Sunday, 31 July 2011

UK & EU Summer Hop

Finally, a giveaway hop for Europeans! Apologies to followers in the rest of this world but this one is limited to people living in the European Union. Remember to visit all the blogs taking part, you can check out what genres are being given away on the hop's blog The hop officially starts on the 1st but I'm not going to slap any wrists if you enter my giveaway now...


So what am I giving away? A brand spanking new copy of Blow on a Dead Man's Embers by Mari Strachan (author of The Earth Hums in B Flat) which will be out in trade paperback this week. I gave it 5/5 and you can read my review here.



Want to win? Just follow me and fill in the form at the bottom of this post.

Get an extra entry by tweeting the following:
Win Blow on a Dead Man's Embers in the UK & EU Summer Hop via @patchworkbunny http://curiositykilledthebookworm.blogspot.com

The following is a list of all the blogs taking part (please DO NOT add any links).


Rules:
Entry is via the form below.
You must follow me to be eligible to win, either by GFC or Twitter.
Maximum of one form entry per follower, with one bonus entry available for tweeting about the giveaway.
Winners will be announced on the blog and also be notified by email.
The prize will be ordered either through Amazon or The Book Depository.
The bloggers hosting the giveaways will not be held responsible for items lost in the post.
If you wish to enter all giveaways, visit each blog for details. Entry via Curiosity Killed The Bookworm is for Blow on a Dead Man's Embers only.
Closing date for entries is 23:59 BST 8th August 2011.
This giveaway is open ONLY to residents of EU countries.

I will be away from home when the giveaway ends but will have internet access. I might just not be as fast as normal with responses.

Paris in July Round-Up

So July is over and I've really enjoyed reading and watching something a bit different from normal. I haven't quite read everything I set out to but I will be reviewing Badfellas in the near future and I do need to do a post about the wonderful publishers of translated fiction that have provided books for review.



So what did I read?
Breaking Away by Anna Gavalda 5/5
The Breakers by Claudie Gallay 4/5
Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel 4/5
The Beast of the Camargue by Xavier-Marie Bonnot 3/5

I didn't make much of a dent in my French films but I will watch the rest when I need a film fix:
Tell No One | Priceless

Photography:
Le vin couple sophistiqués boire
The Photography of Stéphane Giner
Paris Fashions, 1912
Baroness de Guestre [in home]
Inauguration of Poincare, Paris

I also blogged about: Meet Hector | The Tarasque

Thanks to Mike Stimpson for the French Lego photos! I should have posted these two sooner but I think this one of him riding off into the sunset is fitting for the end...



Au revoir!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Chick-Lit is Not a Bad Word

Everyone now and then, someone gets their knickers in a twist over the use of the term “chick-lit” and it being demeaning to their work. It's certainly not the readers of the genre, who use it with affection. We can't blame the marketing people for using it when it sells books. Anything that increases reading in any way is good and sales keep the publishing industry going so they can publish more niche books too. The use of cartoonish covers in pastel shades probably don't help matters but we've all been taught not to judge a book by its cover. I think most authors that fall within the genre are pretty clued up on the audience they're writing for and, again, the label actually sells stuff so they can't complain.

So that leaves the people that don't know what they're talking about. The ones that confuse chick-lit with Mills & Boon (though there's nothing wrong with reading that sort of romance if it's your thing). Do we care what these ignorant people think? We should just pity them for not taking a chance on an unknown book. Think of all the great reads they're missing out on!

Futile

  Photo by dæxus

It wasn't so long ago (OK maybe it was) when chick-lit was limited to “bonkbusters” by the likes of Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins. Actually, I quite like Jilly's books, they hark back to a day when showjumping was considered glamourous after all. But then Bridget Jones came along. I know there is a lot of mixed feeling about the book but Helen Fielding brought back what Jane Austen did best with a rework of Pride & Prejudice for the modern day. The heroines are less than perfect, they make bad choices and they have a network of family/friends to prop them up and share confidences with. Oh yeah, and they're funny. No wonder a host of other novels were hot on its heels when it proved successful.

