Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Pages: 375
Date: 28/04/2010
Grade: 4-
Details: no. 3 The City Trilogy

The book that brings the stories of the previous two books together and brings the whole saga to a conclusion.
Capac Rami has been ruling the City as The Cardinal for more then 10 years but with gangs growing stronger and enemies plotting against him, his hold on the City is not as strong as it once was. And even being immortal can't change that.
When Rami disappears the City slides to the brink of chaos and those now in charge turn to Al Jeery to find Rami and divert disaster.
Jeery however has spend the last ten years seeking revenge on the man who destroyed everything he loved. A quest that is still ongoing and the only thing Jeery lives for.
When he is bribed into finding The Cardinal he sets off on a path that may well mean death and destrucion for him and the city, unless he succeeds. The mysterious and ancient Incan priests have decided it's time for them to rule again, and they have no scrupples about the costs.
This is an extreemly violent story and it was a bit too much for me at times. However, the main characters all have redeeming qualities, almost despite themselves, and give the story the moments of relief and humanity that it needs. 
This is a dark books, but not without it's moments of light and hope.
This is also a very well written book. Much as the violence made the story hard going for me at times, the writing kept on pulling me through the book and turning the pages. 

Monday, April 26, 2010


Date: 26/04/2010
Grade: 5+
Details: Re-read for bookclub discussion
            Audio Book; 13 Cd's / 15.5 Hours / Various Narrators

Since I read and reviewed this book less then a year ago, I'm not doing so again. The review in question can be found here for those interested.
I do want to say though that this book captivated me at least as much as it did the first time around, and that I can easily see myself going back to it again in the not too distant future.
I should also mention that each section of this audio version of the book is narrated by a different voice, one with an accent and tone that fits the character in question. This lead to me feeling a deeper connection to the characters and more involved in the story with the characters coming alive and their stories becoming more real.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Pages: 344
Date: 25/04/2010
Grade: 5
Details: no. 30 In Death Mystery

Going back to this series is always a bit like a holiday from life for me. I love visiting with Eve Dallas and Roarke, get an update on what's going on in their lives, hang out with them and their friends. It feels like I'm catching up with people I know and love, but never get to spend quite enough time with. And then there is the added bonus of a mystery to be solved.
In this book the mystery centers around the murder of Bart Minnock. Bart, together with three life-long friends owns and runs a company that creates and distributes virtual reality games. They are on the verge of revealing a new, revolutionary game when Bart is found, beheaded in his own private holo-room apparently killed while playing a game. According to all available information though, Bart was on his own, testing the new game, when he was killed. But someone must have handled the real sword that really beheaded him.
This appears to be an impossible murder, and when someone else is attacked while playing the same game, Eve has to accept that maybe the impossible can and did happen. 
The only regret I have after finishing this book is that since I'm up-to-date on this series, I'll have a wait ahead of me before I can read the next one.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Pages: 432
Date: 24/04/2010
Grade: 5-
Details: no. 1 Brunswick & deMauve

Welcome to a weird and wacky world, one that could only have sprung from the mind of Jasper Fforde.
It's England, five centuries after "Something Happened" and the world is a very different place, and getting even further away from what we recognize through government orchestrated Leapbacks.
This is a place where you standing  and prospects depend on the amount and sort of colour you can see, where you are given or deducted merits based on conduct and losing too many of them will have you send to Reboot. A world where spoon production is forbidden and spoons become treasures, where the whole of life is based on centrally set rules, where questions and inquisitiveness will get you into trouble and being out at night will get you killed.
Eddie Russett demands little from life. His main aim is to marry Constance Oxblood to improve his family's colour standing and little little else.
This changes though when he and his fater move to East Carmine. There Eddie meets Jane, a troublesome grey whom he promptly falls in love with. And this love, combined with his natural curiosity leads him into trouble, opens his eyes to dark secrets and puts him on a path that will surely be hard and dangerous but might just lead to a better society.
In truth, this book is to unique to give a decent description of the story without giving too much away. This is an intriguing, funny, philosophical and deeply engrossing book that makes you look at society in a new way; "A Brave New World"  or "1984" with a smile is probably the best description I can come up with. Bring on book 2 and 3 quickly please.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Pages: 400
Date: 19/02/2010
Grade: 4+
Details: no. 4 Bryant & May Mystery

