The Hunting Dogs
Author: Jorn Lier Horst
Another outing for veteran detective William Wisting, although this time he is accused for tampering with the evidence on a case from 17 years ago. With his ever loyal daughter Line's support, he reaches back and uncovers the truth. Most enjoyable aspect of the book is ever stoic portrayal of the characters and Horst's efficiency with words, leaving so much unsaid. Just like his characters.
Author: Alan Brown
Insightful and really enjoyable account of the author's ride across the wilds of Scotland from Taynuilt in the west to Findhorn in the north east. I know from experience how quickly near panic can set in when long planned rides are almost halted early due to technical or kit or random issues, so was heartening to read that Alan suffered the exact same. To be forced to bail early on trips that you have planned for months is almost too much to bear! His awareness and description of Scotland's current versus ancient landscape was a revelation to me. As a wannabe writer myself who loves mountain biking, it struck me what a gap there is between my patchy efforts and the author's lucid and concise writing. I have much to learn.
Nobody Walks
Author: Mick Herron
I read about Mick Herron in the papers, suggesting he was one of a group who one day might be successors to le Carre. Nobody Walks is certainly an out-and-out spy novel, following the story of Bettany, an ex-undercover operative who has been ejected by the service only to be pulled back when his estranged son dies in unexplained circumstances. London is portrayed so well and Bettany's character is slowly revealed as the plot unfurls, pitting an outsider against the estabilishment. Excellent book with a grimly unresolved ending, would definitely read more his.
Reservoir 13
Author: Jon McGregor
Absolutely loved this book. Focuses on what could be construed as the boring and repetative minutaie of life in s small village in rural England. But this emphasis on the very slowly changing and developing characters lives within an essential never changing setting is so effective, as is the tie in with the nature's seasonal cycle which is interleaved with the story. From small-minded village gossip to teenage friendships that grow & split to a love story spread over 20 years, the book somehow moves all the plots forward, against the anguished background of a girl who disappeared.
The Defenceless
Author: Kati Hiekkapelto
Book by Finnish author about a female detective Anna Fekete investigating apparently unrelated but coincident deaths at a housing block occupied by an incongruous mix of drug dealers, immigrants and quiet retirees. The mystery remains unresolved until the final chapters thanks to some tenacious investigation from Anna and her troubled partner Esko. Esko's character and his story within the book is excellent - as is Anna's. Good on exposing our lazy assumptions about immigrants to Europe.
The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
Seen the film, but always wanted to read the book. Well worth it. The film leaves out some characters that play bigger roles in the book, namely the Vegas doctor Jules Segal and Johnny Fontane the singer. Excellent book.
Bad Blood
Author: Jeremy Whittle
A fascinating insight from a cycling fan turned cycling journalist who has followed the Tour since the early 90s. Charts his journey from naive fan to disillusioned hack as all the glories of his heroic cyclist were called into question due to doping. Very honest about when push came to shove, he sat on the fence, refusing to support those who out'ed dopers. And also good his friendship with David Millar which puts the situation into painful context and shows that the best (even one of us?) would probably have doped.
When It Grows Dark
Author: Jorn Lier Horst
Prequel style book covering early career of detective William Wisting, investigating the inter-related story of neglected vintage car discovered with bullet holes, and a ram raid on a cash machine in his town. Enjoyed it - and related to - the balancing act Wisting plays juggling his family life with newborn twins and being excited about the career he is trying to map. Norwegian author and translated to English - very readable.
The Cabaret of Plants
Author: Richard Mabey
Wide-reaching and ever interesting exploration of plant life. Challenging the modern assumption of their passive role compared to the more active animals they share the planet with. Incredible stories of plant colonies that are 10,000 of years old - the same organism. And date seeds germinating after 2000 years. History of botany through Victorian times is incredible, they were obsessed with the weird and wonderful plants returned to Blighty (and mostly then dying) from all over their colonies.
The Urban Monk
Author: Pedram Shojai
A self-help book. Combining common sense (but ignored in modern life) advice about looking after you diet, sleep and wellbeing. Interesting stuff about caffeine and sugar which has already changed my habits. Incorporates some mumbo jumbo about Qui and nature's energy that I found a little hard to appreciate. Really glad I read it though.
Adventures of Being Human
Author: Gavin Francis
Third Gavin Francis book I've read, always good. His writing has changed from being adventure based to focussing more on the real life stories from his work as a doctor in Edinburgh. Shines a light on the miracle of our bodies. The details of how a newborn baby's organs 'boot up' and cease their dependency on the umbilical is truly incredible.
39 Steps
Author: John Buchan
Interesting reading a book written over a hundred years ago on my new Kobo. Only the language cues the date written. Good spy, thriller story written in a way that now seems dated (re: class references etc) but still very enjoyable.
SAS: Rogue Heroes – the Authorized Wartime History
Author: Ben MacIntyre
Fascinating insight into societal misfits and army rejects that coalesced to form the SAS first in Africa and then ranging through Europe in WWII. Behind enemy lines with no backup, these guys exemplify the courage and strength of our elite unit.
North Waters
Author: Ian McGuire
Cracking book about Sumner, an Irish doctor and ex-soldier who takes a job on a whaler heading north to hunt whales, seals and anything else that moves. Totally engrossing as all the plots unfold and characters unhinge.