Tag: Planning

Tsugumi Ohbi and Takeshi Obata – Death Note: Black Edition Volume VI | Review

Title: Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Author: Death Note: Black Edition Volume VI

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 426

Rating 4/5

 

 

Well, the adventure has come to an end, and while there was a little bit of a bounce back up in quality here, it just wasn’t quite as good as the first couple of installments in the series. Still, it was good to see the denouement of the story and to have it all come to an end, and I have to admit that it was kind of satisfying, even though it turns out that I already knew how it was going to end from somewhere. I think I watched it in one of the Japanese movies back in the day.

For my first introduction to manga, I don’t have much to complain about here. The writing and the artwork were excellent throughout, even though the quality did start to dip here and there after a while. Kudos to the authors for resisting the temptation to keep on milking the story and dragging it out to make more money. They could have done that, and it would have ruined it.

Looking around online, it seems as though a lot of people were disappointed with the series after a major character death towards the middle, and I can totally see why. That doesn’t mean that it’s no longer worth reading, though. You just might want to take your time after the first half, instead of forcing yourself to finish it, which is what I did. That probably didn’t help, either.

 

 

But you have to hand it to the Death Note series: they came up with a fascinating concept and they executed it in such a way that they could keep on planning in as many twists and turns as they wanted to. It never felt as though the story was slowing down, even though there were bits of it where I wasn’t as engaged. Stuff was still happening, I just didn’t care too much.

And then we get to the end of this volume, where everything all kicks off and gets tied together. I’m not sure if it’d be less predictable if you hadn’t had any previous experience with the series, but really there was only one way it could have ended, and that’s what happened. I liked it though, because it worked. It also had just the tiniest bit of ambiguity– not enough for it to be annoying, but enough to make you think.

 

 

Click here to buy Death Note: Black Edition Volume VI.

 


Peter James – Dead Man’s Footsteps | Review

Title: Dead Man’s Footsteps

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 582

Rating: 4*/5

 

Peter James - Dead Man's Footsteps

Peter James – Dead Man’s Footsteps

 

At first, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to get into this. After all, I’d just finished reading another lengthy crime novel, and while I am a pretty big fan of Peter James’ writing, I wasn’t as immediately sold on the concept here as I was with some of James’ other Roy Grace books.

It turns out that I shouldn’t have worried. It’s true that the story line got a little confusing from time to time, especially because it jumped backwards and forwards in time and focused on a number of different characters who, to start with at least, didn’t seem to have anything to connect them. But as the book rolled along towards its conclusion, it all worked itself out with the sort of mind-blowing simplicity that can only come from careful planning.

And speaking of planning, I was impressed, as always, with the level of research that James must have carried out before he started work on the book. If you’re ever in doubt, you can just read his acknowledgements, but suffice to say that a huge amount of time must have been spent just looking into the way that different police forces operate, including the processes for extradition and co-operation between Australia, the UK and the United States.

 

Peter James

Peter James

 

A big part of this story is based around the terrorist attacks of September 11th, and while I think that’s been overdone in modern literature, I also thought that James handled it well. His depiction of that fateful day was evocative and brought the reader’s senses to life, and it enabled one of the major plot devices to happen in the first place. Not only that, but it all made sense, particularly when it came to how each of the characters responded to it.

There was also a lot of in-depth knowledge about stamps, which were used in lieu of money by several of the characters to make it possible for them to either legitimise crooked money or to carry large sums of it around without authorities wondering why they were travelling with suitcases full of cash.

As for the story line itself, it follows an investigation into a cold case in which the skeletal remains of a woman are discovered in a storm drain in Brighton. At first, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is worried that it could be the body of his estranged ex-wife, Sandy. She’s been missing for a long time, and a new colleague of his starts to actively investigate the possibility that Grace killed her and buried her in his front garden. But Grace has more pressing demands on his time.

 

Graham Bartlett and Peter James - Death Comes Knocking

Graham Bartlett and Peter James – Death Comes Knocking

 

Grace himself is one of the more exciting protagonists to be created in recent years, and while I’ve been reading the books out of order – and so I haven’t been able to actively watch his character as it develops – it is interesting to see different sides of him. Here, he’s forced to play the hero, as he has done before – by the end of the book, he’s (reluctantly) written his car off and received hospital treatment. But he’s also solved the crime, although there’s a little bit of wiggle room and a big twist at the end.

Overall, it’s hard to find fault with Dead Man’s Footsteps, and while it’s not quite perfect, there’s a lot to be said for it.

 

Peter James - A Twist of the Knife

Peter James – A Twist of the Knife

 

Click here to buy Dead Man’s Footsteps.

 


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