I live in Bristol UK horror dark fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

2 Stars
Fails to deliver
Life After Dane - Edward Lorn

I suppose the real problem I had with this story is that I read it immediately after the amazing "The Heart's Invisible Furies" by John Boyne which was a literary tour de force. To step down from that high and to read what is no more than an average tale is a bit of a disappointment. Serial Killer Dane Peters known as the Rest Stop Dentist has just been executed and his mother Ella May, who deeply loved her son, is trying to understand why his ghost will not leave her in peace. She starts on a journey which leads her to discover her own shortcomings, and realizes that she failed miserably in her duties as a mother by allowing her evil husband Phil to brutalize and destroy their son. What starts with great promise becomes nothing more than a road trip journey when Ella, joined by journalist Sven Godel, (and directed by the ghostly presence of the executed Dane) attempts to find Dane's true love Melissa. An unexpected surprise transpires that ultimately offers Ella some serenity in a story that for me failed miserably to deliver.

3 Stars
Fun educational read for the young and young at heart!
Doctor Who: I Am A Dalek - Gareth Roberts

Doctor Who reinvented itself in the early 2000's being centred in the City of Cardiff and using the locality for many of it's location shots. "I am a Dalek" is a young adult short story that sees the Doctor and his trusty assistant Rose once again fighting his nemesis the evil Dalek with that familiar cry "exterminate" The tardis has landed in a village in the south of England where an archaeologist dig has just uncovered, along with some ancient relics, a rusty old Dalek. There is the usual standoff with our flamboyant hero (in this instant played by the excellent David Tennat) rushing around before emerging victorious and exiting into netherspace presumably to fight his arch enemy at another time and in another dimension. This is classed as a short read and not only is it a great introduction to Doctor Who but a good teaching tool to improve and encourage reading amongst the young in a time and a world dominated by facebook and twitter....that's the real enemy Doctor not the Daleks! 

A masterclass in storytelling
The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne
My first and only previous encounter with John Boyne was the excellent young adult story "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas". So when the opportunity arose and I was gifted early review status on "The Heart's Invisible Furies" I was happy to accept, read and review....and I am so glad I did!. This is a work of great literary intent with bawdy undertones, an easy assimilated tale about the life of Cyril Avery, born out of wedlock and immediately given up for adoption. The story spans a period from the mid 1940's and moves at a ferocious pace up until the present and relayed to the reader in bite size 7 year chunks. Even though the novel stretches to some 600 pages once Boyne grabs your attention from the opening paragraph his colourful and descriptive prose holds you in awe until the final and very fitting conclusion. Adoptive wealthy parents Charles and Maud guide the young Cyril in his early infant years. A childhood friend Julian Woodbead allows Cyril to discover and question his own sexuality. This soon leads to a realization that will form part of his decision making throughout his life. From Dublin to the waterways of Amsterdam, the streets of New York and finally returning to Dublin we travel with Cyril experiencing the good times the bad, the sad, the funny and the indifferent. Boyne explores successfully and with great humour and gusto attitudes of bigotry and tolerance against the background of a god fearing catholic population, an aids frightened society, and a world in panic immediately following the events of 9/11. At times you will want to laugh out loud or perhaps shed a tear. I can honestly say that I have rarely been so moved by a story, the eloquent use of language, and the unveiling and interpretation of the issues raised and debated. Let's enjoy a few moments of the John Boyne magic...... "Cork City itself, a place she had never visited but that her father had always said was filled with gamblers, Protestants and drunkards"........"one man had been accused of exposing himself on the Milltown Road but the charges had been dismissed as the girl had been a Protestant"........"It was 1959, after all. I knew almost nothing of homosexuality, except for the fact that to act on such urges was a criminal act in Ireland that could result in a jail sentence, unless of course you were a priest, in which case it was a perk of the job.".........."Christ alive, said the sergeant, shaking his head in disbelief. I never heard of such a thing. What type of a woman would do something like that?.......The very best type , said Charles." This book to me celebrates the sheer joy of the printed word. Life, love and loss it is all here in a 600 page extraordinary extravaganza! If you love to read and you love books then "The Heart's Invisible Furies" is sheer buy, cherish and appreciate as you are unlikely to read anything better this year, or possibly any year. A great big thanks to the good people at netgalley for this early opportunity to read and review this masterpiece in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.
5 Stars
Simply Sublime
Fellside - M.R. Carey

