Showing posts from 2016

What I've been up to lately

Some of you may have been wondering why I've been a bit quiet on here and on Twitter lately.  Well , I've been working nights in a supermarket doing replenishment (Tesco speak for shelf stacking) After that it's straight to the gym  (where I'm writing this) and then  home to sleep.
So I haven't found a great deal of time to read or do much of anything apart from sleep  I did manage to finish a Young Bond book though  (spoiler it was bloody good) and I'm halfway through the new Reacher book, also very good. Reviews of those in the new year. As well as a roundup of what I've read in 2016 , which will be split into three parts Kindle,audio and good old physical books.So if you were wondering where I've been you know now, I finish work on Friday so I'll have some time to read and live my life again . I promise I'll be more active after Christmas and in the new year.

Book Review : The Black Echo By Michael Connelly

The Black Echo is the first in Michael Connelly's Harry bosch series. Its also the second one I've read after the mild disappointment that was The Burning Room. But as I said when I reviewed that book , one disappointment is not enough to put me off an author or a series altogether. So i bought a few more Bosch novels and picked The Black Echo out of the pile at random.
PLOT (  Copied and pasted form Goodreads
For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch -- hero, maverick, nighthawk -- the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal.

The dead man, Billy Meadows, was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who fought side by side with him in a nightmare underground war that brought them to the depths of hell. Now, Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city to the tortuous link that must be un…

Book Review : Strip Jack By Ian Rankin

Strip Jack is the fourth book in the John Rebus series by Ian Rankin . It's also my first Rebus novel but i have more on the kindle as i succumed to "99p syndrome" and bought about 6 in one go.

Gregor Jack is an Member of the Scottish parliment and unusually for a politician he's well liked by his constituents, even Rebus likes him.  so when he's caught with his trousers down in a raid on a brothel it's a bit of a shock to say the least and then his wife goes missing ..... I think you can see where  this is going.

Obviously  I won't spoil the rest of the book for you as it's my number 1 rule to not give out spoilers if i can help it .  What i will say though  is that Strip Jack is a very enjoyable novel it's quite dark in places but there's also alot of very funny one liners  and if you're thinking of trying Rebus then this is as good a place as any to start.

I like Rebus as a character and will definatley be checking out his other adventu…

Top 5 : Movie Car Chases

Well since I dont have any book reviews to share with you at present i thought i'd list my top 5 Movie car chases.

You can't make a list of movie car chases without mentioning Bullitt can you?
2.The Naked Gun
The funniest car chase of all time ? I think so.
3.RUSH - Japanese Gran Prix
technically not a car  chase but it is an epic piece of film making.
4.Jack Reacher -  A delightfully old school car chase from a delightfully old school action movie .
Tom Cruise did all this without a stunt driver, since he pretty much is one .

5. Spectre
Don't know what i need to say about this one really ,Its Bond drifting an Aston Martin around Rome. What more could you want ?

Honourable mentions

Mission Impossible 2
Ok, this is a bike chase but it's still chock full of Tom Cruise badasserry
I chose…

Book Review : When The music's over By Peter Robinson

When the music's over is the 23rd Inspector Banks novel and it deals with a subject so timely and controversial most authors wouldnt touch it with a bargepoll .sexual assult carried put by celebrities .
Newly promoted  Superintendent Alan Banks is given the unenviable task of investigating a historical rape. The accused is a  ficitonal but eerily true to life entertainer Danny Caxton, seemingly untouchable thanks to his charity work and friends in the police force . Banks however beleives and likes Caxton's accuser a poet named Linda Palmer. 

DS Annie Cabbott meanwhile has a case that is more recent but just as tricky when the body of a young girl Mimosa 'Mimsy' Moffatt has been bruised beaten and naked having apparently been thrown from a van. A group of local Pakistani's are immeadietly suspected and Annie and Geraldine Masterson  must tread carefully to avoid triggering a full on race war .

The book has a couple of nice surpises in store as it features Banks' m…

Book Review : The Defence By Steve Cavanagh

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh is a fast paced and tense legal thriller which follows burnt out lawyer and former con man Eddie Flynn as he tries to save his daughter's life. This may sound like a pretty standard action thriller storyline, or every Liam Neeson movie since the original Taken but there’s nothing wrong with those ‘one last job’ storylines if it’s done right . I’m pleased to report that The Defence is a ‘one last job’ storyline done right.

