Book: E.V. Seymour “Final Target (Josh Thane Thriller #2)”

March 19, 2018

A fantastic follow up to the previous novel “A Deadly Trade” the now ex-assassin Josh Thane has given up his life of murder and gone to ground.  When glamorous MI5 agent, McCallan, needs his help, Josh can’t resist being pulled back into the game.

Soon he realises that he is a target and not just him, but those closest to him. As crime bosses and intelligence officers are picked off one by one, McCallen disappears and Josh is faced with a choice that could make this mission his last: either he walks into the trap set for him, or McCallen dies.

I enjoyed this just as much as the first one and look forward to reading more from this author and with this character.


Book: E.V. Seymour “A Deadly Trade (Josh Thane Thriller #1)”

March 19, 2018

Fast paced thriller and first appearance of professional assassin Josh Thane. His next target is a British microbiologist breaking into her house, he discovers she is already dead.  As her son stumbles in, he shows weakness for the first time in his professional career and lets him go.  A single mistake that destroys everything he’s worked for and puts him and the boy in immediate danger.  The first twist is the attraction to the MI5 agent who is first on site.  The next is that his target is suspected of creating devastating chemical weapons.

Who ordered the kill?  Who is after Josh Thane now?  How can he get out of this situation and make things right?

A great read if a little over complicated in the end.


book: Lee Child “The Midnight Line”

January 20, 2018

Jack is back!  Many years ago I lived opposite a coffee shop full of second hand books for sale or swap and a very enthusiastic owner, Lou.  The first time I asked her for advice on what to read next she just walked around the counter and handed me Lee Child’s first novel (Killing Floor).  I worked my way through his back catalogue and get every new book when released.

The movies are good but the books are fantastic.

I am always amazed at how minimalist Lee Child’s writing is – he has the lightest of touch in describing Reacher, the situations he gets in and all those involved.

This story starts when Reacher sees a graduation ring from West Point in a pawn shop.  He buys it and starts to trace the owner knowing that this isn’t something that would be given up easily.


Book: Leslie Charteris “Enter The Saint”

December 30, 2017

While I remember the Saint TV series I prefer the B-Movies from the 30’s and 40’s however I’ve never tried reading the original stories.

This collection of three novellas was first published in 1930.  Charters second Saint book where Simon Templar starts to get in his stride.  The stories are “The Man Who Was Clever”,  “The Policeman With Wings”  and “The Lawless Lady”.

Disappointingly I found these stories a bit laboured.  I enjoyed the 1930s environment, the slap dash nature of The Saint and a few other things but…  well it was slow, repetitive and a bit boring.


Book: Michael Connelly “Two Kinds Of Truth”

December 30, 2017

Another Harry Bosch novel from Connelly!  Fantastic.

Harry is now retired, but a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando police.  Due to his experience he is pulled into the case of  two killings at a local pharmacy.  Bosch and the town small detective squad work this case at the same time as one of his old cases comes back to haunt him.

In the old case a murderer is about to be freed from death row due to new DNA evidence but also claiming that Bosch planted evidence.

As ever with Connelly the “two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire”.


Book: Lawrence Block “When the Sacred Ginmill Closes” (Matthew Scudder 6)

December 8, 2017

even worse than the last one – giving up on this author.


Book: Lawrence Block “Eight Million Ways to Die” (Matthew Scudder 5)

December 8, 2017

Writing this some time after finishing the book and really nothing has stayed with me from it.  I started to get fed up with this character in the previous book and this didn’t help.  Spends too much time describing the drinking and not enough on the plot.


Book: Lawrence Block “A Stab in the Dark” (Matthew Scudder 4)

September 29, 2017

So I’m working through the Matthew Scudder series by Lawrence Block.  With some authors I read everything they publish in published order, other times I follow a single chracter and don’t care much if the author has other characters in his playbook.  That’s the approach here.  The Matthew Scudder novels so far are ok, I’m not enjoying the character as much as Harry Bosch or say Jack Reacher because there isn’t as much unraveling of the investigation.  But so far they are interesting enough to keep me working through the series.

bookIn this book the father of a murder victim Barbara Ettinger comes to Matt Scudder for help.  His daughter was the victim of ice-pick wielding serial killer who murdered 8 women nine years ago and was never caught.  Until now when recently released from a mental institution he is randomly picked up for carrying an ice pick and freely admits to the murders carried out nine years previously.  However, he only claims 7 murders and was locked up at the time of Barbara Ettinger‘s murder.  So the father who has come to terms with his daughter having been murdered by a serial killer has now to face the fact that someone she knew may have killed her and used the ice-pick murders at the time to make it look like another serial killer victim.

Scudders, often drunken, investigation is facinating turning up new leads on a long cold case.  This was a positive page turner and showed a lot more facets to Scudder’s character than the previous novels.


Book: Lawrence Block “Time to Murder and Create” (Matthew Scudder 3)

September 29, 2017

Small-time crook known as “The Spinner” leaves an envelope with Matt Scudder only to be opened if he is killed.  He is then killed.

bookThe contents of the envelope is the blackmail material Spinner has on three people.   Believing one of these individuals was pushed too far he just has to figure out which one and let the others off the hook.

Matthew Scudder is both a complex and simple character with a clear moral code that drives through everything.


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.