Nine Lights Over Edinburgh
Detective Inspector James McBride is riding high on the belief that he's about to bust a human-trafficking ring. But just five days before Christmas, his unorthodox methods catch up with him and his world comes crashing down.
McBride tries to concentrate on his new day job as security for the visiting Israeli ambassador. He even starts to feel a renewed sense of self-worth...more
wildly inauthentic excesses of the plot undermine the typically pleasing lilt of the prose.
there's nothing wrong with fantasy, but when it's set in contemporary times and no development is earned, it feels corny, nonsensical, and arbitrary.
like watching a child play with dolls.
BUT LITTLE DID MR. SKRIBBLES KNOW, THE COPPER WAS ALSO A NINJA! WHO LOVES HIM TRULY AND DEEPLY—SEE?
*the dolls are made to kiss*
Detective Inspector James McBride's life is a mess and he doesn't know how to fix it. He's forty years old, divorced and not quite at peace with his sexuality. On the professional front, things don't look good either: his current undercover assignment has him pretending to be an alcoholic and gambling addi ...more
It doesn't happen very often that I can really really picture the places where a book takes place. In this case, it happened: I've loved Edinburgh when I visited and the author took me there. This isn't a light read, it's about a lost man, a detective who has denied himself his sexuality and he's not whole anymore. He's divorced and he's an alcoholic who's drowning himself in his work, while every aspect of his personal life is deteriorating. He's imprisoned in himself. The only person ...more
This is the third Harper Fox book that I have read and I can officialy say that I love her writing.
This book is about a 40 year old pale-alcoholic-unkept-divorced-stocky-lonely-policeman (sorry, detective inspector), and don't you love this book just hearing that? Because I do! I love that the character is full of flaws, that his life is less than perfect, that he is not in his 20's.
I love this because, even if the plot is not real, the MC feels real, and he gets his knight in shining a ...more
I didn't really like James in the beginning. I usually don't have a problem with characters that having drinking or drug problems but James' attitude rubbed me the wrong way. His 'I don't give a shit' personality was more annoying than charming and when he got hurt all I could do was think he deserved it. I think this partly had to do with how confused ...more
4.5 stars so the previous rating holds up...
It seems that it always takes me a bit to get into Harper Fox’s stories -- patience is called for... but the payoff makes it worth it.
This starts off slowly as we get the character build and backstory and place setting. James McBride is a Scots police detective living on the edge. He’s let drink and apathy bring his career down until he comes ...more
I don't think I will ever get used to Harper Fox's way of writings from the start of a book; she always makes me WORK hard to get into the story. I can get through the writing for previous books, though, because they DO offer characters that I can get emotionally attached to.
Not this one.
Somehow, I get lost in the overkill of prose -- and I don't even feel the romance. Even the dialogs don't work with me this time (they usually save the story). I can't find myself enjoying it.
ETA: Re-read in a BR with Joan. I like it even better on the turnaround than when I raced through it the first time. Lovely, lovely prose, an Edinburgh breathing and alive, a hero to root for, and so incredibly rich for a novella!
The set up of the McBride’s circumstances took a while (considering it is a short story) so there was a bit of a wait to get to the MCs meeting and to their romance. I didn’t particularly enjoy this part, but nevertheless I was fascinated to McBride. Given his age, experience, and the fact that he’s a veteran cop and father – he was a weak character. I got the impression that when Lowrie was taken away from him and ...more
Like her previous stories, Nine Lights Over Edinburgh doesn’t caterer to the Hallmark crowd. Her stuff is gritty. Her characters are dark. The events don’t happen in a neat little row. The poetic, yoda-style ramblings can be confusi ...more
After having read 70% of this story, I wrote as an update that this was the least gayest m/m story I've read so far (and by God, I've read a lot.. Thanks Qhuay! ;) and after having finished it just now, I can safely say that its still the least gayest m/m story I've ever read..
That doesnt mean its the worst though.. Far from it actually..
This story is much more about a lost man, who finds himself at age 40 with nothing but a broken marriage, thoughts about the only love he's had at age 16... wit ...more
Fabulous story. The first few lines put the reader firmly in place, with no stodgy info-dumps or boring details. The characters are real, living human beings, flawed and struggling against the odds. Edinburgh comes alive in this story, the elegance and grandeur of the city and the dark ugliness are contrasted in quiet understated writing.
I felt as if I was there, walking the streets, drawn into the story.
(view spoiler)[I had a couple of minor niggles:
Lila is meant to be a senior office ...more
I love that about some of her stories but I know some aren’t as attuned to it. This one takes some time to work its way but every word is just so stinkin’ enjoyable that I felt like I was wrapped up in a cocoon of ...more
4.5 out of 5 stars
This author’s writing style is different from most authors’ I know of. It’s elaborate, descriptive - some will call it verbose - and expressive. I think you’ll love it or hate it. I happen to enjoy it once I surrender to it. Harper Fox’s writing has the ability to take me to the places she describes. In this story those are the dark alleys and obscure corners of the streets of Edinburgh. The colorful descriptions of the surroundings emphasize ...more
Nine Lights over Edinburgh is Harper Fox’s contribution to the Carina Press anthology. Unfortunately I’m not a huge fan of Fox’s writing and author voice so I’m definitely not the target audience for this story. In some ways she really shines with unique characters and a real flair for dramatic tension and brooding. Yet the plodding pace and overly verbose prose kills the story for me every time. If you’re a fan of Fox, you already like the writing style and I think this mo ...more
This is a very atypical Christmas tale, with a dark and gloomy/depressed/hopeless/desperate tone for much of the story. Nonetheless, it IS very much a Christmas and also Hanukkah story. The bul ...more
Gritty and very unchristmas-like.
The descriptions of Edinburgh were wonderful, I swear if I were to visit I would recognise the places mentioned. Occasionally the harsh accents of the Scots dragged me from the story.
Unlike Toby, McBride was a hard character to warm to (just the fact that I used Toby's first name and James' surname underlines that fact) but I'm glad I stuck with him. If I had any complaint it was that the relationship between the two leads developed too quickly, not the ...more
It's an emotionally difficult story in large part because its protagonist, James McBride, is self-destructing, and the only one who refuses to see it is him. Although sympathetic, McBride isn't really likable for the first third of the book. Toby's entrance marks the point McBride stops drifting and starts waking up, facing the mess he's made, and dealing with the consequences.
I'd classify thi ...more
Detective Inspector McBride has always known that he was different, but like so many has conformed to expectations of straight society. His marriage h ...more
Detective Inspector James McBride is on the verge of bringing down the head of a human-trafficking ring. Then his cover is blown, getting McBride kicked off the case and reprimanded by his superior for his drinking problem. McBride isn’t willing to let the case go, however, and the fact that he’s assigned to security for a visiting Israeli ambassador isn’t about to distract McBride from his mission. But McB ...more