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

The Prozac Kid

The Forum, housing (among other things) the Mi...

Image via Wikipedia, Norwich Forum. Home to Norwich Millenium Library

Well, the expected finally happened and I’m once again on prescription anti-depressants! I’ve felt that this day has been coming for some time and this morning my doctor wrote out the prescription for them. If they help prevent the darker moments in my day I guess it will be worth it. From previous experience it is difficult to know how they will affect me, the last tine I was on anti-depressants I actually felt worse! I am on a new drug for me though, so fingers crossed.

Apart from that I’ve had a decent enough day, mainly reading and listening to music (do you notice a pattern to my Saturdays?). If you’re ever interested in my music choice then visit my Last.fm page where you can see my weird and wonderful music taste. As I write I’ve got a playlist running on Winamp that I’ve labeled ‘Ladies’, it features music from the likes of Allison Moyet, Clannad, Judie Tzuke and Portishead. I’m more into Prog Rock or Psychedelic Rock really but you need variety in everything, or at least I think so.

The other thing that has become a regular feature of my Saturdays is the DVD night in. This week my daughter is with her mother, she has been with her most of the week as it is half term. So tonight was my choice, all for selfish little me to enjoy. I thought I’d go for some eye candy plus blood, guts explosions etc so I picked up SALT with the once lovely Angelina Pitt (Jolie) in the lead role. The film was as I expected, lots of explosions, death at every turn etc but I think Mrs Pitt needs to put on a few pounds, she looked so thin! Too thin for my liking anyway, I know we all get older and our bodies change but really, do actresses really need to look like paper thin models to keep getting roles in movies? Overall not a bad film but I felt let down by Mrs Pitt’s appearance.

I found out something interesting about a Telautograph today. Seems Margaret Atwood, a famous author, has developed something called LongPen and it brings the telautograph into the 21st (or is it the 22nd) Century. Interesting stuff that leans heavily on the original inventors idea. Take a look at the linked pages if you’re interested. I titled my blog with the name of Trev’s Telautograph because that’s what I felt I was doing in a sort of abstract way, sitting at my desk writing and you reading my words.

More about dragons now. Seems Norwich has a long association with dragons. At the moment, Norwich is holding it’s annual Dragon Festival. I had to go to the central library this week and met two wonderful dragons in the main foyer of the building, they make a great spectacle sitting there in the middle of the Forum building. I have to admit, I keep seeing them everywhere after my little story the other day.

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