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Thursday December 31, 2020

Books in December

  • The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke [read by Will Patton]
    BOM-TheNeonRain.jpg I was fairly blown away (no pun intended) by the first Robicheaux novel I read so decided as ever to read the series. I'm guessing his first one was written with no intention of a series as it's nicely rounded off with a (fairly) happy ending - but I'm glad the author brought Robicheaux back for more.
    I am both astonished and touched by the author's descriptions of his homeland in these books. I have to say this type of descriptive prose constitutes the passages that a pleb like me will normally skip through when reading a thriller, but there is no temptation for me to do this here. If anything, I want to repeat the passages, rolling them around in my mind; they are so vivid and written with such love - it makes me want not only to visit "that" America but to be part of the landscape, being moved by the scenery as he is.

  • The Burial of Ghosts by Ann Cleeves [read by Colleen Prendergast]
    BOM-TheBurialOfGhosts.jpg This book dates from around the same time as the first Vera Stanhope novel and seems to have very mixed reviews from her fans. It made me feel that some of the dissatisfied readers may be viewing it in the light of the hugely popular Vera and Shetland series - and maybe even in the light of TV series rather than the books.
    It has a fairly thrilling plot with an unusual premise (not wholly plausible but I'm happy to suspend disbelief) and seemed overall a good read (or listen). Ann (may I call you Ann?) tends towards psychological thrillers, and has an objective way of writing about her characters; this is harder to achieve when writing in the first person so inevitably it seems like a departure from her other work. It did remind me slightly of the structure and story telling style of Chris Brookmyre (whose writing I also love) - maybe simply because it's written from a female perspective in the first person and with an unusual premise.

  • The End of the Line by Gillian Galbraith [read by Gordon Griffin and Lesley Mackie ]
    BOM-TheEndOfTheLine.jpg As usual (!) I found this author while looking at another "Galbraith" (aka J K Rowling). There were several of her (Gillian's) books on offer from the library, but I decided to start with the one that was not part of a series - in case I did not feel inclined to read any more of her work. However, no problem there; I found the book compelling both in the storyline the theme explored in the book (relating to the Infected Blood Inquiry).
    The story is told by an antiquarian book dealer who is tasked with clearing out the mansion of an elderly doctor. He comes across the old man's diary and is led to question, investigate, and understand, the real circumstances leading up to the old man's death.

  • Shifting Skin, and, Savage Moon by Chris Simms

    I've been catching up on the earlier DI Spicer novels in their written form. I may have said before that Spicer is not my favourite of Chris's characters but these made me warm to him a little more. [I would venture to suggest that the author is writing about a character more in an objective sense and one who is not like himself. I'm sure that is true of many writers since characters are made up and do not have to be autobiographical - and yet somehow I do not feel empathy or even sympathy with Spicer and I am not sure why.]

    BOM-ShiftingSkin.jpg BOM-SavageMoon.jpg

Posted by Christina at 9:23 AM. Category: Books of the Month


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