Saturday, 31 July 2010

Lucretia Grindle - Villa Triste

This book is fantastic. We were lucky to get some proof copies for our reading groups, and they loved it too! Do not be put off by the title or the first chapter this is not a romance, it is a brilliant dual time mystery. In the near present we have a serial killer bumping off partisans from WW2, they are found murdered execution style with a mouthful of salt. Our detective finds an old diary at one of the victims houses and back we go to the second world war in Florence, Italy. I love Italy ( you will have realised that by the number of books I read set there!) and yet had no idea of the hardships and turmoil that occurred during the war. Invaded by their former allies the Nazis, setting Mussolini back up and bringing back the hated(?!) Fascists, the partisans, many of them deserters from the Italian forces fighting both of them and attempting to work with the British Allies who were bombarding and invading from the south. Wow, fascinating, moving and a great puzzle,as we get to solve the present day murders and expose the past, a brilliant book for a book group.

Mario Reading - The Mayan Codex

This is the second book in what is shaping up to be a fabulous trilogy. It does stand alone but you would benefit from reading the first book, The Nostradamus Prophecies first. See review below. In this book we are taken to Adam's home in the US, and then on to South America and Mexico.
I love intelligent thrillers and this certainly is one! I also like to really learn something new and again this does not disappoint. In this book our flawed and realistic hero Adam joins forces with the now retired French policeman Calque ( a brilliant portrait of a gritty, mature detective) in a chase across the American continent to retrieve the Mayan Codex as predicted in the "lost" prophecies of Nostradamus. They are being chased as usual by members of the treacherous De Bale family, all intent on revenge for the death of their brother, and in this book we learn more about their history and intentions.
I learnt so much about the Mayans, and the wonderful set pieces would make this a fabulous film. I loved the scene in the bar in the US between the Hells Angels and the De Bales and the ending is as good a cliff hangar as I have read in a long time. I cannot say much as this would create spoilers.
Suffice to say it is a fast paced rip roaring ride and I cannot wait for the next installment!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Christopher Fowler - Byant & May Off the rails

I have just finished this, another fabulous offering. This series really is special, especially if you have ever lived or worked or even holidayed in London. A great deal of this book is set within the London Tube network, a creepy place without even trying I have always thought. Ripe for horror and of course, murder! Kepp writing Christopher I cannot wait for the next one, and these covers are sooo much better that the US ones!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Natasha Mostert - Season of the Witch

This is a fascinating gothic thriller that draws you in from the very first page. Our hero Gabriel can read and enter minds and this gives him a very successful edge as a computer hacker. Prior to this he worked for a secret intelligence agency and used his skills for good until one harrowing 'job' went very wrong. He is suddenly contacted by an old friend from the agency to track her missing stepson, and this brings him into contact with the disturbing and sensually exciting Monk sisters but it soon becomes clear that one of them is a possible killer but which one?
This would make an excellent reading group read .....