Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A quick look at the new entries to my 1001 Books And Authors list

Just wanted to take a quick look at the most recent books that I added to my 1001 Books And Authors list because last time though I added them, I diudn't take time to discuss them or why I was adding them and I DO so like to do things properly. First up was Fingersmith which basically can be summed up thus:

"The first of Sarah Waters books that I both read and enjoyed, Fingersmith is a brilliant Dickensian tale of orphans, the seedy criminal underworld of 19th century London and mis-placed identity that has much in common with Oliver Twist to which there are many crafty nods throughout the course of the novel.

Sue Trinder has been brought up an orphan in the house of Mrs.Suckesby surrounded by ne'er-do-well types, screaming babies and the popular fence of stolen goods Mr.Ibbs after her mother was hanged for murder within sight of her bedroom window.

A regular caller, known only as Gentleman, pays a visit one evening with Sue in mind for a devious scam. She will go to a mansion house, out in the country, pose as a Lady's maid and help Gentleman to seduce a young girl under the care of her eccentric uncle with the intention of marrying her and stealing from the Lady her inheritance- a portion of which he will give to Sue and Mrs.Suckesby for their part in his nefarious schemes.

Of course things do not, as they are wont not to do, go as planned and Sue finds herself falling deeply and emotionally for the Lady she is supposed to be serving. Gentleman is determined not to see his plans come to naught and starts to show his more vicious and mean-spirited side and then, at the plans cultimation, events occur which throw everything on its head."  (Taken from my review on Dooyoo!)

 This was a gripping read that I enjoyed from start to finish, though it was not exactly my usual type of reading fare! The only other novel I have read by Waters, Affinity, was nowhere near as good but this was a truly memorable reading experience!

Written In Bone and Whispers Of The Dead continue the story of  Dr.David Hunter as he resumes his career as a Forensic Scientist examining the bodies of the recently dead. For a pair of sequels, both these novels are bloody good with the first seeing the Dr trapped on a remote Scottish island hunting a killer or killers with no means of escape until a vicious storm abates which, despite the cliche plot, really works effectively and the second seeing Hunter returning to the Tennessee Body Farm where he learnt his trade only to get caught up unintentionally, and a little unwelcomely, in a serious Homicide investigation on foreign soil! Both books left me eagerly wanting to read the fourth installment which I haven't yet got hold of!

Finally, there are the Deathlands novels which I briefly discussed in my last Blog post. 

These novels are ghost-written by a series of authors under the name of James Axler after the original author, Lawerence James passed away. Published by the same people who produce the Mack Bolan, Excecutioner series, this epic cycle of books currently runs at a little over a hundred titles. So far, I possess no more than thirty! They are not so easily obtainable over here as they are in the States but thank god for Bookmooch, Amazon and occassionally Ebay!

Set a hundred years after a nucleur war has left America devastated, and now known as Deathlands, the books follow the exploits of one-eyed Ryan Cawdor and his bunch of warrior survialists who travel across Deathlands using secret Matter-Transporter Gateways hidden in Military Redoubts buried beneath what was once the USA. Occassionally, the Gateways take them outside America ~ colonies on other planets and as far-flung destinations as Japan, Russia and the Moon have all been hinted at or featured over the course of the series and even Time-Travel plays a part as one of Ryan's number was "trawled" forward from the Eighteenth Century just before the war by scientists known as White Coats! Some of the titles are better than others with most of the better ones being written by the original author but I enjoy this series so much, that for me it truly is an essential read! 

Though the books can probably best be described as Pulp-Sci-Fi, many of the titles bring up important issues like the futility of nucleur war, the after-effects of such a senseless act and the ramifications for future generations! In one novel, Keepers Of The Sun, in which the group find themself in what is left of Japan, a piece of footage is described of one survivors account of Hiroshima and discusses whether America was right to drop the A-bomb; serious stuff indeed! So you can see that although these books won't be to everyone's tastes, there are important reasons, not just selfish ones, why I include them in my list!

Finally for a new addition to the list, I would like to add (48) Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo; another crime novel but this time set in and around a small Amish community! 

"Sworn To Silence is the debut thriller of female author, Linda Castillo and is unusual and unique in the fact that it is set entirely in and around an Amish community. Painters Mill consists of two sets of people ~ those who are Amish and those who are not ~ but Chief Of Police, Katie Burkholder, is able to straddle the line between them quite confidently. She used to be Amish before traumatic events shook her world and she chose to walk away from her vows of faith. Now she is back and, as the Head of the local Police Force, is about to discover that some secrets just won't stay buried!!!

When a young girl is found murdered with a set of roman numerals carved in her chest, it brings back painful memories of another serial killer who terrorised Painters Mill several years ago. Only three people still living know why the murders stopped so suddenly and one of them is Katie Burkholder. For reasons known only to her and two others, she is convinced that these lastest attacks are the result of a copycat killer despite simliarities and not the original murderer returned and is determined to solve the case without outside interference. But the local Selectmen think otherwise and, in a last ditch attempt to resseurect a near-disgraced Homicide Detective's career, arrange for someone more experienced to come onboard with his independent perspective.

John Tomasetti is a widower and a drunk who has had his own share of traumatic experiences and has his own personal demons to face. But he is not stupid and soon works out that Kate has something in her past she would rather stay hidden! Slowly the truth comes out and then it becomes a race against time to track down a killer before he can strike again!

Sworn To Silence is an awesome, awesome thriller and one I would not hesitate to reccomend! Inevitable comparisons will be made to Harrison Ford's film, Witness, but in truth, this is nothing like that!" (Taken again from my Dooyoo review!)

My only concerns are that further books in the series will not be as good because just how many serial murders can you have around an Amish community? Not that much surely but only time will tell..... 

Other books that I have been reading lately but that don't warrant inclusion include John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling The Undead, his follow up to Let The Right One In which is nowhere near as good and never really goes anywhere with the interesting ideas and concepts it explores (the recent dead return to life not as zombies but as troubled souls) and Mo Hayder's Gone which started off well but then all went a bit pear-shaped at the end!

Until next time, laters people

                                             Sparky xxxx

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