Both of these reads are from way back in August but I thought I should mention them as I enjoyed both of them for very different reasons.
Val McDermid is one of my favourite authors and 1979 is her most recent book.
1979 is the story of Allie Burns, an investigative journalist whose stories lead her into a world of corruption, terror, and murder.
“The year started badly and only got worse–blizzards, strikes, power cuts, and political unrest were the norm. For journalist Allie Burns, however, someone else’s bad news was the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking, and the year is ripe with possibilities. But Allie is a woman in a man’s world. Desperate to get away from the “women’s stories” the Glasgow desk keeps assigning her, she strikes up an alliance with wannabe investigative journalist Danny Sullivan. From the start, their stories create enemies. First an international tax fraud, then a potential Scottish terrorist group aiming to cause mayhem ahead of the impending devolution referendum. And then Danny is found murdered in his flat. For Allie, investigative journalism just got personal.”
I loved the way that recent Scottish history is intermingled in the crime story.
The media, gay culture and the Scottish independence movement form integral parts of the novel.
This is the first book in a proposed series of five books each one spanning ten years. I am certainly looking forward to the next one.
The second book, Flinders: the man who mapped Australia is one I picked up in a bookshop because it was cheap and it looked interesting. I was not disappointed with this one and would highly recommend it to anyone who has a passing interest in Australian history. It was an easy to read book, unlike some history books, and I found out more facts about the discovery and mapping of the Australian coastline.
“Flinders brings to life the fascinating story of this exceptional maritime explorer from the drama of epic voyages and devastating shipwrecks; his part in the naming of Australia; his cruel imprisonment by the French on Mauritius for six long and harrowing years; the heartbreaking separation from his beloved wife; and the comfort he got from his loyal cat, Trim; to his tragic death at just forty, before ever seeing the publication of his life’s work.”
Bungaree was the first Australian to circumnavigate the continent but he is less well known.
Two completely different books but both equally enjoyable for different reasons.