So what is chick-lit then? I like to think of it as literature (that's the lit part) that appeals to a female audience (that's the chick part). Us women read a wide range of fiction, but there's something about a girl meets boy scenario that scares the male reader off. The heroines are rarely tomboys so there is a lot about their lives that wouldn't be of interest to the average man. I'm not saying that they can't be enjoyed by both sexes, but it's rare. The books can cover all sorts of issues, from the age old not being able to find a decent man (a serious enough issue for many) to domestic violence but they always have a lighter edge and usually a romance to keep us going. If not, I'm not sure they have been correctly categorised.

Sophie Kinsella's Secret Dreamworld of Shopaholic is one of my favourite chick-lit reads. Our heroine is instantly likeable, the writing is funny, there's a will-they-won't-they romance and at the core is the serious issue of debt. For those who have always been solvent, Becky's crazy spending habits might have just been amusing or weird but it's actually a scarily realistic portrayal of what can happen. The credit crunch has given us all a glimpse of it.

Of course, Marian Keyes is always brought out to defend the genre. I do think it's partly marketing that has classified her as chick-lit rather than the content itself. I've never felt that her books are fundamentally about the romance, actually most of her books are pretty unromantic. I think she's a fantastic writer and Is Anybody Out There is one of my faves but I'm thinking chick-lit is much more about being an updated romance genre.

People say that books for men don't have an equivalent but I'm pretty sure that dick-lit exists. I don't want to pick up a book by Andy McNab at any point in my life...unless it's to move it out the way. There's a whole host of authors that write for the male market, it's just credit to the female sex that we're a bit more forgiving and are more likely to try out the other side.

I don't read as much chick-lit as I used to but that's not because I think it's beneath me. I have read a lot in the past and it's hard to find something that stands out as different. Coupled with the sheer number of amazing books out there to read across all genres, they've taken a back seat in recent years. Of course, I still like to get lost in a bit of romance now and then, and I will turn to chick-lit when my reading starts to lack in that department.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

From London With Love

Jessica is the daughter of James Bond and Heavenly Melons, or at least the actors behind those much loved roles. She's fed up of everyone treating her differently because of who her parents are and decides to jump on a plane to London and create a new identity for herself.

Jemma's writing is amusing and I even managed a chuckle out loud in places. I did much prefer the story of Jessica's parents than the central plot. We barely stop to think that A-listers are often parents too and, whilst some things are easier for them than the average Joe, in many ways they are just the same as you and me.

Written in third person, the narrative seems to jump perspective quite a lot. When there's a conversation between love interests, I don't really want to know the thoughts behind both sides at that moment in time. It takes all the mystery out of it and makes it a bit predictable. I think I would have preferred the viewpoints to be more distinguished.

The story also attempts to deal with a more serious subject, that of post-natal depression. However it's not brought up in the first half of the book and therefore seems a little out of place after all the frivolity. The first half concentrates more on an American's view of the British, Jessica trying to be normal and making friends/boyfriends. At 472 pages, it's longer than I personally like in a chick-lit read but some people like to get plenty of pages for their money!

Definitely a fun read if you want something easy-going this summer. From London With Love is currently published by Penguin in paperback and ebook formats. Thanks go to Jemma for sending me a copy to review.

Inauguration of Poincare, Paris

Inauguration of Poincare, Paris (LOC)

   Photo sourced from The Library of Congress on Flickr Commons.

Monday, 25 July 2011

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


IMWAYR is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey and is a little round-up of the week for bloggers that read.

Books I've read:
The Magicians by Lev Grossman 4/5
The Beast of the Camargue by Xavier-Marie Bonnot 3/5
Blow on a Dead Man's Embers by Mari Strachan 5/5
Kitty's Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn 3/5

Currently reading:
From London with Love by Jemma Forte

Upcoming reads:
Sympathy for the Devil by Justin Gustainis
Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory
Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista

I also blogged about:
The Tarasque | Baroness de Guestre [in home]

Kitty's Big Trouble

The 9th book in the Kitty the Werewolf series, this could be alternately titled Kitty Goes to San Francisco. Had I been one to read cover blurb I would have saved it for my flight there in September. It was nice to have a werewolf guide to the city for part of it, with a lot of the action taking part under the city's Chinatown.

The story seemed to be over before it started and didn't have a lot of content. I did like the addition of Chinese myths including the nine tailed fox and Kitty's search into historical supernaturals but didn't think there was a lot of ongoing plot or character development from the previous book. It's sad to see the chemistry has gone between Kitty and Cormac and I'm really not sure about his new personality.

