Recent Reads 1

26 Apr
  • Lee Child – Bad Luck and Trouble
  • Jane Heller – Infernal Affairs
  • Karen Rose – Count to Ten

Lee Child – Bad Luck and Trouble

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

I got this one at the airport in Glasgow. I wanted to buy a book, this was on sale, and I wanted to read something by Child for some time (having heard good things about his Jack Reacher novels), so I bought it.
This novel struck me as a very “male” novel. Jack Reacher seems to be the embodiment of the loner, no-strings-attached male. I know this is part of a series, so I don’t know how this novel fits in with the others. But here, only with a lot of goodwill (and a looking glass) can I say there’s character development. I appreciated how the plot unfolds and how everything seemed to be thought out (from my complete cluelessness about a lot of things described in the story, at least). But ultimately, I thought it a very cold novel, completely ruled by logic (see the no-character-development sense I had) with a mystery that wasn’t “good” and interesting enough to make me go “wow.” I’m pretty sure I won’t read another Jack Reacher novel.

Grade: 3,5 / 5

Jane Heller – Infernal Affairs

Genre: Contemporary fiction / Humorous

I read about this novels somewhere in a comments thread. It sounded interesting, and after reading an excerpt on Heller’s homepage, I decided to order it. What I liked about the excerpt – the humorous way it is written – is there in the novel, but unfortunately there is also the kind of humour I don’t like and which I have trouble to describe. It’s some kind of slapstick, sitcom humour that strikes me as goofy for the sake of humour and not naturally following from the situation; it tries too hard and turns into silly and dumb; IMO. For me, this was best exemplified by the scene where Barbara with the help of someone else tries to exorcize the devil and they have to substitute a lot of the things needed for the exorcism because they couldn’t get the right things. Some people find these kind of situations hilarious and laugh-out-loud funny, but for me they don’t work and make me snort in a “oh yeah” kind of way. So, even though IA was a mixed bag for me and some things didn’t work for me, I think Jane Heller is a good writer and I’m not sorry I had ordered another one of her novels along with IA.

Grade: 4- / 5

Karen Rose – Count to Ten

Genre: Romantic Suspense

The main theme of CTT is the nature/nurture question. Nearly all characters have a background which displays one aspect of this question. With so much parts in play, I thought it a bit disappointing that they weren’t used for a closer look at this question. This theme stays on the surface only.
Generally speaking, CTT didn’t grab me like the last novel I read by Rose. That’s not to say CTT is bad, it’s just that I wasn’t as into it. Both the crime and romance part are okay, although I have to admit that I had trouble – again – believing the way a) the characters go from no-strings-attached to commitment and b) the escalation of the crime part in just a few days. When will I get it into my head that that’s part of the romantic suspense package? Also, reading this novel – and I know saying that it annoyed me makes me look out-of-my-head – I got the impression that the main characters had hardly any sleep at all for the whole story. Maybe because it somehow see this being in action around the clock also as hard to believe (I like my sleep) and implying how hot and important the characters are. Don’t know. These points are completely subjective and just my nitpicking buttons.
One last thing: what is it with female journalists (and lawyers?) who’re nearly always bitchy, ready to do anything to get a good story, and/or incompetent in Rose’s novels?

Grade: 4- / 5


2 Responses to “Recent Reads 1”

  1. jenreads Friday, June 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    I’m going to make a recommendation that you try another Jack Reacher novel. I think Bad Luck and Trouble and the new one, Nothing to Lose are bad places to start the series. They are much more “male” than some of the others. I would highly recommend trying Without Fail. It’s got a lot of action but it also has some quiet moments and a tad of romance. Of course, I’m a fan of 85% of the books so take that for what it’s worth.

    BTW, found your blog through Kristie(J)’s blog and I’m glad I did. It looks great and I’ll be trying some of your 5 star reads for myself.

  2. Taja Friday, June 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    jenreads, thank you.

    I hope I didn’t appear too harsh with my last comment about Lee Child’s book. 3,5 means I thought the book better than okay but not good and I somehow had the impression that he just isn’t a writer for me. But your recommendation makes me think about that again and I’ll take a closer look.

    Why do I feel the strong urge to check my 5 star reviews suddenly? 🙂 I’ll be happy to hear what you think about them.

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