Thursday, 31 January 2013
Dominic Streatfeild - Cocaine: An Unauthorised Biography (2001) (4)
Erica Spindler - Watch Me Die (2011) (4)
Twenty Major - The Order Of The Phoenix Park (2008) (2)
Anthony Neil Smith - All The Young Warriors (2011) (5)
Austin S. Camacho - The Payback Assignment (1999) (3)
Duane Swierczynski - Fun And Games (2011) (4)
Linwood Barclay - The Accident (2011) (4)
Martin Amis - The Pregnant Widow (2010) (3)
Jo Nesbo - The Bat (2012) (4)
Joe Clifford - Choice Cuts (2012) (4)
Lawrence Block - The Sins Of The Father (1976) (4)
Ed Lacy - Room To Swing (1957) (4)
Marcus Sakey - At The City's Edge (2008) (2)
Deon Meyer - Blood Safari (2008) (5)
Chuck Palahniuk - Survivor (1999) (3)
Well January certainly had quantity if nothing else - 15 books read.
A few disappointments in particular Sakey's At The City's Edge and Twenty Major's Phoenix Park.
My first taste of Jo Nesbo and a re-read of the first Scudder book from Lawrence Block; both above average. As was Swierczynski, Spindler and Streatfeild.
A toss up for book of the month between Neil Smith and Deon Meyer, but I'll give Smith the vote because of the Somalian location. Both amazing reads though and highly recommended.
January book of the month - Anthony Neil Smith - All The Young Warriors
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
EMMA LE ROUX believed her brother died twenty years ago, until she sees him on the news as the prime suspect in the brutal killing of four poachers.
As Lemmer and Emma join forces in pursuit of the truth, it soon becomes clear that someone is willing to do whatever it takes to stop them.
When that someone tries to murder them both, Lemmer is forced to step out of the shadows for the first time in his life.
I must admit, I had minimal expectations when opening this up. I previously read Meyer’s Trackers back in the middle of 2012, and whilst it was enjoyable, I sort of had the feeling that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have, particularly when looking around the web at other bloggers reviews. I couldn’t shift the feeling of “is that it?”
Benny Griessel – series
1. Devil's Peak (2007)
2. Thirteen Hours (2010)
3. 7 Days (2012)
Dead at Daybreak (2000)
Heart of the Hunter (2003)
Blood Safari (2009)
Monday, 28 January 2013
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Clifford’s debut short story collection Choice Cuts mines the fractured territory of the marginalized, misanthropic, and short-changed. From morally bereft television producers desperate for a hit, to veterans suffering psychotic splits, Clifford delves into the madness and desperation that plague those living on the edge, while never surrendering the search for the light that guides us all. In these fast-paced, hard-hitting tales of ne’er-do-wells, addicts, and gangsters, two predominant themes emerge throughout the collection: human life frequently reduced to little more than pieces of meat, and the bad choices we often make to escape that fate, however good our intentions.
Echoing the pulp past of Thompson and Keene, with the sardonic worldview of Caulfield and Durden, Clifford’s style is lean, mean, and unforgiving.
Joe Clifford is the producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. His work has appeared in Big Bridge, the Bryant Review, the Connecticut Review, Drunken Boat, Fringe, Opium, and Word Riot, among others. Joe’s writing can be found at www.joeclifford.com. His novel Wake the Undertaker will be out later in the year.
1. The Sins of the Fathers (1976)
2. Time to Murder and Create (1977)
3. In the Midst of Death (1976)
4. A Stab in the Dark (1981)
5. Eight Million Ways to Die (1982)
6. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (1986)
7. Out on the Cutting Edge (1989)
8. A Ticket to the Boneyard (1990)
9. A Dance at the Slaughterhouse (1991)
10. A Walk Among the Tombstones (1992)
11. The Devil Knows You're Dead (1993)
12. A Long Line of Dead Men (1994)
13. Even the Wicked (1996)
14. Everybody Dies (1998)
15. Hope to Die (2001)
16. All the Flowers Are Dying (2005)
17. A Drop of the Hard Stuff (2011)
Monday, 21 January 2013
HARRY IS OUT OF HIS DEPTH.
Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can.
HE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO GET TOO INVOLVED.
When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry.
HE MIGHT JUST BE THE NEXT VICTIM.
Appearing in English for the first time, The Bat is the legendary first novel from the worldwide phenomenon Jo Nesbo.
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
4 from 5 at a push - insofar as it was better than a 3.
Sunday, 13 January 2013
NUMBER OF ACCIDENTAL DEATHS PER YEAR
By suffocation: 3,300
By poisoning: 8,600
STAGED BY PROFESSIONALS: You have no idea.
Ex-cop Charlie Hardie's latest job is guarding an isolated mansion in LA's Hollywood Hills. But it comes with an unwanted guest - a D-list actress who says she's being hunted by professional hitmen.
Charlie thinks she's just high and paranoid.
But he's wrong.
The killers are real.
They've tracked her to the house.
And they're not letting anyone out alive.
The first in a trilogy starring Charlie Hardie. Fast, frenetic, funny, plenty of action, likeable main characters, likeable supporting characters, slight stretch of the imagination to "buy" the plot - but isn't all fiction just made up words? Fantastic interplay between Hardie and Mann, the main adversary.
