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review 2017-10-14 15:22
"Dying Light - Logan McRae #2" by Stuart MacBride - grim, violent crime in Aberdeen
Dying Light - Stuart MacBride

I didn't enjoy "Dying Light" as much as its predecessor  "Cold Granite", the first in this series.

 

The same cast of characters were there as before but now DS Logan McRae has been allocated to the Fuck Up Squad after an officer ended up in a coma during a drugs raid that he lead.

 

I enjoyed the humour and the tension that comes from the orderly McRae having to deal with his chaotic, despotic but strangely charismatic boss in the Fuck Up Squad. The local feel of the book remained strong and the depiction of bored police officers playing "If you had to or die" or "Spit or swallow" while on endless stakeouts seemed credible.

 

The plot was as twisted as in the first book but the sense of compassion and loss was not as strong. I was also put off by the maiming of one of the main characters by a gangster hard man. I recognise that this kind of thing is realistic but the detail in which it was described and the lack of empathy demonstrated by McRae and others left a bad taste.

 

I will continue with this series because it's well written and has strong characters but I'm hoping for something beyond twisted plot and escalating violence in the next book.

 

Kenny Blythe does a great job as the narrator. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear him do his stuff.

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/328181286" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

 

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review 2017-09-21 23:48
Enjoyed this more than I thought I would. :)
The Dying Hour - Rick Mofina

 

This was my first book by this author but it won't be the last and I am looking forward to more books from this series.

 

In The Dying Hour Jason Wade is just one of several interns vying for the one slot that the Seattle Mirror has to offer. It's going to come down to who gets the best stories. 

Jason Wade wants this job really badly but he is not getting a lot of great headlines so he calls up some police stations looking for something, anything that might lead somewhere. He gets a tip about a young girl who has gone missing, nobody really thinks much about it. It's not really being chased by anyone else and he figures why not. So he looks into it and he wasn't prepared for the wild ride it would take him on.

 

The more Jason looks into things the more places it takes him. He is young and gung ho and it gets him in trouble with the people at the Seattle Mirror. He knows he is onto something though and it could lead him to a serial killer that nobody even knew about, it could also get him killed.

 

You get the POV of Jason but you also get some from the cops working the case but you also get the POV from Karen the missing girl. It's those from Karen that really has you rooting for Jason to figure things out before it's to late as you find out more and more about what has happened to others. I really like Jason though and even though he makes mistakes he is a great investigator and reporter. He didn't give up when he knew all the clues where leading a certain way even when others were putting up walls in his way. 

 

It has a great and bizarre mystery, crazy killer and even though  the reader knows who is behind things you really want to root for Jason to put it all together. 

 

I really enjoyed this one and can't wait to try the next one in this series. Recommended for those who like stories involving reporters and mysteries.

 

This was my first time listening to Paul Costanzo and he took a bit of getting use to but by the end of the book I really did enjoy his narration. 

 

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text 2017-09-19 22:23
Reading progress update: I've listened 278 out of 600 minutes.
The Dying Hour - Rick Mofina

Didn't know it at first but there has been more than one girl grabbed and one dead and I got a serial killer book on my hands. So I am going to use it for my square....lol. 

 

Enjoying it so far!

 

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text 2017-09-19 11:21
Reading progress update: I've listened 47 out of 600 minutes.
The Dying Hour - Rick Mofina

Crime novel involving a reporter who tries to figure out what happened to a woman whose car broke down and she disappeared. Not bad so far but just getting started. First time with this narrator and I am not sure about him yet. 

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review 2017-09-09 01:48
The Dying Game (The Trying - Lame)
The Dying Game - Asa Avdic

Who: Asa Avdic - A Swedish journalist (tv and radio) – this is her debut novel.

 

What: A merge of dystopian Stockholm politics, and a ‘reworking’ of Christie’s And Then There Were None (The correct, modern PC title)

 

When: Sweden in 2037. For some loosely explained reason, the country resembles the broke communist countries of the 1950s.

 

Why: I have no bloody idea! She basically pinched half the idea, topped and tailed it with some internal politics, and convinced some publisher she had an original worth printing.

 

I am tipping no one will be rushing out to buy the book on the strength of this review, so I’m not going to bother with spoiler alerts. Also, it’s only fair to declare this book was originally written in Swedish (under the title of Isola). I don’t think it struggles with the translation, it’s the material that’s the problem.

 

20 years in to the future, Sweden has left the European Union. The Protectorate of Sweden is now under the Union of Friendship. There is seriously a whole page (fake encyclopedia entry) explaining this at the start – full of contradictions and confusion.

This convoluted set-up is necessary to explain the bleak state of Sweden. Under totalitarian control, we are introduced to Anna. She is forced by the Chairman to accept an assignment on a Swedish island.

 

Now here’s my problem – the next 60% of the book happens on the island of Isola. It does have some minor variations, but she’s so damn close to plagiarising And Then There Were None* , it’s almost actionable. I feel like Advic must have read the book at some stage, as the blueprint is almost identical, but long enough ago to feel like she was writing an original mystery.

 

Strangers stuck on an island, dying one by one, as the guessing game goes on. OK, in this story, there are fewer people, with a slight twist involved, but it’s essentially the same premise, setting, and result.

 

Then we’re back to dreary Stockholm for the wash-up. A series of interrogations to explain what happened, ending in the usual political buck-passing. The end…

 

It really is a bizarre mix of 2 stories – one that has Christie’s fingerprints all over it, and then the dystopian future of Sweden, a worrying futuristic view from the author, one of the country’s most popular TV current affairs presenters.

 

*I thought it was only fair to go back and read And Then There Were None before writing this. It had been 24 years since I first read it, but I could feel the tale coming back to me as I read The Dying Game.

 

Agatha Christie is a damn genius! First published in 1939, there are obviously some dated phrases and social conventions, but it still stacks up as one of the finest mysteries written. Fast paced and engrossing, nothing extraneous, and will have you guessing right to the end. To those who haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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