This story is part fantasy, part ghost story, part crime, part legal procedure, part relationships, part essence an amazing mixture that cuts across various genres to create a work of spell bounding beauty. At its heart is the struggle of one young lady, Jess Moulson heroin addict, and her attempt to find answers following a terrible incident that has led to her being incarcerated in the woman's correctional facility known as Fellside deep in the Yorkshire countryside.


Jess and her partner in drug taking, John Street, live the life of addicts, injecting when they can and stealing to feed that addiction....."turning household objects into cash, and then into smack. Junkie alchemy." A fire occurs which results in the death of a child Alex Beech suspicion immediately falls on Jess Moulson who now seems destined for a life without hope and a future with no love. In Fellside Jess is visited by the ghost of the dead child (or is she?) who appears to have a message to deliver and a story to tell. M R Carey's style of prose is sublime and his descriptions of life within a prison environment really bring the horror to life..."The prison's main buildings were tall and graceful, each painted in a different colour of the rainbow.  Knowing what these blocks of concrete and glass really represented, Jess felt a weird sense of dislocation."...."She saw what they saw on the inside of their closed eyelids, except that each of them only saw their own dreams"......Jess has the ability to leave her body and travel into the netherworld with Alex, a place of dreams and darkness, a place to discover and resolve..."She felt an immediate and dizzying sense of relief. Nobody could pursue her here and bring her back. Nobody would even realize she was gone. It was like the scene you saw in old movies sometimes where someone left a pillow or a wadded coat stuffed down under their blankets so it looked like they were in bed asleep while they slipped away unsuspected for some crazy adventure."


Paul Levine, a young solicitor, is certain there has been a miscarriage of justice and is determined to return to the courts, with what he hopes is new evidence, and fight for the freedom of his client......he is also just a little bit in love with her. I thought the relationship between Levine and a physically and emotionally scarred Jess sprung to life in the hands of the author. When her past lover John Street is forced to give evidence the scene is set for some amazing revelations and charged emotions, that will bring a tear to all but the most hardened of readers!.


All her life had been a struggle; mother Paula and her useless partner Barry, a world addicted to heroin and finally the harsh and brutal regime of Fellside. Not often does a story affect or move me in such a way with a conclusion difficult to read but so right in the overall context of this tour de force! I will certainly be reading Carey's bestseller "The Girl with all the Gifts" as it is such a pleasure to be in the company of a writer so in control of his craft and his ability to create and weave a magical story. Highly Recommended!

