I am reviewing the thriller Reckless by Simon Kernick which is an excellent thriller that I bought from kindle. This novel was featured on Richard and Judies Good Reads and was the top selling thriller of 2007. It established Simon as a top flight writer in Britain. It’s one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read too. The plot to this is a family man in his mid-30’s who hasn’t seen his best friend for school in maybe 5 years gets a phone call where his friend pleads for help prior to giving someone his address and then is killed. The man knows people are on their way to his house to kill him and goes to the grandparents with his children. At first he thinks his friend who was a financial lawyer must have done a dodgy deal. Either way hee has landed him in it. Gradually it turns out turns out there was a paedophile ring involving a lord that his wife who works at the university knew about. His wife had an affair with a lady she worked with and told her about it. This lady in turn told a reporter but didn’t mention names and the reporter started digging around. The lord then had some dodgy people try to clean up the mess he was in at any cost. The lady his wife had an affair with gets murdered by these dodgy types and the husband and wife both end up wanted by the police for murder. This is a realistic and gritty even down to the interrogation techniques used by the police it’s well researched. His children get taken hostage and the police realise if they are going to get them back they need to stop playing by the rules. I very much enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend it. Simon who lives in Britain makes his novels so gritty because he often interviews policeman on and off the records who work in elite units like Special Branch and SOCO. These kind of units also feature quite prominently in his stories.

I am reviewing the teen fantasy Diffferent by Alycia Lynwood which is a very good book that I downloaded from kindle. This book was free on kindle and is about 230 pages so is a decent length. The plot is there is a young student doing magic studies at university. She finds out she is an entity called an elemental and that her dad although not one was a carrier of the genes. This means there are people out to kill her and some are paid unofficially by the government. They also try to round them up and send to an island which appears to be a bit like segregation. She has special powers and isn’t a pure elemental but instead the elements in her are tainted giving her slightly different powers. It is part of the Tainted Elements series by this author. There are various people helping her and the book ends with a cliffhangar where she has been tricked and walked into a trap. I think if the author had chosen something like werewolfs or vampires it might have been a more interesting novel. As it is I’ve never heard of elementals and don’t know if they are something from folklore or something she created for the story. It is reasonably well written and does keep your interest throughout. I probably will read and review the rest of the series. I think especially with the book being free on kindle it is a bit of a bargain. I did enjoy this book and do recommend it.

I am reviewing the animated film The Book Of Life which is a very good film. It is intended to be part of a trilogy. Dreamworks had the first option on making the film but declined due to creative differences. It is produced by Guillermo del Toro famous for gems like Pan’s Labyrinth. The voice cast includes Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldhana. It was very successful at the box office. The plot is there are 2 gods who bet on the outcome of who a young lady called Maria will marry. One is a matador who would rather be a musician, the other is the local hero. At the very beginning a teacher is relating the story to some children. One of the men dies but comes back to life and claims Maria before the end. The animation is based on the kind of drawings the ancient civilisations in Mexico did. The depictions are a bit bizarre. I think there is an ancient book called The Book Of Life. There is ascene where the matador whose father is a celebrated matador refuses to kill a bull and and he has to suffer shame. The animation isn’t great which some people might find a bit off-putting. There is a humorous scene where the matador is singing and serenading Maria but it doesn’t work. I have seen better films but did enjoy this film and do recommend it.

 

 

I am reviewing the SAS thriller Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin which is a very good book that I bought from a car boot sale. This book was published in 1995 and is around 420 pages so is a decent length. The main character is an ex-SAS trooper who is very interested in anti-insurgency and anarchy which is connected to what he did in the army. Anyway his brother dies in a car crash which smells of a cover up because the door was locked from the outside and it went in a river and he drowned. This is in Mexico and he suspects the drug cartels and dodgy company are to blame. He suffers with PTSD as a result of fighting in the Falklands War and Kuwait. He gets terrible nightmares and wakes up in a cold sweat. He does call on his ex-buddies for help in finding the killer. This book is quite to the kind of thrillers Andy McNab writes. His journey in finding the truth takes him to London, New York, Los Angeles and South America. In one part people break in to his house and search it. His brother was killed because he knew certain information about the dodgy that they couldn’t risk getting out. I did quite enjoy this book and do recommend it. Ian wrote this book under the pseudonym Jack Harvey.

