Posts Tagged With: detective

Kerri Maniscalco – Stalking Jack the Ripper [1]

28962906I saw a giveaway for Kerri Maniscalco book “Hunting Prince Dracula” somewhere. Being a fan of Dracula that I am, I’ve decided to go look into it. Well, the book is not yet published, but then, it is also the second book in series. The first one is “Stalking Jack the Ripper” (Stalking Jack the Ripper 1; ISBN 031627349X; 326p.; Goodreads), and I’ve just read it. And it was… Okay.

Audrey is a young woman, aspiring to get proper medical background, become a scientist, in a world where high-born ladies don’t do such nonsense, and rather learn how to embroider things nicely. Her father, and brother allow these studies with her uncle only to some extent. Her uncle, of course, extends those limits a tad bit. But then, all three of them would be better pleased with her sitting home when a maniac starts killing women on streets, and stealing their organs. Sadly, Audrey was never one to sit, and wait to see what happens.

There’s three suspects, each one more loved than the other, thus she refuses to believe. One is her father, addicted to opiates ever since her mother died. Second is her uncle, for he’d be perfect for quick murder, and organ stealing due to his background in medicine, anatomy. And third might just be his new student, the same one her beloved brother keeps warning her against…

As a detective this book is pretty poor, but then, story is quite alright, easy to read, touching on subjects that matter today too. I really liked the writing style, consistency in text, and direct to next book ending that actually made sense. So while this book wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad either, and since it was more good than bad, I can give it 4 out of 5, because author, I believe, should very much write more. Good choice in topic, fairly unique, if not overly impressive take on that topic, and, as I said before, very good writing style.

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Anthony Horowitz – Moriarty [2]

moriartyI am very happy I didn’t buy “Moriarty” by Anthony Horowitz (Sherlock Holmes 2; ISBN 00623717183; 285p.; Goodreads), but rather chose to borrow it first. The book was dull to say the least. And in shorts, it’s about a deluded fan of Sherlock Holmes who got used due to being deluded.

After the death of Crime Napoleon, professor Moriarty, there’s a vacancy to take that spot, and all the ruthless, best of the best in this black cream, are up to try their luck. And when one unlikely fella finally fills in the spot, and starts expanding – our fan of Sherlock Holmes decides it is time to investigate it all. Full with a friend at his side who can narrate us the greatness of his deduction skills, he’s out there, questioning the criminals, having dinners, and taking up leads for, well, whatever the hell it was he tried to solve before an actual bombing happened to warn him off this investigation.

When there’s no Moriarty in a book titled “Moriarty” – you end up suspecting things, much like you would if you saw a famous actor in a minor role at the start of the movie with an undercover superhero, or a serial killer. This is the case, suspect everyone, because that might just help you get through this book!

I really can’t figure so what this book was about. It was fully summarized in the final chapter, when we finally found the most important, but too late, thing in the book, so I can’t even tell you that, in case you actually want to read this. There’s really a lot of nothing here, accompanied by poorly written characters, and mediocre detective story that didn’t have a core (no, really, this all was done for a very small reason, and it made no sense to make it so grandiose). I can only give it 2 out of 5, and I apologize to the author, I’m sure they are talented and wonderful, but these books, his books, are not for me.

Categories: 2-5, Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anthony Horowitz – The House of Silk [1]

11093329I’m not the biggest Sherlock fan, but I’m still a fan. And everywhere I turned in Lithuania, I kept seeing other book by Anthony Horowitz, second book to “The House of Silk” (Sherlock Holmes 1; ISBN 0316196991; 294p.; Goodreads), so I had to start from the start, before moving on to Moriarty. And I must say, I’m not very impressed…

Book is narrated by our one and only, John Watson. On his own request it is published after his death due to sensitive, and gruesome case that it is. And it all started like such an ordinary case. A man came to their, his and Sherlock’s, place, claiming a gang leader has followed him all the way from America, and will kill him to avenge his dead twin brother. But from the moment Sherlock started investigating the man’s family, everything started going down hill, fast.

Their mother died suffocated in her own room. His sister is getting weaker by the day, as if poisoned, even thou all her food is being tasted. And while the man himself keeps seeing his to-be murderer, here he is, alive, and well. What concerns Sherlock more, thus, is that one of his boys, a kid he hired off the street to help, has disappeared after, apparently, seeing the gang leader’s face. Later kid was found tortured to death, with a white silk ribbon tied around his wrist. What could possibly evoke such brutality? Was it truly the mere fact that the kid saw a face?

The book is fairly interesting, but much too simple. Author tried to make it up with shock-effect, but any reader will agree with me – that doesn’t help mediocre books. Even as a detective it was pretty weak. But. It was easy to read, and had the perfect Sherlock-y tone to it, so I can give it 3 out of 5 easily. It’s worth the while, even if it’s not the best detective novel you will ever encounter.

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Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire [#2]

playing_with_fire  Alrighty, here comes the second book on my favorite skeletal detective, Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire, by the marvelous wordsmith Derek Landy (ISBN 0007257031; 320p.; Goodreads). Author seems to have improved even more on his character speech and jokes, and Skulduggery seems to have improved on throwing tricks out of his sleeves! Or fists, for that matter! And from my praises, I hope, you already know how I’ll rate this book.

