This is my review of the book The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz which I have read recently. This is a story written about the character Sherlock Holmes as originally perceived by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is late in the year 1890, and winter is biting when an uninvited guest, comes to 221B. He complains that he is being followed by a scar-faced man in a flat hat who has been stalking him for several weeks.
Holmes and Watson take on the case, but they quickly find themselves drawn into a complex and puzzling mystery, spreading across the Atlantic to Boston. It moves from art and expensive jewellery to opium use. The case seems to spread right to the heart of high Society and on the face of it things go from bad to worse when Holmes is arrested for murder.
But of course we know that the case will be solved as Holmes has to live a few more years before Conan Doyle has him vanishing in Switzerland. As he says “Any truth is better than indefinite doubt.”
It is a very readable story, with quite an unexpected end, though sadly one that is not that unlikely with all that is going on in our society today. Also I notice that Anthony has written a book about what happens next at Reichenbach Falls, which I will look out for to read.
This was a good read, as book 41 week 33 fiction 36 (audio books 6) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book Prince by Rory Clements, which I finished this morning. I thought I would strike while the iron is hot as the saying goes. This is the third book in the John Shakespeare series and the date is now 1593. He is still an Intelligencer working for the Queen.
Elizabeth is now getting towards the end of her reign. Everyone seems to be plotting against her. The Spanish and certain rebel Scots have come up with a plan to start a civil war and put Mary Queen of Scots son on the throne.
It is a story packed with emotion as much as detail and really transports the reader back to the age. One can almost smell the streets.
The rebels use the idea of booby trapped carts full of gunpowder being set off in the streets of London to cause confusion and distrust. They plan to use the public unrest to no good end. Having had such success with the carts the rebels then plan to use a hellburner on London. Sadly one of these explosive loads causes our hero a personal tragedy. So not only is he tasked with finding the hidden pretender prince he also wants to solve the mystery of the exploding carts. In doing so prevent the hellburner destroying all of central London .Johns journey of discovery goes from the theatrical underworld of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd, to the torture cells of his arch enemy Richard Topcliffe.
This was a really engaging story, and really good read, as book 40 week 32 fiction 35 (audio books 6) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book Rock Creek Park by Simon Conway, which I actually read several weeks ago, but have not got round to reviewing as I am still trying to do the 52 books in under 52 weeks, and so need to record every book I do read.
This was an author we saw advertised at the Wigtown book festival last autumn, which I though looked interesting. I was not disappointed. It was a gripping novel that went from Scotland to America. Michael Freeman a homicide detective in Washington DC, is given the task of solving the murder of a brutally beaten beautiful young woman, just yards from Senator John Cannon house.
The story quickly spirals into investigating a Department of Defence funded BioScience company called Germline, where he ends up working with Harriet Armstrong, a Scottish body guard working for Germlines Russian director.
The body count rises and the shocks, secrets and conspiracies rise. A very enjoyable book and I look forward to reading more of Simon Conways work.
I will record this as book 39 week 31 fiction 35 (audio books 6) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book The Poisoned Pen by Arthur B Reeve, which I listened to recently as a librivox recording. The book is a series of twelve short stories involving Professor Craig Kennedy and how he uses the latest science of the day to solve them. The fact that the stories are around 100 years old makes them very interesting. In some cases the science has now been developed and become an everyday normality, in other cases it has not progressed and faded into obscurity. The title story features the use of special inks. One which disappears in sunlight and one which appears in sunlight, so that the text on a note found in possession of a murder victim changes completely, making it almost impossible for Kennedy to track down the killer.
Each story is like an early Twentieth Century version of CSI. They make really good listening to when driving around as engaging but also not too long before a result is had. Just right for playing the game guess the killer.. I think I must also mention the reader Elliot Miller, who manages to bring the characters to life so well with the different voices he uses.
I will record this as book 38 week 31 fiction 35 (audio books 6) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book The Bourne Deception by Eric Van Lustbader. This is the second that I have read where Eric has taken Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne character and continued the story. I did originally start this story back in January, just before a very long flight to Australia. When I found out that the story included the shooting down of an airliner I stopped reading it. Not what you want to read just before a flight.
So having now restarted it I read it all the way through. Besides the shooting down of the airliner, it involved a Goya painting and the potential for war in the middle east over some oil fields. Sadly world events have moved on such a pace that the plot line seemed outdated. Also the book seemed to have a formulaic process that there needed to be at least one or often more deaths per chapter, and just got a bit boring really. As it is part of a series we know that Jason will survive as he needs to be around for the next book. So whatever chase round the world is being portrayed we know he comes out a winner.
I know that Eric has written several books in the Bourne series, but I don't think I will be reading any more of them soon. Go back maybe and re read some of Roberts original books again next time I am feeling like reading that sort of thriller.
