Dead Man’s Time by Peter James

 

Description: New York, 1922. Five-year-old Gavin Daly and his seven-year-old sister, Aileen, are boarding the SS Mauretania to Dublin—and safety. Their mother has been shot and their Irish mobster father abducted. Suddenly, a messenger hands Gavin a piece of paper on which are written four names and eleven numbers, a cryptic message that will haunt him all his life, and his father’s pocket watch. As the ship sails, Gavin watches Manhattan fade into the dusk and makes a promise, that one day he will return and find his father.

Brighton, 2012. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace investigates a savage burglary in Brighton, in which an old lady is murdered and £10m of antiques have been taken, including a rare vintage watch. To Grace’s surprise, the antiques are unimportant to her family—it is the watch they want back. As his investigation probes deeper, he realizes he has kicked over a hornets nest of new and ancient hatreds. At its heart is one man, Gavin Daly, the dead woman’s ninety-five-year-old brother. He has a score to settle and a promise to keep—both of which lead to a murderous trail linking the antiques world of Brighton, the crime fraternity of Spain’s Marbella, and New York.

Dedication: FOR PAT LANIGAN
This book would never have happened without your generosity in sharing your family history with me

Opening: Brooklyn, February 1922
The boy’s father kissed him goodnight for the last time – although neither of them knew that.
The boy never went to sleep until he had had that kiss. Every night, late, long after he had gone to bed, he would lie waiting in the darkness, until he heard the door of his room open, and saw the light flood in from the landing. Then the shadowy figure and the sound of his father’s heavy footsteps across the bare boards. ‘Hey, little guy, you still awake?’ he would say in his low, booming voice.

I so love the casting here, especially Glenn, and the over-arching storyline of their personal lives. We are still waiting for a resolution over Sandi, and each book I wonder: ‘will this be the one where we get to know her fate?’

Because I love these characters, so much so that I like to point out things that seem slightly out of step with how I perceive the set-up:

Okay, here’s the thing: Cleo, in the view I have had built up for me by Peter James would not be reading Fifty Shades of Grey, now would she.

Oh! look at this: R.M.S Mauretania

Best line: ‘exuded all the personality of an unplugged fridge’

Disputing the ease of location 100/433: If you want a telegram from the Queen on your 100th birthday, be prepared for a frightful slog”

The music:
BEETHOVEN.ODE TO JOY
Dr. Hook – The Millionaire
Marla Glen – The Cost Of Freedom

4* Dead Simple (Roy Grace, #1)
4* Looking Good Dead (Roy Grace, #2)
4* Not Dead Enough (Roy Grace, #3)
4* Dead Man’s Footsteps (Roy Grace, #4)
4* Dead Tomorrow (Roy Grace, #5)
3* Dead Like You (Roy Grace, #6)
3* Dead Man’s Grip (Roy Grace, #7)
3* Not Dead Yet (Roy Grace, #8)
4* Dead Man’s Time (Roy Grace, #9)

Murder on Lexington Avenue (Gaslight Mystery, #12) by Victoria Thompson

Murder on Lexington Avenue - Victoria Thompson

bookshelves: published-2010, tbr-busting-2014, series, newtome-author, new-york, mystery-thriller, north-americas, cosy, period-piece

Read from June 10 to 11, 2014

 

Narrated by Susanna Torran

Description: When a wealthy businessman is murdered, Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is assigned to investigate, even though the crime is out of his jurisdiction. The reason he soon realizes, is that the man has a deaf daughter—and it is well known that Malloy’s own son attends the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb.

The victim sent the girl to a rival institution, with different views on the deaf, and was an influential supporter of their program. So it is possible that the killer might be affiliated with his son’s school. Or it might be a family member. Or a business rival. It’s a difficult case—but one that Malloy is sure will not involve Sarah Brandt. Until the new widow goes into labor while he is interviewing her, and refuses to send for her own physician…

So Malloy calls upon Sarah. Finding herself in an unfamiliar world, where those who can hear refuse to listen to those who cannot, she must determine who is right and who is innocent before she and Malloy can ever hope to find the killer.

Starting: Here I go again, jumping into the middle of a series. Sarah Brandt is a midwife set in turn-of-the-century New York City.

At the end: The line up looked good: 3.89* covered by 1,281 ratings, however I had little to no interest in the story. So whilst this is a series, the crime in this book was a standalone and as such it was micturation poor. Could be it is the over-arching personal details that keeps the readers of this series happy and I have missed out on all the social gleedom *shrug*

Valley of the Dolls

bookshelves: radio-4x, recreational-drugs, spring-2012, classic, chick-lit, doo-lally, eye-scorcher, lifestyles-deathstyles, mental-health, north-americas, ouch, scary-clowns-circus-dolls, sleazy, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, re-visit-2014, play-dramatisation, women, winter-20132014, published-1966, new-york

Read from April 07, 1968 to February 07, 2014

 

** spoiler alert ** Description: Sex and drugs and shlock and more — Jacqueline Susann’s addictively entertaining trash classic about three showbiz girls clawing their way to the top and hitting bottom in New York City has it all. Though it’s inspired by Susann’s experience as a mid-century Broadway starlet who came heartbreakingly close to making it, but did not, and despite its reputation as THE roman á clef of the go-go 1960s, the novel turned out to be weirdly predictive of 1990s post-punk, post-feminist, post “riot grrrl” culture. Jackie Susann may not be a writer for the ages, but — alas! — she’s still a writer for our times.

Jacqueline Susann drama with Madeleine Potter.

1. Anne heads off to the dazzling lights of post-war New York in search of a career. Jacqueline Susann drama with Madeleine Potter.

