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  1. Walter Darriteau in Heswall on the Wirral

     

    Yes, you can now buy the two Walter Darriteau murder/mysteries (The Sound of Sirens, and The Murder Diaries - Seven Times Over) in Lingham's excellent bookshop in Heswall on the Wirral.

    They also have a lovely coffee shop so it's a great pace to wile away some time and glance through the huge selection of books and stuff they have on offer.

    Linghams won the prestigious UK Bookseller of the year 2013 award, and you'll find them at 248 Telegraph Road, Heswall, Wirral, or you can check out their website at www.linghamsbookshop.co.uk

     

     

     

     

  2. "Never Go Back" by Lee Child - the Lastest Jack Reacher Thriller

     

     

    Is the Knight-Errant Losing his Lance?

     

    Like many devoted Reacherians I have read all the Jack Reacher thrillers and without exception they have been fast paced page-turning stories that have almost read themselves, indeed more than one of them I have made my book of the year.

      Alas “Never Go Back” didn’t quite live up to the high standard that Lee Child has set. Indeed three quarters of the way through I almost dumped it in the bin, for I found it surprisingly “samey” and just not very interesting, and worse than that, damned difficult to complete.

       The plot revolves around Jack Reacher going back to an army base to see a serving officer, but while he is there he’s kidnapped, for want of a better word, and told that he is back in the army now – something apparently that can happen to just about anyone in the US forces at any time. And it isn’t long before he is arrested on some trumped up charges, and the major he was calling to see, a stunningly attractive woman, what else? and someone he has never met before, and she’s been arrested too, but on totally different and unconnected charges.

       From then on it stumbles along without ever truly gripping the reader, in this case me, and I began to think that perhaps it was just me, maybe the knight-errant’s magic had finally worn off, so I glanced at some reviews and was pleased, or displeased, to see that I certainly wasn’t alone. Fact is, this is the least interesting Jack Reacher book to date.

       I have even seen it said that Lee Child maybe didn’t write this one at all, and I have no idea if that is correct, but you know the kind of thing, employees writing in the style of Wilbur Smith and James Patterson and Dick Francis, and heaven knows who else, which may be fine and dandy just so long as that is made clear to the reader. If this Jack Reacher was written by someone else, then frankly, I think I could have done a better job!

       This is the eighteenth in the series and mister Child shows no sign of stopping turning them out, but the next one, hopefully, will be better than this or some of those devoted Reacherians may start looking elsewhere for their night time reads and thriller fixes.

       It’s hard to say what is wrong with it precisely, though I have to say I did find some of the gratuitous violence in public places, in this case, on a packed airliner, where the “baddies” suffered many a snapped bone, but were too proud or too scared or too stupid, to cry out or tell anyone about it, or even attempt to get the perpetrator detained, a little ridiculous. Can you imagine having your elbows or shoulders or whatever it is, snapped, and not saying anything? Unlikely wouldn’t you say?

       Airlines are quite good at detaining annoying passengers these days, even ones like the Colossus, Reacher.

       I can’t imagine Robin Hood, a previous knight-errant from nine centuries before, and one Reacher is occasionally likened to, snapping his adversaries limbs and getting such a kick out of it, and even if weaponry and the world has moved on a touch since the times of the wicked King John, evil hasn’t changed one little bit. Just made me feel uncomfortable, that’s all, and I have never felt that way about any Lee Child book before.

       And after that, he and his girl went on a spending spree using credit cards he had taken from the broken boned baddies without ever once having the trifle inconvenience of having to put in a PIN number that Reacher didn’t have. Is mister Child really so detached from modern day reality that he doesn’t know that strangers cannot simply use someone else’s credit cards? It just can’t be done. T’would seem unlikely.

       And then there was the odd thing of calling the characters by famous names, David Baldacci, Duncan Edwards, and I think there was another one too, though I forget it. Weird anyway.

       The patience of devoted Reacherians has been tested somewhat in recent times, what with the ridiculous decision to sell the film franchise to Tom Cruise and his chums. Can you imagine anyone less suitable to play the part, six foot seven he aint, even in high heels, laughable really, and this book doesn’t help either. 

       I am giving "Never Go Back" three stars and I’m being reasonably generous at that, because it is still more interesting than a lot of the dross that’s out there, but hey, three stars for a Lee Child book simply isn’t good enough, and something that you would never have seen a few years back. I won’t make any cheap cracks about the readers never going back, but there is a danger that some of them might well not.

       In my humble opinion the big bold knight-errant needs a pick-me-up, either that, or he should consider buying a retirement home in Florida where he could sort out all the problems of the wealthy widows. He’s be good at that, that’s for damn sure.

       My gut feeling tells me that Jack is not ready for the easy life just yet, and I hope that’s the case too, and yes, I will be buying number nineteen, n.n.nineteen, as well, because that is what devoted Reacherians do. Support the man! Over to you, Jack, or Lee....

     

    Best wishes.

     

    DC.

