In keeping with recent resolutions to decrease the number of books in my house, I’ve been pretty brutal on a couple of books recently. I didn’t stick with them long enough for them to get proper DNF reviews, so I’m just recapping here briefly.
The Last Refuge by Craig Robertson – I read the starts of his earlier novels, which are set in the tough parts of Glasgow; this thriller set in the Faroe Islands just didn’t get going for me. It’s quite Scandinoir, so might appeal to fans of that.
Savage Magic by Lloyd Shepherd – this arrived unsolicited from the publisher and was therefore on shaky ground (or shaky ice as the extended RWT family like to call it) before it plopped onto the doormat. It seems to be a cavort through Georgian London and Surrey in the context of witchcraft and madness and magic. Perhaps a good book for November or January? Not July in a heatwave.
Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler – I’ve had this for more than a year now and haven’t made it more than 20 pages in. It’s the intertwined stories of the youngest daughter of a family who goes off on a gap year and comes rushing home when her family are finally able to reach her, to tell her their father has a few weeks to live from pancreatic cancer, and some unknown homeless man who has some connection to Alice. The chapters in each viewpoint were just too frustratingly short.
A Study in Revenge by Kieran Shields – a sort of Sherlockian tale in Portland around 1900, in which a police deputy and his off-beat offsider try to figure out why a petty criminal was dug up from his grave and burnt brutally in a staged murder. Meanwhile the offsider is supposed to be solving a mystery for a local wealthy family, but by page 80 we didn’t know the connection of the wealthy family to the main story (there will be one, presumably), nor did we know what mystery it was he was solving. Readable, but slow.
All of these have gone to the local Tube stop bookswapping shelf (whose coming into existence has made me deliriously happy), so if any of them sound fantastic, get yourself to Oval Tube in the next day or two!
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