John Donoghue found me first. He has got a Twitter account and followed my account(s) and this is how I discovered his book. I’m part of a Sherlock rol...moreJohn Donoghue found me first. He has got a Twitter account and followed my account(s) and this is how I discovered his book. I’m part of a Sherlock roleplay / writer community over there and I guess the – as I have to admit – little misleading title I borrowed for my username might have been the reason why I got discovered by him. I had a look at his profile and was immediately interested. Police officer AND author? Take my money! Peoople who know me better will surely get why the next thing I did was buying “Police, Crime & 999″. ;) I don’t know what I expected, the reviews I read had been quite divided but never judge a book by its cover (or in this case its reviews.) First of all: I felt very well entertained. If Mr Donoghue has one thing it is definitely a very cynical gallow’s humour. You either like that or you will have some struggle with some chapters. A bit too many saucy innuendos for my taste, but if you are able to not feel offended the book offers a good overview of the everyday madness (read: people a.k.a. idiots) a police officer has to face during his shifts. His anecdotes and stories made me laugh and they made me think. There are a few, very strong paragraphs where Mr Donoghue actually drops his mask and let me gain the impression this was honestly him speaking and not the cheeky bloke who always knows a catchphrase for any given situation. For example:
However, being a bloke, I wasn’t used to talking about feelings. Not many of my colleagues are. Not even tucking the subject in between the sports and weather. I know it’s not good for me. I know I should be getting things out, discussing them, purging the demons from my soul …but instead, like a lot of my workmates, I bottle it all up and bury those difficult thoughts, horrific experiences and bad memories. You can never bury them deep enough though, and sometimes when you are innocently digging around for something else in your subconscious, you uncover one of those things you thought you had put behind you. I really should learn to be more emotional, more sentimental, deal with issues effectively when they occur, but I just don’t seem to have the ability to open up, I just can’t seem to allow my guard to drop. Maybe it’s been ingrained in me too long. I’ve been a sailor, a soldier and now a police officer. It just doesn’t seem to be the done thing. I can’t seem to let the facade drop. We’re supposed to be the ones people depend on.
I also highly appreciate the “inside” informations and few bits and bites of history and statistics here and there. It was very interesting to read but not too cluttered. It was a very well balanced mixture of facts, inside views, personal view (I really would have loved more of those!) and stories that are funny and occasionally bitter in the aftertaste. One minor thing that was a bit exhausting after a while, was the repetition of the phrase “But I disgress”. I know that it was meant to mellow up the flow and lead back to the golden thread but it didn’t quite want to fit into the entire storytelling itself. Nevertheless “Police, Crime and 999″ is a book I really enjoyed reading and I’ll surely get my greedy bookaddict fingers on the sequel “Police, Lies and Alibis”.
One last thing I’d like to share is a further quote I really, really loved:
I finally had time on my own to sit in quiet reflection. There’s no doubt that being a police officer changes you. Roughly translated, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said something along the lines of ‘Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster’. Repellent as they may be, I don’t really classify the likes of Drew Peacock and Hugh Janus as out and out monsters. I hadn’t yet reached the stage where I stared into the abyss and the abyss stared back at me and then looked away in shame. However, in some way I felt I’d lost what was left of my innocence – that in some ways life had maybe lost a bit of its mystery. Dealing with the worst that society can offer certainly makes you more cynical. To a certain degree, I also felt that I had become de-sensitised to life. Dead bodies, cruelty, neglect – whereas they may have given me sleepless nights in the past – they were now just jobs that had to be dealt with. On the other hand, I’d fitted a lifetime of new adventure into just one year, and had so many good laughs that my sides ached, had real job satisfaction and felt some genuine camaraderie again. Some experiences were good, some were bad, but all taught me a lesson one way or another. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, except for polio, of course. To me, the pros vastly outweighed the cons (insert your own punchline here). The office of Constable is certainly the best position I’d ever held.
