#BookReview ‘The Emperor’s Jade’ by Robert Mitchell #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing ‘The Emperor’s Jade’ by Robert Mitchell
The Emperor's Jade Robert Mitchell
 
Blurb (from Amazon) :
 
For over two thousand years the secret hiding place of the jade dragon seal of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, has been just that – a secret. But the accidental destruction of a small ancient porcelain pillow reveals that secret, and leads the young Australian teacher and his Scottish friend away from their peaceful college at Nandaihe on the shore of the Bo Sea, drawing them up into the freezing bleakness of the jagged mountains of Huangshan, as they try to outwit and elude those who would steal their secret, the jade seal, and their lives.
 
Did I like it?
 
History/archaeology in East Asia. China to be more precise. That’s the stuff I’m interested in.
 
The story is a good one, an interesting one. I would have like to love it really. But…
 
What I didn’t like
 
Two things. The MC is not a very likeable person. Very aggressive, short tempered. He’s living as an English teacher in China. With only a beginner’s knowledge of Chinese. He should be happy that there are people he can communicate with (Moon). Translating for him. Helping him. Instead he’s very aggressive with her. She might be a bit of an annoying person b ut she’s helping him with his insufficient knowledge of Chinese. Even in his communications with his Scottish co-teacher Duncan, very, very aggressive. Duncan is my second problem. Although I only know 1 and a half Scottish people ‘personally’. Neither of them was constantly using the words ‘wee’ and ‘lad’. When the MC and Duncan speak for the first time the use of wee and lad by Duncan is a bit odd. But fine for me, it’s the introduction of someone from Scotland. I can live with that. Unfortunately he never stops. And this is more than annoying. It just doesn’t seem natural. Nearly at the end of the book, the MC finally complains. And Duncan stops!
 
It kills a lot of the pleasure of the book for me. But that’s just my personal taste
 
Would I recommend it?
 
The story is interesting, the setting is interesting. The twists and turns are all believable. If there weren’t these two points. I would have liked the book a lot more. Nevertheless 15 out of 20 points.

#Bookreview ‘Qumran’ by Jerry Amernic “TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing ‘Qumran’ by Jerry Amernic

Qumran by Jerry Amernic

Blurb (from Amazon) :

David Marr, archaeologist and world authority on the Romans, has spent his life studying the Holy Land with all its violence and unrest that go back to the time of the scriptures. While teaching in Jerusalem, he makes the most dramatic discovery of his life just off the shore of the Dead Sea near the site of the ancient monastic settlement at Qumran. It is something that could have huge repercussions with the potential to turn the world on its side.

David first whets his appetite as a student when he played a crucial role in the 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. His later adventures with the Holy Grail and Holy Shroud brought him to the forefront of the maelstrom that develops whenever science confronts religion. The backdrop to these experiences was always war–Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Six Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Throughout it all, he has carved a career of widespread renown, but has seen so much evidence of man’s brutality to man that he is spiritually disillusioned.

As he begins to unearth clues about what he has found, he and those closest to him–his Jewish-American wife Gita, the brilliant Egyptian pathologist Jamil Hassad, and his Israeli research assistant Robbie Schueftan–all find themselves in danger. Now David the scientist, whose life has always be ruled by logic and reason, isn’t certain about anything and he won’t rest until he finds the truth.

Did I like it?

Hist fic, Archaeology, the Vatican. All the ingredients are there. And Jerry Amernic delivers. It starts with the discovery of a body showing the signs of crucifixion and the wounds mentioned in the bible. Prof Marr is on the this cannot be side and starts to investigate more. With the help of the Egyptian pathologist and his research assistant. Hiding the ‘mummy’ from sight. The episode at Glastonbury is without any critic to the believe system of the monk who’s showing Prof Marr the potentially Holy Grail. Critic is happening more to the “scientists” during the examination of the ‘Holy shroud’. And from then on you know the bad guys.

What I didn’t like

At the beginning of the book I had my doubts. Could this turn into something paranormal? Is there someone trying to ‘sell’ me his belief system? Luckily, nothing of it happened. So, what did I not like? Nothing.

