Book lovers never go to bed alone

February 4, 2010

January 2010 books

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chantal @ 6:55 pm

Voyage en Germanie1. Voyage en Germanie by Lindsey Davis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Almost 4 stars. This is a reread and it’s as good as it was the first time. It shows the strength of the characters that even when you know how things turn up you still care and enjoy the way the characters grow. Especially Helena’s younger brother, Q. Camillus Justinus which is charming, strong and the perfect side kick to Marcus Falco.

This adventurous trip into the wild of Germany is an entertaining romp and the web of intrigues is well done. No surprises but a good time is guarantied.

Le carré de la vengeance (Van In, #1)2. Le carré de la vengeance by Pieter Aspe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First one in the series of this very popular Belgium author. The characters are interesting. The politics, the class differences are well done. The female character, Hannelore, who works for the justice department, in not just there to be “the girl”, one of the policeman is gay but it’s no big deal, the lead character is a bit more cliché but I put that on the first novel syndrome Mary Sue.

The plot, one of the most important and rich family of Bruges is really having a bad week, a bad month. First a robbery that isn’t really a robbery, a kidnapping, a demand for ransom that is a bit strange.

A quick and interesting read.

Detective Inspector Huss
3. Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First novel introducing the Violent Crime unit of Goteborg and Detective Inspector Irene Huss. Almost four stars. The plot is a little confusing and takes the long, long, long way to resolve itself but Tursten introduces all of the member of the unit in due time and it’s integrated into the plot. The pace is a little clunky, a little “brouillon” but she sets the bases for an intriguing case and quite a few more to come.

Un torse dans les rochers4. Un torse dans les rochers by Helene Tursten

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The second novel featuring Detective Inspector Irene Huss. DI Huss is hunting down a cunning killer with a passion for butchering his victims. When a torso in a garbage bag is found on a beach near Goteborg, Huss finds herself both hunter and prey. The plot is fast pace, the characters are interesting, well defined and growing. It’s two years later after the double murder of the first novel. Again almost 4 stars.

Des myrtilles dans la yourte5. Des myrtilles dans la yourte by Sarah Dars

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The strength of this novel resides in the setting. The author knows Mongolia, loves Mongolia, makes the reader care about the Mongolian people, the land, the beliefs. The mystery is secondary. We follow Yesügei, a veteran police inspector who is on the way out, push to retire. Alcohol, insubordination, womanizing but above all being of the old school is making him a nuisance. But, he is a master at what he does, reading people, reading the land, understanding his people. When an American tourist goes missing then shows up dead, he is sent to solve the mystery.

You can see, hear and smell the land in this. Yesügei and the newbie detective a city boy assigned to him lead us and guide us through this voyage of discovery of a land that intrigues and charms.

I liked it because of the setting.

SEALed and Delivered (Harlequin Blaze)6. SEALed and Delivered by Jill Monroe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A solid 3 stars because it’s rare to get two smarts, self aware, charming and interesting leads. Both Hailey and Nate are wonderful to watch, how they move closer while pretending that it’s not a relationship, but it so totally is. The setting is well done. I like the leitmotiv “Have I thanked the Navy lately?” it makes both characters fun and definitely not the tragic drama kind.

The only problem is the B plot involving a friend and her fiancé and their cliché problem sex lives. Totally boring, totally not interesting and soooo cliché I just skipped the parts where Amy and Jack, Jake whatever showed up. Waste of pages that would have been best used on Hailey and Nate.

Le festin de Babette : Et autres contes7. Le festin de Babette : Et autres contes by Isak Dinesen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I hadn’t read any Blixen in a long, long time. Every phrases, every words and in Babette’s Feast, in particular, every dishes are chosen for a purpose. Reading Blixen compares for me to watching a master lace maker creating a piece right before your eyes. What I liked best about Babette is her ‘inébranlable’ confidence in herself, in her art, in her talent.

L'Insoutenable légèreté de l'être8. L’Insoutenable légèreté de l’être by Milan Kundera

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A solid 3 stars. Not so much a love story, although there is a lot of talk about love and sex. I didn’t like any of the characters, nor Tomas, nor Tereza or Sabina or Franz. It’s a cold, intellectual, philosophical essay on love, sex, the human condition, the human psyche : that I liked. The plot, the characters felt plastered on the essay and were ultimately boring. But the ideas, the philosophy was interesting.

Dancing in the Moonlight (Cowboys of Cold Creek, #2) (Silhoutte Special Edition #1757)9. Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Strong lead characters. Both woman and man. Army nurse comes home after losing part of a leg in an bombing in Kabul. This does have a HEA ending but it’s a strong love story. Lena and Jake grew up together, families are estranged because of an old business deal. Both conquer their fears and ultimately find strength and love in each other.

I liked it. Some parts probably needed to be expanded but this is a 250 pages Harlequin, the author had to conform to the format. But even with the boundaries of the Harlequin format this tale of recovery, finding your inner strength stands out.

The Foreign Correspondent: A Novel10. The Foreign Correspondent: A Novel by Alan Furst

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A very strong 3 stars. Furst love this period. It shows. In the details of the places he sets his characters in, in the way the reader almost effortlessly walks along side Weisz. From the terrain of the ending Spanish war to the émigré scene of Paris with its spies, secret police to Berlin for the signing of the Pact of Steel to the fall of the Czech.

It’s all really well done. One tiny thing, the plot isn’t as fantastic as the set up. But it’s really a tiny thing.

206 Bones (Temperance Brennan #12)11. 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A soft 3 stars. This latest Temperance Brennan novel has all the ingredients to make something good but somehow the ingredients don’t gel together. The three plot lines : A (the bad guy at work), B (the grannies serial killer) and C (Temperance’s relationship with Ryan) mix like water and oil not vinegar and oil.

Reichs still amaze me with her sense of the places her characters are in. I can totally buy and feel Temperance’s visit to Chicago and know that it’s accurate, get a feel of the place. Why? Because I live in the other place Temperance works and Reichs nails Montreal, the Laurentians, Oka. Tiny, little thing Laval University is not in Laval but Québec City but really I’m nitpicking.

So, good ingredients, bad mix because it’s not a sign of a good Brennan novel when the reader less than half way through knows who the bad guys are and starts yelling at Tempy to get a clue.

View all my reviews >>

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