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Recent Readings 1 – Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, M R Hall

April 4, 2010

I have read a huge pile of books recently, because many of the authors I like put out new books around March time, so I thought I’d do some quick reviews of a few at a time.

Lee Child – 61 Hours

I love Jack Reacher. I have read every book in the series, and I’m still astounded that Lee Child is British, because it never seems to slip into his writing. Apparently, he said in a radio interview recently that his image of Reacher is similar to Lawrence Dallaglio, which is about as close as anyone’s ever come to my mental image of him. In this book, Reacher is stranded in the ice and snow of South Dakota after a bus crash, and soon comes to the attention of the local police, who are dealing with an unfamiliar situation. Reacher proves useful as ever, and makes time for some telephone flirtation with a woman doing his old job, but never loses focus on the big picture. The ending is a cliff hanger, and the best news of all is that there is another book later in the year, so we don’t have to wait until next March.

Amazon link

Janet Evanovich – Three To Get Deadly

I’m re-reading this series from the start on my iPod, because my old paperbacks of the early books have long since given up the ghost. These are the ideal books for me when I’m not feeling great as they never fail to make me laugh a lot. I love how Stephanie is completely incompetent, but lucks into information and situations despite her lack of skill. In this book she’s looking for a local store-owner, who is loved by everyone, who has gone missing after a minor traffic offence. As ever, there is more to the story, including drug dealers and a crazy church leader, and Stephanie is soon in over her head. I’m also glad that the film of the first book is finally being made, but I will be very interested to see who they cast as Ranger and Morelli, as I think they may be even more important to get right than Stephanie.

Amazon link

M R Hall – The Disappeared

This is the second novel by M R Hall featuring Jenny Cooper as a West Country coroner. I enjoyed the first book, The Coroner, although Jenny was somewhat annoying, but this time I found the story too far-fetched to make up for her shortcomings as a character. There’s also a definite political tone which runs through both books, and while this usually wouldn’t bother me too much, I found it stood out too much when I was already distracted by the main character. In this book, Jenny is persuaded to look into the disappearance of two young Islamic students, against the wishes of the Home Office and some scary (but superficial) Intelligence officers. She’s also supposed to be investigating the death of a young girl who turns out to have high doses of radiation on her body. The conclusion of the story was rushed, for me, and too much time spent on Jenny’s many emotional issues. Overall it was one of the least enjoyable books I’ve read recently, and since I gave up on James Patterson, that doesn’t happen very often.

Amazon link

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