The story started great, it had some great parts but all in all I’m quite disappointed. Everything was a bit too far fetched and too forced in my opin...moreThe story started great, it had some great parts but all in all I’m quite disappointed. Everything was a bit too far fetched and too forced in my opinion. It was like Henning Mankell wanted to actually write a book about South Africa and its difficult political and cultural ways (the book was finished 1994) and just thought it would reach more people if he’d sell it under the name “A Wallander Thriller”.
I still loved his approach of Inspector Wallander, who is all but flawless. I like protagonists with personal struggles that make them into believable characters and not the “superheros” that can often be found in other novels. Wallander is a police officer – and a rather good one – but he is also a human being. He hates and detests, worries and makes mistakes.
Mistakes happen. But the amount of “unfortunate events” and mistakes was a bit too constructed for my liking. A telex misses the second page, the second attempt is wonky, as well and in the end the message still reaches the South African colleagues almost too late. Yeah, okay. As well as the woman from the airport who is usually always so attentive but lets on exactly this day exactly this one man go through the check in without paying further attention. I know that those things can happen but I think it didn’t do the story here any good. Way too much forcing the circumstances to fit into the storyline.
Another point that bothered me a little was the translation. I’m not a native English speaker, but I think the translation from Swedish to English was… not one of the best. Some words were a bit questionable in the context they had been used and a few sentences were a little out of order. They still made sense but let me stumble a little while reading.
A fairly good read, but not a good Wallander Thriller, as deplorable as it is.(less)
All is ashen. All is grey. This impression is a returning image throughout the book. You get the idea about the world how it now is quite quickly and s...moreAll is ashen. All is grey. This impression is a returning image throughout the book. You get the idea about the world how it now is quite quickly and still there are waiting new horrors and absurdities with every further step "the boy" and his father take. Slowly, very slowly they turn the tables and it is heart wrenching and hurting to witness. Their dialogues are short and often consist of the repitition of the same phrases and words over and over again. There is hardly more to talk about when what you see is always the same and just changing from time to time in the level of anxiety. Even a safe place feels too unsafe after a while and they move on and on till the change is completed... but telling more would be telling spoilers. When you least expect it, McCarthy throws essential questions at you and you stop reading, re-read that one sentence or passage and you have to put the book aside for a moment or a few minutes to let that sink in. It is a depressing and sad story and yet brilliant in its repetition of grey and ashen. The style of writing is odd in the beginning but one gets used to it the farther the story goes on. In the end you can be sure that the fire will always be carried on. (less)
“Broken Homes” is the fourth book in the so called “PC Peter Grant series”. Although I l love the well researched details for the structure of the Metr...more“Broken Homes” is the fourth book in the so called “PC Peter Grant series”. Although I l love the well researched details for the structure of the Metropolitan Police Service (also called MPS or Met) and the dry humour in which Peter uses to teach the reader in the all day red tape madness a police officer is confronted with, does the book offer hardly anything else that gets stuck. I had hopes for a further more light on the background of Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale or a sooner reveal concerning the where- and whatabouts of the Faceless Man.
The story itself rippled over the length of several chapters. Still a good read, but nothing too outstanding. Peter is his charming self and Mr Aaronovitch stays true to his writing but the entire book lacked the atmosphere of dry humour and haunting parallel London the three other books of the series showed so brilliantly. (As a hint for those who read them: The Silent People.) Outstanding in my point of view were the last two Chapters. I was glued to the pages and couldn’t put the book aside before I finished it.
