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The Falls by Ian Rankin.

 

He seems to be on a bit of a roll mid series and I've just read three of his back to back which is rare for me.

 

Evocative of one our favourite cities, see you in February Edinburgh and The Oxford Bar!

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The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis. Enjoyable, but strangely dated writing style and preoccupations. He is good on the indignities of the ageing process. The relish with which he describes the 'prat' character (as in Lucky Jim) is also very enjoyable.

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The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring. I picked this up again this week after a long gap, determined to finish it this time. It's essentially a fictional tale woven around the real-life medium debunker, magician and paranormal investigator Harry Price and other real-life but long-dead characters involved in investigating Borley Rectory, the supposed 'most haunted house in England'.

 

The tale is narrated by Sarah Grey, the entirely fictional assistant to Harry Price, and framed by a brief introduction and postscript by Dr Caxton, an academic psychologist who's handed Sarah's journal which documents her involvement with Harry Price and Borley Rectory.

 

There's the kernel of a fascinating story here, one best approached with little prior knowledge of Borley Rectory and the people who lived there and who investigated its history (if you're familiar with Harry Price and this classic 'haunting' then the bulk of the tale will also be familiar and you'll have spoilers galore; the author can't be faulted for the extent of his research). The secondary tale of how Harry Price and Borley rectory affected Sarah Grey and those associated with the house and its occupants is a competent enough ghost story which although has few shocks or chills comes into its own in the latter quarter of the book.

 

The problem is that the writing is really rather poor: characters are flat, lifeless and astonishingly inconsistent with the narrator being far the worst offender; the tone is patchy (it lurches uncomfortably and inexplicably into Mills and Boon territory on occasion); the dialogue is stilted; and the plot is all over the place, leaping over months and years with neither good reason nor adequate explanation.

 

Most disappointing of all is that the book is stuffed with glaring anachronisms and, worse, appears not to have troubled any proof-reader or competent editor.

 

Ignore the astonishing glut of gushing five-star reviews on Amazon; this is a three-star book, at most, and one which will, sadly, irritate and disappoint in equal measure.

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'Grey is the Colour of Hope' by Irina Ratushinskaya (had to look up the last name). Memoirs of the author who was locked up in a camp for political prisoners in Russia for being a subversive. Chronicles her time there and gives a fascinating insight into the 'justice' system in 1980s Russia.

 

8/10

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Saints of the Shadow Bible. The latest Rebus novel from Ian Rankin.

 

Much the usual mix of murder, local gangsters and departmental politics set alongside the impending Scottish referendum.

 

Inspector Fox from the Complaints team has a much more prominant role in this one, at first suspicious of Rebus but gradually being won over.

 

Two main plots. Fox is investigating the CID team that Rebus was in when he first started and uses Rebus as a go between with Rebus' old colleagues. Rebus must decide which side he's on, Fox or his old comrades.

 

The second plot involves a mysterious crash, a fatal break in and a Politician's son.

 

Very good, although I did miss Cafferty in this one.

 

Being a regular visitor to Edinburgh I love the references to places I've been, pubs I go to and the long running tram debacle.

Edited by taxman

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Just finished Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - 5/5

 

Suspends belief at some points but very enjoyable and will check out the rest of the series.

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Chasing The Dead-Tim Weaver.A journalist turned P.I. investigates a mysterious cult.OK so far.

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