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text 2018-12-09 00:49
"Lies Sleeping - Rivers of London / Peter Grant #7" by Ben Aaronovitch - highly recommended, especially as an audiobook
Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch

The Peter Grant series continues to be one of my most satisfying urban fantasy reads.

 

Peter's slightly off mainstream centre but ever so accurate view of the world is intoxicating, whether he's commenting on architectural faux pas, describing how rooms can be lies told by their inhabitants, critiquing the dynamics that result in police officers using terms like "pro-active, intelligence-led operations" or looking deeper into the history of London.

 

In this book, you can see that Peter has matured. He has people that he's responsible for, a stable relationship with a woman/goddess who rescued him from Fairyland and a firmer grasp of his own capabilities. Yet he's still driven by curiosity and deeply angered by the abuse of power. 

 

I liked that Peter isn't becoming some Doctor Strange figure, fighting the forces of darkness alone. He still sees himself as a policeman and it pleased me to see him working as part of a team with other officers from the Met. I liked the idea of needing PACE-compliant interview rooms for magical suspects and of having dozens of analysts combing data and putting actions into Holmes.

 

The plot is filled with threat, mystery and humour. It continues to have London itself as a character, with its past and present shaping the flow of events. These events also move the Leslie story arc forward in a decisive way and pull together things learned in earlier books.

 

I was particularly impressed with the new addition to the Folly. The story behind that made a bridge to earlier books and demonstrated Peter's growing maturity.

 

I loved meeting the talking foxes again. The dialogue with them made me smile.

 

The only thing that pushed me out of the story a little was the way that Nightingale kept getting sidelined by circumstance. I can see that this gave Peter the space to operate but it will be frustrating and not very credible if it continues.

 

I consumed this book in a couple of days and that was only because I made myself take a break and get some sleep rather than reading it in one gulp. It's a gift to the fans.

 

I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. His performance is superb.

 

I read "Lies Sleeping" as the "latest in a series" book for the Diwali door in 24 Festive Tasks.

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review 2018-12-05 15:00
24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 - Diwali, Book -- as well as Discworld December Group Read
The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett
The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett

The book where we learn how the Librarian of the Unseen University ended up as an orang-utan.  (This happens on the very first pages and anyone who's read at least one Discworld book knows this anyway, so I'm officially not considering it a spoiler.)  Other than that, more fun with Rincewind, Twoflower and the luggage, and more send-ups of  the1980s' life and times on our round blue planet, complete with Conan Cohen the Barbarian and a doomsday cult.  The picture box makes a reappearance, too, and we learn what Death is like when he's at home

and hanging out with the other three horsemen of the apocalypse -- and with his daughter.

(spoiler show)

  Also, there are dine chewers (say that one aloud).  And trolls with a Scottish accent in the audio version.  And there's this, on the usefulness of books:

"Cohen was shocked.

'Bonfires of books?'

'Yes.  Horrible, isn't it?'

'Right,' said Cohen.  He thought it was appalling.  Someone who spent his life living rough under the sky knew the value of a good thick book, which ought to outlast at least a season of cooking fires if you were careful how you tore the pages out.  Many a life had been saved on a snowy night by a handful of sodden kindling and a really dry book.  If you felt like a smoke and couldn't find a pipe, a book was your man every time.

Cohen realized people wrote things in books.  It had always seemed to him to be a frivolous waste of paper."

To put this one to optimum use, since it's got the word "light" in the title I'll use it as my book for the Diwali square of 24 Festive Tasks.  In addition to which, of course, it is the Discworld group read book for December 2018.

 

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review 2018-12-03 19:45
When Harry Met Renee
Dark Sacred Night - Michael Connelly

So this was the match-up that I never knew I needed. I am now wishing that Connelly had decided to match-up Harry with a strong female non-romantic lead before. I am not counting the books with him and Rachel Walling (see the Narrows, Echo Park, The Black Box, and The Burning Room). Fingers crossed that Connelly resists the urge to put them together. It is mentioned many times that Bosch is as old as her father (Renee) but Connelly also heavily implies that Renee has issues over the death of her father. That said, the only reason why I gave this four stars, is that I had a hard time with the ending.

 

"Dark Sacred Night" takes place a year after the events in "Two Kinds of Truth" and a couple of months after the events in "The Last Show." Just a quick recap, Harry is now working as a volunteer closing cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department. He has somewhat burnt all of his bridges with the LAPD due to some of his own actions and lawsuit against them which he won. Renee is still on The Late Show, however, she seems more content with her place in that group now. 

