19 October 2008

Review: The Devil's Hunt | Paul Doherty or P.C. Doherty


I enjoyed this medieval mystery starring my favourite Clerk, Sir Hugh Corbett. This one is set in 1303 and Corbett is sent to Oxford to investigate a number of vicious murders. Oxford was a completely new setting for the series, and I enjoyed learning about the college halls and scholars and how they operated so many hundreds of years ago.

One of the key characters was surprisingly killed in this novel and I certainly wasn't expecting that. All in all, another enjoyable historical fiction by Doherty.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

17 October 2008

Review: Tower of Silence | Sarah Rayne

I've been off work this week (torn ligament in my ankle) and have had lots of time for reading and just finished reading Tower of Silence by Sarah Rayne. This is the second book of hers I've read and I think I enjoyed it even more than the first. 

Rayne uses the same method of plot construction in that the story consists of multiple plots and characters that manage to come together in the end in an unexpected way.

This time the 'creepy historical building' was the Tower of Alwar and the Tower of Inchcape and they were certainly creepy. I really enjoyed this book, and can't believe I picked it up in a bookshop for only $9.95.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

12 October 2008

Review: The Gargoyle | Andrew Davidson

I absolutely loved this book!! The main character is severely burned in a car accident and the book begins with his recovery in the burn unit. I was engrossed in the book by the first page and the details regarding burn patients is extremely graphic and very informative.

Marianne Engel is a psych patient from the hospital and begins to visit his bedside and tells him that this isn't the first time she's looked after him after he's been burned. So begins a series of tales and stories from many hundreds of years ago, each one an extraordinary and well written story of love and loss. (I want to stress here that these weren't romance stories, but also involved courage, myth and sacrifice and each one of them touched me in some way).

I immensely enjoyed these 'medieval tales' and the idea that Marianne believes they lived together in previous lives. Ultimately the reader is left to decide whether this is true or not.

This is the first book by this Canadian author and I can't wait to see what he publishes next.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!

06 October 2008

Review: The Tin Roof Blowdown | James Lee Burke

This is the first book I've read by James Lee Burke and it will most likely be the last. This book is part of his series featuring Detective Robicheaux, however it is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Hailed as one of 'America's greatest living novelists' I was sucked in by reviews that Burke's descriptions of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were 'tremendously powerful', and 'more vivid and powerful than any piece of reportage'. Sadly I disagree.

I found the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina dwarfed the plot and I wanted to read more about the devastation caused by Mother Nature than a couple of criminals and their evil deeds.

The plot was a little confusing in parts and I didn't find Burke to be a terribly good crime writer. If anything, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read his most critically acclaimed novel, now I don't need to read anything else by this author.

My rating = **

Carpe Librum!