logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Alex-Grecian
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-27 19:46
Depressingly implausible
The Wolf - Alex Grecian

Travis Roan is a Nazi hunter and his travels have led him to Kansas in the American Midwest and in particular to the community know as Purity First, a religious order. The founder of this sect is an elderly gentleman called Rudy Goodman a notorious Nazi better known as Rudolf Bormann, who is still adhering to evil practices on mainland USA.

 

It is now over 70 years since the conclusion of wartime hostilities in Europe. It therefore follows that any supporters of that regime would in all probability be very elderly and most likely infirm. This does not detract or excuse their past misdemeanours but it makes it highly unlikely that a 90 year old man would actively pursue evil practices by carrying out depraved deeds and murder. Over many years a number of children have gone missing, and it would appear that the good population of Kansas never once suspected or indeed questioned a motley group of individuals who wore "Brownshirts" acting in the manner of Adolf Hitler's SA..."all of them wearing identical brown shirts. There were perhaps twenty of them, their pink skin scrubbed clean, their fair hair neatly parted"..... In additions Rudolf Bormann owns a ranch know as the Third R which unbelievably never attracted attention from anyone in the rural community.

 

The hero of the moment is Trooper Skottie who certainly adds a little charm and colour to a sorry tale. Travis Roan's faithful dog Bear is at the centre of all the action, he is both deadly and loveable in equal measures and only responds to commands made in a language known as "Esperanto" (which has an estimated 2 million speakers worldwide, I am led to believe). Skottie struggles in her role as a single parent to her daughter and is drawn to the quiet reserved manner that is Roan. I quite liked the first third of this story and was prepared to overlook the fact that a very old man could be at the centre of a community funnelling drugs and people and guns and equally be the main suspect in the disappearance of young children. It was laughable to even consider that no one noticed these rather odd Brownshirts or even questioned a homestead called the third R....I suspect that if a  man in brown  shorts, neatly parted hair,  short stubby moustache and a swastika on his arm jack booted his way down main street he would probably just been seen as an oddity and ignored! If an author chooses to use Nazi ideology as the main theme in his book the story should at least have some plausibility and not be portrayed in this nonsensical way culminating in a shootout when the main culprits were finally uncovered. As a reader and reviewer on netgalley it has to be right that I view and voice my opinions whether they be good or bad. Unfortunately in "The Wolf" I cannot find anything of merit, it was a story that had a ridiculous unfolding plot and it seems to me that the only reason for using Nazism as its central plot was a cheap ploy to draw in unsuspecting readers. Best avoided and certainly not recommended...however as always thanks to the good people at netgalley and the publisher Penguin for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-18 19:21
The Saint of Wolves and Butchers - Alex Grecian
I've read several of this author's Scotland Yard's Murder Squad and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this book which (I hope) is setting up a new series of a new agency that is set up to find, capture and punish Nazi war criminals.

Rudolph Bormann, now Rudy Goodman, (what a play on words this name change is) was a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator prior to illegally entering the U.S. in the 1950's. He has now set up a "cult" that applies a lot of the Nazi principles. This is one helluva despicable man. The things he has been doing since he's been in the U.S. are startling, jaw dropping and out there.

He's recently been discovered by a camp survivor and turned into the foundation that was set up to find these criminals. Travis Roan and his dog, Bear, have been charged with finding his father who had set out to check up on these allegations when he went missing.

There is a heck of a lot of action going on in this book and I was held spellbound. I sped through this book, my anger at this Nazi and his actions ran rampant. A book I thoroughly enjoyed and was, quite frankly, a little sad to see it end. I really like these new characters, Travis and Skottie and hope I do see more of them.

Also, the lightning trick at the end of the book - GENIUS!!

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-04-18 19:20
The Saint of Wolves and Butchers - Alex Grecian
I've read several of this author's Scotland Yard's Murder Squad and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this book which (I hope) is setting up a new series of a new agency that is set up to find, capture and punish Nazi war criminals.

Rudolph Bormann, now Rudy Goodman, (what a play on words this name change is) was a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator prior to illegally entering the U.S. in the 1950's. He has now set up a "cult" that applies a lot of the Nazi principles. This is one helluva despicable man. The things he has been doing since he's been in the U.S. are startling, jaw dropping and out there.

He's recently been discovered by a camp survivor and turned into the foundation that was set up to find these criminals. Travis Roan and his dog, Bear, have been charged with finding his father who had set out to check up on these allegations when he went missing.

There is a heck of a lot of action going on in this book and I was held spellbound. I sped through this book, my anger at this Nazi and his actions ran rampant. A book I thoroughly enjoyed and was, quite frankly, a little sad to see it end. I really like these new characters, Travis and Skottie and hope I do see more of them.

Also, the lightning trick at the end of the book - GENIUS!!

