Saturday, 17 November 2012

JUNE 2012

June 2011....11 books this month

Cormac McCarthy – The Orchard Keeper

Craig McDonald – Toros And Torsos

John Harvey – Bluer Than This

Jeremy Duns – Free Agent

Michael Zadoorian – Second Hand

Brady Udall – Setting Loose The Hounds

Charlie Williams  - One Dead Hen

Dave Zeltserman – Killer

Lynn Kostoff – The Long Fall

Robert Campbell – The Junkyard Dog

Benjamin Whitmer – Pike

A more enjoyable month’s reading overall.

McCarthy and Harvey (poetry – what was I thinking of when I bought this?)....were the two low points.

McDonald, Williams and Zeltserman I’ve read previously. I would read again if the mood took me. Williams’ book was the I think the fourth and last in his Mangel series with Royston Blake, having read the previous three it ended on a high.

Campbell’s book was a re-read from someone I used to read a lot of about 20 years ago.............the old mysterious press paperbacks that used to grab me.  Plenty more of them in the attic!

Three books competing for pick of the month – Duns and Free Agent.

Blurb........ In July 1945 MI6 agent Paul Dark took part in a top secret mission to hunt down and execute Nazi war criminals. He will discover that everything he understood about that mission, about its consequences, and about the woman he once loved, has been built on false foundations. Now it's 1969 and a KGB colonel called Slavin has walked into the High Commission inLagos, Nigeria,and announced that he wants to defect. His credentials as a defector are good - he has highly suggestive information which indicates that there is yet another double agent within MI6, which would be a devastating blow for a Service still coming to terms with its betrayal by Kim Philby and the rest of the Cambridge Five. Paul Dark has been largely above suspicion during MI6's years of self-recrimination. But this time he can see his number coming up. For some it would be fight or flight time. But when you discover that everything you've taken for granted and trusted for twenty four years turns out to be untrue, and when your arrest may only be moments away, then perhaps the only option is both fight and flight. Free Agent is a twisting, intense thriller set between London and Nigeria during the height of the Cold War. It's a novel of innumerable cliffhangers, all set within a constantly evolving moral universe, and the surprises keep coming until the very last page.

Zadoorian and Second Hand

Blurb....... Richard sees treasure everywhere. In that old eight-track quadraphonic stereo, that pink granite bowling ball, or a Niagara Falls napkin holder. While most people scramble for the newest and the best, Richard searches for the odd and obsolete -- and sells it at his second-hand shop on the edge of Detroit.

Why does he do it? For Richard, junk is a way of life, a calling, and a passion. Until his comfortable second-hand life gets a first-hand jolt.

Richard's mother has died, and left behind a valuable house full of packed-away junk -- including some old photos that will change everything Richard thought about his parents. And then there's the hip, thrift-attired woman who comes into his store with more than junk on her mind.... Suddenly some very unexpected things are entering Richard's life, including some surprising revelations about love and loss -- and what's really important in life.

With an unerring blend of the comic and the poignant, Michael Zadoorian has written an unforgettable novel about knick-knacks, garage sales, romance, and the bonds we form with people and things -- the perfect story for anyone who has ever loved something second hand.

On the basis that it didn’t quite reach the heights attained by The Leisure Seekers, pick of the month is

Lynn Kostoff – The Long Fall

Blurb...... At once authentic and flip, by turns wildly funny and deadly serious, as riveting as it is inventive, The Long Fall twists sibling rivalry inside out and sets the conventional crime novel on its head. In sunbaked Phoenix, Arizona, this never-predictable tale tosses into its antic mix a dead father, his two sons—one a small-time ex-con with a consistent genius for sabotaging his own best interests, the other a straight, uptight solid citizen with a moneymaking chain of dry-cleaning stores and a restive ex-stewardess of a wife named Evelyn—and a sicko cop with a twisted worldview. Recently released from prison—twenty-four months for possession of a truckload of black-market saguaro cacti—and in deep debt to an unforgiving crank dealer, Jimmy Coates returns home only to discover that his brother has cut him out of his inheritance. A not-unjustifiable desire to settle old scores and new sends Jimmy on a robbery spree that wipes out four of his brother’s dry-cleaning establishments. But when he finds himself tumbling for a mutinously sexy Evelyn, the impulse to vengeance reverses itself. Unwittingly, however, Jimmy has already set in motion a series of dangerous consequences—adultery, blackmail, love, betrayal—that culminate in a blueprint for murder. And it could be Jimmy himself who is taking the long fall.



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