Saturday, 14 January 2012

London Calling by James Craig

Already loosing count. My 10th book Of the year,

This is the first Inspector Carlyle novel by James Craig (@byJamesCraig on twitter. It's always fun actually being able to chat to the author), not the Clash song in case you are somehow confused.

The blurb on the cover says: 

Can you win an election and cover up a murder at the same time.

In the middle of a General Election, someone is targeting former members of the ultra-exclusive Merrion Club - youthful hedonists addicted to excess metamorphosed into pillars of the political establishment.

Next in the murderer's sights is charismatic, ruthless Edgar Carlton, the man poised to be the next Prime Minister. But, with power almost in his grasp, Edgar will not stand idly by while his birthright is threatened.

When Inspector John Carlyle finds a body in a luxury London hotel room he begins a journey through the murky world of the British ruling classes which leads all the way to the top. Operating in a world where right and wrong don't exist and the pursuit of power is everything, Carlyle has to find the killer before Carlton's people take the matter into their own hands.

It's a quite short novel coming in at 312 pages or 4310 Kindle segments. In a series of flashbacks we get to know more about our hero's character, he is a honest copper. 

Oh, a warning. If you don't like to know how the people die in quite graphic detail this might not be the novel for you. 

The case itself is quite brutal and entertaining, it does feel slightly weird in that when it all comes down to it, inspector Carlyle it appears isn't a genius which makes quite a refreshing change.

It's a good solid crime novel. You do feel a by sorry for Carlyle as he does spend a lot of the case just one step behind and on the back foot.  

The ending, it's one of those that you cannot really talk about as it gives the whole thing away, I did feel slightly frustrated by Carlyle, and was expecting maybe a better result in his first case, but I enjoyed what did happen. If I was ranking it I think it would be around 7.5 to 8 out of 10. Also thinking about it I am happy to say the Kindle edition was nice with no glaring errors which you seem to get in so many books lately. 

It has made me want to know more about Carlyle so I have also purchased his second novel Never Apologise, Never Explain and I'm looking forward to settling down to read this in the near future.

Also at £1.59 each on amazon whilst I am writing this they appear to be a pretty good bargain.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Books that I have read so far this year.

I am off to a good start with book reading this year, partially because I’ve been feeling ill I have just been doing as little as possible, so curling up reading books has been it for me this year so far.

I’ve been watching a lot of people on twitter saying they are trying to read 50 or 100 books or however many.  I don’t set myself a target; sometimes I can go a few weeks without reading a book if I’m tired.  But, I have already read 9 books so far this year, not bad in 11 days.

So what have I read this year, 2 Fantasy, 5 Crime, and 2 Sci-Fi novels. At least these are the categories according to Amazon. 5 of these I read as paperbacks and the other 4 on my kindle.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Birdman by Mo Hayder
The Treatment by Mo Hayder
Ritual by Mo Hayder
Skin by Mo Hayder
Gone by Mo Hayder
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Leviathan Wakes by James S A Corey

I somehow think that I will not keep up reading at this rate for the rest of the year.  The good news is that I liked all of 9 books that I’ve read. 
My favourite of the 9 has to be Leviathan Wakes.  It’s a fun space opera, yes things are looking grim for our group of heroes and maybe for humanity, but it’s fast and entertaining.  It’s Space Opera at its best.  It’s a while since I’ve read a full blown space opera like this.  It had sensible science, but it didn’t try to overwhelm you with it.  The action kept coming thick and fast.  It could have been a perfectly good stand alone novel, but like most books these days it’s a series, but the book did finish on a sensible ending, and yes I did want to know what happened next, but I wasn’t left on a cliff hanger, which was nice. I’ve written a slightly longer review for fantastybookreview as I don’t think they have one on their website.  I’ll put a link to it when the review is live.

Followed in order by Elantris, Warbreaker, Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End of the World by Haruki Murakami, followed by the Mo Hayder books.  I really enjoyed all of them though. 

Elantris and Warbreaker are two stand-alone novels by Brandon Sanderson, and I think it’s a nice change, because everything in fantasy just seems to be one long series these days.  You seem to have to wait 4 years to find out what’s going on in a series; I enjoy stand-alone stories set in the same realm as well.  But these are nice, just two easy to read fantasy novels, almost grown up David Eddings, they are just good fun.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End of the World is an interesting novel.  It’s slightly dry which I think, and I found the middle of the book slightly to clinical, it just felt to neat, but then I guess that’s what the hero’s life was.  I really got into it by the end and end ending had a real emotional impact, which shows how I got into it by then.  Great Start, Great ending, but it just wandered a bit in the middle for my taste.

The Mo Hayder books I enjoyed because the characters had a bit more bite to them then the average characters in Crime series, although I do have to admit some of the trouble they got into was a bit ridiculous and I’m not really sure how they did not get stuck in front of a disciplinary board, or put behind bars… but, hey they were entertaining.


Well, we have doubled the amount of ex battery hens that we look after over Xmas from 4 to 8.

So we now have:-

See if you can spot the theme, and if you want try to identify where they are all from :)

Christmas 2011/12

Hello world, it’s now the middle of January 2012.  I am finally starting to smile a bit, for about the last 3 months I seem to have had a horrible cough/cold that has been really draining, but finally I believe I’ve cracked it.  By basically spending three days curled up in bed, doing nothing but reading and sleeping, not TV, no internet etc.. It’s been great, and I feel so much better for it.

Christmas was a quiet one this (actually last) year.  Partially I think due to me being very grumpy and feeling ill a lot of the time.  Sorry to anyone who had to put up with me over Christmas.

I made myself two near year resolutions this year.

1:   Stop Gambling for the year. I spend far to much money gambling, I’m getting a bit to close to being addicted for my own liking.  So I’ve decided that this year I should not gamble at all.  So far I’ve stuck to that.  Mind you I have no money so that helps. 

2: Loose weight.  Not a lot a minimum of around 5 Kg, I’m not trying to go from rather fat to skinny overnight, but I lost some weight last year, and trying to make sure I loose a bit more and keep it off seems reasonable to me.

I also want to read more this year and try to start writing again this year properly.  But we will see how the year pans out.  Who knows what I’ll be doing 12 months from now.

Hope you all have a great 2012