The mobile library service is back to normal now and I borrowed these books this week:
From top to bottom they are:
A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré. It’s the 9th book in his George Smiley series. I’m not sure about reading this one yet as I’ve only read 2 of the series, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But whilst it was there on the shelves I decided to borrow it and at least start it to see if it reads like a standalone. And according to this article on the Penguin website all five of novels in the Smiley series are easily read as standalones. You do not need to read them in order but they do suggest a reading order.
Book description: Peter Guillam, former disciple of George Smiley in the British Secret Service, has long retired to Brittany when a letter arrives, summoning him to London. The reason? Cold War ghosts have come back to haunt him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of the Service are to be dissected by a generation with no memory of the Berlin Wall. Somebody must pay for innocent blood spilt in the name of the greater good . . .
The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates. I’m not sure I want to read this book – it’s described on the back cover as ‘Six terrifying tales to chill the blood’.They may be too terrifying! But I have enjoyed her books before, so maybe this one will be OK.
Book description: .
In the title story, a young boy becomes obsessed with his cousin’s doll after she tragically passes away from leukemia. As he grows older, he begins to collect “found dolls” from the surrounding neighborhoods and stores his treasures in the abandoned carriage house on his family’s estate. But just what kind of dolls are they?
In “Gun Accident”, a teenage girl is thrilled when her favorite teacher asks her to house-sit, even on short notice. But when an intruder forces his way into the house while the girl is there, the fate of more than one life is changed forever.
In “Equatorial”, set in the exotic Galapagos, an affluent American wife experiences disorienting assaults on her sense of who her charismatic husband really is, and what his plans may be for her.
The Hour of Imagination by Katharine McMahon. I borrowed this because I’ve read two of her books and enjoyed them.
Book description: Estelle never really knew her mother, Fleur, but is haunted by her legacy. A legendary resistance heroine in the Great War, she had helped Allied soldiers escape from Belgium – and was not alone in paying a terrible price.
Christa’s father was one of those Fleur saved – but he returned home a ruined man. So, when Estelle arrives on Christa’s doorstep hungry for information about her mother, an intense and complex friendship is ignited.
In 1939, as conflict grips Europe once more, Estelle follows her mother’s destiny. Then Christa discovers that Fleur was betrayed by someone close to her and the truth may destroy them all…
Walden of Bermondsey by Peter Murphy. I’ve not read any of his books, so this is unknown territory for me. Peter Murphy spent a career in the law, as an advocate, teacher, and judge. He has worked both in England and the U.S., and served for several years as counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. This book is the first in his Judge Walden series.
Book description: When Charlie Walden takes on the job of Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court, he is hoping for a quieter life. But he soon finds himself struggling to keep the peace between three feisty fellow judges who have very different views about how to do their jobs, and about how Charlie should do his. And as if that’s not enough, there’s the endless battle against the “Grey Smoothies”: the humorless grey-suited civil servants who seem determined to drown Charlie in paperwork and strip the court of its last vestiges of civilization. No hope of an easy life for Charlie then, and there are times when his real job – trying the challenging criminal cases that come before him – actually seems like light relief.
I’d love to know what you think – have you read any of these books, if so did you enjoy them? If not, do they tempt you?