Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dick Francis
11.6.2012 to 27.6.2012
3.5/5 stars

This was my 7th Dick Francis novel. Took a long time to complete it. The reason for the delay was a mixture of book related issues and a suddenly developed interest in movie watching.
The book deals with horse racing and placing bets thereof. When a race reporter Bert Checkov commits suicide, his friend and the protagonist of the novel, James Tyrone, while working on an article on non-starters and ante-post betting related to such non-starters, stumbles onto a scam related to such betting. This, makes the protagonist, to dig deep, following the usual fight between good and bad, and the Good coming out on top against all odds.
Now, for me, the problem with this book was that I did not have any idea whatsoever, about ante-post betting or non-starter, they were completely new words to me. I, even, had to check the INTERNET to find out what was LAMPLIGHTER. 
After half the book had gone by, I finally got a grip of the connection between the races, the horses, their owners, the bets and the villain and the hero. But, in the second half the mystery element was all gone, and what remained was the fight between the good and the evil, who by then was revealed and well defined. So, any chances of a end-twist, or the actual antagonist revealing himself, was over.
This book to me is an adventure more than a thriller. The scam perpetrated by the villains is real good. Any person, who has the twin interest of horse racing and reading thrillers, will find this book engrossing and highly interesting. But sadly for me, this book at times became a boring read.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith
5 stars.

I was searching for this book for a long time. Wanted to buy it, but the price was too high for my pocket money to afford it. Finally bought it from a second hand book dealer in College Street. The money spent on it was totally justified and well spent.
Although I wouldn't call this book a detective novel, it was more of a kind of mixture of a biography, of Mma Precious Ramotswe and a collection of short stories, written in a format of a novel. But, in all, it was great read, the time was well spent. Anyone who likes, simple people, leading their simple lives with simple uncomplicated values, would love this book.
Special mentions : 1. The description of Africa. Her pride, her sorrow, her happiness. You must really be stone hearted to not feel all those emotions along with Mma Ramotswe.
2. The blurb by Flea.
C is for Corpse
Sue Grafton
28.5.2012 to 31.5.2012
4 stars.

The third installment of the Kinsey Millhone series. In this book the P.I. met aboy by the name of Bobby Callahan, who was victim of an attempted murder, when the car he and his friend was driving was pushed out of the road, down a cliff, killing the friend, and seriously injuring Bobby.
He enlists Kinsey to help him find out who is trying to murder him. By the end of the book it turns out that Dr.Fraker, the surgeon Bobby used to work for before the murder attempt is the guilty party.
Bobby was having an affair with his wife, Nola, and he knew that she was being blackmailed by someone in relation to the death of her ex-husband. Bobby discovered who it was, i.e. Dr. Fraker. who was himself having an affair with Nola when her ex was killed.
But gradually she realized that Fraker was a maniac and she wanted to get out of the marriage. But, the doctor had the gun, which had killed the ex, with her finger prints on it, and he was using that to blackmail her.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Devotion of Suspect X
by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
5 stars

Although the book has been hyped as a thriller, I found the thriller part pretty simple. Frankly speaking there are far better thriller available in the market. So, as far as the THRILLER part of the book goes, I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.
Now comes the twist. There also happens to be a tragic layer in the book apart from the thriller part. And, that is what makes this book such a captivating read. While reading the last few pages, you cant help but feel sad for Ishigami. Specially when he recollects about his sad life, his suicide attempt, the first time he looked into Yasuko's eyes, his matrix about imagined time spent with Yasuko and Misato. At this point we feel, that haven't we all, especially the stodgy ones, felt like this atleast once in our life. When we look into a person's eyes and start living once again, only to realize that for her I am just a 'X'. Where we devote ourselves to a person completely only to see her holding the hands of someone else. Where we wont hesitate to do something like Ishigami just to see that no harm comes to her.
For me this book is something more than just a thriller. This is truly a story about the devotion of that person, who always remains a 'X', but never becomes a definite part of Yasuko's life.
5 stars for this book, I wish i could have given 500.
Guilty as Sin
by Tami Hoag
8.6.2012 to 11.6.2012

Disappointment. I expected a lot of answers from this book. But I got very few. The book was not engrossing, the only reason I finished it fast, was because I skipped a lot of pages.
Just like NIGHT SINS, this book wastes a lot of pages on relationships between the protagonists. I like a crime novel which throws up a fair amount of of clues, but this book is very much lacking in that respect.
Another favorite feature of mine, is the investigation part, the legwork, the truth digging drives. Here, anyone barely searches for any kind of clue at all. It is almost after 3/4th of the book has gone by, that some real fact finding starts. And, just like the first book, the culprit reveals herself. And, also the answers to question as to why Josh was abducted, remains unanswered.
Night Sins
by Tami Hoag
4.6.2012 to 8.6.2012
2 stars

In this book, a kid , Josh Kirkwood, is abducted when his mother forgets to pick him up from his hockey practise. A lady officer, Megan O Mally is sent by BCA to Deer Lake to help the local police, led by Mitch Holt to solve the case.
I never had any huge expectation from this book, the last few crime novels which I have read, which deals with kidnapping, the culprit invariably turns out to be a psycho who just kidnaps, to satisfy his lust for power and he has no intention to demand any ransom. So, was the case with this book.
Now, this was a fast read, but I also found myself flipping through pages without reading them, because I was not really interested in the budding relationship between the two protagonist. This angle totally broke the speed of the book, and made it 75 pages too long. And, seriously, a child was missing, and these guys had no reason to waste time and pages trying to find their soul-mate, instead of the culprit and the child.
And the ending was BIG let down. The book ended suddenly. Even the culprit showed himself to the police, there was no analysis of facts, to find out the culprit among the red herrings. And, on top of that Mitch and Megan got engaged. That was fast, they barely knew each other for a week.

The Remorseful Day
by Colin Dexter
31.5.2012 to 4.6.2012
5 stars.

The last Inspector Morse book. This book is not a fast paced book, but the reader wont lose interest. The book starts off rather slowly, and never reaches breath taking speed, but always manages to maintain a steady run.
This is an emotional book. By three fourth of the book it ceases to be a mere crime fiction but rather becomes a study of Morse's last days. But having said this the plot is masterfully done, all the elements of a Morse mystery are present.
But, for me the last 50 pages of the book were the best, where Morse realises that its time to "CROSS THE RIVER", and realizes the true nature of the crime and identifies the killer.