Sunday, 27 January 2013

In Loco Parentis by Nigel Bird

Life has awkward disjointed moments. One moment you're doing fine, walking along and then suddenly something hits you between the eyes. A surprise, a bolt out of the blue and always, ALWAYS when you least expect it. Those moments, the pivotal points where things go from being ok to a disaster are the best way I can describe the events in this novel.

Joe works as a teacher and whilst we'd hope that he would be a well adjusted person that's not the case. Life has conspired against him. Perhaps it was the loss of his parents? He's trying to work through things in therapy but it seems hopeless. His affair with a married woman isn't helping matters. His lost love up in Preston is another added complication. Joe's life is out of control and his decisions are rash, careless and even dangerous.

Nigel Bird puts power in his words and, to use a cliche, we watch as Joe's life spirals out of control. I found this a gripping read and if I'm honest I can't exactly put my finger on why. It flows, it's well written. There are moments of happiness, of sex and joy but these are brief glimpses. At times Bird's writing is terrifically descriptive and it captures your imagination easily. A dark story that will not be to the tastes of all but if you have any interest in human relationships and the darkness that lies just behind the everyday minutiae then you'll enjoy this novel.

Genre: Crime
Format: E-Book
Rating : 4/5

Monday, 21 January 2013

A Taste of Old Revenge by B.R. Stateham

Frank Morales and Turner Hahn are a couple of hard working homicide detectives. Morales, the family man, is a big ugly lug of a man with a keen intellect and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Turner Hahn is a single man with an uncanny resemblance to Clark Gable and a love of muscle cars. Wealthy beyond the means of most detectives Turner doesn't need to work but without his job he'd go stir crazy. The story is largely told from Turner's perspective.

What Stateham offers with this novel is a good old fashioned detective yarn. His characters are interesting and he adds to them as the book develops. He describes the snow bound city excellently and I had no trouble picturing this freezing setting.

The author spins a convoluted tale which follows our two detectives on several cases. Are the cases connected? Who is constantly tailing our heroes? Can the FBI, who just happen to be in town, be trusted? These are questions that will be answered within the book. This story looks at old secrets and ancient grudges and what happens when money and power are abused. A tale that goes back to the Second World War.

Stateham's fiction is solid, realistic and totally without pretention or author's ego. He pays attention to detail at all times without making the book hard going. A thoroughly enjoyable read that like one of Dewey's chillis, left me hungry for more.

Genre: Crime / Police Procedural
Published By: Untreed Reads Publishing
Format: E-Book Novel
Rating: 5 / 5