COLD SIGHT by Leslie A. Kelly

30 01 2018

Aidan McConnell is a psychic living in retirement – in hiding, we might say – after making a mistake and subsequently being blamed for a child’s death. Blamed not only by others, but by himself.

Lexie Nolan is a reporter with the local small-town newspaper. She, too, is in disgrace, after claiming that a series of missing teenage girls were not runaways and quite separate incidents, but all victims of kidnapping and possibly murder at the hands of local people important enough to be able to cover the whole thing up. This of course led to accusations of jumping to conclusions and threats of libel suits, and brought her paper into disrepute. Now she is hanging onto her job by the skin of her teeth.

But when another teenage girl goes missing and Lexie is expected to report it as simply another runaway kid from a “garbage family”, she has had enough. She knows of Aidan McConnell, of course, knows his story, and while not believing in “all that psychic nonsense” knows that he has a record of successfully locating victims such as this girl. Only she prefers to call it intuition, having a hunch.

At first he is not remotely interested, but when they do finally get their act together …

The corrupt mayor, judge, police chief and bank manager are vividly portrayed and totally convincing. A small-town version of the Washington DC swamp. Perfect.

Advertisements




The alphabet book tag A-Z

9 01 2018

I took this very nice idea from mrsrobinsonslibrary.wordpress.com – please visit her there to see her A-Z.

Now for mine …

A – Author you’ve read most books from: Paul Doherty, without question. I’ve read one or two of his books set in ancient Egypt and I like and recommend his books set in the Rome of Constantine the Great and Helen – see for example my review of Murder Imperial and The Song of the Gladiator – but it is his medieval mysteries I am addicted to. They consist, apart from one or two stand-alones, of three series, each its own little world within a world and quite unforgettable: The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan; the Hugh Corbett Medieval Mysteries; and the Canterbury Tales of Murder and Mystery.  The links are to my reviews of one of the books from each series.

B – Best sequel ever: for me, this has to be The Lord of the Rings, originally conceived and written as a sequel to The Hobbit. It won my vote for Book of the Century in the year 1999.

C – Currently reading: I’ve just started on Shepherds by J. Drew Brumbaugh. I’ll review it when I’ve finished it. (The review is now posted HERE.)

D – Drink of choice: While reading? A cuppa – a nice cup of tea, English style.

E – E-reader or physical book? I’m growing accustomed to my Kindle Reader, and it is much lighter (less strain on the wrists!) than the hardcover editions I love. Cheap paperbacks I’m not fussed about and I rarely buy new ones now, though I do buy secondhand ones when I come across something I fancy by chance somewhere.

F – Fictional character you would probably have dated in High School: Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. I loved him when I was a child and I love him still now.

G – Glad you gave this book a chance: there have been many, but a good example would be Dune: House Atreides, and all the rest of the books written by Frank Herbert’s son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and set in the Dune Universe. People were sneering about that first one, but I gave it a chance and have since read all their Dune books.

H – Hidden Gem: Dorothy Nimmo’s The Wigbox is a little-known gem. Click on the image for more information here on this site:

I – Important moment in your reading life: Coming across Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael quite by chance (I think it was One Corpse Too Many) triggered my lifelong love of the Medieval Mystery.

J – Juvenile favourite. Mine is probably Kim (see “F” above) but there are many others I love, from Hans Anderson’s The Snow Queen and Kingsley’s The Water Babies to the Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials trilogy.

K – Kind of book you won’t read: books by illiterate “authors”, either unedited or “edited” by illiterate “editors”.

L – Longest book you’ve read: A Glastonbury Romance by John Cooper Powys. I have read all 1, 120 pages twice but still haven’t got round to writing a proper review!

M – Major book hangover because of: Lin Anderson’s Easy Kill. Read my review of it here and you will see why it moved and upset me.

N – Number of bookshelves you own: Six bookcases, and books everywhere. (But my Kindle is definitely easing the pressure!)

O – One book you’ve read multiple times: The Bhagavad Gita.

P – Preferred place to read: The beach in summer or when I’m travelling. Otherwise anywhere warm and cosy.