In the war long ago, those who followed the vicious gods called Faceless Ones were defeated, but not eradicated. A truce was made, fragile and as it turned out – not very lasting. Some lingered on the dark side out of sheer convenience, a quick way to gain power, others just liked to be bad. But then there were those who believed in their gods with zealous fever. And one of those madmen just got out of prison, and is very up for the task of “fixing” the world by calling his gods back into it. How did he get out of the damned place? Who helped him and why? Sounds like a case for Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain!

If this is my last book of 2015, then I end the year well (even if my read list is hitting the lowest of the low). I think I finally again found a book series that I can follow without grinding my teeth! So I give the book 5 out of 5 and rest my case.

Small warning: killing is brutal and detailed in this. There’s no torture scenes, but you can imagine the pain a man feels when his skin rips off anyway. Also: skeletons, giant spiders…

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant

924062 Sometimes, when I get into a streak of books in same genre and category, I notice myself get irritated by how repetitive two books can be, being by different authors, written in different times, and sets. Yet, sometimes those same similar books can also leave me with whole different opinions, even if I did feel the irritation there and here. “Skulduggery Pleasant” by Derek Landy (ISBN 00077241615; 368p.; Goodreads) is one of those exceptional types. It sits in the shelf of “same type“, with books like Bartimaeus, Nicholas Flamel, and others, yet unlike the latter (I loved Bartimaeus, I do hope there’d be more one day), Skulduggery left me with a pleasant opinion. Devil’s in the details, ’tis true.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective with a very noir feel about him. He’s nothing but a skeleton with a great fashion sense, great magic abilities, and a sharpest non-existent tongue. He solves mysteries for a living, and while having a reputation of being a good detective, he’s neither well liked, nor well trusted. Thus, a dilemma arises when he finds himself in a need to convince the authorities to take action against a very old enemy of his, a powerful sorcerer who is after an artifact their world believed to be only a fairy tale. They know Skulduggery has an agenda. But the niece of his best friend, who was murdered trying to protect that artifact, has no agenda at all. Might they believe her? Would he dare putting someone so dear to his best friend at risk? Or is saving the world worth any means?

The books is written in this wonderful language, full of plays on words, fancy talk, wits, simple jokes, and so on. I promise, there’s nothing to not understand either. It’s smooth, and it’s easy. I give it 4 out of 5, and I will read the other two I already have. Well done indeed.

Categories: 4-5, Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kathy Reichs – Deja Dead

DejaDead  Some know, some don’t, but I really enjoyed series “Bones“, especially the older stuff, where Brennan was less of a human, more of a genius who didn’t go evil on everyone’s arses. This year, around March, I went to UK and visited every second-hand store I could find, daily. Only because they had strange little bottles sometimes, the ones that look like they had potions in them (I’m a Severus Snape fan, no secret, and I loved that woman who taught potions in the children-young-adult series of the witches and one very lame witch… Hm, how was it called, I have a book of it too…) and most importantly – books. Old books, new books, slick and shiny, battered and dirty, cheap. Many a time one could find a white A4 printing paper sheet hanging on a shelf with pink and green letters offering you a very neat deal of taking five books for one pound, which is around two dollars. By the time I picked up the four Agatha Christi books and looked around for a fifth, I had a luggage full of books, so I steered my eyes as far from thick hard-covers as possible, thus avoiding King and others. When in doubt, read the annotation. It might lie to you, but it might not. And read I did. I knew that Bones was based on books by some woman who writes that stuff, but I didn’t know her name and wasn’t that interested to go check it. I had too many on my list of “get these books if they’re recycled” (I believe in e-book). So, naturally, when I turned Deja Dead around, I did not expect to find name of Temperance Brennan at the back of it. And this is how I got Kathy Reichs “Deja Dead”!
Brennan, waiting for the just-glued-back-together skull to dry dreamed of a little vacation, of an escape from her tiny office with a window. Yet as balance of probability dictates, or better yet, how any detective book dictates – no rest for the wicked. Bones were found at the grounds of, if I remember right, archaeological research of some sort (digging, sweeping). Brennan tries to be optimistic. It’s her job to go there and tell – murder office or archaeology office. If she’s lucky, in a hour or two she could be packing for some beach. But her mood is finally ruined by the two cops who meet her. They found the bones by the smell. Old bones don’t smell.
A woman, killed, chopped and dumped. Brennan’s work is to name murder or accident, maybe a murder weapon, most accurate age and if possible – an ID. All well and good, but a feeling that she saw such a murder before is nagging at her. Yet detective Luc Claudel will need a lot more than same saw pattern on the bones. And she must work quickly, for if she is indeed right, then by the third murder she knows for sure, the murders appear in shorter intervals. Even worse than that is the fear for her friend who works with night-ladies, doing her project. She claims there’s a stalker. The murderer who chops his victims up apparently also stalks his women. Could it be the same man? Is her friend in danger?
The detective itself is lukewarm. Some things just didn’t process to me and you have to very carefully follow the threads Brennan is waving, for if you lost one, in the next page you will not understand of why the hell she has a laptop, but no cell phone, nor why she’s stalking that man, not the other one, or how the hell is she missing the details Bones would never miss. It is indeed hard to put this Brennan with that Brennan of the series together, but when you realize that there’s no reason to even try, for this Brennan can crack a sarcastic joke, has a daughter and lives with a cat, you’ll feel much better about this book. This Temperance is just as smart, but not yet in hand with what she’s doing on the murder sites. She’s just as daring and just as stubborn. It’s just that she’s also more human that Bones. I’ll give the book 4 out of 5 and say it was a good find, all in all.

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