I will record this as book 37 week 30 fiction 34 (audio books 5) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book Revenger by Rory Clements which I read recently. It is book two in the John Shakespeare series and the year is 1592. Though I studied this time at school I had no idea of all the troubles the country went through. Judging by what I read in the story they were probably censored.
This is a long and detailed book with several sub plots going on at the same time. Not a book that can be flicked through. England and Spain are at war, and Queen Elizabeth is getting on. As a consequence there are plots afoot as to who will succeed her, and even topple her from the throne.
Added to this John Shakespeare's brother is unwittingly caught up in the action and John has to not only save the Queen's life but somehow avoid bringing down his family at the same time.
This was an exciting detailed adventure story and well justified prize winner of the Ellis Peters award. A really good book and I will look forward to reading the next in the series, when I get it.
I will record this as book 36 week 29 fiction 33 (audio books 5) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book But is it Real? By Amy Orr-Ewing, which I read recently. This is a book that I have read over a few weeks as each chapter is very detailed and comprehensive, and if read all in one go would tend to get muddled up together.
The book attempts to answer ten common objections to the Christian faith, looking at each in some detail.
The real strength of the book is that it is dealing with real life situations, and questions and providing an insight as to what the Christian faith has to say in reply to the questions muted.
A very well written challenging book. I will record this as book 35 week 28 fiction 32 (audio books 5) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith which I read recently. The book was recommended by a friend who is an avid reader. I don't think I have read any of Patriciia books before so I was not knowing what to expect.
The story was an enjoyable chase across Greece. The two main characters in the story are a couple of villains, a conman Chester MacFarlane and a drifter Rydal Keener. Chester has a beautiful younger wife who of course falls for Rydal. Then through a series of unfortunate events a detective who is investigating Chester is killed. Rydal helps clear up the mess and then the two are fatally entwined.
An enjoyable book that keeps you guessing who will get the upper hand and survive and who will be handed over to the authorities. Their antics were just about believable which always helps in a story like this. To say much more would spoil the plot. A book that is ideal for a rainy day sitting in front of the fire dreaming about the heat of the Mediterranean.
I will keep my eyes open for More of Patricia's books to read in the future.
I will record this as book 34 week 27 fiction 32 (audio books 5) non fiction 2
This this is my review of the book The Silent Bullet by Arthur B Reeve, which I listened to recently as a Librivox recording https://librivox.org/the-silent-bullet-by-arthur-b-reeve/
Arthur Reeve is a new author to me and he has created the character Professor Craig Kennedy who solves crimes using scientific methods, along with his friend the reporter Walter Jameson. The stories are very like the CSI series of the present day, except they a set roughly 100 years ago.
This book contains twelve of Professor Kennedy's adventures, so it was great to listen to in the car when driving around as each story had a fairly quick ending. In a couple of cases it did mean though driving along rather slowly near the end of the trip so as not to get to the destination before the mystery was solved.
The interesting thing about these stories is Kennedy uses newly discovered science from his time period, which we take for granted today. The first story, The Silent Bullet, has everyone wondering how a bullet could kill someone with no noise. Today, silencers on guns are commonplace and this would not be a mystery. The stories in this collection also include the use of x-rays to harm patients in the Deadly Tube chapter. The Terror in the Air is recognisably all about the new invention of the gyroscope. Each story is not only a mystery, that leaves one in most cases guessing to the end how it was done but also a detailed and fascinating insight into life around 100 years ago.
As there are several books in the series I will definitely be listening to more of them, and in fact the next one is already downloaded onto my mp3 player to listen to.
I will record this as book 33 week 26 fiction 31 (audio books 5) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book Martyr by Rory Clements which I read recently. I am trying so hard to review the books as soon as I finish them but things keep coming along which delay this. One of the joys or problems of being self employed depending on ones view point, life is not just 9 to 5 but work until the job is finished, but I would say it is not boring.
Anyway enough of that getting back to the book which I enjoyed reading. It is a historical novel based on Elizabeth 1's preparations for war with catholic Spain. The hero of our story John Shakespeare an intelligencer is tasked with the job of looking after Francis Drake as he prepares the fleet for the forth coming war. Spain wants to assassinate Francis to prevent this work.
But when the seriously mutilated body of a high born noble young woman is found in an illicit printing house, that is tied up with subversive literature then John has to investigate. Rory explores the tensions between the various religious factions present in England and Europe at the time and these form a large amount of the plot.
This is a great book and as it is one of a series one sort of knows that even though it seems as if John won't get out of all the scrapes he gets into he will as he needs to live for the next book. It is a very enjoyable book and Rory makes sixteenth -century Elizabethan England come alive. I will certainly find and reckon enjoy the other books in the series.
I will record this as book 32 week 25 fiction 30 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.