I am conflicted about this book. I became a fan of DeMille's stuff when I read "Charm School", "The General's Daughter" and "Gate House" to name a fewI am conflicted about this book. I became a fan of DeMille's stuff when I read "Charm School", "The General's Daughter" and "Gate House" to name a few. I enjoyed the early John Corey series books but they seem to have become a little formulaic. Not that DeMille's ability to put out a suspenseful thriller is gone but rather that much like Vince Flynn's later books, I could almost predict what was going to happen and the same type of characters keep showing up, in DeMille's case, bureaucratic FBI supervisors, well meaning but ultimately amoral CIA agents, good hearted local law enforcement and super evil villains. Although we've gone from Middle Eastern terrorists to Russians eager to re-establish their place in the world, there is a certain similarity among them in that they are without any redeeming qualities.
This story has Corey paired with a beautiful but extremely competent partner as part of the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, DSG. The book opens with the two of them trailing a Russian diplomat, Vasily Petrov, who isn't what he appears to be. As the plot unfolds, Corey becomes more and more suspicious of the situation and acts in a typical Corey manner by ignoring his superiors and following his instincts.
The suspense ratchets up as more and more of the possible motives of Petrov become clear. The suspense builds and the conclusion, while easily foreseen, is satisfyingly exciting.
My biggest problem, as is often the case with fictional spy thrillers, is that the coincidences build up and the denouement is often less than believable, assuming such things could happen in the real world. Nevertheless, I recommend this book even if you've missed the previous 6 Corey thrillers. If you can start with the earlier ones, do so. But if this is your first introduction to DeMille and Corey, you won't be disappointed....more
Bernard Cornwell must have reincarnated from the periods of history he writes about. Otherwise how could he be so realistic and true to the times he cBernard Cornwell must have reincarnated from the periods of history he writes about. Otherwise how could he be so realistic and true to the times he chronicles.
I somehow missed this volume in the Thomas of Hookton series but have made up for my remission in three days. Cornwell's writing flows in such a way that the pages and the hours fly by and I realize too soon with regret that I don't have a Cornwell Novel left to read.
This book takes place in, surprise, surprise, 1356 and chronicles events leading up to the Battle of Poitiers. Thomas is now a knight, living with his band of mercenaries in the Castillon d'Arbizon in South Central France where he proudly flies the banner of his liege lord, The Duke of Northumberland. The English are in control of large chunks of France based on the claim by King Edward that he is also King of France. The Prince of Wales is laying waste to large areas of France on what was then called a chevauchee.
This is the historical background for Cornwell's story. The narrative involves a myth that St. Peter's sword, the one that cut off the ear of one of the men sent to arrest Jesus, is somewhere in France and that whoever has it will be the most powerful leader in Europe. Thomas is dispatched by his Duke to find the sword. In the process of doing so he runs into a couple of evil churchmen, an idealistic knight, a disaffected Scotsman, a couple of erstwhile monks who would rather be soldiers, a French Duke who is the epitome of a royal pig and one of the most beautiful women in France. There are others, of course, too many to list here, but all entertaining characters.
As the story unfolds Thomas and his small band have some very interesting adventures and eventually become part of the Duke of Wales' army as his oath to his liege lord demands. Cornwell describes the run-up to the Battle. The last chapter is a description of the actual battle as only Cornwell can do. His battle scenes are without parallel in historical fiction.
You do not need to read the previous books in this series to enjoy this one. It's terrific on its own.
This, #19 in the series, is the first time I've ever rated a Bosch novel with less than 5 stars. Why, you might ask? Because it is more of a police prThis, #19 in the series, is the first time I've ever rated a Bosch novel with less than 5 stars. Why, you might ask? Because it is more of a police procedural than the kind of thriller, I expect from Connelly. The story kind of limps along without a lot of tension or suspense and is inhabited with not very interesting characters. In fact, many of the characters are cliches not the usual deeply troubled and interesting people, I'm used to seeing in the Bosch novels.
Harry Bosch, now part of the Cold Case investigative unit, has a new partner, Lucy Soto, new to the detective ranks and a bit of a hero due to a shoot-out in which her partner was killed. They are tasked with investigating a ten year old shooting because the victim has just died from his wounds and the coroner has called it a murder.
In the process, Harry and Lucy, run across an even older 20 year old case, in which a number of children died in an arson fire. It turns out Lucy was at the day care center and lost some of her friends in the incident. They pursue both politically sensitive cases simultaneously while dealing with both bureaucratic and budget constraints, to say nothing of their immediate supervisor who's a pencil pushing administrator.
The ending was somewhat anti-climatic and slightly disappointing, with a little twist on the last couple pages to provide a hook to the next book in the series. One, I will undoubtedly read as soon as it appears in MM paperback.
I haven't lost faith in either Connelly or Bosch though I do recommend, that if you haven't discovered this series before, you start with an earlier book. ...more