Thank You and a Gift

Tonight I have passed 500 views on my blog -I have been blogging for 2 months!   I don’t know how you feel about this number but for me it is exciting and I am so happy to have  my efforts read and to have met (in cyber space) people from around the globe who maybe share my interests or views or read my reviews or who have just popped in to say hi.  Thank you for validating my efforts and giving me a reason to continue with this pursuit. 🙂 🙂 🙂

My Gift to You

My Gift to You

Karin Slaughter Fans – News, Feature Film and Award

I have just finished reading an advanced readers copy of Karin’s latest book – Unseen. It was as expected – BRILLIANT. But more on that later – the publishers have asked if I can hold back my review till closer to the July release, I will  comply with their wish.  But I can share this:

Have yous seen Karin’s web page?  So much exciting news for her fans- first – the new book ( which I have alerted you to- out in July), the Edgar nomination for her short story The Unremarkable Heart – this is in ebook format and deserves your attention; it is chillingly evil, is  twisted  and compelling  and so so credible – it made me feel nauseous – the crime and intent …not the writing. It made me feel so passionately, so helpless, so disgusted with the crime I warned my daughter not to read it ( and she is an adult !) I did not want her to experience this rawness, this intensity of feeling. What a great writer to evoke such feeling from just the typed word.

And we are possibly going to see the Will Trent/Sara Linton series on the big screen.  The rights have been acquired and Karin is writing the script.

Great news all round.

So please have a look at Karin Slaughter’s web site-http://www.karinslaughter.com/ ,there is even a  competition page. 🙂 And read the new book when it is released- you will not be disappointed.

Post Script: Every Brilliant Eye – Loren D Estleman

Every Brilliant Eye (Amos Walker Mystery #6)

Every Brilliant Eye

Loren D. Estleman

Open Road

ISBN:  9781453220535

Description

While trying to help an old friend out of trouble, Detroit PI Amos Walker finds some trouble of his own.

Barry Stackpole was tough once. Amos Walker met him in a Cambodian shell crater when Walker was serving his country and Stackpole was on the payroll of the DetroitNews, and they formed the kind of bond that war often creates. At war’s end, they returned to the Motor City, where Stackpole took to reporting crimes and Walker to solving them.

 A violent run-in with a big time mobster left Stackpole a leg and two fingers short, and he became an alcoholic. He has made several attempts to get his life straight since, but never quite managed. Now he’s fallen off the wagon again, harder than ever before, and his girlfriend begs Walker to find him before he drinks himself to death. But in Detroit, death can find a man in many ways.

 My View:

A thoroughly enjoyable read, Estleman is a gifted words smith. The streets of Detroit, the bars, the restaurants, the people of this alien landscape (Detroit is alien to me) come alive in vivid technicolour. The images of war in Cambodia are chilling, controlled, honest and are juxtaposed cleverly against the other war, in down town Detroit. He paints the pictures as he sees it; colour me real.

 His hero, Amos Walker is a sardonic, eloquent, gutsy and determined and resourceful private investigator and a solid and loyal friend. Estleman has created a sympathetic character that comes alive on the page and has a life beyond the length of this novel – he is a worthy protagonist in the Amos Walker series, which to date number twenty three books that span a life from 1980-2013, an outstanding feat for a series.

I enjoyed this read. I enjoyed his lush almost poetic descriptions; “there was some sun, blinking, milk-eyed through shifting thin sheets of cloud (p.31) …The reality is a stretch of broken pavement with the lines scrubbed off and signs on the corners, where there are still signs, rusting around bullet holes…the curbs are lined with long low cars with tailfins and syphilitic decay around the wheel wells.” (p.57) Beautifully written prose that despite the grimness is enchanting to read. I would love to see Estleman write in a genre other than crime or westerns, his words are so poetic. This novel is a fine example of how a crime novel should be written; brilliant prose, strong empathetic hero, realistic rather than gratuitous violence and sex scenes, a strong story line and the lashings of tension. I am a fan

Post Script: Web of Deceit – Katherine Howell

Picture

Web of Deceit

Katherine Howell

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781742610306

Description:

When paramedics Jane and Alex encounter a man refusing to get out of his crashed car with bystanders saying he deliberately drove into a pole, it looks like a cry for help. His claim that someone is out to get him adds to their thinking that he is delusional.

Later that day he is found dead under a train in what might be a suicide, but Jane is no longer so sure: she remembers the terror in his eyes.

Detective Ella Marconi shares Jane’s doubts, which are only compounded when the case becomes increasingly tangled. The victim’s boss tries to commit suicide when being questioned, a witness flees their attempt to interview her and a woman is beaten unconscious in front of Jane’s house.

Ella is at a loss to know how all these clues add up and then a shocking turn of events puts even more people in danger…

My View:

I like Australian crime writers who write clever, well structured, intricate plots with well developed and empathetic protagonists and I am now a fan of Katherine Howell – why haven’t I heard this name before in Australian Literature? I will certainly be adding her to my list of authors to seek out.

Web of Deceit is a story told from two points of view – from the perspectives of a female detective – Ella Marconi and paramedics Alex and Jane working in metropolitan Sydney. What appear to be two competing story lines in fact are revealed to be one – a complicated and involved story of lies and deceit, of fear and retribution; on the surface the waters appear calm and innocuous but there is lots happening under the water.  Treachery is everywhere – it is not reserved for the “street” or the criminal underworld; it is in the workplace, which has become a time management, penny pinching environment where outcomes and not people matter (haven’t we all worked for places/people like this at some point?), where the climb up the greasy pole is the utmost importance – to some – but not to Ella, Alex and Jane. Treachery is in the home – where relationships are tested and deceit – by omission or by lie effect all.   Howell cleverly demonstrates that life is complicated, relationships are tricky and need effort and mostly, we are all just trying to do our best, the emphasis on mostly.

This narrative is complex with well written; an enthralling sequence of events, of coincidences (or are they?) and of consequences that culminate in one moment of terror.  The main characters are appealing, likable,  I loved the city street-scapes, the reality of lives – the familiar and the fly on the wall observations of others work and routines.  Howell presents a story of intrigue that is guaranteed to have you staying up late so as to finish this book.

 

First Trip – A Success

We had a great first trip away in our caravan. We have progressed from a camper, added a tent  when we got the dog and now have a caravan.  It is so easy I cant think why we didn’t go this option before.  Augusta was out destination – a beautiful coastal town – great accessible  river; to walk along the banks of, to paddle a kayak, to fish, to kite surf…then there is the ocean where at the right time you can whale watch, fish, swim, surf and just generally enjoy the fresh air and the views.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse  - where the Indian and the Southern Ocean  meet

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – where the Indian and the Southern Oceans meet

We enjoyed this peaceful escape , especially walking along the beach and the the caravan park BBQ at sunset.

What a view!

What a view!

Bob particularly enjoyed finding smelly disgusting things to roll in at the beach – he would nose dive into some sort of decaying sea life…we forgot the doggie wash so he had to settle for a bucket bath in a mild “green” dish-washing detergent – his coat is so shiny and soft now! ( and is smell free)   Next trip we will make sure we take a small hose specially for this purpose.  🙂

Bob  the dog enjoying the fresh air, the beach and the  smelly sea weed

Bob the dog enjoying the fresh air, the beach and the smelly sea weed

Adventures Coming Soon

We have bought our new ( second hand ) caravan and are very excited about using it. We are planning a short trip in the next few days to try it out and see what need to change to make it our own. So today we will open up the pop top, air it out, wash the curtains, change the light globes ( to energy saving), make up the bed, pack some  dry food and get our selves organised.

We  are thinking of going to Augusta  – a coastal town, on the river mouth. It is beautiful.   (My title shot is an image of the river at Augusta as the sun is starting to set.) It has a couple  of caravan parks and one is dog friendly – which is an important consideration for us. Bob has already decided he likes the caravan and the lounge seat where he can sit comfortably between the two of us. 🙂

Our "new van". Almost ready for travels.

Our “new van”. Almost ready for travels.

Post Script: The Other Child – Charlotte Link

The Other Child

A Novel of Crime

Charlotte Link

Open Road Integrated Media

ISBN: 9781453298602

Description

With more than 15 million copies of her novels sold in Europe, Charlotte Link makes her chillingly psychological American debut, now in English for the first time.

My View:

When is a crime novel not a crime novel? This book starts by creating the tension for situation that is not fully revealed until the final chapters; a horrific situation in a remote rural community….a barn and the contents that send a young woman running for her life. Then we move to current times and a murder that we know will happen…a young woman is bludgeoned to death….it was inevitable, the act was obvious from the start, the author planted that seed clearly in our minds. Yes the police are involved but it is not a police procedural story, the police play only a minor role, they are bit players in this story of sorrow. This is not really a book about crime, the crimes are somewhat incidental, set the scene or link the past to current events; it is a book about life and how the sins of the past catch up with the present. It is a book filled with great sorrow, sadness and regrets.

Link creates a narrative that is reminiscent of the gentle, thought provoking stories of Maeve Binchy; we learn a little about war time London and the plight of families during the intense and persistent air raids and bombings that had families scurrying into air raid shelters that were the catalyst to the decision to remove children from their families and send them to the relative safety of the countryside- and this is really where the story begins; a tale of children removed from their homes and the impact this event had on all concerned.

It is a story about love, expectations, let downs and…cruelty. Children can be so cruel, we teach them well. Link creates characters that are interesting, complex and dysfunctional. This is a complex story where the histories and perspectives of individuals are woven together in a patch work manner to create a history of life in a remote seaside town in England spanning many decades. Link initially paints a beautiful country side, a romantic idyllic escape – for some. For others this place is a burden, a place of cruelty, a prison; a depression in the landscape and the mind.

There is tension and Link builds this well. There is crime. And there is horror – acts committed and those not prevented. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke) And good people did nothing.

Love the cover – it is so evocative. An interesting read.

Post Script: Sneak Peak – “Unseen” Karin Slaughter

I have been very fortunate to receive an Advanced Readers Copy of the new Karin Slaughter book – I am a passionate fan of this author and cannot wait to start reading .

Here is the synopsis/description provided by Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell:

Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestselling novels are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

Bill Black is a scary guy: a tall ex-con who rides to work on a Harley and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. In Macon, Georgia, Bill has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer and his cunning girlfriend. They think Bill might be a useful ally. They don’t know that Bill is actually a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent. Or that he is fighting his own demons, undercover and cut off from the support of Sara Linton—the woman he loves, who cannot be told of the risk Will is taking.Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s death is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their lives.

My View – coming soon