This is one of the best crime fiction novels I have ever read. And extremely well translated as well. It is one of the World Noir series of books fromThis is one of the best crime fiction novels I have ever read. And extremely well translated as well. It is one of the World Noir series of books from Europa Editions, one of my favorite publishers. I have enjoyed pretty much all of their books that I have read, whether it be crime novels or literary fiction. I actually own over 80 Europa Press books.
The bastards of Pizzafalcone are a precinct of police, apparently in Naples, although in the book the location is only known as "that city". They are a misfit bunch of losers, all having been sent there because of some screw up at their previous posting. Some of them have colourful nicknames, the Chinaman and the Hulk for example.
Early on in the book, a ten year old child is kidnapped and an apartment is burgled. The rest of the book primarily deals with the cops trying to solve these two cases. You really get to know the characters so well, as details of their personal lives are revealed throughout the book. So by the end of the book, they are practically family. As the book is large on plot, I can't say much more without giving something away. Suffice it to say that if you enjoy crime fiction, or just a really good story, i am pretty sure that you would enjoy this book....more
This is not only a great crime novel, it's a really good novel period. There are basically two story lines. One follows a series of murders in L.A., wThis is not only a great crime novel, it's a really good novel period. There are basically two story lines. One follows a series of murders in L.A., while the other involves the Communist scare in Hollywood.
As this book is all plot, it's hard to say much about it without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that's it's pretty heavy going and definitely not for the squeamish, as the murders involved are among the most graphically horrific I've ever encountered.
That being said, it's a very engrossing read indeed....more
This is a simply fabulous book, and was tons of fun to read. With the main characters being Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and, once in a while, theThis is a simply fabulous book, and was tons of fun to read. With the main characters being Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and, once in a while, the ghost of Sherlock Holmes, how could you go wrong?
It was very enjoyable to read a book in which the sleuthing was done by Doyle himself, instead of his famous fictional detective. And Oscar Wilde was the perfect companion with many witticisms from him scattered throughout the book. And the Victorian period and the creepiness of Thraxton Hall were very well done as well.
There are quite a few happenings in the book in which you have to completely suspend disbelief, as there are quite a lot of psychic events, levitation, and the like. But that's just part of the overall fun of the book. Apparently the sequel is now out, and I for one, can't wait to read it....more
I didn't like this nearly as much as the other books I've read by Highsmith. Apparently based at least partly on truth, from letters she exchanged witI didn't like this nearly as much as the other books I've read by Highsmith. Apparently based at least partly on truth, from letters she exchanged with a convict in 1961. Quite naturally, then this is also the story of a convict who serves six years in prison for a crime he didn't commit and then gets released and reunited with his wife and son.
The book is mainly about relationships the convict forms, both with other inmates while in prison, and with his family and friends after he gets out. Unfortunately, I didn't really find this to be compelling reading, and the suspense that Highsmith is famous for just isn't there.
Also, pretty much all of the characters have so many flaws that they are really impossible to like, at least for me. There is a fair amount of action in the novel, but I still didn't find the book gripping at all, or really all that interesting. I will try others of her books however, as I have really enjoyed the other ones that I have read so far....more
This is a crime novel set in Havana, written by a Cuban writer. At the beginning of the book, a transvestite is found murdered in a park in Havana. ThThis is a crime novel set in Havana, written by a Cuban writer. At the beginning of the book, a transvestite is found murdered in a park in Havana. The rest of the plot of the novel is about Inspector Mario Conde and his attempts to solve the case.
I was kind of surprised to see that a Cuban writer was able to write a book which is largely about homosexuality and has many gay characters, as most Communist countries are pretty oppressed when it come to what you can write about. And the author is quite explicit in his opinions as to the way gay people are treated in Cuba. And he has negative things to say about Cuban society in general, which makes it all the more surprising that he was able to write this book. And quite a few more. It's been translated into quite a few languages and has won several literary prizes.
The only problem with the book is that there is not enough about the plot and story that takes place, and too many philosophical meanderings that seem to go nowhere. In short, it was an okay book nevertheless, so I will definitely try another one in the series....more
I had held off trying this series as I didn't like J.K. Rowling's first real adult book, The Casual Vacancy at all. In fact I gave up on it part way tI had held off trying this series as I didn't like J.K. Rowling's first real adult book, The Casual Vacancy at all. In fact I gave up on it part way through. But somebody told me that these crime novels that she has written under a pseudonym were good, so I decided to give the first one a try.
And I'm really glad I did, as I really enjoyed it. The main character is Cormoran Strike,a private detective, who is a very large man, who had part of one leg blown off in Afghanistan, has just split up with his fiancee, and has almost no business, and a mountain of debt.
At the very beginning of the book, a famous supermodel has fallen to her death from her balcony. Is it suicide, or is it murder? That's for you to find out, because I already know.
If you're expecting the usual modern crime novel, with plenty of action, much violence, and lots of sex, you're going to be very disappointed. This book is very much character driven, as opposed to plot driven. By the end of the book, you feel you know the main characters intimately. The relationship between Strike and his secretary Robin, is especially well done.
All in all, I thought it was a great book, and will definitely be reading the rest of the books in the series....more
The Lightkeepers is a really excellent novel. My library has it in the mystery section, and while there is some of that, it is not really a mystery inThe Lightkeepers is a really excellent novel. My library has it in the mystery section, and while there is some of that, it is not really a mystery in the traditional sense.
The main character is Miranda, a nature photographer, who arrives on the desolate and remote Farallon islands, thirty miles off the coast of California. Already living there are six biologists who study the wildlife year round. They all live in pretty primitive circumstances, all of them in one old cabin, without very many amenities.
During Miranda's stay on the island, many things happen, some of which are quite brutal in nature, and you don't find out until the very end of the book what really went on. As this book is about a nature photographer and biologists there is a lot (and I do mean a lot) of description and information about the many species of wildlife that inhabits the islands. Seals and sea lions, great white sharks, whales and many thousands of birds. Not to mention Oliver the octopus. So if that doesn't interest you, you probably won't like the book.
I, on the other hand, found it to be totally engrossing, and read the whole 358 pages in one sitting. As I said, a fine novel, especially for a debut, and I can't wait until she write her next book....more