Week 2. The Handmaids Tale and Death Toll

Week 2 of the year is already upon us with two more books have been read by yours truly, they are:

The Handamaids Tale by Margaret Atwood http://margaretatwood.ca/
A chilling story of one possible future. One in which the ‘Elite’ rule the USA. I’m not great at reviews but my emotions whilst reading this were varied. Right from disgust at the way ‘ordinary’ people are treated, especially of course the women but the whole under classes as seen by the Elites of this society, through to confusion at society letting this happen to itself.
I’m certain countries have been run on this or very similar outlooks to this book anyway, which makes it all the more scary. Dictatorships invariably exterminate any opposition to try to keep the masses under their spell, using the fear of renouncement as an incentive to keep quiet.
I found this to be an enthralling read.

Death Toll by Jim Kelly http://www.jim-kelly.co.uk/
Set in Kings Lynn and on the North Norfolk coastline, Jim Kelly has created two very enjoyable characters in DI Shaw and DS Valentine. This is the third book in the series, I read the first two last year.
DI Shaw is the son of DS Valentines former partner who were found guilty of tainting evidence in a murder trial. DI Shaw Senior took retirement and died shortly after, DS Valentine was demoted and now finds himself as the assistant to this up and coming young DI. Both are trying to reverse the courts original decision all those years ago though they are doing it without the knowledge of the other. This is the underlying story of the first three books and through this we learn a lot about their characters and policing methods. I know it means having to read the other books first but they have very good storylines above this continuing under story.
So, Death Toll itself is about the finding of an unexpected body in a graveyard! Shaw and Valentine set about solving this 28 year old murder that no one knew even happened until the excavations at the graveyard.
I love Kelly’s writing and just lapped this third episode of Shaw and Valentine up. Realistic characters set in a fictional but atmospheric Kings Lynn, a town I know reasonably well. He manages to write realistic stories inhabited by realistic characters that live realistic lives.
Read Death Wore White then Death Watch first because there is a completion within Death Toll that means nothing without reading them first, they are all well worth your time and money.

I’m now about half way through Hard Duty by Mark E Cooper, an Indie author, more on this next Monday.

Enjoy your week and let me know what you are reading
Trevor
Norwich
11/01/2016

November

The depression I suffer continues unabated, in fact it’s even worse since I had a heart attack in late May. It has become debilitating to the point where I cannot work or function in many day to day situations. It reached boiling point for me a couple of weeks ago when I overdosed and ended up in hospital for 30 hours. Not the best moments in my life! Thank goodness I have someone in my life that cares for the person behind this depression, without her I don’t know where I’d be.

 

The one thing I seem to be able to do is read. In the early summer I treated myself to and Android tablet PC and although it is useful for many other things I mainly use the kindle and library software to download (loan) and read books on it. I love printed books but since I’ve owned this tablet PC I seem to read avariciously, which I guess is a good thing.

 

The wine and beer making continues, I currently have some rose wine fermenting which I hope will be drinkable at Christmas. It came in kit form and says it should be ready to drink in 2 months which should be just right for Christmas. I’m also about to start my beer brewing for Christmas, I’m brewing one of the better ales on the market because the holidays deserve something a bit better than usual.

 

Book Review: The Pathfinder Project by Todd Stockert

The Pathfinder ProjectThe Pathfinder Project by Todd M Stockert

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad read with some intriguing concepts. There are some elements that seem a little contrived, the way religion is brought into the story seems more like an afterthought in that the author almost struggled to find an ending and included those parts of the story as a late edit to suit the finale.

The human interactions are quite strong and well written though and when in this mode I found it hard to put down as I always wanted to know what would ultimately happen to the characters, which is a good thing.

The finale is also a little weak, I was hoping for something more detailed perhaps but overall i enjoyed the journey.

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Book Review: Radix

RadixRadix by A.A. Attanasio

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sadly this became a bit of a chore to read. It starts off so well then just seems to meander with no real purpose. The finale, though not a complete let down, is rather trite.
Certainly not worth the hype it recieved on it’s original publication

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Book Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem by Ayn Rand

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella, even though it was read to me rather than me reading the words on the page. From the first few sentences, I was caught up in this ‘sometime in the future’ world yet I get the feeling this was written looking at a political world of not so long ago. I’m not a political person, nor am I the sort of person that reads books because they ‘should’ be read. All I do is pick up a book that looks interesting, read it (or listen to it being read) and then make my own conclusions on it.

I could so easily have listened to much more detail though, it does lack ‘content’ other than the singular view of the lead character. I suspect that is part of the tale though, his view on what he sees and experiences and very little else. Yet I got enough detail to give quite a full picture of the awful world that he lives in and the relief of his escape and the finding of his ‘Brave New World’.

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