The Defence follows Eddie Flynn as he is forced back into the courtroom after vowing never to return after a disastrous case, and has spent the last 2 years drinking.

Flynn’s daughter has been held hostage by the Russian mafia, to ensure her safe return he, must defend Mafia boss, Volchek , who is guilty in every sense of the word . Throughout the book Flynn is reminded that his daughter’s death is only a phone call away. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that Flynn must do all is in the space of 48 hours whilst having a bomb strapped …

Book Review : The Killing Season By Mason Cross

“The first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Carter Blake. That name no more belongs to me than the hotel room I was occupying when the call came in.”

When Caleb Wardell, , escapes from death row two weeks before his execution, the FBI calls on the services of Carter Blake, a Jack Reacher/Bryan Mills type  whose particular set of skills lie in finding those who don’t want to be found.
Blake is also a bit of a drifter which will spark the inevitable Jack Reacher comparisons (we’ll get to that later).
Blake is in his hotel room when he receives a phone call informing him that Wardell has escaped from a prison van and is on the loose again .
Blake is paired with CIA agent Elaine Banner but they quickly find themselves side-lined from the case and they have to try to second guess a man who kills seemingly for fun. They also find themselves entangled in a web of lies and corruption and soon enough Blake finds himself up against not just a prolific serial killer but the FBI a…

The Reader Confessions Tag.

OK, so i haven't actually been tagged in this but it seemed like a fun idea and i'm doing it anyway.

1. Have you ever damaged a book?
Unfortunately yes , I once dropped a harry potter book (it may have been my sisters actually) in a bucket of wallpaper paste. Other than that no,but i do break the odd spine (on books not people) , i know that to a book lover breaking a book's spine is the 8th deadly sin but sometimes it's unavoidable. I also buy a lot of second hand books which have already been broken but that doesn't bother me . 
I  also damaged a Thomas The Tank engine book , well it got a bit wet when i was camping in the back garden (Don't ask) but it's still readable.
2.Have you ever damaged a borrowed book? I haven't borrowed a book for about 14 years so no, and i don't remember damaging them when i did. although there was a book about trains  and a Dick King Smith book that i borrowed from the library at primary school and "forgot" to …

Q&A: Andy Martin

Something a little different, my first Authour Q&A with Andy Martin author of  Reacher Said Nothing :Lee Child And The Making Of Make Me. 
I haven't actually read this yet but Andy was kind enough to not only answer my questions but to send a signed copy of the book. Cheers Andy.

1. What is your favourite Jack Reacher book and why? My first reaction to this question is: the one that is right in front of me! I suppose I am always going to have a particularly soft spot for Make Me, since I watched it being written. But it just so happens that right now I am going back to the first one, Killing Floor, to refresh my memory about the prison scenes.
2. Where did the idea for Reacher Said Nothing come from? I had done some work on Sartre and Camus, each of whom comments on the work of the other. But from afar. And I thought, wouldn’t it have been so much better if they had actually checked it out at close quarters while they were writing, rather than afterwards. Then I thought, yeah, but …

Book Review : The Burning Room By Michael Connelly

In an attempt to fill the void left by Jack Reacher I’ve been on the lookout for a new series to read and after watching the TV show I decided to read the The Burning Room by Michael Connelly.  The Burning Room is my first Harry Bosch novel and the 19th overall which means I can continue my tradition of starting new series in the wrong place.
I'll be honest I was a bit disappointed by this book at first and found it to be really slow for the first 100 pages or so. In fact those first 100 pages were so slow in fact I almost gave up on the book altogether (which I haven’t done for ages).  There are detailed sections about police procedures and processes. Whilst being insightful, it defeats the point of what is supposed to be  a high octane thriller. The story metaphorically speaking is like a stagnant river. There's virtually nothing happening. In this context, it is stale with elements of action and excitement missing to grip readers. I admire Bosch's qualities as a police off…

