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review 2017-12-15 23:22
Harm, Threat, Malice - The Rina Walker Series (Books #1-#3)
Harm - Hugh Fraser
Threat - Hugh Fraser
Malice - Hugh Fraser

Looking back at the books I have read this year, Hugh Fraser's three novels, Harm, Threat, and Malice, are without a doubt some of the most memorable reads: I cannot remember the last time I read a series that I had so many problems with, and that, at the same time, made me laugh so much and was so gripping that I had to read the entire series. 


I had problems with the first book, Harm, a few weeks ago, and in particular the depiction of a gritty side of London (and it hardly can get any grittier or more violent, and - in parts - more sickening). In fact, all three books are full of similar elements - except that the award for scenes that made me go "eeeww" has to go the Threat for its graphic displays

of murder and necrophilia

(spoiler show)


And yet! I had to read on. I loved Rina, our kick-ass main character. Considering she is an assassin, she's not as amoral as the her job title makes her out to be. She's motivated - so we are told - by the wish to take care of and make a better life for her kid sister. Having been thrown into a life of crime, she makes the best of her circumstances, which just happens to lead to ... more crime. But just as Rina and her friends are not all bad, the characters who are portrayed as fitting in with society are not really all that good. A part of the enjoyment of reading about Rina is reading about how she is able to hold a mirror up to respectability and show that it isn't all it is cracked up to be.


Of the three books, I liked Threat (book #2) best, even tho it did gross me out, and even tho the chapter set in Berlin was awful. 

In addition to Rina being contracted as a more colourful version of James Bond, it also showed more about Rina's relationships at home, and how she cares for her kid sister and her girlfriend. 


The third book, Malice, seems the most sedate of the three, but it may just be that I could not muster up that much interest in London gangsters. Malice certainly lacked the - what I call - "WTH-elements" of the first two books.


I hope there will be more books in the series, and I am probably going to read them if there are: the books are entertaining, and I loved reading them in between more serious tomes. Still, it is better to approach them the same way I would approach a Bond novel ... with a glass of wine and a pinch of salt.


Harm - 2.5*

Threat - 3.5*

Malice - 3*

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text 2017-12-15 19:30
Reading progress update: I've read 97%.
Malice - Hugh Fraser



I can't believe he's just spoilt the twist in Rebecca!


And for no reason! It's not like this was needed to understand the plot in Malice.




So, should anyone pick up this one before reading Rebecca...


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text 2017-12-15 12:32
Reading progress update: I've read 17%.
Malice - Hugh Fraser

Well, my prediction at the end of the last book was kinda right...we are in Godfather territory in this one, except we're in the midst of gang wars in middle of London in the 1960s.

‘I’m taking over his firm.’

‘Oh yeah?’

‘And I want you to come in with me.’

I have to admire the gall of this kid, but he’s got about as much chance of getting control of Viner’s interests and the people who work for him as I have of becoming Pope.

I would not be surprised if the Pope thing developed into a plot further down the line in this series. ;D

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-12-02 21:34
Malice of Crows - Lila Bowen
Malice of Crows (The Shadow) - Lila Bowen

Malice of Crows is the third book in this series (and I assume the last of a trilogy?), following on from Wake of Vultures and Conspiracy of Ravens, both of which I really enjoyed.


Essentially they're focussed on the experiences of Rhett, who joined the Rangers after running from the care of his 'parents' and also discovered he has the ability to shapeshift into a giant bird, just one of his powers when it comes to fighting the monsters which surround him. In Conspiracy of Ravens, Rhett was up against a sorcerer called Trevisan who subsequently possessed the body of a young girl and went on the run - Malice of Crows follows on immediately from that book and details what happens next. 


Rhett's own past has always been more than a little mysterious, so more information comes to light in this volume, not to mention that there's also some degree of resolution around relationships for him. This book didn't feel quite as smoothly plotted as the previous two and just seemed to stop, with only minimal resolution, which was one of the reasons I gave Malice of Crows 4 stars when I gave the previous books 5. The other was the way in which the book ends, which felt unnecessarily cruel for Rhett given everything he's previously been through. 

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review 2017-10-25 22:13
Sadly for now...I've come to the end of the line...
Absinthe of Malice - Rhys Ford,Tristan James

'Absinthe of Malice' is the 5th and...nope, it's not the last book in the 'Sinner's' series...there's one more to go and unfortunately it doesn't have a release date yet but like all good things I know it's going to be worth the wait. 


And in the meantime, I've loved thoroughly and unashamedly delighted in this revisiting this this series from start to finish on audio and depending on when that last book is released I will probably do this again at least once...or twice...or who knows...


Absinthe of Malice was a bit of a departure from the other stories in this series because the focus was more on Miki, Damien, Forest and Rafe as they took their act on the road...don't misunderstand here this doesn't mean that we were deprived of the Morgan clan...nope throughout this story we were treated to visits from Kane, Sionn, Connor and Quinn and of course what's a 'Sinner's' story without Brigid and Donel. 


Back in my original review I told a story about how I'd once wanted to have a book store and rather than the usual categories of fantasy, romance, etc. etc. I was going to use food categories because for me books are food for the brain and I went on to say that for me this series is 'comfort food' and while it's only been a little over a year since I first read this book, it's been 4 years since I've read the first book in this series and suffice it to say when I was feeling a bit out of sorts about some stuff that was...well,actually wasn't happening in my life this weekend I didn't have to give a lot of thought to what would make me feel better about the world. 


Rhys Ford's 'Sinner's' series + Tristan James, narrating = calorie free comfort food!!!


Original Review: Absinthe of Malice

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