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About Viccie

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    reading, writing, wine, dawdling around
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  1. I bought a Kindle cheapie of one of the books in the middle of this series about Maeve Kerrigan, a junior detective in the Met's detective squad and got completely hooked, reading every one of the series that I could get my hands on. What sets this series apart for me is the charecterisation, these are real people with real problems, who make mistakes and wrong calls, but they aren't one note, nobody, with the exception of one oaffish DC, is without their good points and the story lines are intriguingly twisty so you are never quite sure what's going to happen. Jane Casey is Irish, like her heroine, and is married to a criminal barrister which must give her a considerable amount of insight int the criminal mind. I'm glad to say that though these books are certainly not cosy she does not dwell on gory details. There's a story arc going through the series so it's worth while starting at the beginning, though I began with no 4 and still enjoyed the earlier ones. Highly reccommended - it's a long time since I woke up at 3 in the morning and knewthere was no point in trying to go back to sleep until I'd read at least another couple of chapters of my book.
  2. All this and Heaven too - Rachel Field
  3. I havered over this as my eldest borrowed my well-used copy of Red Sky and Sunrise and left it behind in a friend's house in Spain, then decided that it's one of the books I really want to have in paper.
  4. I had my first outdoor cherry tomato yesterday! The advantages of living 700 miles to the south!
  5. The Silver Chair - C S Lewis
  6. Yes I do, but not for anything as tough as Kafka! It can happen with detective series, I read one and then have to catch up on the rest and with fantasy too. I got a sudden urge recently to re-read my way through the Mapp and Lucia books and Elizabeth Jane Howard is tugging at me too.
  7. My Sister the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite
  8. I've got it on the Kindle and am reallty looking forward to getting dug in.
  9. In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Children and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love. This book is far from perfect, in places the writing is clunky, it can be overly-sentimental, there's rather too much about Macbeth and most of the teenagers seem to have to school having forgotten to charge their phones. (Not a spolier by the way,). As if any 17 year old ever goes out without a fully functioning phone. That said, it's a race-though-it thriller, very tense and disturbing in places and ultimately a very good read.. There is no way I could have gone to bed without finishing it.
  10. The Small House at Allington - Anthony Trollope
  11. The Little House on the Prairie - Laura ingles Wilder
  12. The Death of Grass - John Christopher
  13. This series, featuring Paula McGuire, a forensic pathologist who returns to a border town in Nothern Ireland to help her father who has broken his leg is a new discovery and one I highly reccommend. Paula's father was in the RUC despite being a Catholic in an almost entirely Protestant force and her mother vanished 17 years ago and is presumed to be one of the disappeared - those abducted by the IRA and murdered. Paula has been living and working in London for the last decade. There's lots of well fleshed out back story and the background of the ongoing tensions between the two communities despite the Good Friday Agreement is convincing and not heavy handed. Well worth a try.
  14. Tarquin Winot - hedonist, food obsessive, ironist and snob - travels a circuitous route from the Hotel Splendide in Portsmouth to his cottage in Provence. Along the way he tells the story of his childhood and beyond through a series of delectable menus, organized by season. But this is no ordinary cookbook, and as we are drawn into Tarquin's world, a far more sinister mission slowly reveals itself . . . This is a very clever book, too clever some might say, and beautifully written - there's not a duff sentence in it. It's barely 200 pages long, yet it took me nearly six weeks to read it, partially because the prose, though elegant, is verry dense and it gets wearing after a few pages, but mainly because Tarquin has to be one of the most unpleasant charecters in literature. I don't mind unpleasant narrators but Tarquin has no redeeming qualities at all and it gets hard to read of endless self absorbtion, conceit and downright evil with barely any relief. It's a book club choice and I must not have perservered otherwise - I would have deliberately abandoned it, just never got around to picking it up again. However I'm glad I did, it's definitely a book to look back on and consider and I hope will provoke a really good discussion.
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