Books

Finished the latest Michael Connelly tonight. This one has both Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer.

The Resurrection Walk is what Haller calls the walk from the court when a person walks free after being found wrongly convicted and proven innocent.

Rattling good yarn but he uses one technique i’m not overly keen on. If one person is writing chapters in the first person, I don’t think there should be other chapters written in the third person.

2 Likes

Next one along…The Murder Game by Tom Hindle. A mix between hard-boiled crime and cosy crime, possibly described as Osmanesque.

A young guy sets up a murder game, possibly on the lines of Cluedo, where the crime seems to be a reprise of a murder that happened in this tiny Devon village a decade ago. One of the attendees is a property developer who grew up in the village, but now is tearing the village apart by his proposals to develop the local lighthouse.

I guessed who would be the obvious murderer, but wasn’t sure how it all came together.

Now onto @OBITV’s favourite, Everybody in my Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson. So far, so good…no mention of bulimia or vegetative siblings. Written in quite a humorous style.

Got around to getting a copy of boy swallows universe.

Shoulda read it earlier. What a novel and ive only scratched the surface.

1 Like

Finished Everybody in my Family Has Killed Someone.

Yeah…pretty good…pretty novel way of telling a story.

Probably onto the second Terra Alta novel.

I’ve bought 6 books in the last few days

The latest Lexi Winter by Sarah Barrie
2 by David Whish-Wilson, new series
Dave Warner’s new one with the two cops who go to San Francisco during the Summer of Love
Karen Herbert’s 2nd book, Vertigo

And another one.

And just finished Birds in Flight by Anni Taylor on Audible.
An American woman travelling around in a campervan with her 2 daughters and 2 other girls around the Sunshine Coast in 1997. The woman and one of the girls disappear.
The father collects the girls and takes them back to Pennsylvania. One returns to Oz a few years later, marries and settles down. In 2022, they receive news that the mother’s backpack has been found and the American woman returns and uncovers mystery after mystery. I enjoyed it a lot but it’s probably chick lit.

Well I have just finished reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a book from which one of HItchcock’s greatest films was made. I saw the film when I was a kid and remember it as gripping – I’m surprised it’s not shown more often now, when there’s quite a lot of Hitchcock available, including some that are not in Rebecca’s class.

For those who don’t know it, it’s the story, told in the first person, of a young woman who marries an older man, Maxim de Winter, whose wife Rebecca had died the previous year, believed to have drowned in a boating accident. We never learn the given name of the narrator, the second Mrs de Winter, but her life is transformed on her marriage to the older man. He is very wealthy and sophisticated and the owner of a magnificent estate, Manderley, in Cornwall; she is a simple girl, and very poor, and overwhelmed upon finding herself the mistress of Manderley. She is tormented by Mrs Danvers, the head housekeeper, who was devoted to the dead Rebecca and bitterly resents the presence of the new Mrs de Winter.

The first two-thirds of the book is concerned with the new bride’s attempts to come to terms with her new life and survive the malice of Mrs Danvers; the final third concerns the events that follow the unexpected discovery of the boat in which Rebecca was believed to have drowned.

It’s a well-written book with an engrossing plot and I enjoyed it. Some aspects of the plot stretch credulity a little, but the portrayal of the innocent and rather scared young girl plunged into a world she does not know and does not understand is compelling.

The film made a change to the plot that is really quite significant; it completely changes the view one has of Maxim de Winter. Apparently the plot in the novel was considered rather too much for the audiences of the day. For those who wish to know, in the book Maxim confesses to having murdered Rebecca and staged her drowning; in the film Rebecca dies accidentally. One can understand the producers of the film feeling that audiences might not sympathise with a “hero” who was a wife-murderer, no matter what provocation he was given by the evil and vicious Rebecca.

Well worth a read if you’re looking for something a bit different.

2 Likes

One of my favourites. First read it in high school …this is one of my favourite literary lines…

“We should grow old here together, we should sit like this to our tea as old people, Maxim and I, with our dogs, the successors of these, and the library would wear the same ancient musty smell that it did now. It would know a period of glorious shabbiness and wear when the boys were young—our boys—for I saw them sprawling on the sofa with muddy boots, bringing with them always a litter of rods, and cricket bats, great clasp-knives, bows-and-arrows”

1 Like

I got that compendium of famous Du Maurier novels, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Creek years ago.

There’s a 2020 movie remake on Netflix, I think. Not to be confused with the French series, Rebecca, about a troubled policewoman. This one stars Lily James and Armie Hammer. Kristin Scott Thomas as one of the most sinister women in literature or on screen, Mrs Danvers.

1 Like

Got the delivery of my Dymocks order from their 20% off Gold Booklover sale last Friday.

Summer of Blood by Dave Warner
Vertigo by Karen Herbert
I Am Already Dead by David Whish-Wilson

The prequel to the last one is due to arrive next week.

