Friday, 17 December 2010

Criminal Plots Reading Challenge

I wasn't going to join any more reading challenges for 2011 but I saw this one and simply had to join in. I love Crime fiction and so it should be easy for me read the books for the challenge. I'm also hoping that I'll make some new discoveries by reading all the other reviews!

You can find full details of the challenge over at Criminal Plots Reading Challenge.

Harlan Coben - Darkest Fear

Myron Bolitar is a sports agent and part time investigator. He said that he had given up investigating until an ex-girlfriend from many years ago turns up unexpectedly with the news that her son needs a bone marrow transplant and the donor has gone missing. She wants Myron to track down the donor. Then she drops the added bombshell that Myron may be the boy’s father. The search for the donor reveals mysteries involving kidnapping, dark secrets and an F.B.I. investigation.

After reading Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay many reviewers recommended Harlan Coben as a similar style writer. A quick scan of my to read pile revealed Darkest Fear so I decided to give it a go.

I enjoyed this book but I had one major problem with it: I really didn’t like the main character, Myron. I found him really irritating. He did grow on me a bit eventually, but I didn’t grow to actually like him. I liked his business partners / sidekicks Esperanza and Win and would have liked a little more of them in the book.

Darkest Fear is one of a series of books about Myron, maybe if I’d started at the beginning I’d have liked him more (or maybe not!). The fact that I haven’t read any of the previous books didn’t matter to the storyline at all. I get the feeling that I was missing a little background information but nothing of importance to the story in hand. The book worked well as a story in its own right.

I think it says a lot that although I found the main character incredibly annoying I still really enjoyed the book. I liked the writing style and the storyline and I didn’t manage to guess the outcome. It was somewhat farfetched but I don’t mind that, it is fiction after all.

I will definitely be on the lookout for more Harlan Coben in future, I may even read another of the Myron Bolitar books at some point.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Cy Flood – Sun, Sea and Sex: True Confessions of a Holiday Rep.

Cy worked as a holiday rep for ten years during the 1990’s in such popular holiday destinations as Spain, the Canary Islands and Greece. This book tells of some of his experiences over that time.

Having previously read and enjoyed Hotel Babylon and Beach Babylon (by Imogen Edwards-Jones) I thought I would probably enjoy this book as well as it’s a similar subject matter. Sadly though, this book did not live up to what was promised in the cover blurb.

It was interesting enough, I read it in a few days and doing so was by no means a chore but I feel that it left a lot to be desired. Most of the book was just about what the author thought of the places he had been. There was the odd amusing story but they were few and far between.

Something I noticed about the book was that there were a lot of typos. There really must have been a lot for me to notice them because that kind of thing generally passes me by. Whoever proof read it before it was sent to the printers should perhaps look for alternative employment!

I picked this book up second hand for £1 at the Book Barn which was a reasonable price, but had I paid the full cover price of £6.99 for the book then I would probably have thought it not worth the money.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Linwood Barclay – Too Close to Home

When the Langley family are murdered in their own home their neighbours, the Cutter family, are understandably worried. But what if the killer had gone to the wrong house? All of the family have their secrets so it’s a real possibility.

I really enjoyed this book and read it in just two days as it really pulled me in right from the start.

There was a good cast of characters who were well written and in the most part believable. The story was well written with good pacing that kept me gripped. As the secrets gradually come to light it’s fun trying to guess which ones are relevant and which are the red herrings. I did manage to guess who the killer was and why but not too far before it was revealed.

Too Close to Home was the first Linwood Barclay book that I have read but I will definitely be reading more in the future.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Stephen King Reading Challenge

Book Chick City are hosting a 2011 Stephen King Reading Challenge. When I saw this I just knew I had to join in as Stephen King is my favourite author and I have been looking for an excuse to re-read some Stephen King so this is perfect.
I am also following Floor to Ceiling Books' Dark Tower read along so that fits in quite nicely as well.

In fact I'd quite like to take part in all three reading challenges on Book Chick City as they all look fun but I think that this one and the Speculative Fiction one is enough for the time being!

Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge

Amanda at Floor to Ceiling Books has just announced a reading challenge for 2011 - the Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge.

I have decided to give it a go as it sounds fun. I have quite a lot of horror in my to read plie and some SF so it should be do-able. Plus I seem to be in a bit of a reading rut at the moment, gone frome reading a book a week to a book a month so hopefully this will spur me on!