Tag Archives: London

Review: Birdman by Mo Hayder


Birdman
Birdman by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t remember when I started to read the Jack Caffery stories by Mo Hayder what I do remember is thinking wow! What terrific dark and frightening stories these are, I like Mo Hayder’s style of story weaving and the reality is she is not afraid to engage in topics that many people would rather not read about and yes I know I have read most of them out of series order, I’m still blaming Maureen for that because in one day in May of this year when I was laid up, she brought home from the library “Ritual”, “Skin”, and “Gone” so I only have a couple more to read then I will get to writing down my thoughts on all the others at some time.
I like Mo Hayder’s writing and the reality of them shows that she is not worried about dealing with subject matter that many readers who would rather not read about, in truth, her narratives border on the horror genre.
Birdman”, well I have finally gotten to read the first story of the Jack Caffery series and I now have a better understanding of how he thinks and why he is the type of policeman he is.
Anyway let’s get to the book;
Greenwich, south-east London. The Met’s crack murder squad, AMIP, is called out by nervous CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. As each post-mortem reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realize that they are on the trail of that most dangerous offender: a sexual serial killer.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery – young, driven, unshockable – finds himself facing both hostility within the force and echoes of his past in this, his first case with AMIP. Haunted by the memory of a death long ago, he employs every weapon forensic science can offer for he knows it is only a matter of time before this chaotic, sadistic killer strikes again.
`Birdman’ is a well written novel that is really dark and disconcerting; the first few pages do not show any restrain when relating in detailed descriptions of how five women were murdered. Mo Hayder uses this intense opening as the hook and it works very well, the speed of the story is outstanding with extremely first-class developments, especially the final one which made me once again think of Jack Caffery in a different light, you will of course have to read the book to see what I mean.
Skilfully written, riveting, poignant, and gruesome, I think that like me you won’t be able to put this down until it’s finished and the story will stay with you for quite some time after.

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Review: The Roots of Betrayal by James Forrester


The Roots of BetrayalThe Roots of Betrayal by James Forrester
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts and Comments on the Roots of Betrayal by James Forrester
I find the reign of Elizabeth the first, an intriguing period of history; it is so full of religious conflict, conspiracy, and assassination, this latest piece of historical fiction I have just read is the first I have read from author James Forrester. His excellent sense of time and place portrays the spirit of this age in history and he scatters it with impressive storytelling, which colourfully brings to life the characters within it. The Roots Of Betrayal follows on from James Forrester’s greatly acclaimed book Sacred Treason and you do not need to have read the first book to enjoy this, his latest book, as I haven’t and I find that this book is so riveting that I cannot wait to read Sacred Treason.
It is 1564 and Catholic Herald William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, is the guardian of a highly perilous document. When it is stolen, Clarenceux immediately suspects a group of Catholic sympathisers, the so-called Knights of the Round Table. Francis Walsingham, the cold-blooded protégé of the queen’s Principal Secretary, Sir William Cecil, intercepts a coded message from the Knights to a Countess known to have Catholic leanings. He is convinced that Clarenceux is trying to use the document to advance the cause of the Catholic Queen. And soon Clarenceux enters a nightmare of suspicion, deception, and conspiracy. Conflict and fear, compounded by the religious doubts of the time, conceal a persistent mystery. Where has the document gone? Who has it and who really took it? And why? The roots of betrayal are deep and shocking: and Clarenceux’s journey towards the truth entails not just the discovery of clues and signs, but also the discovery of himself.
As the novel twists and turns its way to a dramatic conclusion it includes superb images of 16th century London and Southampton, plus Calshot Fort (which still stands), and some meticulous and very credible imagery of the life and battles of a ruthless pirate, Raw (Ralph) Carew who is known as the Robin Hood of the seas. Carew along with his ferocious gang terrorise the high seas to pillage other ships. Throughout the course of the story their paths cross, and Clarenceux finds himself aboard Carew’s ship fighting beside this brutal crew of pirates, Clarenceux forms a kind of union with Carew which lasts all the way through the book.
The Roots of Betrayal is flawlessly researched, as you would suppose from a historian who studies Elizabethan England as his calling. Forrester makes use of this research to good effect to bring the Elizabethan age to life, still the book reads like fast paced adventure movie at times and the speed of the narrative under no circumstances decelerate.
The author’s note at the end of this yarn warns the reader against believing The Roots of Betrayal is a true historical novel and as he is the esteemed historian Ian Mortimer writing under the pen-name James Forrester, we’d do well to pay attention to him, Roots of Betrayal is absolute fiction, and a rollicking illustration of imagination at that.
I found this to be such an effortless book to read, it is knowledgeable and riveting and very hard to put down, the people in the book are brought into existence with just a few words and the setting he summons up of London are fascinating, I have no problems recommending this book to anyone and everyone who crave for a rollicking good story.

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Review: The Treatment by Mo Hayder


The Treatment
The Treatment by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t remember when I started to read the Jack Caffery stories by Mo Hayder what I do remember is thinking wow! What terrific dark and frightening stories these are, I like Mo Hayder’s style of story weaving and the reality is she is not afraid to engage in topics that many people would rather not read about and yes I know I have read most of them out of series order, I’m still blaming Maureen because in one day in May of this year when I was laid up, she brought home from the library “Ritual”, “Skin”, and “Gone” so I only have a couple more to read I will get to writing down my thoughts on all the others at some time.
I like Mo Hayder’s writing and the reality of them shows that she is not worried about dealing with subject matter that many readers who would rather not read about, in truth, her narratives border on the horror genre and “The Treatment” is no different.
Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered, imprisoned in their own home. Badly dehydrated, they’ve been bound and beaten, and the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing. When DI Jack Caffery of the Met’s AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins…Horrifying, unforgettable, intense, The Treatment is a novel that touches the raw nerve of our darkest imaginings.
Mo Hayder’s prose and cast in the books are realistic; Detective Jack Caffery is still searching for what happened to his brother Ewan many years ago, his despondent girlfriend Rebecca is up and down, Caffery’s boss Souness, a memorable lesbian, and the loathsome Tracey, sister of a paedophile are all sincere personas.
It was to a certain extent not easy to keep reading at times owing to the intensely distressing spirit of the crimes committed against children it was frightening and dark and I just could not put it down.
However the story line has so many twists and turns, the tension was just about excruciating at times and yet I couldn’t stop reading it, if they ever make this into a movie, big screen or TV it will be a box-office smash.
The Jack Caffery series of books are excellent and I cannot recommend them enough the stories are everything you could want from a murder/mystery thriller.

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