Monday, March 3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.

We are currently in Carlsbad California for a week. Not as warm as Mexico however the rain has stopped and it should be sunny most of the week.


The Radleys

Meet the Radleys - Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret

From one of Britain’s finest young novelists comes a razor-sharp unpicking of adulthood and family life. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain – and lose – when we deny our appetites.

Not what I expected but an excellent little compact story of family secrets and what happens when a tightly woven lie begins to unravel.

Eliot Lamb has dreaded this moment for the past three years of his life: the final night of university. Gathered with his mates in the King's Arms, he begins the ultimate descent - Pub, Bar, Club. Staring into the foam of his first pint, he knows that before the night reaches its climactic conclusion on the sweaty dance-floor of Filth, he must solve the dilemma of his knotty love-life, risk his closest friendship, face up to a tragic secret, and deal with the fact that he hasn't a clue what to do with the rest of his life. And with the entire literary canon running wild in his imagination and a series of ominous text messages lighting up his mobile phone, things aren't going to be easy.
Noughties is an inventive and lyrical comic novel about the highs and lows of modern university life. Eliot may know a lot about Renaissance poetry, the post-modern novel, French literary theory, and how to get hammered at a highly competitive rate, but he is fast realising that adulthood beckons, and it's going to be asking a lot more of him than that.
I chose this as I am a huge fan of contemporary British writers. Unfortunately the main character Eliot is an entirely unsympathetic and uninteresting idiot. I just basically didn't care what he wanted to be "when he grew up".

Beneath The Bleeding (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #5)

It seems hard to believe now, but there was a day when Val McDermid was just another crime writer. True, her Kate Brannigan novels were highly accomplished and well-honed pieces of work, and if McDermid had written nothing else, they would have assured her a solid place in the history of the genre. But Beneath the Bleeding (as with most of the other work the author has done more recently) is a much more ambitious and considerable novel, written on a grander scale, tackling pertinent social issues and (most importantly) developing two highly memorable characters: forensic profiler Tony Hill and his police ally DCI Carol Jordan.

The new book, as disturbing as it is compulsively readable, continues to add new levels to the psychological thriller -- something that McDermid seems able to do in every new book. A star footballer has been murdered in the city of Bradfield. Shortly after, an explosion rocks the town's football stadium, wreaking mass carnage. In the current climate of fear regarding home-grown terrorism, it is inevitable that suspicion falls in this direction - but is money -- or something else -- involved here? Such as a bloody working out of some kind of revenge scenario against the football team? Needless to say, this is quite a different case from those that Tony Hill and Carol Jordan have previously been involved with, and the customary relationship (swinging between confrontation and admiration) is worked out with all the rigour that we expect from McDermid. Of course, this is an author who always has more fish to fry than the simple exigencies of the crime novel, and astringent commentaries on many aspects of British society are provocatively incorporated here (always, though, inter alia -- never at the expense of a forward-moving narrative). If you're a fan of the Wire in the Blood TV series, you should do yourself a favour and investigate the original novels - such as Beneath the Bleeding. They offer a considerably more involving experience. 

Huge huge fan of Val McDermid. Have read most of her series and not in order but it doesn't matter. Always love the twists and turns of her story lines.

Well, I started this last week but got sidetracked.
Zero Day (John Puller, #1)

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