Tuesday, 31 July 2012

No way out David Kessler

Described as "perfect for fans of John Grisham and Jeff Abbott" this one was bound to appeal to me. I like the level of detail in a Grisham book.
This one is a legal thriller based in the US with a TV talk show host accused of rape as the central character.
Fortunately the talkshow host has the telephone number of a defence lawyer to hand.
As an old friend the lawyer already knows the history of his client, not all of it good and is forewarned before agreeing to take the case. Coutroom arguments are given in such a way for the reader to appreciate fully the acting capabilities of the legal system with raised eyebrows, sympathetic faces and the manipulation of the jury by manner alone.
With a two way contribution to the case by the defence lawyer and a lawyer from the insurance company with differing styles the case is the most interesting part of  the book.
Kessler provides enough twists and turns to make the book enjoyable but not enough to make it unguessable unfortunately, meaning that I had to read the last 100 or so pages simpy to check that I had the outcome correct.
The decider- would I read another by the same author? If it was already on the shelf and there wasn't a Grisham on the same shelf then yes.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Capital John Lanchester

The flurry of reviews caused me to buy the book. Hardback. At full price.
So media works.
I had a stash of review cuttings to go alongside it to review when I'd finished.
"big fast-footed tragi-comically opportune novel"
"expertly choreographed"
were just two examples.
Having read it through  I felt it had a large cast of characters some of whom were very strong, the footballer's father, the old lady's daughter and then there were weaker characters who really didn't need to be in the book. The strong pieces here were incredibly good - the waiting game of a mother dying for example.
Other elements were, in my opinion, unnecessary to the book and almost at a childish story level in comparison to the powerful parts- finding £500k in a chimney? Who didn't know what would happen to that cash? anyone?
This was my first outing with John Lanchester and as such it was quite disappointing following the hype. However as usual-
The decider- would I read another by the same author? Yes. I'd make sure it was thinner and hope that the really good writing was in it and not the padding, or I'd make sure it's already on my shelf. It is, it's called Whoops!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Fifty shades of Grey

I knew it was the latest fad but this popular?

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James

Monday, 9 July 2012


This is the month of Autism Anglia and a month where we see if others will join in. 

Two more people gave their support this week to the idea of raising money for local charities on a month by month basis with everyone's money going in the same direction. It's all done via easyfundraising.org.uk.

 The logos dotted around the post are a small sample of the hundreds of retailers who have signed up to help in this way.

You sign up, support #colchesterfundraisers, shop through the website and the people you buy from donate for you....to steal a phrase....simples!

                          The simple idea is that rather than lots of people giving little bits of cash to a lot of charities  a lot of people come together to support one charity each month.

                            Last month, the first month, was the turn of Lepra Health in Action.

                                                      Next month it's Colchester Cat Rescue. September it's the turn of     April Centre. All I ask is that the charity is based in Colchester i.e. it has a CO postcode. If you would like your charity to be next simply post a comment at the bottom.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

My week

The Wicked Girls Alex Marwood

A strong debut novel pitched into the crime thriller genre.
Written by a UK journalist using a pseudonym the novel is based on the South Coast of the UK in the fictional town of "Whitmouth".
The book opens with a scene of the day of a crime in the past, allowing us to meet the perpetrators and as the book unfolds history intersperses current day scenes.
The majority of the novel deals with the aftermath. What happens to those who commit major crime as children? What happens when they are given a new identity? Taking two very different girls with very different backgrounds Alex Marwood lets us see into their home lives both in the past, to give a view of  possible triggers for the background crime and in the present as we gain understanding of the level of subterfuge they employ to live apparently normal lives. Both girls now have partners, one has children. Both have built new lives including careers of a sort.
How honest have they been with their new families? How much do their new families know?
To add to the mix there is a serial killer in Whitmouth...and a stalker. Or is that one person?

This sounds like the book could be overloaded with plot and characters but it's not. It's deftly written, non judgemental and while you might wonder at times why a stalker is necessary and just how many characters can be needed in the staff room they all add a level of understanding to the treatment of past offenders.

All in all this is a  great read on several levels. Despite the crime thriller bracket it stands out as being different from the norm with an element of social commentary and no specific detective. I look forward to the next book and hope it is as cleverly spun out.
PS to the author, thank you for the simple device that made B become A and J become K. It did make it easier!

If you would like to read it next tweet me @nneerraakk and it's yours!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Autism Anglia

#colchesterfundraisers through easyfundraising.org.uk is this month raising funds for Autism Anglia.  
One requirement of the #colchesterfundraiser cause is that the charity is has it's head office in Colchester and Autism Anglia easily fulfil that requirement with a head office slap bang in town in North Station Road.
Their "what we do" page shows how they help a range of people from children to adults. As a side to helping people with Aspergers or Autism the help given to the individual has an effect on the family, giving them understanding, a break and support.
As always any support is welcome and buying simply using easyfundraising.org.uk to log in before making your usual purposes you will be helping them a little at a time.