#Bookreview ‘The Red Hill’ by David Penny #Reading #mystery

Today, I’m reviewing ‘The Red Hill’ by David Penny

The Red Hill, David Penny

Blurb (from Goodreads):

 

A killer who can’t be stopped. A request that can’t be refused.

In 1482 the Englishman Thomas Berrington is living in the last remnants of Moorish Spain. A physician, he is an unwilling friend to the most powerful man in the kingdom. When bodies start to turn up, each showing the marks of a savage attack, Thomas is asked to investigate.

When one of the Sultan’s wives is brutally murdered, what begins as a reluctant task turns into a fight for survival. Together with the eunuch Jorge, Thomas attempts to hunt down the killer before they become his next victims. Except nothing is as it seems—friends turn into enemies and enemies into friends.

Thomas’s investigation lays bare the secrets of the Red Hill and the people who inhabit it. His discoveries culminate in a battle not only for his own life, but for the lives of those he loves.

Did I like it?

Yes, very. An area of time that I’m very much interested in but don’t have much knowledge of. A mystery, a bit of violence, not too graphic. Fast paced. Interesting, well described characters. Absolutely nothing to complain about

What I didn’t like

Apart from that it took me so long to discover it. Nothing

Would I recommend it?

If you’re interested in Hist Fic. Moorish Spain at the end of the 15th century. Read it it’s good. You won’t regret. 17.5 out of 20 points on my scale.

#Bookreview ‘Trouble in Nuala’ by Harriet Steele #SundayBlogShare

Today, I’m reviewing ‘Trouble in Nuala’ by Harriet Steele

Trouble in Nuala, Harriet Steel

Blurb (from Amazon):

When Inspector Shanti de Silva moves with his English wife Jane to his new post in the sleepy hill town of Nuala he anticipates a more restful life than police work in the big city entails. However an arrogant plantation owner with a lonely wife, a crusading lawyer, and a death in suspicious circumstances present him with a riddle that he will need all his experience to solve.
Set on the exotic island of Ceylon in the 1930s, Trouble in Nuala is an entertaining and relaxing mystery spiced with humour and a colourful cast of characters.

Did I like it?

Hell yeah. I’d say very laid back. Very nice and most of all nicely described surrounding/scenery. A bit of food, a bit of plants Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in the 1930. An underlying critique of imagined western superiority. Interesting characters. A cosy mystery,

What I didn’t like

If anything then it would be. The inspector is ‘new’ on his post. But it ‘feels’ like he’s there for a ‘long’ while. There’s nothing really about he being the new one. I felt he’s too close to his subordinates for being the new one. It’s just something very minor. No real importance, it just felt a bit wrong to me.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. It was just a ‘fun’ read. 17.5 out of 20 points on my scale. Looking forward reading the other books of the series

#Bookreview ‘The Tonkin Protocol ( Dan Roy #3) #thriller

Today, I’m reviewing ‘The Tonkin Protocol’ by Mike Bose

The Tonkin Protocol Mick Bose

Blurb (from Goodreads):

In the steamy tropical jungles of Myanmar, Dan Roy will meet his match…

Dan has joined the backpacker trail in far South East Asia. He wants nothing but peace, and to relax.
But trouble finds him soon enough. Kimberly Smith is a CIA agent. She is flown into Myanmar, to help locate another CIA agent, missing in action.
When Dan saves Kim from an ambush, their fates become entwined. Ignoring the instant spark between them, Dan leaves her alone. But when Kim is attacked and abducted before his eyes, he defends her with all his might. They escape, but they are now pawns in a CIA operation that could bring the world’s two superpowers to a global conflict.
The stakes rise, and Kim and Dan run from one exotic location to another, chased by powerful forces bent on their destruction. Finally, they are forcibly separated, and Dan is left to die in the dense, remote jungles…

A terrifying secret is revealed inside the beautiful, but rarely visited country of Myanmar. Its long border with China has always been under America’s watchful eyes. A covert operation, reaching up to the highest levels of power inside the CIA and Washington, is now in danger of being exposed. Dan Roy must lift himself up from his green grave, and fight back, in the only way he can. To save the world, and to get Kim back.
She means more to him than his battle hardened heart can understand.
Once again, failure is not an option.
From Singapore to Langley, and Washington to Yangon, come ride with Dan Roy on an adrenaline drenched, high octane, exotic adventure that will you leave you breathless and wanting more.

Did I like it?

Yes, but…This is book 3 of a series. You can read it as a standalone. You get the necessary info about his backgrounds. About what makes the hero tick. Maybe you get more if you’ve read it as part of the series. Which I haven’t. Asian setting, suspense, thriller. I like that.

What I didn’t like

My standard problems with these kinds of books. 1. The hero is unbeatable in the long run. He always gets out. Even if his chances are miniscule. 2. The violence has a tendency to get over-descriptive. Sometimes less could be more.

Would I recommend it?

If you like these kind of books (thriller, suspense, yes, even violence). Give it a go. A very nice diversion. 16.5 out of 20 points on my scale

#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.