5 Stars
Harry's back still fresh and still out there!
The Wrong Side of Goodbye (A Harry Bosch Novel) - Michael Connelly
If my favourite English crime author is Ian Rankin then Michael Connelly is surely no 1 for the mantle of America's greatest living crime writer. Even the hardback cover of his latest book "The wrong side of Goodbye" has a certain dark underbelly feeling mixed in with a dash of noir. The crime writing genre is bursting at the seams with talent and wannabe Connelly imitators but nothing really comes close to the man himself and The Wrong Side of Goodbye is yet another brilliant piece of crime fiction. It is quite amazing how Harry Bosch is still as fresh and keen from, when we first met him, in The Black Echo to this his 23rd outing. The fact that Harry was a "tunnel rat" during the Vietnam war means he is now aged mid 60's and yet we as readers truly believe in him and that fact alone must be attributed to his creator, Michael Connelly Harry has been asked to find a missing heiress by aviation billionaire Whitney Vance. This job will involve him revisiting his past war history as he searches out Vibiana Duarte who became pregnant after a short relationship with Vance and subsequently deserted by him. Before he dies he wants to put things right. Is she still alive? If not where is the child? In addition he is working with the San Fernando police department trying to find the sexual rapist known as the Screen Cutter. Amidst all this drama he still has almost daily contact with his daughter Maddie, now a student, but very close to her ever worried and fearful dad. During the two investigations a mistake by Harry results in a dramatic and almost tragic situation with an unusual outcome. As always the writing is tight, the characters believable and well-drawn, with an excellent story, never over complicated, always enjoyable. There is certainly much life left in a maturing Harry Bosch and I look forward to his return in what will be his 24th outing.
Didn't work for me
The Nightly Disease - Max Booth III
The story of Issac, a night auditor, at the Goddam Hotel somewhere in Texas, the people he meets, the troubles he endures, and the somewhat full on life he leads. The way of the author, the somewhat in your face prose, and the rather bizarre storyline is either something you will love or hate. In the beginning I enjoyed but by the midway point I felt the whole thing somewhat bizarre and wished for the party to be over. Not an author I would choose to read in the future......
5 Stars
Stunning and compelling
Odd Man Out - Pete Kahle, James R. Newman

As a student at Queens University Belfast in the mid 70's I was privileged to be selected to act as a "counsellor" on the Camp America scheme. I spent a very happy 10 weeks working with underprivileged kids at Camp Sebago just south of Portland  in the Pine Tree State of Maine. This was a very closed environment and it offered city kids the opportunity to mature and grow and hopefully develop into exemplary adults. In such an idyllic setting it was very obvious to me who the trouble makers were, who sought attention, who craved companionship, and who simply wanted to be left alone.


It all came flooding back to me in this excellent short story "Odd Man Out". That is certainly not to say that I encountered extremes of behaviour but I can appreciate how James Newman skilfully used the summer camp setting to show the ugly side of human nature. Dennis Munce "D-Man" is spending the summer at Black Mountain Camp for Boys with his best childhood friend Wesley Westmore. It is indicated that Wesley has a secret, and something that he wishes to remain hidden in this boys will be boys setting...."We knew Wesley was not like us, even though we couldn't explain what we meant when we were nine or ten" In any group there are those egotistical individuals who seek to strengthen their peer standing by searching out those they see as weak or "different" and quite simply destroying them. What follows is a shocking example of the lowest form of human behaviour, why sometimes it is best not to remain silent in the face of evil, to act and put right and not just to follow!


James Newman is certainly one of the best authors I have been introduced to in my long association with "goodreads" a social networking site for booklovers. His writing is thoughtful, articulate and a joy to read quite simply he is an excellent story teller. Odd Man Out is one of best novellas I have had the pleasure to read this year, a story that paints a bleak picture of humanity but one that needs to be read if we are to fully understand and alter the way we view those who do not adhere to what we perceive as the norm.

1 Stars
Cliche-ridden tale of nonsense
Speak the Dead by Grant McKenzie (2015-10-01) - Bentley Little;P. Gardner Goldsmith;Lorne Dixon;Michael A. Arnzen;Pat MacEwen;Ray Garton;Ian Withrow;John F.D. Taff;Jeff Strand;Kevin Lucia;Benjamin Kane Ethridge;Shane McKenzie;Steve Vernon;Charles Colyott;Taylor Grant;Dev Jarrett;Eric J. Guignard;J. S.

Jersey Castle, tough homicide detective, called to the scene of a RTA where it would appear the husband has driven over his partner and a little later commits suicide. Salvation Blue, or Sally as she prefers (thank goodness!) is also present at the accident and has the uncanny gift of seeing events unfold through the eyes of the victim...she is the "Seer". Sally has been working peacefully as a morticians beautician for the last 25 years, aware of her turbulent childhood, and haunted by her dead mother's last words...Run Sally Run! There is a connection between Sally and the Church of a Sabbath Day's Journey. Aedan, dutiful husband, has finally found her and determined to return Sally to her rightful position in the church as the Seer of Visions....."I'm Aedan. Your husband." It took Sally a moment to adjust to the news. "Husband?" Aedan nodded. "That is why I never gave up looking for you. It was my duty."....


