Saturday 27 June 2015

Lexie Conyngham

This lady combines with and wisdom with history and mystery to create a fantastic series. They're the kind of books you wait for when you know there's another due!

Death of an Officer's Lady

My review -

This story sees the recently married Charles Murray return without his wife from Letho to Edinburgh to fulfil a commission from his brother who is abroad and fighting with the Duke of Wellington’s army. One of his brother officers is worried about the wife he hasn’t heard from since she moved to different premises in fear of her life. It’s out of season and Murray doesn’t want to open up the big house in Edinburgh, bringing all the staff that will require, so he and a young trainee servant stay with a childhood friend of his. 

This is a trail of detective work for Murray and fighting at Waterloo for his brother. We follow both the Murray brothers and discover that people are not always what they wish you to believe. This story was engrossing from start to finish. Anyone acquainted with Charles Murray of Letho will love this book. There’s lots of subtle humour in it and the characters are painted so faithfully that you feel you know them. I’ve enjoyed this series more as the characters have grown and I have come to know and appreciate them. 

Monday 15 June 2015

Lucas Bale

This short story will give you a real flavour of Lucas Bale's writing. He does adventure with a capital A.


My review - 

This is a stirring conspiracy-theory story concerning the HAARP project (High Frequency Active Aural Research Program). Scott is a sailor and surfer and the Bering Strait offers risk and excitement to him. It’s dangerously close to Russian waters, though. He and a friend get a reasonable forecast for the straits off the Chukotka Peninsula and set off, he for the surfing and his friend to make a delivery. Their GPS loses signal, the compass spins and the weather breaks. Not good. Umqy, an aged hunter, sets off on his final polar bear hunt. He is one of the last to cling to traditional ways.

They meet but are unable to understand one another. The resulting story and its relationship to the secrecy of the HAARP project is both thrilling, exciting and thoroughly thought-provoking. Young and old, modern and dying cultures meet. It’s a substantial enough short story to give a full thriller/adventure experience. A great example of the author’s style and skill.

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Darren Humphries

This is another glimpse into the dark side of Mr Humphries' soul. Scary!

London Dark

My review -

The government believes it's impossible for London to experience a blackout. Each generating station has another ready to take up the slack in the case of failure. They reckoned without a group of idealistic eco-warriors who are determined to shut off the city's power supplies to show Londoners they can cope without profligate use of electricity. What they don't know, but it becomes increasingly obvious that the higher powers in the land do, is what waits underground ready to emerge when the lights go out. The goverment's Dark Protocol is engaged and found wanting.

This is an intriguing premise and leads to exciting scenes as different small groups try to fight for their existence through the longest night of their lives. Even the Prime Minister’s family isn't immune to those things which inhabit the London Dark. I think the author has great strengths as a horror writer and I’d happily read more from him in this genre. Highly recommended.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Michael Murray

This look like being the first in a series - and I'll be very pleased if it is! 

A Single to Filey 

My review - 

This story is a wonderful interweaving of people and happenings and is shown to us from the point of view of DCI Tony Forward. He is investigating the brutal murder of a local head-teacher and most people seem to think the case is closed when a young man who had been seen arguing with the head-teacher is found hanged, presumably by his own hand, at a local beauty-spot. Forward had been questioning the young man and feels that if he hadn’t let him go and had kept him in custody for a little longer, this wouldn’t have happened. He also finds evidence which suggests that the case isn’t so clear-cut.

The story combines village life, the flower-arranging class and the local lady of the manor who is chair of governors at the school and so knew the head fairly well. One of the great ‘characters’ in this book is the local landscape, some of which is named but some invented – though you can guess approximately where these places are. We get a glimpse of Forward’s private life and interests and a taster of the home life of his sergeant. This was a very satisfying jigsaw of a whodunit and I hope there will be more to come.

Monday 1 June 2015

Simon Jenner

I've read two adult thrillers from Simon Jenner and really enjoyed those. It's different but no less thrilling and enjoyable.

The Evolved

My review - 

This story, suitable for young adults and older, tells of a dystopian near-future in which seventeen-year-old Max Anderson finds himself part of a group of people with highly evolved powers. The reason their abilities have been kept secret and the conditions in which many of their fellow citizens live, become clear as the story progresses.

Max is a likeable character, at once naive and highly gifted. Being thrust into his full powers is like experiencing a mega-puberty within two or three days. His reactions are funny and rather endearing. However, the story is a gripping one with a suitably evil rival and the end was an exciting ride. This is the first in a series and I'll certainly be looking out for the second.