When a controversial artist is killed and left as part of her own highly inflamable "work of art" and the only witness describes the murderer as a masked highwayman on a black horse, you can be sure it is a case for the Peculiar Crime Unit.
But, with the units existence under threat of closure and the highwayman committing more seemingly impossible murders without leaving any clues, this case may well signal the end for Bryant and May.
And when the case appears to be connected to an unsolved years old crime spree which had devastating concequences for May, things get even less clear and the two old investigators start doubting their own effectiveness. What is more, the end of the mystery could spell personal disaster for the two men once again.
These books are very well plotted and Fowler always manages to find reasonable explanations for that which appears impossible.
Bryant is great fun to read about with his excentricity and quirkiness, whereas May's more traditional methods provide just the right contrast.
The only reason this book didn't score higher lies in it being at times a bit too wordy for my liking, slowing both the book and the investigation in it down and making me almost lose interest on one or two occassions. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Pages: 559
Date: 17/04/2010
Grade: 5
Details: no. 3 Millennium Trilogy

This is the book that pulls all the threads of the two previous books together, and does so very well.
The story starts with Lisbeth Salander fighting for her life in a hospital while those who see her as a danger to the secrets they are trying to keep hidden assemble in an effort to keep her quiet and locked away.
At the same time Mickael Blomkvist and the team from Millennium Magazine are working hard to get the bottom of it all, save Lisbeth from a life in institutions and find and punish those responsible for her miserable life, aware that they are under constant surveillance.
It is hard to write more about this book without spoiling the story not only for those who haven't read this third book yet but also for those who haven't read the previous book(s). So, I'll limit myself to saying that this is in many ways like an old fashioned spy story with people from all sides trying to stay one step ahead of the others by all means possible.
There are an awful lot of players in this book which can get confusing at times, but does make perfect sense considering the time span the story covers and all the strands that have to come together.
This was a very satisfying read with a very unique and fascinating main character in Lisbeth. Now that I have finished reading the trilogy I can only be sorry that there won't be any other books by Larrson. The world lost a great thriller writer when he died so prematurely.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


AUTHOR: Roderic Jeffries
Pages: 187
Date: 10/04/2010
Grade: 3
Details: no. 33 Inspector Alvarez

I did not enjoy this book. 
I'm not sure if the author was trying to be funny or going out of his way to offend Mallorquin people, but if I lived on Mallorca, I would be insulted.
The story starts in England where a man named Tyler hits two pedestrians while driving. Aware that he has had too much to drink, Tyler flees the scene. However, speed camera's catch him and he is soon identified and traced to Mallorca, where Inspector Alvarez is put on the case and asked to investigate Tyler as well as his car. Before the investigation is properly off the ground though, Tyler has been murdered and Alvarez finds himself with a different sort of case on his hands.
Alvarez was pictured as a lazy man who dislikes his work and has few interests besides food, drink and sleeping.
I suppose the author means for Alvarez to come across as endearing and funny, but I found him only frustrating.
I won't be going back to read the other books in this series.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Pages: 561
Date: 09/04/2010
Grade: 4.5

Andrew Marlow is a psychiatrist, in his fifties, single and a competent painter, living a quiet and orderly life., when a collegue persuades him to take on a patient. The patient, Robert Oliver is a painter who got himself arrested and committed after trying to attack a painting called "Leda" in a museum with a knive. Oliver proves to be a very difficult and frustrating patient because he refuses to talk.
Intrigued Marlow pushes professional boundaries in order to find out more and talkes to Oliver's ex-wife and ex-lover. Initially the informatin he gathers only confuses Marlow more. Who is the woman Oliver has been obsessively painting for years? How do the French letters from the late 19th century tie in? And why did Oliver try to attack the painting.
I found this an intriguing story, if at times a bit contrived. I'm not convinced any doctor would go to these lengths for any patient, or that any wife or lover would provide the sort and depth of information the woman in this story give.
But, I loved the way the story unfolded. The French story is beautiful and heart-wrenching. And I enjoyed that the story was written in such a way that the reader could come to suspicions and conclusions together with Marlow or a short while ahead of him.
The ending of the book though was a bit sudden and unrealistic. In a way that didn't really matter because for me that particular strand of the story had become very much secondary.
This book has been getting very varied reviews, ranging from complete dislike to absolutely wonderful, and probably isn't for everyone. The in depth descriptions of painting, techniques, works of art and related matters might put some people of, although I found the writing of such quality that just the flow of the words kept me reading, even though I'm not overly interested in or knowledgable about painting and painters. This definitely was a book for me, and I'm very glad that I've read it.

