Superb. Couldn't put it down! An outstanding spy/money thriller that reeks of authenticity, both in the (now outdated) computer machinations and in the cultural background of the Arab world. Fully believable characters and settings and quite suspenseful. This was my first read from this author and I've ordered more from him.
This was supposed to be a fun romp of a book, but I found it a slog. The premise was great - two writers in opposite genres meet and find each other both challenging and appealing - but the execution was not convincing. I did not find the two main characters believable enough to enjoy the read.
There's something distant and remote in Pattison's writing that makes it hard to stay involved in this story. In addition, he has a black-and-white attitude toward the Chinese/Tibetan conflict. The Chinese are nothing but brutal ignoramuses and the Tibetans are nothing but victims of oppression. If that's what you believe before reading this book, it will confirm your beliefs, for sure. It's too bad because I would have liked to see a more nuanced view of the Tibetan situation.
This book juggles and combines two perspectives - a present-day composer for Hollywood films who has returned to his native England and bought a house once lived in by a supposed murderess, and that of the supposed murderess during WWII and the 1950s.
The pace of the book is sometimes ponderous, and you may well wonder what the heck the woman's experiences in Singapore and other parts of Asia during the War of the Pacific have to do with the rest of the story. However, at the end everything comes together in a surprising yet very satisfying way.
Recommended, as long as you can be a patient and appreciative reader.
Jeffrey Archer is a terrific storyteller, and I loved the first two volumes in this series. This installment of the Clifton family saga I did not enjoy as much. For one, a good third of the plot involves a British election campaign where a lot of the terminology and machinations were (literally) foreign to me and therefore somewhat difficult to follow. Also, the plot seemed to degenerate into implausible potboiler - turns of plot solely to keep you on the edge of your seat rather than things that might really happen in the real world. I will give volume 4 a chance and then decide whether or not to read volumes 5 and onward.
Beautifully constructed multi character story about parents and kids in an upscale Australian suburb. Every character has their own challenges, misunderstandings and opportunity for grace. The plot has numerous surprising yet believable and satisfying turns. There's humor too. Highly recommended.
This novel has a sprawling cast of characters and it takes quite a while to comprehend how they are related to one another. The plot gets tighter and tighter and even a bit amusing as you get near the end, so hang in there.
Atkinson has an amazing ability to show you the inner worlds of very diverse people, and I love that about her writing. In the first third of the novel, though, there were quite a lot of British in-references that I could not understand in the slightest.
Overall, a pleasing read. Maybe my second or third Jackson Brodie book (he is Atkinson's detective), and I would definitely try another!
I've read and enjoyed four or five of Barr's novels. This one didn't work as well for me as the others. Structurally, the novel is very peculiar and kind of unbalanced: the mystery per se doesn't really get started until the second half of the book. The first half is more of a harrowing adventure story, and it was never clear to me to what extent this was factually based (corresponding to a real place) and to what extent largely made up. Because the mystery got going so late, it was not as suspenseful or thrilling as if it were integrated with the action part of the story.
This book completely blew me away. It's a many-layered, metaphysical (and real-life) drama that you'll appreciate more if you are familiar with existential dread and the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. At its center is an exploration of what the ultimate unbearable horror might be and what it is that we'd rather die than come to know.
The surface story concerns art and money, parenthood, sexual fluidity, fear and depravity, as well as some police details, but it's the other level that captivated me so much and that is driving me to read more of WIlson's work.
What an appealing writing voice in this crime novel! Wry. Both coldblooded and warmhearted. Both straightforward and twisted. Very, very interesting and compelling. Less violent in spirit than some of Nesbo's other works.
The first two-thirds of this book are plodding and somewhat tedious - almost like a case study on crime solving. The pace then picked up so that the reader got the surprising plot twists that Connelly is known for. Recommended mainly for fans of the author.