Tag: Pile

Agatha Christie – The Seven Dials Mystery | Review

Title: The Seven Dials Mystery

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 192

Rating: 4/5

I was taken by surprise with this one, and that’s a good thing. I’ve been getting through the last few unread Agatha Christie books on my pile and so I have a sort of automatic tendency to assume that I’ve left the worst ones until last. That was definitely not true in this case.

Weirdly, for the first time in my life, I found myself relating to the murder victim in Agatha Christie book, mainly because he was something of a spoiled young man who had a habit of sleeping in late. The core plot basically revolves around a plot that some of his friends hatch to plant a bunch of “alarumclocks beneath his bed to wake him up nice and early.

For me, this is in the top 20% Christie books, and that’s saying something. There’s a lot of good characterisation here, a fun little mystery for you to enjoy and just overall a lot of that classic Christie goodness. You can tell she was in her prime.

Learn more about The Seven Dials Mystery.

 


Peter James – Denial | Review

Title: Denial

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 502

Rating: 3.75/5

I was pleasantly surprised by this book because it’s one of the older Peter James books on my pile and I’ve found them to be kind of hit and miss, with the quality varying widely without really seeming to vary depending upon when he actually wrote the things. Most of his books have some theme or another in them and so perhaps it depends more on what his theme is than on the book itself.

Here, you can probably guess the theme based on the title of the book. The story follows the son of a well-known film star and basically covers the unhealthy way in which he comes to terms with his mother’s death. Pretty unusually, we know that the kid is the bad guy right away, and we see things from his perspective as he goes around carrying out his revenge for society’s perceived wrongs against his mother.

It’s a pretty decent thriller novel to be honest, and while I’m not exactly the biggest reader of thrillers, there was still plenty here to keep me reading. In fact, despite the fact that it’s pretty massive, I flew through it in a couple of days and was left surprised by just how easy it was for me to get through it. Sure, there weren’t a ton of characters that I liked and related to, but the story line alone was enough to get me going.

I think a big part of that was down to the way that the antagonist here was so fully fleshed out, even though he was kind of crazy. I also liked the way that he incorporated fate into his crime spree, in this case by flipping a coin to decide his next move. I kind of want to play with that myself, so perhaps I’ll work it into a story.

I like the idea of a novel that’s based on the character as opposed to the plot in which I start by fleshing out the character and allow fate to guide the plot. Every time my character flipped a coin, I’d flip a coin, and that would decide the action that the character takes and thus the plot. The only problem is that I’m usually a plotter as opposed to a pantser, and so it would be an alien process to me.

All in all then, as you can tell, I enjoyed reading this book and it gave me a lot of food for thought. The enjoyment level was so-so, but I think it punched above its weight when it comes to the ideas that it shared. That for me is more of a testament to James’ ability than anything else, and so far I’ve almost always found him to be worth reading, although I’ll also admit that there are better writers out there.

So would I recommend it, then? Yeah, probably, especially if you like thrillers. You’ll like it!

Learn more about Denial.

 


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