Tag Archives: detective

The Cuckoo’s Calling

I ordered Robert Galbraith’s book The Cuckoo’s Calling from an online shop. When the book came, I read from the books cover that Robert Galbraith is actually a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. I was surprised and a little disappointed. Last year I read J.K. Rowling’s book The Casual Vacancy (review here) and it was heavy and dark and left me with an uneasy feeling. But, as I had the book The Cuckoo’s Calling, I desided to give it a change and read it.

I must say that the book was a pleasant surprise and it was worth reading. The story is a traditional crime story and the detective, Cormoran Strike, is one of those unlucky guys that you often meet in crime novels. He brokes up with his girlfriend and at the same time loses his home, has money problems, no customers and he lives in his office. He has a prosthesis in his other leg and traumas from the war, he’s a war veteran.

At the same time he is a very hardworking, intelligent and skilled private detective. He can solve a crime that the police couldn’t. He also tries to get over his stormy relationship with his ex-girlfried and make an employment realtionship with his new secretary.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is entertaining, well written and traditional (if you like traditional). To me it was a positive surprise. I started to like Cormoran Strike. It’s interesting how one author can write books that are so different from each other. Both The Casual Vacancy (which was not a crime novel) and The Cuckoo’s Calling deal with things from the dark side of life. The Casual Vacancy I ended with a heavy heart but The Cuckoo’s Calling I ended with a positive heart, so there was a difference.

Christmas is near and I just hope Santa brings me the new book from Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm.

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The Son

I’m a big fan of Jo Nesbø’s books and the newest, The Son, didn’t let me down. It was not the best book ever, but it was guaranteed Nesbø and I devoured it fast, very fast. I must admid that most of the books of Nesbø are loaded with violence, but there’s something in these books that intrigue me, I’m hooked.

The Son was not a part of the succesfull Harry Hole series. It was fast paced, like all Nesbø‘s books, and exciting. It was about revenge and family, death and sorrow, falce accusations, exploitation, manipulation and much more.

The story riveted my attention and I couldn’t put the book down. I sat in the kitchen for four hours, saturday morning, silence, other family members sleeping. Just me and the book. It didn’t bother me that the book was long, still it ended too soon. It’s always like this when you read a good book, it ends too soon, no matter how many pages it has.

I think that Jo Nesbø is one of the greatest crime novel writers of this time. A new Jo Nesbø novel is something that I’ll always look forwad to. Too bad they always end so soon.

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The Adventures, The Memoirs and The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Three books in one volume, 36 stories, 1099 pages. That was my last project and I liked it. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and The Return of Sherlock Holmes, those were the three parts of that thick book.

It took me a while to read this “brick”. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, I did, very much. I just wanted to concentrate and absorb every detail. I didn’t have to regret my desicion.

Nowadays, when you watch TV or go to the movies, you meet a cranky, impolite Sherlock Holmes. I cannot deny, I love the new Sherlock Holmes too, especially played by Benedict Cumberbatch. But, in these stories, Sherlock Holmes is not so cranky, not so impolite. Absolutely, he is strange, self-esteeming, a bit of a loner, intelligent and original. But he treats Watson and his customers relatively kindly, appreciates them and wants them to solve crimes with him.

There are many familiar elements too. Moriarty, Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (who is short and a bit fat, by the way) and sharp nose and agility, quick-witted mind and unusual methods. There’s strange crimes and even stranger solutions.

I must say, passing of time has not effected these stories. They are still interesting and exciting. I guess that’s the sign of a true classic. And a sing of a great writer, Arthur Conan Doyle. He invented one of the most interesting characters of all times, who, again and again, comes back to TV and movies and gives us pleasant moments of entertainment.

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Beastly things

I’ve read a lot of books written by Donna Leon. They are not the greatest books in the world but I still like them a lot.  They are easy to read and there’s some nice portrayals of the landscapes and foods of Italy. I also like Guido Brunetti.

The latest Donna Leon’s book I just finished was Beastly things.

Beastly things was an average detective story and I think that it was not the best of Donna Leon. Momentarily the book was just a little bit boring and I noticed that my thoughts escaped to other things. Still, there was something familiar and safe, something intriguing. Guido Brunetti was Guido Brunetti, enjoying lunch and some wine with his wife (I love how their relationship is so comfortable and loving), drinking coffee with his coworkers. And, on the side, solving crimes.

Guido Brunetti doesn’t have any serious problems like his other literary colleagues do, no alcoholism (although he does drink quite a lot of wine), no depression, no ugly divorce or loneliness. A fully functional marriage and family. I like that.

When you read Donna Leon’s books you know what you’re going to get. They are a safe choice. Not too violent, peaceful atmosphere, good food and drinks, beautiful landscapes. Donna Leon has an unique way of telling a story, somehow restful and beautiful. Unbelievable, after all I’m talking about crime novels.

And (I’m not going to reveal any details) after reading this book I felt incredibly happy that I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian (over 25 years already).

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The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair

Joël Dicker has written a thick novel, the edition that I read had 809 pages. I was riveted by the story from the start.

Fist I must share with you my thought, that goes for books as well as movies. To me, most of the time, the main issue is entertainment. Of course the story has to be good and well written, but it doesn’t have to be “high culture”. I’m very happy when I’ve read a book that has captured my attention entirely and has offered me hours of interesting moments with the characters and the story. Same with movies. That entertainment factor may not be the same for everybody but who would read a book (or see a movie) that wouldn’t entertain? I wouldn’t.

Back to the main issue. The truth about Harry Quebert affair has twists and turns, some of them are believable some aren’t. Still, it was good, well-paced and full of surprises. The thing that bothered me is, that at the end of the book there were a lot of twists and turns, maybe even just a little too much. Somehow it was not in line with the atmosphere of the rest of the book.

But, I enjoyed reading this book and I think that The truth about Harry Quebert affair was a fine mystery and one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year. Not the most shining star but a bright one.

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Knots and Crosses

I took this book from a recycle your books -bookshelf in the library. I had no idea what it was nor I had expectations.

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin, another mediocre detective story with nothing original or memorable. I’ve already forgotten what the book was about. It was not bad, it just didn’t stay in my head or resonate.

I could read Ian Rankin’s books again, because there was potential in Knots and Crosses. Maybe his other books are more intriguing.

Knots and Crosses went back to the recycle your book -bookshelf.

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Dog Day

Dog Day (Petra Delicado Mysteries, # 2) is a detective story written by Alicia Giménez Bartlett.

The lead characters in this book are detective Petra Delicado and her policeman partner Garzon. What I liked about this book, as well as in book Death Rites (Petra Delicado Mysteries, #1), is the friendship between these two very different people. They are colleagues but they also care for each other as friends. Their discussions are humorous as well as moving. Their support to each other is genuine and sincere. They are humane, they are like real people.

The story dealt with dogs. I’m not an animal person, but the dogs didn’t bother me. What bothered me that the story was not very unique or addictive. It was good, but it was not brilliant. To me, the narration was a little plain, too simple. I had this feeling that the book didn’t quite get to it’s peak and left me wanting something more. The crime was solved, so it wasn’t that.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly the missing elements that you would’ve liked to have in a book. Some books have those elements, some don’t and some rest in the middle. Dog Day is in the middle. I probably will read the next Petra Delicado mystery, if it comes, so Death Rites or Dog Day were not that bad.

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