June reading ... King, Ellory, Chaouki, Miller, Finder
I'm slipping up - only read 5 books this month. My excuse? The World Cup. Great, innit.
Anywho, here's what I read last month ...
Mr Mercedes – Stephen King
I just love me some Stephen King and yet again the man
kept me enthralled while I was inside the pages of his mind. Here, he switches
genre and we have a crime novel with a hugely engaging cast of (among others) a
retired cop and his misfit friends.
Societal misfits are a strong part of the book and by
having such character types at either side of the good versus evil divide, King
provides a fascinating counterpoint.
And extra kudos to a man who has had such an
extraordinarily successful and long career that he can reference his own work
within the pages of a new novel. Yup. Loved it.
Carnival of Shadows by R J Ellory
The blurb goes
Kansas, 1959. A travelling carnival appears overnight in the small town of
Seneca Falls, intriguing the townsfolk with acts of inexplicable magic and
illusion. But when a man's body is discovered beneath the carousel, with no
clue as to his identity, FBI Special Agent Michael Travis is sent to
And the scene is set for a book that tickles the intellect as well
as your emotions. Again, a fascinating mix of oddball characters with a strong
sense of time and place that Ellory combines with themes of trust, belief and
the common man versus governmental forces to wonderful effect.
The Star of Algiers by
Moussa Massy dreams of being a star. A Kabyle
singer in 1990s Algiers, Massy engages his audiences with a fusion of Arab and
African melodies with American pop music. At 36, he desperately wants to marry
his long-term fiancée and escape from the tiny apartment he shares with
thirteen other members of his family.
He's signed by one of the hottest
nightclubs in town and his dreams appear to be coming true. But this is
short-lived: when the fundamentalist Islamic group FIS is elected to power, the
city is enflamed with corruption and violence. As he fights to save his dreams
in a society steeped in fanaticism, Massy’s passion for music turns to rage.
In animated, clipped prose, The Star of Algiers
portrays the difficult truths of a country in persistent turmoil and vividly
shows the aptitude for despair and loathing of those who have nothing left to
Powerful and thought-provoking, particularly when given that this book
was published 12 years ago, and when daily news bulletins remind us that little
has changed – and we see the rise and rise of fundamentalism.
Suspicion – Joseph Finder
Danny's teenage daughter Abby is the light of his life. Her mother
died last year, and he is desperate to keep everything as normal as possible.
But the situation is bad. Danny can't afford the private school Abby adores,
and he can't bear to tell his daughter he has failed her.
By a stroke of luck, Danny meets Thomas Galvin, the
father of his daughter's best friend and one of the richest men in Boston. But
when Danny accepts a loan from him, the authorities turn up at his door. Now he
has a choice. Face prison, or become part of a sting operation to bring down
his new best friend – and one of the most dangerous men in the country.
A rollercoaster (excuse the cliché) wrapped up in the form of a
book – this is a great ride – an ordinary guy in an impossible situation which
has you constantly asking – what would I do? Perfect holiday reading
The Falcon Throne –
Karen Miller (release date 9 September ’14)
I do love me some epic fantasy and as a long-time fan of Karen
Miller I was keen to see what she would be up to next and boy has she come up
with another cracker.
Want warring families, loveable, but flawed heroes and villains
you will love to hate? Enjoy a plot with more twists and turns than a Tour De
France stage? (Sorry. It’s on the TV as I write this.) Form an orderly queue
My only quibble is that there was some skimming, but this was a
proof and hopefully will be tightened up before publication. Nonetheless, that
didn’t distract from what was
essentially great fun and a cracking read.
That's what I read this month - what have you been reading?