She's only a tiny little thing - less than 2.5 kilos of thing, but that blasted dog (and The Seducer) ground my reading to a halt this month. Who would think such a thing could happen!
Anyway - pathetic as it is:
Thirty-Three Teeth, Colin Cotterill
(Australian release at last!)
My Rating: Woo woo abounds, didn't care - liked it very much
In THIRTY-THREE TEETH it is summer in Vientiane and it is hot, bloody hot. Laotians greet each other with that phrase as they steam away in the unrelenting heat. In Vientiane, a much tormented Asian Bear escapes from cruel confines in a local hotel garden just before there is a slow build-up of viciously savaged corpses in Dr Siri's morgue. The injuries that these victims have endured appear to indicate that they have been mauled by a very large animal, but Dr Siri is pulled away from that investigation by the authorities who demand he flies immediately to the north of the country to examine two badly charred bodies. In the meantime there has been another very mysterious death at a local government building and there's a chest in the National Archives that still has to be opened. Significantly higher woo woo component, slightly more challenging (for some) subject matter, good mystery though, fabulous characters. Seems very Laotian to this reader - celebrating the cultural uniqueness, whilst also pointing out the differences - full review at: http://tinyurl.com/3295nw
The Sacred Bones, Michael Byrnes
My Rating: If you take it as an enormous farce it's hilarious - I tried, but I couldn't take it seriously at all
THE SACRED BONES is another entry in the recently well-populated field of confrontational religious themed thrillers. When a well armed, well organised small group break through the walls of the mosque in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem they appear to have been very well informed. Blowing a hole in the wall in exactly the right place to reveal an unknown burial crypt, they move straight past a number of ossuaries taking only the one deepest in the chamber. Their escape, facilitated by a stolen Israeli helicopter, leaves Palestinians outraged over the desecration of sacred ground and Israeli's equally outraged over the deaths of thirteen soldiers during the resulting fire-fight. THE SACRED BONES might not make it as an entrant in the encouraging controversy stakes but for a totally over the top, really silly bit of light entertainment, it was good fun to play spot the cliché in. Full review at: http://tinyurl.com/28c22g
Thumbprint, Friedrich Glauser
My Rating: Superb
The death of a travelling salesman in the forest of Gerzenstein appears to be an open and shut case. Sergeant Studer is confronted with an obvious suspect and a confession to the murder. But nothing is what it seems. Envy, hatred, sexual abuse and the corrosive power of money lie just beneath the surface. Studer's investigation soon splinters the glassy facade of Switzerland's tidy villages, manicured forests and seemingly placid citizens. Don't make the mistake I did when you sit down to Thumbprint, and assume that 197 pages will be a quick read. Thumbprint is enthralling, involving, dense and endlessly fascinating, but it begs to be read slowly. The dialogue is lively, Studer's methods partly eclectic, partly dogged. Thumbprint is a magnificent book though, and I'm really looking forward to my next from this all too small collection.
The Seducer, Jan Kjaerstad
My Rating: Don't regret the nearly one month it took me to wade through it.
Dense, slow as treacle "coming of age" novel come diary of a life / come stream of consciousness "something". I found it desperately slow to read which complicated this month as it's over 600pages in length - but I loved it, there was something slightly voyeuristic about it somehow - you really felt like you were reading somebody personal diary. Of course because of that feeling there were times when you thought his mind could do with a good scrubbing or at the least a dust, but all in all, I liked this very much.
Mixed Fancies, Brenda Blethyn
My Rating: very easy, read - seemed very true to how the woman herself comes across - low key, funny.
Amusing, gentle tale of a very down to earth actress. You're not going to get any of the standard Hollywood, famous for being famous style gossip in MIXED FANCIES. You're not going to get somebody dishing the dirt on years in show business, you're not going to get a warts and all "how I did bad and survived" story. What you are going to get is a lovely, simple, touching story about a poor little girl from Ramsgate England who did good and stayed true.
Sigh - to make myself feel better about such a piddling number, I've nearly finished The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson - luckily it's one I'm enjoying immensely.