Read, reading, to read: end-April update

Since my last post on this topic, I’ve read quite a bit – but as usual I am out of synch with my reviews and non-reviews.

Books I’ve read and have reviewed or will review include Death on a Galician Shore by Domingo Villar (reviewed for Euro Crime), a book I very much enjoyed but did not move the characters on from the author’s debut, the marvellous Water Blue Eyes. The Redeemed, by M. R. Hall, turned out to be very much a return to form for coroner Jenny Cooper, and my review of that is published at Euro Crime. In addition, I’ve read The Track of Sand, the new Montalbano novel by Andrea Camilleri. As ever, the book is charming but perhaps not quite up to the mark of some of its predecessors; a very good thriller/police procedural, 66 Degrees North, by Michael Ridpath (second in his Fire and Ice series, set in Iceland); and The Gallows Bird by Camilla Lackberg, an enjoyable fourth outing for Erica and Patrick. Reviews of these three novels are submitted to Euro Crime.

Michael Connelly‘s latest, The Fifth Witness (double meaning in title) turned out to be a superior courtroom drama (reviewed at Petrona); and Blood Trail, the seventh Joe Pickett novel by C. J. Box, was as-ever very readable but I question the violent codas that seem to be increasingly a feature of these books (reviewed at Petrona).

I’ve read some books which I’m probably not going to review for a variety of reasons. One is The Prime Minister by Trollope, which I enjoyed a lot but don’t feel qualified to write an informed review. A second is The Airmen Who Would not Die by John Fuller, Jr, lent to me by a friend – interesting on aviation history but less so on the paranormal aspects. Another is Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve which I might review but probably won’t as I found it a bit of a “meh” book – strong on atmosphere but rather superficial about two of the significant characters, a journalist and a violent man. A fourth is Splinter by Sebastian Fitzek, which I read as it is eligible for the International Dagger this year, and was available over Christmas as a very cheap promotion in Kindle format. I didn’t enjoy the author’s previous translated novel, Therapy, and I did not enjoy Splinter either. Hence, no review.

What next? I have another C. J. Box/Joe Pickett novel to read, Below Zero (there are two more in the series that I haven’t bought yet), as well as a proof of his upcoming standalone, Back of Beyond. I’m looking forward to the last Palliser novel, The Duke’s Children (which is thinner than the previous novels, a mere stripling at what looks to be about 700 pages). I have a couple of outstanding novels I have to read because I bought them – Where or When by Anita Shreve (part of a 2 books in 1 edition with Strange Fits of Passion) and the dreaded One Day by David Nicholls which I am convinced I’m not going to like. Last of my “recently purchased” books is one I’ve been meaning to read for ages, Intuition by Allegra Goodman, a novel about science, which is part of the current Amazon (UK) Kindle Easter promotion, so cost me £1.40 to download. Finally, I ordered Hotel Bosphorus by Esmahan Aykol, another International Dagger eligible title some time ago from Amazon but they keep emailing me saying it has been delayed at the publisher (possibly bumping it into next year’s time window?).

I haven’t really decided what to read after I finish these books. I have quite a few in my Amazon “basket” but most of those aren’t yet published. No doubt it won’t take too long for me to remedy this situation.

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9 thoughts on “Read, reading, to read: end-April update

  1. Maxine – Thanks, as ever, for this excellent summary of what you’ve been reading and reviewing. I’m glad you’ve found some good stuff, and I look forward what you have to say about the next Shreve and of Hotel Bosphorus. Of course, I look forward to all of your other reviews, too :-).

    ps – You’re not the only one who didn’t think much of Splinter. I’ve heard other negative reactions, too.

  2. Am also awaiting Hotel Bosphorus – ordered 1504, current delivery window 26-04 – 19-05, according to amazon today it is usually dispatched within 1- 4 weeks (which I am taking as 4!). I wonder why the delay…

  3. I’ve read a few Anita Shreve books in the past, and was also underwhelmed. Reasonably enough written but not compelling in the storyline/characterisation.

  4. Maxine-I have put my review of Hotel Bosphorus up today, I thought it was slightly disappointing. Would you like it posted to you?
    By the way I have just started reading Death on a Galician Shore and am really enjoying it.

  5. That’s so kind, Norman, but don’t worry – it’s very cheap in fact the Amazon price is not much more than what it would cost you to post it! The order is in the works so I’ll just let it wend its merry way….

    Laura – I have enjoyed Anita Shreve’s books but she can be a bit ethereal – also she tends to rehash the same themes, locations….but pleasurable enough, in a mild way I suppose.

  6. I agree with Norman , I was very disappointed with Hotel Bosphorus,but
    really enjoyed Death on a Galican Shore.Unlike Maxine,I prefered it to
    his first one.

  7. Thanks for the reviews and links. I am so glad that The Fifth Witness lives up to Connelly’s good writing, can’t wait to read it. I keep loaning out his book, The Lincoln lawyer, which is now a U.S.-released film, which has gotten good reviews.
    Will try to find Death on a Galician Shore, Michael Ridpath’s books and M.R.Hall’s, too. Sorry that Hotel Bosphorus is a disappointment to some readers; I had been looking forward to it, but I’ll await final decision on it. I also was not that taken with The Track of Sand either.
    Wish I had the energy to read the Trollope series, but a relative is reading it and likes it very much, including the women characters. I have on library reserve a dvd series about it, probably from the BBC, I’d imagine.

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