Sep 11, 2018

Nomad, James Swallow

A mole in British Intelligence is putting ex naval officer Mark Dane’s team, family and life at risk. He’s not team leader, he’s an analyst, the ‘man in the van’ watching over his team mates; quite happy to watch them do the rough stuff. But then the team, codenamed Nomad, is ambushed and Mark gets the blame. As a hastily erected frame is put up around him by the mole, Mark goes on the run. 
He comes to the attention of Rubicon operative Lucy Keyes. Rubicon aren’t a terrorist organization but they aren’t exactly legal either. And they and Mark might be the only ones who can possibly prevent the assassination of a world leader on Lucy’s home soil with thousands of innocent bystanders as collateral damage.

Sep 4, 2018

The Thirty-One Kings, Robert J. Harris

John Buchan’s hero returns.

1940, the allied troops have been rescued at Dunkirk but Paris is about to fall to the Nazis and in Britain, Churchill is in danger of being ousted by interests who want the UK to roll over and surrender. Retired General Richard Hannay is still eager to serve his country in any way he can; except his country seems to have no use for him. Until Hannay and a close knit group of young Scots called the ‘Die Hards’ are recruited to rescue a valuable asset code-named ‘Roland’. Paris is a city full of danger and to rescue ‘Roland’ Hannay will have to walk straight into the lion’s den.

Boy at the Keyhole, Stephen Giles

Short, taut little thriller. The Clay estate in a remote corner of Cornwall is almost deserted; only the housekeeper, Ruth and the Clays’ young son, Samuel still live there. Every day Samuel returns from school, hoping for news from his mother. She sends Samuel postcards from America; why did she leave in the middle of the night without saying goodbye to him?

Samuel starts to suspect that his mother isn’t ‘travelling overseas’ and that Ruth is a liar, a schemer and possibly something far worse, but who listens to a nine year old boy?

Sep 3, 2018

Author Life in...

We got past July 4th and 24th fireworks free, even though it seems that most of the state is still on fire. We also found Valdo and the house is still in one piece after our visitors of almost three weeks headed back across the pond. Book 3 is still called MMIII
Car first, Valdo apparently wanted to see the sights, after he landed on the other side of the country he was put onto one of those car transporters for one off factory deliveries. Only problem with that was the logistics people confirmed that yes Valdo was in the US but no they didn't know where. Talk about frustrating. Eventually, just about a week before les parents were due to arrive, Valdo put in an appearance and I got my first experience of a semi autonomous car. Now I'm a geek but I won't bore you with the techie stuff. Let's just say it really does drive itself, C is a lot more trusting than me (and even more of a geek than I am) and it made the drive down to Vegas very easy.
Ah Vegas, it's a whole different experience when you're responsible for other people especially when those people a)don't move very fast and b) stop in the middle of the valet/taxi/car area at the Mandalay Bay (with cars zippng around you and them on all sides) to talk to you even though you told them, several times, not to stop until they reach the relative safety of the hotel lobby. It also makes you think differently, and find a whole bunch of elevators and passages when you have a wheelchair to push around the casinos. We didn't lose anyone in Vegas and although there were a few sticky moments during the visit there were no hospital visits/broken appliances/flooded loos this time.
I didn't get much reading done and I'm still behind. Writing, well that's a different story, I  passed the 50 page mark on July 30th. Working inside a framework adds an extra layer of challenge. I accrued some more London trivia, this time about Piccadilly Circus and the statue of Eros (which isn't actually Eros! who knew)
On July 31st I became Muggle Studies Professor Felicity Featherstone for an afternoon/evening. TKE celebrated Harry Potter's birthday same as we did last year, with a whole day of Potter related fun including, in the evening, paid classes for witches and wizards 11 and up.  The classes were in astronomy, muggle studies and divination. I can now make a Zoetrope with my eyes closed!

Aug 14, 2018

Washington Decree, Jussi Adler-Olsen

Adler-Olsen pens a standalone novel about an America in crisis. It is a truly unsettling but compelling read. Senator Thomas Janssen is the leading democratic candidate in the 2007 election, he and his charismatic second wife are riding a landslide to victory but on election night, tragedy strikes and it is a changed Janssen who ascends to the highest office in the land. Those who helped him during his campaign and long before it have a choice; get on board on be crushed under the wheels of the Washington Decree.

Aug 7, 2018

The Middle-Man, Olen Steinhauer

July 4th is the start of a revolution, a left wing terrorist group called Massive Brigades has taken a pick axe to democracy. To try and apprehend the leaders, FBI special agent Rachel Proux will have to go further back. Her investigation leads her to a group of cafe radicals who inexplicably turned to violence and then self-destructed.

The FBI has a deep cover agent embedded in Massive Brigades and he and Rachel are going to have to trust each other to survive.

Tiffany Blues, M.J.Rose

Young and ambitious and with a burgeoning talent, Jenny Bell moves from Canada to New York. She befriends glamorous socialite, and fellow painter, Minx Deering. Being around Minx means, parties and speakeasys, late nights and reporter Ben, who wants to get to know Jenny better by digging into a past she'd rather keep hidden.

Minx and Jenny are amongst the latest intake of artists invited to the prestigious Tiffany estate. Here, beauty is everywhere Jenny looks; her monochrome studies of light begin to morph into colour thanks in no small part to Tiffany's charismatic grandson, Oliver. Trouble seems to have followed Jenny to Laurelton Hall, someone on the estate knows who she is and what she allegedly did and they are about to expose her...