Overall an easy read for anyone already hooked on the series but I wouldn't recommend it as a standalone novel.

Reading order:
#1 Kitty and the Midnight Hour
#2 Kitty Goes to Washington
#3 Kitty Takes a Holiday
#4 Kitty and the Silver Bullet
#5 Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand
#6 Kitty Raises Hell
#7 Kitty's House of Horrors
#8 Kitty Goes to War
#9 Kitty's Big Trouble

There is also a short story collection due out shortly, Kitty's Greatest Hits.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Blow on a Dead Man's Embers

Something is weighing on her breast, squeezing her heart. For a moment Non cannot move, not sure if she is awake or still in a dream. She breathes evenly to keep panic at bay, and her heart-beat steadies. The dream vanishes but the weight remains. She recognises it: it is a sense of dread that is becoming familiar, though quite what it is that she dreads she does not know.

Non is a housewife in Wales, 1921, where thousands of lives have been forever scarred by the war. Her husband, Davey, returns a different man and she is determined to discover what happened to him in the war to change him so. She is raising a child that is not hers and does not speak and begins to wonder if Osian is a product of her husband's secret life.

I was immediately drawn into the world of the Davies and didn't feel I had to make the effort to get to know the characters, they were there in full colour from the start. My heart was already breaking for Osian on page 19, yet it never becomes a depressing read. It shows her skill that Mari can make a story about post traumatic stress give you the warm and fuzzies. Her writing is warm and tender, full of charm and undoubtedly Welsh. Despite the difference in subject matter and narrative, you can hear the same voice behind this as The Earth Hums in B Flat.

The story is full of details of life after World War I, a period of much change, where women, once in charge of things and learning how to do a man's job, must return to household duties, if they were lucky enough that their husbands came home. Many conversations are made against the backdrop of painstaking housework yet there is the hope of modern appliances hinted at here and there. Mentions of the political situations in Wales and Ireland are no more than you would expect a family to discuss over the kitchen table and gives just the right amount of credence to this slice of life in the not so glamourous twenties.

We can now give a name to the conditions suffered by Davey, his father and Osian, but in the twenties families had to cope knowing only that there was something not right with their loved ones. I think Non's visit to the Doctor signalled the start of a different understanding in the medical world despite the nurse's blindness to the mental state of her patients.

I must admit I wasn't sure about the title at first but now I see it works perfectly for a metaphor of Non bringing her husband back to her. The title is taken from a poem by Robert Graves, To Bring the Dead to Life.

A book to read in one sitting! Blow on a Dead Man's Embers is published by Canongate and will be available to buy in trade paperback and ebook formats on 4th August. Many thanks to Canongate for providing me with a copy to review.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Beast of the Camargue

Originally published in French as La Bete du Marais and translated into English by Ian Monk, The Beast of the Camargue is the second instalment of the Commandant de Palma crime series by Xavier-Marie Bonnot. Set in Provence and the marshlands of the Camargue, de Palma is currently signed off on sick leave when a wealthy woman approaches him to find her missing husband. Soon bodies are turning up, including known members of the local mob with all clues pointing towards the legend of the Tarasque.

I enjoyed learning about the mythologies of Provence. I had never before heard of the Tarasque, a reptilian monster with the head of a lion and feet of a bear (its photo on wikipedia is rather scary) or Frédéric Mistral's Mireille, a poem of two young lovers and a witch named Taven. Though Taven is mentioned during the story, not much is said about her but I have been prompted to find out more. The Tarasque however, is central to the plot and gives it something to differentiate it in a crowded genre.

The Knights of the Tarasque should not be confused with the Knights of Templar, they are the men responsible for pushing the Tarasque statue around Tarascon during festivals, no doubt a position of honour but certainly not a prelude to historical conspiracy.

This is a French Post Card.

Having not read the first instalment, The First Fingerprint, I felt the relationship between de Palma and Moracchini lacked context and seemed a little stilted without knowing why. There's also a back story of Isabelle Mercier that keeps cropping up and at times I felt I should really know more to be able to understand de Palma's state of mind. Saying that, I don't think the main plot suffers and it works fine as a standalone read.

