal whose aim is to stop them achieving their intentions. Superwoman gets injured in all sorts of ways and any one would kill . The plot focuses on (sorry, my little joke) a young man who is a brilliant computer hacker. He is down on his luck and just released from prison. He is swept along a path to force or manipulate him to hack into the CIA database and retrieve information that will be devastating. He is aided by a cross between Superwoman, Wonderwoman and that woman who slayed vampires. She is rough, tough and formidable. who, of course, focuses all her attention on facilitating the young hacker to do his expert bit. Sorry, another reference to the 'F' word. They encounter a group who are as mysterious a normal person. Not only that, she can hop, skip and jump despite everything to which she is subjected. So, bit too far fetched for me. With some careful editing and a dose of realism, this could have been a very good book with 4 stars. As it is, I think my award is generous. I wouldn't recommend this book.


The Haunting of Toby Jugg (Black Magic Book 3)
The Haunting of Toby Jugg (Black Magic Book 3)
Price: £3.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended for arachnophobics., 28 Mar. 2016
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I discovered Dennis Wheatley's books over 45 years ago. He is a very good writer and certainly knows how to 'hook' the reader at the end of each chapter. I had read a number of his books centred around Black Magic when I happened across this one, I started to read it at about 9.00pm and read it all through the night. In fact this book HAS to be read at night to experience the terrors and fears of the eponymous hero. If you are new to Wheatley, a lot of his style is irritating and offensive. He was the most incredible snob and refers to those nit educated privately or born into wealth as the "lower orders". These people, that's you and me mostly. are ignorant, uncouth ill educated, dishonest and amoral .Despite this, I soldiered on with his books and this one in particular has never been forgotten. The chapters effect to be pages from a diary. We learn very quickly that Toby was a decorated fighter pilot in the (second) world war, was shot down and now paralysed from the waist down and has to rely on others. We are introduced to the principals by stages and start to form our own views about them. Just when we think they are bad, they seem to be good and vice versa. Toby genuinely believes he is being terrorised (hence the title) but can't get anyone to accept what he claims to be true. He uses skill, ingenuity and great intelligence to battle what is happening to him but is persistently let down. You begin to believe he has paranoia and his ramblings are those of one who is unbalanced. I won't write anymore to avoid the denouement and spoiling it for new readers. It will hold you in thrall, terrify and anger you in equal measure. I believe the book was written in 1948 and, through his characters, Wheatley makes some assertions and predictions about what will happen if. Surprisingly, he is very accurate about some issues, not least the way the Communists infiltrated the Labour party to cause foment in the 70s and 80s. A cracking read that will excite and entertain you. Belated apologies to Mr Wheatley, this review is by one of your "lower order".


Moriarty 100% Silk Scarf (Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty) - Official BBC Sherlock Scarf by LOVARZI
Moriarty 100% Silk Scarf (Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty) - Official BBC Sherlock Scarf by LOVARZI
Offered by LOVARZI
Price: £29.99

1.0 out of 5 stars I would not recommend this item to anyone and rejected it within 30 ..., 7 Mar. 2016
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If you want something 'pretty' to wrap round your neck, this is acceptable. If, however, you wear a scarf to help keep your neck and throat warm, give this one a miss. It's wafer thin to a point of being flimsy. I would not recommend this item to anyone and rejected it within 30 seconds or unwrapping it from the despatch box.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2016 4:54 PM BST


