Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Dark Fire by C J Sansom

From the acclaimed author of Dissolution comes a new sixteenth-century thriller featuring hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake. In 1540, during the reign of Henry VIII, Shardlake is asked to help a young girl accused of murder. She refuses to speak in her defense even when threatened with torture. But just when the case seems lost, Thomas Cromwell, the king's feared vicar general, offers Shardlake two more weeks to prove his client's innocence. In exchange, Shardlake must find a lost cache of "Dark Fire," a legendary weapon of mass destruction. What ensues is a page-turning adventure, filled with period detail and history.

My View
Again another brilliant view of Tudor London and the life of the hunchbunk lawyer Matthew Shardlake. It took me a little longer to get into this one than it took me to get into Dissolution and I didn't enjoy this one as much I felt it was just a little too long however, still a very good book.

This book begins three years after Dissolution ends and we see Shardlake back working for Cromwell who is slowly falling from the King's favour after his disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves. The mix of fact and fiction works so well and despite feeling it was a tad too long it was still very enjoyable and a fantastic murder mystery that keeps you guessing right up to the end!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Dissolution by C J Sansom

Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: the monasteries are to be dissolved. But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's Commissioner Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege - a black cockerel sacrificed on the alter, and the disappearance of Scarnsea's Great Relic. Dr Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell into this atmosphere of treachery and death. But Shardlake's investigation soon forces him to question everything he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes ...

My View
Shardlake is a humpback investigator who works under Thomas Cromwell and is sent to investigate initially a murder at a monastery in Scarnsea, he takes with him a young assistant, Mark who gets rather friendly with Alice who works at the monastery which makes Shardlake rather jealous.

Set in one of the most interesting periods of English hisory makes for a very interesting backdrop, though if Iam honest one of my primary reasons for reading this was because it was set in Tudor times, C J Sansom paints a very believable and interesting scene of life back then.

I loved it, the characters were really good especially Shardlake I did feel for him sometimes!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A Visit To The North

I will be away after today on my bi-annual trip to the lake district, one of my favourite places in the UK, I work in London all week so you couldn't get further away from the environment I work in to the environment I will be going to.

I am a very keen photographer as some of you may know and there are a million opportunities for photo's up there so I may well post some when I get back, I doubt I will get much reading done up there so will have to catch up when I get back.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Tribute by Nora Roberts

Sometimes those closest to us can do the most harm ...The granddaughter of world famous movie star Janet Hardy, Cilla McGowan has long accepted that her own talents lie elsewhere. She's persuaded her mother to sell her Little Farm, which was Hardy's retreat from the cut-throat world of Hollywood. Cilla is determined to restore the house to its former glory, in tribute to her grandmother. Janet Hardy was a screen legend - glamorous, brilliant and deeply troubled - and she died in mysterious circumstances at the farm. As Cilla settles in, she finds herself dreaming of the grandmother she never really knew and wondering exactly what happened to her. But someone else in the community wants Cilla to leave the past alone, and she becomes the target of several brutal acts. Together with her neighbour, Ford Sawyer, she must find out who is trying to threatening her and why ...

My View
After Nora's last few romance thrillers I found this to be a bit of a letdown, it is the usual male/female romance we see in most of her stand alones (High Noon, Angel Falls etc) but, this one for me lacked the punch a little.

Much of the book is about Cilla restoring her grandmothers house to its former glory, which if your interested in that type of thing you will probably love but, in all honesty I did find it a little tedious.

Nora remains one of my favourite authors, indeed if I'm ever in a book reading rut and not sure what book to read next 9 times out of 10 I will reach for Nora but, this one just didn't cut it I am afraid. :(

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The Sweet Scent of Blood

Genevieve Taylor is a Sidhe, one of the noble fae, and she's unusual, even in present-day London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with the human population. Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the M' in magic - and that invariably leads to mischief, malice and - too often - murder.

Spellcrackers.com is affiliated to the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. Genny also works as a volunteer at a clinic which treats victims of vampire attacks. Then there's her extra-curricular activity, extracting vulnerable fae lured by the local fang gangs. Genny certainly doesn't wants any closer involvement with the vampire community. But when Mr October, one of the hot calendar pin-up vamps, is accused of violently murdering his girlfriend, Genny's called on to repay an old debt and prove his innocence. And that means consorting with some of the sexiest vamps in London!

My View
This was great, I only picked it up after looking for a third book on a 3 for 2 in Waterstones, anyway ...

This was interesting and if you love Vampires just get it! Most of the Vamp books I have read have been based in USA so was an interesting slant to read a UK based one. Genny is an interesting character, some of the supporting characters were a little boring in places but, overall a pretty good read.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Solstice at Stonewylde by Kit Berry

The "Stonewylde" series, now into its third title, has developed a huge cult following. It's enjoyed equally by men, women and teenagers, and retailers find it hard to decide where to position the books in-store. The series defies categorisation because it has something for everyone and spans several genres. But above all, it has the secret ingredient essential to a best-selling series - an absolutely riveting plot that makes the books "unputdownable". "Solstice at Stonewylde" continues the story of Sylvie and Yul, their developing love for each other, and their battle to survive the cruelty and domination of Magus. Yul was left hovering at the gates of death in the last book - now he is subjected to a terrifying ordeal in the Stone Circle at Samhain (Hallowe'en) as Magus attempts to negate the old prophecy.The Villagers rally around Yul and ill-feeling towards Magus grows, fuelled by his appalling treatment of his own son. Desperate to keep Sylvie safe from Magus at the full moon, Yul inadvertently harms her himself, which destroys her faith in him. Their young love falters as Sylvie becomes entranced by Magus' charms.
Magus has been grooming Sylvie carefully, heaping luxury and privilege on her so that his true intentions are masked. Mother Heggy, the old crone, helps Yul to maintain his resolve - to overthrow Magus at the time of the Winter Solstice. But the wise woman has her own worries. She repeatedly sees five in everything, and knows that there will be five deaths at the Solstice.The question is - whose? Sylvie, glittering with diamonds and starved into submission, realises her mistake in trusting Magus. But too late. She's in his clutches and then his real unspeakable intentions are revealed. Clip rallies round and finally learns to challenge his evil half-brother, but is it too late? Is Magus unstoppable, now that his clever manipulation of the situation has ensured Sylvie's compliance?As the Winter Solstice approaches the tension mounts unbearably. The reader is held on a knife-edge as the plot gallops away, drawing in the characters towards a truly explosive climax. And as for those five deaths - they're not who the reader would imagine and come as quite a shock.

My View
The final published book (though there are 2 more to follow I believe) and I had to pick this up straight away @MoonDance' was left on such a cliffhamger and if you do get to read this don't do what I done before the book and read the note from Kit at the back, it didn't totally ruin it for me but, I would rather not have known, my fault totally!

Anyway, this just gets better and better the first two were fast paced this was like a roller coaster ride. Set around one of my favourite times of year the winter solstice again evoking great pictures in my minds eye of that time of year.

Definitely the best book out of the three, so much going on! We see Sylvie staying with someone I hadn't expected her to, I won't say anymore as it may spoil it for you but, I am sure you will be saying much the same things I was if you sympathise with Sylvie's character.

The series could definitely have wound up with this book but, I am really glad the series is continuing can't wait for the next instalment!