De Palma's nickname is The Baron and I would have expected this to crop up more in the dialogue however the author (or translator perhaps) switches between using de Palma and The Baron in the third person prose. This was a little confusing as it felt like they were two different people, especially with trying to keep track of all the local mob connections at the same time.

The Beast of the Camargue is published in paperback by MacLehose Press. Many thanks to Quercus for sending me a copy for review.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Tarasque

...Alabre
De sang uman e de cadabre,
Dins nòsti bos e nòsti vabre,
Un moustren, un flèu di diéu, barrulo... Agués pieta!

La bèsti a la co d'un coulobre,
A d'iue mai rouge qu'un cinobre;
Sus l'esquino a d'escaumo e d'àsti que fan pòu!
D'un gros lioun porto lou mourre
E sièis pèd d'ome pèr miés courre;
Dins sa cafourne, souto un mourre
Que domino lou Rose, emporto ço que pòu.


...Thirsty
For human blood and corpses
In our woods and our ravines
Roams a monster, a scourge of the gods... Have mercy!

The beast has a dragon's tail
And eyes redder than cinnabar;
On its back, its scales and spikes are terrifying!
It has the muzzle of a great lion,
And six human feet, to run faster;
Into its cavern, under a rock
Overlooking the Rhone, it carries all it can.

Frédéric Mistral, Mireille

The passage and translation above are taken from the start of The Beast of the Camargue by Xavier-Marie Bonnot but you can read the full poem online in English and the original Occitan (a language spoken in southern France).

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Magicians

Commonly described as “Harry Potter for adults”, The Magicians is much more of a homage to the Chronicles of Narnia, with a passing nod to JK Rowling's world and a dash of Pullman here and there. I even thought Quentin and Eliot's friendship was a bit Brideshead at times, especially when Eliot began his descent into the bottle. Lev Grossman is obviously a huge fan of the high fantasy canon but I think he weaves those ideas into a world unique to him.

Brakebills is an Ivy League college with a difference. Yes, every student is insanely intelligent and most likely a social outcast in the real world, but they also have the power of magic. Quentin had always been a bit of a loner, with an unrequited love of his best friend's girlfriend and an obsession with the childhood books of Fillory. The world of Fillory and the Chatwin children is clearly based on C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and the books become more and more important to the story as time goes on. Once at Brakebills, it seems everyone has read them.

Going back to the comparison to Harry Potter, I never felt that world was very real. It might have been entertaining but it was all very black and white and full of the fantastical. The Magicians comes across as very real, despite the fact that there's magic and things that are not understood. At one point, a professor warns them not to dig to deeply into the why, just to concentrate on the how.

At the core of the novel is the idea that no good can come of chasing fantasies no matter how much you think your real life sucks. Quentin has never been particularly happy with his lot but there are moments that he will look back and and think “if only”.

At times I felt it was a little long. It is quite slow paced, which is by no means a bad thing, but those looking for an action packed adventure story might want to look elsewhere. The action scenes were probably my least favourite aspects of the book, not entirely convincing and I did tend to skim over them. The ending is fairly open but with the release of the sequel this September, I think we can now guess what it means for Quentin. I'll be reviewing The Magician King next month.

Monday, 18 July 2011

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


IMWAYR is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey and is a little round-up of the week for bloggers that read.

Books I've read:
Death Mask by Kathryn Fox 2/5
Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel 4/5

Currently reading:
I think I might have to shelve Gormenghast for a bit as I seem to be reading it in smaller and smaller chunks each week and therefore am so far behind the readalong group.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Upcoming reads:
The Beast of the Camargue by Xavier-Marie Bonnot
Blow on a Dead Man's Embers by Mari Strachan
Sympathy for the Devil by Justin Gustainis

Surprise books in:
Beautiful Thing by Sonia Faleiro (Canongate)
Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson (Quercus)
The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (newbooks I think)

I also blogged about:
Cold Hillside | The Photography of Stéphane Giner | Google+ | Paris Fasions, 1912 | Hors de Prix

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Hors de Prix

Priceless is a French romantic comedy staring the gorgeous Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh. Iréne is a bit of a gold digger and mistakes the bartender, Jean, in her Riviera hotel for a millionaire. Of course when she discovers he's not rich, she dumps him and Jean must find a way to get back into her life. Unfortunately, that means he also has to take on the life of a gold digger.

