Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Book Review: The Shakespeare's Curse (Kate Stanley #2) by Jennifer Lee Carrell

The Shakespeare Curse (Kate Stanley, #2)The Shakespeare Curse by Jennifer Lee Carrell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I started reading The Shakespeare Curse several times before I actually managed to get in it enough to enjoy it and be hooked.
I'd say this is a story of two parts. The first is set at Dunsinnan, a castle in Scotland as actress Janet Douglas invites Kate to be involved in a special production of Macbeth. Events send Kate and other characters across London, through secret passageways and old museums.
As a lover of Shakespeare and of Scotland I was enthralled by the prospect of this book. But that was the problem. It never quite lived up to it's blurb.
I found many of the characters to be irritating, or unbelievable, while those I did like got killed off. In particular, Lily, the grand-daughter of the aforementioned actress. She acts so irresponsibly, and with little regard for anyone else by the end I just wanted to slap her.
The saving grace of this book is the Shakespeare, and Jennifer Lee Carrell's ability to write suspense and adventure. For those who are not familiar with Macbeth she explains the play simply, without 'dumbing down', for those who are familiar, they will love the quotations and gobbets. I also particularly liked the historical parts of the book, set in the 17th century.
I enjoyed the second part of the book more than the first, as I felt the pace speed up and things actually started moving. Stories of secret passageways, hidden rooms and long lost artifacts always excite me and this had plenty of them.
Overall, as a lover of Shakespeare, this will be enjoyed, but start with the first book, which I found much better.

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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Book Review: The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #1) by Jeffrey Deaver

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme, #1)The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read The Bone Collector after watching the 1999 film of the same name staring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, so I went in with characters already in my head, despite the descriptions in the book being different to both actors.
The other day I was discussing with a friend the different kinds of books you get, and I'm not talking genres. This book is a 'rip-roaring' read, in that, it's quick, fast-paced, full of tension and excitement. But once you've read it, it doesn't stay with you. Some of my favourite books I can remember great chunks of, I can clearly see images in my head, but this isn't the same with The Bone Collector.
I don't think Jeffrey Deaver is a bad writer at all. In fact, I think he's a great writer, for keeping up the suspense. I remember reading the book eagerly, each crime scene that Amelia Sachs processes and investigates is very descriptive and almost graphic in detail.
I also remember being surprised at the ending, which is different from the film, and the person responsible for the crimes was a shock, which I always like to be at the end of a mystery.
Overall, I enjoyed it, and would probably read some more by Jeffrey Deaver when in need of some quick thrills!

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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Book Review: Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

Silence of the GraveSilence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arnaldur Indridason is an author I discovered last year almost accidentally due to my A-Z of authors, and I'm so glad. The story opens with a toddler chewing on a bone, a human bone, which leads to the discovery of a body.
As always, the author keeps the reader gripped on every page with twists and turns aplenty. The story switches between the main character, Detective Erlendur and a family in the midst of World War II.
I personally preferred the parts about the family in the 40's. I found their story to be interesting and I felt and wanted to fight for every character. I found myself willing the mother of the family in question to succeed, to win, to stop being abused by Grimur, probably one of the most horrible characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
But similarly, the investigative side of the story and the complexities of Erlendur and his family also providing interesting reading and a longer narrative over the series of books.
As always, the setting of Iceland, creates a brilliant atmosphere. I often felt that the location in this novel was another character, integral to the plot. But the one thing that sold this book for me more than anything else, was that the identity of the victim wasn't revealed until very near the end of the book. The suspense and the genius of the author for keeping the reader interested and eager to find out who the victim was and how they were killed is excellent. I can't wait to read more by Arnaldur Indridason.

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