Death Of A Bore – by M.C. Beaton

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Title: Death Of A Bore
(Hamish Macbeth Series #21)
Author: M.C. Beaton
First published: February 23rd 2005
Finished reading: August 20th 2013
Pages: 242

Set in a small Scottish village, M.C. Beaton tells the story about yet another murder case for constable Hamish Macbeth. This time a minor writer, John Heppel, manages to upset half the village and one night they find him murdered in his house. While others think someone within the village did it, Macbeth seems to have different ideas. He tries to focuss on the crew of the TV company, and the chase starts…

An ok but no too inspiring novel in my opinion. The setting is nice and the use of Scottish dialect is interesting for me as a philologist, but the storyline is full of cliches. Entertaining but definitely not challenging.

Hunting Badger – by Tony Hillerman

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Title: Hunting Badger
(Navajo Mysteries Series #14)
Author: Tony Hillerman
First published: November 1st 1999
Finished reading: August 12th 2013
Pages: 318

When I started reading this book I realized that I had read it once before already some years ago. Still I decided to continue reading since it’s an easy reading story where Tony Hillerman mixes police business with old Native American traditions. When three men rob a casino, kill some men in the process and then flee the area. A huge man hunt starts. The FBI gets involved, but it’s the Navajo Tribal Police that solves it in the end. Sergeant Chee and retired Leaphorn see where the FBI don’t see, and use old Native American folklore stories to hunt their prey. Stories talk about an Ute called Ironhand, also called badger in shape-shifter stories, who can disappear and appear in the mountains…

It’s an ok story, but in my opinion some characters and parts of the stories lack development. All in all a nice one to read, but definitely not challenging.

Pop Goes The Weasel – by James Patterson

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Title: Pop Goes The Weasel
(Alex Cross Series #5)

Author: James Patterson
First published: 1999
Finished reading: August 8th 2013
Pages: 486

James Patterson is one of my favorite writers in the sense that his books give a garantuee for entertainment and easy reading. Pop Goes The Weasel didn’t let me down. Although the storyline is intriguing, there is only one which is strange for Patterson. Still, since it’s quite a complicated storyline, it didn’t bother me. The story centers around a fantasy game called The Four Horsemen, where four British agents are involved. This book questions the morality of diplomatic immunity where British agents go bad and their immunity makes it almost impossible for Alex Cross and the police to catch them. The most import character, Death or Geoffrey Shafer, lives an double life; behind his happy family image he leads an irresponsible life full of drugs, adulterly and murder. No one can stop him, or at least he thinks so… Until he kidnaps Alex Cross’ fiancee and things get ugly.

If you are not looking for the next brilliant masterpiece and just want a few hours of easy entertaining, this book might be for you. It’s nothing too complicated, it has action and before you know it you are at the last page already. Not bad at all.

BOOK REVIEW: Moth Smoke – by Mohsin Hamid

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Title: Moth Smoke
Author: Mohsin Hamid
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
First published: 2000
Finished reading: August 5th 2013
Pages: 245
Rating 3,5qqq

“Many boys, probably most boys, have a first love before they fall in love with a woman. It begins the moment two boys realize they’d die for one another, that each cares more for the other than he does for himself, and it lasts usually until a second love comes on the scene, because most hearts aren’t big enough to love more than one person like that.”

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I always like books with a foreign setting, so Moth Smoke was an easy choice. The story of a lost soul in the middle of Lahore, one of the mayor cities in Pakistan, sounded really intriguing and it’s always a bonus when that author actually knows what he is talking about when he describes contemporary Pakistan. The Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid is able to show glimpses of the current situation in his country and its extreme differences between rich and poor through his characters. It’s hard to have sympathy for Daru, but that doesn’t take away that the story shows the weakness of human nature perfectly. Drugs, corruption and lack of will power can truly change lives… And the fall and downhill spiral towards destruction even bigger when you start out with such a comfortable life as Daru’s.  In short, Moth Smoke is a good choice if you want to know more about life in Pakistan especially since it’s written by a local. Fast-paced and very intriguing!

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Daru Shezad is part of the middle class Pakistani, but managed to make a quite comfortable life for himself and is used to moving around in the higher classes of Lahora thanks to friends in the right places. When his drug use and arrogant attitude make him lose his banking job, he soon falls into a downward spiral towards destruction. Before long, he can’t even pay his bills and loses his connections with the Lahore elite…His drug use becomes more frequent, and to make things worse he falls in love with the wife of his childhood friend and rival. Daru is desperate to find a way out and starts his career in crime, but with the drugs clouding his mind he ends up doing something truly unforgivable…

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Moth Smoke is a very interesting read where a colorful description of contemporary Pakistan is mixed with a fast-paced, disturbing and raw story. The main character Daru is not exactly likeable, but he fits right into the story and through him Moshin Hamid is able to show the darker side of life in Lahore. If you like reading a good book set in a culture you might not know that much about, Moth Smoke is a great choice.

Petals On The Wind – by V.C. Andrews

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Title: Petals On The Wind
(Dollanganger Series #2)

Author: V.C. Andrews
First published: 1980
Finished reading: August 2nd 2013
Pages: 439

I didn’t know this book was part of the Dollenganger series when I started it, but I was able to understand the situation without many difficulties. I didn’t really enjoy the story though. Too bizarre, and the main heroine Cathy is just ‘too much’ for me. As one of the four Dollenganger children being hidden away in the attic of a mansion, she sure had a messed up childhood. But seriously, does that have to lead to an unhealthy relationship with her brother and any man crossing her path? She is eaten away by revenge, trying to get even with her evil mother and grandmother. What I understand is that their time in the attic distroyed them, but the characters for me aren’t likeable at all (except maybe the ‘kindly’ doctor), and do many things that are close to disgusting. Even though this can be explained by their trauma, this book wasn’t satisfying for me to read. Even the end wasn’t satisfying; the final revenge Cathy got wasn’t as good as I would have thought or liked, and didn’t make up for all the horrible facts discribed by Andrews before that. All in all I would definitely not read this book again.