Would I recommend it?

If you like Hist Fic? Yes, yes and again yes. Give it a go. Jerry Armernic knows what he’s writing about. And he can write. 18 out of 20 points on my scale

#BookReview ‘Nippon Connection’ by Michael Crichton Originat title ‘Rising Sun’ #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing ‘Nippon Connection’ by Michael Crichton. Original title ‘Rising Sun’ translated into German by Michaela Grabinger

Nippon Connection M.Crichton

Blurb (from Amazon) :

On the forty-fifth floor of the Nakamoto Tower in downtown L. A. a grand opening celebration is in full swing at the new American headquarters of the immense Japanese conglomerate. On the forty-sixth floor, in an empty conference room, the dead body of a beautiful woman is discovered. The investigation immediately becomes a thrilling chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue, a no-holds barred conflict in which control of a vital American technology is the fiercely coveted prize – and the Japanese saying ‘business is war’ takes on a terrifying reality. Rising Sun is a powerful, compulsive thriller from a master of the genre.

Did I like it?

Sure. I’m kind of a fan of the books of the late Michael Crichton. Several books were made into films or TV series (Jurassic Park, ER, Westworld, etc.).  Or better the books were the basic ideas for the films. There are a lot of changes in the films. In general unnecessary changes and the books are a lot better than the films. 3 of the differences between this book and the adaptation. Another killer. No relation between Connor and the student who helps with the video in the book. Eddie Sakamura survives in the book but killed in the film. None of these changes are necessary. But Crichton worked on the script for the film too. So, I guess if he was OK with the changes. Who am I to complain.

What I didn’t like

Nothing, it is certainly not high literature. I don’t think it was meant to be.

Would I recommend it?

Kind of a beach read. 16 out of 20 points. If you like the films made after the books of Crichton. Read the books they are (even) better than the films

#Bookreview ‘Baudolino by Umberto Eco #ccbookreviews #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing, as part of my 50 classics challenge, ‘Baudolino’ by Umberto Eco

Translated from Italian to German by Burkhart Kroeber

Baudolino Umberto Eco

 

Blurb (from Amazon):

It is 1204, and Constantinople is being sacked and burned by the knights of the fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.

Did I like it?

As I’m a ‘fan’ of the writing of the late Umberto Eco. Yes, I most certainly do. Although I read the book in its German translation, I guess I could safely put my trust into the work of Burkhart Kroeber. Eco knew how to tell a story. A story without limits to his fantasy. Holy roman emperor picks up a boy in a swamp in Italy. Takes the boy with him. And from then on the story unfolds. In the later part of the book, you get all the mystical creatures from Medieval maps you can imagine.

What I didn’t like

Just a little technical thing. Some parts in the German edition are printed using a strange type face. As I read the book in bed before sleeping. And my sight is deteriorating. This type face was very hard to read. Apart from this technical stuff, the answer to the question is: Nothing, as usual.

Would I recommend it?

You’re a fan of Eco? You’re open to something a bit different than ‘The Name of the Rose’ by Eco? Read it! 18 out of 20 points.

#BookReview ‘The Samurai Code’ by Steven Moore #SundayBlogShare

Today I’m reviewing ‘The Samurai Code’ by Steven Moore.

The Samurai Code Steven Moore

Blurb (from Goodreads):

One lethal storm. One deadly criminal. One ancient code. Expedition leader Hiram Kane is in Japan when the storm of the century hits. He joins the rescue mission as flash floods cause chaos, death and destruction. Yakuza boss Katashi Goto is retiring from the mob. Before he does, there is one more thing to achieve: revenge over a centuries old enemy. When their two very different worlds collide, Kane is forced to make a choice. He has always known honour is worth fighting for. When challenged by Katashi, he has to decide if it is also worth dying for.

Did I like it?

That’s a very complicated question. Does the book and my interpretation of what I could expect after reading the blurb match? Not really. Am I thus disappointed? Not really. I expected something more in depth about Japanese culture, Bushido in particular. It is about and at the same time it isn’t.

