Tag: Writers

Agatha Christie – The Pale Horse | Review

Title: The Pale Horse

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 266

Rating: 3.5/5

This is nowhere near the best of Agatha Christie’s books, but even here when she’s average I guess at best, she’s still better than most other writers. Plus I could be a little biased there because neither Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple appears here, although Ariadne Oliver does and she might well be my favourite of all of Christie’s supporting cast of characters.

I also quite liked the idea of the pale horse and the way that was used as a recurring theme throughout. Christie is great at doing that and we’ve seen her do it throughout her career with the various different books that play with nursery rhymes. This book is like a twist on that I guess, and with the added bonus that Ariadne Oliver is basically just a mouthpiece for Christie to share some of her own thoughts on life as a writer.

What’s kind of funny is that in many ways, she’s more open and honest about her relationship with writing here than she was in her autobiography. She always seemed to think of herself as more of a housewife than as an author, despite the fact that she’s one of the bestselling authors of all time.

So when it comes down to the question of whether or not I’d recommend this one, it really depends. If you’re new to Christie then it probably makes sense to start with one of her more well-known books instead of going for this one. Yeah.

Learn more about The Pale Horse.

 


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.

 


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