Thursday 26 December 2013

Death Surge by Pauline Rowson

Death SurgeDeath Surge by Pauline Rowson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this a difficult book to rate. In the end I have decided on 4 stars as it merits more than 3. DI Andy Horton the main character in this Portsmouth based police detective story, has a background which is not fully explained as this is the most recent in a series of mysteries by Pauline Rowson. The story line is based round the sailing fraternity on the south coast and how sailing is a major part of their lives, and are willing to kill for it. One of Andy Horton's colleagues nephew goes missing and starts an investigation that has a growing body count.

Overall this is a good story but is slow to gather pace with the detectives guessing rather than working with solid clues. It does speed up concluding well. Lingering in the background however is the thread from the series which is not answered or even makes much progress, this could have been handled better. Otherwise a good book.

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Tuesday 17 December 2013

Paris City of Night by David Downie

Paris City of Night: A Jay Grant ThrillerParis City of Night: A Jay Grant Thriller by David Downie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jay Grant son of a CIA agent is a journalist turned photography historian / expert uncovers some strange happenings, his journalistic instincts take over, and starts to investigate, drawing himself and girlfriend Amy further and further into danger. Set in Paris this spook thriller has the feel of actually being set in Paris a hundred years earlier. The description and detail of early photography creates this effect, even although the mobile phone and other present day devices are ever present. This is a book you have to work at, as the action does not really grip you until well into the second half. Overall it is an okay book but, could have been much better with less photography lesson and more action.

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Sunday 15 December 2013

Top 5 Books of 2013 by Basingstone Book

As a new reviewer at the beginning of this year I have found it difficult to select my top 5 books of 2013. My list is simple, it is the books I have read, and the top 5 are the best, as they offer what I want in a book. They must have entertainment in abundance, they must keep you involved and most of all it cannot be a chore to read. All of my top 5 meet this criteria easily and in my reviews they have been awarded either 4 stars or the rare 5 stars.

I have great admiration for the authors, as I find it difficult to write an interesting page, they write hundreds and most of the time it all makes sense. So here is my personal top 5 of 2013 in reverse order.

5. Deep Deception by James North

This is an excellent thriller by James North, in my headline on retail site review I used " Climate change extreme measures". With all the Greenpeace protests in the Russian polar regions it is a very topical subject and highlight real world problems that need to be addressed. Read my full review

I must mention however the book pushed to number 6 by Deep Deception. The German Suitcase by Greg Dinallo was very good and only just missed out on the top 5. Review

4. Target Churchill by Warren Adler

Transported back to a post war era this book so well written you would think it was a historical novel. The title hides nothing, this is about an attempt to assassinate Winston Churchill. The author also explores relationships in politics and tough times. Read my full review

3. Critical Reaction by Todd M Johnson

Todd M Johnson has produced an outstanding story of the nuclear clean up of a old plutonium factory a relic of the cold war or is it? A worker starts litigation against a corporate giant for over exposure to radiation, calling on an old college friend to help. The author has done a great job in keeping technicalities easy to understand allowing concentration on the story that unfolds. This is a superb thriller. Read my full review.

2. Vanishing Trail by Stephen Kosa

When I wrote my review for this book I said it was one of my fastest reads ever and this is still the case. The writing is excellent everything is connected and not a piece of flab in sight. I was hooked from the very beginning and was entertained throughout with believable characters, sound plot and twists and turns to the end. Read my full review.

1. Excessive Entanglement by Nick d'Arbeloff

Star Trek and The West Wing what could be better? This book combines two my favourite TV shows with a storyline of colonisation of a distant world.  Nick d'Arbeloff  has obviously researched his material well, as all the future events fit well with the Sci-fi we all love. The politics highlights the many problems of mixing religion with anything requiring collaboration across communities and borders, very relevant today and in the future. Read my full review.

Congratulations to Nick d'Arbeloff for getting my number one choice, it is thoroughly deserved. I hope next year will produce at least the standard as this year which I have enjoyed enormously. Thanks to the authors, publishers and Netgalley for supporting me in this first year as a reviewer.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Deep Deception by James North

Deep DeceptionDeep Deception by James North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Environmental issues are never far from the headlines, with real life stories like the Greenpeace protest in the Russian polar region. James North now brings us an excellent thriller, which has our environment central to the storyline, is combined with corruption, greed and of course Deep Deception. Caroline Dupre's husband, the head of a worldwide organisation he founded, is killed during a climate change protest in Kuala Lumpur. Is it just over zealous police efforts in crowd control or is it something more sinister? This is the start of a challenge for Caroline to find out who and why her husband Francoise was killed. Pulled into a clandestine world surrounding climate change and it supporters and detractors. Can she find out what exactly happened without endangering herself and son Nicolas?

This is a very fast moving entertaining thriller, highlighting some of today's real issues but with some fantasy attached. I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers.

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