A welcome return to London for Walter Day and his murder squad, with a great twist on what really happened to Jack the Ripper thrown in for good measuA welcome return to London for Walter Day and his murder squad, with a great twist on what really happened to Jack the Ripper thrown in for good measure. Really enjoyed this!...more
I didn't enjoy this as much as Matthew Reilly's previous books. It is a bit of a departure from the norm for him and some of the issues dealt with areI didn't enjoy this as much as Matthew Reilly's previous books. It is a bit of a departure from the norm for him and some of the issues dealt with are quite graphic. The basic story is a simple murder mystery, but setting it during a 1536 chess tournament was interesting! Looking forward to seeing what the "China book" is all about, hopefully back to the usual fast paced madness we know and love!...more
My previous attempt at a Neil Gaiman was a disaster. I tried American Gods, didn't have a clue what was going on, and abandoned the book on a WindermeMy previous attempt at a Neil Gaiman was a disaster. I tried American Gods, didn't have a clue what was going on, and abandoned the book on a Windermere to Bowness boat trip! This was more of a young adult book. Obviously I have found my Gaiman level, because I enjoyed this one. A little boy's family is murdered, but he wanders out of the house before the killer gets to him. He goes up the hill into the local graveyard where he is adopted by the ghosts there. He grows up among the gravestones, and apart from an unsuccessful attempt to attend school, he does't leave the confines of the graveyard his whole life. But the killer is still looking for him and finally tracks him down.......... Good characters, and enough to keep adults entertained as well as kids....more
**spoiler alert** I wanted to like this book. I have enjoyed all the Jackson Brodies and also Human Croquet, but unfortunately I found this book a bit**spoiler alert** I wanted to like this book. I have enjoyed all the Jackson Brodies and also Human Croquet, but unfortunately I found this book a bit of a drag. Ursula Todd is born and instantly dies. Ursula Todd is born, lives a few days and dies. Ursula Todd is born, lives a bit longer then dies. As she gets older, each time before dying subtle changes in her behaviour prevent the incident which caused her to die so she survives but dies a bit later. This happens over and over. In the end she is getting flashes of deja vu so that she is consciously changing her behaviours as she has premonitions that something bad is going to happen. But we never find out which is the true story of her life. Does she go to Germany and meet Hitler or not? Does she have a child or not? I felt the book was almost like the author had a story in her head about Ursula, but couldn't decide on which one to write so she just wrote all of them! With no satisfactory ending to any of them - except the very last one - but was that really an ending?
I read this book because it was mentioned on The Readers podcast and was their next book club book. I tried to finish it yesterday so I could post a qI read this book because it was mentioned on The Readers podcast and was their next book club book. I tried to finish it yesterday so I could post a question for the author who is being interviewed for the podcast this evening. However I think I may have rushed through it. There is a lot to this book that I may have missed.
At school I took O level English Language, so I am good at spelling, grammar and where to put an apostrophe! However I didn't take English Literature (I went down the science route) and as a consequence I think my reading is a bit superficial. My favourite books are crime or thrillers or anything with a vampire in it. There's usually a murder at the beginning, and you either know who did it but have to see how the police find out who it was, or you don't know who did it so you try to work it out from the clues. And at the end you have a nicely wrapped up story. Job done!
This isn't one of those books. It is haunting and atmospheric and "literary". Set on a strange island which nothing from the modern world has reached, men come from the mainland to trade with the islanders. There is no electricity or mod cons, the women knit, or sew and the men fish to trade for food, and the island has it's own form of justice in a building called The Thrashing House. No-one comes out of the Thrashing House alive, and they are usually transformed into something that represents their crime or personality when they were alive.
When some of the young boys on the island go missing the women accuse their men of trading the boys with the men from the mainland, but Mary doesn't believe that this is what happened to her brother Barney. Another girl, Morgan, lives with her strange family and mentally unstable mother, in a house surrounded by a 13 foot high fence and is never allowed to leave the house as her mother fears something bad will happen to her. Morgan believes that real life is like a fairy tale and one day she will be rescued, but she still tries to escape.
I really wish I could describe what happens next in the book better, but I'm not really sure I understood it myself. There is a magical element, ghosts and the forgetting herb, and strange ropes that turn into snakes. At the end of the book I wanted a bit more explanation of what happened to some of the characters. And parts which I wondered why they were there at all like the character of Valmarie and her seal skin, very odd.
I look forward to listening to The Readers podcast and the chat with the author to see if she can shed any more light on it for me! ...more
This is the sequel to Rivers of London and I did enjoy it but it maybe wasn't quite as good as the first one. Interesting concept though, and you getThis is the sequel to Rivers of London and I did enjoy it but it maybe wasn't quite as good as the first one. Interesting concept though, and you get a bit more background on some of the characters from the previous book....more
A friend of mine recommended this book to me over two years ago, and I wish I'd gotten round to reading it sooner. I don't know what I thought it wasA friend of mine recommended this book to me over two years ago, and I wish I'd gotten round to reading it sooner. I don't know what I thought it was about when I put it on my wishlist all that time ago but I wasn't expecting what I got!
Sort of similar to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files its main character is Peter Grant who is a London bobby coming to the end of his two year probation period and wondering which department of the Met he will end up working in. Arriving at a crime scene he bumps into a ghost and next thing he knows he has been seconded to be become apprentice to the force's only wizard.
He needs to learn quickly in order to solve the case of several grisly murders in the city, which are being perpetrated by some kind of vengeful spirit. In the meantime he also has to placate the potential war brewing between the two river gods of the Thames.
