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Author Topic: Crime Fiction
Alania Vladikavkaz Satie
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Stuck at Madrid airport yesterday and faced with a two hour wait before check in, then a two hour flight to Bristol, then a 2-3 hr journey to London I had to buy something: NEXT by Michael Crichton!
Good premise but clunkily written. It feels like theres more characters than the Bible and their all blurring into one. Possibly because their names are very similar.
Im determined to finish it though.

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Felicity, I guess so
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I'm totally engrossed in Pelecanos' new one: The Night Gardener. Don't know if it's out here yet, but got it as US paperback on ebay.

Little bit of a departure as it's sort of a serial killer novel, but the immersion in the social history of DC is as great as ever.

PS have you noticed how US paperbacks are much cheaper than Uk ones?: 7.99 is about what you'd pay here. this one has $7.50 on the back. Even allowing for the fact the exchange rate is currently favourable, that's loads cheaper...

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Alania Vladikavkaz Satie
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Michael Crichton-Next!!!!
Quite simply the worst book ive ever finished. I deserve a fookin medal for sticking with it.
The various storylines/characters come together (or not) in a manner that a tweleve year old would reject.
Absolute shite.
How on earth does this stuff get published? Surely to god their not relying on buyers with nothing to do in airport departure lounges as a business plan?.
The man must be a millionaire many times over! Bollocks Im writing my own crime-thriller! If he can get away with it......

[ 06.11.2007, 22:57: Message edited by: Tyrannosaurus Alan ]

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lyra
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Finally got round to David Peace - 1974. I get that the style is deliberately annoying, much as being Eddie must be horrible and so is what goes on in his head. But it's a bit wearing. I shall read more of his though, possibly with quite long breaks in between.
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Felicity, I guess so
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I've read all his novels except the recent Tokyo one and they're incredibly intense experiences, rather than 'enjoyable' ones as such.

GB84, however, which isn't a 'crime' novel as such (although it's about a big crime being perpetrated by the state) is a genuine masterpiece which left me absolutely flabbergasted.

I'm enjoying Joseph Kanon 'Alibi' at the moment: Venice 1946, dark wartime secrets etc. Enjoying it so much I'm probably gonna have to get the metro home rathjer than cycle, so i can finish it tonight.

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Inca
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quote:
PS have you noticed how US paperbacks are much cheaper than Uk ones?: 7.99 is about what you'd pay here. this one has $7.50 on the back. Even allowing for the fact the exchange rate is currently favourable, that's loads cheaper...
From that price, it sounds like a mass market paperback. A trade paperback would be more expensive--around $14 or so. Most "genre" fiction like mysteries come out in mass market, while more literary stuff is in more expensive trade editions.
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Felicity, I guess so
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Speaking of 'mass market(ing)':

I read and enjoyed Douglas Kennedy's 1st 2 novels-"The Big Picture" and "The Dead Heart" which I found on the crime shelves.

I've recently picked up two of his books ('Special Relationship' and er...another one) which have been packaged as 'chick lit' (soft focus cover images of women on beaches) and saw that even 'The Big Picture' had been reissued in that kind of clothing.

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kuhisek
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Which Alan Furst books have you read, Felicity? On your recommendation, I shelled out for Dark Star during my recent birthday festival trip to Paris.

It's very good on atmosphere, and I enjoyed it, despite the fact that the last third seemed almost entirely without dramatic tension and the ending was a bit... bleh. Like he couldn't work out where to take it.

I liked it enough to buy another one afterwards though, during a trip back to London last week. It's very difficult to choose one when you thumb through them in a shop, though, as they all seem so similar. As a result, I've decided to read a few other books before starting the new one.

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Felicity, I guess so
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I've read them all except the new one 'Foreign Correspondent.' Can't remember if there's one that stood out, but I preferred the Paris/Eastern Europe ones to the fairly recent one set on a boat.
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kuhisek
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That's the other one I just bought. It had a 3-for-2 sticker on it in Waterstones, and since there were two other books I'd already chosen, I got it.

