Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Reads of the month: November 2012

1. No one left to tell by Karen Rose

If one more woman should accidentally fall, there'll be no more women and.......

Ramon Munoz was sentenced five years for a murder he did not commit.His family is determined to prove his innocence and in the process his wife is assassinated. Paige Holden the to private investigator hired to find the truth is a witness to the assassination and the last words of a dying woman. Having been handed evidence that could clear Ramon's name moments before seeing the assassination Paige doesn't know who to trust. Paige is immediately thrown into the middle of a case which will knock down the new life she has rebuilt into jeopardy. In the race to free Ramon and prove his innocence she realises how powerful the real killer is and the implications this could have on her life. 

I rather liked this book. I always like a good mystery crime novel and although i found it cheesy in parts the general storyline was really good.

3 Stars

2. Before I go to sleep by SJ Watson

Christine wakes up every morning not knowing where she is. She does not recognise herself in the mirror or the strange man lying next to her.  Every morning Ben who says he is her husband must explain that she is forty-seven years old and a terrible accident 20 years earlier that damaged her brain and ability to form new memories. She is completely dependent on him.

A phone call changes what little grasp she had on this 24 hour life when a neurologist who claimed to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge to improve her memory. This revelation leads her to a secret journal. Christine discovers that she has been making a record of daily activities for the past few weeks including her sessions with Dr. Nash. After rereading past entries, relearning her life story narrated by her husband Christine begins to ask questions. What happened to her exactly? What was her life like before the accident? Where are all her friends? Why didn’t she and Ben have any children? Every day, Christine must  reconstruct the last 20 years of her life and explore the niggling feeling in the back of her mind that something is deathly wrong.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Written by an NHS audiologist in between shifts at London's St Thomas's Hospital, it's incredibly succinct and skillful in the tone and style of delivery. It really shows there are good writers out the and I look forward to another book from this author.
4.5 Stars

3. A discovery of witches by Deborah Harkness (book 1)

This is a very mature and sophisticated  approach to the magical world of the supernatural. The story follows the life of Diana a scientist who firmly turned her back on her roots and magic when her parents were murdered. As the last of the Bishops, a very powerful and ancient witch family her name and powers of seemingly lack of them are famous within the magical community. Having turned her back on all things magical, Diana is unaware of how much magic is part of her everyday existence and how it has crept in without her say so.When she calls up a manuscript that has been lost for thousands of years she inadvertently  breaks a powerful spell that could start a war between all magical creatures much to the detriment of humans. This discovery brings her to the forefront of the magical community and leaves her life in danger. With the unlikely pairing of a 1500 year old vampire Mattew who has made the manuscript his life's work. They embark on an illicit and forbidden courtship that could change their worlds forever. There is a feeling of authenticity and isn't just another supernatural romance.The book is brought to life with references to Newton, Einstein and many other geniuses who are really daemons masquerading as humans. Harkness also uses a heady mix of evolution, DNA, genetics and extinction to draw the reader in.The book also touches of racial tension between the magical beings which really resonates with real life events thus adding another layer of authenticity and intrigue that bubbles around this illusive manuscript called Ashmole 782.
3.5 Stars

4. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

I have read this book before but strangely the detached vehemence startled me more than usual. Maybe I am getting  softer in my old age, I don't know but as a teenager I was less shocked and it took a lot longer for me to read this time. There was a lot of controversy when this was originally released and it really seemed to divide the publishing world and I can see why.

Following the life of Patrick Bateman a 26 year old all American quintessential Wall street yuppie with a difference....he is a psycho. As if raking in a six figure salary and moving in the "right" circles in New York isn't enough, old pat likes nothing more than to supplement his excessive gym works with a bit of random murder. As with many in the mid 1980’s Patrick is part of the materialistic and vain me, me, me corporate culture of the time. He is described as living the ultimate self indulgent and glamorous lifestyle and has to have the best of the best. Ellis perfectly paints a picture of Bateman spending longer thinking about his stereo system, returning his videos or obsessing over Les Mis than he does on people he has brutally murdered and disposed of. Bateman must be the one with the ultimate business card, shoes, suit or business account. He practically has a heart attack if he doesn’t have the best of the best in his group.

Although Bateman’s character is repulsive, he is seemingly gorgeous, cultured and stylish. The old battle between inner and outer beauty is played out well here.  In great 80’s style long lists of fashion houses and brands are listed and Bateman even gives the reader a tip or two in monologue narrations along with his associates. In between all this preening, hopeless self indulgence and drug taking Ellis manages to squeeze in a few hundred pages of very graphic torture and mutilation lavished on the unsuspecting New York public. Frankly how I managed to sleep at night is a miracle.I can only hope the author got a freebie or two from the brands able to function after having their work associated with a nutter.

I personally was left with the question of did these incidents really occur or was Patrick crying out for help and some way of alleviating his mind numbingly mundane existence through these bizarre creations. There were little tells throughout the book but one can never be sure as Ellis didn't give us the answer. The thing Bateman craves most is notoriety and the thing we see despite his job or friends and clothes is his anonymity in his world.Everybody is the same faceless clone and in his own warped and twisted way he tries to break free.

This book is wrong yet moreish, morbid, fascinating,long, numbing, strangely funny, informative, layered, mentally draining, shallow  and sick. It is incredibly of the 1980's and now. This book is an essential reading cult classic.
4 Stars

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and    

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