The waiting room at my local train station has a book case stuffed full of donated books, people are encouraged to take a book and leave a book. Idly...moreThe waiting room at my local train station has a book case stuffed full of donated books, people are encouraged to take a book and leave a book. Idly looking through the shelves I spotted this first Jack Reacher novel. I had read it when it was first published but had never bothered to reread it. With time on my hands and a long train journey ahead of me I picked it up and started reading and was immediately caught up in the world of Jack Reacher.
Reacher is having breakfast in a small town diner when he is arrested for murder. He has to be guilty because he is the stranger in town and a local could not possibly be responsible for such a dreadful crime. The twists and turns the story takes left me feeling dizzy. One of the bad guys I completely failed to spot and was shocked when he went from trusted friend to major criminal. There are lots of little descriptions in this story that make Reacher seem more real. For instance the way he listens to music in his head, his descriptions of what he listens to and how different versions suit different situations.
There is a romance in this story and somehow it feels more real than some of the relationships in subsequent novels.
I didn't want to put this book down, after a more than ten year gap from the first reading I found it had lost none of the freshness and excitement that had captured my interest originally. I will be treating myself to a reread of all the other books in this series over the next few weeks.
This audio book was a free digital download via the Guardian newspaper, it was well worth the effort to obtain it, I enjoyed every moment of listening...moreThis audio book was a free digital download via the Guardian newspaper, it was well worth the effort to obtain it, I enjoyed every moment of listening to it. It demanded concentration as it slipped between different time periods and different voices and and moment of distrction meant I had to go back and relistn as I lost track of the series. I have two more audiobooks that came via the sme offer, by John le Carre novels and am very much looking forward to listening to them.(less)
Why change the title of a novel between the hardback publication and the paperback? If Mortal Remains was considered good enough for the hardback what...moreWhy change the title of a novel between the hardback publication and the paperback? If Mortal Remains was considered good enough for the hardback what was the reason for changing it to spider bones? Actually I think spider bones is a better title but I still find the change annoying.
Also why have an elaborate, unusual accidental death to start of the story if it in no way relates to anything else that happens in the book. A simple fatal accident while swimming or fishing would have set of the action as well as the convoluted story used.
After those two main moans I have to admit I devoured this book, I was reluctant to put it down and read it in less than two days. But it does feel very much like candy floss, lovely while indulging but nothing substantial at the end. (less)
This was another of those audio books that was supposed to play in the background while I got on with other stuff but ended up demanding my full atten...moreThis was another of those audio books that was supposed to play in the background while I got on with other stuff but ended up demanding my full attention. I've been meaning to start reading sci-fi again for a while but nothing had really grabbed my attention. This book changed all that. Every time I had a few minutes to spare I would grab the iPad and start listening.
Penrose is a planet populated by robots. It is going through an upheaval with two philosophies battleling for supremacy. One side believes in individual freedom while the other believes in total contro by the state. All seem to have forgotten their origins and myths have been created to explain how and why metal became sentient.
I throughly enjoyed this book and will look out for the sequels (less)
Living in Devon I very much recognised the descriptions of the countryside. Narrow lanes with high hedges are typical of the county and I have experie...moreLiving in Devon I very much recognised the descriptions of the countryside. Narrow lanes with high hedges are typical of the county and I have experienced rain so hard that streams overflowed and cars were swept away. Knowing these things to be real made it much easier to accept the fantasy/horror elements of the story but at no point did the story really grip me. There were moments when I wondered why certain characters were important, for example the vicar's wife knocking at the door didn't really seem to add anything to the story that couldn't have been done via more established characters.
I enjoyed the story but did feel a good editing and perhaps reducing by a third would have led to a tighter, better constructed story that would have hung together better (less)
After having such a good run of interesting, enjoyable reads I suppose it was inevitable that I hit a slump. This book was the shortest novel I have p...moreAfter having such a good run of interesting, enjoyable reads I suppose it was inevitable that I hit a slump. This book was the shortest novel I have picked up in a long time and has taken me the longest time to read. I kept feeling I ought to like it but couldn't quite get myself to do so. All the ingredients were there, a small town mystery, several interesting and complex characters, short sharp and witty dialogue. Somehow it didn't quite all come together for me and I never had those 'just one more page' moments with this story. Maybe the problem was that this novel is the eighth in a series and I haven't read any of the others but I'm not interested enough to go back to the beginning and find out (less)
Petreius Russo is an army doctor in the Roman army based in Britain in AD118. He heads North, to the homeland of his slave girl, where the natives are...morePetreius Russo is an army doctor in the Roman army based in Britain in AD118. He heads North, to the homeland of his slave girl, where the natives are restless and the Romans are determined to stamp out any ideas of an uprising. Russo is asked to help solve the murder of a soldier, and prove that the man who confessed is not actually the killer he gets caught up in local politics. Tilla, his slave girl, is caught up in family reunions and seems to be about to betray Russo but some inconvenient facts show her that family is not always to be trusted.
I picked up this book hoping I had found someone who could pique my interest as much as Lindsey Davis does, in future I will stick to re-reading the Falco novels when I want to revel in a slice of Roman life. Russo and Tilla simply did not capture my imagination in the way Falco and Helena did even though in many ways they are very similar characters. (less)
The whole time I was reading this book there was this nagging feeling itching at the back of my mind that I knew the two main characters but I was cer...moreThe whole time I was reading this book there was this nagging feeling itching at the back of my mind that I knew the two main characters but I was certain I had not read the book before. The feeling was so strong it distracted me from concentrated on this story. At the very end of this edition there is the first chapter of the next story and that's when I realised I had read book 2 several years ago and Jack and Laura had made a big enough impression on me for me to recognise them again even after several years and in a different story.
