Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder, a review.

The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder

This is the second of Tony J Forder’s books featuring D I Bliss and his partner Detective Sergeant Penny Chandler.

Newly returned to Peterborough after twelve years away policing organised crime, DI Bliss joins the Major Crimes Team and immediately is thrown into a brutal murder enquiry. The murder appears to be the latest in a series. Bliss very quickly spots a possible link between a series of rapes and murders.

Penny Chandler now promoted to Detective Sergeant joins the enquiry as the rapes she has been investigating seem linked to the murders.

The search for the serial killer and rapist then becomes a desperate race against time to apprehend the culprit before he can add to his growing list of rape and murder victims.

The enquiry involves a trawl through old cases and incidents. When a pattern emerges a trip to the U.S.A. becomes a necessity to follow old leads. Bliss and Chandler know they are up against a deadline but don’t know what it is. Speed and accuracy are needed, the plot twists and turns as the desperate search accelerates to a cliff-hanging conclusion.

A satisfying, engaging, read, the characters are well-drawn and apart from the U.S.A., the settings are familiar to me.

Excellent, thank you, Mr Forder.

Degrees of Darkness is the next in the series and I shall be obtaining it before very long.

The Scent of Guilt is available on Amazon and from bookshops.

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park Written by Sinclair McKay a review

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay, a review.

Few people today are unaware of Bletchley Park and its vital work during World War 2, cracking the German Codes. Although many of us now know of the Enigma machine and have heard of Alan Turing there is much about Bletchley Park that wasn’t known, even amongst its veterans.

Mr McKay has taken the opportunity to talk to as many of the surviving Bletchley veterans as he could, to learn more of the Park’s back story. He sheds light on what went on behind the scenes. How mainly young, men and women drawn from all over the country came to work together on one of the most secret and important projects of the war.

The lives of the listeners, translators, code breakers and those who analysed the intelligence are discussed the problems of accommodation and travel are covered as is the social life of the park.

It is a fascinating book and illustrates the remarkable calibre of the people who worked at the park. Their tremendous sense of loyalty, is something to marvel at. Many took the secret of their vital wartime careers to the grave, children and spouses unaware of the value that work.

It is possible that had the true value of Turing’s work been more widely known he wouldn’t have been subjected to the terrible treatment that led to his early tragic death.

This is a testament to part of a great generation that did so much for those of us who followed, a story that needed to be told.

What Lies Beyond Sci-Fi Stories of the Future, Edited byJ K Larkin, a review

What Lies Beyond

Stephen Oliver, one of the book’s contributing authors gave me the heads up on this terrific collection.

The Generalist is Stephen’s contribution and thoroughly deserves its place in this book with the other excellent stories. Stephen’s stories are always unusual and quirky not only displaying an orignality of thought but also quality writing.

A cousin of mine named Startruck her favourite in an earlier collection “Where the Wild Winds Blow.” Another book showcasing some of Stephen’s work.

So what of the other stories? they were all exceptionally good but I particularly enjoyed Preacher by Lisa Diaz Meyer and The Felinedae Mission by Debbie De Louise, those who have cats would regard this as entirely plausible.

The Moment Before Impact by Alison Bruce, a review

The Moment Before Impact by Alison Bruce

Most of us I am sure are familiar with books that you can’t put down because you want to know what happens next but don’t want to the story to end because they are so good, this is one of those books.

The story is set in and around Cambridge, the streets and places are familiar to those who live in or visit the city. For others who do not share that familiarity with the city, a Google search makes it accessible and I am sure encourages readers to visit and see it for themselves.

The plot is engaging and draws the reader in, Celia Henry a tenacious former reporter tries to make sense of the circumstances leading up to a serious road accident. Those involved have become  the adults she watched growing up as children while their neighbour.

An open and shut case becomes increasing more open and less shut as the story moves on with Celia prompting the police to look again. The story grips and holds the reader as it twists and turns revealing more of the back story.

One word describes it for me “Brilliant” but don’t take my word for it, read it yourself.

More please Mrs. Bruce

The Moment Before Impact is available on Amazon and in book shops.

Witch Way a review

Witch Way

Witch Way

Cathy Cade’s book of short stories and poems is a wonderful collection of well-written pieces, each one beautifully crafted.

The range of subjects is wide and eclectic embracing beautifully written children’s stories, fascinating mysteries together with truly delightful poetry. There is something in here for everyone, every item is a brightly polished gem.

My favourite but only just is the beautifully picturesque Witch Way. The characters inhabit your imagination, so beautifully are they drawn. It is for me like watching a film of the story rather than reading the words on the page.

It is a gift few writers have.

Cathy is a writer of extraordinary ability I am looking forward to reading more of her work.

Available on Amazon

Witch Way on Amazon

It will soon be available on Smash Words too:

Smashwords

Cathy’s Blog is always worth a visit:

Cathy’s Blog

Hand of the Beast, written by Stuart Roberts, a review.

Hand of the beast2

Hand of the Beast written by Stuart Roberts

We are very fortunate to have a good number of talented authors living in our region some of whom live locally. I have just finished reading Hand of the Beast by Stuart Roberts, one of our very local writers.

I had the privilege of reading his draft manuscript  of Hand of The Beast a little while back as a Beta reader. I was really keen therefore, to see this the published version. Stuart’s second novel, like his first, All Time Lowe, it is a psychological and supernatural thriller.

