Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Book review: The Death of Dalziel by Reginald Hill

The Death of Dalziel: A Dalziel and Pascoe NovelThe Death of Dalziel: A Dalziel and Pascoe Novel by Reginald Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Death of Dalziel by Reginald Hill

I'm a massive fan of Dalziel and Pascoe, and have practically grown up watching the TV series. However, I didn't realise they were books until I found one in a charity shop.
It was probably the wrong Dalziel and Pascoe book to start with, but nevertheless it was brilliant. For me, Dalziel and Pascoe will always be Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan, so I had no problem picturing them. The dialogue was really well written and several times I laughed out loud, which I didn't expect to do in a murder mystery!
The characters are worth five stars, but the plot confused me. It started off with a bomb on Mill Street knocking Andy unconscious and injuring Peter. What initially was a simple case turned into something much more complicated with code names for the gang of people who were involved in the various crimes that occured through out the novel and the relationships between certain people. There were also a lot of characters to keep track of. When it finally reached the end I didn't feel entirely satisfied and had to reread the last couple of pages to make sure I understood everything correctly.
Overall a great book, but very complex, almost too complex, which why it isn't the five stars I would've expected it to be.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Book review: The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

The Return JourneyThe Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

I wanted to read something romantic and soppy and light hearted so my Mum recommended this, but it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. The writing is excellent, but some of the characters got on my nerves completely! Most of the women I wanted to shake and tell them to get a grip and to stop being so meek. All the women had dark curly hair as well, and several names crossed over from different stories which made it a bit confusing. There were a few gems in there, but the way women were represented was generally not in a good light. I wanted something giddy and a bit silly but generally that made me happy. Instead I got angry with the characters for not doing things simply because they didn't want to 'cause any fuss'.

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Book review: Fade Away by Harlan Coben

Fade Away (Myron Bolitar, #3)Fade Away by Harlan Coben

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fade Away by Harlan Coben

I love Harlan Coben, the first book of his I read in less than twenty-four hours and I love the characters of Myron Bolitar, Win and Esperanza, but there's just something that doesn't connect for me. Maybe it's because I read the Bolitar books out of order, or maybe it's because it's too Americanised. I don't know anything about basketball and I don't really care about it, so I don't share the same obvious love that the author has for it. The storylines are often also very personalised to Myron, and I have only ever read one other Bolitar book and it was number six or something.
Overall, the plot was good, easy to follow and exciting but there was no 'gasp surprise' at the end like there usually is and I just don't think these books are as good as the independant Coben books are.

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Monday, 7 March 2011

Book review: I Am What I Am by John Barrowman

I Am What I AmI Am What I Am by John Barrowman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I Am What I Am by John Barrowman

Having read Anything Goes I was excited to find another Barrowman autobiography. My only concern is that he'd pretty much covered his whole life in the first book, what was left to talk about?
However, I didn't have to worry, it was great, full of entertaining stories and memorable moments and opinions. I loved the 'table talk' sections about what the Barrowman's would discuss around the dinner table and I really enjoyed reading the lists relevant to each chapter. As always the pictures were great and the writing was high quality and a joy to read. I found myself laughing out loud and nearly crying when he was talking about his dog dying.
The only thing that got on my nerves, were the footnotes. They must have been in the other book, but this time it was annoying to keep checking down the bottom of the page. I also found him a little annoying. I love John Barrowman, I'm a massive fan of Torchwood and I know his personality, but there were some points were I felt a little sorry for his family and his partner.
Overall, four stars, not as good as Anything Goes but still a brilliant read.

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