What I didn’t like

Nothing and that’s exactly the problem I have with this book. I can’t tell you why or what but I feel there is something missing. The author lives in Mexico, the MC lives in Peru. And this could be my problem. I still have the feeling that the MC is just at the wrong place (for my expectations, that is)

Would I recommend it?

Yes, the book is still worth it’s 17 out of 20 points on my scale. It’s just not what I expected to read Maybe just not the right moment

#BookReview ‘Engaged in Danger (Jamie Quinn Mystery #4)’ by Barbara Venkatamaran #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing « Engaged in Danger (Jamie Quinn Mystery #4) by Barbara Venkatamaran.
Engaded in Danger (Jamie Quinn #4)
 
Blurb (from Goodreads):
 
Finally, life is good for reluctant family law attorney, Jamie Quinn–her father may get his visa soon, her boyfriend is the bomb, and her law practice is growing like crazy–but when she agrees to take on a high-profile divorce case, everything falls apart. What looked like an opportunity to work with her friend Grace and make some serious bucks has turned into a deadly game, one that could destroy their friendship and tear their town apart. Why couldn’t Jamie just leave well enough alone?
 
Did I like it?
 
You bet. The author delivers again something to distract you from the daily struggles. Although this time it “feels” a bit less “happy go lucky”. Boyfriend leaving for Australia (temporarily), “problem” with the BFF. A divorce case no one will take. Not even Jamie. Russian criminals.
 
What I didn’t like
 
Nothing. OK, the stereotypes are… stereotypes. The politician is like a politician, the Russian is a criminal. You get what you were asking for.
 
Would I recommend it?
 
Perfect beach read 4th edition. If you want to read the series I wouldn’t start with this one. But that’s just personal, it works as a standalone. But you will be missing something. 17 out of 20 points. Still Highly recommended

#Bookreview ‘The Gangster’s Son’ by Joseph Mark Brewer #TuesdayBookBlog

Today, I’m reviewing ‘The Gangster’s Son’ by Joseph Mark Brewer
The Gangster's son

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Facing retirement and weary from caring for his terminally ill wife, Tokyo police Inspector Shig Sato returns to Azabu Police Station and teams up with his old partner, Detective Ken Abe, for his last month with the department. On his first night back, a young waitress at a jazz club is murdered. Her boyfriend, an American Marine, is missing, and the club owner is nowhere to be found. Sato knows that if the American has anything to do with the murder, it could ignite a political and diplomatic firestorm. Sato believes that find the American is his first duty. Then Sato learns that the club owner is the son of prominent crime boss Ses Fujimori. Ties between the Fujimoris and Satos go back a generation. It’s something the inspector cannot escape, especially since he asked Fujimori for help in solving a case early in his career. Fujimori agreed, knowing that Sato would be in his debt. With his son now a murder suspect, what will Fujimori demand in return for his cooperation? What price will Sato pay to bring a young woman’s killer to justice?

 

Did I like it?

 

Absolutely. It’s a bit like a cosy mystery. No gore, no descriptive sex. (no sex at all, it’s located in Japan) There are several possibilities for a series (for example: back story is only hinted at, Sato retiring, becoming a PI. Commissioner already mentioned that he might need him in the future). And not to forget I’m kind of Japanophile. “shinnichi” (親日) in Japanese.

 

What I didn’t like

 

That it took me so long to discover it. And I do have a little problem with the piece concerning the super-rich. The possible future client when Sato retires. Link was made via the commissioner. Who could remember that Sato thinks about becoming a PI after his retirement. Super rich reveals that he has links with the Fujimori clan. And then? If it’s a hint to future books then fine for me. If not, then what’s the point of it? It’s a loose thread. Revealing something about Sato’s character?

 

Would I recommend it?

 

For sure. A mystery without gore, a bit of police procedure. Interesting characters with a lot of potential for upcoming books. Recommended. And as I said I’m kind of Japanophile. 17 out of 20 points with a tendency of more points