I read it in just over a day, which would have been quicker if life hadn't interfered.
The most enjoyable of his books to date, having previously read Secret Dead Men, The Blonde, The Wheelman and Severance Package.
I'll keep an eye out for the series follow-ons as this was a real blast.
4 from 5
Bought new last year from somewhere or other, Buzzard Books in town maybe.
Friday, 11 January 2013
I picked up over on the Crimespace website that the author was offering this over the new year for free on Amazon kindle, so being the cheapskate that I am downloaded it, even though the numbers of books in various formats I have to wade through is somewhat ridiculous.
It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but by no means the worst either. There's a decent enough plot, which moves at pace. The two main characters are likeable enough, but I'm not moved sufficiently to abandon all book-buying restraint in my haste to read the next two installments in the Stark and O'Brian series.
I read it in just over a day, which wouldn't happen if I wasn't enjoying the book. On the whole decent and engaging but not something that will stay with me for a long time, invading my thoughts at odd moments. I had a slight problem with the characters reactions to getting things on together, which probably tempered my overall score.
Camacho has written another series of action books of which I have the first - again an author kindle giveaway on Amazon. I'll get to it at some point in time - The Troubleshooter (Hannibal Jones Mystery Series).
3 from 5
Acquired through Amazon UK kindle for zilch.
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
"a brilliant book, possibly the best novel of the year."
– Les Edgerton
Winner of the 2012 Spinetingler Award for Best Novel: Rising Star
The investigation grinds to a halt when he discovers that the young murderers have fled to Somalia to fight in the rebel army. He's at his wits' end until the father of one of the boys, an ex-gang leader called Mustafa, comes looking for answers. Bleeker and Mustafa form an uneasy alliance, teaming up to help bring the boys back home.
But little do they know what Somalia has in store for them.
I've read a few of Neil Smith's books previously; Psychosomatic, The Drummer and most recently the slightly disappointing Yellow Medecine - albeit a few years ago now. After that disappointment, I've steered clear of his subsequent books until now - if this book is indicative of his latest output, it's been my loss.
From the off Smith grabbed my attention and never let it go. The first scene has 2 cops hauling over a couple of Somali-American boys driving erratically in the snow. The encounter ends badly for the cops, one of them the pregnant girlfriend of Bleeker another cop.
Monday, 7 January 2013
Well, this started off in promising fashion – entertaining and amusing in places.
The resolution of the murder/Folkapalooza palaver..........well who cares?
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Another second-hand book purchase from Willen Hospice! (Not many authors get rich from me reading them! I’ll try a new one next time!)
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Another aim is to actually stop buying more books at least until I get a handle on how many old books I actually have, which at the minute is kind of difficult because after getting evicted from my study earlier last year in the interests of peace and harmony in the Keane household, all the books kind of just got lobbed up into the attic. They need sorting and at least some semblance of organising which is a mammoth task that will surely eat into my reading time. At a guess there are 2000 or so which just means it isn't sensible to acquire any more, not when there is about 20 years material in place already. And to be honest I must have seen some potential in each and everyone of them or I wouldn't have acquired them in the first place. Instead of going cold turkey completely, I will allow myself the opportunity to acquire 1 book a month. On that basis I should reduce the stockpile by a 100 or so come the end of this year. I have a bit of a dread of turning into Mr Trebus of Life Of Grime infamy, where in 15 or 20 years time I'll be buried under piles of books and paperwork.
If I add a "books acquired" tab to my blog, I can track the acquisitions and see if I'm exercising some control over my compulsive purchasing. At least allowing myself 1 a month, I can still inject some new blood into my library.
Within my monthly read, I shall endeavour to read some Scandinavian crime - 1 a month shouldn't be beyond me.
In addition to the disordered books, I have tons of "printed" e-books, e-zines articles and general clutter which I shall try and reduce by a couple a month. If there a 100-odd page magazine that I read cover to cover, well I'm the one keeping score so it will count towards my total.
Clear the started-never-finished pile, which I have down to about 3. Get caught up with my wife and then I can enjoy my own choice of books, though I may try and maintain tabs on my son's reading also. He's 18 soon and only reads a book every 3 months or so which shouldn't be too hard.
Catch up with a few authors, whose books I had previously read all of, but who subsequently sneaked a couple out that I haven't got to..........Michael Connelly, Duane Swierczynski, Anthony Neil Smith, Pearce Hansen.
As I don't have a kindle, only a reader on my pc, I need to clear down the books stored on my laptop, because I just don't want to read this way. There's maybe 15 or 20 on there, so these will go at about 2 a month hopefully.
In summary, hopefully to read some decent stuff this coming year, and try and get a bit healthier.
So start running again, eat better and lose the 3-4 stone that has crept on since I was a skinny beast of a man 25 years ago. Hey, I'll even allow myself a book treat for every half stone I lose - and I won't cheat. Target say 12 stone 7lb by the time my 25th wedding anniversary comes around in July. Perhaps I'll even look something like the man my wife married, apart from the thinning silver thatch with the 50pence piece sized chunk missing at the back and the reading glasses!
GOOD LUCK FOR 2013!