I have just re-read this book, it is not quite the book goodreads has; my book is an old falling apart paper back that used to belong to my parents. P...moreI have just re-read this book, it is not quite the book goodreads has; my book is an old falling apart paper back that used to belong to my parents. Published by 'Great Pan' the cover proclaims that it cost 2'6 when new. It was printed in 1961 and has no ISBN.
This is a lovely book, after reading a lot of contemporary fiction with 'English' as a stereotype rather than as actual characters this book is very soothing in it's portrayal of characters. I think now that there is just a tiny twist of ironic commentary on the calm understated of the English, I never detected it there before.
This book feels as though one is reading historical fiction, so much so that I nearly put it on that shelf. But this was written as a contemporary book or nearly so; the references to 'paraffin lights' lighting up London's sky, the ability to travel around the world without any 'papers' (which is to us passports)and the inability of the medical profession to determine if there is any internal damage to a person lying in a hospital bed all add up to a fascinating glimpse into a distant past that is barely a lifetime away.
The story revolves around a small place in England 'Latchetts' is a small homestead that has always belonged to the Ashby family which makes it's modest living at present by breeding and training horses. Some years ago a plane crash killed the parents of the Ashby children and their aunt came to care for them until Simon, the oldest son came of age. That coming of age is a bare few weeks away, when Patrick, Simon's elder twin brother reappears. Everyone believed he had committed suicide after his parents death, but it seems the suicide note was a running away note after all. We, the readers know that Patrick is an imposter and the story at a lovely pace walks us through him coming to Latchetts and the final resolution of what really happened to Patrick Ashby all those years ago.(less)
Just re-read this one and it stands the test of time and re-reading. Like many others, I came to Charlaine Harrris via True Blood. But while I enjoyed...moreJust re-read this one and it stands the test of time and re-reading. Like many others, I came to Charlaine Harrris via True Blood. But while I enjoyed the first eight of the Sookie Stackhouse novels I really do think the 'Shakespeare's' novels are better.
The main character Lily Bard, is an amazingly well written character, ocd as a way of dealing with a horrific past her presence in the novel almost guarantees a fascinating read. In addition however there is the murder mystery, a very tidy whodunnit.
We see the town and the suspects through the eyes of Lily, who cleans for a living and by the end of the story I found I would never forget the town of Shakespeare. And as it turns out, I re-read it with pleasure.(less)
I nearly lost all respect for Charlaine Harris over this book. It is probably fine for people who have had/want/like babies. I am not into them myself...moreI nearly lost all respect for Charlaine Harris over this book. It is probably fine for people who have had/want/like babies. I am not into them myself and this book rapidly turned into a long list of disgusting things babies do. And isn't it tiring looking after a baby. And they vomit on you. And their excrement smells. And they pee on you. And you have to change nappies. And you don't get enough sleep. And they scream. And ..... Are you bored yet? I was mind numbingly bored by the time I decided to read the last page and avoid any more of this. And yes, it turned out predictably, she ended up really liking the baby and now wants one of her own. Diehard fans of baby stories will no doubt be waiting with bated breath, but I am never risking another book from this series.(less)
I have given this four stars because it was a good book. I am not sure that I 'liked' it exactly though. It was creepy as hell so it did its job, it h...moreI have given this four stars because it was a good book. I am not sure that I 'liked' it exactly though. It was creepy as hell so it did its job, it has stayed in my memory so it deserves the stars but still... creepy as.(less)
The second by this author that I have read; I read the first cold with no expectations and it surprised me favourably so I grabbed a second one from t...moreThe second by this author that I have read; I read the first cold with no expectations and it surprised me favourably so I grabbed a second one from the library. This is clearly an ongoing character with multiple same-but-different adventures. I doubt that they are very different to each other and no major insights into humanity can be expected.
What this book did deliver however was a very nicely packaged thriller which, while offering no surprises was very pleasant escapist reading. Jack Reacher, the main character is a undemanding vehicle for the reader and the story unfolds as well as any generic thriller I have ever read. I won’t rush out to read every single one (I might have when I was twenty two or so) but if I am ever in the mood for a thriller I might well reach for a Reacher. (less)
A little predictable in places, a little 'horror-ish' with no actual horror, a little 'thriller-ish' with not too much thrill. The main cha...moreIt was ok.
A little predictable in places, a little 'horror-ish' with no actual horror, a little 'thriller-ish' with not too much thrill. The main character had an ulcer that was constantly present until it went away. Do you find that confusing? so did I.
The killer is well developed; actually, the development of the killer is the high point of the novel. There is a teaser which is never followed up suggesting that the killer has a condition in which numbers assume an actual reality. I think this is a real condition associated with... is it autism? Or one of the social dysfunctions? I can’t remember and this book did not intrigue me enough to go looking.
Surprisingly good, not as ‘chilling’ ‘gripping’ and ‘compelling’ as the back cover review suggest but still a pretty good read.
The two main protagoni...moreSurprisingly good, not as ‘chilling’ ‘gripping’ and ‘compelling’ as the back cover review suggest but still a pretty good read.
The two main protagonists are well developed and emerge effortlessly as individual characters. The plot is pretty much secondary to character development, which worked well for my reading mood, the fairly moderate gore was relevant to the story, the psych part was reasonable and the finale was, if not unexpected then well executed (heh). (less)
An enjoyable bit of historical-ish, thriller-ish crime-ish reading. There is a lot of 'ish' happening in it.
The historical setting is pretty good, I l...moreAn enjoyable bit of historical-ish, thriller-ish crime-ish reading. There is a lot of 'ish' happening in it.
The historical setting is pretty good, I like the depth the author goes into about the Salem witch trials and the significant local knowledge of the historical development of the region. Often the (historical, to us) characters describe the way the city used to look and I liked that.
The 'historical' creditability phases in and out a bit, occasional (such as when a character describes someone as wearing 'panties') it is so very modern that it knocks you out of the story, but in general it is easy and fun to read.
A very heavy bow should be made in this one to the great detective Sherlock Holmes; the two main characters were so emphatically Holmes and Watson that I found it nearly impossible to remember their actual names. (less)
This is apparently one of a number of books by the same author, with the same central character, it was the first one I encountered however and I was...moreThis is apparently one of a number of books by the same author, with the same central character, it was the first one I encountered however and I was hooked.
The plot is gripping and spooky; a nasty murder has occurred at a home for troubled teenage girls; the story is haunted by strange happenings, facts that do not tie in, missing persons and mystifying events that cannot be connected, but somehow are. The whole thing weaves together into a very strong, absorbing story. The people one encounters throughout the novel are vividly described, interesting and consistently believable characters.
The main character, Joona, is a suitably omniscient and inscrutable super-cop in trouble for being to ethical. A bit stereotyped? Sure is, but that is no impediment to enjoying the story since Joona is used as a vehicle to observe and solve the crimes rather than being the central theme of the book which is a danger with that type of character.
The ending is a zinger too; unexpected in a lot of ways both in terms of the crimes and the main character that we have been following the crimes through. Read it and see!
All in all I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes a good crime mystery. As it is set in Sweden it is also a refreshing change to anyone else who is bored with the American-centricity of most crime writing. (less)