Tag: Middle

B. A. Paris – The Break Down | Review

Title: The Break Down

Author: B. A. Paris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 432

Rating: 4/5

I normally find thriller novels pretty hit and miss, but I’ve quite enjoyed what I’ve read of B. A. Paris so far. I might even be slightly more kindly disposed towards her because I was sent a copy of Behind Closed Doors, her first novel, ahead of its publication.

I think part of it is the fact that her writing just feels a little more polished to me. There’s a sort of style of writing that’s pretty common amongst thriller writers that just grates on me somehow, a way with words that just feels clunky and which pulls me out of the story. That doesn’t seem to happen with B. A. Paris.

Still, it wasn’t flawless. One of my biggest problems with it was a scene in which a group of French students steal a phone and then give it to the main character. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil things for you, but it was kind of a Deus Ex Machina kind of thing where it all just felt too coincidental. And if it hadn’t happened, the whole story couldn’t have taken place.

Overall though, I did enjoy reading this, and I was particularly impressed by how gripping it was. I found it difficult to put down, and there wasn’t a slowdown in the story towards the middle, which I find is pretty typical in thriller novels. I think it probably also helped that it did some fun stuff with layout towards the end as we start to see a series of text messages, and this meant that the page was broken up and you could whizz through a dozen pages in just a couple of minutes. I think that layout might annoy some people, but not me.

So would I recommend The Break Down? Absolutely. It’s a refreshing little read in a genre that’s been done to death. In fact, I think that most people would probably enjoy it even if they don’t consider themselves to be thriller readers, and that’s saying something. It’s just pretty approachable, and it does a great job of the whole “twist” thing, to the point at which you could probably re-read it and still enjoy it because you’d start to look for the clues.

Now that I’ve enjoyed both this book and Behind Closed Doors, I think we can safely say that I’m a fan of B. A. Paris, and I’ll definitely check out more stuff.

Learn more about The Break Down.

 


Peter James – Need You Dead | Review

Title: Need You Dead

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 502

Rating 4/5

It’s been a while since I’ve read a full-length Peter James novel, although I picked up The Perfect Murder, a standalone novella, towards the middle of last month. I actually picked this one up because I filmed a YouTube video where my cat picks my TBR, and this is one of the books that Biggie chose.

The story here follows an investigation into a murder where there are a bunch of different suspects, some of them more plausible than others. We also get an insight into what happens when the police are forced to investigate one of their own. Peter James does a hell of a lot of research and so you can bet that the stories he tells are grounded in reality.

This is also a relatively recent addition to the Roy Grace series, and while you can read the books as standalones, it’s a better idea to read them in order if you can. Don’t do what I did and just pick them up from charity shops as and when you see them because you can end up spoiling yourself on some of the backstory that’s continuing to develop alongside each of the cases that the Brighton police force takes on.

For example, in this book, Roy Grace has to deal with an important funeral and he also ends up basically taking in a son that he didn’t know he had. That also reminds me that there were a few bits that didn’t quite tie up here, like the fact that the assistant commissioner can speak German but isn’t comfortable with Grace knowing that. I can only assume that he’ll deal with it in a future release, and I look forward to finding what it’s all about.

As for this book, I don’t think it’s James’ best and there were a couple of points at which my mind started to wander and I wasn’t wholly absorbed by the story. With that said, on the whole I thought it was still pretty good, and it can only be a good sign that it only took me a couple of days to read it. And I would of course recommend it, but I’d also suggest following the series in order if you can.

Peter James is also an approachable guy on social media, and he even has a YouTube channel where he interviews other authors and talks about his books. It’s through his Instagram that I learned that he has his own chickens, and it was pretty cool to see that Roy Grace has them, too. I think the main thing that I like about reading Peter James is that you can see how his real life experiences go into his writing, and I feel like I can learn from it.

If you haven’t read any Peter James – and any of his Roy Grace books in particular – you should.

Click here to buy Need You Dead.