Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hamish MacBeth - an Easter overdose

At this time of year, it is usually Easter Eggs and chocolate that gets consumed to excess. For me it was less fattening. I read the first 8 Hamish Macbeth books over the Easter long weekend. They are very easy and, for me at least, quick to read and an enjoyable way to spend a lazy weekend.

Hamish Macbeth is the local bobby in the quiet Scottish village of Lochdubh. He is single and actively unambitious, much to the despair of love interest Priscilla. He solves the case, but is happy for Sergeant Blair, his superior from Strathbane, to take the credit. Though, in the last book I read - The Death of a Glutton, he has been promoted and given a staff member to supervise. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the added responsibility.

They are mysteries of the cosy variety. There is the murder, but there is no graphic detail and it's about solving the puzzle. I struggled to work out when the books were set. At one stage mention was made of it being close to the end of the century, but the tone was decidedly early to middle
of the century. By the 8th book I was getting a bit fed up with the overt morality that I was being hit over the head with. One of the character's mother objected to her daughter doing a law degree because she felt a woman's place was in the home.

Nonetheless, as soon as I got to work I was searching out the next books in the series! I was surprised to discover that the series is up to about 27 books.

The Suspect - Michael Robotham

I've been wanting to read a Michael Robotham book for a while now, his books are popular at the library where I work and I recently discovered he may have come from my home town. I was looking for books to take, read and leave behind for my dad to read when I went home for Easter. This suited my requirements - it was a paperback, and wasn't about war. It also is one of
the books I wanted to read for the Aussie Challenge.
It took a while to get into this book, luckily I had the time and patience to persevere. I have no qualms about giving up on a book that doesn't grab me by the first 100 pages or so.

The suspect is the story of Joe O'Loughlin, a psychologist with early onset Parkinson. He's in a bit of denial about his disease for most of the book. Joe becomes the main suspect for the murder of Catherine McBride, a former colleague and patient. Joe thinks that his patient Bobby Moran has something to do with the murder, even though he doesn't fit the profile that Joe himself comes up with. There are twists, and more bodies before the murder is solved. You have to read the book to find out more!

March Roundup

March wasn't as reading filled as I hoped, with only 4 books being
finished. Two of those being book group books.
March List
Saturday - Ian McEwan
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
Ice - Louis Nowra
Tell No One - Harlan Coben

Saturday was quite hard going, and I didn't enjoy reading it.
I read Never Let me go for the second time. I think I got more out of it
this time as I knew where the story was going.

I am now up to $15 in the buck a book challenge

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ice - Louis Nowra

Ice is the fictional biography of Malcolm McEacharn who became Lord Mayor of Melbourne, and helped work out a way to refridgerate meat to transport it to England. It is fictionalised and opens with a ship towing an iceberg into Sydney Harbour! It is narrated by a man who's wife is in a coma in hospital, and he is writing the biography to try and bring her out of it. She had been doing research on Malcolm. The story of the narrator and his wife develops slowly throughout the book, and I wished there was more, especially when Malcolm's story began to get too creepy. I liked the way it was woven through Malcom's story.

I guess it's about obsessive love, as Malcolm is obsessed by his first wife, and the narrator is obsessed with his wife and the obsession shapes what they do. Both of them are driven to do what they do by the love they have for their wives.

I haven't read anything else by Louis Nowra, and quite enjoyed his style.