Monday, April 5, 2010



Pages: 307
Date: 05/04/2010
Grade: 4-
Details: Large Print

A mystery set in 1955 in Fairbourne, a seaside town. It is spring and in the Victoriana theatre a group of actors is starting the summer season.
Not to long after the start of the season, one of the actors is shot and killed. Inspector Carding and Sergeant George Burns investigate the murder and soon discover that the victim was almost universally disliked. They discover that he was blackmailing at least a few of his fellow cast members, was having an affair with one of the actresses, despite both of them being married, and that his wife who was more famous than him, was afraid of him and had a lover of her own.
Sure that the murderer has to be one of the cast, but not finding a real motive or any clues, the investigation is a frustrating one for our policemen. But when another cast member nearly dies, it becomes even more important to get to the truth.
This was a nice story, and the quick and easy read I needed right now. However, it was not a very good mystery. The police was too quick to accept less than solid alibies, didn't look too hard for the missing gun or other evidence and stumbled across the solution by accident more than solid detecting.
If this book were part of a series I probably wouldn't be looking for any other books in it. But, as a stand-alone mystery it was pleasant enough to read.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Pages: 544/2135
Date: 04/04/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: Bookclub read/E-Book
Own (download)

Great Expectations is the story of Pip. When we first meet him he is a seven year old orphan, being raised by his violent sister and her kind husband, Joe Gargary, a blacksmith.
When young Pip encounters an escaped convict, the latter scares the boy into stealing food, drink and a file for him.
When Pip and Joe are later present when the convict is recaptured, the man lies and claims to have stolen the goods himself. The convict also manages to have two pounds given to Pip, showing his gratitude and kindness. Pip however will feel guilty about the theft for a long time.
Pip's life changes profoundly when he's introduced to Miss Havisham, a middle aged lady who stopped living her life the exact minute her fiance dumped her on what should have been her wedding day.
Still wearing her now destroyed wedding gown, living in perpetual gloom and in the middle of the remnants of the wedding that never was, Miss Havisham is raising Estella, a very beautiful and cold-hearted orphan.
Pip is instantly entranced by Estella although she is only cruel to him and lets him know she thinks him a backwards country boy. From then on, Pip is dissastisfied with his life and his probable future as a country blacksmith, his big dream being to become a gentleman.
When, through a solicitor, he learns that he has Great Expectations and is to go to London to become a gentleman, it seems that Pip's dreams have come true and that he may yet get close to Estella.
The revalation of the indentity of his benefactor shatters all of Pip's illusions again, but also teaches him valuable lessons about trust, honesty, loyalty, friendship and gives him a chance to redeem himself.
This is a good story and it's clear why it has stood the test of time as well as it has. It is also rather two dimensional by todays standards and very much a moral tale.
The strange thing was that althrough reading the book I felt that not a whole lot was happening, only to discover now that I'm trying to summarize the story that in fact a lot took place. The pacing of the book is very deceptive in this respect.
I think I will be reading more classics, especially now that I have my E-Book Reader and access to free downloads. But, not too many and not too close together. 

And a quick note on using the E-Reader for the first time.
Initially it took some getting used to, especially since the pages on the device hold far less words than those in a regular book do (it's almost 4 pages for every 1). This means that you move on from one page to the next at a rather high speed. But, I got used to this fairly quickly and after a short while I stopped noticing it. I like that I can adjust the size of the letters and I found that the screen and the spacing between lines were perfect for a relaxed and friendly on the eyes read. I can see myself using my reader a lot more, especially when travelling.