Night feeds are well and truly over so my reading has lapsed back to half an hour when I get into bed. But despite this I managed to finish a few books I have had on the go for a while during September and October
The Alchemist's Secret by Scott Mariani
Former SAS agent turned kidnap rescue specialist Ben Hope is a tortured soul devoting his life to saving children all over the world. But when he accepts a mission to find a lost manuscript, which could help save the life of a child, Ben finds himself tangled in the deadliest quest of his life.
This book is a really fast paced thriller, reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code but better written with deeper, fuller characters. I really enjoyed the story. Yes, it is completely far fetched but it has just enough historical references and plot points to make it believable in the world of fiction. I liked the characters and the romantic overtones didn't annoy me as they usually do in thrillers. Certainly a recommended read
The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
'The statistical probability that an illiterate in 1970s Soweto will grow up and one day find herself confined in a potato truck with the Swedish King and prime minister is 1 in 45,766,212,810. According to the calculations of the aforementioned illiterate herself.'
This book was my choice for our mummy book club. I enjoyed The 100 year old man who Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared so much it was an easy choice to pick Jonasson's next novel. Whilst it did not quite live up to The 100 year old Man, it did not disappoint. An illiterate sewage worker, chinese sisters, twins which don't exist, a potato farmer and the King of Sweden (plus the Prime Minister) are all thrown together in the oddest of tales. The farcical, deadpan style is perfectly executed as expected but the story isn't quite as gripping. Possibly because The 100 year old Man is set over a few days, this book covered a whole lifetime making it a much slower, somewhat clunkier read. The real jewel in this book is the main character Nombeko. It is impossible not to like and respect her. The storyline had a nuclear weapons theme again which surprised me as I did now expect Jonasson to return to the same subject so soon but it created the pivotal storyline and showcased Nombeko's talents.
Book club was divided over this book. Half really enjoyed it and half despised it, mainly due to the writing style. I think this is personal preference. If you don't like farce you are never going to like a Jonasson book.
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
Author Cassandra Fallows has found success through publishing memoirs of her life with an eccentric father and ex husbands. But when her latest book, a stab at writing fiction, flops Cassandra turns back to her past to find her next bestseller. The tragic, intriguing story of an old school friend seems the perfect hook but she soon finds obstacles thrown in her path and questions surrounding the validity of her memoirs raised.
Whilst this book is very well written, the subject matter is a bit mundane making it a little flat. Despite this I liked the writing style and felt pulled through the book at a good pace so it has intrigued me to read more of her novels. In fact they are all already downloaded on my Kindle!
On the Kindle app I am reading A Reason to Kill by Michael Kerr (I'm considering giving up on this one)
In paperback I am reading I'll Be Watching You by Beverley Barton