Authors, Book List, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction

Top Fiction Books I Read in 2016

Once again, I am offering you a number of books I enjoyed reading last year in a broader sense of a genre: Fiction.

Stoner by John Williams

A fascinating, fast, elegant read. William Stoner and we all have something in common.

Read Full Review

Continue reading “Top Fiction Books I Read in 2016”

5 Stars, Book Reviews, Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Thrillers

BOOK REVIEW: Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin

Rebus is back. And he’s not getting old, age seem just a number for him and his creator, Ian Rankin. He’s 21 books old now. Rather Be The Devil is the new entitlement released on November, 3rd. When I heard earlier this year that Ian Rankin has rejected to my request for an interview with for a third time in three years, I thought, ‘Oh Boy! Either I am a pretty bad interviewer or he’s upto something really good. Probably a new Rebus novel. I’ll take that gladly, sir.’

Rebus is into his retirement for almost a couple of years now. But curiosity is a disease and when one’s neurone start sending the type of electrical signals, the giant awakens. Mind gets to work and pulls bits and pieces out of the back of itself. It happens to humans, generally. Nonetheless, Rebus breathe and lives to the extent you can almost smell the cigarette he’s been smoking, but not this time, anyway.

So now you know the process, Rebus mind draws his conscious attention to a cold case from 1970s involving a murder of a female socialite in one of the Edinburgh’s luxurious hotels. An unturned stone for over forty years, and no one was found guilty. Lacking hobbies in his sixties, Rebus, starts up a personal investigation with series of meetings with some old frenemies like Big Ger Cafferty and an ex-cop. Things have already begin to turn nasty in Edinburgh when both DI Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox come across each other once again despite their lack of communication over time to look into those nastier things themselves. Local crime boss and entrepreneur is hurt. Money problems, shell companies, skeletons in the closet and a dangerous mobster hovering over the city of Edinburgh.

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones by Michael Connelly

When it comes to cold cases, we love one of them. We, humans, are designed in a way that digging up the past is not only a hobby or an option for some but it is rather an astonishing state of affairs for everyone. Even the crime fiction writers, such as Michael Connelly.

This is though not my first experience with Connelly’s books. Previously, I read his The Lincoln Lawyer which I thought was an average book and looked better on the big screen with tanned up Matthew McConaughey and his southern accent. After getting much annoyed on listening his fans chanting his name through and through, not wanting to turn a Connelly hater but wanting to explore the world of crime fiction, I decided to give Harry Bosch a chance this time.

Detective Harry Bosch come across a twenty year old murder case, when the bones of a twelve-year-old boy are found and scattered in Hollywood Hills, Bosch’s own territory. With media attending already on the case, the pressure on Bosh grows as he uncovers the story and life of the dead boy. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: City of Bones by Michael Connelly”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin

There are few authors who after becoming bestsellers keep on improving as a writer. With them, their characters grow, their stories become unforgettable and its a bliss for the readers. Rankin is one of them. After he got his hard work paid of with the publishing of Black and Blue in 1997 rewarding him Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger for best crime novel. Since then,  having reading almost every novel written by Rankin that includes his creation of John Rebus, a Detective Inspector who is known for bending rules, and getting the cases he is assigned, under his skin.

Standing in Another Man’s Grave, came three years back and is listed as the 18th book in John Rebus series. It is also a book that brings back John Rebus from retirement, brings back another interesting, twisted crime full of lies and real-life characters. And of course, John Rebus’ own demons. Many of the Rebus fans are interested in that. Few are more curious about his demons than of the crime solved by him.

This book is one of the major leap in the life John Rebus, if he has been made of flesh and bone rather than by Rankin’s imagination. It brings Rebus back to life. He has become old as his Saab, officially not a cop anymore, working for the SCRU department under CID as a semi-official investigator, handling cold cases, cases which are still unsolved, has cut his boozing, has cut his smoking, but not at all rusty. Ghosts of the past such as Big Ger Cafferty a semi-retired gangster who in his prime use to run Edinburgh, are still mingling with Rebus. They occasionally patch for a drink, but Rebus consider him nothing more than a ghost from his own past. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin

John Rebus is back. Old, fat, still surviving on booze and nicotine. This time he is back with some old fellows as DI Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox, and his old Dr. Hyde resembler, Big Ger Cafferty. With new villains and other fresh characters such as Daryl Christie and James Page, introduced only two novels back in Standing in Another Man’s Grave, Rankin has indulged us readers into a deeper mystery this time.

Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is investigating the death of a senior lawyer during a robbery. But the case becomes more complex when a note is discovered, indicating that this may have been no random attack, and when local gangster Big Ger Cafferty receives an identical message, Clarke decides that the recently retired John Rebus may be able to help. He’s the only man Cafferty will open up to, and together the two old adversaries might just stand a chance of saving Cafferty’s skin.

