I picked this book up because I'm familiar with Scott Meyer's previous work, Basic Instructions. I liked The Authorities(TM) --- it's simple, easy-goiI picked this book up because I'm familiar with Scott Meyer's previous work, Basic Instructions. I liked The Authorities(TM) --- it's simple, easy-going, and funny. Many murder mysteries out there that I've read have a good-to-passably okay plot with cardboard characters; this book has a simple plot that is enjoyable because of extremely well-developed characters. The narrator, Sinclair Rutherford, is very relatable, especially if you're a *nice* person. Ahem. :-)
All in all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to decompress with some light reading (but not too light --- there's a murder here after all) at the end of a long day.
P.S.: All the stuff about Seattle --- it's traffic and "red-blooded" people --- hits the nail on its head. If you've been to Seattle or if you live there, you've got yet another reason to like this book. ...more
I admit I'm biased when it comes to anything penned down by JK Rowling, but I never feel guilty about it because she always lives up to my expectationI admit I'm biased when it comes to anything penned down by JK Rowling, but I never feel guilty about it because she always lives up to my expectations. I never need to defend my admiration.
"Career of Evil" is the third book in the Cormoran Strike series. Compared to the first two books, this is pretty grisly. It centers around war veterans and sexual crimes. Also prominent in this book are the relationships between Robin and Strike, and Robin and Michael. Really, Robin is the star of this book. Those of us who love Robin, who has some of the nicer qualities of Hermione, will devour this book. Robin's past life has been laid bare here. We finally understand what she sees in Michael and what makes her tick. We get an idea of how Strike sees her, both as a woman and as a detective.
JK Rowling has never ever given us a cardboard character, and this book provides yet another piece of evidence that character development is her forte. I could close my eyes and imagine talking to Robin and Strike. Seriously.
There are chapters in this book from the point of view of the murderer, and I've got just a teeny bit of a complaint about them. Despite the gruesome nature of this book, some parts of these chapters were almost incongruous, simply because the murderer sounded a bit too evil --- that kind of evil suggests stupidity rather than deviousness, which this murderer was said to possess. I don't know --- maybe it's just me.
Anyway, reading this book was a pleasure, tinged with a bit of a pain --- pain, because I know I'll have to wait for around a year for the next book in this series... Hurry up, will you, Jo?...more
Disclaimer: I received a beta version of the book from the author. Here's an honest review to thank you, Susan!
"Deadly Messengers" is a very3.5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received a beta version of the book from the author. Here's an honest review to thank you, Susan!
"Deadly Messengers" is a very compelling read. Summer's ending (well, not in Australia though!) and this was such a fitting book to read at the tail end of it. It has those effective ingredients that most all good page-turners have: a protagonist whose sometimes conflicting thoughts we get to read and relate to (Kendall, a freelance writer struggling to balance making ends meet and doing the right thing), her unwilling love interest in a man who is bent on misjudging her because of her profession (Lance, a police detective), and events that have enough of a disturbing resemblance to our reality that make us wonder "what if?" (violent mass murders by people not in control of their actions).
*mild spoiler* The acts of violence are described from the point of view of the perpetrators and that evoked sympathy, despair, and helplessness in me. I wish I could just shake them hard enough to bring them to their senses.... Alas. *end of mild spoiler*
The only reason why I didn't give this book a higher rating is because I felt that it could have been a bit more... succinct. At times, I found that the characters were thinking/speaking the same thing again, just with slightly more details. I wish the banter in the book could have been a bit more sharp, but maybe that's just my personal preference.
Looking forward to reading more of Susan May's works!
"World of Trouble" excellently ends the "The Last Policeman" trilogy. Ex-Detective Henry Palace perseveres through the last days of humankind, undeter"World of Trouble" excellently ends the "The Last Policeman" trilogy. Ex-Detective Henry Palace perseveres through the last days of humankind, undeterred by injuries, exhaustion, betrayal, and hunger, doggedly investigating and jotting things down in his last notebook. In this book, instead of being other people's savior, he is on a personal mission---to find his sister and save her from the dangers of trying to save the world.
The ending of this book is simply marvelous. Few authors in this genre do what Ben Winters did, and did so well. It was a bold move. I won't give any spoilers here, but applause for the ending from this reader......more
I knew I was going to love "Lock In" after I finished reading "Unlocked" (my review, where I tried very hard not to give any spoilers,Edit: 4.5 Stars
I knew I was going to love "Lock In" after I finished reading "Unlocked" (my review, where I tried very hard not to give any spoilers, is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), and I did. It reads more like a police procedural with loads of action and quips from very interesting characters than a hard-core science fiction story. I'm a fan of both the genres, so this worked really well for me.
A little nitpick: I like fast paced books as much as anyone else, but I'm a bit miffed that the pace in this book came from favoring dialogues (albeit awesome dialogues) over any sort of description. The book almost read as a movie script in some places. Oh well....more
When I was writing the review of The Cuckoo's Calling, I had admitted to being addled by happiness; that review is effusive and flowery, and certainlyWhen I was writing the review of The Cuckoo's Calling, I had admitted to being addled by happiness; that review is effusive and flowery, and certainly something that would make Cormoran Strike wince.
