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
This is my review of the ebook Before the Clock Strikes by E G Michaels which I have read recently. I had found it on amazon as a kindle ebook, and having read the reviews thought it might be a good book to read.
That then gives me a quandary, I must admit I am at odds with a lot of the reviews on the official amazon site. I thought the story would have made a good comic tale, or picture book, but I did not think it made that good a read. Yes it was exciting and fast paced, but in that process of speeding up the narrative the author seemed to have missed out on description and adjectives used in building the characters, and making them anything like believable.
I like a story to be one where I can close my eyes and imagine what is going on from the narrative I have heard or read. Sometimes called filling in the colour. Here the author seemed to have largely forgotten about that in my view. Maybe this is because I live in the UK and not America, so the scenes described are a relatively alien to me. If they were an everyday occurrence then maybe this would not have mattered.
Anyway the story is about a drive by shooting of a house, and sadly the girlfriend gets killed rather than the intended. Then we have a chase around the outskirts of gangland with several murders along the way. The police want to get the case solved before it turns into all out gang warfare.
The hero Kyle Simmons gets a new partner, who turns out to be the niece of the Chief of Police Then something strange happens: A long forgotten contact of the detective has been killed. The evidence shows that this was a cold and calculated hit. Suddenly he has two cases now to solve. During the process sadly during one chase his new partner gets shot. So now there is another reason to get the case solved..It is just a case of how many people will be shot before the case is solved.
I will record this as book 31 week 24 fiction 29 (audio books 4) non fiction
This is my review of the book The Evil that Men Do by Alanna Knight which I read recently. This is the third 50p market stall Alanna Knight books, and was well worth the money. It is set in high society of Victorian life.
The hero of the story is again Detective Inspector Jeremy Faro and this time he is a happy man as his stepson Dr Vincent Lauri is going to be married to Grace Langweil. Grace comes from a well to do Edinburgh family,
But sadly Cedric Langweil is found dead. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? Jeremy is given the unenviable task of investigating. None of the family want to believe it was them.
Was it one of the servants, or someone closer to home. Gradually as the story unfolds the dream of happy- families is destroyed, as a dark family secret is revealed. To say much more will spoil the story though I will say that the final unexpected twist appears right at the end of the story.
An enjoyable atmospheric believable book, and well worth the 50p spent on it. I will keep my eyes out for more of Alanna's books to read in the future.
Having nearly caught up with my backlog of books from my travels in February, I will record this as book 30 week 24 fiction 28 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book The Blood Crows by Simon Scarrow which I have read recently. This is the ongoing saga of our Roman army heroes Cato and Macro. They have now been re-posted back to Britain to hopefully avoid all the political scandals that are going on in Roman with the Emperor and his advisor's.
The current campaign is to remove all resistance from the remaining native tribes in Britain. As such they are placed in a remote outpost surrounded by native tribes. Cato is to take control of the outpost but the previous Prefect died in mysterious circumstances, and the outpost is currently being run by Centurion Quertus.
Centurion Quertus has gained a reputation as a fearless commander, but when a captured native is scared stiff at the thought of being taken to the outpost for questioning Cato & Marco begin to wonder just what this reputation is. When they come across a series of marker posts with human heads on them they become even more concerned.
Add to the mix fanatical King Caratacus who leads the native tribe army and is out to destroy the outpost, then one wonders along with Cato and Marco just who is the enemy and who are they fighting.
An enjoyable book, though I did not enjoy it as much as others in the series. I will record this as book 29 week 23 fiction 27 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
This is the review of the ebook Deadly Stillwater by Roger Stelljes that I read a few weeks ago. I must admit that the majority of it was read whilst sitting on an aeroplane flying over the Indian Ocean from Melbourne to Dubai. From what I remember it was a good story and one that you wanted to keep reading just to find out what was going to happen next.
The hero of the story is Mac McRyan. A handsome policeman who comes from a long family of policeman. He is faced with a complicated brazen daytime kidnapping. There is a resultant media storm resulting from the case. Not only does he seem to be investigating the kidnapping but he also seems to be looking into the past of the St. Paul Police Department. It is an exciting tale of betrayal and revenge, all based around the icy shores of Lake Superior to the murky waters of the St. Croix River.
It was a good read and made the time on the flight go quickly. I will look for other Roger Stelljes books in the future.
