Thursday, 20 July 2017

Mount by Jilly Cooper #inbetweeny

I'll start this blog with a warning, this post does contain spoilers. So if you haven't read the book then please don't read this blog, yet. Of course you should read this post just wait a little while until you've read the latest installment of Rupert Campbell Black (RCB).

Warnings out of the way I'll begin.

I was massively looking forward to reading this book having hugely enjoyed the previous ones. RCB is my (not so) secret trashy pleasure and has been for many years. This book had all the ingredients of a classic, pages of wonderfully named characters, a few tortured souls and of course RCB with all his horses, dogs and now grandchildren.

The book got off to a good start full of characters from old but also plenty of new ones to mix it up a bit. The horse's really played a starring role in this book but I also really loved Gav and at first Gala.

Yep only at first as she went strongly down hill and I bet you can guess why. RCB. Here is where I fell out with Cooper, why oh why after all these books would she allow RCB to cheat on Taggie? In these books bad guys cheat, get their comeuppence and the hard done to other half gets the hero. Here RCB was a complete shit to everyone throughout the book, Taggie got cancer and RCB lived happily ever after. How does that work?

The book was very repetitive at times,  Taggie was so overworked, Jan was always being a God send, and RCB either jetted off to China or shouted at everyone. I didn't get why RCB was attracted to Gala, after all the women who have crossed his path during the years and once Taggies cancer came to light the affair just seemed to be brushed under the carpet by everyone. Yes Gav got his happy ending but it was with Gala who we didn't like. For the first time I was dissapointed in an ending and if I'm honest the book which I haven't been before with any of the books in the series.

It was nice to see old faces reappear and Cooper has set it up brilliantly for another book - football just fits with this series but RCB really needs to buck his ideas up and Taggie needs to be given more of a role other than sticking moussakas in the freezer. My least favourite of my favourites. Which somehow makes it worse.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Long Finish by Michael Dibdin #inbetweeny

SPOILERS

I have to say this is the first crime book I have read where the detective didn't solve the murder. Not only that but in the end it was the rats who did the job.

I was interested to read this book having watched the television series a while ago. This was a story not turned into tv (or if it was I missed it) and I loved the food, Zens flu, the wine and the eccentric doctor.

It was quite funny in parts. Zen was certainly a strange one, definitely a councelling session or two needed there but the book lost me in parts and I think the title was laboured. Minot's character was particularly good, an excellent murderer but as I said at the start I found it very strange to read a book where the detective doesn't deliver the goods.

It was book number 6 in the series and I didn't struggle joining so late in the day however you glimpsed there was content in the earlier books that would have added to Zens character.

I won't rush out to buy all previous 5 books but if one landed on my lap I would give it a go. Easy to read, not too long and lovely setting.

Their Finest Lissa Evans

Another book another film deal making me think immediately of our recently reviewed Nocturnal Animals where a book that has been around for a while and has undergone a few name changes reaches a wider audience as the film hits the big screen.

The book had an original topic - England's film industry during World War 2 and I did really enjoy reading about the advertisements, Madam Tussauds and script writing.

There were quite a few characters and the book did skip around a bit between them all (a trait I am finding happening more often at the moment). A few of the group struggled with this and I must admit it did take me a while to remember who was who.

Evans characters were very likeable, particularly Ambrose however I love Bill Nighy (who plays Ambrose in the film) and I do question whether I liked Ambrose so much because I could envisage Nighy.

I found Edith and Arthurs story to be strange, the random proposal and the sudden 'Edie' moment. I also didn't believe in Catrin and Buckley and was pleased in a way with their ending.

It was predictable in parts, there were moments of humour, generally nice characters and some interesting insights into wartime London. It was also easy to read. I have to say though that the book just didn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on why, it was a bit bland, a bit slow but nothing that really justified me not liking it. A few of the group also felt this way with one person taking a particular dislike and marking it a zero. I think this was unfairly harsh but also don't think it justified the 10 another of the group awarded it.

The book ended up with a 6 overall which I think was probably about right. I won't be keeping it but if you are after a light hearted read this could comfortably help you pass an hour or two.

Next book is The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena