I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers. Khalil Gibran
Woodhouse bases his debut crime novel mainly in Amsterdam and seems to manage to encompass all of the most grisly criminal acts you can imagine. The story progresses through murder, arson, kidnapping, child abuse and a few others along the way. The main characters have their own ways of coping with the stresses of dealing with such cases and also their own personal conflicts to deal with.
Inspector Rykel must investigate a bizarre and brutal murder but is troubled by the recent unsolved death of his Police partner. His investigations connect to an arson attack outside of his area where two people were burnt to death but leaving behind clues about a little girl, whose existence and current whereabouts is unknown. Working with a Junior Detective from this case they start to uncover a gruesome trail of trafficking, child abuse and pornography, with some unwanted links to Rykel’s partners’ death and obstructive colleagues, this is looking at becoming one of the most demanding cases Rykel has ever worked on.
Despite the awful nature of the crimes this is a not a depressing read – it is compelling and absorbing and a real treat for crime thriller fans.
Perhaps because I am unfamiliar with the Dutch language, I found the unusual names sometimes difficult to remember but this didn’t detract from the story and the principle characters were fluid and well written. I am sure a following of the forthcoming Inspector Rykel series (apparently there are three more due) would cure any language problems and I, for one, am sure to become a committed fan.
BookShelfElf says 3.5 Bacon Butties!
Authors Website: http://www.jakewoodhouse.com/index.html
Advanced copy kindly provided by http://www.lovereading.co.uk/
‘I Am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes
It’s not often I open a book review like that but this book deserves it and the hype it’s had up to its release. This is a truly magnificent debut effort, both in terms of quantity (over 800 pages) but also in terms of quality, diversity, intrigue and suspense.
To my mind this is essentially three novels in one, with each having a different writing style, pace and emphasis but each interdependent – it would be impossible to read one without the others. The first introduces the world of international spies and terrorism and provides the initial intrigue. The second fills you in on the background, sets the scene and ramps up the tension. The third puts Pilgrim in the field: fast paced; action packed; with true thriller style.
I usually try to give a short synopsis of the book but I don’t want to spoil it for you and I also think I might fail. It’s too complicated, intriguing, and full of unexpected twists and turns. Suffice to say, if you have even a remote liking for a spy thriller – then read this book.
The principle of this story of spies and world terrorism is not unknown to anyone who has followed even a modicum of the news over the last few years but the details are meticulous, inventive and unique enough to deliver a book worth discussing earnestly over dinner and to start guessing who might play Pilgrim in the film. There will be a film, won’t there? There should be a film. But it would be long one! I hope it is…
Bookshelf Elf says 5 bacon butties and a pot of mayonnaise!
More info here! http://www.lovereading.co.uk/author/4558/Terry-Hayes.html
W. H. Davies
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare
The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes
Review by #BookShelfElf
This is such a promising first novel for this young writer. The overall subject is interesting and involving, the underlying theme of Greek tragedies intelligent and absorbing. I only feel it is a shame that we know that the twist at the end is coming and it becomes increasingly obvious what form it will take, from the hints in the text. A little more subterfuge may have made this an absolute best seller.
However, I would thoroughly recommend this novel. I was unsure the subject matter would be to my taste but it is beautifully written and well-paced, resulting in a page turner delivering pathos and anticipation – a really good psychological thriller.
Alex has had a difficult time with the death of her fiancée. A new job offer and a move to Edinburgh to escape the continuous depression takes her away from the theatre direction role that she loves. Even the challenges of the Pupil Referral Unit cannot completely distract from her dark mood and her choice of teaching material reflects this with her oldest and most troubled group of pupils. As she gains confidence in her drama therapy lessons she believes she is making a difference to these uneasy young people but it transpires that she may be educating them in life lessons that they may not be ready to learn.
The settings are well described and the atmospheres of London and Edinburgh well formed. The characters are rounded and interesting, a lengthier novel might have delved a little more deeply into their motivations and backgrounds but I think this would have spoiled the pace of the story. Nevertheless it is never bad to be left wanting more!
Bookshelf Elf says….3.5 bacon butties!
Authors Website: http://www.nataliehaynes.com/