I have been reading more than reviewing lately, though in some cases not for want of trying.
I listened to Martin Edwards’ The Serpent Pool narrated by the always marvellous Gordon Griffin and enjoyed it very much (4 out of 5 stars). The 4th of the Lake District series it sees DCI Hannah Scarlett investigating the drowning of a young women called Bethany Friend. Originally the case was closed as a suicide but Hannah’s mentor, Ben Kind, was never quite sure and the girl’s mother, now dying herself, is absolutely sure her daughter did not kill herself. There are also current murders that may have some connection to the earlier death. And for light relief there’s the romantic triangle of Hannah, her boyfriend Marc and Daniel Kind who is the son of her now deceased mentor and a historian who has helped out on previous cases. I am very much looking forward to book number 5 in this series which is due to be published in April (*woot* it is currently awaiting me on my eReader). The reason the book will remain forever un-reviewed is that the flash drive which contained my nearly-finished review has spontaneously ceased to function. It is now nearly 2 weeks since I finished listening to the book and I have learned that I must review straight away if I am to make any sense of things. But do not fear, there is an excellent review of this excellent book at the excellent website Euro Crime (courtesy of Maxine of Petrona fame).
The next non-review is of a book called Leeches by David Albahari. I feel very guilty about this one because I asked for it as a review book via Net Galley and I’m also annoyed with myself because I was going to count it for the Eastern European Reading Challenge. My problem is I’m half way through the book and have absolutely no idea what’s going on. We’re in Belgrade in the 1990′s and a journalist (never named) (I don’t think) sees a man slap a woman and he tries to run after her (no idea why) but he loses her then he sees some triangles which he thinks are a symbol (of what I’ve no clue) then he smokes some dope then he talks to a painter then….I really don’t know. I think I was standing in an entirely different queue (the one for ‘eats too much of the wrong things’) when the genes for comprehending surrealism were handed out. My brain feels like it’s starting to shake inside my skull when I try to come to grips with this kind of fantastical writing. I wish it wasn’t the case but, so far anyway, wishing hasn’t made it so. Again though there’s a really great review of someone far cleverer than me so go visit Ted at BookeyWookey.
In case you missed it I did review a great Australian novel called Line of Sight by David Whish-Wilson but decided to post it only at Fair Dinkum Crime (a new blog focusing on Australian crime fiction only that a friend of mine and I have started). I’m still pondering whether or not to post reviews of Aussie crime fiction at both blogs but, in this case anyway, I decided to give the fledgling blog an exclusive (I do urge you to check out the review, it’s another terrific 4 star rated book, a fictionalised account of a real 1975 murder in Western Australia that highlights police corruption and abuse of power in some very unsettling ways).
I’ve still got three more reviews to catch up on to bring me up to date but I have hope I’ll actually manage to get those written by the end of the month. Otherwise I really will be blaming the dog.