Grass Roots
Grass Roots
by John Trueman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Saturday night and Sunday league for grown ups., 27 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Grass Roots (Paperback)
This is at first look a book about lads and their football but it is much more than that. We are introduced to the Poacher's Arms Sunday league football team for one frenetic season. We get profiles of the team but the book centres on five of the principal characters. What is clever, and certainly different, is the way each chapter starts with the results of the previous week (apart from the first match) and the league position. No mean feat working out who won, drew or lost and how positions changed over the course of many months. The team and the manager and supporters are well drawn and anyone who has played Sunday league football or similar on a wet, miserable Saturday will recognise the characteristics and foibles of the team. They train on a diet of fast food, cigarettes and copious amounts of beer. The team has the usual miscreants: the once reasonably talented, the always was useless, the slow and the dirty. They are sent out with a "Firm but Fair" mantra by the dedicated and overlooked manager without whom none of it would be possible. He is, as always, taken for granted. But the book is more about what happens off the pitch than on it. The men may be rough, tough and uncouth but they are mostly married with families little realising how important that family is to their lives. You will like some of them, despise others and laugh at the antics of most. They are the epitome of men behaving badly (at least when they are all together). The other side of the coin deals with the fears and vulnerabilities, their innate decency and their weaknesses (something they wouldn't want the others to see or know about). There are several references to substitutes but what we soon realise is there is no substitute for the love, support and commitment of the wives and girlfriends in their frenetic lives. If you are a woman, and can accept the appalling language the men use in each other's company, you will be reassured because this is how most men feel about their wife/partner. You will be drawn to some characters and irritated by others especially when you recognise the person in your life who they resemble. Personally, I liked Barry because he says aloud what most fear to say openly. Could be Dave or Viv but not the tight wad, Billy. Some of the dialogue was dubious but for a first book the author (and illustrator of the cover, has done a very good job. I read a chapter in successive nights. It will make you laugh, make you cry, make you wince but make you feel it was ultimately worth buying and reading. Just don't let granny or your maiden aunt catch sight of it. So, I do recommend it especially if you're looking for something to read on holiday.


Stasi Child: A Chilling Cold War Thriller (The Oberleutnant Karin Müller series)
Stasi Child: A Chilling Cold War Thriller (The Oberleutnant Karin Müller series)
Price: £2.60

4.0 out of 5 stars From the inside looking out., 19 Dec. 2015
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This is a good read and different in many respects from others of similar genre. It is set in the mid 1970's in the DDR ( one of the most cruel, evil and corrupt countries in history). The central character is a civil police officer who has been promoted to murder investigation. Despite her position, she is always accountable to and fearful of, the Stasi who wield the real power. She is dynamic, reasonable, ambitious and not hostile to her country. The story unfolds in two different times that, inexorably, come together to make sense of the end game. I won't say more about that to avoid spoiling it for others. There are many, many German references and names, most with which I was not familiar. On the Kindle version, there is a glossary of the terms but it's at the end when it should be at the beginning. What does unfold is a murder that is far from clear cut. There is a suggestion that the victim was killed by border guards from the west as she, the victim sought to escape to the east. I rather doubt that ever happened. Chapter after chapter is well written and makes it hard to put down. The tension increases until the identity of the killer is revealed. The book is not sympathetic to the vile regime of Honecker and his henchmen. There is a dubious reference to a policy of which I had never heard and which I found hard to accept. Not a bad start from this new author. If you like murder mystery from the Cold War period, you will enjoy this. I look forward to the next book although I am aware there are another 14 years before sanity was restored to this part of Europe.


Torn Apart (A Hero Series Book 1)
Torn Apart (A Hero Series Book 1)
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Enter our super sleuth: Detective Inspector "Hero" Nelson, 30 Nov. 2015
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I don't know where to start on this drivel. All right, the beginning. A young woman takes her son to McDonalds and is subject to an appalling attack in the toilets. Does she call for the police? Are the police contacted? No, she goes to her car and is mown down and killed as is her son by the psychopathic gang responsible for raping her. That didn't gel with me at all. Enter our super sleuth: Detective Inspector "Hero" Nelson. What a stupid and unlikely name. There then follows a catalogue of murders and arson all under the purview of a DI and his DS sidekick. The author should have called him Zero as she (or is it he?) clearly knows nothing about police procedures. The victim's husband is informed and left bewildered and reference made to funerals. The police ALWAYS appoint a Family Liaison Officer in these circumstances. Murders and their victims pile up but it's still under a singularly small team. A DCI is remote and detached and seems to know little about what is happening. I could write so much more. The dialogue wasn't just bad, it is risible. Offenders referred to as "Hoodlums" or "punks". How very Stateside. This is one of the worst detective books of many I have ever read. Give it a miss. Perhaps the author should seek advice from police officers who know about major investigations and how they are managed.


