Reviews

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Painting in words

Published November 21, 2016 by helenlaycock

For me, the strength of Coffin Road was Peter May’s adept use of beautiful language, which was the perfect vehicle to portray the wild landscape in which the story is set.

The plot was not only clever, and original, but what made an impact on me was the catalyst for the idea: the research that purports that the reason that bees are dying out is due to memory loss caused by the use of pesticides, and by further implication, the threat that this poses to the future survival of the human race. P. 194 spells it out in no uncertain terms.

Three–quarters of the way through, I began to doubt that the plot was balanced, the focus having shifted from Neal to Karen, but of course, it was interlinked beautifully geographically, physically and emotionally.

Coffin Road by [May, Peter]

Review of Far From True – Linwood Barclay

Published November 1, 2016 by helenlaycock

I write a lot of Amazon reviews for books I have read, but I’ve never thought about putting them here on my blog, so here goes with review #1:

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Linwood Barclay is my favourite writer. However, I have decided that trilogies are not my favourite form of reading material, even if penned by the master himself.

 

When I finished the first in the Promise Falls trilogy, ‘Broken Promise’, I hadn’t realised that, in fact, it was the first of three interconnected tales, and so felt very disappointed that the ending was not neatly tied up in typical Barclay fashion.

 

By the time Far From True was out, I had forgotten many of the characters and plot lines – and there are a lot! I found it very difficult to keep track not only of who was who, but also the complex relationships between the characters which span both this book and its predecessor. The abrupt ending again left me feeling cheated at any lack of resolution.

 

It’s written brilliantly, of course, with an enormous and believable cast, and Barclay must have needed an immense spreadsheet in order to keep abreast of the interconnections, sub-plots and sub-sub-plots… ad infinitum. I can’t tell you who the main character is; every character has a story. The main plot is slightly more obvious – that a series of grisly events are connected by the number twenty-three (‘almost’ the title of the last in the trilogy).

 

I have to give it five stars because of the sheer feat achieved by Barclay in juggling so much information and character development with such expertise, and his flawless delivery of dialogue and narration from so many viewpoints, but I think that before embarking on novel Number Three I shall need to make some sort of web diagram so that I am better informed as to what is going on.

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