Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Between the blogs

Very often there seem to be books I've read, listened to, or attempted that for one reason or the other don't get a full blog of their own, these are those books.

Spectres In The Smoke by Tony Broadbent

From the side flap:
"It's the austere 1948 world of post-war, black market riddled England, and Jethro, the cat burglar and jewel thief, has been pushed out onto the rooftops of London again by Colonel Walsingham of MI5.

And so, forced once again to step out from behind his disguise as a part time stagehand in London's West End, Jethro does a creep in Mayfair and sets in motion a tale of dark and deadly dealings that mixes national politics with black magic, orgies of abandon and blackmail."

I wanted to like this book, I wanted to get lost in zeitgeist of the 1948 post war England, but for whatever reason just couldn't. I liked the story, and the premise but it just didn't click for me and I finally set it aside for another time. To be fair, there has been a lot going on here, and a lot of distractions, so I'm thinking that very well could have something to do with it. I'll pick it up again when the fancy strikes me.

Rules of Prey by John Sanford

I have seen the "Prey" series books around and decided to give them a try on audio having heard they moved pretty fast and were easy to read. My discovery was that they were too long. The first half kept my attention pretty well, but at some point the story just seemed to halt and it felt like the author was just trying to keep it going despite already telling the reader what they wanted to know..who, what, where, when and why. It was time to call it quits and move on, so I did.

Box 21 by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

From Publishers Star Weekly and
"The Swedish writing team of Roslund and Hellström make their U.S. debut with a remarkable tale of loss, addiction and revenge set in Stockholm's seedy underworld. Ewert Grens, a veteran detective, is haunted by a tragic incident that occurred 25 years earlier that left his young wife, a fellow police officer, an invalid. When the man responsible, notorious criminal Jochum Lang, is released from prison, Grens vows to put him away for life. Meanwhile, the detective arrives at a crime scene where a teenage prostitute, Lydia Grajauskas, has been nearly beaten to death by her Russian pimp. Alternating chapters fill in the backstory of Lydia and Alena Sljusareva, girls lured away from Lithuania under false pretenses and sold as sex slaves. In a bizarre twist, Lydia escapes from her hospital bed and ends up taking hostages."

I really liked this novel, a prequel to Three Seconds, although I found it pretty harsh and a bit disgusting at times with the descriptions of what was required of the prostitutes. I didn't however, feel it was too over the top or overdone. I only put it here because I've recently written a review of Three Seconds and felt it repetitive, but it certainly is worth the time and money to read it.

Spectres in the Smoke
Rules of Prey
Box 21

Currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.


seana said...

Sorry I missed this initially. I think this is a great idea for a blog entry.

I keep meaning to read those 3 Seconds people, but haven't so far...

Glenna said...

Seana, I really like them. I admit, after the whole The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hoopla I was reluctant to even bother with a Swedish crime book, but I'm glad I did.

seana said...

Great. I will get back to the Swedes, but at the moment, the near future seems to hold nothing but Irish crime fiction.

Not that I'm complaining.

Glenna said...

I can't blame you there, especially with Adrians book just out. There are a lot of good Irish authors out there. Anyone in particular you're reading?

seana said...

Well, I'm just getting on to Ken Bruen's The Guards finally--and loving it-- I'll be reading Adrian's next, then I ordered Eightball Boogie form Declan Burke, and I plan to read Alan Glynn's Dark Fields, which has just been turned into the movie 'Limitless'. And I've also got a more classic mystery novel called The Four Courts Murder by Andrew Nugent.

Then maybe I'll come up for air.

Accent on the 'maybe'.

Glenna said...

I see we're along the same lines, although not the same books. I'm looking at Ken Bruen's The Killing of the Tinkers and Allen Glynn's Winterland... both have been on my bookshelf for a bit and I'm thinking of getting to them pretty soon.

What is the more classic one about ? You've gotten me curious since I've been enjoying classics lately.

seana said...

The Four Courts Murder is actually a fairly modern novel, set in almost current day Dublin at the Four Courts, which are the main courts of Ireland. The building is right on the Liffey, and is architecturally pretty striking. In fact, I learned of the book when I was walking around in Dublin and found it in a hardback in one of the Dublin bookstores. I was tempted to buy it, but figured I could just wait until I got home. Sadly, I don't think it every came out over here, but a couple of weeks ago, I thought of it again and got a paperback through Book Depository. I haven't read that much of it yet, as I've gotten sidetracked, but it's basically a locked room puzzle style mystery, basically how did someone manage to come in and strangle a high court judge in the middle of the Four Courts. It seems promising, but it got moved temporarily to a backburner.

I also just picked up a new crime novel by Eoin Colfer of children's lit fame. It's called Plugged, and it starts out well. Interestingly, he dedicates it "To Ken Bruen who made me do it."

Glenna said...

Seana, I'll check it out. I didn't realize Plugged was out already, I'll have to add it to my Next Amazon order. I've been waiting on that one.

seana said...

Sorry, it's an advanced reading copy. It isn't due out till August, unfortunately.

Glenna said...

Rats, got my hopes up and crushed them. Not very "squalid", (as in awesome), of you. (see what I did there? Or maybe it's just too early in the morning).

seana said...

Luckily, it's too early in the morning here too, so I understood you completely.