Reading "The Silkworm" has made me deliriously happy again --- but this time, the 5/5 is *not* because I got carried away. It's because this book deserves it. Now that I look back with some semblance of objectivity, "The Cuckoo's Calling" is a 4/5, or maybe even a 3.5/5, but this book is smoother and richer than the Lula Landry mystery.
"The Silkworm" is dark, often gross, and startlingly explicit. Sure, there are loads of pockets of humor and normality here and there (and of course, the awkwardness of Robin/Cormoran/Matthew situation is simply adorable), but the main theme of the book is quite disturbing. Like the fashion world in Strike#1, the literary world of well-established publishing houses, arrogant famous authors, disliked wanna-be famous authors, desperate agents and their smarmy employees, was depicted in a harsh light. Being a big supporter of self-publishing, I wish the indie authors in the book were more... serious, but I'll not press this point because it's probably not the place of this book to support the indie author revolution.
Though it wasn't very hard to spot the culprit, the details of the whodunit eluded me till the very fabulous end (unlike in Strike#1). If you love books with a lot of symbolism, where figuring out the right interpretation is tantamount to solving the whole mystery, you're surely going to love this one. Of course, JK Rowling's prowess with hiding little seemingly insignificant clues all over the place makes itself known in this book very well.
I hadn't thought it were possible that I'd be able to see and feel and know Cormoran, Robin, and Matthew better than I did in the previous book, but somehow, Galbraith made it happen. The other characters of the literary world in this book were breathtakingly real too. Eagerly waiting for the next in this series... Hurry up, will you, Galbraith? :) ...more
It might be that I rated this book 5.0/5.0 because I now know that JK Rowling is the author (really, I've got to admit I hadn't paid attention to RobeIt might be that I rated this book 5.0/5.0 because I now know that JK Rowling is the author (really, I've got to admit I hadn't paid attention to Robert Galbraith), but I don't think so. I seriously don't think so.
Of course, this review might be biased because of other reasons --- I'm seriously exhilarated as I'm typing this. Happiness addles my brains.
I've always been sad about having read all of Agatha Christie's whodunnits pretty early on in my life. I even remember who did it for most of her books, so re-reading doesn't give me the same zing (though I love spotting early clues). Agatha had spoiled the genre for me.
Didn't y'all also feel overwhelmed with joy when reading "The Cuckoo's Calling"? I felt as though I'd got something on a silver platter, something I had resigned myself to live without for the rest of my life. Excellent whodunnit, and icing on the cake --- British! Nothing's better than 'em! The characters are so endearing (a bit predictable but who cares?) --- complex yet simple, so stupid in some respects and absolutely smart in others. Cormoran Strike (what an amazing name!) is exactly right for a "private dick" and Robin Ellacott complements him perfectly (though I think he wouldn't like me saying that. Or maybe he will).
Of course, this book is a tad predictable, but that does not spoil its beauty. The beauty is in character development, it's in exercising the "little grey cells" of the brain, as Poirot put it, it's in knowing that "human nature is the same everywhere", as Miss Marple put it. Details are so well presented --- and it's so nice to see how Cormoran got his clues from these details. Classic, and yet, so well done.
I'm making a lot of comparisons with Agatha Christie's work --- it's hard not to. There are many points of similarities --- British authors, book based in England, those appealing qualities that only British characters seem to have (I don't think I'd have liked an American version of Cormoran). But there are differences too, and it's not only the fact that this book is based in the modern times. I think JK Rowling did a better job at sketching out her characters than Agatha Christie ever did. Characters in "The Cuckoo's Calling" are real people --- you don't find things that they do or say incongruous.
Thank you, JK Rowling, yet again. I'm looking forward to more of Cormoran and Robin's escapades.
I wouldn't call the short stories "spine-tingling", but they were pleasant enough, if murder mysteries can be called pleasant. This short story collecI wouldn't call the short stories "spine-tingling", but they were pleasant enough, if murder mysteries can be called pleasant. This short story collection is nice, light, predictable read --- good for the end of a harrowing day. ...more
My reviews of Nora Roberts books will probably be biased. Her books, to me, are really relaxing and I read them in the same spirit some people watch tMy reviews of Nora Roberts books will probably be biased. Her books, to me, are really relaxing and I read them in the same spirit some people watch the TV.
However, this is my favorite of all her books (and I have read quite a lot of her books while my TV misses me). Some people blindly label Nora Roberts as the mushy romance writer but this particular book of hers has all the elements that make a very entertaining read.
There's a who-dun-it (not an entirely predictable one either), a romance and most importantly, a journey of self-discovery and rebuilding of a once-shattered life. This is what has my undying devotion and captures my imagination. It becomes very easy to identify with the protagonist and imagine yourself as her.
I'd definitely recommend it to all - even those who read only "highbrow" books (intellectual snobs) to Mills-and-Boon readers. :)...more