Jersey together with the beautiful Kameela..."A tall strikingly handsome woman with skin the color of bittersweet chocolate and curly hair so short it could have been a woolen skullcap" immediately leave in search of Sally (it would appear that on first meeting Jersey was instantly smitten!)


I found this story somewhere between a B movie and a badly written made for tv series, with the stories, descriptions, characters and eventual outcome laughable. Look at this paragraph on Jersey's first encounter with Kameeela..."untouchable runway model-all pouty lips and attitude-or a disemboweling Zulu warrior. Either way, she made him nervous. Perhaps sensing his anxiety the woman opened her lips to revel a blinding and utterly captivating smile. A bright pink tongue followed as she plucked a flake of tobacco off its tip." There is a final scene where a group of bike driving nuns, a cross between hells angels and ninja warriors, (are we serious!) attempt to make a forced entrance at the church's stronghold....Sister Mary Theresa turned to her pack of nuns and quickly gave instructions. Instantly, two nuns broke right and two went left. Each pair glided their bikes silently away from the gate until they reached the far side of the two homes. Hidden from view of anyone looking out, the nuns propped their sturdy machines against the eight-foot stone wall. As Jersey watched, the ninja-black nuns, hopped onto their saddles, stood up tall, and scrambled over the wall. One half of each pair carried a lariat, the other, a shotgun. The maneuver was so perfectly executed, Jersey wondered if the Mission of the Immaculate Heart had been recruiting women from the Navy Seals." At his stage in the story I would not have been surprised if that all American hero Audie Murpy together with his trusty sidekick John Wayne had made a dramatic entrance to aid those ninja warrior nuns!!


Some months ago I read The Butcher's Son by Grant Mckenzie and really enjoyed describing him as an exciting new name in the thriller genre. Unfortunately "Speak the Dead" has proved to be a cliché ridden tale of nonsense, superhero hollow characters with egos to match, and a storyline silly in the extreme. I received a copy of this book from the good people at edelweiss for a fair and honest review and that is what I have written.

