Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Marlene van Niekerk's Agaat

Translated into English by Michiel Heyns
A paralyzed Afrikaner woman, Milla, stricken with ALS that leaves her not only mute, but entirely dependent on her Black caretaker, Agaat. She reminisces about her life, her abusive marriage, and the son she loves. In the hands of a lesser writer Marlene van Niekerk's second novel, "Agaat." would surely have descended into saccharine melodrama. Instead, with poetic prose and a perfectly pitched narrative voice, van Niekerk weaves a complex intimacy between these two women, whose lives have been inseparably bound by knots so intricate they cannot even be undone by death. Agaat's attention, at times loving and others sadistic, speaks volumes, and it is in these scenes where "Agaat" most sings, enveloped in an achingly beautiful claustrophobia and  finely rendered.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Fifth Assassin - Brad Meltzer

Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013: I consider myself a cagey reader, the literary equivalent of a wizened salmon, suspicious of fakery, wary of sloppy plotting and cliché, and ready to bail if I’m not lured in by page 50. So when Meltzer got his hooks in me by the end of page three, and never stopped reeling me in, I have to say I was impressed. I was also impressed that the hero of The Fifth Assassin (first introduced in The Inner Circle) isn’t a misanthrope cop or hard-drinking PI but a brainy archivist at the National Archives. Beecher White is a glorified librarian, for god's sake. But with a dash of Sherlock Holmes and a hint of Indiana Jones, White is a refreshingly quirky pursuer of justice, and his hunt for a would-be assassin—which takes us through history and through the secret spaces around Washington, DC—makes for a thrilling read, as well as a nice reminder that a page-turner can be smart, deeply researched, and just plain fun. --Neal Thompson

Monday, 21 January 2013

Life of Pi

One boy, one boat, one tiger ...After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

Friday, 18 January 2013


This book will make you happy, though, because of the way it is written. Most of the chapter titles will make you laugh in a different way than the next. Mr. Quick's apt use of detail, allusions, and brilliant comparisons bring the story to life. That a chapter should be called "Like he was Yoda and I was Luke Skywalker training on Dagobah" is a very precious thing. Meanwhile periodic interludes such as advice from Pat's 'black friend Danny', and even the whole introduction of the death of Veterans Stadium as a new thing, bring bits of humor just when the story may seem to be becoming sad. The author has an eye for quirks and intricacies of language and a gift for conveying them in a readable yet still emotional and romantic manner. More than just the ease of identifying with Pat, Mr. Quick's simple, declarative prose, highlighted by brief, nostalgic-filled, almost Hemingway-like sentences, reels in the reader

Monday, 14 January 2013

Patricia-Cornwell – The Bone Bed

Patricia-Cornwell – The Bone Bed
This one I read and no!  I did not like it. I don’t see the point of Scarpetta’s niece  taking over so much of the story…    When Cornwell started out her books were worthwhile now she obviously only writes to support her bank balance
A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Oliver Potzsch - The Beggar King

Oliver Potzsch - The Beggar King
Amazon Best seller for what it’s worth.
(So is Gone Girl which I casted aside after reading 20%, How on Earth could…..)
The Beggar King is the third in a series by Oliver Potzsch. The first is The Hangman's Daughter, which introduces Jakob Kuisl, the Hangman of Schongau, along with other main characters, his wife Anna Maria, children Magdalena, Georg and Barbara and the son of the town doctor, Simon Fronweiser. The second book is  The Dark Monk.
The year is 1662. Alpine village hangman Jakob Kuisl receives a letter from his sister calling him to the imperial city of Regensburg, where a gruesome sight awaits him: her throat has been slit. Arrested and framed for the murder, Kuisl faces first-hand the torture he’s administered himself for years. Jakob’s daughter, Magdalena, and a young medicus named Simon hasten to his aid. With the help of an underground network of beggars, a beer-brewing monk, and an Italian playboy, they discover that behind the false accusation is a plan that will endanger the entire German Empire. Chock-full of historical detail, The Beggar King brings to vibrant life another tale of an unlikely hangman and his tough-as-nails daughter, confirming Pötzsch’s mettle as a writer to watch.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Alice Hoffman - The Ice Queen

Alice Hoffman  - The Ice Queen
Alice Hoffman has always been a master of character development, and she continues to weave her magic in this electrifying novel. The main character, a self-punishing librarian, takes the reader on a fascinating journey of forgiveness and self-realization.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Leonard Rosen – All cry Chaos

Leonard Rosen – All cry Chaos
2012 Macavity Award Winner for Best First Mystery Novel
2011 Editors Choice for Fiction, Foreword Book of the Year Awards
2012 Finalist for Best First Novel at the Edgar Awards, Mystery Writers of America
2012 Finalist for Best First Novel, Anthony Awards, to be announced at Bouchercon
2012 Finalist: Chautauqua Prize for "a richly rewarding reading experience and... a significant contribution to the literary arts"
2012 Selection: Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, "the oldest continuous book club in America"
All Cry Chaos, a debut thriller by the immensely gifted Leonard Rosen, is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens.The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster's Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincare on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers. Together with his chain-smoking, bon vivant colleague Serge Laurent, Poincare pursues a long list of suspects: the Peruvian leader of the Indigenous Liberation Front, Rapture-crazed militants, a hedge fund director, Fenster's elusive ex-fiance, and a graduate student in mathematics. Poincare begins to make progress in America, but there is a prodigious hatred trained on him  some unfinished business from a terrifying former genocide case  and he is called back to Europe to face the unfathomable. Stripped down and in despair, tested like Job, he realizes the two cases might be connected and he might be the link.This first installment in the Henri Poincare series marries a sharp, smart mystery to deep religious themes that will keep both agnostics and believers turning pages until the shattering, revelatory end. Anyone who enjoys the work of John Le Carre, Scott Turow, Dan Brown, and Stieg Larsson will relish Rosen's story telling and his resourceful, haunted protagonist. Others will appreciate his dazzling prose. Still others, the way he bends the thriller form in unconventional ways toward a higher cause, in the vein of Henning Mankell in The Man From Beijing. In short, All Cry Chaos promises to become a critical success that garners a broad readership throughout the nation and across the globe.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Jeffrey Archer – The Sins of the Fathers

