I found this book difficult and slow to get into due to the time it took to show all the jigsaw parts of the story to readers - the amount of characte...moreI found this book difficult and slow to get into due to the time it took to show all the jigsaw parts of the story to readers - the amount of characters involved and their various locations, careers and histories.
One of the positives I have seen in reviews is that of the strong female characters. For me, that has been at the detriment of any strong male characters. The male characters have all appeared weak or stupid. This is evidenced by the sidekick of investigating detective Karen Pirie. Pirie clearly thinks her colleague is stupid and often wishes he would just shut his mouth. The two men working at the British Department of Justice don't come off any better than bumbling imbeciles.
Which, is clearly what I am, because I have never needed to use the Kindle dictionary as much with a novel as I did with The Skeleton Road. And having to do this at least half a dozen times in the first half of the novel just caused me to be thrown out of the book and back into the real world.
This was a real shame because I usually love Mcdermid's work but this time it just didn't work for me. (less)
I loved this book and couldn't read it fast enough.
The prose is clean, sharp and to the point. It conveys how the boy, known as Ben throughout this b...moreI loved this book and couldn't read it fast enough.
The prose is clean, sharp and to the point. It conveys how the boy, known as Ben throughout this book, is supposed to be. After all, he is a trained killer and he's only 16 years old. It's told in first person point of view so you know exactly what Ben is thinking as he quickly assesses information and any threats around him and whether it's the right moment to make his "hit".
The problem comes in when you see and feel that part of him that is still only a 16 year old boy. No matter how much training and conditioning he has gone through he still has a past to deal with and a present assignment to do that is difficult and emotional and brings up memories he hadn't thought about for some time.
The difference between the assassin in Ben and the emotional side is dealt with wonderfully and believably. And the conversation he has with his handler known as Mother at the end where some aspects of the assignment are pointed out to him are really clever and thought provoking.
I really enjoyed this and will be reading the next in the series.
Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy.(less)
I found this book confusing to read as there was a lot of serious backstory that was just dropped into the book when I believed this was the first in...moreI found this book confusing to read as there was a lot of serious backstory that was just dropped into the book when I believed this was the first in a series, only to later find out it is in fact a minor character from a previous book - which is where all the backstory has come from. There are deaths and murders and adoptions not even relevant to this book that are just dropped in for our information and it makes it confusing. The "humour" makes her sound like a pensioner. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid.
With thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the copy.(less)
I can never remember specifically doing punctuation at school. Well, not to any real degree of intimacy. And if I did, I must have forgotten it all be...moreI can never remember specifically doing punctuation at school. Well, not to any real degree of intimacy. And if I did, I must have forgotten it all because if you asked my the rules on colons and semicolons and that blasted apostrophe, especially after words ending with an s, well I'd be doomed. So, as a writer I though I'd better take my craft a bit more seriously and look it up.
This book is absolutely wonderful. It's small book. It's concise, to the point and easy to understand. It goes through each piece of punctuation chapter by chapter and breaks it down, explaining the rules and giving examples. It starts easy with the second chapter (the first is on why the need to learn to punctuate) being about the full stop, question mark and exclamation mark. It then goes in for the kill with the comma. Seriously. The comma. No, the rule about using the comma when you need to breathe isn't correct. Did you know there are actually four uses of the simple comma? Four!
Yes, I will be keeping this book by my laptop as I work.
It goes through abbreviations, quotation marks and quotes within quotation marks. It really is comprehensive for such a small book.
If you're a writer and you maybe want to make sure you're getting your punctuation right (and this book gives the UK and US versions) then I'd highly recommend this book. I know I will keep dipping into it every now and again just to remind myself about some of the rules. And yes, I've been very careful in the writing of this post! (less)