‘Twisty, But Less Fun’

Score: 3/5

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Th1rt3en’ by this author, so I grabbed a signed copy of this when it came out. Ah well. It turns out I think I prefer his thrillers to his mysteries. The thrillers involve watching someone cope with events, and he paces them well. I just didn’t enjoy this as much.

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‘Deeply, Deeply, Deeply Weird’

Score: 3/5

This one was weird, even for Chuck Palahniuk.

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‘Not A Lot Happens’

Score: 3/5

I mean, OK, the galaxy goes on, important events take place, but... This book just felt a bit like a placeholder. Like ‘Big Things’ happened before and ‘Big Things’ will happen again, but for now just relax a bit, it’s a slow news day.

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‘Fun, But Sometimes Patchy’

Score: 4/5

10 crime stories set around Christmas. Sounds fun, and it was sometimes. I enjoyed some of the stories, and it was certainly interesting to read one by Adrian Conan Doyle. Odd to see at the end that publication date varied from the 1950s to the last year or two.

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‘Felt Like Jules Verne’

Score: 4/5

It’s imaginative, I’ll give it that. An interesting quest in a vividly imagined setting, it reminded me of the Jules Verne books I read when I was young.

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‘Short, Pithy, Fun, Weird’

Score: 4/5

A collection of short stories all set in Belfast? Sure!

First of all I was surprised such a thing existed. I mean, No Alibis has been around for 20 years now but it’s still a surprise (and a thrill) to hear of Norn Iron authors outside of Norn Iron.

And this series of books goes everywhere. I didn’t even know it was a series of books, but it is - and the series goes to far flung places like Baghdad and Lagos as well as the more expected Baltimore and New Jersey.

This one is a mixed bag. Some of the stories are lovely. Some have you questioning police methods or available technology. And Lee Child’s story is just plain weird. But overall it was fun, and I now have more authors I want to read.

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‘Short, And Very Sweet’

Score: 4/5

This is a lovely, short book. There’s one story for every day of December, and sometimes the story doesn’t even fill a single page. Other stories go for a few pages, but none are long.

They’re usually fictional vignettes onto characters living through December and all that goes along with Christmas. Some are sweet, some are poignant, some are sad.

Overall, it’s just lovely and sweet.

Here’s a lovely example - the author himself reading the ‘1st December’ story ‘It’s All About The Wings’:


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‘Left Me Wanting More’

Score: 4/5

This was only a short novella, and it left me wanting to read more of the PC Grant series. That’s unfortunate, because now I’ve read them all. At least until May next year when the seventh in the series comes out.

It’s a nice ‘check-in’ with the characters, a small story, but nothing to move the overall story arc.

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‘What An Emotional Rollercoaster!’

Score: 5/5

I didn’t really know what to expect from this, but someone told me it was good so I went ahead and bought it.

What an emotional journey it was! I really felt for the main character, and I felt myself cringing at what his sister put him through. I don’t often identify with characters in the books I read (and I’m not sure it’s entirely my fault...) but I could see things from his point of view even when I was yelling at him for doing the wrong thing.

Fascinating stuff.

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‘Oh No! Last One!’

Score: 5/5

I didn’t know whether to spread these last Felix Castor books out or go through them in a binge, but in the end I decided that I was enjoying them so much I’d just keep on until I ran out.

And now I’ve run out.

They were fun though!

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