4 Stars
Fast paced well crafted crime thriller
Nothing But Trouble - Kerry Wilkinson
DI Jessica Daniel is having a busy day. Two prisoners escape in a smash and grab incident on the busy motorway network around Manchester. Soon afterwards one of them is found dead, hanging from a bridge over the M62. A lone pensioner fears for his personal safety and he is about to become the victim of a future crime..."He's called us ten times today and about a dozen times yesterday. He says people are breaking into his house but nobody at your end's doing anything. Sounds like a bit of a nutter to me....." There are rumours of an illegal bare-knuckled championship with the supposed appearance of British middleweight Champion Liam "nine fingers" Flanagan. There are fears of a gang turf war spilling over onto the streets of Manchester. Jessica's personal life is equally chaotic. She questions her relationship with colleague Archie Davey and the guilt she holds about fiancé Adam..."Jessica's fiancé Adam, was still in a coma, the doctors unsure if he'd ever wake up. She should be spending evenings at his side, not with another man..." She feels a responsibility to her lodger Bex, a young lady who Jessica rescued from a life on the streets. now facing the ultimate test when Bex's drug addicted mother makes an unwelcome appearance. The author does a wonderful job of controlling all these separate threads and presenting them in a very readable and exciting form. He most certainly writes with a certain flair and panache and I love the way he starts is book with a cliff hanger and ends in the same fashion. The conclusion in particular leaves a doubt over the future wellbeing of one of the central characters and ensures that the reader will return for the next exciting instalment. A bit like those old silent black and white movies with the heroine tied to the railway track! A great big thank you to the good people of netgalley for sending me a gratis copy of this book for a fair and honest review and that is what I have written. I most certainly will be returning for the future adventures of DI Jessica Daniel and in the hands of her creator Kerry Wilkinson that can only be a good thing as he matures and perfects his style.
3 Stars
The horrors of the Great War
The Last Casualty - Andrew Leatham
Following the demise of her Nan Joanne Neally, whilst inspecting the old ladies possessions, discovers documents relating the death of her great grandfather Wilfred Isherwood during the Great War. She is intrigued, and eager to discover more and visits Arthur, an old army colleague of Wilf's, still alive in a residential home. She is horrified to learn the conditions that her great grandfather endured at the battle of Passchendaele and his ultimate fate. Forsaking family life, an abusive husband Frank, sacked from her place of employment, she travels to the Ypres area of Belgium. I do have a few issues with this story, and find it hard to understand why this independent and single minded woman should remain in a relationship with such a controlling man as Frank. He is a bully and a drunk , a man subject to fits of temper expecting his spouse to attend to his every needs while he drinks away the family budget at the local public house. It also seems totally implausible that Joanne would immediately abandon her children and travel to Belgium especially as repossession of the family home is now a distinct possibility. However even more absurd Joanne, whilst drinking at the hotel bar makes the acquaintance of a local man, Jacques Freyhoek, and in a very short time they retire to her bedroom for a night of passion! When he leaves the following morning she is horrified to discover that her wedding/engagement rings, passport and money are all missing! How could this intelligent woman be so easily misled and tricked. Disillusioned and disheartened she pays a final trip to Wilf's grave and as she stands alone amongst the sad departed a voice calls out her name......her drunken, controlling, abusive partner Frank has found her and pleads with her to return home...This intelligent, attractive woman apologises to her husband for her behaviour and returns to the family nest where presumably the bullying and abusive behaviour continue.... I enjoyed the ideals behind this story and many of the descriptions..."The small talk of soldiers, young men from opposite sides of the world with nothing in common except a burning desire to survive, to escape, to return to a way of life in which destruction suffering and death was not commonplace"....However the characters were feeble and it seemed to me hopelessly impossible that a woman, with such a burning ambition and single mindedness could be so inadequate and weak in dealing with a very abusive and controlling partner. Equally her decisions whilst in Belgium were totally at odds with her reasons for visiting. Having said that I quite enjoyed reading this short story as it detailed the life and sordid conditions that young soldiers faced on a daily basis on the killing fields of France. Many thanks to the good people of netgalley for sending me a gratis copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and that is what I have written.
4 Stars
Unsettling yet compulsive reading
Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel - Paul Tremblay

This was certainly different and I had a real problem with the author's writing style from the start. The way he phrased sentences and presented the various characters as they related to each other reminded me of studying Shakespeare at school!....

Josh: "You were playing on our server?"

Tommy:"What's the big deal?"

Arnold: "No worries. I was on some public one. Not yours."

Josh: "How'd  you know Tommy was playing then?"

Arnold: "Huh? Nah, I didn't know."

Josh: "You just said you did."

This rather irritating way of placing the speakers name at the start, inserting a colon immediately after, and then stating what was said....


Now having established my concerns, I must admit I was someone smitten with the suggestive and creeping horror. Elizabeth Sanderson is awoken to the news that her son Tommy is missing. What happened on the final night when he disappeared at Devil's Rock when in the company of his friends Louis, Joss and the mysterious Arnold. What is the significance of dark shadows, the crack-head penny, and mysterious notes that appear randomly at night for Elizabeth's attention. Who can she trust; daughter Kate? mum Janice? Detective Allison Murtagh? I read this story over a 24 hour period and found its content very unsettling, the character of Arnold somewhat evil, and the outcome for Tommy, Louis, and Joss sadly inevitable. The events that took place on one fateful night at Devil's Rock cannot fail but make a lasting impression on the reader and that surely must be the mark of a good book.

