Another month done.  It’s the end of July 2017 already, and again I’m looking outside at the rain beating down!  Can’t beat a good UK summer!?

So, how has my reading being going!  Two more books done since my last blog.  What have I read I hear you call.

Book #34 – Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Murakami

Before buying this book in a local bookstore the hand written blurb by one of the staff there intrigued me. Lot’s of praise and reviews and staunch fans of the author, who I’m sorry that in my ignorance I haven’t heard of before, piqued my interest into giving this ago.

Here we find two worlds/characters running side by side. One I understand or pictured to be a futuristic Japan and the other a more fantasy world version of Japan? And the book for me unfortunately was an extremely slow burner, it took me to the 25% completed mark before I got any interest out of it, in fact I was close to DNF status.

When suddenly Wonderland got a bit dangerous with high-tech mafia business visiting our main character, some violence, some flesh-eating monsters, a broken-into apartment, some smashing of stuff, some splitting headaches and hangovers from drowning our confusion in whiskey (both me and the MC). It was almost enough to make me think I got what all the fuss was about. And I continued this strange journey of a book, with people losing their shadows and unicorn skulls being used to read dreams….and….and…and then sadly again, I lost interest.

The book felt to forced for me. A little pretentious. Maybe the style of the authors writing isn’t to my taste or just simply on a different plain to a layman like me, but I didn’t get a great deal of enjoyment from it. I tried.

Looking at other reviews after writing my own, I’m clearly in a minority and suspect I will be frowned upon by my lovely goodreads friends. Be gentle with me.

Two out of five stars.

Book #35 – Dark Pines by Will Dean

This is a bit of a genre jump for me, a crime thriller, not one I read a lot of. And I’m glad I gave this a go, it was a really absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining read. And no, I didn’t guess the killer.

What initially got my attention, along with the interesting and atmospheric front cover, was the setting of this thriller set in a deep, dark and menacing forest from Sweden. Nordic thrillers are a bit of a trend at the moment I believe, with a few TV shows being set there recently, and the one’s I’ve seen have been vaguely interesting. So what does this book offer? Does it match these shows.

Yes. Yes it did. The main character, Tuva, isn’t your standard reporter running around trying to solve the crime. No, and this is one of the aspects I enjoyed and enjoy in other books, is that the main character here is a little different. Tuva is deaf, with hearing aids that often play up. She’s from the small town in Sweden, but has been and prefers to live in the big cities, definitely not a fan of nature and the big outdoors. She’s a little fed up with her small town life eating rubbish food, writing about town fairs and looking after her ill mother. And then suddenly the story explodes, with Tuva trying to solve/report on an apparent return of a serial killer that once terrorised the town some twenty years ago, with once again bodies of hunters appearing with the same modus operandi. This is her big break.

And what I’d like to add here, is that the huge selling point for this book, the main driver for me is the writing. The style. The author has done a great job. The scene setting, detail and the pace is perfect and you always know what the characters are thinking and feeling, the descriptions of the various environments makes you feel you are really there with some good suspenseful moments sprinkled throughout which had me rushing my reading or holding my breath. Ha ha, reading this review back to myself makes me realise how much I did get into this book.

So yes, highly recommend crime thriller readers read this. If not for the story but the writing.  Five out of five stars.


Thanks for reading my blog!  I Appreciate your visit.  How about giving me a like, and maybe a comment! Love hearing from fellow readers and what they like or don’t.

Take care!  David




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