Meanwhile a team from Glasgow has arrived and they will leave no stone unturned for what they want before the leave Edinburgh in its own hands. DI Malcolm Fox is assigned a simple looking yet harsh task of providing local expertise to the undercover squad but he is soon drawn in too deep as everything collides. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Mortal Causes by Ian Rankin

One of the good things about the contemporary crime fiction that can happen to itself is John Rebus and his creator Ian Rankin. Without Ian Rankin, there would have been no John Rebus. Rankin has certainly set a benchmark with his John Rebus’ series and Mortal Causes is the sixth book in this series. Without John Rebus, I won’t be reading as much crime fiction as I do. I started reading John Rebus, even before I laid my hands on Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Things are even darker than usual this time in Mortal Causes.

It is August during the Edinburgh Festival when Inspector John Rebus is called to investigate a brutally tortured body found hanging in the medieval subterranean streets of Edinburgh. The death looks like an execution which causes Rebus to start investigating radical activists. Even worse, he discovers the victim is the son of one of Edinburgh’s most notorious criminal gang leaders, Gerald McCafferty.

With well-crafted characters and the plot so interesting the author makes the book interesting by adding a a challenging situation in which Rebus needs to develop a level of understanding with Big Ger McCafferty. It sounds darker than most of his novels and it turns to be exactly how it sounds. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Mortal Causes by Ian Rankin”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Tooth And Nail by Ian Rankin

Tooth and Nail is the third novel by Ian Rankin featuring Inspector John Rebus. Rebus is sent to London to help detectives hunt a serial killer dubbed the Wolfman by the press. In the previous year, in some reviews and an essay on John Rebus, I have talked about Rebus a lot. My love and hate relationship with him and his actions and why he is to be considered as one of the most proficient detectives written in the contemporary world.

Rebus arrives in London just as news of a new victim of the serial killer begins broadcasting over the news. Rebus goes directly to the scene of the crime and is shocked to see the brutality first hand of a case he has only read about. Rebus attends the autopsy and spends some time with the lead detective, uncomfortably aware that this detective seems to think he is some sort of expert based on one case Rebus worked several years before.

Meanwhile, he is as usual vulnerable to some aspect of the story. He is new to London, despise it, and his ex-wife and teenage daughter live in London and a visit with them reveals that his daughter is dating someone who is not the kind of person a copper would choose for his daughter. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Tooth And Nail by Ian Rankin”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Souls by Ian Rankin

This is my fifteenth John Rebus novel, and before starting this book I had a question in my mind. When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh?

One thing is that, after reading a John Rebus’ book, I have an anguished feeling of visiting Edinburgh, see all those places describe the author with my own eyes. The series is set in Edinburgh and Rankin displays an unnerving knowledge of, seemingly, how crime works there. Rankin has a very unique of displaying simplistic events. His engrossing words will get under your skin.

The novel, Dead Souls, starts on a greater node. In the prologue to the book, the suicide of one of Rebus’ colleagues is detailed. Rebus chases a released pedophile when he is supposed to be trying to catch someone who has been poisoning the animals. Then there was the Shellion case, regarding young children abused by their custodians, and now his superintendent had saddled him with another case a violent serial killer, Gary Oakes, was deported back from US to Edinburgh. I wonder, is he never tired? Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Dead Souls by Ian Rankin”

Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin

The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin is the ninth novel in John Rebus series. I have never felt that I should read Rankin’s Rebus series in chronological order. I feel, by starting in the middle, going straight back to the first of books and then steadily moving forward, is what works for both John Rebus and me.

The novel opens on Guy Fawkes night as DI Rebus meets his daughter for a meal. As usual, Rebus is involved in the case of the alleged war criminal and lean about the crimes he may have committed. As Rebus investigates he researches the past and wonders about how it could have happened.

There is never a doubt for me on picking a Rankin’s novel and worrying about the plot(s). The way he does mesh-plotting, keeping his characters as real as possible. The setting in Edinburg with glimpses of it’s darkest side. I guess, you can rely on him enough. Then things take a turn. His daughter gets hit buy a car. He rescues a young Bosnian girl forced into prostitution and other less him to break the policeman’s golden rule to never get personally involved in a case.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin”

Book List, Books

Authors I have read

Earlier today, just hovering on ‘My Books’ section on Goodreads I found an astonishing stats page that tells you about the authors you have most read, ranking according to the amount of books read of each author. It helps to recall a lot of involuntary memories of when I read those authors, and how I felt about their work. This stats does not show those authors for whom I have read only one book.

Thus, I conclude a list of some those writers and the number of books written by each I have managed to read, and a recommendation from my part, in that order.

Ian Rankin- 16 books I have read

     

Set In Darkness introduced me to the world of well-written Crime Fiction and John Rebus.

Arthur Conan Doyle- 16 books

     

I have read every book on Sherlock Holmes written by the creator of this world’s famous detective. He’s mesmerising, and mysterious in his own ways.

William Shakespeare- 15 plays

     

William Shakespeare, ladies and gentlemen. Continue reading “Authors I have read”