Tuesday, 23 October 2012

22 on 22 Readathon

The 22 on 22 Read-a-Thon is being hosted by Pages of Forbidden Love. Here are the details from their blog:

Bianca is turning 22 on Oct 22nd so we here at Pages of Forbidden Love decided to honor her birthday with a week long Read-a-Thon. This is the first ever Read-a-Thon that we have hosted so we are very excited to try to host the best one we can. So please join us for a week of fun, challenges, prizes, and lots of reading! There is no pressure to read a certain amount of books during this Read-a-Thon, it is strictly for fun to celebrate a birthday!

Reading Goals
I am planning to read the following

O Jerusalem by Laurie R.King
The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman
The Predator of Batignolles by Claude Izner
Smiley's People by John Le Carre

Day 2 Mini challenge

1. What book did you start reading for this read-a-thon?
I started The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman a children's fanatsy book that won the Newbery medal in 2009. It is about a toddler who escapes into a graveyard from an assassin and the souls in the graveyard bring him up. He is having a great adventure with the ghouls, Hound of the Gods and other creature from the otherworld.
2. What is one of your favorite books to re-read?
I don't usually like to reread. But if I do reread it will be my childhood books and Treasure Island by R L Stevenson is my favourite.
3. Do you have a strategy for read-a-thons to maximize your time?
No. I just try to read as much as possible. I am not a fast reader and planning and strategy never works for me.
4. Do you snack while reading?
No. Very rarely. I do like to drink some piping hot coffee.

Day 3 Mini Challenge

I am waiting on The Black Box by Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch is one of my favourite detectives and when a new Harry Bosch book is released, I have to read it. Here is the synopsis from fantasticfiction website.

In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved.

Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box," the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

Riveting and relentlessly paced, THE BLACK BOX leads Harry Bosch, "one of the greats of crime fiction" (New York Daily News), into one of his most fraught and perilous cases.

Day 6 Mini-Challenge
Option 4: I love music and books too! But I can't combine them. So here are just some of my favorite books of 2012 are

The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell
The Retribution by Val McDermid
The Phantom by Jo Nesbo

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman completed (289/289)
The Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine completed (300/300)
The Black Path by Asa Larsson (126/384)

Monday, 22 October 2012

W is for Edgar Wallace

This is my post for Crime Fiction Alphabet W.

I don't know why I never read a Edgar Wallace book before. This year I read Yellow Snake by Edgar Wallace and it was fun. If you haven't guessed from the title, this book is about Chinese- Chinese domination of the world. Yep! Racist, but given the times, I suppose Yellow Peril novels were quite common then. If you could overlook this bit you can have some great fun.

With twists and turns Yellow Snake is a fun read with some surprises, kidnapping, murders, mistaken identities and an evil chinaman with a mission to capture the world. Yellow Snake was published in 1926. I downloaded the book from Feedbooks. This work is in public domain in countries where copyright is Life+70.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

V is for Domingo Villar

This is my post for Crime Fiction Alphabet V

I read Domingo Villar's Water-Blue Eyes based in Vigo in the Galician coast of Spain and enjoyed it. I loved the humour.

Luis Reigosa, jazz Saxophonist is found murdered in his bed with hands tied and mouth gagged. The method for murder is very cruel and novel. Inspector Leo Caldas and his assistant Rafael Estevez investigate the murder. Inspector Caldas regularly participates on Patrol on Air in Radio and is quite a celebrity. Who murdered Luis and why? And whoever murdered Luis, why did they use this horrible method for murder?

Bloodline by James Rollins

The American President's daughter Amanda Gant-Bennet is kidnapped by Somalian Pirates. She is heavily pregnant and travelling under false passport. The SIGMA team is called for the rescue mission, Captain Gray Pierce, Kowlaski and Seichan are in the field. They have new recruits to help them in their mission, military dog Kane and his handler Tucker. This does not look like the case of ordinary kidnap by pirates in that area, there seems more to it. This has something to do with Amanda's unborn child. At the headquarters in U.S., Crowe starts investigating the all powerful President's family and the fertility clinic where Amanda conceived her baby. The Guild is back again and they are onto something more sinister. Kat and Lisa enter the fertility clinic to investigate it. What actually is happening in the fertility clinic? Will Gray and his team save Amanda and her baby? What will Kat and Lisa discover at the fertility clinic?

Rollins takes us on a journey into interior Somalia and to the artificial Islands built on the coast of Dubai. Events unfold one after another that there is hardly time to pause and think.

The basic premise of the book is -Is immortality possible? Human beings have always been in the quest of the holy grail that would make them immortal. This story is the quest for another sort of holy grail that would make humans immortal. But at what price?

