Some recent reads in September

Persuader by Lee Child

This is book #7 in the Jack Reacher series.   I find this series is very easy reading and this one was no exception.  The one thing that stood out for me in this novel was the amount of technical information that was included about guns – not my cup of tea but the story was thrilling nonetheless.

“Jack Reacher.

The ultimate loner.

An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he’s moved from place to place…without family…without possessions…without commitments.

And without fear. Which is good, because trouble–big, violent, complicated trouble–finds Reacher wherever he goes. And when trouble finds him, Reacher does not quit, not once…not ever.

But some unfinished business has now found Reacher. And Reacher is a man who hates unfinished business.

Ten years ago, a key investigation went sour and someone got away with murder. Now a chance encounter brings it all back. Now Reacher sees his one last shot. Some would call it vengeance. Some would call it redemption. Reacher would call it…justice.”

The story breaks into two plots at some point but this doesn’t detract from the main plot.

The Moscow Sleepers by Stella Rimington

 “The latest thriller in Stella Rimington’s bestselling espionage series sees Liz Carlyle investigating a sinister Russian plot.

A Russian immigrant lies dying in a hospice in upstate Vermont. When a stranger visits, claiming to be a childhood friend, the FBI is alerted and news quickly travels to MI5 in London.

Liz Carlyle and her colleague Peggy Kinsolving are already knee-deep in conspiracies, and as they unravel the events that landed the man in the hospital, Liz learns of a network of Russians and their plot to undermine the German government. Liz and Peggy set out to locate and stop this insidious network, traveling the world from Montreal to Moscow.

The latest expertly plotted thriller is a white-knuckle ride through the dark underbelly of international intelligence, simmering political animosities, and global espionage.”

I have read six of Stella Rimington’s novels plus her autobiography.

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

I love all Ann Cleeves’ work in the Shetland and Vera series.  Ann has now introduced a new detective in her latest novel set in Devon.

“In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide.”

I devoured this in one sitting.  Already looking forward to the next book when published.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

This novel did exactly as it says on the cover.  “It sucked me in.”

Beautifully written and compelling reading.

“It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, seemingly abandoned by their parents, have been left in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. They suspect he may be a criminal and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect and educate (in rather unusual ways) the siblings. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother returns without their father after months of silence—explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand during that time, and it is this journey—through reality, recollection, and imagi­nation—that is told in this magnificent novel.”

This novel was long listed for the Man Booker Prize.  I highly recommend this one.

 

The last of my March books

These are the remaining few books I finished in March.

This was a non-fiction book, my first non-fiction for a while.  I found it extremely interesting and the blurb from the book gives you a good idea of why I found it so interesting.

“I was born into a world that expected very little of women like me. We were meant to tread lightly on the earth, influencing events through our husbands and children, if at all. We were meant to fade into invisibility as we aged. I defied all of these expectations and so have millions of women like me.”

This is the compelling story of Anne Summers’ extraordinary life. Her story has her travelling around the world as she moves from job to job, in newspapers and magazines, advising prime ministers, leading feminist debates, writing memorable and influential books.

Anne shares revealing stories about the famous and powerful people she has worked with or reported on and is refreshingly frank about her own anxieties and mistakes.  Unfettered and Alive is a provocative and inspiring memoir from someone who broke through so many boundaries to show what women can do.

‘It’s the story of a lot of things – Australian politics, feminism, journalism, international intrigue – but most of all it’s the story of an utterly singular woman, who always says “Yes” to life even when it scares her. Her memory for the events, and her frankness about the fear, make this an extraordinary memoir.’ – Annabel Crabb

Anne is perhaps more well known in Australia than the UK or USA but the reading is still relevant no matter where you are.

The Great White Palace was lent to me by a former neighbour who thought I might be interested in the story as I had just returned from a visit to the UK.  She knew I had previously visited Devon and thought this book would suit me.

“This is the story of Tony and Beatrice Porter’s renovation of the near-derelict and long forgotten Art Deco hotel on Burgh Island, after giving up their successful careers as fashion consultants in London’s West End. Up to their necks in debt and with a massive program of repairs and maintenance ahead of them, they gradually labored to restore it to its former glory and into the beautiful, luxurious place it is today.”

This was a super quick read and thoroughly enjoyable. I was interested to see that the hotel was used in the Agatha Christie Poirot series on television.

I would even contemplate making a visit to the island on our next trip to the UK.

I absolutely loved Marcus Zusak’s book.  I could not give a review that would do it justice so I am going to provide a link to a review that I think says it all. It is an expansive, touching saga of an Australian family’s losses and loves.  Interestingly the first few reviews on Goodreads were scathing.  To each his own.

Bridge of Clay Review

Denzel Meyrick is a new Scottish author for me.  I sure am glad that I have found him. I have started with the third instalment in the DCI Daley series but I will have no worries about going back and finding one and two.

“When a senior Edinburgh civil servant spectacularly takes his own life in Kinloch harbour, DCI Jim Daley comes face to face with the murky world of politics. To add to his woes, two local drug dealers lie dead, ritually assassinated. It’s clear that dark forces are at work in the town. With his boss under investigation, his marriage hanging on by a thread, and his sidekick DS Scott wrestling with his own demons, Daley’s world is in meltdown.  When strange lights appear in the sky over Kinloch, it becomes clear that the townsfolk are not the only people at risk. The fate of nations is at stake. Jim Daley must face his worst fears as tragedy strikes. This is not just about a successful investigation, it’s about survival.”

Fast paced crime writing set in Scotland.

“A bus crashes in a savage snowstorm and lands Jack Reacher in the middle of a deadly confrontation. In nearby Bolton, South Dakota, one brave woman is standing up for justice in a small town threatened by sinister forces. If she’s going to live long enough to testify, she’ll need help. Because a killer is coming to Bolton, a coldly proficient assassin who never misses.

Reacher’s original plan was to keep on moving. But the next 61 hours will change everything. The secrets are deadlier and his enemies are stronger than he could have guessed—but so is the woman he’ll risk his life to save.

In his 14th book in the Reacher series Lee Child still gets you hooked.

Jack Reacher is to blame.

Regular followers of my blog will have noticed that I haven’t posted any historical fiction for quite some time.  I think the last one was Miles off Course in early October. The reason for the lack of historical fiction is I have discovered Lee Child.  Yes, I realise he has been around for a while but I have only now started to read him.  I happened upon him as I read a post from Book Riot.  They were discussing heroes in movies that lived up to the hero in the book.  I had never heard of Jack Reacher and I liked the sound of the story.

So…..The first book I borrowed was the introduction to Jack Reacher,  Killing Floor.

The Killing Floor

 

Jack Reacher novels

This gives a list of the books in Chronological order.  I have raced through the first half dozen of these and am currently reading Nothing to Lose which is #12. This one is out of order as it was the only one available at the library at this time. Obviously I am hooked on the Jack Reacher series.

I have also been reading Lynda La Plante and have recently finished Bloodline and Blind Fury, both of which were terrific reads.

Lynda La Plante

As you can see there has been no time for historical fiction so I will need to remedy that in the near future as we are rapidly approaching the end of the year. I had planned to reach 50 but so far have read 28.  I don’t think I will reach fifty by the end of the year.