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text 2020-05-28 14:51
Library find...
The Secrets We Kept - Lara Prescott

I came across this one as an audiobook on my library's BorrowBox and am intrigued enough to give it a go. 

It will probably be my "work from home companion" next week.

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review 2020-04-06 14:49
"The Little Drummer Girl" by John le Carré - abandoned at 33%
The Little Drummer Girl - Michael Jayston,John le Carré

"The Little Drummer Girl" is the third book that I've abandoned in my "20 for 20 Reading Challenge" to read twenty books that are more than twenty hours long.

I've really enjoyed the Le Carré books that I've read so far, all of which post-date "The Little Drummer Girl". This book didn't work for me. I listened to the first six and a half hours of the book and found myself increasingly reluctant to return to it, so I've pressed the life's-too-short button and abandoned it,

 

The book is well written and well-narrated. It has some very powerful scenes in it. The characters are well-drawn and the places are well-described. My problem started with the pace, which is slow and evolved into the characters, none of whom I care about.

 

After six and a half hours we've finally reached the point where our young British actress has been successfully recruited to work with the Israelis to help them (somehow) take down a Palestinian terrorist cell. I know every detail of the process used to recruit her and it seems to me to be as credible as it is frightening. Reading it was like watching a craftsman build a brick wall with a complex pattern embedded in it or watching a wrangler tame a wild horse. It's fascinating in its own way but you have to care about the craftsman or the horse. I found I didn't care for either.

 

So I'll never know what Charlie's mission was or whether she succeeded in it or how many people died along the way. I'm OK with that.

 

I'll be back for other Le Carré books but I'm saying good-bye to this one.

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text 2020-04-01 20:27
Reading progress update: I've read 18%.
The Little Drummer Girl - Michael Jayston,John le Carré

I can't make my mind up about this book. It's moving only slightly faster than real-life. It's like watching a plot come together in slow motion or, perhaps, like a field guide on how to recruit foreign nationals as agents to crack terrorist cells.

 

It feels authentic and fully realised but I'm not sure I need or want to know all this logistical stuff.  

 

This book seems to want me to admire the mechanics of espionage but I'm someone who has never opened the bonnet of my car to see what the engine looks like, I just use it to get me places. I'd like this book to get me somewhere fairly soon.

 

 

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review 2020-03-03 23:19
Creeping Beautiful Kindle Edition - 'JA Huss'

OMG ! What and intense and riveting read this was! " I was on the seat of my pants the entire time until the end." Omg ! I am still reeling for this book even after reading it.

Talk about complicated characters "well", this one was loaded with them as they were all mysterious and dangerous and all held mind blowing secrets.

I cannot explain how much I loved this story as it was complicated and intriguing and mysterious and one that you knew eventually would turn into one heck of a complex love triangle. There were parts unraveling throughout the story I did not see coming.All the characters simply amazing,The plot itself was a little unnerving but, drew you in from the very first pages so much so you could not put it down."The ending omg ! what a shocker and had there been another book I would have picked it up a dove right back in again and would have huddle under the covers in bed and not come out until that book was finished too."I can't wait to see what happens next.The story mind boggling at times it was a bit confusing but, when turned the pages and the story start unfolding the players all started making sense.

Final thoughts

"This is the best romantic suspense read for us so far for 2020! " "We didn't want the story to end!"

 

 

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review 2020-01-08 21:53
First Read of 2020
Agent Running In The Field - John le Carré
When I was reading this book, a friend asked me what I thought of it. I said it wasn't as good as the Smiley novels but was better than the Constant Gardener.

But that was before I got to the part where he takes shots at Putin and Trump, so I'm not sure how to describe it.

There are parts of this book that do not quite work. Nat's interest, for instance, in his female staff member who resigns does not quite make sense, especially since care is taken to illustrate that it is not desire. I get that she is brilliant but there is no real sense of a deep working relationship between the two.

The bit about duty vs belief, vs country vs convictions is what really sells the book because that debate is the hinge upon which most of the action rests. That makes for interesting look a how does one stay true to self.

But mostly, the book's greatest reward for the reader is in the character of Prue who for a portion of the book is in the background but then towards the second half becomes far more important. Readers who disliked how Smiley's wife was drawn will love Prue.
 
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