Top 10 Crime Thrillers

I’ve been meaning to put this list together for some time and the truth is there are so many other crime novels that I wanted to include but we’d be here all day so I’ve been strict with myself and narrowed it down to ten . if you think I’ve missed a book out or if you have a top ten of your own that you want me to look at then please let me know in a comment .
10.  Ghost Man By Roger Hobbs
Given the success of Lee Child it was inevitable that other writers would Have a go at creating their own Jack Reacher . Roger Hobbs has done a better job than most with his character Jack Delton a ‘Ghostman’ someone whose job it is to be forgettable, to disappear or to help other criminals disappear. This is a great read and has won praise from pretty much everyone. Including Lee Child. Review here.
9. There Are No Spies By Bill GrangerThe 7th book in a series that is something of a forgotten gem.  Think of the Novembe…

Book Review : Double Or Die by Charlie Higson

Even when I was just a lad, I was a big fan of James Bond. I think it is probably due to the high level of action and the sense of danger that is evident in the films, and  around the time Skyfall came out, I read some of the books. Most of the books, though, I quickly learned the pacing was quite a bit slower and the plots were a bit thinner. Although On Her Majesty's Secret Service remains the only book ever to make me cry.

A few years ago, Charlie Higson started coming out with a new series called Young Bond. The first book, SilverFin starts off with James first arriving at Eton as a new student. Unlike the other boys at the well-known prep school, James was not rich. But That didnt  prevent him from forming a small but loyal group of friends. It was also the start of his high adventures on an international scale.

This is the third volume in the series, which follows after  Blood Fever ( The best of the Young Bond bunch if you ask  me) . James has returned home to Eton after his …

Book Review: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide the courage. Should he fail, every child in England will be murdered in cold blood.

Who didn't want to be a spy when they were younger? For most kids it's a fantasy they never grow out of ( i know i haven't ).
 Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz is about a young boy named Alex Rider who happens to be at the right(or wrong) place at the right time. He becomes a spy for MI6 and is given his first mission, which he reluctantly accepts. This book immediatel…

Book Review: The Witness by Simon Kernick

Book Review: The Witness by Simon Kernick

Those of you who know this blog or follow me on twitter will know that I’m a huge Lee Child fan and when I told a family member this he went into his shed and came back with a stack of thrillers. Amongst these were books by the likes of Peter Robinson, Chris brookmyre, David Baldacci, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell and Simon Kernick.( I may have missed some out , it was quite a large pile)  That particular Simon Kernick book was Target (which I reviewed on here a while ago I blew through that in about a week and decided to check out some more of Kernick’s work and have since read A Good Day To Die ,The Debt ,One By One and the subject of this review The Witness.
The Witness focuses on Jane Kinnear who witnesses her lover being murdered, and suddenly finds herself with information about a terrorist attack and maverick DI Ray Mason (who seems to be cut fro…

Book Review : Make Me By Lee Child

Jack Reacher books are a bit like the Bond movies. If they're the same as the one that went before you feel a little let down but then, if they are totally new and different you aren't sure if you like them anymore. Either way you're guaranteed someone will be a whiny little bitch about it.

Lee Child clearly believes in the adage of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' and he continues to plow the same furrow as always. Thing is, the people who deride him seem to yearn for something new or different, not sure what they are expecting here, Child writes the way he writes, end of story. If it ain't your thing then don't read it.
I certainly haven't tired of reading about Reacher wander into a corrupt little town, unpick a problem, become a thorn in the side for the resident bad guys and go around kicking ass, bedding the attendant beautiful woman then breezing out once he has cracked the problem right open.
It’s set in the current day, with Reacher travel…

Book Review - Strange Affair By Peter Robinson


Strange Affair is my second Inspector Banks novel and the 15th overall, I finished it about a month ago so my memory of it is a bit sketchy.
 It’s hard to review a book that you finished over a month ago but I’ll give it a go.
After the fire that destroyed Banks' cottage and almost cost him his life in the previous book (playing with fire), this one begins with Banks still away from work and dealing with some major issues like PTSD and depression. He receives a message from his estranged younger brother Roy, asking for his help. Banks tries to reach Roy, who lives in London and can't get in touch with him. Banks decides to go to London and see for himself what happened to his rather questionable younger brother.
He finds that the door to Roy's flat is unlocked and Roy's mobile is on the kitchen table, but it's been twelve hours since the frantic voice mail and Banks has no idea where Roy could be. He begins to investigate on his own…