It has been a fortnight since I last wrote a Reading Roundup post and I have managed to read four books in that time. As I think that four is rather too many to discuss in one post, I will tell you about the first three and hold the last one over until next week.
The first book of the three was Peter James’ Left You Dead (#17 Roy Grace series). Here is the blurb:
“NO BODY. NO TRACE.
Niall and Eden Paternoster start their Sunday the same way they always do – with a long drive, a visit to a country house and a quick stop at the local supermarket on the way home.
But this Sunday ends differently – because while Niall waits and waits in the car park for Eden to pick up supplies, Eden never returns. She’s not waiting for him at home, and none of their family or friends have heard from her.
Gone without a trace, Niall is arrested on suspicion of her murder. When DS Roy Grace is called in to investigate, it doesn’t take long to realize that nothing is quite as it seems – and this might be his most mysterious case yet . . .“
I haven’t read all of the books in this series as I came across it well after the earlier books. But I have been working through the more recent ones when I have found them in the Library’s ebook catalogue. This is my response as written on Goodreads:Left You Dead by Peter James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I found this a very disappointing read. The main plot line was quite interesting at first, but then became too obvious for words. The longer term stories were largely unnecessary. One seemed to be used entirely for its potential to explain procedures to the reader and had long drawn out sections that added little to the plot. I also noticed some very poor editing with phrases used over and over again, even in the same chapter.
I have really enjoyed previous books in the series, but it feels as if the whole thing is now running out of ideas. This, and the previous book, have been really below par. Perhaps it’s time to move on?
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I had been waiting in the queue for the next book for quite a while and was looking forward to reading it, hoping that it would be an improvement on the previous book in the series…
As you can see from the image above, the book was #25 in the Jack Reacher series: The Sentinel, written by Lee and Andrew Child. Here we have the blurb:
“As always, Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. One morning he ends up in a town near Pleasantville, Tennessee.
But there’s nothing pleasant about the place.
In broad daylight Reacher spots a hapless soul walking into an ambush. “It was four against one” . . . so Reacher intervenes, with his own trademark brand of conflict resolution.
The man he saves is Rusty Rutherford, an unassuming IT manager, recently fired after a cyberattack locked up the town’s data, records, information . . . and secrets. Rutherford wants to stay put, look innocent, and clear his name.
Reacher is intrigued. There’s more to the story. The bad guys who jumped Rutherford are part of something serious and deadly, involving a conspiracy, a cover-up, and murder—all centered on a mousy little guy in a coffee-stained shirt who has no idea what he’s up against.
Rule one: if you don’t know the trouble you’re in, keep Reacher by your side.”
I hate to say that I gave this book only one star – ONE STAR for a Jack Reacher!!! My review tells you more:The Sentinel by Lee Child
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Oh, how disappointing! I was sad when I finished the last book, but gutted by this one. I feel that Lee Child has let all of his fans down by handing his hero over to his brother. This book made a mockery of Reacher and I won’t bother with any more.
R.I.P. to a once great character and series ☹️.
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After that, I decided to choose a book at random from the catalogue, just to see whether I could find something better. This is what I read next…
I am not sure what attracted me to this book, The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex, but the blurb sounded intriguing:
“Inspired by a haunting true story, a gorgeous and atmospheric novel about the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from a remote tower miles from the Cornish coast–and about the wives who were left behind.
What strange fate befell these doomed men? The heavy sea whispers their names. Black rocks roll beneath the surface, drowning ghosts. And out of the swell like a finger of light, the salt-scratched tower stands lonely and magnificent.
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1972, when a boat pulls up to the Maiden Rock lighthouse with relief for the keepers. But no one greets them. When the entrance door, locked from the inside, is battered down, rescuers find an empty tower. A table is laid for a meal not eaten. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a storm raging round the tower, but the skies have been clear all week. And the clocks have all stopped at 8:45.
Two decades later, the wives who were left behind are visited by a writer who is determined to find the truth about the men’s disappearance. Moving between the women’s stories and the men’s last weeks together in the lighthouse, long-held secrets surface and truths twist into lies as we piece together what happened, why, and who to believe.
In her riveting and suspenseful novel, Emma Stonex writes a story of isolation and obsession, of reality and illusion, and of what it takes to keep the light burning when all else is swallowed by dark.”
This is one of the things that I love about libraries: that you can wander around the collection, physically or virtually, and just stumble across an unexpected treasure! The review will show you what I mean:The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What an unexpected reaction! Mine, that is. I usually like books with plenty of action and excitement, thrillers and fantasy, science fiction and crime. Those kinds of books. Not one like this. But the beautiful descriptions of the sea and of the weather, the sheer atmosphere of water and sky, the claustrophobia of living on a lighthouse with two other men, the loneliness of women left on the land without their men. All of this was so beautifully written.
The structure of the plot was very interesting and unusual, switching between two different times thirty years apart and two groups of characters as the story unfolded. There were also faint hints of the supernatural, which added an extra shiver or two! The momentum accelerated as I reached the later chapters, and I felt that I couldn’t take a break from reading. I just had to know how it would all turn out.
All in all, a very satisfying read and I will watch out for the author’s other books.
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OK, now I will go and choose my next book and you will find out next week what it is!
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,