Sunday, 10 November 2013

Block L 2008 Hit and run

Our hero is a hit man on the verge of retirement. This is from the 'one last job' genre. It's a hell of a read, and if life hadn't intervened Id have read it in one sitting. It's very much a - What Happens Next? I must know! - type of book.

On reflection though, there are questions to be asked about the love interest. Appearing about a third of the way through the book this sensible, kind, middle aged teacher / carer is a bit too accepting of her mister's habit of shooting strangers for money. Seriously? She's very decent. Not one wobble about shacking up with a mass murderer? No concerns at all about moving in with a mobster? Perhaps my standards are higher than most women's, but Id like to think that this is a back-story that would make me think quite hard about a new boyfriend.

Fun read.

First line
Keller drew his pair of tongs from his breast pocket and carefully lifted a stamp from its glassine envelope.

Last line:
"Bifocals, and I have to tell you I can see the improvement when I work on my stamps"
"Well," she said, "that's important."

Monday, 4 November 2013

Rusch KK 2004 Consequences: A Retrieval Artist novel

I like this series, which is good because there are plenty of them and they're dirt cheap on Kindle. There have been some after-midnight impulse buys when I've finished one book and need to carry on reading. Once upon a time I fought the e-reader thing...

The premise is fascinating. In a universe where many alien cultures are interacting with each other whose morals, and whose justice system prevails? Rusch's answer is that justice is relative, and her protagonist Miles Flint struggles hard with the morality of that.

Flint is obscenely super-wealthy. That's unusual in a detective story. Everything else about him, though, follows detective-story expectations: he's an ex-cop; he's got a prickly relationship with a cop in high places upon which a plot point will turn; he's a computer genius and hacks something unhackable regularly; he has a Tragic Back Story and is Damaged (but not irreparably). I sound sarcastic and I'm not: I have a real love of Rusch's writing. The books are fun, the plots are internally consistent and satisfying things happen at the end. Also - aliens!

First line:
Kovacs huddled against the edge of the crevasse. Below him, the massive rip in the glacier extended several hundred meters, narrowing as it deepened. He had no idea how deep the crevasse was, but he knew that a fall would kill him.
Last line:
Unquotable. Despite the aliens these are private eye stories. The last line is always a spoiler.