Thursday, 13 September 2012

Ruby Barnes

How to define Ruby Barnes' writing?  Apart from excellent!

The Crucible   The Crucible

My review -

What a brilliantly written novel this is. In real life I am heartily indifferent to politics but this action filled thriller incorporates so much more. It is set in the near future and features Greg, a man who has invented a device for producing cheap power when dropped into a water course. He has his identity stolen by the mysterious but very powerful Thomas who is involved with restoring fortunes which have been acquired by self-serving African dictators. Meantime, the AIDS pandemic is increasing alarmingly and the Americans, fuelled by fundamentalist righteousness, are trying to wipe out Iran.

The characters are three dimensional - they have back-stories and family involvements that make them more than silhouettes. The writing is accomplished and professional and gave me a really satisfying reading experience. It is obvious that there will be more to come in this story and I will certainly follow up with reading Crucible #2. I can see that I have been missing out by not finding Ruby Barnes and his work until now. I intend to remedy that in short order! Highly recommended.

The Baptist  The Baptist

My review -

This stupendous psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat with my brain-cells fully in gear. It's a complex plot and is told from several stand-points. The main protagonist, John, spends some years in a mental hospital after killing his brother. There he meets Mary, a fellow patient. The hospital closes and the inmates are dispersed into the community, each with suitable medication. John marries and has a family. Eventually he takes himself off his medication. We are faced with several personalities in this story, and the clues are there to tell us what is happening. John has delusions and is helped by his old friend 'Mary' to try to bring them to fruition.

The story is very cleverly told and I found the device of multiple narrators took us to places that John himself could not. I do enjoy the author's style of writing. It's immediate and thrilling and he really catches the Irish speech modes in his dialogue. I finished this book almost breathlessly and I look forward to Ruby's next book. He's a very talented story teller.

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