Fiction
Racing the Devil
By Charles Todd
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 25th 2017.
Racing the Devil by Charles Todd  Inspector Ian Rutledge from Scotland Yard is called out to a small town in the South of England, the Sussex coast, when a cleric is killed in a car accident and it looks like foul play. He investigates but before he knows what happened, other people start dying.  It is soon after the Great War, and Rutledge is haunted by many terrible memories of his time in the army. One of the men who died back there, Hamish, is a constant companion in his head, giving him advice and engaging him in dialog. Racing the Devil is a rather standard historical detective mystery with a striking theme
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The Wrong Side of Goodbye
By Michael Connelly
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 21st 2017.
The Wrong Side of Goodbye is the 19th Harry Bosch thriller, and Harry is worried that he isn't as sharp as he used to be. He is working part time for the San Fernando police department, and he occasionally works as a private detective. He has just won a lawsuit against his former employer, the LAPD. A man of great integrity, he is still willing to bend the rules in order to get a result. We learn little about his personal life, maybe because he hardly has one. His main source of pleasure seems to be jazz, which he listens to in his car. He is devoted to his work. But he does see his
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The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

Two Can Play
An Audrey Harte Novel, Book 2
By Kate Kessler
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 7th 2017.
Two Can Play by Kate KesslerHaving read and disliked the first book in Kate Kessler's series of Audrey Harte novels, I promptly forgot it. Some way into the second book, Two Can Play, memories of the first book came leaking back into my memory. The main improvement Kessler has made in this one is dramatically shorten the length: the audiobook is 9 hours versus 25 hours for the first. Forensic psychologist Audrey Harte returns to her home state of Maine to interview a young man who has just graduated from high school and has admitted to raping and killing several blonde young women. He is, she decides, a classic psychopat
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Under the Harrow
A Novel
By Flynn Berry
Review by Christian Perring on Mon, Feb 27th 2017.
Nora works in London but spends her weekends with her sister Rachel in rural Oxfordshire. They have a close but sometimes tempestuous relationship. Rachel is found brutally murdered, and her dog has been killed too. Rachel had been seriously attacked when she was a teenager so there is speculation that the same person came back to finish the job.   Nora narrates the story, spelling out her grief and suspicion of the men that Rachel knew. But as time goes on, Nora's own weaknesses and aggression become clearer to the police and the reader, and she falls under suspicion. In the unabrid
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Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

Tony & Susan
(aka Nocturnal Animals)
By Austin Wright
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 21st 2017.
Tony & Susan by Austin WrightOriginally published in 1993, and republished several times since then, Tony and Susan (also known as Nocturnal Animals) has most recently been released because of Tom Ford's recent movie Nocturnal Animals based on it. The device of the novel is novel: a middle aged woman Susan, reads a novel by her ex-husband, Edward. Both have remarried. It takes her three nights to read the manuscript, which he has sent to her asking for her feedback. As she reads, she reflects on their relationship and the man she left him for.  Before she starts, confident of her memory of Edward, she predicts the bo
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The Nix
A Novel
By Nathan Hill
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 14th 2017.
Nathan Hill's sprawling novel The Nix (the unabridged audiobook is 22 hours long) is a satire of modern times but goes back to the 1960s too. The central characters are Samuel Andresen-Anderson and his mother. Samuel is a bored professor of literature at a small suburban university outside of Chicago. He once wrote a novel but his second novel is stalled. He spends most of his spare time playing a massive multiplayer online role-playing game featuring many elves in his university office because the connection is faster than the one at home. Teaching students who don't want to learn has worn hi
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The Nix by Nathan Hill

High Heat
By Richard Castle
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 17th 2017.
High Heat by Richard CastleHigh Heat is the eighth novel in the Nikki Heat series. It features the NYC detective and her journalist husband Jameson Rook. It starts out with a murder by people declaring themselves to be Muslim terrorists associated with ISIS. The victim is a woman. The murderers send in a video of the murder, and threaten that Jameson Rook will be their next target. There has been a Nikki Heat novel every year since 2009, and this one is especially topical, featuring a maverick businessman presidential candidate who wins public attention and approval by his disregard of normal politics. Rook is thrilled
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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
A Novel
By Joanna Cannon
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 10th 2017.
I remember when I was a teenager, one of my school teachers said that a class exercise would help separate the sheep from the goats. I assumed then that it was better to be one of the goats – independent and active rather than passive and waiting to be told what the right answer was. Joanna Cannon's novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep raises the issue for me of what my teacher meant, because the parable of Jesus is clear that the sheep-like followers will go to heaven while the stubborn goats will go to hell. Cannon's novel is all about the conformity of a small community and their in
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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

 
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