The story is centred around the troubled Danny. An orphan traumatised by an abusive childhood he struggles to deal with life. His adoptive parents help him navigate his way through into adulthood but it is a chance meeting with a Goth girl that changes his life completely.

The police after discovering two murders, quickly find they are on the trail of a serial killer responsible for many more deaths.

A twisty journey of a book a really good read, five stars from me.

If you would like to buy a copy, (one of my US readers wanted a copy of All Time Lowe which is why I posted this link) the Amazon link:

Hand of the beast

For my review of All Time Lowe:

All time Lowe a review

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey a review.

Beau Death cover2

Beau Death written by Peter Lovesey

There is usually at least one of Peter Lovesey’s books in my “to be read pile”.  Of the Peter Diamond series, I now have only one more to read, unless of course there is another ready to publish.

I have enjoyed all the Peter Diamond novels but for me Beau Death is the best so far.

Following a cracking start, literally, a wrecking ball smashes into the top of an old house in Twerton, exposing the remains of a long hidden body. The beginning of a herculean quest for Deective Superintendent Peter Diamond and his team. Not only to establish the identity of the corpse but to discover the circumstances of its death.

As with the majority of the Peter Diamond novels the city of Bath is the setting.

With each new book there is a new visit, for us readers. Each time we learn a little more about the place and its rich history. This outing introduces Beau Nash to those of us, who know little, not only of Bath but the characters which helped shape the city.

As with all good books it is difficult to put down, resolution waits until the end of the story and is satisfying. I will be ordering Killing with Confetti, the latest Peter Diamond book, shortly. Ready to be placed on the TBR pile.

The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne, a review.

The Red House Mystery

The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne

I was surprised to learn that as well as writing Winnie The Pooh, A. A. Milne had also written an adult novel, The Red House Mystery, apparently his third I learned later.

Curious I decided to track down a copy, by mere chance I found a copy in a charity shop in Huntingdon. This particular edition was a paperback “A Rediscovered Classic” issued by The Times. The Red House Mystery was written before the Winnie The Pooh books, A. A. Milne’s more well known works.

It is an interesting book, undoubtedly, of its time, a time when the lives of ordinary people were, of no consequence. In this book like it seems so many others, murders took place in large country houses, inhabited mainly by the great, the respectable and the good. The fact that the great, the respectable and the good numbered among them the murderers doesn’t seem to be the contradiction it ought to be, perhaps just a better class of villain. The Red House Mystery  is not badly written but for me lacks pace. The plot is dependent on the unlikely as much as the probable. I had difficulty in finding the enthusiasm to continue reading and was able to put it down for long periods of time sometimes for days. It was a shame it wasn’t a better book, it could have been, should have been.

On a side note in a book that is nearly a hundred years old and reissued it should have been possible for someone competent to proof read it and remove the typos.

 

An Inconvenient Death by Miles Goslett (a review)

an incovenient death web

An Inconvenient Death by Miles Golett

 

Those of us old to remember the build up to the ill conceived Iraq war are familiar with the name Dr David Kelly.

At the time of his death, 45 minute warnings, talk of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and photographs filled the media supposedly showing large missiles on lorries, ready to be blasted at Saddam Hussein’s enemies, us, the UK or the U.S.

In this rush to war there were however, dissenting voices, a desire for certainty before committing lives and resources to a conflict which could perhaps be avoided. One of those casting doubt, was Andrew Gillingham, a BBC Radio 4 journalist, who’s well placed source cast doubt on the government narrative.

The hunt was soon on for this well placed source and within days Dr David Kelly’s name became known. His death in the midst of parliamentary enquiries by the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees closed down lines of enquiry.

Although the book’s title is An Inconvenient Death, at the time of Kelly’s demise it seemed to many of us it was all too convenient. Goslett’s book is a meticulous attempt to try and establish a semblance of the truth, to clear away the clutter. He casts doubt over the whole investigation of Kelly’s death gaining and sharing information not disclosed at the time. He also exposes the shortcomings of the hastily established Hutton Inquiry held into Kelly’s death.

This book may not of itself get the Kelly case reopened but it ought to help, we owe it to Dr David Kelly to find the truth and if that truth is inconvenient to members of the establishment so be it.

 

 

183 Times  A year a review

183 times a year

183 Times A Year by Eva Jordan

 

Although 183 Times a Year is Eva Jordan’s first novel I read All the Colours In between, her second book, before reading this.

First novels aren’t often as good as later work, a writer improves as they practice their craft. I was not therefore sure what to expect of 183 Times A Year.

We are introduced to Lizzie and her blended family, their daily struggles and Lizzie’s challenges in caring for them. It is beautifully told and her finely drawn characters inhabit the imagination of the reader with their presence. The mark of a master story teller for me.

It is a cracking read, a brilliant first novel, as excellent as, All the Colours in Between, itself a masterpiece, certainly one of the best books I have read.

Time Will Tell, Eva’s third novel, is in my “To be Read” pile and I fully expect it to be as good as  Eva’s other two books.

My fiction reading is usually crime or espionage novels and some science fiction, my nonfiction reading, mainly history.

Eva’s books are ones that in the past I would not normally read, these are a departure for me.

I am pleased to have read 183 Times a Year and All the Colours in Between, they are fantastically well written books and more moving than I thought possible, certainly for a man of my advanced years.

Eva Jordan is an exceptionally good writer, I look forward to seeing more of her work. if you haven’t read anything by this talented lady you need to remedy that straight away.

 

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