I will record this as book 28 week 23 fiction 26 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book The Czar's Spy by William Le Queux, which I listened to recently as a librivox recording. https://librivox.org/the-czars-spy-by-william-le-queux/
This is quite a long story, taking nearly 10 hours to listen to and covered several trips up and down the motorway. Not always the best way of listening to a thriller, but certainly great at keeping one awake and alert when travelling.
This story was written in 1905 just as the tensions were beginning to mount before the First World War. It is a story of intrigue and espionage that travels across Europe in the true spirit of a good mystery. There are shootings, burglaries, romances, escapes from prisons, and intricate conspiracies that surprise.
As such it goes along at a good pace and keeps one guessing right until the end as to what was the truth.
This was an enjoyable tale and I will endeavour to listen to more of Le Queux's tales over time.
I will record this as book 27 week 22 fiction 25 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book Lamentation by C J Sansom which I read recently. It is the ongoing saga of Master Shardlake during the year of 1546. Shardlake is called upon again to help the Queen Catherine Parr in her time of trouble. She has written a secret book “Lamentation of a Sinner”. Whilst there is nothing wrong in writing a book, with the rapidly changing religious ideas and consequences of not being in line with the Kings views – death., it is more serious. Especially as the book has gone missing.
Shardlake is employed to act as an undercover agent to try and find the book. His investigations take him on a trail across the back streets of London. To a print-shop that has been printing now banned materials which have come over from the content. As his investigations continue they lead to the labyrinthine world of politics and the Royal court.
The Catholic enemies, view to bring down the Queen and are looking for any crack in the armour. As such they are snapping at Shardlakes heals. Sadly as the story progresses it is revealed that the theft is linked to the terrible death of Anne Askew, who was burnt at the stake. Will this be the end of Shardlake too?
Though the story is long and very detailed it needs to be to bring the complexities of the time to life. It was an enjoyable read, and had several unexpected twists that came out of the blue.
Without giving too much away in the plot I wonder if this is the last Shardlake or will there be more?
I will record this as book 26 week 22 fiction 24 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book Emperor – The Gods of War by Conn Iggulden which I read recently. Well back to historical novels in my book list. Amazingly I have power, an internet connection and am writing this to add it actually on the correct day. Lets hope it carries on so I can get it added. Though I still have five books to add from my backlog that accrued during my travels which I am adding slowly.
So this is the continuing biography of Julius Caesar and book four in the Emperor series. I found it interesting as I read this book that it swerved from the history I thought I knew about Julius. The book paints him as essentially a good man trying to right the wrongs of greed, money and power that Pompey was showing.
Julius is called back to Roman from Gaul. Fresh from triumph in Britain and Gaul, Julius marches on Rome with his legions of hardened veterans. Pompey needs to be unseated. Will this mean a civil war. Pompey makes the decision for him in fleeing from Rome. So Julius has to chase him across the Mediterranean, eventually ending up in Egypt.
Here he meets Cleopatra and that is a story in itself. Sadly running parallel to this is the ongoing tensions between Julius, Brutus, Mark Antony and Octavian. Julius tries to upset the apple cart and has to pay the consequences..
A very enjoyable and interesting book, giving a very different perspective on a story that I thought I knew very well.
I will record this as book 25 week 22 fiction 23 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book A Time to Kill by John Grisham which I read recently. I seem to be reading a lot of historical fiction recently so this made a pleasant change in that it was set within the last 30 years. It is a story all about the tensions in the south of of America between black and white, right and wrong, truth and lies.
Sadly Carl Lee Hailey's 10 year old daughter is raped and nearly killed by a couple of drunk rednecks. Carl then proceeds to execute the two hoodlums for their crimes. He is then arrested and charged with murder. If found guilty then he will face the gas chamber.
The exciting tale is mainly about the lead up to and the ensuing court case. Jake Brigance is hired to defend Carl, but as it is such a high profile case other lawyers want to get in on the act and take it away from him, as whatever the outcome it will be a most famous case.
Will the trial be a fair one – Certainly if the Klu Klux Klan have anything to do with it they will try their up most to prevent Carl from being let off.
Tensions get so bad that the National Guard is called in to stop riots and to try to defend and protect the key players, but things don't go to plan, especially when the KKK decide to turn up the heat.
The book is a real page turner and having read other books by John Grisham I know that it is not possible to take the outcome for granted. He does allow his characters to face the death sentence. This was an enjoyable page turning book and I will record this as book 24 week 22 fiction 22 (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.