Agent Running in the Field (by John le Carré)

Nat is put out to pasture in a local London spy centre (The Haven - a complete misnomer) by his "friends" in Head Office much to his chagrin. Spies, like author John le Carré, refuse to grow old gracefully! This is John le Carré at the top of his game. Nat has many connections, friends and associates in the spy world; some are established and friendly who owe him! However, in London British HQ is a nest of back-stabbers and…

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The Guardians (by John Grisham)

I have been rather disappointed in recent novels by John Grisham, so "The Guardians" was a pleasant surprise. "The Guardians" is bang in form, and back to the strengths of his earlier novels. The "Law is an Ass" seems an appropriate cliche. The book is based on some true events and illustrates the ease that justice is not served in the USA particularly for ethnic minorities. The novel castigates the justice system, law enforcement and the "commercial" prisons. The John…

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The Thursday Murder Club (by Richard Osman)

This is the Richard Osman of Pointless (and other TV quizzes and Chat shows) so you can expect an off-beat novel! You will not be disappointed - there are plenty of pithy observations, and tangential quips which are off the wall in typical Osman style. His characters, primarily located at a top-end care complex, offer the full spectrum of behaviour and customs. His quirky humour is a constant delight throughout the story, Murder Club novels seem to be in vogue. …

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The Truants (by Kate Weinberg)

Lorna once asked: "What is it about an unsolved mystery that captures us so that makes us lean forward looking for an answer?" At the heart of this mystery is Agatha Christie. There are references to her and her novels throughout the story. I am not familiar with Agatha Christie novels! Does she have heroes and anti-heroes? Probably not. Lorna a charismatic "Prof" at a British University is the ant-hero, and Jess (the student) is the hero (although as the…

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Moonflower Murders (by Anthony Horowitz)

It is pleasing when a  Publishing House contacts you to review a book. In this case Random House UK, Cornerstone to review Anthony Horowitz's latest novel. You do feel some pressure to review positively!  Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed. James Bond it is not! It is a gentle mystery that plods along without really grabbing attention. It starts off quite encouragingly with an ex Publisher now resident in Crete running a hotel / guest house. It is struggling so when…

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Double Agent (by Tom Bradby)

How to publish a successful novel? Choose a celebrity - tick. Choose a popular theme: spy thriller with a mole - tick. What can go wrong? Tom Bradby is a successful newscaster, journalist, author and generally nice guy. He has intimate knowledge of politicians and royalty so the intrigue, immoral behaviour and scandals described in the novel may have a hint of truth! The espionage and political shenanigans provide the basis of an enjoyable read. The twists and turns in…

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Share Investment Opportunities and Free Shares

Stock Investing Opportunities Share or stock investments contribute significantly to my financial lifestyle in retirement. So share investment opportunities need to be safe and secure - despite Covid19 issues! I have a SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown, ISA portfolio with iWeb, and now a new ISA portfolio with Trading212 (free share - more later!). The HL Sipp is used to withdraw monthly income, iWeb is primarily stocks and Trusts with good dividends, and Trading212 for investing in foreign stocks. They all…

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The Birdwatcher (by William Shaw)

I am beginning to be a big fan of William Shaw! I recently read his Salt Lane novel, and got the bug. Salt Lane features DS Alexandra Cupidi and her daughter. So The Birdwatcher is a prequel to Salt Lane? OK, the main character is Police Sergeant William South but Cupidi and her daughter especially feature in this novel. Do you need to read The Birdwatcher before tackling the start of a trilogy Salt Lane? No, not really: The Birdwatcher…

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Absolute Proof (by Peter James)

I am a fan of the Inspector Grace novels set in Brighton and eagerly await each new novel. Peter is quite prolific and often writes stand-alone novels - unfortunately, I find these variable in quality. I recently read Dan Brown's Origin, and thoroughly enjoyed his tale which tackles “Where do we come from” and “Where are we going?”. Anyhow, I was looking forward to seeing how Peter approaches his religious theme examining the Absolute Proof of Jesus's existence. It has…

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The Fox (by Frederick Forsyth)

Frederick Forsyth The Fox Review Many famous authors have a successful formula - Dan Brown comes to mind - and Fredrick Forsyth is another with a well-established formula. It all started with his book about the assassination attempt on General de Gaulle. Today so many books seem formulaic - perhaps they have all been to the same Creative Writing course. Frederick Forsyth is noted for his in-depth research into facts, topics, conflicts and events. He has an imaginative way of…

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The Last Lie (by Alex Lake)

This is the latest psychological thriller by Sunday Times best-selling author Alex Lake. He is the best selling author of AFTER ANNA, KILLING KATE AND COPYCAT. Claire Daniels comes with a healthy pedigree of rich parents. The mother has died but her father will do anything for Claire. Her life is good - friends, career, lovely home, property in France but she is desperate for a baby to make her family complete. Her "doting" husband, Alfie, hates Claire but of course, he loves…

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Salt Lane (by William Shaw)

Came across Shaw at a speaker event at the Firle Vintage Fayre. The plot sounded interesting and as it was located in area close by it seemed worth investigating The plot is centred around Romney Marsh and Dungeness - places we know well. He captures the remoteness but beauty well. His lead detective has recently transferred from the Met, and she has quite a back history with former colleagues, daughter and mother. Dead bodies start appearing on the Marsh. Are…

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The Parisians (by Marius Gabriel)

The novel is set in World War II and in 1940 the Nazis have occupied Paris and taken over the Ritz for their senior officers and mistresses. The cast of characters includes an American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid, the famous Coco Chanel and Arletty, one of France’s best-loved actresses. Hitler’s right-hand man moves into the hotel and makes Olivia his favourite. Olivia sees an opportunity to pass information to the Resistance via her contact Jack. Of course, this…

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Dark and Sacred Story (by Michael Connelly)

I am an avid reader of Michael Connelly, and look forward to every new novel. It seems that Bosch is gradually taking a lower profile as he passes into retirement. Renee Ballard is the new focus, and although there is room for new plots for cold cases featuring Bosch and Ballard - perhaps Bosch is tiring and beginning to make mistakes? This cold case investigates the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was…

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Small Great Things (by Jodi Picoult)

The cover says that Small Great Things is about prejudice and power. It is a powerful novel about a White Supremacist who loses a baby at birth. Sad enough but the nurse could be at fault! The novel revolves around the ethnicity of the nurse who is black. It soon becomes evident that the nurse will be taken to court. The nurse is represented by a white lawyer who claims she no racial prejudices. The story allows prejudices on both…

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