Book: Lawrence Block “Sins of the Father”

August 29, 2017

My continuing search for nice long series of books with an interesting main protagonist finds Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder character.  This book, first published in 1976, introduces Scudder as an ex NYPD cop now taking on unlicensed investigations.  The father of an estranged daughter who has been murdered comes to Scudder to find out more about her life.  There appears to be no need to investigate her murder because her male faltmate was found at the scene ranting and covered in blood, he was arrested and a few days later killed himself – case closed.  But the father wants to know what kind of person his daughter had become.

Lawrence Block lets us follow the investigation as Scudder follows up paper trails, conversations and instinct to paint a picture of the girls life, and discover who really murdered her and why.  A very enjoyable read and I’ll certainly move straight onto the next Matthew Scudder novel.


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.