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Search tags: Die-Fl��sse-von-London
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review 2018-05-04 23:52
Fesselnd und frustrierend
Das Meer löscht alle Spuren: Ein Fall fü... Das Meer löscht alle Spuren: Ein Fall für Journalistin Nora Sand - Lone Theils,Ulrike Brauns

„Das Meer löscht alle Spuren“ hat mich gefesselt und frustriert. Einerseits erzählt Lone Theils eine hochaktuelle Geschichte auf spannende Weise und in einem flüssig zu lesenden Stil. Andererseits hat der Krimi für meinen Geschmack einige strukturelle Schwächen.

 

Die Rahmenhandlung bildet die herzerwärmende, aber tragische Liebesgeschichte des iranischen Dichters Manash und seiner Frau Amina. Sie müssen aus ihrer Heimat fliehen, werden aber unterwegs ungewollt getrennt. Amina verschwindet spurlos. Manash landet in einem Flüchtlingsheim in Dänemark. Dort fleht er die Journalistin Nora Sand an, Amina zu finden und verspricht ihr im Gegenzug ein Exklusiv-Interview. Nora nimmt sich der Aufgabe an und stößt auf erschreckende Vorgänge, in die skrupellose Großunternehmen verwickelt sind.

 

Das Thema Flucht greift die Autorin auf sensible Weise auf. Sie verdeutlicht, wie unterschiedlich Menschen nur aufgrund ihrer Herkunft behandelt werden und welche Abgründe es zwischen Menschlichkeit und Profitgier gibt. Letztendlich beschäftigt sich nur ein kleiner Teil der komplexen Handlung mit Geflüchteten. Für meinen Geschmack hätte der Kriminalroman ruhig noch politischer ausfallen können, aber als Unterhaltungsbuch eignet er sich in seiner jetzigen Form sehr gut.

 

Etwas ratlos hat mich das Ende zurückgelassen. Auf der persönlichen Ebene der Charaktere fällt der Schluss sehr emotional aus (Nein, ich habe nicht geweint, ein Allergieanfall hat meine Augen zum Tränen gebracht.). Aber die (…ähm, spoilerfreie Formulierung…) strafrechtlich relevanten Geschehnisse enden viel zu abrupt. Natürlich bin ich froh, dass es kein Klischee-Ende gibt – nach dem Motto die Guten gewinnen und die Bösen verlieren. Aber irgendwie scheinen die Vergehen der Unternehmen und die Grenzüberschreitungen der Geheimdienste so gar keine Konsequenzen zu haben. Die Geschichte endet einfach, ohne dass die Autorin diese Konflikte wirklich auflöst. Dabei hätten sie so viel erzählerisches Potential gehabt.

 

Streckenweise wirkt die Handlung zudem etwas konstruiert. Neben ihrer Suche nach Amina erhält Nora weiterhin reguläre Aufträge zu Artikeln, die sie für ihre dänische Zeitung schreiben soll. Auf den ersten Blick haben die Themen überhaupt nichts mit ihrer Suche zu tun, aber gerade dann, wenn Nora nicht weiterweiß, werden ihre Recherchen für die anderen Artikel plötzlich relevant. Was mit Amina geschehen ist, wird dann gegen Ende ziemlich offensichtlich, auch wenn Nora die Zusammenhänge noch gar nicht erkannt hat.

 

All diese Kritikpunkte stören mich aber auch nur so sehr, weil der Kriminalroman ansonsten wirklich sehr gut war. Aktuelle Themen mit hohem Spannungspotential, Ermittlungen mal nicht aus Sicht der Polizei, eine verwickelte Handlung und interessante Charaktere: „Das Meer löscht alle Spuren“ lohnt sich.

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review 2018-04-13 15:53
The Ashes of London
Ashes of London - Andrew Taylor

by Andrew Taylor

 

The Ashes of London is set against the Great London Fire of 1666. There are two stories intertwined. A first person narrative from James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, who is tasked to track down the killer of a mummified corpse found in St Paul's after it has burned down, alternating with a third person account of Cat, an heiress whose father is in exile for treason who faces many of the hardships that women had to deal with in that era, rich or poor.

 

Cat is a strong character and intelligent. She has an aptitude for architecture that the role of women would usually squelch, but through a series of mostly unfortunate circumstances, she finds herself in a position to develop.

 

The changing perspectives actually work very well. There is a healthy dose of political intrigue and an element of mystery to be solved. The book held my attention and the last few chapters got into some tense action that had me glued to the pages. I'm glad I've got the sequel waiting for me because this was definitely one of my best reads this year!

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review 2018-04-11 19:12
Pretty Face by Lucy Parker - My Thoughts
Pretty Face - Lucy V. Parker

I loved it.  Pure and simple. I loved it like I loved the first book in the series.  It's fun and it's sexy and it's honestly a joy to read, just in the way it's crafted. 