Rollins creates an action packed thriller combining latest development in Science and Technology and events happening all over the world with history and Knights Templar- mixing history and myth with science creating a new kind of fanatic. Science is the new religion here and scientists the new fanatics who would go to any level in their quest for the holy grail. Why are doctors and scientists portrayed as inhuman who could go to anything?

I liked the introduction of military dog Kane into the team. The Guild and SIGMA struggle continues, only the Guild has become more and more powerful. I was expecting more on Knights Templar.

Bloodline is part of the SIGMA series and all the members are there, but some more than others and finally they all have a place in the climax. The Climax fight is very visual reminding me of The Lord of the Rings. Overall, an action packed thriller.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday Memes

This week I am posting from A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
Friday Book Beginnings is a weekly meme where we share the opening line of our current read. Book Beginnings is hosted by the Rose City Reader.

On the morning Vera died I woke up very early.

Friday 56 hosted @ Freda's Voice is a weekly Meme where we share an interesting snippet from page 56 of our current book.

The ticking was muffled but still audible. The awful feeling came over me that I should never be able to sleep and that this would not be for one night only but many, many nights, a hundred perhaps.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Caller by Karin Fossum

The story starts with the nightmare a young couple face when they find their baby soaked in blood. Who would play such a sick prank? Yes, a prank it is. Who would do something so horrible? This one prank changes the life of the couple forever. The woman cowered in fear and the man in his helplessness and the prankster getting what he wants, some attention. The prankster is introduced immediately to us. He is not one to stop at one prank, he succeeds in playing more such malicious pranks, one after another. Fossum takes us into the lives of those this prankster decides to turn into a nightmare and changing dynamics of relationship of those affected. Where will his pranks end? They have the potential of becoming fatal, sometimes you can go too far with a prank. One prank does go too far.

Though the Caller features Konrad Sejer as the detective, this book is more about how the young prankster's mind works, than how Sejer investigates. It is interesting to get insight into a troubled youngster, who is kind and loving to his grandfather and at the same time contemplates murder of his mother and who without any thought goes on playing prank after prank on people who had caused him no trouble all to get some attention. If you wonder why he is playing these pranks? It is the Mother. There is a hint of a back story for the mother, but the verdict is whatever the backstory, the mother is to blame for his behaviour. What about the father? The father is to blamed, only by his absence.

I got glued to the book from the first page. What is going to happen next? What is going to be his next prank? And if he would cross the line between a malicious prank and a horrible crime? And will Sejer find him? I didn't expect the twists in the end, though did guess some of the mystery.

This book is originally published in 2009 in Norwegian, translated in English by K E Semmel and published in 2011. This is the first Karin Fossum book I have read and I am going to read more.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fright Fall Readathon -Wrap-Up

I participated in FrightFall Read-a-thon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading blog running from October 1-7.

I was planning to read the following

The mist in the mirror by Susan Hill
The man in the Picture by Susan Hill
The little stranger by Sarah Waters
The caller by Karin Fossum

And I read

The mist in the mirror by Susan Hill (185/185)
The man in the Picture by Susan Hill(145/145)
The little stranger by Sarah Waters(90/499)
The caller by Karin Fossum(297/297)

Finished reading three on my list and making slow progress with the fourth.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

U is for Undertow and Upson

I am posting this for Crime Fiction Alphabet U

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton is the first book I read this year. It is the 21st book in the Alphabet series featuring Kinsey Millhone, twice-divorced, 37 year old, childless female Private Investigator based in Santa Teresa living in 1980s published in 2009.

Michael Sutton believes, twenty one years ago as a six year old, he saw two people burying a bundle. He believes the bundle is four year old Marie Clarie who was kidnapped around that time. He is not clear about the whereabouts. He is not very helpful. Michael Sutton is the case of the boy who cried wolf, he had lied too often. Is he telling the truth now? Will Millhone discover what happened to Marie Claire after two decades?

U is for Nicola Upson

I read An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson earlier this year. How would you like to see your favourite mystery writer in a book solving murders? An Expert in Murder features Josephine Tey, author of several mysteries including The Daughter of Time and a successful play Richard of Bordeaux. Josephine on her way to London, abroad a train gets acquainted with Elspeth Simmons, a young girl who loves all things theatre and particularly loves Josephine's play. At London's King Cross they part ways and Elspeth is brutally murdered in the empty train. Who murdered Elspeth and why? Was Tey the intended victim? And why would someone kill someone in a public place like a train? No, Tey does not investigate, it is Archie Penrose, who is supposed to be the model for Alan Grant who investigates.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Friday Memes

This week I am posting from The Caller by Karin Fossum
Friday Book Beginnings is a weekly meme where we share the opening line of our current read. Book Beginnings is hosted by the Rose City Reader.

The child slept in a pram behind the house.

Friday 56 hosted @ Freda's Voice is a weekly Meme where we share an interesting snippet from page 56 of our current book.

