Monday, January 04, 2016

2015's reading tally, and a new book review

and on the day I'm "supposed" to post a book review. Well, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

OK I added up all the books I read in 2015, and it amounted to 73. That's 3 more than in 2014. I started quite a few more than I finished; as I get older, my patience is thinner and I'm more ready to put a book aside if it doesn't grab me in the first 50 pages. Time's running out, you see, and there are a lot of good books out there for me to find!

One of the books I read last year in 2013 was London Falling, by Paul Cornell. It's the first in a series about a special office in the Metropolitan Police Division (if that is the right name) that deals with supernatural crime in London. Cornell writes a compelling book, with interesting and (sometimes) likeable characters. I am not always good at following supernatural phenomena as written in books, and I have to say there were times here when I didn't really know what was going on, but that didn't mean I didn't want to find out how it ended up! It's a police procedural, in many ways, with the focus being on bad guys of some other dimension that have always shaped and influenced human societies in the London area, from even before there were people there. The odds are always stacked well against our heroes, and they don't help matters sometimes with their own weaknesses and doubts, but they're very smart, talented people and while all is not set right in the end - far from it - they manage to win through enough to make me hope for a long series to enjoy.

This week I read the next one in the series, The Severed Streets. Someone - or some thing - is murdering rich white men in highly public circumstances, yet no witnesses seem able to say what happened. Our DI James Quill and his now Sighted (able to see much from the other plane, wherever that is) squad, are on the case - which soon seems to be an extension and variation from the old familiar Jack the Ripper. I won't say much about this book except that it's even better than the first one, there's a scene about a third of the way in where I found myself thinking "Hang on, that character sounds a lot like - NO WAY! It IS [famous author]!  Well that's interesting. [Famous author] and Cornell must be buddies, for him to be kind of a featured minor character."  And about 2/3 of the way through, something really awful happens - something doubly awful, had me going NO NO NO NO but it was Yes. And so of course I had to keep reading until 3 this morning to get to the end to see what happened next. I can't imagine what the next one's going to be like. With some truly shattering changes happening to some of the squad members, and relationships within the squad even more fraught and precarious than ever, I feel sure it'll be a doozy. This is one (as is the first novel) I'll be re-reading through the years.

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