Friday, 31 October 2014

Book Review: Murders Most Foul by Alanna Knight

Murders Most FoulMurders Most Foul by Alanna Knight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up for 99p at a Works sale, not really expecting much. It was set in Victorian Edinburgh and being a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Ripper Street I thought I would be my kind of thing.
We follow young DC Jeremy Faro, recently promoted as he and his colleagues investigate the case of a dead prostitute. She's been strangled and beneath her cold body is a playing card, the nine of diamonds.
His sergeant isn't convinced, but Faro believes the card is significant and when the victims start piling up Faro follows the case to Glasgow and Lumbleigh Hall where his 'lady friend' Lizzie is working as the lady's maid.
With maids gone missing, emotional vicars and suspect perfumers, the case has more twists and turns than a French plait. The characters are believable, fleshed out and the language used is appropriate for the time period. I felt like I was swept back in time and I only worked out who the murderer was before Faro did, and even then, I didn't know all of the motives.
Once it got going I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to read the rest of the Jeremy Faro series and the other books Alanna Knight has written.

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Book Review: St Patrick's Gargoyle by Katherine Kurtz

St. Patrick's GargoyleSt. Patrick's Gargoyle by Katherine Kurtz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

For some reason this took me an age to read. It was recommended by my Aunt and as I hadn't read a quirky light hearted fantasy in a while I thought I'd give it a go.
The story centres around Paddy, a gargoyle at St's Patrick's in Dublin. He's quite a character, funny in some ways charming. I've never read a book from the point of view of a gargoyle, so that was quite interesting.
As soon as the book starts we're whisked off on a chase through the Dublin streets. Paddy enlists the help of Templeton, an elderly gentlemen with a mint condition Rolls Royce, to track down the thieves who have stolen the church's silver.
Their friendship blossoms, and leads Templeton (a Knight of Malta) down a path he never thought possible.
It's a cute little story, with some nice characters and a unique perspective, but I was never grabbed. Reading it wasn't a chore, but I didn't hunger to read the next chapter like I have with other books. I may read more of Katherine Kurtz in the future, but I'm in no rush.

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Monday, 6 October 2014

Book Review: Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist

HarbourHarbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can't really say why I took me soooo long to finish this book. Maybe working on a play and starting university didn't help.
I first heard about The Harbour in Vogue when it was a recommended read. I've always been a fan of Nordic Noir and thought this sounded intriguing. I'd not read or watched Let The Right One In, but I knew it was held in high esteem, so I looked forward to reading something by the same author.
John Ajvide Lindqvist has been described as Sweden's Stephen King and I get the comparisons. He creates interesting believable characters with heart and a story. Characters that you want to have a happy ending. But also, like Stephen King, the ending was rather ambiguous, which is a thing of frustration for me. I would rather have a definite ending with everything tied up neatly and some sense of closure which this did not have.
I particularly liked Simon, and enjoyed reading about how he came to be on the island. The story flits between the past and the present which gives the book depth and perspective.
I suppose the main thing that was disappointing for me was the pace of it. I found it incredibly slow. I've read books of this size before and I've managed to whip through them with speed, but as I said, there was no 'pull' in this novel. Some books I can't wait to read every night but I was simply not bothered with this one. I don't always mind the 'slow burner' but I found that I wasn't always concentrating and therefore would have to re-read certain sections.
Overall I enjoyed this book, but next time I read John Ajvide Lindqvist I think I will pick something a bit shorter.

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