The film is supposedly based on Breakfast at Tiffany's. I haven't yet read Truman Capote's novella so can't compare to that but it feels nothing like the 1961 film. Neither character is instantly likeable and the friendship takes most the film to develop. Nor is Iréne involved with any shady characters.

It's pretty standard rom-com fare. I did find it a little more awkward than funny at times. Jean obviously can't afford to woo her yet she lets him be a complete doormat. It's more amusing when they're both playing the same game. Maybe it just loses something in translation...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Paris Fashions, 1912

Paris Fashions, 1912 (LOC)

   Photo sourced from The Library of Congress on Flickr Commons.

Monsieur Linh and His Child

An old man is standing on the after-deck of a ship. In his arms he clasps a flimsy suitcase and a newborn baby, even lighter than the suitcase. The old man's name is Monsieur Linh. He is the only person who knows that this is his name because all those who once knew it are dead.

A short and sad little story with a fairy tale quality, Monsieur Linh is a refugee with nothing left other than a child he carries everywhere with him. He does not speak the language and whilst he manages to befriend a local, there is a feeling of isolation and loss throughout. Originally published in French as La petite fille de Monsieur Linh, it has been translated into English by Euan Cameron.

The cover blurb states there's an “extraordinary twist” but it seems quite clear to the reader what Monsieur Linh fails to see himself. The simple prose works well for a short read (130 pages). Much more and I think I would have lost interest. However Claudel does well to convey Linh's state of mind without complex character development.

Monsieur Linh is obviously not French so I'm not sure why the translator kept the title of Monsieur instead of using Mr or whatever would have been used in his own country.

Monsieur Linh and His Child is published by MacLehose Press and is currently available in hardback and Kindle formats. Many thanks to Quercus for providing a copy for review.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Death Mask

Kathryn Fox's crime series follows Dr Anya Crichton, who specialises in dealing with victims of sexual assaults. Malicious Intent and Without Consent were both excellent reads but her novels have gone slowly downhill since and I think Death Mask might be the end for me.

For some reason she decided to transplant Anya to America to cover the seedy side of American football even though she tars Aussie rules and soccer with the same brush. I find it very hard to believe that 90% of football players are rapists or the awful attitude of fans and the media towards victims that is portrayed here. Surely I'm not completely ignorant of the culture surrounding the game?

Whilst Anya is an established character I found the characters to be a bit flat and there was no real chemistry between the leading couple. The plot seemed to be wavering between legal drama (we know from the start who was involved in the rapes) and crime mystery but not hitting the mark with either. Whilst the crimes that occur are horrific, I did feel Anya felt a bit high and mighty and would have worked a bit better if she came across as flawed herself. It all seemed a bit too black and white for me. The players that were supposedly good got very little page space and I was left at the end not really understanding the reporter's actions.

Please don't let my less than enthusiastic review put you off reading her other books though, the first two I do recommend:

#1 Malicious Intent
#2 Without Consent
#3 Skin and Bone
#4 Blood Born
#5 Death Mask

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Google+

So I'm on Google+ now. Some of you might be wondering what the fuss is about and it's not all that exciting but I know that feeling of missing out. If you're desperate for an invite, let me know your email and I'll send one out.

My Google+ Profile

I am seriously considering starting up a book group utilising their hangouts. You'd need a webcam/mic and be able to join in at a time convenient to the whole group (geared towards Brits that work normal hours). There is a maximum of 10 people per session but that seems sensible for a video discussion. I guess we'd pick a book to read...go off and read it (duh) and then have a little online gathering to talk about it and probably go off topic!

If you think you'd like to join in at some point, please leave a comment and I'll make sure I keep you informed.

The Photography of Stéphane Giner

As part of Paris in July I also wanted to share some French photography with you. Stéphane Giner is one of my contacts on Flickr and has some fantastic creative portraiture in his photostream. Here is just a little sample of his work but you can see more here.

désolation
  désolation


Just dreaming
  Just dreaming


★ Hipstæ ★
  ★ Hipstæ ★




Origins
  Origins


Jumpin' jack flash, le cerisier en fleurs et le vol Air France AF5169 Over the trails
  Jumpin' jack flash, le cerisier en fleurs et le vol Air France AF5169
  Over the trails

Website | Facebook | 5 Questions (French)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Cold Hillside

The following is an extract from Cold Hillside by Martin Cooper:

Wednesday evening, ten past nine. A draughty church hall in north London and the band are experiencing artistic differences.