2. One of New York’s richest men has proposed marriage to Anne.

3. Anne meets famous torch singer Helen, and Neely understudies the lead in a new musical.

4. Anne’s relationship with Lyon grows passionate, and Neely gets her big break.

5. Anne’s fallen for Lyon Burke, but her friendship with Helen is put to the test.

6. Set on showbiz careers in New York, Anne, Jennifer and Neely move in together. Jacqueline Susann drama with Barbara Barnes.

7. Jennifer is keen to marry Tony, and Lyon visits Anne’s family home in Lawrenceville.

8. New bride Jennifer visits Neely, who has become a big Hollywood star.

9. Jennifer is invited to star in French films and Anne gets work in the new medium – television.

10. Neely has won an Academy Award, but her second marriage is already on the rocks.

11. With Anne’s help Neely agrees to perform on TV, but this creates big problems.

12. Just as Jennifer finds love and happiness, tragedy strikes.

13. After the tragedy, Neely gets agitated and Anne gets a visit from an old flame.

14. Lyon is back and Anne still has feelings for him, despite being engaged to Kevin.

15. Betrayed by Neely and with Lyon becoming more distant, Anne turns to the dolls

This is just as bad as I remember it. Love me some trash. Isn’t it a shame that more of the rich and famous didn’t read this before their worlds imploded under their own addictions and vanity. Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson etc etc

Theme tune: Dionne Warwick

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

bookshelves: teh-brillianz, fantasy, re-visit-2014, winter-20132014, published-1983, paper-read, fraudio, new-york, north-americas, picaresque, amusing, adventure, architecture, art-forms, epic-proportions, eye-scorcher, love, magical-realism, period-piece

Read from January 01, 1992 to January 23, 2014

 

woot – magical realism has a new benchmark in my humble opinion! This is superb stuff, all the characters are so fully realised.

Revisit via audio before the film comes out 14th Feb 2014 and this is narrated by Oliver Wyman. Given the unusually cold weather, dubbed artic vortex, that is subsuming the north americas at this time one could think, at a stretch, that this is a marketing ploy by the movie house sponsor.

“The shelf was filled with books that were hard to read, that could devastate and remake one’s soul, and that, when they were finished, had a kick like a mule.”

Film trailer

Film theme tune is ‘Wings’ by Birdy

The song I would prefer because I’m an Essex fan since first row, west end opening night of Jesus Christ, Superstar

The inscription on the monument refers to the bridge as the “eternal rainbow”, a simile used by Jackson Mead.

It is strange having Golem & Jinni on my bedside ipad and this on my daytime mp3 – both are set in an alternative New York City at the turn of the century. Also, I shall have to revisit The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard) to see which thief I prefer.

One book always leads to another, doesn’t it!?

21 likes

Any Human Heart

bookshelves: impac-longlist, booker-longlist, fraudio, published-2002, winter-20132014, tbr-busting-2014, spies, historical-fiction, lit-richer, lifestyles-deathstyles, art-forms, epistolatory-diary-blog, south-americas, uruguay, britain-england, cults-societies-brotherhoods, sport, gr-library, france, paris, oxford, glbt, spain, books-about-books-and-book-shops, norfolk, teh-brillianz, greece, adventure, cover-love, epic-proportions, eye-scorcher, london, madrid, war, wwii, lisbon, portugal, filthy-lucre, nassau, bahamas, switzerland, britain-scotland, iceland, suicide, teh-demon-booze, new-york, germany, picaresque, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, travel, edinburgh, those-autumn-years, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, washyourmouthout-language, north-americas, music, midlife-crisis, african-continent, afr-nigeria, skoolzy-stuff, dodgy-narrator, afr-somalia

Read from November 28, 2013 to January 16, 2014

Read by Mike Grady

From the description: The journals begin with Mountstuart’s boyhood in Montevideo, Uruguay, then move to Oxford in the 1920s and the publication of his first book, then on to Paris where he meets Joyce, Picasso, Hemingway, et al., and to Spain, where he covers the civil war. During World War II, we see him as an agent for naval intelligence, becoming embroiled in a murder scandal that involves the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The postwar years bring him to New York as an art dealer in the world of 1950s abstract expressionism, then on to West Africa, to London where he has a run-in with the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and, finally, to France where, in his old age, he acquires a measure of hard-won serenity. This is a moving, ambitious, and richly conceived novel that summons up the heroics and follies of twentieth-century life.

In the fashion of Zelig, Forrest Gump and the 100 year old man, Mountstuart is in all the right places meeting all the important people, however Any Human Heart is an absolute joy as Boyd’s writing leaves those also-rans in the starting gates.

Purringly enjoyed Logan’s slamming of the Bloomsbury set, that circle of spite who lived in squares and loved in triangles. Not sure about the portrayal of Duke and Duchess and for this reason I support a flawed, dodgy narrator scenario.

And that goodreads product description box – WTF! It is just a review filched over from Amazon book sales, with its inherent bias. Bad News! Check the product description elsewhere.

Born on April 20, 1893 in Barcelona, Joan Miró Ferra was a Spanish painter.

From wiki: Sir Harry Oakes, 1st Baronet (December 23, 1874 – July 7, 1943) was an American-born British Canadian gold mine owner, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He earned his fortune in Canada and in the 1930s moved to the Bahamas for tax purposes, where he was murdered in 1943 in notorious circumstances. The cause of death and the details surrounding it have never been entirely determined, and have been the subject of several books and four films.

Have the TV miniseries to watch at some stage, however, for now, I will mull over the full life of Logan MS – I am in my weeds for you.

4* Restless
5* Any Human Heart – recommended
4* Brazzaville Beach
WL Waiting for Sunrise
3* Armadillo
AB Solo