5 Stars
First class techno thriller
Want You Gone - Chris Brookmyre

I read and review a lot of traditional UK and USA based crime and it is always a pleasure to read something that is just that little bit different. Chris Brookmyre brings a real freshness and punch to this highly entertaining cybercrime novel "Want You Gone"


Samantha Morpeth  is the heroine of the moment. She has inherited the responsibility of caring for her younger sister Lilly (who suffers from down's syndrome), as her mother is unfortunately serving a prison sentence. Life is tough, she works in a lowly paid job, worries that the local social services will soon visit, and socializes on the web as alter ego "Buzzkill". Jack Parlabane is an out of work reporter hoping to scoop the big job opportunity with an innovative company called Broadwave. What appears to be a simple data breach at an electronics giant Synergis results in Sam and Jack forming an uneasy alliance and investigating the controversy surrounding a new product  soon to be launched to global acclaim.


This is an edge of the seat thriller that I consumed in two sittings. I enjoyed the dialogue between Sam and Jack and the downright audacity that so called hackers use to introduce themselves, gain trust and ultimately infiltrate and destroy a business. It is a story that is frightening in both its possibilities and scope and demands the reader to keep pace with the breathtaking action. I particularly loved the character of Sam, the struggle and obstacles that she encountered on a daily basis, and hoped that the author would seem fit to grant her some reprieve and reward in the closing chapters.


Many thanks to the good people of netgalley for sending me a gratis copy of this first rate thriller in exchange for an honest review.

2 Stars
Three excellent stories in a mediocre collection
18 Wheels of Horror: A Trailer Full of Trucking Terrors - Janet Joyce Holden, Michael Paul Gonzalez, Edward M. Erdelac, John Palisano, Brad C. Hodson, Del Howison, Eric Miller, Hal Bodner, Ray Garton

The two stars are for the three short stories in this collection that I enjoyed...."Lucky" by Del Howison follows a female truck driver Ray, the tough life she has chosen and the somewhat sad ending makes for excellent reading."Roadkill" where our narrator is travelling home to wife and family in Chicago. It would appear he needs to hurry as she is fleeing the family nest and taking the children with her. Over the airwaves he meets a fellow trucker by the name of Buzzsaw and from this point the story goes in a rather bloody and horror filled direction. A great shock and unexpected turn of events makes for a superb conclusion. "A dark Road" by Ray Garton has a similar theme with a lonely trucker Spence "Sidewinder", passing the time conversing with fellow roadies over the airwaves...."C'mon truckers," the voice said. "I know you're out there. Traveling the highways like blood flowing through veins and arteries. That's what you are, you know, you're the blood in America's veins, you truckers. Somebody's gotta have their ears on out there somewhere. Come on back." He gets talking to a fellow night owl Sam Shephard and we soon realize that Spence is not quite the nice guy he might appear having committed a somewhat surprising act before leaving on his latest trip, and he begins to suspect that Sam Shephard knows a little too much. Rather than reveal anymore of the plot and conclusion I will only say that Ray Garton proves once again why he is a great horror writer and produces a fantastic story that is brilliant in both timing and execution!


So what we have are three excellent stories in a somewhat mediocre compilation. The book however does  show  how difficult, lonely and unusual the life of a trucker can be, with the beautiful CB language used by those kings of the road.

5 Stars
I love John Rebus!
Saints Of The Shadow Bible - Ian Rankin

John Rebus, newly returned to the force and rescued temporarily from an obscure retirement. The main condition of his reinstatement is the demotion of his rank from Detective Inspector to Detective Sergeant. He is working under the auspices of Siobhan Clarke who ironically is now promoted to DI, of no real concern to Rebus as he is just pleased to have been returned to his old hunting ground.


Rebus and Clarke arrive at the scene of an accident; a VW Golf travelling at speed suddenly leaves the road and impacts with an oak tree. It would appear there is only one casualty, Jessica Traynor, but Rebus is suspicious that Traynor was not actually the driver and is covering for this unknown person who has fled the scene. As with all Rankin books events as initially portrayed rarely tell the truth and as avid fans will be pleased to know, on closer investigation, our two intrepid heroes discover unscrupulous underhand activity with political undertones. The author is very fond of introducing a secondary plot and usually  involves John Rebus at a different time in his career. Malcolm Fox (just returned from the Complaints/Professional Standards dept) is investigating a newly reopened 30 year old case. At that time it could be argued that police enforcement was more akin to an episode of "Life on Mars" (British tv series 2007 where officers were content to physically abuse a suspect in order to attain a confession) and Fox is tasked with investigating the suspicious death of Douglas Merchant, the seemingly unreliable evidence of snitch Billy Saunders, and the shadowy underhand involvement of "Saint of the Shadow Bible" a number of police colleagues who swore a bond on something called the shadow bible.


