A group of well-healed twenty-somethings are out on a pub crawl/ stag night to celebrate Michael’s forthcoming marriage to the beautiful Ashley. Michael is well known for his merciless practical joking and so his friends are determined to come up with something extra-special for him. They do – in the form of burying him in a coffin with a breathing tube, a walkie-talkie, a bottle of whisky and a porn mag. They are all quite drunk when they actually carry out the plan, leaving Michael while they head off for another round of drinks. Then disaster; the rest of the lads are involved in a car crash that leaves two dead at the scene and the remaining one critically injured – and no one knows where Michael is.
There are no spoilers in the above description as all this information is made available in the blurb. I found this absolutely intriguing. A very extreme and clearly stupid prank, that had nevertheless meant no harm, had turned into a tragedy for the pranksters, leaving Michael to a slow death if no one was able to piece together that he has been buried and needs to be urgently disinterred!
Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a man who knows what it is to have a loved one go missing and never know what had become of them. Grace is determined to find out what happened to Michael and his first enquiry is with the business partner who had arrived home late and not been able to attend the stag night. Even so, surely, being the closest of the group to Michael, he would have had known what the plan for the evening was? Apparently not.
Peter James has written a book full of intrigue that really kept me guessing. As the true characters of Michael’s friends and fiancée begin to be revealed the plot takes twists and turns, some I saw coming but others were less obvious. The book kept me page turning the whole way, wanting to know just that little bit more.
However – and this is a big one – the end , just literally the last few pages, was a huge disappointment for me. I would still highly recommend this book. I love Peter James writing style and he has created a great set of circumstances with this story. For some, I suspect, the ending would add to the intrigue and drama but for me it was a big, fat let-down and, please excuse the pun, a cop-out.
I realise I am a bit late to the party when I see just how many reviews there already are for this exceptional book but this story deserves reviews… and good ones.
Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and the next supply ship and possible rescue is due in four years. There is an initial added complication that no one believes he has survived the dust storm that caused the rapid evacuation from the planet of the rest of the crew and so no one is looking for him. Mark is faced with the probability of death by various means; it’s just a case of which one will kill him first.
What follows is the description of how Mark resolves not to die; his know-how and ingenuity are stretched as he tackles the problems he is faced with. The reader also get to see what is going on back on Earth where the NASA team are faced with their own dilemma and that of the crew returning to Earth without their lost shipmate.
I was surprised at how eagerly I absorbed all the descriptions of how Mark could supplement his food supply, produce water and additional energy and attempt to communicate with a very distant Earth. His character is optimistic and despondent, happy, frustrated, accepting and unwilling to give up- a whole gamut of emotions that I would imagine would befall a real, cosmic castaway.
The film is just as absorbing but misses out some detail, and one whole section of the story. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment and I can see that the cuts had probably been necessary simply from the point of fitting it into a feature-length time-frame. The story still seemed whole and satisfying despite the ommisions.
The Martian is a great story, not just for Sci-fi fans by any means. It’s a story about camerarderie, the human spirit and the will to survive and I could read it over again right now!
People react to devastating news in many different ways. Erica Whittaker, a successful business woman has tried everything conventional medicine has to offer but her pancreatic cancer has not been cured. Encouraged by her friend and assistant Hilda, she turns to the only avenue she has not yet explored – a healer.
Arpan had an awesome, in the very real sense of the word, reputation some years ago but he has dropped from the public gaze and is unwilling to discuss his powers, his healing elixir, or the possibility of using them to help Erica. However, Erica is also determined and she seeks him out in his isolated rural retreat to confront him and ask him face to face to save her life.
At first Arpan refuses but, given Erica’s life or death situation, finally agrees.
So, was he a charlatan or did he actually have the cure that the whole of the medical profession failed to provide? Intriguingly, the story of Erica and Arpan is not that simple and we begin to learn that, at the height of his healing, it was not just suffering individuals but the mighty pharmaceutical industry who became interested in the truth behind Arpan’s powers.
On one level this is just the story of a young woman trying to survive, on the the other it’s about corporate power, greed and that, even when life or death is at stake there can still be individuals with their own, selfish agendas.
There is a twist that nicely rounds up the story and this is yet another Christoph Fischer book with a totally amazing cover!
This is another book I listened to through Audible – loved it!
Since following Sally Cronin’s blog, ‘Smorgasbord’ I have learned so much about health and nutrition; some of her posts are a real eye opener and very professionally put together. Smorgasbord is the ideal name for the site; there is a bit of everything, liberally punctuated with lots of laughs so that things are not too serious all the time! Thanks Sally, for the entertainment and the education!
Right from the off, this book is a good, easy read. The story immediately gets into the action with a grisly murder that is clearly well planned.
The reader is then introduced to Detective Reed Maddox and his canine sidekick Billie. Reed has recently lost his human work partner, the details of which are never disclosed, though this story begins a series so maybe the author intends to reveal more background in later books. Continue reading
I am starting off my reviews with a book that has stayed fresh in my mind even though I read it at the end of last year. Though not in my first, go-to genre, I Ioved the way this story, set in a drab nursing home and dealing with a principal character suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was actually about friendship and humour and a good mystery thrown in!
I wouldn’t very often put it this way but… what a joy this book is.
From the start I loved the writing style, easy and flowing and real. Basically it’s a mystery. Flo, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, is a resident at the Happy Hearts old people’s home and the name couldn’t be any further from the reality of life in this awful establishment. Continue reading
It’s been almost eighteen months since I first wrote a post entitled ‘Saying Hello’ introducing myself as the author of one novel and four children’s chapter books.
Since then, nothing, except the quiet publication of a second novel, but it has been a hell of an eighteen months.
I hesitated to write this. The easier option would be to brush aside my silence and open up this blog with a review or one of the many great writing articles I have saved from other bloggers since becoming involved in the writing world. Continue reading