Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 books, #6-10

The lovers, by John Connolly [audiobook]. Oxford: Isis, 2009. Read by Jeff Harding.

Charlie Parker finally investigates his past - we've had inklings of this in previous books, but the truth is even weirder than you think it's going to be. Usually, the introduction of any hint of supernatural force into a crime novel is a complete turn-off for me, but somehow Connolly can do it (Greg Iles is the other one); the only balance against Parker's very skewed morals is the sort of pure evil he's fighting. Jeff Harding's reading is, as ever, spot on - but then, frankly, the man could read the Yellow Pages and make it sound riveting.

gods in Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson. London: Hodder, 2005.

I've ranted about this book before but re-read it for the London Kniterati's February meeting (having suggested it in the first place!) Everyone who turned up had read and enjoyed it, which made me extremely happy. And yes, it easily stands a fourth read-through!

Walking money, by James O. Born. London: Robert Hale, 2006.

I looked into James O. Born after reading a short story of his in Michael Connelly's anthology from last year. This is a book which really begs to be made into a heist film. Unfortunately, I think it would make a much better film than it would a book - the plot is great, twists and turns galore; but the characterisation isn't always strong enough that you can work out who's who without going back a page or two; the violence is somewhat cartoonish; and you feel very little real sympathy for any of the characters.

Thai die, by Monica Ferris. New York: Berkley, 2008.

This is a quick, fun read; a mystery set around a needlework shop. Probably not strictly what they'd call a "cozy" in the US, given the high body count, but interspersing needlework details with international criminal activity and slayings is interesting! Definitely recommended for a nice, light read if you like crime and crafts...

The Lords' day, by Michael Dobbs. London: Headline, 2008.

A group of Islamic extremists storm the Chamber of the House of Lords during State Opening; a group of hostages including the Queen, Prince Charles, the Prime Minister, his son and the son of the US President raise the stakes, and the person in interim charge is the wildly ambitious, self-serving Home Secretary. The geographical details of the House are impeccable, the plot is gripping and the characterisation is as good as you'd expect from the author of the House of cards series. Highly, highly recommended.


Rosie said...

Excellent, it is lovely seeing lots of books recommended. I must look out for the Michael dobbs, especially. I've just finished Alone in Berlin, by Hans Falada: a desperately sad and unsettling account of life in Berlin during WWII but very moving and exquisitely written (or translated, never sure who should get the credit for the finer points of the prose).

Jackie said...

I'd not come across gods in alabama - but it is now on my wish list. I thought the House of Cards TV series was really gripping and the book you've reviewed sounds like it would be just up my street.