Yes, this is a day late. I was feeling very unwell yesterday evening and had to postpone writing this post until today. So I apologise if anyone was waiting to find out about last week’s books (not that I expect visitors to this blog to be hanging on my words, but my Reading Roundup posts get the most likes on here, amazingly enough!).
My first book of the week was Need You Dead by Peter James, #13 in his Roy Grace series. Here is the blurb:
Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.
When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.
I read the previous book in the series last week and enjoyed it so much that I immediately downloaded this one from our library’s ebook service. I awarded the book four stars on Goodreads and wrote this review:
I am enjoying the way that the author weaves a longer series arc about the private lives of the main characters together with a book length plot about a current crime. As I have come to this series only recently, I am having to learn about the back stories of the characters, but that doesn’t detract from the exciting tale in each book. There were excellent and unexpected plot twists which kept me reading the whole book at one go. My only issue is that some of the names are a bit too similar (Roy and Ray, for example) and that we could perhaps have more female police officers in major roles. I will certainly be seeking out more books in the series from our local library.
My second book was by one of my favourite writers of historical fiction, Conn Iggulden: The Falcon of Sparta. This is a stand-alone book based on a fascinating event in Ancient History. Here is the blurb:
In the Ancient World, one army was feared above all others. This is their story.
When Cyrus, brother to the Great King of Persia, attempts to overthrow his reckless sibling, he employs a Greek mercenary army of 10,000 soldiers. When this army becomes stranded as a result of the unexpected death of Cyrus, and then witnesses the treacherous murder of its entire officer corps, despair overtakes them.
One man, Xenophon, rallies the Greeks. As he attempts to lead them to freedom across 1,500 miles of hostile territory seething with adversaries, 10,000 men set off on the long way home.
This time I gave the book three stars and wrote this review:
This book was interesting to read, but not, in my opinion, up to Iggulden’s best standard. Based on the fascinating book by Xenophon, The Anabasis, the author was thereby somewhat restricted in how he could structure his novel. He encourages the reader’s response to certain characters at the beginning of the book, but then the reader is forced to take an abrupt turn as a different part of the tale kicks in. Of course, Iggulden’s writing brings excitement and lots of action, so I did enjoy the ride and I will almost certainly read his next historical book. The other jarring note was his, how do I put it, almost fawning attitude towards the Greeks and everything Greek and negative view of just about everything Persian. I have studied the Ancient Greeks and they were most certainly not paragons of virtue in all things!
For a number of reasons I haven’t yet finished the third book of the week, Karin Slaughter’s Pieces of Her, so I will have to write about it in next week’s Reading Roundup post.
Until then, Happy Reading to you all!