Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Borman Factor (A Nick Borman Thriller Book 1) by Robert Lalonde

A clear sign that summer is approaching; the increase in transport strikes. Yesterday it was Lufthansa, today it is a national strike in France. Ports blocked, flights cancelled and hardly any trains and busses. I just thank my lucky stars that I live close to my work and can take my scooter past most things blocking the road. I don't think we will be very busy at job as I work at the airport in duty free. The approach of summer has also lead to some quality reading time on the beach. I flew through this book in a few days. It doesn't hold any big surprises but it is a well written fast paced crime thriller. I gave it five stars.
The Borman factor by Robert Lalonde on

The Borman factor is set in Toronto Canada, not a city known for its high murder rate. When a journalist is murdered and the police fail to investigate and dismiss the crime as a robbery gone wrong, the journalist’s family call in the help of Nick Borman. Nick usually investigates industrial espionage, but as he knows the victim’s wife he takes the case. He begins to uncover a web of bribes and property deals that leads right to the top of local government.
I like the way the book is written in a series of short chapters. It builds tension and keeps the reader engaged. Robert Lalonde switches from first to third person sometimes in the same chapter. It is unusual but I didn’t mind it and I think it works in a crime novel. I would have liked to have found out a bit more about Nick Borman the person, but I think we might in the next book as this is the first in the series. I felt more empathy with Detective Novak who tries to investigate the case despite pressure from above to drop the case. He seems an interesting guy and I hope he will make an appearance in future books. This is a promising start to a series of crime thrillers. Well written and with scope to explore the main character and his intriguing assistant. There is a hint that his next case might take Nick Borman to Europe and the world of industrial espionage; a prospect that has already wet my appetite for book two.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Tacenda by Christine Jayne Vann

I'm not a huge fan of Science fiction as they can be a bit up themselves and techy, but this one was right up my street and I gave it 5 stars.
Tacenda by Christine Vann on

What a weird and wonderful world has Christine created in Tacenda. Colourful and alien but still a world full of characters we can relate to. To use the old cliché men are from mars and woman from Venus; I think this is illustrated here in the relationship between Kerris a human female and Arucken a nestling male. The two have been paired by the Nestling race and work as messengers, delivering goods and information intergalactic. The pairing is viewed sceptically and at times hostilely by both races. For Kerris and Arucken the bond works and the two are very closely connected telepathically. I found their relationship beautiful and it relates closely to the old cliche; you can love and trust someone completely, without fully knowing or understanding them. The story line will appeal to readers of most genres; there is enough intrigue and intergalactic politics to keep you hooked. Kerris is an interesting strong female character. She has gone her own way; committing her life to an alien race and exploring space. She struggles with the loss of her sister; murdered by space pirates, while hiding all of it from her parents. When the pair gets stranded with a group of colonists under attack, she shows she is an excellent diplomat with a lot of courage and tact. I do hope to read more of Kerris and Arucken and the ending of the book was left temptingly open. There is also a lot of humour to lighten the tone; some of it provided by Octavia the space ship, which has a mind of its own. I liked the comment about them getting Octavia to a refuelling station as running out of fuel was not only embarrassing but could lead to a fine. Why did we never see the Star ship Enterprise pull up to a petrol pump? I like a science fiction writer that keeps the tone realistic while creating a completely alien world; it helps the reader connect to the characters and in Tacenda Christine has succeeded admirably.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Day of Reckoning (Dawn of Rebellion Series Book 2) by Michelle Lynn

Its been a while since I read the first in the series; Dawn of Rebellion, but it was one I was keen to get back to. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book as it was much darker and violent. As it was well written, quick paced and exciting I still gave it a 5 star. One of the better YA series out there for it's original vision of the future.
Day of Reckoning (Dawn of Rebellion Series Book 2) by Michelle Lynn on

I really enjoyed the first book in the series; Dawn of Rebellion, so I was keen to find out what happened to our two plucky sisters from the East end. I wasn’t disappointed. Dawn and Gabby now find themselves in Texas and the fate of their friends unclear. Texas seems on the face of it a clean and civilised state, but they soon discover that they are held prisoner by an oppressive and cruel regime. Even though the sisters have similar experiences they deal with them in different ways; Gabby becomes hardened and vengeful as Dawn still believes in the protection of the innocents. It tests the sister’s relationship to the limit. The book is much darker as it deals with themes like torture and murder, but it stays firmly in YA territory. The story is like the first book narrated in the first person and each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective. The pace is again quick and there is no shortage of action. I do like the way the girls speak, using typical London slang, but I missed some of the humour of the first book. The author provides us with many surprises and covers a lot of story in this book, but it is still not entirely clear who is fighting on the side of good. I’m looking forwards to the last instalment of the series to find out if the girls will find a safe and happy place to put their feet up. Judging by this book they still have a few trials to face in Eve of Tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Just Pretending (Hearts to Follow Book 1) by Dana Burkey

While I'm waiting to get my copy of 'Conversations with Tom' back with no doubt some red corrections; I'm getting a lot of reading done. This time a sweet but short YA story. I gave this four stars.
Just pretending by Dana Burkey on

This is a sweet YA love story: Cammy fell in love with Nick the summer before. They were both new to town; Nick holidaying with his father and Cam just moved there. Neither knew anyone and they bonded. Apart from him putting an arm around her; nothing else happened. She was heartbroken however when on going back to school he announced on social media he was now in a relationship. A year later, Cam has made many friends at her new school, amongst them Josh. When the summer holidays start Nick rolls back into town with new girlfriend Gina on his arm. Cam confided in Josh about her heartbreak and the two devise a plan to make Nick jealous.
The book is an easy and quick read and doesn’t hold any nasty surprises. It is a lovely coming of age story with a very likeable main character. I think many young girls will identify with Cam and the pitfalls of first love. Good YA read that would suit an early teen.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Lafayette Campaign by Andrew Updegrove

I do like a good conspiracy thriller now and then, and this one has a good dose of humour and satire to make it an entertaining read. I gave this 5 stars.
The Lafayette Campaign by Andrew Updegrove on

This is a tense political thriller with a healthy dose of satire, also a very entertaining read. Frank Adversego is a computer expert that is called upon by an un-named US government agency when they have a suspicion that someone has hacked the electronic voting system. Some unexpected results in the republican preliminaries have set alarm bells ringing in Washington. Frank sets to work figuring out how the hackers got in, but gets distracted by a young French student that keeps crossing his path. He soon finds out that he can trust no one and that he is alone in stopping the presidential election from being rigged. The Lafayette campaign is full of surprising plot twists and turns, but at all times disturbingly believable. This is a clever piece of storytelling that combines politics, technology and human emotion.
Frank Adversego is an interesting character with a fascinating job. He is also very human. We get to see his more vulnerable side; he is middle aged, lonely and wants to get in better shape physically. Frank is not one of these uber geeky smart tech wiz- kids that annoyingly spot straight away how a cyber-hack was done. Frank like most of us stumbles about in the dark for a while and is at times too trusting. But he is also diligent and committed and with hard work he solves the case.
I read this book during the 2016 primaries and caucuses which fitted perfectly with the story; I even started wondering if Mr Updegrove was clairvoyant so closely matched his story with all the shenanigans in the republican primaries and the unexpected rise of DT. This is book 2 in the series and I haven’t read book 1 (not yet but hope to soon), but it stands on its own and can be read out of order. Frank Adversego is certainly a character I want to revisit.