Finally finished Javier Cercas’s sequel to Even the Darkest Night. Gets a bit confusing at times as he switches between narrators a couple of times, even on the same page…and a bit too much referencing of the first book with Marín saying he’d never heard of Cercas, and thought he’d made it all up.

Onto Summer of Blood now. Got the bookcase sorted yesterday with Australian and international authors placed separately and in rough alphabetical order.

Are you saying you only have one?

Once your bookcases are sufficiently full to overflowing, they tend to merge, ameoba-like, into one uber-bookshelf that comprises every flat surface in the house.

Don’t ask me how i know.

1 Like

Either side of one room…one side has a lot of modern fiction, the other side more classic stuff and non-fiction. Probably 7 panels nearly 3 metres high.

In the study, 3 smaller ones…one has all my university texts and a few compendiums,another has technical stuff and another has all the Wodehouses.

1 Like

How often do you look at your university texts?

I got rid of mine when I realised I hadn’t opened any for more than twenty years.

edit: Just did a count of my bookcases and there are eight, some larger than others.

I don’t care. I’m still not getting rid of them.

I’ve looked at a few of them since, but my entire working career avoid statistics altogether…except for a fair bit of probability theory when I was doing work for Tatts in the 80s.

Probably haven’t touched the Wodehouses for 30 years either, but they copped a fair old hiding from about 1965-1990. Would have averaged his 90-odd books at about 5 each. The brilliance of his prose made it worth it.

I’ve just finished listening to The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling), seventh in the series of Cormoran Strike detective novels. I’ve listened to them all. They’re pretty popular – when a new one comes out it gets a prime position in the bookshop, and the audiobook appears virtually simultaneously.

They’re not very good. I’m not going to bother with any more. Okay, they’re all page-turners. Something about her writing always makes you want to know what’s going to happen next, and I fully accept that that’s an attribute highly to be prized in any author’s work. But really, as regards the basic plot, the characterisation and the writing style, they’re not very good and this one was really pretty poor.

It’s also far too long. The first in the series was 15 hours long as an audiobook, which is a solid length for a novel, but the same thing happened with these novels as happened with her Harry Potters (which I’ve never read): as the series went on, the books got longer and longer, and the seventh is 34 hours, which is immense. A lot of it was pretty tedious, too, although never quite tedious enough to make me give up. (I rarely give up once started.)

The setup is that Cormoran Strike is an ex-military policeman who was blown up in Iraq and lost half a leg, so he left the army and set up as a private detective. He’s the son of a rich and famous pop singer whom he hates for having abandoned him as a child; his mother was a hopeless hippie/bohemian type who bounced from one no-hoper man to another and brought up Strike and his sister in a succession of squats and other squalid places. At the beginning of the first book he hires a temp, Robyn Ellacott, who quickly becomes a detective and before much longer his business partner. There’s a continuing theme through the books of a romance between Strike and Robyn, but as of the end of book 7 it’s yet to burst into flower and is frankly rather boring.

Book 7 is about the attempt to rescue the client’s son from the clutches of a religious cult. It has every single trope you could possibly imagine: brainwashing, mystical incantations, sexual abuse, other physical abuse, economic exploitation, and of course (it’s a detective novel), a couple of murders, fraud and even child trafficking. There’s a long – very very long – section where Robyn goes undercover as a convert to the cult that gets more unbelievable with each passing page. It’s all very politically correct, too.

JK Rowling is said to be worth well over $1 billion, so she obviously knows how to write books that sell. I rather admire her for writing the first of the Strike books and getting it published without revealing that she was “Robert Galbraith”, but that doesn’t make her any better as a writer.

Don’t bother.

1 Like

I tried reading one of the early Cormoran Strike novels but gave it away after only a few chapters because I found it difficult to engage with as it was very boring and dull.

It wasn’t a book that held my attention and I endorse your non-recommendation.

1 Like

Yeah…well, I never tried. Don’t mind the TV series though.

Are you referring to a Cormoran Strike TV series? I didn’t know there was one. Which streamer?

Edit. Found it.

The Strike TV series has one of the multiple pommy Tom’s, Tom Burke, as Strike and Holliday Granger as Robyn.

Just finished Dave Warner’s Summer of Blood and it’s a must for crime readers of a certain age who remember the Summer of Love in LA/SF of 1967. Ray and John are two Sydney cops sent to San Francisco to try to locate the son of a pollie who’s gone missing from Berkeley.

Across their time, they get deeply involved with a cross-section of the music makers of the era. Probably the most was Janis (Joplin), but also Grace Slick, Eric Burdon, Elvis and bands like The Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Mothers of Invention, Jefferson Airplane and Buffalo Springfield.

It’s a roller-coaster

I’m shocked. Shocked I tell ya, shocked and dismayed.

3 Likes