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

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