Books for 02 – 2020

The Names of the Dead

Kevin Wignall

Book of the month, even if it is slightly flawed.

James Wesley, Wes, was a CIA operative, he was sent to jail when his team fouled up an operation and the wrong people got killed. He is towards the end of his sentence when his ex-wife has been killed in a terrorist attack in Spain. He also discovers that his young son, Ethan, is missing. But Wes didn’t know he had a son.

Given early release, Wes is picked up from his jail by the CIA. He escapes with his life and runs … desperate to find safety and his son.

He is helped by the men he left in prison and the orphan of a Yugoslav Warlord, who had died in the prison days earlier.

Maybe the CIA are a little late getting on his trail but that would ruin the story, flawed but not fatally.

A tense thriller.

5 Stars

The Baby Werewolf

Michael Beyer

Michal Beyer turns the attention of the Norwal Pirates on discrimination on grounds of visual difference. The Baby Werewolf is real, except he is not a werewolf. He is a boy with a difference. Once the Pirates understand this they are well on the way to solving several murders in a tale with more than a little mayhem.

The story bounds along at great pace, always keeping one foot in reality while everything else runs wild. Real young adult material

4 Stars

The Boy… Forever

Michael Beyer

Another great story from Norwall, this one gets wild with Chinese Vampire Magicians and a boy called Icarus Jones.

Icky is immortal, trapped in the body of a ten-year-old but immortal. His latest attempt at suicide brings him to Norwall. Followed by a cast of misfits, the dragon child, a general who is of great antiquity.

The Norwall Pirates become involved … well they would.

Young adult fantasy … at it’s best. Raising questions of right and wrong as it goes.

4 stars

The Ship That Rocked the World: How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment…

by Tom Lodge (author), Steven Van Zandt (foreword)

Tom Lodge was a highly respected broadcaster in the early days of Radio Caroline. The man largely responsible for creating the success that Caroline became.

The book is limited to the Authors time and personal point of view of events – an autobiography – and, as such, a very different book to Ray Clarke’s biography of the radio station .

The writing is generally simple, interesting and engaging. It does however get a little repetitive.

A chalk and cheese job but if I had to choose … I’d go for Ray Clarke’s bigger picture.

3 Stars

Copper City Slag (Copper City Chronicles Book 2)

by Otha Foster (author)

Eric’s family decided to move back to Copper City after his father, a minister, has a crisis of faith. A teenager on the very edge of sexual awakening, Eric is torn apart from his almost girlfriend.

Arriving in Copper City, the place where his parents grew up, he soon finds himself embroiled with Alicia Martin, sex siren and trouble causer. The girl his parents and Aunt have warned him to stay away from .. Almost fitting the British slang ‘Slag’ but then …

Why have his parents told him to stay away from Alicia? Why is there bad blood between Eric’s father and Coach Martin? With the police involved, Eric talks to the Press, in the form of Bill Clark (the hero of Fifth Sun) owner of the Copper City Chronicle.

This is a convoluted story of family relationships and attempted murder, just a little to far fetched for me.

3 Stars

Who Told You That You Were Naked (Copper City Chronicles Book 3)

by Otha Foster (author)

A stronger story than Copper City Slag. It contains a real killing, that occurs on the day Eric Carvin is doing work experience with Bill Clark at the Copper City Chronicle. A prostitute is killed and Eric wants to get to the bottom of the story even if the police and sheriff are not.

A foster child known to PK, Eric’s little sister, knows may have clues to the back story of the dead girl.

Meanwhile, Eric is fast falling in love.

A pacy, well written story, well worth pushing through the slag for!

4 Stars

The Case of the Erotic Equestrian (Miles Grant)

by Jack Dearborn (author), Ellen Dearborn (editor)

Now too rich to have to work, Miles takes the odd case to keep himself busy. Out of the blue his wife’s family have a case for him, someone is leading their daughter astray . Miles and the family take a road trip to help out. Miles quickly discovers what is going on … then what is the solution? Miles doesn’t want to give advice!

A light fluffy tale, a harmless poolside read.

3 Stars

Last Day

Luanne Rice

A strange book, a who dunnit that isn’t really interested in who dunnit.

The writing is beautifully observed, little details abound. The research into the art and artists is detailed and described in detail.

It starts so well, a murder described so vividly the electricity sparks and crackles off the page. The brutality, the violence and the pain for the people finding the body of a loved one. Then it loses pace,

The assorted relationships are all convoluted twisted and unsatisfactory. The detective, Connor Reid, is obsessed by the victim and her sister, after having released them from captivity that was part of a crime that killed their mother. Late in the book he wonders if he has been stalking them … yes! On the other side of the coin, he is blissfully unaware that the victim had other relationships, visited certain places and … I don’t want to get into plot spoilers.

Detective Reid also appears to be left alone by his bosses, no pressure, no other cases, to take months to deliver an arrest.

The main problem with the pace though is backstory, lots of backstory, the same backstory, repeated several times. So much well observed and beautifully detailed in the writing; signifying very little.

Nice writing style, plot and editing need work

3 Stars

Divergence: A group of naked girls interrupts a kayaking trip

by P.A. Choi (author)

Boys go canoeing , beginner falls out and is rescued by naked girls …

Not Classified

Sunny Mates and Murders: A Chinese Cozy Mystery (A Raina Sun Mystery Book 5)

Anne R. Tan

Everything goes wrong Raina … except it doesn’t it all seems to work out. Not my cup of tea … abandoned at about 50%

Not Classified