Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 books, #76-80

WG Grace ate my pedalo: a curious cricket compendium, by Tyers and Beach. London: Wisden, 2010.

Wisden describes this as "a spoof 1896 periodical from The Wisden Cricketer archives that looks at cricketing events of 2010 through a Victorian lens" which is just about right. Some of it is outright hilarious, some just make you smile. There are regular features such as the etiquette column by Miss Cecily Beasting, and small ads such as "WANTED for import to England: South Africans who can and will play cricket. Apply at Lord's." The writers have a somewhat interesting relationship with KP Pietersen, too... If you've been following international cricket over the last few years, there are definitely enough in-jokes to keep you going. Not to mention an ongoing (non-sparkly) vampires-at-Lord's serial thrown into the mix.

Consent to kill, by Vince Flynn [audiobook]. Read by George Guidall. Rearsby, Leics.: WF Howes, 2006.

Well, without trying to spoiler anyone else who might be working their way through this series of books, this one contains the only thing the author could actually do to make further books in the series at all credible. Mitch Rapp continues his rampage through the ranks of both Al-Qaeda and the senior staff of other government agencies.

The business of dying, by Simon Kernick. London: Bantam, 2002.

According to the blurb on the back, this is Kernick's debut novel - another one from the second-hand book sale at work. Dennis Milne is a deeply corrupt DS who also hires himself out as a contract killer; this time, though, instead of three drug-dealers he finds he's murdered two customs agents and an accountant outside a pub. In the day job, an eighteen-year-old prostitute is murdered by Regent's Canal and leads Milne into the teenage vice trade in London and its relations with the social care system. The plot is very tightly written, and Milne is a character you like, hate and are repulsed by at different points of the novel.

Game over, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Whitley Bay: Soundings, 2008.

A Bill Slider novel, and one I'd somehow missed until picking up the following one in the series and realising the characters' lives had moved on substantially while I hadn't been paying attention! This has all the humour and wit of the other Slider novels, but with more of an edge of danger; an old enemy of Slider is on the loose and is trying to kill him. Meanwhile he's trying to solve the murder of a BBC correspondent, Ed Stonax, and Atherton is drawn into a relationship with Stonax's daughter Emily. On top of that, Slider needs to find a moment to marry Joanna before their baby is born. It's vintage Slider and it doesn't get much better than that. Since reading this I've found I actually missed two Slider books. Harrod-Eagles is so amazingly prolific...

Now you see me, by S J Bolton [audiobook]. Read by Lisa Coleman. Bath: AudioGO, 2011.

Another excellent book by S J Bolton, with many twists and turns. DC Lacey Flint returns to her car one evening to find a woman dying - she has been stabbed and horrifically mutilated. Lacey begins to realise that her own lifelong fixation with the Jack the Ripper murders has been replicated, and that she is the person the new Ripper has decided to taunt. Bolton is a master of suspense, and there are some genuinely creepy moments. Nice reading, too.

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