 

Renee is working late when Harry Bosch "invites" himself to go digging through a detective's drawer looking for some index cards on a cold case. Renee is initially mistrustful of Harry (not blaming her) but then becomes intrigued when she finds out he is looking for the murder of a young woman who is related to a friend of his. Harry is also dealing with a cold case in Sen Fernando that is taking up some of his time as well. We also get to see Renee working some routine and not routine calls while working solo on the Late Show. 

 

Harry seems more mellow in this one. I think he's a bit burnout because the woman he meets in the last book (Elizabeth) is now living with him. I maybe went "Error, Error" when Connelly reveals that. Though Harry and Elizabeth are not romantic partners (yet) she is cooking and keeping house for him while he is out chasing down leads on her daughter's cold case. I definitely believe in redemption, but I am still shaking my head at Harry taking on so much with Elizabeth because she resembles his ex-wife Eleanor. And of course he and Maddie are partially estranged over this nonsense. If Bosch realized that Elizabeth looked like his dead wife, I am sure Maddie realizes she resembles her dead mother. 

 

Harry seems separate from prior characters in this one except for Lucia Soto, his old partner and his partner so to speak at San Fernando, Bella Lourdes. We have no mention of him reaching out to his brother, Mickey Haller (I am guessing Bosch is still ticked about what went down in "Two Kinds of Truth") or to anyone else. He does call J. Edgar for some information and then just hangs up on him (still being treated like crap by Harry). I did laugh when Harry had the nerve to tell Renee to ask about him, that he was always a good partner. Ahem, I think that David Chu (who hasn't been mentioned since The Burning Room) and Iggy Ferras (last appearance was "9 Dragons") would argue with his comment. 

 

Renee is still feeling pretty great about solving the case in The Late Show. She has seemed to make more friends in the department, and once again Connelly shows us how smart she is when she walks into a scene and deduces how an older woman was killed. I felt very a ha my dear Watson when she walks the officers through what happened. The same thing occurs on another call of Rene's in a missing person case. I like the contrast between her and Harry. Harry would have went in guns blazing, but Renee is more methodical about things.  

 

We get some call-backs to earlier Bosch cases and of course long-time characters resurfacing. I did have to say that I was surprised at the who done it in this book on the cold case involving Elizabeth's daughter. The case Bosch was tied up in felt like a weird distraction after a while. 

 

Connelly switches from Renee and Harry's perspective throughout the book. We get a kindly reminder of who is "speaking" too just in case you get confused. I don't think readers will, but it's a nice call-out to those listening to on Audible. I liked all of the writing in this one and you can feel the difference between Renee and Harry's sections. Connelly knows both of their voices. The flow was good between chapters and I maybe had a panicky moment when it looked like our fair heroine and hero were looking to end things on a sour note. Connelly pulls things together though in a kind of Hail Mary I am not sure about. 

 

The setting of this book is LA after hours. We have Renee and Harry doing a lot of leg work at night and around dawn. And at one point, Harry is going on very little sleep doing day shifts, coming home to sleep (eh) and eat and then meeting up with Renee. I am glad the book didn't have this going on for that long since it was making even me antsy after a while. 

The ending shocked me (in a good way) and I wonder at the implications for future books. I don't know how Connelly is going to do this, but I have faith he will do it well. 

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text 2018-12-03 00:05
24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 - Diwali, Task 2 (Shelf Organization)

Since I rearranged my bookshelves just recently and, being a BookLikes librarian, it would feel kind of redundant to me to screencap and post the book data I clean up or add here, like Tannat I decided to take my cue from Lillelara and sort out my tea shelves.  Which did need sorting out rather badly.

 

So, this is what I was looking at for the past, um, year or more, until this very morning:

 

There was nothing for it -- everything had to come down, be dusted off and be rearranged; not to mention, risers added to the two top shelves.

"What is all this stuff and why haven't I seen it here before?"

Oh, look -- there's a kitchen table coming out from under all the mess!

 

At the end of the day (literally), this is what it finally had turned into -- minus a bag full of trash, that is:

... and hooray, I even have about 1/3 of a kitchen table left now!

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text 2018-12-01 15:44
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Dark Sacred Night - Michael Connelly

Hmmm I enjoyed but wonder at the next book in the series. I don’t see how it could work. Harry has done the retired but investigates thing before. It’s also odd he never reached out to his brother after the events in this book. There’s a reference to Haller and that’s about it.

I did laugh at Harry telling to ask a round about him and how he was always a good partner. I got some names for you guy.

 

Rene is intriguing, but the living on the beach thing is odd and it’s getting old.  

 

 

 

 

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