04 June 2010

Solar ~ Ian McEwan

Eagerly anticipated but didn't grab me
Lots of blah blah blah scientific detail

The main character is well written - a rather horrible, rather lazy scientist who is simply keen to rest on his laurels. He wants to make as much money as possible based on his reputation that was made after winning a Nobel Prize. He rips off an idea from an acolyte and frames his wife's ex-lover for the murder of her current lover, the acolyte he ripped off.

The scientific blah blah blah was not necessary to understanding the plot or the characters or their motivation ... too much ... too boring.

First Tuesday Book Club

An Iron Rose ~ Peter Temple

A short page turner
Almost a mini "Broken Shore"

This was well constructed and nothing is wasted in moving the plot along. It has dry humour and believable characterisation. It uses its location to the best advantage.

In some ways it reminded me of Broken Shore ~ ex policeman retired to the countryside (check), bad things happen in children's home (check)

03 June 2010

Whispers of the Dead ~ Simon Beckett

** LIKE **

A find on the remainders table
Well constructed forensic crime

A British forensic expert is revisiting his place of training in Tennessee ~ the Bone Farm. We had just watched a Stephen Fry Across the US travel series where he visited this place. (People donate their body to science so that studies can be done on rates of decomposition etc ... so there are bodies in barrels, under trees, in cars, exposed to the elements etc).

The book was an excellent page turner with a good twist to keep you on the edge of your seat. Characterisation was well done.

This was the third in a series (that's the problem with remainders table pick-ups) and, of course, there were the inevitable bits of backtracking to remind you/fill in the blanks if what happened earlier.

02 June 2010

The Children's Book ~ A. S. Byatt

Shortlisted : Booker 2009

Made the wrong choice (me ... not the judges!)

Not that I didn't like it ... just that I didn't love it ... and it was soooo long. And I had "Wolf Hall" and this sitting by the bed and chose this one to read (probably because I like the cover ... groan). Wolf Hall went on to win the Booker and heaps of other accolades.

This was a long long long book. It had a great historical setting but it was so wordy ... at times it seemed like the author just slipped history lectures or research notes into the narrative.

It was set at the turn of the century (1800s into 1900s) in upperclass / bohemian / arty society of England.

Basically, I was glad to finish it!

The Black Minutes ~ Martin Solares

Mexican Crime
Not what I was after

I picked this up before our trip to Mexico but didn't find the sense of place I was after. It was certainly crime noir though with a Mexican touch of phantasmagorical (with lurid dream sequences).

The time swings between the crime happening in the present and an author investigating an earlier crime. The narrative for both stories is overloaded with corruption (everyone ... police, politicians, businessmen) .... all a bit heavy.