     

     

    PS: Here's Lee Child talking about his work - far more interesting than my scrambled thoughts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

       

     

            

     

  3. Walter Darriteau Spotted in Nantwich!


    Well, not literally perhaps, as you may know Walter is my fictional detective, but you will now find the Walter Darriteau murder mysteries, “The Sound of Sirens” and “The Murder Diaries – Seven Times Over” on sale in the Nantwich Bookshop at 46 High Street, Nantwich, Cheshire.

    And if you haven’t yet visited Chester and Nantwich then I am sure you would like to, for both are ancient places with so much interesting architecture and history.

    Check out the Crown Hotel in Nantwich for example, an old pub/hotel that has been there since the year 1583, where they do a mean pint of bitter and a comfortable bed, and do call in at the independent bookshop too, while you are in the town where you will find lots of interesting things to read.

    Happy reading,
    David Carter.

     

     

    Chester Black and White Houses

    This pic is a scene in Chester taken from the city wall and features the typical Cheshire black and white architecture -

    I do have lots of pics of Nantwich too, including the very fine church - I will have to dig some of them out and put them up on the site.

  4. “The Sound of Sirens” – More Book Reviews Just In….

     

    Here are three new book reviews recently received for this book.

     

    This was one of my favourite reads of recent months, a really refreshing novel that kept me engrossed throughout.

    I liked the writing style and David Carter has a unique way with words, his descriptions are particularly strong and he knows what to write without waffling on. The writing style, combined with well-researched material and a great lead character in Inspector Walter Darriteau made sure the storyline never lost its zest.

    The plots and sub-plots are woven together in an accomplished manner, the sign of a great storyteller. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys great writing.

     

    -   Jack D, Amazon.com

     

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    What a truly great book this was! The story is based around Inspector Walter Darriteau and Chester where he lives.

    The inspector is a hard worker and he does his best to keep the streets free of bad guys but unfortunately he comes across quite a few of them in his line of work. I don't know which I enjoyed more , the plot or the characters. they were both truly well written and very enjoyable.

    What started off as a simple enough plot quickly got more intriguing and the pace really began to quicken leaving it very hard for me to put the book down. I was seriously impressed by this story and these characters, if you love a great crime story then this one will leave you very satisfied. It was an intricate plot told very well and I had genuine moments of being totally gripped by the story, where if someone had spoken to me I would not have heard them....

    As soon as I finished reading this I had to find out what else this author had written. I can't wait to read more about Inspector Darriteau !!!. Go get this immediately! 

     

    - Goodreads.com

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    The Sound of Sirens had me hooked from the beginning. Inspector Walter Darriteau and his team are in charge of solving a murder in Chester, leaving them with a mystery about who did it and why. The story keeps expanding while they discover more clues about the life of the victim and the possible motives any suspect might have.

    The characters in this book were very appealing to me and I mostly enjoyed the story of the Khan family, I really got involved in the lives of these people and the story of their family.

    I like how everything that happens in the book causes a lot of other events and stories to come to light. This is also what got me to not being able to put the book away, because it was not yet clear how all these stories were going to come together.

    The Sound of Sirens is a book I really liked, and I am sure I will read more books by David Carter and the stories of Inspector Walter Darriteau in the future. Anyone who enjoys a good detective should give this book a try.

     

    Goodreads.com

     

    Don't forget you can have a downloaded version of this book right now to your Kindle or PC in the next few minutes and it will only cost you just £1.86, and that is a bargain.

                 

  5.  

    Lego: The Amazing World of Adventure - Book Review

     

    This book is aimed at eight to twelve year olds and if I was ten I reckon I
    would be into this kind of stuff in a big way.

    Featuring elves and dwarves and fighting pirates, and there’s plenty of fighting too, reminding one
    of a computer game, with characters who coolly address each other as “dude” and
    the like. Made me laugh!

    It’s nicely formatted and very well proofread and I’m sure there’s a big market for this kind of book.

    If I have one criticism it is that it was a little on the short side, I was just getting into
    it when it came to an end, but no doubt that leads the way for lots more in the series.

  6. The Never List by Koethi Zan - Book Review

     

     

    When I was a kid my parents told me things I should never do. Most parents did, and do. You know the kind of thing. Never talk to strangers. Never get into a stranger’s car. Never let anyone touch your private parts – yes, my dad was very keen on that one.

     

    In “The Never List” Sandra and Jennifer are university students and they have a Never List as long as your arm, and update it almost every day. It serves them well. And then they break their rules and get into a car, albeit of someone they know and trust, and boy, how it costs them.

     

    They end up in the basement of a remote house, chained to the wall, and worse than that, there are other girls there who have been there for quite some time.

     

    So begins Koethi Zan’s “The Never List”, and it isn’t hard to see where the inspiration came from for this novel. There have been several high profile cases just like this across the western world over the past ten years or so. They must have struck a chord.

     

    This book has received a huge amount of hype and publicity. Someone at Random House must really rate it, and love the author to bits, because the number of huge newspaper display ads in the most expensive newspapers here in the UK must have cost a small fortune, or more accurately, a large fortune, which no small or Indie publisher could ever hope to compete with.

