Terry Pratchett‘s latest paperback “Snuff” is a return for one of my favourite characters Sam Vimes, or His Grace His Excellency the Duke of Ankh Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh Morpork Watch. However, for some reason this book didn’t hit the mark with me.
The basic plot involves Sam going on vacation, which in itself is something which appears never to have happened. He is taken to Lady Sybil Vimes ancestral home in the country – the countryside being something that Sam is particularly uncomfortable with. The plot revolves around the basically racist behaviour towards goblins, simple appearing creatures who are kidnapped and murdered.
But for me this is a longer and less punchy story than most of Pratchett’s work, with the interesting bits simply being spaced too far apart to keep me hooked. The humour is dry, the plot plodding and basically I just kept falling asleep. It is nice to have more of the old characters but really I’m not sure it was worth it.
I downloaded “Zero Day” by David Baldacci kindle version as a last minute thought before going on holiday mainly because it was free but I was really please with this book. The main character is John Puller a MP investigator who rolls into a small industrial area of the states where a multiple homicide has happened only to find an undermanned local police force with a female chief of police – this is so similar to many of Child’s Jack Reacher books that I’ve read that it felt very familiar from the start.
John Puller is an interesting character and I will now need to look for some more books with this character. He is similar to Jack Reacher in his military knowledge, like for simple dinners and motels and of course being able to take on any situation with his brains or his fists – whatever is needed.
The plot itself is somewhat complex to summarise but basically some people are dead and there is no apparent motive. The police force don’t have the manpower or experience to deal with this but since John Puller has been sent to investigate they have all the experience they need. Then we find that the county is owned by one (bad) man, who owns the coal mining and all related industry, there is some terrorist ‘chatter’ coming from the county – is this related or not to the deaths – why don’t homeland security move in rather than leaving it all to one man… OK the more I think about it the weaker the plot is but as you go along the book is a true page turner with a climax or cliff hanger at the end of each short chapter.
I enjoyed it very much.