Book: James Lee Burke “Lay Down My Sword and Shield”

August 20, 2017

I like reading books in long series rather than chopping and changing between different genres, characters, etc.  So when I come to the end of one it can be tricky to find out who to read next.  I tend to use book recommendation sites where you put in who you have read recently and out pops a few recommendations.  Which is how I came by this author – James Lee Burke and the first novel with this character, Hackberry Holland.

I really wish I had never found this book.  It was truly un-enjoyable.  In summary – there’s a lot of drinking and the main character decides not to run for office but helps poor workers instead.

Really boring book with so little happening that you can easily skip several pages with out missing anything happening.


Book: Michael Connelly “The Wrong Side of Goodbye”

August 20, 2017

I first met the Harry Bosch character when Amazon made the first season of ‘Bosch’ in 2014.  Being a reader I quickly read the entire back catalogue of Michael Connelly’s work from The Black Echo (1994) through to The Crossing (2016) which took me a little over a year (May 2015-2016).  So this is the first time since then that I have returned to this character, and it’s good to be back with an old friend.

Harry is now a private investigator and volunteers with San Fernando PD to clear their cold cases.  The book opens with a classic PI plot of a dying billionaire, full of regrest, asking Bosch to find any possible heir to his fortune.  As a young man he had an affair with a Mexican girl who then disappeared (possibly paid off by his father to do so).  Did she have a child from their affair, and if so what happened to the child?

Meanwhile in his work for the small San Fernando PD, Bosch has uncovered a link between several rape cases and is looking for more evidence to trace this before the man strikes again.  These two stories develop in parallel through the book with the usual detail that Connelly excels at, bringing to life the slow pace of investigation even when it is simply looking up records in archives.

Really good to be reading about Bosch again and a fascinating story.


Book: Nelson DeMille “Radiant Angel”

August 5, 2017

The last John Corey novel I’m going to read.

I like the main character and I like the intricacy of the plots DeMille writes.  In particular DeMille’s plots unfold in such a way that it is clearly impossible for Corey to succeed.. but obviously he does.

In this story John Corey is now with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group.following Russian diplomats.  For reasons that aren’t really obvious Vasily Petrov, a colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service posing as a diplomat starts an attack on New York harbor using a suit case nuke on a yacht.

 


Book: Nelson DeMille “The Panther”

August 4, 2017

I’m not sure why I am readying these.  The first John Corey “Plumb Island” was ok but seemed to repeat the key plot points too many times ..  this hasn’t got better and in this book just gets ridiculous!

Here we find Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield sent to Yemen to draw out a US born terrorist “The Panther”  – they are bait.  But….  before they go John researches “The Panther” then they are briefed on this current political situation in Yemen and its historical context and more about “The Panther” and how important it is to catch or kill him.  Then they make it to the Yemen and are briefed again about the history and political situation … then they meet a new contact who takes them on a tour of the capital where they find out more about the history and political… on and on!

For me it was as if the author had done some very good and detailed research – great.  But I don’t need to know all of that detail in order to read a thriller. The plot (if you can dig down enough to find it) is interesting and it is hard to see how they will achieve their goals … but there is a lot of words to get through.  I will be glad when this series is over.


Book: Nelson DeMille “The Lion”

August 4, 2017

Following the John Corey series finds the former NYPD homicide detective and now a special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, facing “The Lion” again.

The Lion has returned to America to finish what he started three years previously (Night Fall) and to kill Corey and his partner (now wife) Kate Mayfield.  Well, that’s about it really – the terrorist is doing terrorist stuff and John Corey is doing ‘rogue cop’ stuff.  The story unfolds fast enough and with some twists and turns but again I find DeMille repeats and goes over the key facts just far too many times.


Book: Nelson DeMille “Wild Fire”

July 19, 2017

Fourth Nelson DeMille novel in the John Corey series (following Plumb Island, The Lion’s Game, Night Fall) sees John  and his wife, FBI Agent Kate Mayfield gong under the radar to investigate a missing colleague that takes them to the exclusive Custer Hill Club and a plot to detonate nuclear devices in American cities to trigger a response…

I find DeMille’s style frustrating, he takes a really long time to tell the story that feels as if he has done a lot of background research and can’t resist telling the reader all the irrelevant details.  However, the main character is very funny and engaging.  I’ve seen a review compare the John Corey character to Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H. “hilarious as a fictional character, but you’d probably hate him if you had to deal with him in person.”

So this was an enjoyable read, not as fast paced as it could have been but kept me interested right to the end.


Book: Nelson DeMille “Night Fall”

June 28, 2017

Third John Corey book – an ex-NYPD now counter terrorist investigator.  I struggled with the first book being a bit too self indulgent and long winded but the stories are compelling and now that I’ve gotten to like the character I’m hooked.  In this book Corey is drawn into the five year old case of the downing of TWA flight 800 by his wife Kate Mayfield who was involved in the original investigation but isn’t satisfied with the official outcome.

As he starts to dig it becomes apparent that lots of people don’t want anything new to be found.  The ultimate conclusion of this story is a little disappointing as it is interrupted by the 9/11 attacks but this works very well as a story ark to the next book.  So as a stand alone novel I’m not sure this works but at a continuation and fleshing out of the main characters in this series it is good.