Library Books: February 2022

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?

Library Books: April 2021

Our libraries are now open – for limited browsing and the ‘Select and Collect’ service they’ve been running whilst the libraries have been closed. The mobile library is also back and on Tuesday the van came almost to our door, backing down our access drive! We still couldn’t go in the van, but could ask for books. There were no books by the authors I wanted, but there was plenty of crime fiction to choose from – I realise now how limited my crime fiction reading has been as these are all by authors I hadn’t heard of before.

As they are all new-to-me authors I’ve included some details about them – two are American , two are British and three of them are also screenwriters.

From top to bottom they are:

The Promise by Robert Crais, an Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novel.

Robert Crais is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, sixteen of them featuring private investigator Elvis Cole and his laconic ex-cop partner, Joe Pike. Before writing his first novel, Crais spent several years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street BluesCagney & LaceyMiami ViceQuincyBaretta, and L.A. Law. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, and one of his standalone novels, Hostage, was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis. His novels have been translated into forty-two languages and are bestsellers around the world. A native of Louisiana, he lives in Los Angeles.

Book description: Loyalty, commitment, the fight against injustice – these are the things that have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it – even if it could get them killed. When Elvis Cole is hired to locate a woman who may have disappeared with a stranger she met online, it seems like an ordinary case – until Elvis learns the missing woman worked for a defence contractor and was being blackmailed to supply explosives components for a person or persons unknown.

The Hunt Club by John Lescroart, the first Wyatt Hunt murder mystery.

John Lescroart is an American author best known for two series of legal and crime thriller novels featuring the characters Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky. In addition to his novels, Lescroart has written several screenplays. He is the author of twenty-nine novels.

Book description: Wyatt Hunt is a self-employed P.I., working low-profile surveillance and insurance fraud cases. Following the death of his fiancée and a twelve-year stint with San Francisco’s Child Protective Services, he isn’t looking for any trouble. So when a federal judge is found murdered in his Pacific Heights home with his mistress, Wyatt figures it’s someone else’s case – until his friend and business associate, attorney Andrea Parisi, becomes the lead suspect in the murder. The case takes a wild turn after Andrea mysteriously disappears, and with the help of his confederation of friends, stringers, and associates – known as the Hunt Club – Wyatt does whatever he must to find Andrea and bring a murderer to justice.

Sacrifice by Max Kinnings, an Ed Mallory thriller.

Max Kinnings is a screenwriter and novelist based in Oxford, England. Max has written feature films, Act of Grace (2012), Alleycats (2016) and The Pagan King (2018) as well as various projects in development including an adaptation of his novel, Baptism. He is the author of four novels, Hitman (2000), The Fixer (2002), Baptism (2012) and Sacrifice (2013). He was the ghost writer of actor/comedian Rik Mayall’s bestselling spoof autobiography, Bigger Than Hitler Better Than Christ (2005) and part of the writing team for the award winning Sony PlayStation game, Little Big Planet 3 (2014). Prior to writing full-time, Max spent twelve years devising advertising and marketing campaigns for music festivals, tours, comedy shows and West End theatre productions. He lectures in Creative Writing at Brunel University London where he was recently awarded a PhD.

Book description:

London, Christmas Morning.

09:13am. Disgraced hedge fund manager Graham Poynter hides shamefully in his Belgravia mansion.

10:16am. A masked intruder stands over Poynter and his terrified family, while the last remaining security guard hangs impaled on a railing spike outside the house.

10:38am. Surrounding the scene are police helicopters, special forces teams, and Ed Mallory – blind hostage negotiator – who must stop this twisted retribution.

Her Father’s Daughter by June Tate – other people who borrowed this book said they didn’t know what to make of it – it’s funny book, not funny ha ha but funny peculiar, so I thought I’d see what I think.

June Tate was born in Southampton and spent the early years of her childhood in the Cotswolds. After leaving school she became a hairdresser on cruise ships the Queen Mary and the Mauritania, meeting many Hollywood film stars and VIPs on her travels. She has written 22 books. I found this post on Allison and Busby’s blog about how she constructs an authentic sense of period in her novels.

Book description: On the night before the grand reopening of Club Valletta, former Wren Victoria Teglia can’t help but wonder what her late father would think. She can still clearly remember the day her mother told her that, rather than simply being a courageous hero, her father was also a criminal, and his club was a hotbed of prostitution and illegal gambling.

I’m not sure about any of them – so, 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?