He liked the smell of the furry little creature, and the eyes which shone like black pearls.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Perfect People by Peter James

Perfect People is a very different kind of book than the Roy Grace mystery series based in Brighton by Peter James. I read two Roy Grace novels last year and liked it. Perfect People takes us into the realm of genetic engineering, its possibilities and practicalities.

After John and Naomi lose their three year old child to a hereditary illness, the couple decide to visit Dr.Dettore, the genetic engineering expert and modern Frankenstein, to have a child without the faulty gene. They pay all there life savings and borrow from Naomi's mother and sister. After paying the huge amount, when Dr.Dettore offers to remove all disease bearing genes of either parent for their not yet born, John and Naomi readily agree. After all this effort, they don't want their baby to die of some other hereditary illness. Makes sense? When Dr. Dettore offers to make the child do well with less sleep, Noami is not interested. What about flight or fight response, isn't it stone age response? John and Naomi do not want a designer baby or a freak. They just want normal, healthy, Okay, a tall boy, nothing more.

Who is bothered about eye coulor, skin colour and hair colour? The 'designer babies' of future would be designed for optimum survival. Would it be fair to opt out of this? Would you rather have your children be a genetic underclass? After all we want to give our children the best, don't we? Would we stop the benefits reagrding genes? Don't we not want to give them the best genes? Argues Dr.Dettore.

Interesting plot and scenario. Naomi is so believable, one moment a loving mother, in another a raging woman. John the perfect foil for her. And one moment of indiscretion can really ruin your life, Naomi and John's life descends into a nightmare. After a point it was all so surreal, I understand that there is no other way this story can proceed.

I can't believe that Naomi or John are not already aware of her "abnormality". This is her second pregnancy, how come doctors missed the first time, or even during the second time. Dr.Dottore looks like a thorough man, can't believe he missed it or the other doctor they met later. There are other such small quibbles, but lets not bother about it.

Peter James creates an interesting scenario and brings out not only the ethical issues but also the practical issues of such genetic manipulation. What would happen if your children are more clever than you are? How are you going to answer their questions, provide them with necessary stimulation? And also the problems of entering into unknown territory. How would genetic engineering effect the quality and quantity of our lives? Perfect People are possible but are they desirable. Perfect thriller read.

My Life in Books 2012

I did it last year! I am doing it again. My life in Books 2012. I saw Bev @ My Reader's Block do it.
Pop Culture Nerd started it. To participate Complete the following statements with titles of books you've read this year! After you finish yours, leave a comment below with your link so I can read yours and stop over at Bev @ My Reader's Block and Pop Culture Nerd to link up.

Every Monday I look/feel like: the Phantom (Jo Nesbo)

Last time I went to a doctor/therapist was because: of Yellow Snake (Edgar Wallace)

Last meal I ate was: Behold, Here's Poison (Georgette Heyer)

My savings account is: A Case to answer (Margret Yorke)

When a creepy guy/girl asks for my number, I: Escape the Night (Mignon G Eberhart)

Ignorant politicians make me: a Dracula (Bram Stoker)

Some people need to spend more time: in Amendment of Life (Catherine Aird)

My memoir could be titled: The Question of Belief (Donna Leon)

If I could have, I would’ve told my teenage self: that The Postman always rings twice (James M.Cain)

In five years I hope I am: An Expert in Murder (Nicola Upson)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Fright Fall Readathon

I am participating in FrightFall Read-a-thon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading blog. It runs from October 1-7.

I am planning to read the following

The mist in the mirror by Susan Hill
The man in the Picture by Susan Hill
The little stranger by Sarah Waters
The caller by Karin Fossum

Day 1 October 1 (145/145) finished reading The Man in the Picture- Not very scary! But I didn't read it in night. Novella can be read in one sitting. Happy that there is no oil painting of a Venetian Carnival in my house!
Day 2 October 2 Reading The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill
Day 3 October 3 Reading The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill
Day 4 October 4 finished reading The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill
Day 5 October 5 Started and Finished The Caller by Karin Fossum
Day 6 October 6 Reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Day 7 October 7 Reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Crime Fiction Pick of the Month September 2012

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradiseis hosting Crime Fiction Pick of the Month September 2012

I read only crime fiction in September 2012. Here are the books

Asta's Book by Barbara Vine (1993)
Behold Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer (1936)
Phantom by Jo Nesbo (2012)
Caravan of Thieves by David Rich (2012)
Perfect People by Peter James (2011)
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (2001)
The Piccadilly Puzzle by Fergus Hume (1889)
Bloodline by James Rollins (2012)

Phantom by Jo Nesbo is a multi-layered mystery set in drug scene in contemporary Oslo and I loved it. But the Crime Fiction of the month is Asta's Book by Barbara Vine with interesting characters and a multi -layered mystery set in 1900s and 1980s London about a murder, a woman in search of her identity and a missing child.