Q – Quotes that inspire you: Here are a few I like

ALICE BORCHARDT

I have often thought if one could impart the doings of mankind to a rose, the only thing it would understand would be the sweet drawn-out lovemaking of a drowsy afternoon. (The Silver Wolf)

ALDOUS HUXLEY

Chastity – the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions. (Eyeless in Gaza)

EMILY DICKINSON

A face devoid of love or grace,
A hateful, hard, successful face …

LAURENCE DURRELL

I find art easy. I find life difficult.

WILLIAM GOLDING

We did everything adults would do. What went wrong? (Lord of the Flies)

R – Reading regrets: My TBR list grows longer and longer while the reading time left to me in this life grows shorter by the day.

S – A series you’ve started and need to finish: Shakespeare’s plays! There are still several I have neither read nor seen.

T – Three of your all-time favourite books:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**************************

U – Unapologetic fangirl:

The James Bond novels – and the early, Sean Connery, films.

V – A Villain permanently etched on your brain:

Charles Dickins’ Fagin – in the book and as portrayed by Ron Moody:

W – Worst book habit: Writing notes and comments in books.

X – X marks the spot: pick the 27th book from the left on the top left shelf:

Balthazar – the second volume in Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, another series I love and have read right through three times – and plan to read again!

 

Y – Your latest purchase: I take this to mean of a physical book, so Yeats’s Ghosts, the Secret Life of W. B. Yeats, by Brenda Maddox (a hardcover, secondhand, but like new). I will let you all know what I make of it!

Z – zzzz-snatcher: The Cold Heart trilogy by Lynda la Plante – three books (Cold HeartCold BloodCold Shoulder), three nights up all night!





THE MEDIEVALIST by Anne-Marie Lacey

27 12 2017

I have been a committed Richard III supporter ever since I read, many years ago, Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time. (Truth is the daughter of time.) For those of you who haven’t come across that classic of the murder mystery genre, Tey’s Inspector Grant is confined to bed for a long period after being wounded and he passes his time by attempting to solve a very cold crime – the murder of the princes in the Tower. To his surprise, he realises he has no choice but to acquit King Richard of the murders.

The Medievalist is, in a sense, a similar investigation of the same crime, but it is also a love story, and has that in common with two more wonderful novels featuring Richard III, namely We Speak No Treason and The Court of the Midnight King. In both of these stories the heroine is in love with Richard, and in the second there is also an element of time travel (click on the titles to see my full reviews on this site of these two excellent books). In The Medievalist, however, time travel underlies the whole story.

Jayne Lyons is an American student working on her PhD in history who, for no particular reason (other than a family legend that they are descended from King Richard) is convinced that Shakespeare got the whole thing wrong and Richard was neither a villain nor a hunchback. At the newly opened site of Richard’s grave in a car park in Leicester she finds a silver boar pendant, and when she holds it is transported back to the 15th century and the camp of Richard and his army, where – naturally. given the way she is dressed – she is taken for a camp-following whore and accused of stealing the silver boar.

Her adventures during the coming months, leading up to the Battle of Bosworth, make the book an all-night read, and the author’s version of what really happened to the two little princes is at least as likely as any other theory I have come across.

Well researched (by an obviously devoted student of the period and the person) and well written. Highly recommended.





FREE Today (a reblog)

27 12 2017

Hi all, This is a very brief blog post. It is really to bring to your attention, that three of my titles are free today to download. Here are the links! Thank you! Freedom of the Monsoon: When India’s freedom was challenged…was when Pooja’s freedom and life tumbled around her. Drama. A gripping history of […]

via Free ebook Giveaway! — INSPIRATION





Apprentice Fool – FREE today

8 12 2017





THE RAVEN by Jeremy Bishop

8 12 2017

It is rare for a sequel or the second in a series to be as good as the original story, the one that first presented the reader with this new world, these new characters. It is even rarer for it to be better. But The Raven is definitely more exciting, more of a page-turner, than the very good The Sentinel.