I am reviewing the thriller The Violet Hour by Richard Montanari which is a very good book that I bought from a car boot sale. This book is around 330 pages so is a decent length and was published in 2010. This is a standalone thriller about a serial killer who had a girlfriend at college and they hung around with a frat group which included doing drugs. At one of these drug fuelled dos his girlfriend stood on a window sill which gave way resulting in her death. The serial killer got the blame and took the wrap for the others getting 20 years in jail. Now he has got out of jail and wants revenge. The others are mostly in respectable jobs. He injects them with heroin to make them inebriated and then proceeds to mutilate and kill them. Nicky a newspaper reporter is on his trail at much risk to himself. The killer realizes he is after him  and is intent on getting him out of the way. This results in a nightmare situation.  Nicky has a brother who is a vicar despite appearing to be the last person to do a job like that when they were growing up. He was a bit of a fighter and does help Nicky quite a lot. Montanari lives in Ohio. I did quite enjoy this book and would recommend it.

 

I am reviewing the legal thriller The Street Lawyer by John Grisham which is a very good novel that I bought from a car boot sale. This novel was published in 1998 and is around 350 pages so is a decent length. The plot is there is a lawyer working at a high powered company who is also 3 years away from becoming a partner. A homeless man recently made leave his dwelling accused of squatting and the company sorted out the eviction. He shouldn’t have been evicted at leastly legally and it was just so the landlord could sell the property. Anyway this homeless person is at the end of his tether and does a hold up with a stolen gun and what look like explosives strapped to his chest but are in fact sawed up broom handles made to look like. He refuses to negotiate with the police which ultimately ends in him getting shot. The lawyer is one of the hostages and the homeless person relates some of his story which moves the lawyer in the aftermath to quit his job and become a combined social worker/ lawyer for the homeless at his local homeless shelter. He quits his job with the lawyer firm and he takes some files pertaining to the case of the homeless man being evicted. Ultimately the lawyer firm and their client who they handled the case for get prosecuted. The story is quite moving when the lawyer is working at the shelter at a tiny fraction of his previous salary. His wife leaves him and makes ridiculous claims in court for compensation. The various problems are layed out for all to see. This book primarily looks at the problem where the homeless are given cheap accommodation off the books with no tax paid and then at an opportunity are declined squatters and thrown out with no warning immediately. They can also be thrown out at the landlords whim. I did enjoy this book and do recommend it.

I am reviewing the legal thriller The Confession by John Grisham which is an excellent novel that I bought from a car boot sale. This book was published in 2011 and is around 450 pages so is a substantial length. The plot is Donte Drumm who was having an affair with the lady cheerleader victim is wrongly accused of her murder. Her boyfriend although he strongly denies it gave police an anonymous tip off. Her body was never found and years later he is a few days from facing execution by lethal injection in Texas. Although black he was convicted by an all white jury. The actual murderer who is also a career sex offender has an inoperable brain tumor and visits a lutheran minister and confesses to him and knows they must stop the execution. They film him confessing and he still has her ring and tells them where he buried the body. The film which is on smartphone is sent to news reporters, the prosecution team, defence team etc. They fail to stop the execution despite them also filing for a case that Donte is insane and actually believes he had nothing to do with it. When he is sent for execution there is a huge student protest but no avail. The murderer the next day shows them the location of the body and the police officers present  have a good mind to lynch him there and then. He is sent to hospital with a relapse but escapes. This is a damning indictment of capital punishment where although the guilty party ultimately does get his comeuppance almost no one wants to know the defendant is innocent. The defendants pleas that he is innocent are actually used against him. It’s argued he has never told us the location of the body and has no remorse.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and definitely recommend it.