Category Archives: Crime

Pure In Heart, Susan Hill


Book 2 in the Simon Serrailler crime series is starting to feel a little like a cross between The Archers and Midsomer Murders. It’s not quite a domestic drama and it’s not quite driven by the police procedural elements.

I’m wondering whether poor Martha Serrailler is long for this world… angels of death seem to be working her care home.


World Book Day 2015 Shelfies

So at my school, we are doing this to support World Book Day (5th March): take a Shelfie of your bookshelf. 

Here are mine:Edit



Christine Falls

Really enjoying the prose in this novel, the first Quirke novel by John Banville writing as Benjamin Black. There’s a lucidity and flow to it which exposes Banville’s literary heritage. The descriptive passages are particularly evocative and the scents and odours of 1950s Dublin linger on the page.

So far, Quirke is coming across as a pretty damaged character: a recovering alcoholic, a widower and painfully still in love with his own sister-in-law. And, as if that were not damaging enough, there appears to be a frisson between him and Phoebe, the said-sister-in-law’s daughter. She’s currently offered to elope with him and fled a family party “clinging” to him.

Room, Emma Donoghue

This is a link to a lovely edition of Book Club featuring Emma Donoghue discussing Room.


My review of that boom can be found here and it’s always gratifying to see that some of the things I noticed were mentioned in the discussion.

I also particularly liked her reference to the fact that some of her books had lots of religion in and some had lots of sex in. Emma, you’re Irish. We’d expect nothing less!

Trilogies, Millenium and His Dark Materials

Reading a blog entry about whether to read the Millenium Trilogy back-to-back or with breathing space, I replied with:

“The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo works as a stand alone novel quite well. I read it and had an interlude between that and the remaining two. I found his writing style quite dense and whilst I enjoyed it as a book and loved the character of Lisbeth there wasn’t a huge impulse to devour the others. They sat on my to-read shelf for perhaps a couple of months.

Fire, however, gripped me. I loved Larsson’s courage in reintroducing us to Lisbeth for about fifty pages and then letting her disappear from the story. Along with Blomquist, I ached to see more of her and that alone propelled me through the slightly monochrome overly detailed (perhaps, yes, journalistic) style of writing. And what a cliff hanger! I went straight from Fire to Hornets’ Nest within the same sitting. Treat these two as a single book split in two (which seems very in vogue at the moment, isn’t it Mr George R R Martin?) and enjoy!

On the subject of reading trilogies, I read the brilliant His Dark Materials literally simultaneously. I started with Subtle Knife, left it at home one day and picked up Northern Lights and left both at home another day and picked up Amber Spyglass. They needed re-reading afterwards to sort out!!!”