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Search tags: sci-fi-thriller
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text 2018-09-21 19:06
Reading progress update: I've read 31 out of 299 pages.
Unnatural Death - Dorothy L. Sayers

"Miss Climpson," said Lord Peter, "is a manifestation of the wasteful way in which this country is run. Look at electricity. Look at water-power. Look at the tides. Look at the sun. Millions of power units being given off into space every minute. Thousands of old maids, simply bursting with useful energy, forced by our stupid social system into hydros and hotels and communities and hostels and posts as companions, where their magnificient gossip-powers and units of inquisitiveness are allowed to dissipate themselves or even become harmful to the community, while ratepayers´ money is spent on getting work for which these women are providentially fitted, inefficiently carried out by ill-equipped policemen like you. My god! it´s enough to make a man write nasty little patronising books called Elderly Women, and On the Edge of Explosion - and the drunkards make songs about `em, poor things."

 

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review 2018-09-21 16:50
Review: “Cash Plays” (Seven of Spades, #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Cash Plays - Cordelia Kingsbridge

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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review 2018-09-21 16:17
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John le Carré
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John le Carré

John le Carré has crafted a spy-thriller that gains its thrill exclusively from a psychological battle of wits between its main characters. Instead of action, stirred Martinis and shaken dames, we get George Smiley rifling through old files and interrogating people. Le Carré‘s spies are no glorious heroes flitting from adventure to adventure. They‘re ageing, downtrodden men – on the one hand deciding about the fate of the world and often about life and death, on the other hand being subjected to the same pathetic little whims and emotions like everybody else. And lonely. They are all so very lonely.

In the end, I couldn't even spare some anger for the mole and his political betrayal. His motives seemed just too pathetic. The personal betrayal hit far harder. Betrayal is the big, black spider at the core of this book, personal and professional alike. Ann betrays Smiley, Smiley betrays himself by telling Karla a bit too much about his relationship to Ann, Guillam feels betrayed, Jim probably suffers the hardest blow… and so it goes on.

 

Around this big, black spider of betrayal le Carré has woven an intricate, complex web. Entangling it demands full concentration (more concentration than I was capable of while reading this book). I‘d seen the film, I‘d seen the BBC adaption, and still I felt lost sometimes. I needed quite some time to get used to le Carré’s prose, too. But after a while I started to enjoy his way with words and the undeniable Britishness emanating from the pages.

 

A lack of action does by no means equal a lack of tension. There are some gripping moments, e.g. when Guillam tries to steal some files from the archive – that was one of my favourite moments from the film and one of the best scenes in the book as well.

 

Although they are such pathetic creatures, le Carré manages to arouse sympathy for his protagonists. His antagonists remain thoroughly unlikeable. And that‘s my main point of critique: I never quite understood why everyone seemed so enamoured with and charmed by our mole, I never got how he gained such loyalty, because he was shown as an all around unpleasant person. I‘d wished for a better rounded character development for the other antagonists, too.

 

By the by: Although the book describes him quite differently, and Alec Guinness‘ delivered a top-notch performance in the BBC adaption, Smiley will always look like Gary Oldman to me. And it was just a strike of genius to cast Tom Hardy as Ricky Tarr. They've changed Guillam‘s character quite a lot for the film, though – I‘m not talking about the fact they made him gay; film-Guillam shows little resemblance to book-Guillam at all.

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review 2018-09-21 03:14
Home for the Haunting ★★★★☆
Home For the Haunting - Juliet Blackwell

This is the first book that I've read in this cozy mystery series that wasn't on audio. I miss Xe Sands, because she always provides a terrific performance. But I'm happy to report that I enjoyed this 4th book in the Haunted Home Renovation series just as much even without the audio.

 

The MC's "why would anyone find ugly old me attractive" shtick is still annoying, and I'm still unimpressed with the romance, but there is enough fun stuff for this book to rise above those irritants. We get to meet Mel's super-annoying, super-girly sister, we get some new friends and the return of some old friends, and I especially liked getting to know Mel's frenemy Inspector Crawford a little better. We get a couple of new homes from different styles and periods with plenty of loving description.

 

The mystery is well developed and I was teased with lots of clues and red herrings to sift through. Whodunnit was one of my suspects, but not my favorite, so the reveal worked for me. Oddly, this is the first book where we spend very little time with the dead. The ghosts give little more than a cameo appearance in this book, and I missed them a little.

 


eBook version, borrowed from my public library.

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Amateur Sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. The MC, Mel Turner, owns a construction company but somehow finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery, recent or ancient, at every job site. Naturally, she usually manages to solve it before the cops do.

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review 2018-09-21 01:12
Review: The Blackstone Chronicles, Part 2: Twist Of Fate: The Locket
Twist of Fate: The Locket - John Saul

Re-read.

 

Things continue to go bad within the town of Blackstone.  The local family-run, independent bank is in the midst of an audit, which has put a halt on the renovation of the old asylum into a shopping center.  Which the town desperately needs.  Jules Hartwick, who's family had opened a century ago, had been fairly positive about the outcome of the audit, as he hadn't done anything illegal, only gave out loans to some townsfolk in need that other banks wouldn't have.  Plus his daughter was getting married to a man he more than approved of, someone who believed in banking the way he and his ancestors did, someone who would hopefully take over running the bank when he was ready to retire, thus keeping it in the family.  Life was good.

 

But the Hartwicks have been targeted by the dark figure, who leaves a present in the car of Jules' wife Madeline.  Jules found the locket wrapped up in his wife's car.  As soon as he touched the locket something within him snapped.  He accused his wife of having an affair and goes on an insane rampage.  Before the end, he sends a message of warning to Oliver Metcalf that evil was all around them and that it needed to be stopped before it killed them all.

 

Yeah, lots more people are gonna die!  This series is very creepy and equally thrilling.

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