I have the suspicion (and hope) that “Broken Homes” got the unloved role of a fill-in between the brilliant show-down of “Whispers Under Ground” and the 5th book that is yet to come. Although it slightly disappointed me in the dynamic of story telling, I’m really looking forward to continue reading the series.(less)
Liked it. A lot of information and stuff one (not only a dad-to-be) should think of and all the "pregnancy-and-birth"- bits explained that left even m...moreLiked it. A lot of information and stuff one (not only a dad-to-be) should think of and all the "pregnancy-and-birth"- bits explained that left even me as a woman quite often quite confused. Ocassionally written in a funny way. Sometimes maybe not that appropriate, but nevertheless a nice and informative read.(less)
In my opinion the weakest of the three "Peter Grant" books up to now. I felt a bit confused sometimes, but due to my insomnia and late-at-night-and-ea...moreIn my opinion the weakest of the three "Peter Grant" books up to now. I felt a bit confused sometimes, but due to my insomnia and late-at-night-and-early-morning reading I wouldn't blame the book alone. What left me in absolute admiration was the the description of the Quiet People. I loved it. Every sentence of it! And again I wish there had been a bit more of DI Nightingale. I adore the character and he seems to be a quite tragic figure with a huge and deep background (that is hopefully not too much a cheesy lovestory á la Romeo and Juliet in the end). In other words: I want more!!(less)
"Rivers of London" was a bit better. The writing itself was great and the humour as brilliant as in the first book. I love Nightingale and found it a...more"Rivers of London" was a bit better. The writing itself was great and the humour as brilliant as in the first book. I love Nightingale and found it a bit sad that he was not very present in this story. Already looking forward to read book #3 (Whispers Underground).(less)
Die Idee war auf jeden Fall interessant und die Charaktere sind herrlich. Eine genial geschriebene Mischung aus bittersüßer Komödie und Tragödie. Mit...moreDie Idee war auf jeden Fall interessant und die Charaktere sind herrlich. Eine genial geschriebene Mischung aus bittersüßer Komödie und Tragödie. Mit viel Witz und wunderbar überzogen gezeichneten Klischees. (less)
It is not just another "Zombie Apocalpyse Survival" book. It is a journey. Dark and sad and depressing and there is indeed little hope. It comes and g...moreIt is not just another "Zombie Apocalpyse Survival" book. It is a journey. Dark and sad and depressing and there is indeed little hope. It comes and goes but always lurks in the background. (less)
Stellenweise wiederholt Mr Bowen sich, aber das tut der wunderbaren Geschichte selber keinerlei Abbruch. Ein ungewöhnlicher Weg, Hoffnung wiederzufind...moreStellenweise wiederholt Mr Bowen sich, aber das tut der wunderbaren Geschichte selber keinerlei Abbruch. Ein ungewöhnlicher Weg, Hoffnung wiederzufinden. Und einfach wunderbar zu lesen.(less)
Love it. Absolutely. I can't claim that I fully understood every innuendo but I admire the words and the atmosphere Eliot created with them. Breathtak...moreLove it. Absolutely. I can't claim that I fully understood every innuendo but I admire the words and the atmosphere Eliot created with them. Breathtaking and simply genius.(less)
Ich liebe den Schreibstil von Christoph Marzi. Wenn ich mehr Geld hätte, würde ich mir alle seine Bücher sofort ordern und verschlingen, aber leider v...moreIch liebe den Schreibstil von Christoph Marzi. Wenn ich mehr Geld hätte, würde ich mir alle seine Bücher sofort ordern und verschlingen, aber leider verrennt sich der gute Mann etwas. "Phantasma" war sehr schön zu lesen, sehr dicht und intensiv, aber es fehlte ein wenig.. Substanz. Wer das Musical nicht kennt oder an sich nicht unbedingt vorhatte, es sich anzusehen, der steht irgendwann etwas auf dem Schlauch und es ist zwar eine sehr krasse Atmosphäre, die Marzi erschafft, aber der Stil gleitet stellenweise schnell ins Eintönige ab, gerade, wenn die dichte Atmosphäre einmal nicht ganz so stark gehalten werden kann. Aber ich werde auch weiterhin jedes seiner Bücher mit Ungeduld erwarten und kaufen und lesen :)(less)