Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 books, #101-105

Good omens: the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman [audiobook]. Read by Stephen Briggs. Oxford: Isis, [n.d.].

I had forgotten quite how good this was - both the Pratchett/Gaiman team and Briggs's reading. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse meet William and the Outlaws (or Adam and The Them, in this case), with the attendant presence of angels and demons; and it's hilarious. There are some elements I'd imagine are pure Gaiman - such as the notion that every tape left in a vehicle for long enough eventually morphs into Queen's Greatest Hits - and others which are pure Pratchett - but they blend perfectly. I hadn't read any Gaiman last time I listened to this, and it's much more fun having done so.

The Oyster House siege, by Jay Rayner. London: Atlantic, 2007.

Brilliant. A pair of gunmen fleeing from a failed raid on a jewellery shop end up in the kitchen of a Jermyn Street restaurant on Election Night, 1983, and a hostage situation is on. Some of the events are genuinely terrifying, and some extremely funny. The importance of food is never undervalued, and forms an extremely important part of the plot. This is genuinely unputdownable and I'll be looking for anything else Rayner's written because he really can tell a story, and he captures the attitudes and politics of the early 80s in a very perceptive way.

Want to play? by PJ Tracy. London: Penguin, 2004.

Someone is killing people in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas, but the second murder is so bizarre that Grace McBride and her Monkeewrench game-designing team realise that someone playing their test system must be recreating a version of their serial-killer-detection game. They go to the police (and the team of Gino and Magozzi), and another game begins - are they helping the police, or are they suspects?

I started reading this a couple of years ago, I see - and I had a bookmark at page 150 or so and couldn't remember anything about the book. I started again from the beginning, having read Snow Blind (review from the last couple of book posts), and found it completely riveting; I started the next one in the series immediately. The relationships between characters are brilliant, and there are some genuinely moving moments - not something you generally expect from a serial-killer thriller...

The reversal, by Michael Connolly [audiobook]. Read by John Chancer. Bath: AudioGO, 2011.

Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch get together, which is always a good thing. While Chancer isn't quite as good a reader as Jeff Harding, he's still pretty impressive, and this is a tremendous courtroom drama with a lot of compassion and some very interesting twists and turns.

Live bait, by PJ Tracy. London: Penguin, 2005.

Someone in Minneapolis is killing old people; and as facts emerge, the nature of the murders becomes more confusing and more tied up with the past. Gino and Magozzi again investigate; and the relationships they've developed with the Monkeewrench crew from the first book are carried on in this book. For the mother-and-daughter team behind PJ Tracy, relationships are important, and it's very seldom you end up in tears repeatedly during what's essentially a serial-killer novel. I'm really hoping I can get hold of the next in this series soon.

1 comment:

littlelixie said...

Timely reminder to revisit Good Omens. Have you read Snuff? Would be interested in your take on it. I found some of the characters had developed inconsistent personality traits. Incidentally I bought "Banish Clutter Forever" after reading your review a week or two ago. Good reading x