Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Review of Tripwire (A Jack Reacher Story) by Lee Child

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Its official I am now addicted to Jack Reacher and his adventures and can’t wait to read them all in the order that Lee Child meant them to be read.

Jack Reacher is the very essence of what a super hero should be, enigmatic, intelligent, courageous, and sensitive! And like Lee Child’s tagline for him “Men Want To Be Him, Women Want to Be with Him” I should be so lucky!

The books of Lee Child are more of the books my wife Maureen chose for me to read the first one being “Gone Tomorrow” and the second one was “Killing Floor” so once again a series I have started out of order but I do not think it really matters as Lee Child is a great story teller and will always write a darn good yarn, but I have put my list in order and asked that if I can’t get out to the library Maureen gets these books in order if possible.

Book Description/Synopsis

The third Jack Reacher adventure finds the ex-military policeman living in Key West, digging pools by day and working as a bouncer by night. After three months in the islands, Reacher is settling in to his relaxed lifestyle and thinking of staying for good. But his idyll is interrupted when he is approached twice in one day for information on one Jack Reacher, first by an amiable private investigator named Costello, then by a pair of hulking thugs hot on Costello’s trail. Reacher sidesteps their questions by denying his identity, but is drawn into matters after Costello is found dead, the victim of a savage beating apparently administered by the two thugs.

What Do I Think?

Yeah I am now in sync with this 3rd book by master story-weaver Lee Child and I loved it 5 stars all the way!

This story is unreservedly gripping, with loads of twists and turns to solve, the baddie is an outstandingly menacing character, and there are more than enough less important characters to keep you busy trying to solve the crime/crimes.

Jack Reacher goes on with getting himself in and out of trouble with some panache; I found the story a nail-biting fast-moving book, incredibly difficult to stop reading even to making a cup of tea.

The main villain is perhaps the best villain that Lee Child and Jack Reacher have come across so far in these stories he is without doubt a really malicious man which Lee Child has given an excellent background story, and I believe that like me you just can’t wait for him to be exposed and for Jack Reacher to give him a slap or two!

Tripwire is a superbly written story by a master story-weaver and it is always awfully hard to divine just what happens next, I promise that this book will keep guessing from the very beginning.

I urge you to read this story from an awesome story-weaver and if you haven’t read any of Lee Child’s books yet now is the time to start.

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Review of: Four Days in June by Iain Gale

Battle of Waterloo, painted by William Sadler ...

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Four Days in June
Four Days in June by Iain Gale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Four days in June a Battle Lost, a Battle Won, June 1815 By Iain Gale


I don’t remember who recommended this author and novel, but I am glad they did as I really enjoyed it, one of my favourite eras in the historical fiction drama is the peninsular wars, and have read all of the Sharpe stories by Bernard Cornwell and many others by various authors.

“Four days in June a Battle lost, a Battle won, June 1815” is up there with the best, Bernard Cornwell said ‘A powerful novel of men at war. A triumph.’
If that isn’t a recommendation I don’t know what is.

I will unquestionably give Iain Gale’s other stories a go, anyway let’s get to the book;

It is June 1815, and three armies have converged on the fields of Waterloo to fight a historic battle for honour, glory, and civilization.
Amidst the masses of soldiers, five men prepare to face one another: General De Lancey, Wellington‘s new Quartermaster-General, recently married and yearning for his beautiful wife; Colonel MacDonnell, a Scot who must hold his post to the last man; General Ziethen of the Prussian army, distrustful of the British but vital to their cause; Marshall Ney, mistrusted by Napoleon but revered by the French soldiers; and Napoleon himself, who must prove his worth as a great warrior for the glory of France.
As the conflict develops and draws to its bloody conclusion, each of the five men view the battle from a different perspective, and all experience defiance, desperation, and great courage.
A magnificent book. Even though the outcome, of course, is never in doubt this reads like a literary thriller. The author writes from the perspective of a number of officers from both sides and the story cuts back and forth between them and the battles they are engaged in as the armies struggle to group behind Wellington and Bonaparte and then finally, on the fourth day, the incredible battle at Waterloo.

Iain Gale is a gifted story-weaver and the reason I say this, is that this battle and the actions that lead up to it were incredibly convoluted and have been told and retold by many authors, fiction and non-fiction alike consequently the conclusion is under no circumstances open to question.
Now a story-weavers gift comes into the telling of the story, it should deliver exactly like a thoroughly good thriller, I think that Iain Gale has done just that with this story.

It was such an exhilarating story he brought his characters to life and what I especially like was the way he laid out the chapters concentrating on just one or two characters, he had obviously make sure of his research, and he has shown that he has a profusion of information about the battle, the military, and the combatants themselves. Most of all though it is story of unforgettable adventure a factual boys own adventure.

I have no misgivings about giving this book 5 stars I liked it and will no doubt read it again and again.

