Received free from NetGalley “Verity” has been captured by the Germans. Held in a converted hotel in France she is tortured and forced to give up all her secrets. But in her confession and her report on all her secrets she begins to tell the tale of how she ended up at the mercy of the Nazis. How she andRead more
Tag Archives: gripping
Newsflesh book 2
It is alwasy difficult to blurb about the second book in a series. Giving the details of the start of this book will reveal the end of Feed, and that would be just plain mean, so I’m not going to do that. Instead I’ll just say you should read book one and then go pick this one up, and then wait, with me, because book three isn’t out yetRead more
Author: Fred Vargas ; trans from the french by Sian Reynolds
An Adamsberg novel
Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg has recently been transferred to Paris. His police methods aren’t exactly standard procedure and his inspectors have a lot to get used to. But they can have no doubt that he is a born policeman, and while even he is unable to explain how he arrives at his conclusions he is usually correct. In this case he thinks that there is something strange about the blue chalk circles that have been appearing in the Parisian streets. He is convinced that there is something sinister about them.Read more
Author: Fred Vargas
Trans: Sian Reynolds
As you may already know I’m a big fan of Fred Vargas’ work and while this one is a library copy I’ll be buying this when it comes out in the proper size. I can’t stand these trade publications versions. They make no sense to me. All the negatives of a hardback with none of the positives. But enough about that; on to the plot.
The most straight-forward way of describing this book is to say that it is a murder-mystery. But with characters like Adamsberg there is no such thing as a straight-forward case. So when he spots something a little “off” about the two bodies that have shown up he decides that this case his rather than giving them over to the Drugs Squad.Read more
trans. Sian Reynolds
I’m a huge fan of Fred Vargas’ work. And this book is no exception. The star, once more, is Commissaire Adamsberg. The plot revolves around a series of murders, the first in 1943, the latest takes place in the present of the book. Adamsberg has a special interest in this case, and the judge he believes to have committed these crimes. In each case the murder victim is killed by three stab wounds. And in each case an assailant has been found, always suffering from amnesia but also having a murder weapon in his possession. In each case the police decide that this individual is responsible and, there you go, case closed. Adamsberg is not so sure.
Author: Irene Nireovsky
Two novellas and some appendices make up this book. The two fiction pieces were intended to be part of a series of books about France during World War II, but the author, Irene Nemirovsky died in a concentration camp in August 1942, and that is what makes up the non-fiction element of this book. Of course the real like story of Nemirovsky, and how this book came to be published makes up a large element of the media coverage surrounding the novel, but the fiction element alone deserves attention. The background, and fact that it was written as these events were taking place, adds to the work as a whole.Read more
The first Vargas book I read was Seeking Whom He May Devour, which I loved, and the reason I picked it up was because I liked the cover, well, this one doesn’t have quite such a gripping cover, but it really did grow on me. It is quite simple, just a tree picked out by a shaft of light in a garden, everything else is half hidden in the darkness. It really suits the story.
As I’ve mentioned before characters are what make, or break, a book for me. And this book has great, if slightly odd, stars. Eccentric is probably the polite term.Read more
Fred Vargas Trans from the French: David Bellos
Yes again a cover influenced purchase, so I am glad to report that a good cover can lead to a good read too. I really enjoyed this book. The language, characters and descriptions are fantastic, so I suppose a lot of praise must also go to the translater as well.
The book opens with the character of Lawrence Donald Johnstone, a Canadian in France to film wolves. He’s been away from his true love, grizzly bears, for far too long, and is rooting in in Mercantour. Not only for the skinny European wolves, although he has come to love them, but also because there’s a woman, Camille, in his life.
But when dead sheep, always ewes are found the locals begin to look at the “foreign Italian wolves” with suspicion and hate. They organise local hunts. Coming to believe that it is all the work of one, huge, extraordinary animal.Read more
Lucretia Again posted this great news. A new Alexandre Dumas novel has been found and it to be published. Believed to be the great writer’s last work, The Knight of Sainte-Hermine – a swashbuckling tale of derring-do in the finest Dumas tradition – has not been heard of since 1869, the year before the author’s death, when it was publishedRead more