Tag: Phone

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 – 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.