Hill, Reginald. Death Comes for the Fat Man.

NY: HarperCollins, 2007.

This police procedural series set in darkest Yorkshire has been around since 1970, and Andrew (“Fat Andy”) Dalziel has been a Detective Superintendent in homicide that whole time, which means the author has had to engage in time-stretching (or something) to keep his protagonist out of the old folks’ home.

(more…)

Advertisements

Brookner, Anita. Hotel du Lac.

NY: Pantheon, 1985.

Brookner is one of those authors (far too many of them) of whose growing reputation I have been aware for years but whom I have somehow never gotten around to reading. Since this not-long novel won the Booker Prize, it seemed like a good introduction. I’m glad I made the effort.

(more…)

Published in: on 27 June 2015 at 7:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Nesbo, Jo. The Bat.

NY: Random House, 2013, 1998.

A Norwegian woman has been raped and gruesomely murdered while visiting Australia and, because she was a minor television celebrity back home, the Oslo police have sent Harry Hole (pronounced “HOL-eh,” as he eventually gives up explaining) of the homicide division to observe the investigation. To Harry, “observe” translates as “mix straight in,” and he’s soon completely involved, interviewing witnesses and chasing suspects around Sidney, Brisbane, and assorted small towns in between. (more…)

Baker, Kage. Sky Coyote.

NY: Harcourt Brace, 1999.

Baker’s first novel, In the Garden of Iden, introduced the Company, a thoroughly profit-motivated operation in our own future with a monopoly on time travel for 40,000 years into the past. Because it’s far too expensive to be continually popping back and forth, they established a system in the Neolithic era for creating immortal cyborgs.

(more…)

Forester, C. S. Rifleman Dodd.

Baltimore: Nautical & Aviation Publishing Co, 1989.

It’s 1810 and Wellington is making progress in his Peninsular Campaign. Presently, he’s in Portugal, withdrawing strategically toward the defenses of the Lines at Torres Vedras, which the French don’t even suspect have been constructed to fatally frustrate them. One of the most useful regiments in “Big-Nose Arthur’s” army is the 95th Foot.

(more…)

Kelso, William M. Jamestown: The Buried Truth.

Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

A couple of years ago, I read (and reviewed) Ivor Noël Hume’s The Virginia Adventure, published in 1994, in which he surveyed archaeological research carried out at the site of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. It was an interesting and well-written book — but it’s also now somewhat out of date.

(more…)

Published in: on 12 June 2015 at 5:54 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Le Carré, John. The Secret Pilgrim.

NY: Knopf, 1991.

Le Carré is the most skilled author of spy stories in English in the 20th century, or perhaps ever. And George Smiley, the tubby, bespectacled genius of “the Circus” (named for the Intelligence Service’s location in a nondescript building on Cambridge Circus, London), is one of the most famous characters in modern fiction.

(more…)

Cherryh, C. J. Peacemaker.

NY: DAW, 2013.

This is the fifteenth volume is what has become the masterwork of one of the best science fiction authors around. It’s also the close of the fifth trilogy, or story arc, within the series, so lots of loose ends are tied up. Ordinarily, when I review an entry in an ongoing series, I’ll say a word or two about the overarching theme, or setting, or continuing characters, or something.

(more…)

Hickman, Jonathan & Nick Dragotta. East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise.

Berkeley: Image Comics, 2013.

I read a lot of graphic novels and it’s been my experience that in the majority of cases, either the story is much better than the artwork or the art is much better than the writing. This is one of the latter cases, with some very original and sensitive pen work by Dragotta, but an incoherent plot and confused characters from Hickman.

(more…)

Windling, Terri & Delia Sherman (eds). The Essential Bordertown.

NY: Tor, 1998.

Bordertown is the principle population center of the Borderlands, where the human world and the elvin land of Faerie bump up against each other, where neither technology nor magic functions reliably, and which has become a haven for the young who are running away, either to or from. Think the Hashbury c.1968, but with pointy ears and chancy spells.

(more…)