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Saturday September 30, 2017

Books in September

  • The Late Show by Michael Connelly
    BOM-TheLateShow.jpg Excellent new book with a new heroine in new territory. There is always great customer resistance to new things - and often a great temptation to respond to the new by comparing it unfavourably with the old. However I find that that Connelly - and other authors with long-standing links to a specific fictional creation - seem newly inspired in their writing when introducing new characters. A fresh approach leads to new plot possibilities and overall better writing. In fact, even with the familiar "old" characters, he has continually altered their personal and working circumstances in order to avoid any staleness in the writing.
    A great success here I believe and I'm looking forward to reading more about Detective Renée Ballard.

  • Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre [read by Angus King and Scarlett Mack]
    BOM-BlackWidow.jpg This is another excellent Jack Parlabane story which is described as being: "unconventional in structure" (not so much), "deftly plotted" (definitely), and having a "surprise ending" (quite so - although I did realise quite early on that things might not be pointing exactly in the direction that one was meant to assume).
    When I chose it, I did not realise it was awarded crime novel of the year at the Theakston Old Peculier crime writing festival, but it is certainly a worthy winner.

  • Virtually Dead by Peter May [read by Paul Michael Garcia]
    BOM-VirtuallyDead.jpg A very interesting concept for a novel - set in a virtual reality world as well as real life. I do remember all the brouhaha some years ago around a virtual reality world with people were getting sucked in, spending all their time, and making lots of virtual, (and also real), money. This kind of thing was of little interest to me - passing fad I thought - or maybe I feared I would be one of those people disengaging with real life! Anyway, I imagined that Peter May had invented a fictional version of this in order to create his story - but now I find that it is exactly based in "Second Life" without pseudonyms or invention (although I hope and trust he invented all the scheming and criminal activity revealed in the plot).
    Now, having read about this virtual world on line, and having read the book, I am thinking May must have had lots of fun within Second Life doing his research.
    Great fun to read ( not to mention exciting).

  • The Girl Before by Rena Olsen [read by Brittany Pressley]
    BOM-TheGirlBefore1.jpg From the start I was gripped by this book, mainly because of the opening, which I initially (a few paragraphs in) thought must surely be set in a 3rd world country. However, nothing could have been further from the truth. I have seen varying reviews, many good but also criticism of the unbelievable naivety of the heroine or the general quality of writing. I think that shows a lack of imagination because the whole point of the book and writing style is to put you into the mindset of the narrator so that you get a glimmer of her restricted life and warped moral code. For me this was all pretty successful as there was a gradual shift in understanding of what this woman is and what she has been complicit in. In fact, if anything, I felt that the end game was rather less plausible than the story of the woman's life up to the point at which we join her story.
    There are a lot of "Girl" books around, including one with this same title, but unlike some of the others this one is actually more about a girl or girls rather than a woman.

  • Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery by Francis Durbridge BOM-PaulTempleMargoMystery.jpg
    Another intriguing case for BBC radio's smoothest investigator and his glamorous wife. This recording stars my favourites for the series: Peter Coke as Paul Temple and Marjorie Westbury as Steve.
    A dangerous web of lies and murder awaits the sleuth when his wife disappears. [Leaving behind just her coat with a mysterious label inside...].

Posted by Christina at 8:59 AM. Category: Books of the Month