February was a slow month for reading, and even slower for reviewing. I only managed four books, and only one from my CWA list, further endangering my plan to finish it this year.
As I’ve spent much of the month staring at Excel spreadsheets, I used one more to create a brand new monthly feature: my CWA reading dashboard. TM.
I am never going to finish this year.
Anyway, February’s reads:
Chris Ewan, Safe House (2013): ‘When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash he is told that Lena, the woman he claims was travelling with him, doesn’t exist.‘ A strong sense of place (the Isle of Man) in a contemporary thriller that Novel Heights compares to Dick Francis.
Daphne du Maurier, Jamaica Inn (1936): ‘On a bitter November evening, young Mary Yellan journeys across the rainswept moors to Jamaica Inn in honour of her mother’s dying request. When she arrives, the warning of the coachman begins to echo in her memory, for her aunt Patience cowers before hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn.‘ A a history-mystery that’s very well written and heavier on atmosphere than research.
Doug Johnstone, Gone Again (2013): ‘As Mark Douglas photographs a pod of whales stranded in the waters off Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach, he is called by his son’s school: his wife, Lauren, hasn’t turned up to collect their son. Calm at first, Mark collects Nathan and takes him home but as the hours slowly crawl by he increasingly starts to worry.‘ A well-written and realistic psychological thriller.
John Le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974): ‘George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy.‘ A longer (and possibly over-long) book than last month’s favourite The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, I found this immensely readable and textured. Pick of the Month.
For other people’s picks, please visit Mysteries in Paradise.