Monday, July 2, 2012

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.

The Cold Cold Ground (Sean Duffy, #1)
Synopsis here.
I don't remember much about the Troubles back in the 80s despite being Irish born. I do remember Bobby Sands and the other other hunger strikers. But I do vividly remember our first trip to Belfast and Northern Ireland in 2007 and being absolutely fascinated with the history, Belfast was like a living museum with all the murals painted on buildings and still many signs saying "down with the Pope".
This book speaks brilliantly about those times and Sean is a great character as a Catholic police inspector in a force mainly dominated by Protestants. McKinty provides a real insight on how it was to be Catholic in a mainly Protestant environment.
I didn't give it as much praise as most reviewers did on Goodreads but I did enjoy it as a quick read.

Before The Poison
From the book jacket:
Through years of success in Hollywood composing music for Oscar-winning films, Chris Lowndes always imagined he would come full circle, home to Yorkshire with his beloved wife Laura.
Now he's back in the Yorkshire Dales, but Laura is dead, and Chris needs to make a new life for himself. The isolated house he buys sight unseen should give him the space to come to terms with his grief and the quiet to allow him to work. 
Kilnsgate House turns out to be rather more than he expected, however. A man died there, sixty years ago. His wife was convicted of murder. And something is pulling Chris deeper and deeper into the story of Grace Elizabeth Fox, who was hanged by the neck until she was dead . . .

Having read many of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series over the years, from police procedurals to psychological novels this is considered a stand-alone book. It is unlike anything I could have imagined Robinson writing. The language is delightful and the descriptions of Yorkshire are perfect.

It's not often that I would say I love a title of a book but I found this title to be very apt in many ways.

It is in the second part of the book when we begin reading Grace's diary that I really became engrossed.
I really enjoyed the historical aspects of this book as the narrator reads Grace's diary which vividly describes the horrors of the Second World War as a nurse who worked throughout Europe, Africa, China and Japan. I was so intrigued by these descriptions that I am now looking for books about the war written from a woman's perspective. Her descriptive account of the battles were what kept me entranced and I was impatient when he brought us back to current times.

I also relished  the details he included: the narrator's taste in music, movies, food, and  fine wine and assorted spirits. I also liked  an old crime being resurrected and our hero's need  to find out the truth, which without giving anything away is a real page turner.

I could have done without the Gothic; romance and ghost sightings which tended to be rather trite. I would also have preferred more of an exploration of Grace's character.
A really good book!

The Mozart Conspiracy (Ben Hope #2)
From the book jacket:
A centuries-old mystery. An “accidental” death. A conspiracy that may end in murder. Former British Special Air Service officer Ben Hope is running for his life. Enlisted by Leigh Llewellyn—the beautiful, world-famous opera star and Ben’s first love—to investigate her brother, Oliver’s, mysterious death, Ben finds himself caught up in a puzzle dating back to the 1700s.
At the time of his death, Oliver was working on a new book about Mozart. Though the official report states that Oliver died in a tragic accident, the facts don’t add up. But as Ben and Leigh dig deeper, they find that Oliver’s research reveals that Mozart, a notable Freemason, may have been killed by a shadowy and powerful splinter group of the organization. The only proof lies in a missing letter, believed to have been written by Mozart himself. When Leigh and Ben receive a video documenting a ritual sacrifice performed by hooded men, they realize that the sect is still in existence today and will stop at nothing to keep its secrets.
From the dreaming spires of Oxford and Venice’s labyrinthine canals to the majes­tic architecture of Vienna, Ben and Leigh must race across Europe to uncover the truth behind the Mozart conspiracy before they become its next victims. In the tradition of Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown, Scott Mariani’s The Mozart Conspiracy is an electrify­ing thriller and the start of an exciting new series.

2012 books read (45 to date):
The Coast Road - John Brady
Still Midnight - Denise Mina
The Bulgari Connection - Fay Weldon
Good Bait - John Harvey
The Heretic's Treasure - Scott Mariani
Dead I Well May Be - Adrian McKinty
The Devil's Elixir - Raymond Khoury
A Darker Domain - Val McDermid
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
GB84 - David Peace
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
Stonehenge Legacy - Sam Christer
Inquisition - Alfredo Colitto ABANDONED!
The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell
Nineteen Seventy-Four - David Peace
Faithful Place - Tana French
Dead Like You - Peter James
Brother and Sister - Joanna Trollope
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton ABANDONED!
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English -Shappi Khorsandi
The Snowman - Jo Nesbo
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo
The Stone Cutter - Camilla Lackberg
Miramar - Naguib Mahfouz
The Gallow's Bird - Camilla Lackberg
Nineteen Seventy- Seven - David Peace
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Millennium People - JG Ballard
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins 
Birdman - Mo Hayder
Clara Callan - Richard B. Wright
The Paris Vendetta - Steve Berry
Little Girls Lost - Jack Kerley
The Reutrn of the Dancing Master - Henning Mankell
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
Dublin Dead - Gerard O'Donovan
City of Bohane - Kevin Barry
This Beautiful Life - Helen Schulman
The Copenhagen Project - K. Sandersen
Prague - Arthur Phillips
Fortunes of War - Gordon Zuckerman
The Cold Cold Ground - Adrian McKinty
Before the Poison - Peter Robinson


  1. These look like wonderful mysteries. Enjoy! That building above is beautiful architecture. Glad I had the chance to see it.

  2. Congratulations on 45 books read :)

    Happy reading this week! The Brunette Librarian Blog

  3. Before the Poison sounds really good- I did A level English Literature and had a module on war literature. It is so fascinating- I suggest Vera Brittain's memoir although it's First World War.
    The Mozart Conspiracy looks promising!
    Have a lovely week!
    Thanks for following :D


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