This has been a much better week in terms of reading. The upside to having to stay in bed is that I have more time for my books, if my concentration levels are OK.
I have read three books and am halfway through a fourth, which I will tell you about next week. The first book of the week was Tell Me a Lie by C J Carver. Here is the blurb:
A family in England is massacred, the father left holding the shotgun.
PC Lucy Davies is convinced he’s innocent
A sleeper agent in Moscow requests an urgent meeting with Dan Forrester, referencing their shared past.
His amnesia means he has no idea who he can trust.
An aging oligarch in Siberia gathers his henchmen to discuss an English accountant.
It’s Dan’s wife.
This is the sequel to Spare Me the Truth, which I read a couple of weeks ago and awarded four stars. This book had a three strand narrative which all came together at the end. Tell Me a Lie was, in my opinion, a less successful book although still very enjoyable and I gave it three stars. This was my review on Goodreads:
I would have given this four stars, but after thinking more about the book, I just couldn’t get past the rather ridiculous plot convolutions which were needed to bring all of the strands together. The story was gripping enough and interesting enough for me to read it quickly. I enjoyed the book a lot, but it eventually began to feel rather OTT and stereotypical. Kind of James Bond type meets Russian villains meets beautiful women meets cops with issues plus British background etc., etc. Fun, but a bit daft.
I am sure that I will read more in the series if Carver decides to continue with it!
My second read of the week was another book reserved at the local Library: The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz, the second in his Orphan X series:
He was once called Orphan X.
As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from a children’s home, raised and trained as part of a secret government initiative buried so deep that virtually no one knows it exists. But he broke with the programme, choosing instead to vanish off grid and use his formidable skill set to help those unable to protect themselves.
One day, though, Evan’s luck ran out . . .
Ambushed, drugged, and spirited away, Evan wakes up in a locked room with no idea where he is or who has captured him. As he tries to piece together what’s happened, testing his gilded prison and its highly trained guards for weaknesses, he receives a desperate call for help.
With time running out, he will need to out-think, out-manoeuvre, and out-fight an opponent the likes of whom he’s never encountered to have any chance of escape. He’s got to save himself to protect those whose lives depend on him. Or die trying . . .
This was fun to read:
Another enjoyable episode in this series – well, I assume that there will be more. I wonder if they will ever make a film from these books, or would they be too much like James Bond with all of the cliff hanger scenarios and interesting gadgets, guns and ingenious ways of getting out of scrapes. If you don’t take your thrillers too seriously (despite the gore), then you may like this and its predecessor!
I did give this four stars, but perhaps both this and its predecessor should really have 3 1/2!
I am a massive fan of Joe Abercrombie and have read just about everything he has written so far – I cannot wait for his next book. My third book of the week was Sharp Ends, a collection of short stories from his First Law world:
Sharp Ends is the ultimate collection of award winning tales and exclusive new short stories from the master of grimdark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue’s gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.
The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.
Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.
Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.
And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There’s only one obstacle left – his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . .
Here is my response:
I love Joe Abercrombie’s books and the worlds that he creates and really wanted to give this one the full five stars. One of the reasons that I couldn’t quite do that was my own fault: it is quite a while since I last visited the First Law world, so I had forgotten some of the detail and characters and, therefore, missed some of the fun in recognising them in these stories. Also, some of the tales were far better than others. Despite that, I really enjoyed being back with the dark humour, the sometimes downright hilarious situations and the vivid characters. Bring on the next book!
I am over halfway through this fourth book and will write about Karen Perry’s Only We Know next week.
I hope that everyone who visits these Reading Roundup posts is also finding great books to enjoy!