I am writing this post in rather a rush because I have spent the afternoon finishing my second book of the week. As I am really struggling with my mental health, the comments about the second book are very short. I find it very difficult to read a book, remember the plot and characters and write a decent review when my brain is under this dark and thick fog.
The second book should have been finished yesterday, but I spent most of the day fast asleep and didn’t read anything! Very unusual for me!
The first book which I read this week was The City of Tears by Kate Mosse, #02 The Burning Chambers. First, here is the blurb:
“August 1572: Minou Joubert and her family are in Paris for a Royal Wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre intended to bring peace to France after a decade of religious wars. So too is their oldest enemy, Vidal, still in pursuit of a relic that will change the course of history. But within days of the marriage, thousands will lie dead in the streets and Minou’s beloved family will be scattered to the four winds . . .
A gripping, breathtaking novel of revenge, persecution and loss, the action sweeps from Paris and Chartres to the city of tears itself, Amsterdam.”
This is my four star review – which is a bit odd and quirky this time…The City of Tears by Kate Mosse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have enjoyed many of Kate Mosse’s books and this was one of her better ones. The period of French and Dutch history was new to me and I found myself really drawn in to the story of the central family.
As I read, something very strange happened. Part of the book involved the lead up to the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris, and it’s aftermath. Reading through these horrific events awakened a really old memory (this is going to sound very weird indeed, I warn you). I could vaguely remember an old TV programme about the massacre. As I thought more about it, I realised that it was a Dr Who!
OK, I am not going insane! I looked up old Dr Who plots and found that indeed one of the programmes with the first Dr (William Hartnell) was called The Massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Eve. Here is a snippet from Wikipedia:
“The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve (also known simply as The Massacre) is the completely missing fourth serial of the third season in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 5 to 26 February 1966.”
So, I remembered something that I saw when I was only nine!
This fact has shocked me so much, that I cannot think clearly enough to write much more in this review. Let me just add that the book is really worth reading, with an excellent plot and interesting characters. The background research is clearly phenomenal.
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The second book of the week was #05 in the Jackson Brodie series: Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. This is the blurb:
”Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, makes a highly anticipated return, nine years after the last Brodie, Started Early, Took My Dog.
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.
Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.”
I was so pleased to find another book in the Jackson Brodie series! So, here is my review on Goodreads, (four stars again):Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another brilliant book by Kate Atkinson. I love the way that she weaves her characters and plotlines together. At first, the different strands are shown to us, then gradually we start to see how they might fit and, finally, the pace speeds up as everything starts to make sense – well, that is how I see her work! Others may differ.
I loved the fact that the setting took me back to my younger days. When I was a child and a teenager, my family often had holidays on the Yorkshire coast, especially in Scarborough. The description of the famous “Naval Warfare” at Peasholm Park was especially memorable!
I do hope that she write another Jackson Brodie book as I love the characters and the dark humour of Atkinson’s work so much.
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As I have only just finished the Kate Atkinson book, I haven’t yet decided what I am going to read next. So, you will have to wait for next week’s Reading Roundup post, if you are interested.
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,