By Len Deighton Spy Line (Hook, Line & Sinker Series) (New Ed)
By Len Deighton Spy Line (Hook, Line & Sinker Series) (New Ed)
by Len Deighton
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Alas! Poor Gloria. I knew her., 21 Oct. 2015
I read this book after Hook. There are essentially three trilogies in the series plus another (Winter) that helps it all make sense. It is claimed that each book can be read separately without knowledge of the others. I would have to dispute that. For instance, Line neatly follows Hook as a definite sequel. So, to the book itself. By now, we know the BIG secret about Fiona and I won't spoil anything by revealing it. Our hero/anti hero, Bernard Samson, is as world weary as ever and not shown the respect and recognition he clearly deserves. We spend time in London but some things worried me. This is set in the 1980's and too many of the characters seem to consume inordinately large amounts of alcohol and then continue to drive. Don't want to be pious but that sent a poor message. Someone like Bernard would have such a lot to lose apart from his driving licence. We get to learn more about Fiona's scatty and amoral sister in this book but I wasn't convinced about her actions and their being tolerated in the denouement and this stretch of the imagination was a disappointment. As ever, the author uses his skills to confuse, entertain and delight us with his knowledge of divided Germany and Berlin in particular. A good read but not a great one.


Spy Hook (Samson Book 4)
Spy Hook (Samson Book 4)
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of questions: too few answers., 13 Oct. 2015
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Having read the first trilogy (Game, Set & Match) and then the wonderful Winter 1899-1945, I was excited about getting further with the hero/anti-hero, Bernard Samsum. Bernard isn't your normal spy. No gadgets and no pretensions. He is world weary, almost defeated and worn down by internal politics and the ambitions of those who are inferior to him. His principal 'weapon' is his knowledge of Berlin and the ability to pass as a native of that battered 'island' surrounded by the Communist regime of the DDR and their masters the USSR. The story takes us to Washington and we learn about what appears to be a huge fraud within the department. Little is added to help us understand the rationale behind the fraud or the suspects or why BS was sent to ask an awkward question. We then go to France and meet a character we got to know well in Winter. She is now very much older but still mentally sharp. We also meet another man with Hungarian roots who is not all he seems to be. This is a reasonable read but lacks the plot and intrigue that exuded from every pore in the earlier books. Lots of questions and allegations abound but with few real answers. We are told this book can be read as a stand alone but that's not really true. Hook left me hooked and you need to get into its sequel to find the answers (at least I think that will be the case). I hope this review will help.


Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945 (Samson)
Winter: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945: A Berlin Family, 1899-1945 (Samson)
Price: £6.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY THROUGH THE EYES OF THER VANQUISHED, 7 Oct. 2015
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Mr Deighton started off with the "Game, Set & Match trilogy) which concerns events in the Cold War era. Each book develops the characters and we learn more and more about them: their history, family and backgrounds. There is a second trilogy (Hook, Line & Sinker) follows by a third (Faith, Hope & Charity). Winter is best read as the fourth in the series. By then, we are getting to know Bernard and Werner and 'tante Lisl. This book quite brilliantly takes us through the history of the Winter family from 1900-1945 and we learn much more about characters who will appear in later years. Winter starts in Vienna at the turn of the new 20th century. A time of hope and expectation but with dark clouds never far away. The two principals whom we follow are Peter and his younger brother, Pauli. We get to discover how they make friends with a "rough" boy in north Germany and how his character develops and intertwines in the coming years. We see WW1 from a German perspective and find out what life was like when it ended. It starts to explain how post war Germany could fall under the influence of the Fuhrer and his evil henchmen, like Himmler. Through the troubled 330's to 1939 and the inevitable war. I won't spoil the book by specifying who did what and when and where but I just couldn't stop reading this story; it really is that compelling. Mr Deighton gives us lessons in Berlin German speak and lessons in history. For instance: the reparations demanded by a victorious Germany upon France at the end of the Franco-Prussian war 1870-1871 were far more severe than those imposed in the Versailles' Treaty in 1918. That Jews were not sent to camps if they worked as grave diggers in the Jewish cemetery in Berlin. There is much more fact entwined with the fiction of the principal story. If you are new to this series, read Winter as book 4; it will answer your initial questions on books 1-3 and put characters and events in perspective in the later two trilogies. It may surprise you to see that you root for some characters and wish only bad things on others. A top class book that is very highly recommended, especially if you like this genre. I can pretty much guarantee you will not be disappointed.


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