I do enjoy these Ben Hope thrillers, but I am noticing a trend in a lot of suspense and detective books for a while now: the main character always seeI do enjoy these Ben Hope thrillers, but I am noticing a trend in a lot of suspense and detective books for a while now: the main character always seems to have some dark or angsty past. Can't we just have a detective/investigator who are good at their job and don't have the dark past? It's getting to be a bit of a cliche now....more
Dr. Tony Gabriel is a science writer for a magazine called Insight and most of the time he works on exposes of fraudulent cases of3.5 rounded up to 4
Dr. Tony Gabriel is a science writer for a magazine called Insight and most of the time he works on exposes of fraudulent cases of psychics, mediums and fortune-tellers. As a scientist, Tony doesn't believe there is any evidence to support paranormal activity.
After his mother’s death, however, Tony soon comes to doubt that. For there are people out there who seem to know things about him, that even Tony doesn't know. How do they know all these things? Is any of it real, or is Tony just being led up the garden path?
His mother was involved in something called the Chadwick Foundation and after her death, Tony discovers all these papers and something even stranger: a human skull. What was his mother involved in? And why didn't he know any of it before?
The book is well written and keeps up the pace. The action takes place in three time lines, the present day, 1700s France and after World War II and they all blended together well. Tony is a likeable and engaging character and the reader feels they are on the quest with Tony as he tries to figure everything out.
We have everything from palm-reading, I Ching, physiognomy, numerology and people who will pay millions to find out if any of them are true, including governments and the rich elite. But Tony's investigations haven't gone unnoticed and someone doesn't want him to find the truth, someone prepared to kill to keep their secrets.
Eve was a mysterious Femme Fatale, but I just didn't feel any chemistry between her and Tony at all, but I can't put my finger on why. They had sex, but they may as well have been sitting down to tea and eating sandwiches. I just didn't feel their attraction to each other at all.
I enjoyed the book, it was an interesting tale with lots of twists and turns that would keep any mystery fan happy, but I'm afraid the ending let it down.
The rest of the book was so exciting, leading up to something and then with the ending - it just sort of ambles along and finished. But it didn't feel finished. I was surprised when I turned the next page and the book didn't continue. It ended with a whimper rather than a bang and it left me disappointed at the end....more
Arthur Malory doesn't just share Thomas Malory's surname, he is also his descendant, and like his ancestor, Arthur too has a fascination with the HolyArthur Malory doesn't just share Thomas Malory's surname, he is also his descendant, and like his ancestor, Arthur too has a fascination with the Holy Grail.
A chemist, who works at a physicist company in Basingstoke, Arthur is also a member of a loose society of friends who also have an interest in the Grail and they call themselves the Grail Loons.
After witnessing one of the Loons' murder and almost dying himself, Arthur is set on the path to find the Grail and finish his mentor's legacy. But Arthur isn't the only person searching for the Grail and some of them have no qualms about killing to get what they want.
This book endeared me from the start, when it was revealed that Arthur worked in Basingstoke, a chemist who works for a physics company, as we live in Basingstoke and my husband is a chemist who works for a physics department! As far as I know, he hasn't had the urge to go search out the Grail, at least not yet.
Like most of Mr. Cooper's other books, the tale takes the reader from the present day to various other points in history from the Big Bang, to the time of Christ, the time of Arthur and his knights, to 1800s Barcelona and Gaudi, to the time of Thomas Malory as he writes his opus, the Morte D'Arthur. Each section blended well with the whole as you try and connect the dots and you feel as if you are on the quest with Arthur.
It was an engaging, entertaining read and I adored Arthur. He was an ordinary man put on a path to find something extraordinary and he was noble and pure of heart, as someone who would go looking for the Grail is supposed to be.
It had romance, adventure, a great plot with an interesting melding of science and faith. The book ends on a cliffhanger and at first I was disappointed at that. But as I thought about it a bit more, that was really the only ending the book could have. That ending fit the book perfectly.
I have a wee niggle, which I often do with books set in Britain with mainly British characters, but then the spelling and idioms used are American. It's jarring to me and does take me out of the story somewhat.
I read the sub-title, A Francis Bacon mystery, and assumed that there is a series of books featuring Francis Bacon. All true, but it was only as a I sI read the sub-title, A Francis Bacon mystery, and assumed that there is a series of books featuring Francis Bacon. All true, but it was only as a I started reading and realised the main character was a painter that it finally clicked. It was the Francis Bacon, famous painter and I felt rather foolish that I hadn't connected the name already.
Although this is the third in the series, it works well as a standalone novel and at no point does the reader feel out of their depth.
The book opens with Francis being threatened by his long-term lover, David, who then ups sticks and moves to Morocco. Francis has little choice but to follow, for David is the love of his life and he can't do without him, despite David's drunken outbursts and abuse. David was a war hero and the scars on his psyche are not only skin deep. Francis wants to help him, but has no idea how, and they both chase after pleasure with other men in Morocco, all if it fleeting.
At a party hosted by one of David's ex-pat friends, Richard, their host is keen to show off his newest acquisition, a Picasso that Francis realises immediately was fake. Voicing these suspicions out loud soon as Francis on the run from the police, a murderer, Soviet spies and British ones too. What has he stumbled onto it? And how can he keep David safe from all of it?
This is a wonderful, rip-roaring adventure, with lots of derring-do and stiff upper lips, as would have been the case in those days, set shortly after the Second World War. The author vividly paints the era and the locales in the book, from the hot, sultry and spicy heat of Morocco, to the grey and washed-out city of London.
I don't know much about the artist Francis Bacon and it was intriguing to find him the protagonist in a crime novel, but it worked very well. The readers knows, or gleans quickly from the book that Francis is gay, but it was not something to be discussed openly in those days, but people knew it went on. Francis' sexual encounters are hinted at, not described, but you do know they happen.
It is a very well-written novel, everything to do with the mystery gets tied up, nothing is left hanging. My one niggle was that a lot of the spelling and word choices were American, rather than British, which I would have expected in a book mainly about British characters and British set.
All in all a great read if you want a bit of adventure without leaving your armchair....more
Wonderful characters, tightly plotted novel with a secret that you may or may not have heard before revealed towards the end. It moves along at a brisWonderful characters, tightly plotted novel with a secret that you may or may not have heard before revealed towards the end. It moves along at a brisk pace and you feel you are on the adventures with everyone. Very enjoyable if you enjoy things like Indiana Jones and Dan Brown type thrillers....more
I've read a few of the Payne and Jones thrillers by Mr. Kuzneski before, and like those, this one takes you on roller coaster ride all over the worldI've read a few of the Payne and Jones thrillers by Mr. Kuzneski before, and like those, this one takes you on roller coaster ride all over the world in a race against time.
The book moves along at a break-neck speed and sometimes I needed to stop reading just to take a breath.
Payne and Jones are the stars of the show, as usual, but we also get into the minds of other characters and every one of them is fully developed and fleshed out. There are no cardboard cut-out 'baddies' here, everything twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing.
Nick Dial, the Interpol investigator gets a lot of page time in this one and it was interesting to see things from a different perspective, I really liked him and hope he'll feature in more books.
If you like a bit of action and adventure, with a lot of humour and banter thrown in, this could be the one for you.