Archive for September, 2022

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves, a review.

Thin Air written by Ann Cleeves

Thin Air is set in The Shetland Isles the story centres on a wedding and a legend of the ghost of a young girl lost to the sea in 1930. When one of the wedding guests, a bridesmaid is reported missing Jimmy Perez and Sandy Wilson are sent to help find her. The discovery of the missing woman’s body in a loch turns a hunt for a missing woman into a murder investigation. Willow Reeves joins Perez and Wilson to lead the investigation.

I read a lot of crime fiction as well as writing some. Thin Air is the first of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series I have read; I found it a difficult read. The story seemed to take a good while to get into its stride. I had the impression the author started the book stopped then took up the story later fitting bits in as she went. It is an interesting story set in the far North of the British Isles, a part I would like to visit. Although the pictures of the weather, terrain and communities are well drawn there seems to be a tiredness in the telling of the story. The plot is interesting and convoluted, and the characters are believable but it took me a long while to read it.

I don’t know if all the Shetland stories are written in the same way a steady gathering of threads or if this one is less lively than some of the others, I will have to see. Ann Cleeves writes well but I preferred other Ann Cleeves books I have read.

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah, a review.

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

I am grateful to Niche Comics and Book Shop of Huntingdon, in particular to Angela Mackey of the said establishment. Angela regularly organises events in Huntingdon bringing many well-known authors into the town’s Commemoration Hall to discuss their writing and books. The only problem it gives me is trying to sneak the books into our house which I buy at these events without my wife noticing, she thinks that we have far too many books already.

A while back I was at an event where two authors, Alison Bruce and Sophie Hannah; were in discussion with a gentleman whose name escapes me (I’m sorry I should have been taking notes.)

I am familiar with Alison’s work and a great fan, Sophie Hannah was a name I recognised but hadn’t read anything of hers. I enjoyed the evening and came away with a copy of Sophie Hannah’s Monogram Murders; I have copies of all Alison’s novels.

It is a long while since I have read any of Agatha Christie’s books and I must admit I am not a huge fan of hers, so I hesitated and prevaricated about starting to read Ms Hannah’s take on Agatha Christie’s famous Belgium detective.

The story starts when Poirot’s supper is disturbed by a distraught young woman entering the café where he is dining. She is convinced that she is soon be murdered.

Three murders take place at the Bloxham Hotel in London on that very same night. The victim’s bodies are found in separate rooms on different floors. Hercule Poirot assists Catchpool a Scotland Yard detective, who lives at the same lodgings as Poirot; investigate the murders. Before very long Poirot is in charge of the case with Catchpool, the narrator trying to keep up with Poirot’s thought processes.

The plot is engaging; constantly twisting and turning, to wrong-foot the reader.

I prefer Sophie Hannah’s version of a Poirot mystery to any I have read penned by Agatha Christie; I shall read more of Sophie’s books.

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