IT has been a while – far too long, in fact – since I was last in the moody company of Arkady Renko, the rebellious investigator who is a perennial thorn in the side of Moscow prosecutor, the devious Zurin. Back then, in 1981, Arkady’s creator, Martin Cruz Smith, was announcing his arrival on the crime-writing scene with the gripping Gorky Park. Smith achieved instant success; the book quickly became a well-deserved bestseller. And, as its main protagonist, Arkady Renko joined the worldwide ranks of crime fighters who never let the bad guys win. Even in Russia. In those days… Continue reading
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A BOOK with a cover claiming the contents are “eerie, unnerving and buckets of fun” presents a puzzle before a single page is turned. Unnerving and fun? Such an odd mix. Especially for what is also billed as “a thriller”, and involves “one kidnapping, one liar, one chance”. Where are… Continue reading
IT is one of those titles that says it all. Well, almost. The cover picture of menacing clouds hanging low over the French capital leaves little room for doubt about the content within. Everything is explained in five short words: A Long Night in Paris. And not one of gaiety… Continue reading
CAN’T help thinking we have reached peak Osman. Urgent action is needed; metaphorically, it is time to paddle for the beach before being engulfed in the succession of tidal boomers heading our way. Nowhere will be safe. Hide under a rock if you wish, but that offers no guarantee of… Continue reading
FOR those of a certain age (i.e. anyone born in the last century) one word will be sufficient to evoke fond memories of unmissable criminal court dramas. A reminder of tantalisingly clever tales rich in humour, wry comment and a panoply of credible and almost loveable rogues. And that word… Continue reading
BOOK lovers are a stubborn and peculiar breed. They will determinedly push on to the very last word despite all the negative vibes they are receiving from their current choice of reading matter. They plough relentlessly forward, deaf to a background noise about plot, characters, writing style, inconsistencies, typos (polite word for spelling errors), plodding dialogue, factual errors or a variety of other aggravations. Well, most do. After all, it’s only natural to wonder how does it all end, regardless of all that has gone before. Those final few pages where all the loose ends are neatly gathered in come… Continue reading