Under the eagle by Simon Scarrow

Cynthia Under the EagleLearning about the structure and warfare of the Roman Army, made this a solid history read. It had a great cast of characters. But, every now and again the modern style of writing and language would hit me. This of course makes the story very readable but it does loose some authenticity.

Find in library

Advertisements

The homestead on the river by Rosie Mackenzie

cynthia-homestead-on-the-river.jpgA liesurely-paced historical fiction. A family moves to Australia after they lose their Irish ancestral home. But the past does not stay in the past and secrets finally come to the surface. Beautiful descriptions, a happy ending but somehow the characters did not fully interest me.

Find in library

Solo by William Boyd

Amy SoloIt’s 1969 and James Bond is sent to a fictional, but clearly based on Nigeria/Biafra, country in Africa, to finish a war. Things do not go according to plan, and Bond decides to take matters into his own hands. There is a lot of smart dressing, a couple of beautiful women, disfigured villains, twists and double twists, and much derring-do, as is to be expected. There is a bit more depth to Bond, than in the films, and it is just as much fun.

Find in library

The spy who came in from the cold by John le Carre

Amy The Spy who came in from the coldI never knew before that this was a novel studied at school, but I can see why. It has the twists and turns, and treachery of an adventure filled spy novel, but it relentlessly dark, bleak even, and so very clever. Alec Leamas, after years of spying in Berlin, wants out, but agrees to one more assignment, which will take him into Communist Germany. It’s about how complicated politics, war, and life itself is; complicated, cruel, seemingly pointless, yet with the glimmer of light – love, kindness and what is deeply right – to strive for. I found it enthralling, powerful, and darkly beautiful.

Find in library

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

amy-scrublands.jpgScrublands is Australian rural noir, set in a fictional town in the Riverina. A year ago, a priest shot a number of men dead, and was then shot himself by the local policeman. A journalist, with his own demons, arrives to write a piece about how the town is coping, only to uncover, and become entangled, in layers of secrets. There is a great sense of place; the oppressive heat and bleak landscape mirroring the tension between the townspeople, the police and the news people. The mystery is deep and complex, the characters compelling, and the plight of the small country town in drought, utterly believable.

Find in library

Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander

Cynthia Half Moon LakeThe reader knows the truth of the story, but it is how each of the characters deal with and treat this truth, that makes the story interesting. I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the 1910s and crime investigation worked so differently then. Kristen adds layers to the story, dealing with race and wealth, and how each is regarded and treated. The story is based on a real case and I was glad I read about it after reading Half Moon Lake – it would of ruined the building tension throughout the story – everything had to turn out right, didn’t it?

Find in library

On the beach by Nevil Shute

amy-on-the-beach.jpgWhat would you do if you knew the world was to end in just a few months? After a short, nuclear war in the northern hemisphere, the only people left alive are down south, but radiation sickness is slowly heading towards them. Less technical than many Shute novels, this is a fascinating look at what could have happened if war broke out in the sixties, and how people might have dealt with impending death. It’s thoughtful, sweet, amusingly old-fashioned (the female characters!), and ultimately moving.

Find in library