     

    In addition to that, it’s been selected (just a coincidence?) as the star read in one of the UK’s most popular book review columns, and yet when I checked today it’s standing at number 53 in the Amazon Thriller and Mystery chart. Slightly disappointing, I’d have thought.

     

    This is Koethi Zan’s (nice name btw) first book and a strong debut it is too. It starts well and it finishes well, but somewhere in between it kind of lost me. Dare I say there might even have been a bit of padding and filler in there too, some stuff that on another day might have finished up on the cutting room floor, though maybe the publisher didn’t agree with that and didn’t want the page count to drop below 300.

     

    Of course, Ms Zan, a lawyer by trade, now faces the old conundrum of producing a blockbusting follow-up – difficult second album syndrome, if you will, or maybe that is already in the can too, and perhaps that is the real reason why Random House are pushing this book and this writer for all they are worth. I wish them, and her, well.

     

    So, to sum up,

     

    Did the book start well? Yes, it did, as I have said before.

    Is the book well written? Yes, it is, pretty much.

    Is the book memorable? Yes, I think it is. I certainly won’t forget it in a hurry.

    Did I enjoy reading the book? No, not really, and there’s the rub.

     

    I just can’t help feeling the book could have been better, as if this was something of a lost opportunity here. But don’t let that put you off. There are hundreds of reviewers out there who loved the book to bits, though maybe there was just a touch of hype about some of the over-the-top reviews, or maybe I am just getting cynical in my old age.

     

    One thing is for sure, I will be on the lookout for Ms Zan’s follow-up, as I suspect will many others, and maybe then we will get to see just how good a writer Koethi Zan really is.

     

    Looking at her website I note that she says she grew up listening to the music of the permanently miserable Morrissey. Well, she wasn’t alone in that, and I wondered if in some way that was supposed to have influenced the writer and her writings, Girlfriend in a Coma, and all that kind of stuff. Funnier things have happened!

     

    And dare I say the local police were not the brightest buttons in the box either. If girls kept going missing, why didn’t they get on to the case in a big way much sooner? Just a thought.

     

    So, how’s your own Never List doing? I am going to update mine right now. Never trust anyone… especially book reviewers!

     

    Thanks for reading,

    Have fun.

    David C.

     

     

    *** I was supplied a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest book review. ***

  7. 250+ Books For Sale at Less than 7p each!

     

    Yes, I have a clearout here of over 250 mixed books for less than £17 and that works out at less than 7p each.

    Here's the full description:

    Here I have another Wholesale Lot of mixed books - the previous 8 lots have all now gone.

    The lot consists of around 250 items and they include:

    • Hardbacks
    • Some with dust jackets - some not
    • Paperbacks
    • Fiction
    • Non Fiction
    • Used titles in all kinds of condition
    • May include some ex library books
    • Overall in decent condition

    It doesn't include any Readers Digest compilation type books.

    Unlikely to be more than 1 of each title.

    They are ideal for charity shops, second hand book stores or market stalls, car boot sales, export contracts, rummage sales, and for anyone who wants to build up a bif library very quickly.

    Sell for 50p or a pound each (or more!!) - why not?

    Collection only due to the weight - approximately 7 or 8 boxes.

    I am located on the hampshire/dorset border.

    I can deliver locally for an extra tenner in an area stretching from Southampton in the east up to Salisbury and then down to Weymouth/Dorchester in the west, anywhere inside that triangle I can deliver for an extra £10.00.

    Picture of books or indication only - the actual lot may or may not includes these titles.

    If you want more fiction or non fiction let me know and I will do my best to help.

     

    The price for this lot of books - approximately 8 boxes - is £16.95 for the lot

    Terms: Cash on Collection.

    Feel free to ask anything about this lot.

    Contact me here if you are interested

     

  8. FREE ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) - FREE Books

     

    I am pleased to say that I will be having a limited supply of FREE ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) of my forthcoming novel "The Legal and the Illicit".

    There will be some available in paperback and some available as a PDF for reading online. These copies will be issued before the book is published and may be an uncorrected proof copy. They are being issued FREE of charge to anyone who might be interested in reading a family saga murder mystery - this one set in the world of commodity trading - with a view to writing an honest review of the book once read.

    Ideally I would like the reviews posting on Amazon and Goodreads.com.

    If this is something that might interest you please visit this page and register for your potential free books.

    Thank you for your interest,

    Happy reading,

    David Carter  

     

     

  9. The 70th Anniversary of D-Day - Operation Overlord.

     

    This year (2014) is the 70th anniverary of D-Day when thousands of young men set sail from the south coast of England around here where I live, and flew from countless airports across the country to invade the Normandy Coast, to eventually liberate France.

    You can read my review of Henry Brook's book "True Stores of D-Day" on this page where you will also find an amazing film that was made 10 years ago to mark the 60th anniversary.

    It's an hour and a half long but well worth the time to watch. There is also a brief piece about my father who was in the Royal Navy and busy minesweeping off the French coast before the invasion went in. You can see all that here on this page