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J. C. Bailey (East Sussex United Kingdom)
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The Steel Kiss: Lincoln Rhyme Book 12 (Lincoln Rhyme Thrillers)
The Steel Kiss: Lincoln Rhyme Book 12 (Lincoln Rhyme Thrillers)
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Something of a Return to Form, 4 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After some of Deaver's recent offerings, this seems like a return to form. As long as one can suspend belief in some of the plot elements, and cope with the author's inclination towards factual nerdery, it is an engaging and were paced story.


Who Will Save The World? The Mighty Groundhogs
Who Will Save The World? The Mighty Groundhogs
Offered by nagiry
Price: £7.42

4.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING, BUT... (see below), 27 April 2016
On stage, back in the ‘70’s, the Groundhogs were a psych-prog-blues-rock powerhouse. Tony McPhee was the closest thing to a British Jimi Hendrix, and the raw power of the rhythm section was breathtaking.

The studio albums had a different dynamic, however. While they showcased the untiring inventiveness of McPhee’s guitar work, they exposed limitations in his compositional and vocal skills as well as the lack of a corresponding virtuosity in the rhythm section.

“Who Will Save The World?” was the band’s Difficult Third Album, combining the most sophisticated guitar work to date with a generally rather particularly tuneless set of songs, and too many overdubs by McPhee leaving a lack of space for the drummer and bassist to open out.

It’s worth hearing for the rich guitar textures and psychedelic flourishes, and well played and produced throughout. However, few of the numbers are hooky enough to stay in your head, and my verdict is “Interesting, but…”

In short it's good, but if you don’t already have the ‘Hogs’ preceding album, “Split”, it's a much better buy.


The Innocent (Will Robie Book 1)
The Innocent (Will Robie Book 1)
Price: £4.74

1.0 out of 5 stars No Thanks, 29 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I deleted this from my account after a few dozen pages. I couldn't cope with what seemed to me a bunch of clichés and stilted prose.


Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, Book 18)
Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, Book 18)
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Low Point in the Reacher Series - Was it written as the basis for the JR movie sequel?, 24 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pedestrian novel, with controversial plot elements (including a strangely violence-averse Reacher and a unusually self-assured female collaborator). Since this has now been revealed as the basis for the next big screen outing, one cannot help wondering if it was written for the on-screen characterisation.


De'Longhi Fully Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine ECAM22.320.SB
De'Longhi Fully Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine ECAM22.320.SB

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Get the Best Out of this Awesome Coffee Maker, 19 Mar. 2016
A superb coffee maker, with great design and convenience improvements over the earlier model we had. It's worth taking a little time learning to get the best out of it. Here are the results of a great deal of experimentation, using the same beans as an outstanding local coffee bar and attempting to get the closest match to what comes of their professional machines.

(N.B. A single shot from a professional espresso machine typically contains about 10g of ground coffee, and a double shot 18-20g - anything up to double the amount that a home machine will take. The water temperature, pressure and circulation are also much more even, so no home machine will ever quite match what you get in a good coffee house.)

1. This machine has a lot of scope for adjusting the settings, but offers 4 basic progammes:
1 short coffee (a small espresso shot, approx. 6-7g of ground coffee)
1 long coffee (as above, but with more water: 'Café Allongé')
2 simultaneous short coffees as above (total approx. 12-14g), or one 'Doppio'.
2 long coffees as above: a smallish 'Americano'.

2. There is a 5th programme: a separate 'Long Coffee' function, which cycles automatically through two double shots to produce a reasonable sized Americano. Purists will tend to avoid this, however, as it passes a lot of water very slowly through the grounds to extract the maximum from them, and in the process it brings out the coarser flavour notes that a skilled barista tries to leave behind. Fine if you're using great beans, but if you are the sort of person who buys great coffee beans this mode will probably be anathema to you. Also, you need to physically check the water level in the reservoir before using this programme, as if it drops below the minimum level during the first cycle, the second cycle will be abandoned.

3. Trying to get as close as possible to the taste of my favourite coffee bar, using the same beans, I have my machine set as follows based on a lot of experimentation:
(a) Grinder on the default setting (approx. 5)
(b) Taste Adjustment on 'Strong' (not 'Very Strong')
(c) Water Temperature setting on 3
(d) Finally, adjust coffee strength to one's personal taste, using the water quantity preset function on each of the above programmes as described in the user manual.

Additional comments:
(a) Using pre-filtered water in the reservoir minimises scale build-up while avoiding dependence on over-priced D'L filter cartridges.
(b) I always use decent branded or 'supermarket finest' whole beans (The machine's pre-ground coffee option is best avoided).
(c) Always check there are enough beans in the hopper before running the machine - there is no warning sensor.
(d) Most users will use the 'capuccino' setting on the milk-steaming wand which adds air to the steam and virtually guarantees goof froth, but if you know what you're doing, you will get a slightly denser and more authentic head by leaving the ring in the 'hot milk' position. N.B. twist off the outer sleeve and clean it out after each use.

