Tag: Hero

Peter James – Dead Man’s Grip | Review

Title: Dead Man’s Grip

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 504

Rating: 4*/5


Peter James - Dead Man's Grip

Peter James – Dead Man’s Grip


I had mixed feelings on this one, which is kind of annoying because I had mixed feelings about the last Roy Grace book that I read. Bizarrely enough, because I read the books out of order, this book is the book before the last one that I read, but that’s my own fault and actually it didn’t make too much of a difference here.

The problem that I had with this book is that little things kept distracting me, such as the number of times that police briefings were interrupted by someone’s phone ringing. I counted that happening at least three times in this book alone and I know that it’s happened in others, and I don’t understand why people don’t have their phones on silent. It seems pretty unprofessional for a homicide team, but James does plenty of research and so I guess it’s normal.

Another problem that I had was that the blurb covered about two thirds of the book’s plot, so if you read that then you’re going to get a good idea of whether you’ll like it or not. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a crime novel that reveals this much on the book’s blurb, and I feel as though it took a lot of the tension away. When you’re 200 pages in and none of the three drivers involved in the collision has died, you find yourself wondering whether the entire book is just fleshing out the backstory. My friend Neil also jokes that every Peter James novel has some sort of road traffic collision, and this one is certainly no exception.


Peter James

Peter James


But there were plenty of good things about the book that helped it to earn a 4* rating, starting of course with just the quality of the writing. Peter James is a cracking writer and I’m slowly working my way through his back catalogue, and all of his books have something to recommend about them. Here, I quite liked the way that he worked with the New York mafia, and the way that he portrayed the leading players felt both human and genuine. There was a twist there that I saw coming a mile off, but I also thought it was pretty well executed and so it felt like when you watch an action movie knowing that the hero will come out on top in the end.

All in all though, there’s pretty much everything you need here, from Mafia hitmen to slow and painful deaths and mystery and intrigue. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s the best book in the series, but it’s still very much worth reading. It also has some decent scenes in and around Shoreham Harbour, and it does a pretty good job of capturing the vibes of both Brighton and New York. There’s nothing not to love here, so there’s no reason not to just crack on with the series. Enjoy!


Peter James - Not Dead Yet

Peter James – Not Dead Yet


Click here to buy Dead Man’s Grip.


David Mitchell – Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse | Review

Title: Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse

Author: David Mitchell

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 326

Rating: 4*/5


David Mitchell - Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse

David Mitchell – Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse


I suppose the first thing to point out here is that this is by David Mitchell the comedian – and not the novelist who wrote Cloud Atlas. I’d actually recommend reading both of them, but for very different reasons.

This book isn’t necessarily a typical book as such, because it’s basically just a collection of different columns that Mitchell wrote for newspapers. Despite that, it does sort of follow a narrative structure – at least, as much as this sort of book can. He’s done a good job of bringing them together in to some sort of order, however arbitrary, and it works well.

The problem is that as soon as you’ve read the first fifty pages, you pretty much know what to expect for the rest of it. It’s different to other books, which are able to repeatedly hook you in with an intense story line. Here, the best you’ll get is a laugh every few pages and the lingering sense that you’ve learned something.


David Mitchell

David Mitchell


The interesting thing about David Mitchell is that he’s a sort of hero for the cynical, which is probably why I liked this so much. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great stuff if you’re a fan of his or if you tend to lean more to the left when it comes to politics.

My main gripe with this book is the presentation. It felt too text-heavy, and the different columns weren’t particularly well-separated. That only really affects the book’s aesthetics, but I’ve always thought that aesthetics are important. For the average reader, it might be enough to put them off – especially because the newspaper column style starts to get repetitive.

Overall though, I thought this book was lots of fun – and when I wasn’t laughing, I was nodding my head in agreement.


David Mitchell

David Mitchell


Click here to buy Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse.


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