“I am not singing that song and if you don’t like it you can shove it up your arse.”

Bridie is 24 years old, small and skinny with freckles and a mass of wiry red hair which she normally wears, as now, tied back in a rigid bunch. On stage she lets it loose and it flies around her head like a halo of fire. Her voice can sound as pure and clear as a cathedral choirboy’s or it can blister paint. At the moment she is in blowtorch mode.

“Bridie, it’s a great song.”

“It’s the kind of thing the men sing in Ireland to make themselves feel like romantic heroes instead of the sadistic morons they really are. Simon, you’re not going to make us do this shit, surely?”

“Jesus Simon, what is this?”

I can see why Steve wants to sing it. He has the brooding glamour of the black Celt and he can probably already picture himself in a lager advert on TV, epitome of New York Irish cool. In fact, he comes from Kent and as far as I know his family have been hop growers for five generations. A nice tenor voice with a good range and not a bad guitarist. Not a great one.

Bridie is different. Her parents both came from Northern Ireland, mother Catholic, father Protestant. The threats started a week after they met and they left the country after her father had two ribs broken on his own doorstep. Bridie was born and brought up in Cornwall and none of the family has ever been back.

I feel old. Come to think of it, I am old compared with these two. Old enough to be the father of either of them. But only just. Len, the drummer and even older than I am, catches my expression over Bridie’s shoulder and crosses his eyes briefly. Been there, done that. When can we go to the pub? Ian, the fifth member of the band, fiddles with something electronic attached to his keyboard, not even listening.

“That’s enough. Calm down the pair of you. You’re right Steve, it is a great song.” The beginning of a smirk on his face. Out of the corner of my eye I see Bridie take a breath. “But Bridie’s right too, we can’t do it.”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” He takes half a dozen strides down the hall, swinging his guitar as if he is about to throw it. But he doesn’t, I notice.

“Steve, if you want to do a rebel song there are plenty to choose from. I saw a couple of guys do one about Monmouth the other day. By the end of it half the audience wanted to go out and grab a pitchfork.”

“Nobody’s ever heard of Monmouth except a handful of sad old folkies.”

“I think that’s Bridie’s point. The beatings are still going on in Ulster, whatever the politicians say. Irish rebel songs are too current. Find something that’s been… defused.”

“What, like she’s defused you? With a quick shag?”

I’ll throttle the bastard, I tell myself. Funeral thoughts have given my temper an edge. No, he’s bigger than me and half my age. But I’ll bloody throttle him anyway. Steve steps back. I could swear that he looks frightened.

“Actually, it’s at least six months since Simon and I last slept together.”

There is a snort of laughter from behind the drum kit, where Len is bending down to adjust one of the pedals. Thank you Bridie. I knew I could rely on your support.

Sometimes I’ll read a book and think, “I wish I could write that well.” Cold Hillside is one of those books... Mr. Cooper likes to skip around in time and tense, a juggler tossing up a new ball without fanfare, until you realize he’s got eight or ten in the air, and all you can do is applaud.
--- Book Alert

A successful merger of crime novel with literary style.
--- Booked Up

The following synopsis has been provided by the author:

When it turns out your brother was a bastard, do you still love him? Unfortunately, yes.

Simon Coltraine is a professional songwriter and musician. His brother Giles - market trader, rogue and amiable bully - is a small-time crook. When Giles is killed in what appears to be a car accident Simon returns to their childhood home to confront his memories.

The Devil has all the best tunes.

Cold Hillside links the sunlit sweep of England’s West Country landscapes with the grubby shadows of London’s Kentish Town Road.



If you'd like to read more, Cold Hillside is available to purchase in ebook format from the following retailers:

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Monday, 11 July 2011

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


IMWAYR is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey and is a little round-up of the week for bloggers that read.

Books I've read:
The Breakers by Claudie Gallay 4/5
Fallen by Karin Slaughter 4/5
The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad 3/5

Currently reading:
Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake (readalong)
Death Mask by Kathryn Fox

Upcoming reads:
I need to concentrate on catching up with Gormenghast!

I also blogged about:
Guest Review: Random | Book Blogger Hop | Meet Hector
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