An open discussion on what everyone is currently reading. Make recommendations to others, discuss what is new, hot, bestsellers, anything and everything related to books and the authors.

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I understand Jeffery Deaver's Bond book will be a modern era Bond.

I like my kindle. It has limitations of course but the instant download and storage overcome them.

I'm currently finishing up T. Jefferson Parker's The Renegades. It is the second in his Charlie Hood series and quite good.

Yesterday I read DEATH IN THE FIFTH POSITION by Gore Vidal under his Edgar Box pseudonym. It has to me a very dated feel, partly because of the McCarthy witch hunts but also because of the basic attitudes of the writer. The least successful part was, Vidal was writing in first person, trying to convey the feel of a heartily heterosexual man. The result is detached, ironic, and didn't feel authentic to me.

Of course detached and ironic is the tone of his novels, even the great ones, but it works there. The mystery, based on character emotions, works out like a Rubik's Cube.

Had to force myself to finish Peter Robinson’s All the Colors of Darkness. While the author displays some ability in a couple of his interrogation scenes. Wading through his continual verbose settings, irritating smug political views, and the listing of every musical CD ever published made focusing on his paltry plot difficult. I kept hoping for the plot to develop but alas it flopped. I not only did not like any of the main characters, but even worse found myself disliking Robinson’s protagonist, Blake, so that the highlight of the book came when his precious girlfriend dumped him. Two stars.


Elizabeth George, THIS BODY OF DEATH.  It's a bit of a tome.  She spins things out slowly, but manages by and large to keep you going.  Much of this is good.  Both Linley and Havers are excellent, as usual.  The plot is a tad strained, but not as much as some.

My main peeve is the moralizing.  Thake note that this book would be hugely improved without the moral judgments about why children kill.  The crime committed by 3 boys, ages 10 to 11, is horrendous in its cruelty and it's basically committed out of boredom.  Yet, George considers the boys victims of neglect by their parents and by society and proves that at least one (if not all three) grew up to be decent members of society. Little homilies are injected again and again and, being juxtaposed with the details of the murder, they just grate on the reader's sensibilities, not to mention his intelligence.

Many writers do this IJ and it turns my stomach. It ruins many otherwise good novels by insulting the reader's intelligence. I look for a writer who will just tell the story. Let the reader figure out whether it is wrong or right.

QUEEN'S PLAY by Dorothy Dunnett. Someone at the French court is trying to kill 7-year-old Mary Queen of Scots. Are they also trying to kill a prince of Ireland, or is that a side effect? And then the attacks focus on Crawford of Lymond, our Scottish hero. Book 2 in a magnificent 6-book series of deadly drama and intrigue.

Reading and loving the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny.  Starts with 'A Fatal Grace'.  Its been a long time since I read a series where I abolutely had to get the next one so I can find out what happens next to all the well-drawn characters.  Wish I could write and conceive of a story and story arc like this.


Listening to 'The Ghost Writer' by Robert Harris and read by Roger Rees.  Gripping.  Can't say more than that.  Another how-could-I-have-missed-this-one.

I just picked up Robert Harris's CONSPIRATA, sequel to IMPERIUM. I haven't read IMPERIUM yet, but CONSPIRATA was half price.

Stuart Neville, COLLUSION.  Well, I started it and then checked out the ending.  Always a bad sign.  Neville's debut novel received huge acclaim, but I haven't read it, and that may account for the fact that I was rather lost in the beginning. These could be returning characters.  The ending (a grand finale type) seemed a bit overwritten, but I've seen worse.  Essentially this is a true noir novel set in current Northern Ireland.  The setting lends itself to the most depressing scenarios, and you get them here.  You also get the straight downward slope to disaster, and the protagonist who is helpless in the grip of the vicious and corrupt forces around him.  I may not be able to finish this.

I just finished the first of his two, THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST.  You've characterized the writing fairly; there's

no gold at the end of this rainbow.  After reading the first, I do want to know what happens to Gerry next.


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