Jeffrey Archer – The Sins of the Fathers
It is only days before Britain declares war on Germany. Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of a familyscandal, and realizinghe can never marry Emma Barrington, has joined the Merchant Navy. Whena German U-boat sinks his ship, Harry and a handful of sailors are rescued by the SS Kansas Star, among them an American named Tom Bradshaw. That night, when Bradshaw dies, Harry seizes a chance to bury his past—by assuming the man’s identity

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Stephen Booth – Dead and Buried


DS Ben Cooper comes closer to death than he ever has before in the 12th Cooper/Fry case
As moorland fires sweep across the Peak District national park, hundreds of firefighters and park rangers battle to prevent flames reaching a remote inn, once a famous landmark, now abandoned and boarded up. The blaze is just one of a series of random acts of arson which have destroyed miles of heather moorland, and once the flames have died, a grim surprise awaits DS Ben Cooper and DI Diane Fry—a body, dead for years.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Allan Retzky - Vanished in the Dunes

Amos Posner has a lovely house in the upscale Hamptons beach community of eastern Long Island. But recent events in Amos’s life are preventing him form enjoying it. His employer, an international trading firm, fired him after making him the scapegoat for some shady business deals. His wife, a highly successful Manhattan lawyer, has not taken kindly to his job situation, and their marriage is under considerable stress.

Amos is spending most of his time at the beach house, alone, and not at all happy. So he is highly vulnerable when a beautiful woman approaches him on a bus – the Hampton Jitney – from Manhattan to the Hamptons and persuades him to show her around the area on her day off from her job as a psychiatric resident at a Manhattan hospital. When Amos reluctantly agrees, he gets far more than an ego boost. He gets a nightmare beyond imagination. And the cascading events could cost him more than the loss of his job and his wife. They could cost him his life.

Download link

Friday, 4 January 2013

David Baldacci - The Forgotten

When the book opens, Puller is contemplating returning to work after a brief vacation taken to recover from the events of Zero Day, when his father receives a worrying letter from Puller's Aunt Betsy, who lives in Paradise, Florida. She alludes to something dodgy going on and "mysterious happenings at night". Puller goes down to Florida to visit his aunt, but when he gets there he discovers that she has recently deceased, having drowned in her backyard in what the police have decided was an accident. Given the letter she just wrote, Puller is not convinced it was an accident and starts to investigate further. Almost immediately it becomes apparent that there is more than meets the eye to the entire affair.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

John Grisham The Racketeer

Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.

Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, one of  the undisputed masters of the legal thriller.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Tom Wolfe - The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Bonfire of the Vanities is a 1987 novel by Tom Wolfe   The story is a drama about ambition, racism, social class, politics, and greed in 1980s New York City featuring WASP bond trader Sherman McCoy, Jewish assistant district attorney  Larry Kramer, British expatriate  journalist Peter Fallow, and black activist the Reverend Reginald Bacon.

The novel was originally conceived as a serial in the style of Charles Dickens’ writings; it ran in 27 installments in Rolling Stone  starting in 1984. Wolfe heavily revised it before it was published in book form. The novel was a bestseller and a phenomenal success, even in comparison with Wolfe's other books.

The story centers on Sherman McCoy, a wealthy New York City  bond trader with a wife and young daughter. His life as a self-regarded "Master of The Universe" on Wall Street is destroyed when he and his mistress, Maria Ruskin, accidentally enter the Bronx at night while they are driving to Manhattan from Kennedy Airport
Maybe the movie was regarded as pathetic because the book was so good.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Preston and Child - Two Graves

For twelve years, he believed she died in an accident. Then, he was told she'd been murdered. Now, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast discovers that his beloved wife Helen is alive. But their reunion is cut short when Helen is brazenly abducted before his eyes. And Pendergast is forced to embark on a furious cross-country chase to rescue her.
But all this turns out to be mere prologue to a far larger plot: one that unleashes a chillingly-almost supernaturally-adept serial killer on New York City. And Helen has one more surprise in store for Pendergast: a piece of their shared past that makes him the one man most suited to hunting down the killer.
His pursuit of the murderer will take Pendergast deep into the trackless forests of South America, to a hidden place where the evil that has blighted both his and Helen's lives lies in wait . . . a place where he will learn all too well the truth of the ancient proverb:
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Download link In Kindle format


How do you trust book reviews?

You cannot believe everything you read.

Fake book reviews are rife on the internet and readers should be aware of the "fraudulent" practices of some writers, a group of leading British authors warn

Their condemnation came after RJ Ellory, the bestselling British crime writer, was exposed for using pseudonyms to pen fake glowing reviews about his “magnificent genius” online while simultaneously criticising his rivals.

.The author of A Quiet Belief in Angels and A Simple Act of Violence whose real name is Roger Jon Ellory, (not to be confused for James Ellroy) apologised for his "lapse of judgment". Sic.

Article here


But now Amazon is removing some of the suspect book reviews.

Please Note that unfortunately some of the older links may have been removed by their administrators.