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Archive Entries for April 2020

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Thursday April 30, 2020

Books in April

  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
    [read by Cathleen McCarron, Laura Kirman, Clare Corbett, Ellie Heydon, and Joshua Manning] BOM-TheHuntingParty.jpg
    From the Guardian review of thrillers at the start of 2019, this is a locked room mystery; set in a snowed-in lodge in Scotland, the characters are gathered for a luxury few days away over New Year. Although this is a tradition for them, it seems that - very true to life - they have all changed from the band of University bright young things they once were, and another dimension has been introduced over the years with partners joining in. Obviously this would have been a gradual realisation for them all but there seems to be a final clarity after the death of one of their number. Dangerous lunatic outsider? or "one of us"?
    Each character (including dangerous lunatic outsiders) is given his/her own voice, so of course one of them is inevitably the unreliable narrator.
    I am always a sucker for a "happy" ending and without too much of a spoiler - this one is fairly satisfying.

  • As I listened to this book, I felt the scenario was somewhat familiar, and I was sure it had been adapted as a radio play but can find no evidence of that. I can only think that I was confusing it with Mrs Sidhu's Deadly Highland Game - hard to believe, I know, as they are as different in style as they could be, but it's my only possible conclusion.

  • Scratch Deeper by Chris Simms [read by Becky Hindley] BOM-ScratchDeeper.jpg
    This book, once again featured in a Guardian round-up of crime fiction (from as long ago as 2012). It was the first book that alerted me to Chris Simms' books, introducing a new police character, DC Iona Khan - at this point in her career, part of Manchester's counter-terrorism unit. In the end was not the first one I read (listened to), and in fact I read the second in the series before this one, but both books were excellent, and I look forward to reading more storylines featuring DC Khan.

  • Body and Soul by John Harvey [read by Gordon Griffin] BOM-BodyAndSoul.jpg
    This author is best known for his character Charlie Resnick, and I have always meant to read some of those well-loved books - I read that he retired Resnick in 2014, so I have the opportunity to read the complete canon... However, I started on the Frank Elder series (somewhat fewer books), perversely beginning with this one which is the last in the series. I thought it did would not much matter, but found at the end (spoiler alert) that it was rather a more definite end for Elder than for Resnick. I was not overly concerned with this as I had not become attached to the character over a series of novels, and I did not feel much empathy with Elder; I am thinking that Harvey wrote this as an older man himself and perhaps would be more appreciated by older men than by me. [I remember Hess being exasperated by the cult following for Steppenwolf among the young in the 1960s, and stating it could not be understood properly by anyone under the age of 50... I might add that I am not certain it can be properly understood by anyone - but I did read it in my 20s].
    Anyway this book is a good read, as you would expect, but throughout it seems to have a rather melancholy air of something ending.

Posted on April 30, 2020 at 3:16 PM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)