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-05-30 17:42
Memorial Day Reading Update!
Faithful Place - Tana French
A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie
Wildfire at Midnight - Mary Stewart
The Yard - Alex Grecian

Faithful Place by Tana French

 

For roll 18.1, I landed on the "Start" square, which gave me a free read! I decided to read the third in Tana French's rather brilliant Dublin Murder Squad series. Each of these books focuses on a different main character. This one centers around Frank Mackey, whom we met in the last book, The Likeness. While these books are nominally crime fiction, they are really more Irish ethnography. Frank Mackey grew up in the now rapidly-gentrifying Liberties, Dublin, child of an extremely abusive father and member of one of the most dysfunctional literary Irish families in recent memory. 

 

In 1985, when Frank was 19, he and his girlfriend Rose Daly, had planned to run away together, to England. On the night they were to leave, she never arrived at their meeting place. Assuming that she had gone without him, Frank left home. Twenty-two years later, the neighborhood is gentrifying, and Rose's suitcase is found in a derelict building, and Frank finally returns home to find out what really happened all of those years ago.

 

Frank Mackey and I are the same age - I was also 19 in 1985, so one of the most enjoyable parts of this book, for me, were the flashback scenes where Frank and Rose would talk about music. French nailed 1985. At 400 pages, this misses the $5.00 value by one measley page, and is worth $3.00!

 

A Pocketful of Rye by Agatha Christie

 

Roll 18.2 landed me on a #8, which called for a mystery. I had planned to read the newest Louise Penney, but, as it turned out, I needed a quick read for a challenge, so I grabbed A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie. 

 

I know that I've previously read this book, because I remembered much of the story. One of the things that I had never noticed before, though, is that this is basically the same story as Hercule Poirot's Christmas. The victim in both mysteries is a rather horrible, wealthy man who has been involved in some sort of a swindle out in India/Africa (in the Poirot version, the victim, Simeon Lee, made his fortune in diamonds, in the Marple version, Rex Fortescue was involved in some sort of nefarious dealing related to a Blackbird mine. While the solutions are different, the similarities are striking. I first noticed that Christie uses the same quote in both books, which put me onto the parallels:

 

"The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small."

 

Anyway, even when she's recycling characters and plot points, Agatha manages to make each mystery intricate, engaging and unique. A Pocketful of Rye is 256 pages long, and is worth $3.00

 

Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire

 

Roll 18.3: I am still reading Pocket Apocalypse, and expect to be done today. This one features Alex, who isn't my favorite Price, but I'm enjoying it!

 

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart

 

For Roll 19, I needed to read something tagged gothic for Haunted Mansion #19. I decided to pick up an older Mary Stewart that's been on my shelves for a long while - Wildfire at Midnight. Set in the Hebrides, on the Isle of Skye, this was an enjoyable old fashioned gothic romance full of murder and mountaineering. Mary Stewart knew how to tell a story, and while this wasn't as good as Nine Coaches Waiting, it was a fast, fun read. Only 224 pages long, this one was worth $3.00.

 

The Yard by Alex Grecian

 

Roll 20 put me on Paradise Pier #28, which called for a book set during the Victorian period. The first book I started wasn't doing anything for me, so I abandoned it, and decided to read The Yard by Alex Grecian, which is set in 1889 London, right on the heels of the Jack the Ripper murders. This one was full of anachronisms, but it was reasonably entertaining, although not as good as I had hoped, and one of the subplots annoyed the hell out of me. I already own the second book in the series, so I'll read on at some point. This one is 422 pages long, so the reward is $5.00.

 

My bank is: $100.00!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-10 16:46
The Yard / Alex Grecian
The Yard - Alex Grecian

Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . . .When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. Together they track the killer, who clearly is not finished with The Murder Squad . . . but why?

 

I liked The Yard. I really wanted to love it, but a couple of things stood in my way. I really felt like it was a modern forensic mystery being forced into a Victorian corset—and details were frequently straining to escape.

A little research has helped me like it more. This really was the time period during which fingerprinting became a thing that police forces did and autopsies were practiced. I found the resistance of some members of the police force to these procedures to be believable—perhaps more believable than the easy acceptance of them by the main characters.

I probably would have been more enamoured by this novel had I not been reading some of Ben Aaronovitch’s excellent Rivers of London series recently. Aaronovitch, as a Londoner, has such an advantage with the dialog—his sounds authentic, he uses slang expertly, his dialog sounds natural. This is a difficult task for a North American author to duplicate. Grecian’s characters inevitably end up sounding somewhat American. A couple of references to the modern myth of families needing "closure" especially rubbed me the wrong way, particularly since I really don't believe that there's any such thing! Having lost family traumatically in a car accident, I can tell you that there is never closure, just the careful construction of a new reality.

I didn’t get a strong sense of place in The Yard either. London is such a wonderful, rich location for a story--Rivers of London or the Slough House series by Mick Herron make the city an integral part of the action.

Still, this was an interesting first book in the series and I wouldn’t be surprised if I read at least the second book at some point to see if the author finds his footing. There are a number of interesting people who seem poised to become regulars and the possibilities are intriguing. If you enjoyed this book, I would also recommend Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye, a book which I feel captures the flavor of the period a little better.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?