This book is the second in the Wyndham-Banerjee series of crime novels set in British India. I chanced upon one of the 4 books and so I have not been reading these in order. Also, the library seems to have very few copies of each of the 4 books and so I couldn’t line them up properly. But that’s no issue because the books can be read standalone.
I must confess, I am now an Abir Mukherjee fan. First of all, the setting of the books is unique. Our lead DI Wyndham is of the Imperial Police force in Calcutta, the second-city of the British empire. His sidekick is local policeman Surendranath Banerjee, appropriated as ‘Surrender-Not’. Their combination is brilliant and nuanced, as Wyndham would be lost without Banerjee’s local knowledge. Second, in this book, we travel to Sambalpore in Orissa at the murder of its prince. As a Scottish-Bengali like Mukherjee himself, who grew up in Orissa, the references to local folklore and customs was too close for me (and I loved it)!
Third, every DI has a darker side; and Wyndham is no exception. As he battles wuth the trauma of his past, his need for love, and his addiction, many shades of his character are revealed. He reminds me of Perez from the Shetland series, and I really like his character. Finally, the cast is varied and interesting. There are Brits, princes, kings and eunuchs – and all of them have a very specific part to play in this novel to uncover the plot behind the Sambalpori prince’s murder. A fine book, a very enjoyable read.
This book was a Birthday present, so I had neither heard of the book, nor the author. Turns out the author comes from British nobility, and studied Literature at the finest of places. Let that not cloud your judgement of her writing though, it is down-to-earth and entirely relatable.
Three hours is the story of a high school shooting in England. It is told from a number of views – a mother whose son is at school, the police officer, a couple of teachers, and a young primary school student. Through the various narratives, the whole picture emerges, and it is one of horror, every parent’s worst nightmare. Everyone thinks that this is the sort of thing that will never happen to them, but only to someone else. But Lupton’s close to home writing makes for a riveting read. This is also unusual because I haven’t come across a book on this topic in particular. And having never been to America, I haven’t even followed any of these happenings very closely.
The book derives some inspiration from the Columbine High School shooting. Apparently, it did spawn off others, which is so horrific when you think about it. I have lived in 2 countries where owning a gun is just a bizarre notion, so I appreciated the insight through Lupton’s fiction. I absolutely recommend it, topical albeit a disturbing read. I will look out for her other works as well.
I have been a fan of Robin Cook’s since I was 10-11 years old. I read Coma then, followed by Sphinx, and I was hooked. Over the following years, I have read every single one of his books. And it is only in the last five years or so, that I haven’t managed to read each one. So when I saw one of his latest at the library, I just had to have the copy. And I wasn’t disappointed.
What I love most about Cook’s writing is that it is so incredibly topical. For example, in this latest book, he talks about the myth that vaccinations cause autism (honestly, a separate post is warranted to deal with praying for natural selection to weed out such idiots). But themes like this are never a central one, instead, they are thrown in as part of the wider character arcs. The bureaucracy of running a hospital, the importance of reliance on donor and funds, the rise of the Chinese economy and how limited doctors tend to be is all brought to life.
The characters are the long time famous couple Jack and Laurie Montgomery, who readers have known for about 2 decades I think. And revisiting them is like revisiting family, when you know what someone is going to stay or do. That said, the supense part of the actual story itself felt slightly too far fetched. The build up to the climax was long and slow, and the climax itself was over rather quickly and simply. I was expecting a bit more difficulty as the protagonist tried to extricate himself from a sticky situation. A nice easy read for the long winter nights.
I picked up this book because I was travelling a lot and looking for something fast-paced but also not too taxing to read. This fit the bill perfectly in the form of a travel read. One of the first things that struck me about this book was the number of female characters in it. There’s the protagonist’s wife and ‘the other’ woman, but also the prosecuting and defence attorneys who are both women.
The novel follows the high profile case of a politician, James, who is accused of rape. It turns into a classic ‘her word against his’ type case where as soon as the trial starts, it is easy to see that all fingers are pointed at the victim. Case is reminiscent of the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal which basically destroyed her life and career, but did almost nothing to Clinton. This, event though he was the perpetrator and should have been the more responsible adult.
But back to James, the book does a great job at portraying the ramifications of the trial on his marriage and his relationship with his wife. The prosecuting counsel Kate is our other powerful woman, who is convinced James is guilty and has a single-minded determination to end him and his career. What will happen of James? Will there be justice? And how will his marriage cope with it?
This is a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it if you are looking for something to get you through all your summer travels.
This book is the latest in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium) series. Of course, since the original author died suddenly, the farnchise has been picked up by David Lagercrantz. And I have to say, I am impressed by how well the new author has retained the ferocity and charm of the main protagonists Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. The storyline continues on from the previous book, and picks up with Salander’s latest circumstances in a women’s high security prison in Sweden.
Readers will come to love the old familiarity of well known characters. As Blomkvist continues to get involved, sometimes willingly, in Salander’s troubles, the plot thickens. This time, it is complete with the involvement of two other storylines, that eventually merge as Salander uncovers more horrific truths about her past.
The series is so well-written, I have always said, that when I finally visit Sweden, I will be sure to look over my shoulder nervously, as if crime awaits at every step. For now though, I have to content myself with nordic noir. I must add that now, I also see Lisbeth as Rooney Mara in my head, although Blomkvist isn’t quite Daniel Craig. Have you watched the movie? Have you read this series? I do recommend both, if you are a fan of fast-paced thrillers.
