by Karen Dionne
“Boiling Point” is the second book from American author Karen Dionne, although the cover gives her name as K L Dionne. Her first novel. “Freezing Point” was an exciting thriller with a team of scientists fighting against big corporate interest.
Boiling Point has a similar feel, with a couple of character making a return appearance. However, rather than facing a soulless corporation, the team this time have to contend with a mix of the raw power of mother nature, and the delusions of a scientific genius.
The book follows a number of characters who find themselves connected in their interests in the newly active Chaiten volcano in Chili.
So, whilst most people are running away from the eruption, the heroes our this tale are running in the opposite direction – right to the heart of the volcano.
Add to the floods, ash falls and flowing magma, two budding romances and some internecine fighting, Boiling Point has all the ingredients of a bestselling thriller. But for some reason, it never really reaches its full potential. Maybe it is me expecting too much, or maybe the writing falls short of what is needed, but whichever it is, the book failed to impress me in the way her first book did.
In some ways it’s a little like the series of low-budget disaster movies I have been watching lately.
A good holiday read but lacking that indefinable something that would make it a really good book.
by Linwood Barclay
I have read a couple of Barclay’s books before and have enjoyed them all. He is a great storyteller who knows how to keep his readers interested and guessing right to the end, or almost!
When fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge wakes from a drunken night out with her boyfriend, she finds herself alone – very alone. The rest of her family, mum, dad and little brother, have all disappeared without trace. No note, no sign of a struggle, and with clues, her family’s disappearance remains a mystery.
Now, after 24 years, Cynthia (now Archer), takes part in a TV programme that kick starts a series of events that put both herself and her family in danger, but ultimately look set to answer some, if not all of Cynthia’s questions about that fateful night.
Written with Barlcay’s usual pace, “No Time For Goodbye” is an exciting thriller. Like his other books, it does give the reader enough clues to put the picture together themselves, but not everything. Even though I had worked out the who did what and when, I didn’t get the whole picture until the very end. Tantalising, gripping and a compelling read.
Linwood Barlcay is proving to be a reliable and exciting author whose books I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a thriller or crime novel.
Great stuff. Ten out of Ten.
by R D Wingfield
I first read R D Wingfield’s Frost novels several years ago after watching the TV series, but for some reason, this particular book – “A Killing Frost” – eluded me. I hadn’t even realised it existed until I came across it on a market stall in the Peak District of Derbyshire a few weeks ago.
For anyone not familiar with DI Jack Frost, he is a scruffy and uncouth detective who is the bane of his boss’s lives. But as the recipient of a George Cross for valour, they have to put up with his inefficiency and bumbling ways.
Unlike many fictional detectives, Frost is far from perfect. Not only is his personal life a disaster, his approach to tackling crime often leaves much to be desired. What with stakeouts going wrong and his intuition leading up too many garden paths, it often seems a wonder he solves any crimes at all. But solve them he does – eventually.
One of the other thinks I like about Frost is the way that several cases run parallel, with one often getting in the way of another. “A Killing Frost” was Wingfield’s sixth and last Frost novel, published the year after his untimely death in 2007 from Prostate Cancer.
The cases covered by the book have since been incorporated into the TV series, which itself ended 2010.
As always with the Frost books, it has some great characters, some wonderful humour and wealth of events to keep the reader intrigued and guessing right to the very end.
by Kass Morgan
Homecoming is the final part of Kass Morgan’s “The 100” trilogy. It sees the youngsters face their most fearful enemy since landing back on Earth – their fellow colonists.
It is now several weeks since the 100 young people were sent down to earth and they have finally managed to build a thriving community.
But things are not so good back on the Colony, orbiting Earth. With the oxygen on the station almost gone, many colonists face certain death as others make their way down to an uncertain future on Earth.
Now the many threads of the story come together as the 100 must fight to protect what they have built.
In “Homecoming”, the story continues with the same pace and captivating style set by the previous two books. Whilst growing, the characters remain consistent, and I felt driven to discover what happens to them all. Although a fan of the TV series, the story told through the books is much more satisfying.
The 100 series are Kass Morgan’s first books. I hope they won’t be her last. They are obviously targeted at the teen market, with the young cast and romances blossoming everywhere, but her style, pace and gripping plots make these a good read for any age.
by Jane Moore
Let’s get this straight from the start. If you want a literary masterpiece, or an essay on the trials and tribulations of of the human sole, you will be barking up the wrong tree with this one. But, if like me, you want something light and “fluffy”, this one fits the bill with bells on.
“Fourplay” follows the rather mixed up love life of wife and mother Jo who, after throwing out her husband when she discovers his affair, finds herself embroiled in a love triangle with extras! Four very different men are competing for her affections, and she just can’t decide which, if any, deserve it.
Firstly, there is her husband, Jeff, who is thrown out after a dalliance with his secretary. Then there is Conor, her brother’s best friend who has held a torch for Jo since he first met her. A car accident introduces her to the sophisticated and confident Sean, whilst successfully businessman Martin wines and dines her in an attempt to make their relationship more than just professional (Jo has her own interior design company).
There is plenty of pace and humour, with some interesting and at time hilarious insights into relationships and how they can go so wrong.
For Jo, helped by her brother Tim and friend Rosie, finding the right man is proving to be a minefield, not helped her mother’s campaign to get her back with her husband.
I actually read the book in just a few days. It was easy to follow and kept my interest from the very beginning.
A great holiday read.