Overall, I cannot recommend this machine highly enough, and with the level of discounts now being offered it is even more impressive.


VIDBOX for Mac
VIDBOX for Mac
Price: £42.90

5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL VIDEO COPIER I HAVE FOUND, 3 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: VIDBOX for Mac (CD-ROM)
This did exactly what I wanted, simply and reliably.

Minor niggles (not sufficient to give less than 5 stars):
1. There seems to be no way to store user default settings, but the process of setting up each copy task is so quick and easy this is not a real issue.
2. I found it was sometimes necessary to unplug and reconnect the USB link, and restart the app, between tasks, but again this was quick and easy.

Overall the best solution of its type that I've found. And this supplier was £20 cheaper than some others.
(This review relates to the Mac version)


Make Me: (Jack Reacher 20)
Make Me: (Jack Reacher 20)
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LEE CHILD AND JACK REACHER DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST, 11 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Jack Reacher has always been at his best in a lonely landscape under a big sky. The author's attempts to work his franchise in an urban setting, or to put flesh on the sketchy military background that is part of Reacher's character, have rarely been as satisfying as the dysfunctional-small-town showdowns that form the backbone of the series. Reacher is above all a modern cowboy, set in the Fistful of Dollars mould, and Child seems belatedly to have come to terms with this.

For the twentieth episode, he has bust wide-open any suspicion that the character has gone stale, producing the most satisfying and complex tale to date. Reacher himself is more richly nuanced before, and this is also the most cinematic book of the series in scene-setting, storyline and action sequences. This would be a good place for new readers to start and a good choice for any sequel to the 'One Shot' movie. It will also be manna to long-term fans disappointed with some of the recent outings.


Levin Solar Charger 5000mAh Rain-resistant and Dirt/Shockproof Dual USB Port Portable Charger Backup Battery Portable Power Pack Solar Power Bank Phone Chargers Solar Powered Charger Usb External Battery Charger Portable Solar Charger External Battery Power Bank Charger for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air Mini, iPods(Apple Adapters not Included), Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3,Note 4 3 2, Nexus, HTC, Android Phones,Windows phone, Bluetooth Speakers, MP3, Tablets and Other Devices(Blue)
Levin Solar Charger 5000mAh Rain-resistant and Dirt/Shockproof Dual USB Port Portable Charger Backup Battery Portable Power Pack Solar Power Bank Phone Chargers Solar Powered Charger Usb External Battery Charger Portable Solar Charger External Battery Power Bank Charger for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPad Air Mini, iPods(Apple Adapters not Included), Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3,Note 4 3 2, Nexus, HTC, Android Phones,Windows phone, Bluetooth Speakers, MP3, Tablets and Other Devices(Blue)
Offered by LEVIN-UK
Price: £50.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MIXED BLESSING, 4 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We bought two of these. One of them works reasonably well in good sunlight, but even showing a full charge it will not fully charge an iPhone 6, and it will not make much impact on an iPad battery. The second one never gets above 2 stars unless we charge it off the mains; it is some use in prolonging the use of an iPhone but doesn't exactly "do what it says on the tin".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2015 3:19 AM BST


Bosch - Season 1
Bosch - Season 1
Dvd
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION THAT IS FAITHFUL BUT NOT SLAVISH TO THE NOVELS, 8 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Bosch - Season 1 (Amazon Video)
This isn't the perfect screen transfer of Connelly's work that some reviewers have claimed - but then, neither could or should it be. The Bosch novels are very much a literary creation, and there are so many aspects that would sink any movie or TV production that tried to reproduce them literally. Actually, the success of the series (and it is a major success on its own terms) has been rooted in a profound and sensitive awareness of what to leave out.

The result is a taut, efficient thriller that offers the best of both worlds. It is not so lean as to lose all the atmosphere and character development that are a major attraction of the novels, but still concentrates on moving the story forward.

I was ultimately impressed by how much of Connelly's literary world made it into the production, but even more impressed by the deftness of the adaptation, which ensured that it stands up as TV in its own right.


I Am Pilgrim
I Am Pilgrim
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars VERY READABLE IF YOU IGNORE THE UNCONVINCING TECHNICAL DETAILS, 20 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I Am Pilgrim (Kindle Edition)
As a former journalist, you would expect the author to be well informed geo-politically, and he is. As a successful screenwriter, you would expect him to have a good narrative structure, and here also he does not disappoint.

What does let this well-informed, well-structured, well-written first novel down is its unconvincing technical and technological detail. Also, the occasional biographical digressions sometimes slow down the pace without always building entirely believable characters or motivations.

Nevertheless, as long as disbelief can be readily suspended, this is an engaging novel that would potentially make an excellent serial in the "24" mould.


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