However, all of the above is I feel incidental to what is really at the heart of Ian Rankin's writing; his Scottishnes and his unbelievable drawing of characters, in particular John Rebus. Rebus is an isolated individual, separated from his wife Rhona and daughter Samantha, living a lonely existence in his Marchmont flat, surrounded by his booze, cigarettes and endless vinyl records of 70's/80's  music icons...."He led the way up two flights of stairs to the door to his flat. Unlocked it and scooped up the mail before switching on  the hallway light. She followed him into the living room. The ashtray next to his armchair needed emptying. A couple of beer bottles sat alongside, plus an empty whisky glass." Rebus is best described as an old fashioned "dogged" copper, not for him meetings, protocols and endless google searches....and this is what makes us love him!..."She hadn't known John Rebus long, but she knew he was good at this, like a bloodhound given a scent and then left to do what it was best at. Form-filling and protocols and budget meetings were not Rebus's thing-never had been and never would be. His knowledge of the internet was rudimentary and his people skills were woeful....he was a breed of copper that wasn't supposed to exist anymore, a rare and endangered species."


D I Siobhan is the complimentary opposite to Rebus and holds a great respect and platonic love for him. She is highly intelligent and understands how JR operates, curtailing even cautioning him but values his deep understanding of the criminal mind and how it operates. She feels for him and worries about him; his out of control drinking, smoking, loneliness and what, she wonders, will finally become of him when he is no longer able to operate and contribute to the Scottish Constabulary.


I as a reader adore John Rebus, I see him as a real and living individual and for that I hold the greatest admiration for his creator Ian Rankin. I highly recommend this book and in closing this review leave the parting words to Detective Sergeant John Rebus..."I'm from the eighties, Peter- I'm not the newfangled touchy-feely model. Now get out of my f***ing car!"

5 Stars
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin to me will always be synonymous with John Rebus but Rebus, although still fighting crime, is in retirement and so its good to meet a new hero in town DI Malcolm Fox. He's working in the complaints dept(internal affairs to you and me) and together with two comrades has been sent to the kingdom of Fife to investigate the strange case of Detective Paul Carter. Carter who has been found guilty of misconduct and it is feared that fellow officers have been complicit in a cover-up. The Complaints Dept look into corruption within the police force, their own ranks, and are thus never popular. What starts as a simple case becomes ever more complicated and takes Fox and his team on a dangerous journey stretching back some 30years which will result in uncovering wrong doing at the highest echelons of Scottish Society... This is an excellent story, taut, well told, intelligent with a very satisfying outcome. There are few authors who can command such respect as Ian Rankin and once again he proves to be a master of the crime genre with a character driven tale immersed deep in the local Scottish culture. Superb!
4 Stars
A strange yet intriguing book
The Booking (Black Labyrinth) - Ramsey Campbell

An unusual yet highly addictive read. Kiefer looking for a job is successful when he finds employment at "Books for Life" with its peculiar and odd curator. This is an old fashioned bookshop and his job is to categorize the collection for the internet and readers in a modern world. A short yet intense novella which has a distinct eerie uncomfortable feel from the moment Kiefer enters the premises. Why is it that when books are sold a copy is still present? There is a great confusion as to what is reality and what is not reality, strange visions and encounters, and the surprise ending when revealed is a delight. To fully appreciate all the intricacies and hidden meanings within The Booking I plan to visit and stroll through the haunted corridors of this quaint little book shop in the near future.

currently reading

Progress: 320/422pages