Jack Garrett is a reporter and Laura McGanity a police detective both trying to solve the case of apparently random shootings of football superheros. The trail leads them back to Jack's hometown and an apparently solved murder that took place over ten years previously.
I was extremely irritated by the blurb on the front of this book which made it sound as though the killer was after their own moment in the spotlight, which would have been a completely different story. I would also have liked more background explaining how the killer acquired their skills and their weaponry.
One of the scenes towards the end of the book involving the shooter, another bad guy and the two main characters was worthy of any horror novel I've read and the images it provoked will stay with me for a long time afterwards. I'm always concerned about the potential lethalness of power tools and now I'm never going to be able to see a circular saw without images from this story popping into my head.
I enjoyed reading this book put it didn't grab me and make me want to find out what happened next. I won't actively search out the rest of the books in this series but if I spot them in the library I will be picking them up and adding them to the reading pile.(less)
I get audio books from the the library to help pass the time on the daily commute. When I find myself sitting in the car in the driveway 15 minutes af...moreI get audio books from the the library to help pass the time on the daily commute. When I find myself sitting in the car in the driveway 15 minutes after arriving home because I am totally caught up in the story and need to know what happens next then I know I have picked a good story. When I borrowed this audiobook I didn't realise it was part of a series but that didn't matter the story works as a stand alone book, although I now want to go and get all the other books in the series.
DI Jack Caffery is investigating a carjacking. As he looks into it he realises that the jacker was not after the car but wanted the passenger, an eleven year girl. A few days later it happens again. But this time it's a four yea old girl. The jacker seems to always be one step ahead of the police and no one can workout how he gets his information. Set in the west country between Bath and Bristol it was interesting to listen to descriptions of places I know.
I did work out who did it quite early on but one of the best things about this book was that it kept making me doubt myself. I throughly enjoyed this story and will be back for more about Jack Caffey et al as soon as I ge back to the library.(less)
A young girl is found murdered on a golf course. The Edinburgh police see a lot of familiarity with a recently closed case. is there a copy cat on the...moreA young girl is found murdered on a golf course. The Edinburgh police see a lot of familiarity with a recently closed case. is there a copy cat on the lose or was the crime pinned on the wrong man in the first place?
The book is the second is a series and not having read the first I found myself floundering among the myriad of different relationships. Trying to keep straight in my head who was married to whom, who was divorced and who had swapped partners left it difficult to actually concentrate on the story. Perhaps this would have been better read in the correct order. There were so many prominent characters but I didn't manage to find one who was likeable and sympathetic. This is a short novel and should have been a quick read but I often put it down and didn't pick it back up for days. Not one of my most enjoyable reads of the year.(less)
I first read this book over twenty years ago. It has remained with me ever since and this re-reading has just confirmed it as one of the best books I...moreI first read this book over twenty years ago. It has remained with me ever since and this re-reading has just confirmed it as one of the best books I have ever read. Raymond Chandler makes the English language sing. It is putty in his hands and he moulds it into sounds and shapes that captivate the imagination and send shivers down my backbone. This is one of the few times I wished I had the ebook version rather than a hardback book as so often I found myself wanting to highlight and share a sentence, a passage, a paragraph. Wanting to grab people and say 'read this it's brilliant'.
The story, what's it about? A girl approaches a private detective and asks for help in finding her missing brother. The girl and her brother are both willing to blackmail their elder sister who is an up and coming film actress whose taste in boyfriends is questionable. A lot of people end up dead. A photograph seems to hold a vial clue but who really took the picture? There are layers upon layers in this novel exploring human nature and how we chose to use others or be used by them. After everything else is exhausted this story still remains as a simple, fast paced, unputdownable read.
If you haven't read it yet go do so as quickly as you can get hold of a copy.(less)
Lizzy bakes cupcakes for a living. The best cupcakes ever tasted. She lives in a house inherited from her great aunt , in Salem. All she wants to do i...moreLizzy bakes cupcakes for a living. The best cupcakes ever tasted. She lives in a house inherited from her great aunt , in Salem. All she wants to do is have quiet life, bake the cupcakes, earn enough to pay the mortgage and write a best selling cooking book. Then into her life enters Diesel and everything turns upside down. Before she knows it she is looking after a monkey and a one eyed cat. And has discovered a power for finding things that are lost. This isn't a laugh out loud story in the way the Stephanie Plum books are but I found this a light hearted entertaining read that made a pleasant change from the usual crime fiction I seem addicted too. (less)
If you enjoy the stories about Phillip Marlowe, or any other of the "noir" detective novels then you'll probably enjoy this series. I think this would...moreIf you enjoy the stories about Phillip Marlowe, or any other of the "noir" detective novels then you'll probably enjoy this series. I think this would be difficult to follow this story if you haven't already read Aberystwyth Mon Amour as so many references hark back to the events in the first novel but it's well worth reading. I loved all the references to Welsh culture but Aberystwyth is never going to look the same again.(less)
I downloaded this book a couple of months ago and have been hesitant about starting it. The reviews I've read seemed to be divided about it. Either lo...moreI downloaded this book a couple of months ago and have been hesitant about starting it. The reviews I've read seemed to be divided about it. Either loving it or hating it. I thought the idea of a story told in the voice of a five year old seemed very odd and wasn't sure if I could actually believe the story. By the end of the first page I was well and truly hooked. This is the first book this year that has kept me up past 2am simply because I needed to know what happened next. Ma's determination to provide Jack with the best possible upbringing in the dreadful circumstances she and he are in comes across even more poignantly because Jack does not realise the circumstances of his life are unusual.
I loved this book, I'm sure it will be high on my list of best reads at the end of the year and I will be recommending it to everybody I know. (less)