It seems to me like after the success of Gone Girl followed by The Girl on the Train, psychological thrillers are everywhere. Not a bad thing, I say, I have read a few this year and for the most part, really enjoyed them. In particular, I See You was particularly good. On a short trip, I picked up this one, which is about a mother’s relationship with his son girlfriend, who she doesn’t really approve of, but cannot quite put her finger on why, save for a mother’s intuition.
The plot is quite straightforward, and it preys on the stereotypical weaknesses of a mother – the inability to see any other woman take centre stage in her son’s life. The writing is goo, and Frances does a good jobs of setting up the characters backstories – I enjoyed that. However, I wouldn’t really call this book a psy thriller because it was a bit too predictable. It made me root for the good guy (woman) and it was quite evident who was being played. As the plot progressed, I knew what was going to happen and there were only a couple of surprises on the way.
As a passing read, this is okay. I also got it very cheap on the Kindle because I had a discount code. But if paying full price, I would probably give this one a miss for now. Having said that, the ratings on Goodreads are on the higher side, so my caveat is that it may have just been me!
I got this book on my Kindle as I had an offer code to use. So it cost me very little money, I liked the blurb and started reading. The plot very quickly sucked me in. If you’re a fan of recent books like Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, Sharp Objects etc – you will really enjoy this book.
The premise is simple. The protagonist, on her way home one day on the London Underground, thinks she sees her own blurry photo with a singular website that looks like an adult website in the Classifieds section. She is a woman in her mid-40s, with two kids and lives with them and her partner in a suburban block. All very normal. She becomes more and more anxious as every day it is a different woman, until one day, she sees on the news that one of them is dead. What is happening?
The book is very well-written. So much so, that I was on the Underground a couple of weeks after and felt uneasy thinking about the probability of the crime described. It is very hard to guess who the criminal is, and the plot is sufficiently tight to allow no person to be beyond suspicion. Obviously, there is a broody police officer with their own demons, as always.
Overall, really good travel/summer holiday read.
Last year, I wrote about Americosis, and then again followed it up with vol 2 and vol 3. I nearly missed Vol 4, as I was away on holiday and although I knew it was going to come out around the time of the POTUS elections, it slipped my mind. Just as well, because I ended up reading it just as the new President got sworn in.
The characters in this book sort of pick up where they left off. As one would expect, this book goes heavier on the plot of Sanchez’s visions and the elections with him and Archer vying for votes. As this sub-plot takes centre stage, the mirroring of reality and fiction becomes clearer. The tension level is high, the drama is much more tightly knit. The Erica part of the plot is also getting less fluffy and more meaty, as she drifts between solving past mysteries only to come up against new ones. All in all, great writing.
What did jump put at me though, is that the language in this edition was a little too foul for my taste. Not that that is any different from reality and all the names that were thrown at Clinton and Trump, it made reading some of the chapter a little hard. Another very short read delivered by Wilks, and if you haven’t gotten into it yet, the four books back-to-back will take you only a couple of days to get through. I might do that, as I wait for vol 5!
A while ago, I came across a list that had names of books people who liked ‘Gone Girl’ might enjoy. I really enjoyed that book so this blurb caught my eye. I then picked it up at the airport in the summer this year at 4 am when I had a 4 hour wait, perfect. It was only when I saw the cover that I realised that the movie was about to come out this year as well.
Now, this book was really good to kill those four hrs and some time on the flight as well. It is fast paced, suitably written, and the plot is quite tight. I was, however, slightly disappointed at the end. Not because I had guessed anything by the way, but just the way the entire sequence of events unfolded. If you have seen the movie, you know the plot already, but I will not give away spoilers here.
My favourite part of the story line was the way the unreliable narrator theme was handles. It has been a while since I read a book which really made me uncomfortable as I just couldn’t trust what the narrator (in this case, the protagonist) was telling me. So definitely worth a read, also a pretty good movie, faithful to the book too, so also recommended.
Lat year, I wrote about Americosis, and then again followed it up with vol 2. Vol 3 took a wee while to turn up and it had been on my mind. So when author Haydn Wilkes got in touch, I said yes to reviewing the latest instalment of the series. I had to skim through the last few pages of the previous book to tune my head in again.
The characters in this book sort of pick up where they left off. Now what is crazy is that watching some of the snippets of the Presidential election drama in the US, it is almost easy to believe that this book is based on true events. I mean, are candidates not seeing visions and almost needing psychatrists? I think so! The story of the savior, the presidential candidate, and the human virus carrier are intertwined again, but this book was more election than the other two subplots, which I liked, because it meant that there was less ‘jumping about’ between chapters.
It does end on a cliffhanger, and unlike my prediction, we still don’t know who the people are going to vote for. Again, writing this up with the Season Finale of Amrica all over my newsfeed, it seems surreal. The human virus storyline does not progress very much at all, which is a wee bit disappointing because that was really hooking me in. But I guess that’ll keep me waiting eagerly for the next part/
A very short read, this is a good series to get into. If you wait until it finishes, the whole series read back-to-back on travel time will be a full length book sized read! Enjoy.