Back when I was a tween, hell, I guess I'd have been about 10 or 11 (1966/1967 to put it in time frame), I started reading the Penny Parrish books by Janet Lambert.  Sweet, teenage type romances that followed Army kid Penny through her teenage to her adult years.  And Penny became a famous Broadway actress who ended up marrying her director and it was MARVELOUS!  Then, a few years later, I read one of my first Harlequin Romances - Kay Thorpe's Curtain Call (1971) and absolutely loved it.  So much that other than my Janet Dailey collection, it's the only Harlequin of hundreds that I've read that I have left on my bookshelves.  Lucy Parker's books bring me back to that time and remind me of the dreams I had as a girl, to be a stage actress (didn't happen *LOL*, but I still love the dream).  I feel the same way reading Lucy's books as I did back then and I like the feeling - it's a good one.

The characters are terrific and never perfect, even the secondary or thirderary.  *LOL*  I know, I made up that word, it should be tertiary, I think.  Anyway, Lucy's characters, while they are bigger than life, which, of course, they are or who'd want to read about them, they are also relatable with flaws and not so nice traits at times.  I especially liked the way Margo, the hero's ex, was portrayed.  Her emotions and motivations when dealing with Lily and Luc are real and understandable.  She's not a martyr, nor is she a bitch.  I liked that!

Another important thing that I loved was that the author navigated the pitfalls of the power imbalance between the big director and the young actress very well.  It never felt icky or anywhere near #metoo-ish.  Luc was always respectful and mindful of the power imbalances as was Lily and they spoke about them.  So, kudos to Lucy!  That could have gone very wrong.

One thing that Lucy weaves throughout her stories is a sense of fun and witty humour.  I love it!  I've even laughed out loud while reading.  Which brings me back to the girl I once was.  Back in the day, my best friend, Cat, and I used to devour romances - Harlequins, Heyers, Silhouettes... we'd sit and read, different books, and read out delightful passages to each other and then... we'd trade books!  Had we had Lucy Parker's books back in the day, there would be a ton of passages read out loud and then, I'm pretty sure we'd make sure we each had our own copies.  :) 

Oh, read these books!  Sexy and fun and I just love them!

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review 2018-04-10 15:35
The Secret Life of Mrs. London - Rebecca Rosenberg

I have been a historical fiction fan forever and was intrigued by The Secret Life of Mrs. London. Jack London was an unknown to me. I am not familiar with his writing, his life, or anything else about him. It was interesting to learn about him in a fiction book, but still walk away with facts about his life. He was not overly likable, the way he treated those close to him was not something that I could understand. He was entirely into himself, his needs, and the way he wanted those in the public to perceive him. I struggled with his decisions and his actions but they played a huge part of the story of Houdini and Charmian (Mrs. London). Houdini is someone I am familiar with. He has always intrigued me. I love magic and risks he took while entertaining crowds has always interested me. The author, Rebecca Rosenberg, did an amazing job of describing his shows, from the things he wore to the tricks her did I could picture them as I was reading. The relationship with his wife, Bessie, was sweet. There is no doubt he loved her but there was more to their relationship. Charmian is not your typical wife. She is wife to an eccentric writer who is very demanding of her while not always giving her what she needs. Her devotion to Jack London was unrequited. I wanted her to be stronger, stand up to him, demand he give her the attention she needed. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is an amazing historical fiction story that I would recommend picking up.

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review 2018-03-29 14:48
A nice guide to London’s history, but poor directions
Cadogan Book of Historic London Walks (Cadogan Guide) - Leo Hollis

London is a city of layers.  From its Roman core, successive generations have built over and outward, turning the walled town into the vast metropolis that it is today.  This evolution can be seen just by walking around central London, yet many of the signs of it are tucked away in obscure corners or hidden in the anonymity of everyday life.

 

It is for those people who seek to discover the city’s past for themselves that Leo Hollis wrote this guidebook.  In it he details a dozen walks that allow participants to explore the span of London’s history, from the Roman remnants to its vast physical expansion during Victorian times.  Each walk includes a small map and instructions in bold as to the streets to take, along with explanatory text providing the background of the sites and their historical relevance.

 

Hollis’s book can be a good tool with which to explore London’s past.  His text is readable yet insightful, bringing to light the relevance of so much of the architectural and geographical landscape that might otherwise be taken for granted.  Yet its usefulness is marred by the unclear directions the walks offer.  Oftentimes these are more simplistic than London’s streets can justify and in a few places they prove to be outright wrong.  These problems can be surmounted by an aware reader, though, and should not detract from the informative explorations of the city that Hollis offers within its pages.

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