Jane Harper has been trapped in Greenland since the close of the first adventure when, unsurprisingly, virtually no one believes her story of what happened to the crews of the whaler and the anti-whaling ship that both sank following a ramming incident and an explosion. Unsurprisingly because the story she tells is replete with thousand-year-old zombie Vikings, and – worse still in the opinion of the media who decide what people shall and shall not believe – zombie polar bears and narwhals and whales.

Now though, the only other survivors, the elderly Captain of the whaler and his son, return to the island where it all began, intent on saving the world from the (alien) parasite that causes this living death, and they give Jane little choice but to accompany them.

I don’t want to spoil the story. I will simply say that if you enjoyed The Sentinel, don’t miss The Raven. And if you haven’t read The Sentinel, then read it first: this book, The Raven, is not a stand-alone.





THE WOLF-SISTERS by Susan Price

1 12 2017

Saxon England, 7th Century

He heard leaves crumpling as pads pressed them down, and the swish of a strong tail sweeping aside stems. A cold nose pressed into his neck, and he opened his sore eyes to see that the wolves had returned. The wolf nearest him lay down and rolled in the grass. Its fur parted, and a naked woman sat up from the skin like a woman rising from under a wolf-skin coverlet in the midst of a wood. ‘Come and run with us,’ she said.
‘I can’t.’
She reached out and gripped his arm hard. Tugging, she dragged him to his feet. The trees, the sky, spun around him and, dizzily looking down, he saw a man lying among the leaves and greenery. He thought it strange that another man should be there, deep in the wood, until he realised that he was looking at himself.
‘Come, come,’ said the woman, and pushed at his shoulder and pulled at his hand. He started in the direction she moved him. His legs, his feet, moved, but he felt no contact with the ground. Ahead of him, through the grey and green of the wood, he saw the grey wolves loping, their tails held high. Their forelegs and ribs stretched for the stride, their paws hit the ground and kicked it behind. The third wolf quickly joined them. Kenelm tried to run faster, to stay with the wolves, and he flew – as he had in dreams – flying through the trees, above the brambles and grass and toadstool-grown logs – flying like a seed-wisp on a breeze.
Through the arches of trees – bounding across streams, plunging through thickets – mile after mile. Until the wolves stopped and threw up their heads, drawing in the air. They went on slowly, nosing through the undergrowth, slinking about trees, their heads low and their ears pricked. Kenelm hovered with them, brushing their fur, drifting with them.
A track ran through the wood, and from the track came the bawling of sheep, human laughter and singing, the sound of feet on soft, muddy earth, the trampling of hoofs …

This is ostensibly a book for children but if the publishers did not announce that back and front, we would never guess. It is the story of a young man, Kenelm, an atheling, a nephew of the King and descendant of Woden, who was, when very young, sent to be a monk by his uncle the King. Not because the King is a Christian – far from it – but, it seems, on the principle of “Know your enemies” and so as to have someone loyal to him on the inside. The boy was never consulted.

Now a reluctant young monk who still at heart worships Woden and hates every minute of his life in the monastery, Kenelm is summoned to court by one of the King’s counsellors because everyone is ill and no other atheling is available to deliver an important message. The message is to the Wood-People, begging their aid against invaders who are taking advantage of the epidemic to plunder the country. In the wood, Kenelm delivers the message – to three Wood-Women, sisters, who are shape-shifters and take the form of wolves to harry the foreigners.

Will Kenelm return to the monastery? Will he be reinstated at court by a grateful monarch? Will he join the Wood-People?

Note, though, that this is a book in which the Christians, a tiny minority in a land still pagan to the core, are regarded as freaks – and stupid, too.

‘Oh, sister! You are welcome!’ said the Abbess. ‘Speak to me – tell me your name!’
‘Why are you in our wood? Why did you break our tree?’ It was Wulfruna.
‘It is Jesus’ wood,’ said the Abbess. ‘All the world is His creation.’

If that kind of thing upsets you, don’t read it. Otherwise, do. It is a great little read, full of medieval magic and mystery – shape-shifting, astral travel, agelessness – but “little”, yes. When I finished it, I felt as though I had just read the first part of a real novel. I wanted (still want, Ms Price!) to know what happens to Kenelm next.