Tuesday, April 30, 2013


A public / private snatch operation of a terrorist leader on Gibralter goes badly wrong with civilians being killed.

Three years later one of the members of the operation approaches others involved to assist in going public with events as he has been hung out to dry by his masters.

From here the 'system" begins to close in on the three who have decided to bring the failed operation to public attention.

The book has a very small cast of characters but the way it is written there is a continual build up of tension right to the end. It almost a 'tilting at windmills' tale as three or four men decide to follow their conscience rather than take easy options which are made to them.

A great cameo from a character called 'Brigid' fantastic dialogue from her.

All in all it shows that Mr Cornwell still has what it takes to write a decent thriller even though he is becoming more overt and much less subtle in a dislike for certain aspects of government.

Not a huge book or a long read but money well spent.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BLUE RONDO - John Lawton

This 'Inspector Troy" is a drop in quality to the previous two I have read. Its a straight crime story which revolves around dismembered bodies turning up around London in the mid- 1950's. This story does not have the involvement from the intelligence agencies that "Old Flames" and " A Little White Death" had.

Lawton somehow managers to involves every female character that Troy has ever been involved with in this story. It's almost a bit too try hard, I mean all the women from the previous books put in an appearance. This aspect of the book involves one truly bizzare episode which I can honestly say I have never come across in a mainstream novel involving the main character and I am still struggling to come up with a reason for it being in the book . I won't put here what this episode involves but I'd be interested to hear from other readers what they thought about it when they came across it.

Anyway, its not a bad read just not as good as the others, its very well written,strong and interesting characters. A good solid police procedural, nothing more.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This is Lehane's debut. I have read most of his later stuff and by reading this you can see how he has grown especially the quality of his dialogue.

As a P.I. mystery this is basic fare with lots of cliche's and cliched characters ( alcoholic cop's, unrequited love) but its worth reading to see how an author starts out and mature's into the something special that Lehane has become.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OLD FLAMES - John Lawton

This is the second 'Troy' I've read and I am ruing the fact that I have started them out of order as there are recurring characters and I knew what happened to several in this book as I had come across them before but anyway this is a great spy novel.

It starts with the discovery of a divers body that is believed to have been spying on a Russian ship in an English Harbour (loosely based on Buster Crabbe), Troy is brought in by the deceased diver's wife to prove that he is still alive.

From this the story branches out into international politics, corrupt Special Branch officers with Russian, American and UK Spies. Again lots of violence, the attention to detail by Lawton is stunning. He goes to the effort of describing what a railway workers voice sounds like even though the character has three words in the entire book.

Cover blurbs compare Lawton to Le Carre, I wouldn't say he was Le Carre's equal or close if you compare this book with the Smiley trilogy but he's very very good and I'm amazed he's not a top seller. Lawton is so much better than 95% of what are described as top thriller writers. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I had never heard of this series until I found it in the Kindle store.

This story is absolutely fantastic. Written contemporarily but set in 1963, Commander Troy has two suicides that are not.

We have spies, call girls, drugs and a hero who will not stop and remains totally ruthless throughout the investigation.

Its a great read. My only niggle with it and its minor is in the use of vernacular. I may be wrong but I don't believe "cut and paste" or "... putting a hit on...." were phrases that a Commander in the Metropolitan Police would be using in 1963, but thats the only fault I could find.

Lots of fascinating characters ,most of whom are not nice people but make for great fiction. A committed fan after one outing.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I thought I had a pretty good idea on what was written in this genre until I found this set of short stories involving two middle aged government intelligence agents.

The stories are all brilliantly crafted and the heroes are wonderfully ruthless. The last thing you never say to them is " you won't have the courage to pull that trigger' because thats the last thing you will ever say.

This collection has then ridding the United Kingdom of its enemies and lunatics at a rapid rate.

These are written as well as anything Ross Thomas crafted and that is the highest praise I can give a book.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Not too technical but very, very interesting. What really amazed me was how they got such a diverse group of people to work so well together and keep the entire thing secret for so many years. These people worked in atrocious conditions and with their work saved thousands of lives.

Highly recommended .

Monday, April 1, 2013

THE BACKUP MEN - Ross Thomas

This man never wrote a bad word and this is one of his best so its brilliant. Its a waste of time me writing anything other than if you enjoy well written thrillers buy everything you can of Ross Thomas's and enjoy them over and over because they are like land, they not making anymore.