There were some quite diverse characters in the book and I'm looking forward to finding out more about them in the subsequent two books. I think there is a lot more to know about Nightingale, Grant's new guv'nor.
Although it is about a wizard it is definitely not Harry Potter for adults. Yes there are some spells but there are no magic wands or capes or games of Quidditch. This is firmly set in the real world of London, and its unknown goings-on!...more
Hmmmm, This book was suggested to me as something similar to Matthew Reilly. I'm afraid it didn't live up to my expectations. Although MR books are crHmmmm, This book was suggested to me as something similar to Matthew Reilly. I'm afraid it didn't live up to my expectations. Although MR books are crazy, they do flow very well and you get involved with the characters and their lives. I found that I didn't know anything about the characters in this book by the end. There was no motivation for the baddie to be a baddie apart from that he was a "psychopath".
The fight scenes were quite engrossing but sometimes clunky e.g. "the second shocktrooper did x..., the first shock trooper did y..... then the second shocktrooper did z......."
Also, it's probably me but I found the concept of the vectors and turning on the codes etc a little confusing.
The concept of "super soldiers" was good though, with implanted thoughts making them do things, and that this was starting to go wrong.
I think a bit more editing and fleshing out of the characters and this would be a book I'd enjoy more....more
I kept putting off reading this as you shouldn't mess with a classic novel such as Dracula. I really wanted to read it, but I didn't want to read it iI kept putting off reading this as you shouldn't mess with a classic novel such as Dracula. I really wanted to read it, but I didn't want to read it in case I was disappointed. I needn't have worried. This novel is set in two time periods - 7 years after the events in Dracula and also in 2010-2011. The older events are laid out in journals and letters by Abraham van Helsing and his family members, and the modern day events are in emails and texts and Facebook timelines. So it follows a similar format to the original, just updated. There are quite a few viewpoints to follow, and it can jump about a bit but the story is all building up to Dracula making a reappearance in Scotland after a hundred years of silence. He has slowly been plotting his comeback. There isn't too much bloodsucking and murder, it is more suspense and there are some great homages to the original, including a madman in a mental hospital eating flies. So if you enjoyed Dracula I think you will enjoy this. I'm sure the author's name is a pseudonym, but you never know! ...more
This is the sequel to The Yard. I really enjoyed the first book as it was set in London and was similar to the TV series Ripper Street which I was alsThis is the sequel to The Yard. I really enjoyed the first book as it was set in London and was similar to the TV series Ripper Street which I was also enjoying watching at the time. In this book, the author takes the main characters out of London into The Black Country where they have been called in to help with the disappearance of a family from a small mining town, where the houses are slowly subsiding into the mine tunnels beneath them. It took a while to get going but after about halfway the story picked up the pace somewhat and mysteries were solved and explained. I like the recurring characters in this series but I hope the author returns to London with the next book as I much prefer the atmosphere of the first one. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was quite similar to the TV show Ripper Street (UK), which I also enjoyed.
Set in 1889, a year after the Ripper murdersI really enjoyed this book. It was quite similar to the TV show Ripper Street (UK), which I also enjoyed.
Set in 1889, a year after the Ripper murders in London, a policeman is found dead inside a trunk on a railway station concourse. Newly appointed from Cornwall, Inspector Day is assigned the case, and working with Dr Kingsley (who has taken it upon himself to be the unpaid police pathologist) he tries to discover who murdered him.
There is also another investigation going on into the murder of men with beards, so are the two connected? And a child has been abducted.
Back in 1889, there was no overlap of cases, so constables dealt with lesser crimes, sergeants with missing people etc, and the newly formed Murder Squad with serious crimes at Scotland Yard, so no-one seems to connect details or even know that they exist between one crime and another.
There are some really good characters in this book, the back story trundles along at a good pace, and overall I am looking forward to the next installment....more
This was a fast paced thriller starting with the murder of a prostitute in Atlanta. The detective Michael Ormewood is paired up with an agent from theThis was a fast paced thriller starting with the murder of a prostitute in Atlanta. The detective Michael Ormewood is paired up with an agent from the Georgia bureau of Investigation, Will Trent, who is quite an odd character. We find out why as he meets up with old flame Angie Polaski who is also a cop working vice as an undercover prostitute. Also in the mix is a 20 year old murder of a 15 year old girl and the possibility that a copycat is working in the present as more young girls are found with the same mutilation. There are some twists and turns to the story, as we learn more about the main characters. There are unexpected twists at the end of parts 1 and 2 that I didn't see coming so that was good. I have book 2 in this series so I'd like to see how Will Trent's character develops as the series goes on....more
This book is set in 1891, and is about two children sent to live in their uncle's house when they are orphaned. The uncle does not live in the house hThis book is set in 1891, and is about two children sent to live in their uncle's house when they are orphaned. The uncle does not live in the house however, so they are looked after by the household staff. The boy, Giles, is sent away to school but returns after a term or so due to his delicate nature and the fact he is being bullied, but this means that a governess has to be employed to school him. The older girl, Florence, receives no education but sneakily teaches herself to read in the house's library and educates herself. The first governess meets a tragic end in the lake, so another arrives. Florence believes she may be the ghost of the previous governess and spooky things start to happen to her. She is also convinced that Miss Taylor is going to run off with her brother, but cannot allow this to happen and decides to stop her. The tension builds throughout the book, leading up to the final dramatic conclusion. Although there is a part that is not resolved, at least for Florence but the reader probably realises what it is. The only part that really grated on me was Florence's way of speaking. It was really annoying the way she converted words into verbs that shouldn't be verbs throughout. I'm not sure why the author chose to do this. Apart from that, quite a spooky old fashioned ghost story....more