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Review: The Appeal by John Grisham

John Grisham

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The Appeal
The Appeal by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I have been reading the books of John Grisham since his debut novel “A Time To Kill” in 1989 and I found his style of writing quite refreshing, and then came his second book “The Firm” well I was flabbergasted it was even better than his first story and I was not the only one to think so.
Since then I have tried to read all offerings from this master weaver of the legal thriller, some I have and some slipped through the net and ended up on my to read list, which I have now started to get to grips with (I Think).

Well let’s get to this story “The Appeal”; In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town’s water supply, causing the worst “cancer cluster” in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.
Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?
The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mould him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

As always with John Grisham, the technicalities of working out the intrigues are crucial to his story, and I found that this story was able to keep me fully occupied, John Grisham has given us a first-class Legal Thriller in which he is quite vocal in his opposition to the election of officials and judiciary within the law.

A great deal of the story assumes the appearance of a campaign, and how a judicial election is determined by social apprehension about suspected threats to the traditions and way of life of many who live in Mississippi.
I found that this story did not give me a sense of who the main character was as the story is mainly about the intrigue and therefore it does not have a hero, so to speak as each character is as important as the other.

This narrative left me with a feeling of thankfulness that I reside in a country where our judges and magistrates are appointed and not elected, where our police officers are selected and not elected.
For all that I found it a good read a little slow in parts, but with some quite nice surprises, I didn’t like the ending but then again I don’t like endings were the baddies seems to triumph over his/her victims.

A fine 3 stars then for this well told story, it could have got a 4 if the conclusion was a little more even-handed.

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Review: Nothing To Fear by Karen Rose

Nothing To Fear
Nothing To Fear by Karen Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose

Well, when I was told that the books by Karen Rose were Romantic Suspense stories I thought “No Way” these are pure murder-mystery with a lot of suspense and some romance that sometimes borders on pornographic.
Anyhow it doesn’t matter because they are Attention-Grabbing, Scary, and Downright Gripping; Karen Rose is a stylish story-weaver.

As director of an inner-city woman’s shelter, Dana Dupinsky safeguards many secrets. Some are new identities; some are new addresses; and some are even hidden truths about herself. Passionately dedicated to Hanover House and the women she protects, Dana has always been reluctant to look for love. But now, just as a case puts her and a child in mortal danger, it seems that love has come looking for her.
Security expert Ethan Buchanan learned to stalk men in the Afghan desert. Now he vows to track down the ruthless woman who kidnapped his godson—and falling for Dana is not in the plan. Yet her very presence seems to chase away the ghosts that haunt him, and her skilful evasion of personal questions raises his hunting instincts. For there’s a deadly new secret at Hanover House. A brutal killer is weaving a web of revenge with a stolen boy at its centre. And Dana is the next victim on the list.

I found that this at the start was a complex story; the central characters of Dana Dupinsky who has at the beginning a secretive personal history and who manages a woman’s shelter, as well as Ethan Buchanan an ex-marine, now a security expert are equally well thought out characters, but not without their faults.
The other characters offer a balance to the central characters and the narrative furthermore as we have seen these characters before in almost all the other stories from Karen Rose which I find a brilliant story-weavers strategy because

we learn a little more of each of the main characters in these books if you go to the website you can see just how each of Karen’s characters are connected to each other the website is “The World of Karen Rose” just see how Karen’s books relate to each other.
The psychotic killer is in truth rather chilling and also all too realistic; and at around chapter 6, I found myself speeding along, up until then I was merely reading at a slow pace, as I said earlier the beginning seemed a bit convoluted, at this point however the story really gets going with some surprising twists and turns.

It gets 4 stars from me it’s well worth reading, although it may bring about a few nights of wondering if you have locked all your doors!

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Review: The Sixth Man by David Baldacci

David Baldacci presents his book The Camel Clu...

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The Sixth Man
The Sixth Man by David Baldacci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci


I like the books of David Baldacci he is a superb story-weaver and one of the most naturally gifted writers in the action thriller, crime genres.

I initially read one of his books when in hospital in 1996 it also just happened to be his first one “Absolute Power” and I thought it was outstanding and I wasn’t the only one because the following year it was, Absolute Power (1997), starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman, since then I have endeavoured to read everything he has and will write, although it appears that I might have missed some.

Anyhow to this particular story “The Sixth Man”; after alleged serial killer Edgar Roy is apprehended and locked away in a mental facility private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy’s lawyer–an old friend of Sean King–to look into the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins: while en route to their first meeting with the lawyer, King and Maxwell discover his dead body. It is up to King and Maxwell to uncover the truth: is Roy a killer or not?

This narrative has plenty of action its potential lawbreakers are exposed near the beginning of the story, and a duplicitous FBI agent is tossed in for good measure, there lots of bodies and hint of a governmental plot.
Accordingly we have now got an exhilarating journey which we are led to believe will be over very soon however, as the investigation develops, more violence ensues and we are given little clues that there are going to be lots of twists and turns along the way.

I suggest that you give this book a go you will not be let down in the story that this story-weaver offers you it is a non-stop action packed thriller and worth my 4 stars

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