Clouds of witness

First read in 2010, reread in 2014.

After solving the mystery of Whose Body Lord Peter Wimsey holidays in the wilds of Corsica, but, tiring of the rustic and wanting a bit of luxury he heads to Paris where he gets the shocking news that his brother, the Duke of Denver, has been arrested for murder. And the victim was Denis Cathcart, his sister’s fiancée. Wimsey heads for home straight away, and together with Inspector Parker he begins to investigate what actually happened.

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Ghost Hawk

Little Hawk is about to leave his family and village to go into the woods and live alone for three months, a ritual that will see him in his way to manhood. But life if changing for his tribe, and for all Native Americans. The European settlement of America is well under way and with […]

A summer of drowning by John Burnside

A summer of drowning

It is summer time on the island of Kvaloya, the time of the midnight sun. And Mats Sigfridsson has just drowned. Soon after his brother Harald also drowns. How could they both have drowned on such a calm, peaceful sea? And why had they both chosen to steal the same boat. Was it some sort […]

How many miles to Babylon?

ISBN: 9780141046969 ; Quotes

Because I am an officer and a gentleman they have given me my notebooks, pen, ink and paper.

Growing up Alec has always been isolated. His parents despise one another, he is one of their battlegrounds, and his mother refuses to send him to school. Instead he has tutors and lessons at home. But no friends, for he is one of the Anglo-Irish at a time when Home Rule was everywhere. But through his love of riding and horses he meets a local boy, Jerry. As they grow older however the barriers between them grow more evident. Jerry understands this more than Alec, but nevertheless they mostly remain friends until Alec’s mother forbids it. Jerry is working at this stage, and Alec is taking more of an interest in the running of the estate and, in some ways, bonding with his father. And then war comes.

Alex doesn’t really see any need to join up. But his mother thinks it would be a good idea. And in the end she gets her way. Alec meets up with Jerry and discovers that he too is signing up, although for more practical reasons, he needs the King’s Shilling.

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The Giant, O’Brien

ISBN: 038525895X See also: Elsewhere ; RIP III

“Bring in the cows now. Time to shut up for the night”.
There came three cows, breathing in the near-dark: swishing with the tips of their tails, their bones showing through hide.

This book isn’t labelled as horror; I’m guessing you are more likely to find it in the fiction or literary fiction section of a bookshop rather than the horror or even historical fiction section. But it fits under both. If you ask me.

The Giant of the title is based on the real life story of Charles Byrne but this is never intended to follow his life story. The real Byrne merely provides the inspiration. Along with the real John Hunter, real-life surgeon and anatomist. What Mantel does is use their stories as a jumping off point, an examination of the characters and their times. So of course it makes no pretence at being a real story.

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Achilles

Two rivers. Flowing in contrary directions.
Two layers of water, each moving steadily, separate and self-possessed.

When I was thinking of books to read for the myth section of Carl’s challenge I did consider the Iliad, and the Odyssey too, so when I was wandering around the library and stumbled across this book it seemed perfect. And I’m so glad I picked it up; it makes for a really good read.

Iron Council

This is the third of Mieville’;s books to be set in the wonderful world of New Crobuzon, and so far my favourite of this ‘verse. I enjoyed Perdido Street Station, admired more than liked The Scar, but Iron Council surpasses both of them. I was a little doubtful at first, not really getting the character of Cutter. But once the story began it sucked me in.

The ‘verse Mieville has created is simply fantastic, in both sense of the word. A variety of characters, races, and peoples all battle for the reader’s attention, and just when you want to read more about some one in particular another comes along to steal your attention.

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