Tuesday, 29 May 2007

M for Malice by Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone is contacted by her cousin Tahsa to find a missing person. Guy Malek, the prodigal son had been missing from scene for the past 20 years and Dad's death and his Will make his reluctant and hostile brothers to search for him. Kinsey finds him very quickly. So now we know that is not going to be the essence of the story there is going to be more. Yes there is more. Guy is killed. So who killed him is it one of his hostile brothers (there are three really obnoxious characters) or somebody with a grudge from past. I did guess the reason and also the killer. But how far would you go to have your revenge on somebody?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

One False Move by Harlan Coben

Being a crime fiction fan and a choosy one I am running out of books to read. You would be thinking crime fiction and running out of books I should be crazy. Well, I am choosy about the books I read. I expect the author to respect the readers intelligence and also at the same time play the game. Give subtle hints and finally surprise. Most of all I love the surprise, "Oh! Why didn't I see it before?". The book should be a satisfying read and finally tie up all loose ends. My First favourite is ofcourse the Dame Agatha Christie, Never found her equal so for. And second is Ruth Rendell, though her writing is much different from the genre I usually I read. She is obssessed with obsesssions and I like the way she writes and the way she builds her character, how her story lies on one main character is marvelous. So when I have read all the books of these authors I moved on to Sue Graton, Val Mcdermid and PD James. Well, I have not read all the books of these authors but I am slowly exhausting these. I wasn't much impressed with Sue Grafton intially, I didn't like her A for Alibi at all. But I gave her a second chance and read B for Burlglar and quite liked it. I have a few more to read. I am not reading in order but just reading the books I could get my hands on. Sue Grafton's PI Millhone is funny sometimes and her fisr person narrative is impressive. Only thing I don't understand is why do so many people contact Millhone to find somebody lost 15 or 20 years before. Millhone seems to be running a lost and found home quite well. I wonder are there really so many people who need to be found by somebody else desperately that they hire a PI.

Now I am casting my net little further and trying a few new authors. (Of course I keep trying always, but only a few authors that I try again.) So here I am with Harlan Coben. There are all kinds of detectives in fictional world from a Priest to an eccentric lord. There are the PI's and there are the Psychologist. But here is a sports agent who is the detective. Well, sports agent as a detective. yes. yes. he has had some secret background with the feds. So would all the crimes he solves happen in the sports arena? I don't know. I have read One False Move and it does deal with a gorgeous Basket Ball player. Yes yes it is a woman. Brenda Slaughter gets threatining calls and her father goes missing. Myron Boltair is introduced as her new sports agent and he is our hero. Brenda wants him not only find her father but also her mother who went missing 20 years back (Why do people wait 20 years to find their loved ones? Are they stuck by lightning twenty years later that they suddenly recognise their loved one is missing and desperately want to find them. Well, that is the stuff of fiction. When I write fiction I will also make somebody look for something they lost twenty years before.) Myron is very funny most of the times and comes up with clever repartee. This book has lots of dialogue but the dialogue is interesting. Yes the end was a surprise. I liked the book and defenitely pick one more of his very soon.

Thursday, 3 May 2007


Did I say I love Crichton? Well, I take my word back. I don't love him. Nor do I ever intend to love. Well, if you write a book like Next full of Moral preaching. Don't do this, if you do this, this will happen, you should not write fiction. Chricton has done a good job of taking news articles and working a story around it but there seems to be many loose ends or did I miss something. So who was the guy in the first few pages stealing embryos for? Crichton in this book talks about the perils of patenting genes and how genetic research have gone out of academics to Pharmacetical companies who want to cash in on their research. Chrichton also talks about how academic research is closely realted to pharmacetical companies and how they frequently publish new articles on insignificant misleading ideas to get mileage and how media plays a great role in this charade. While an interesting read on these areas the novel was somehow unsatisfactory. If it was just a story without such moral preaching and if the morality and thinking about these issues had left to the reader the book would be definetly a great read. But yes it wasn't bad.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Next by Crichton

I love Crichton. "This novel is fiction, except for the parts that aren't" A nice disclaimer. You hardly know what is fact and what is fiction. Crichton uses his unique style of using facts to generate ficition. The novel is about genetics and raises as usual many many questions. Crichton has used many articles and news items to keep the story forward. Some of these news appear real. I will have to check if they have actually appeared in a paper or whatever journal. But most of it look like news you have heard somewhere. This book is all about genetic enginnering, talking apes, genetic cures, academic research, gene patenenting and ofcourse the ethics. I have not finished it and would post on it as soon as i finish.

Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris

Hannibal Rising

Why did Dr. Hannibal Lecter become the way he was? Why did an intelligent man almost a genius become a Cannibal? The answer lies in his beginning. What would make an intelligent eight year old boy a brutal murderer and man-eater? Well, this is the story of Hannibal Rising. As a standalone this story is not much. But seen as a backdrop for the other three books, Red Dragon. Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, this book provides the reasons and answers the why. Since it is not a big secret and the story begins with it, I would give away the reason too. Its the war. The war made him what he was. This is how war affects our lives, young innocent boy genius becomes a cannibal. Blame it on the war. Of course, there is the question, did all affected by war become the way Hannibal has become? The answer is until you are there you do not know how this could affect. A very interesting read with the trademark violence and blood. If you had not read the other three, this may not be the book for you. If you have read the other three books or seen the movie this may be the book for you. But is it essential to know the why? Sometimes, isn't it bettter to keep the mystery covered.

PS: I haven't seen the movie. But would like to catch it.