Harry Hole (pronounced 'Hoo-leh'), is sent to Sydney, Australia, to help find the killer of a Norwegian ex-pat woman who, through closer inspection alHarry Hole (pronounced 'Hoo-leh'), is sent to Sydney, Australia, to help find the killer of a Norwegian ex-pat woman who, through closer inspection alongside Aboriginal officer Andrew Kensington, seems to not be a singular case but one of many across Australia. Harry plunges deep in to Aboriginal culture and finds himself mixing with a Swedish ex-pat woman, whilst all the time he's attempting to find a serial rapist and murderer.
This is the first of the 'Harry Hole' seiers by Jo Nesbo, but it was not the first that was translated in to English. I can see why they did that, though; this book is set exclusively in Australia, despite the fact that Hole is a Norwegian detective, with the exception of a few flash backs provided via first-person storytelling.
It's a quick and easy read with a good storyline and a nice mix of Australian culture from a tourist's P.O.V. We get a good sense of who Harry Hole is here-an ex-alcoholic who meets a beautiful Swedish girl and, despite himself, "falls in love" and finds himself teetering on the edge of the wagon. We get segments of his past and find out what kind of copper he is. There are perhaps too many references to "what the cops on TV do", but all in all it is a standard crime novel with good dialogue and twists you don't find incomprehensible.
The Beat Goes On is a collection of short stories concerning John Rebus-right from his time as DS to DI, with another story concerning him whilst he wThe Beat Goes On is a collection of short stories concerning John Rebus-right from his time as DS to DI, with another story concerning him whilst he was retired but still going at it like a good ole Detective.
Ian Rankin is sublime, even in the shorter format of storytelling. Each story is just a snippet in to both the writing style of Rankin and also the Life and Times of Inspector Rebus, Gentleman.
Each story is just a small, non-significant mystery that Rebus has to solve, some of which featured as side-plots in one of the fully-formed Rebus novels. With these stories you gain an insight in to John Rebus himself, the people he works with and against, Edinburgh and of Rankin's writing style as it is.
If you have not read any Rebus or Rankin before, this may be a good starting point, just to work out whether you enjoy his storytelling prowess, or just to see if you think Rebus will be worth your time. I can't imagine why he wouldn't be, but, you know, just in case....more
DS Logan McRae is back at Grampian Police HQ in the cold of Aberdeen after a year on the sick from being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and it's noDS Logan McRae is back at Grampian Police HQ in the cold of Aberdeen after a year on the sick from being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and it's not the best start. His first day back they find a dead young boy, with only more to come. Not only that, but the Media are baying for blood and they want Logan to co-operate; but they're not playing fair. It's a race against time before any more dead children show up.
This was a wonderful début novel. The only other crime thriller writer I have read is Ian Rankin (of course) and I wanted to address this, but didn't want to look to America for one like Cornwell. His writing style is similar to Rankin's in the sense that he couples humour and Human-repartee well with the grim forensic and policing.
Logan McRae is a very likeable character. There's nothing flat about the writing at all, but at times I felt the supporting cast were a bit dull and two-dimensional. For a début novel this is sterling stuff....more
Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner, has her holiday interrupted when a man is shot dead minutes from her own home. After careful examination, it seKay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner, has her holiday interrupted when a man is shot dead minutes from her own home. After careful examination, it seems that the person is connected to her: although it's a loose connection it's one that keeps rearing its head, especially when another body is found and connections are made to two other murders.
I do like Cornwell as a writer, but I'm starting to dislike Kay Scarpetta as a character. If Cornwell had made up a new forensic pathologist and FBI agent for every book she had written I can't imagine it would have made a difference to me with reading them: she writes very well and always holds my attention. She is highly intelligent and, from her previous jobs, knows what she's talking about. The storyline is apt and usually involves real-life events, which are always interesting to learn about. Very rarely does she veer off-course for some tangent that is irrelevant. Patricia Cornwell is a superb writer.
Scarpetta's constantly being interrupted. It's like she's the only person in the world who can work out how somebody died. Everyone else is incompetent. Nobody is telling her anything. Even her beautiful husband (for whom I have the most absurd soft-spot for ever) always keeps things from her. Another day, another psycho who has it in for her. It's getting boring, though I enjoyed that Marino told her that when they first met he thought she was cold and impersonal (slightly paraphrasing as I don't recall the precise words). I kind of feel like that's how the books are becoming.
Having said that I do love Benton Wesley far too much and Cornwell's writing is sublime. She can keep the suspense like no other and, although it is often mindless drivel spurting out of the brain of Kay Scarpetta, it is still bloody good and much better than some other people. It's more of a 2.5 out of 5 but that's more than I'd give to anyone else....more