It is two weeks since the last Reading Roundup post and I haven’t read as many books as would be expected, given my usual pace. When I am really unwell, I find that my concentration goes up or down through a number of levels and my reading mirrors this. At my best, I can read books for sustained periods, usually a number of hours (the joys of retirement!). As my concentration drops, I flit between open tabs on my iPad with Twitter, Facebook and a range of blogs, then back to an easy to read book before returning to the iPad. The next level down shows me “reduced” to simple games on the iPad and, perhaps, magazines and TV shows. Below that I cannot read at all and only listen to talk radio or watch TV. At the penultimate level I can only bear to listen to calm music. My family know that I am dreadfully ill if I need total silence.
I did attempt to read a few books during this last fortnight, however. The first was Predator by Faye Kellerman. Here is the blurb:
LAPD Detective Peter Decker is about to face a case that will push him to the limit…Residents in a local building have been complaining of a smell coming from an apartment rented by the eccentric inventor Hobart Penny. Nearly ninety-years-old, and a hermit for the last 25 years, it is not surprising that the reclusive genius has died without anyone’s knowledge. However, as Decker steps inside, it’s clear that Penny has died from anything but natural causes…Penny’s children describe their father as a cruel and vindictive man. His second wife knew a man with strange sexual appetites, while the owner of a Californian animal charity speaks only of a kind-hearted old man. But further searches not only add to the list of suspects, but find evidence of a disturbed, depraved mind. So just who was Hobart Penny? A brilliant inventor, a generous philanthropist or a callous killer?
Unfortunately, this book was #21 in Kellerman’s Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series and I couldn’t get to grips with the story this far into a series. This is my review on Goodreads for one star:
Got so bored with this book that I couldn’t finish it! Kept losing track so simply chose to stop reading.
I don’t think my concentration was completely at fault here as the book seems to be fairly unpopular with other members of the Goodreads community.
My second book was more successful and so I gave The Lie by C L Taylor three stars. The blurb follows:
This was no accident…
Haunting, compelling, this psychological thriller will have you hooked. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Daughter.
Best friends are there for each other through thick and thin. You trust them with your life. At least that’s what Emma, Daisy, Leanne and Al think. But all that changes when they embark on a trip of a lifetime together. When they return home, only two of them are left alive and the group has been torn apart by lies and deception.
Many years later, when the dust has settled and life has moved on, one girl receives a threatening letter. Someone knows the truth about what happened on that holiday and will stop at nothing to expose it …
Here is my short review:
Interesting psychological thriller about a group of female friends whose friendship goes horribly awry when they go on holiday together. Very dark and atmospheric in places and a good read. I am so glad that I have never had such nasty “friendships” in my life. The novel is a bit of a cliché, though, so I can’t give it more than three stars.
Book three was a real Scandi noir thriller: Pen 33 by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, #01 in their Grens and Sundkvist series. Here is the blurb:
Two children are found dead in a basement. Four years later, their murderer escapes from prison. The police know if he is not found quickly, he will kill again. But when their worst fears come true and another child is murdered, the situation spirals out of control. In an atmosphere of hysteria whipped up by the media, Fredrik Steffansson, father of the murdered child, decides he must take revenge. His actions will have devastating consequences.
This book really reflected my rather rather bleak mood! I gave it four stars and wrote this review:
Very graphic indeed and so hard to read in places as the book involves paedophilia. Interesting to see it is the first book of a series as it wasn’t written like that at all. In fact it felt as if the main police characters had already been in another book. The plot was written with a strong message about vigilantism and the dangers of people taking “justice” into their own hands. All in all, an exciting and gripping read but you need a very strong stomach to deal with some of the events in the plot.
Please note that this book also has an alternative title: The Beast.
By this stage, I felt that I had recovered enough to tackle another book in my favourite series, The Expanse. I am now part-way though James S A Corey’s Babylon’s Ashes and I will reveal my thoughts on the book next time.
Hope you all enjoy your reading.