In Paris I also got Philip Kerr's The One From The Other. It's the new one featuring the Bernie Gunther character from the Berlin Noir trilogy you mentioned. (It was the only Kerr book they had in the shop, and it was 23 sodding euros in paperback...)

As I read it I became increasingly uncomfortable. I know he's trying to do "hard-boiled" but the ex-SS protagonist uses words like 'kike' and 'yid' all the time at the start. And he says this about his wife, who has died in a psychiatric hospital:

quote:
... before being a spinner in the Max Planck, Kirsten had been [...] something of a slut, especially with the Americans. In Berlin, immediately after the war, I had suspected that she was little more than a snapper, doing it for chocolate and cigarettes. So many others had done the same, of course, although perhaps with a little less obvious enjoyment. Somehow it seemed only appropriate that the Americans should have their way with her in death. After all, they'd had their way with her often enough when she was alive.
And this also left an unpleasant impression:

quote:
A low, growling female voice [...] answered and said that Frau Warzok was not at home. The voice said she was the maid. I put the phone down and tried to picture her in my mind's eye, and each time she came out looking like Wallace Beery in a black dress, holding a feather duster in one hand and a man's neck in the other. I'd heard of German women disguising themselves as men in order to avoid being raped by the Ivans. But this was the first time I ever had the idea that some queer wrestler might have disguised himself as a lady's maid for the opposite reason.
I know he's trying to write a tough-guy character, but when you see stuff like that you wonder at what point the voice of the author kicks in, in that he's chosen to say that rather than any number of other jokes he could make. It's homophobia, pure and simple: "All 'queers' want to be raped by soldiers."

Is there much of that in the others? I was on the point of chucking it away, and if it hadn't cost so much, and I hadn't been ill in bed and needing all the books I could get, I wouldn't have stayed with it (I know, I'm so principled). After that point, though, all the nasty little asides disappeared, and it became rather good.

One author I recommended in the Agatha Christie thread was Carl Hiaasen. But his new one, Nature Girl must have been done because he had a contract to fill. Just a re-hash of a couple of his other books, with interchangeable character-types who this time are utterly unengaging; he's even thrown in one of his trademark crazed baddie with bizarre injuries. It's just colour-by-numbers stuff and I didn't even crack a smile.

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JtS
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I read Nature Girl, for Hiassen it was shit (and overly long).

I can't recommend Kinky Friedman's A Case of Lone Star highly enough. A real page turner, really well written. Can't wait to read more.

I've got Die Trying by Lee Child to read next, enjoyed his first one and he has a nice looking series of books to get through.

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boris
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I'm currently reading Christopher Brookmyre's most recent novel A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Cold Pencil, which is quite a departure from his other stuff in that it explores quite deeply the psyche of pre-teen children, and how they change when they become adults. I'm only about a third of the way through, so no idea how this progresses or if it works, but so far it's a promising start, and contains lots of Brookmyre's trademarks - great characters, witty dialogue, and fast-moving but complex action. Hopefully it will also include his superb plot-making, but I'll let you know.
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Danger Mouse
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Ooh, I'll be interested to know how you get on with it. Saw a bunch of his books on offer in one of those random cheap book shops that is always closing down - although does really good "2 books for a fiver" offers if you can be bothered to rifle through a fair amount of rubbish - and picked up 4 of 'em on the basis of the first couple of pages of each. Of course they're now at the bottom of an ever increasing pile of stuff to read and will probably never be, but at least the grandkids will have something to keep them entertained.
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lyra
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my mother gave me a pile of Michael Connelly books for Christmas. I am grateful but I've read all of them before. Do you reckon I could get away with swapping them in a shop? I'm pretty sure she got them from one of those cheapo catalogue Book People things.
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JtS
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I'm loving Die Trying by Lee Child, so much so that I was tempted to stay on the Northern line past my stop today to keep reading. It's ace.

Could do with acquiring some more Kinky Friedman stuff.

Wyatt, if you're reading this, I reckon you mike like them. Country music and crime, with a bit of whisky thrown in.

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