December 27, 2009
December 22, 2009
In her second novel, Giarratano has ticked the boxes for a successful crime thriller. A psychopathic killer escalating in violence; a loner cop coming to terms with brutal events in her past; a return to past haunts for a traumatised army veteran capable of extreme violence in defence of his family; a quirky, intelligent and off beat federal agent who also has a tragic past; and an authentic Australian setting in various Sydney suburbs. I got quite a thrill of recognition when some of the action took place around the Liverpool streets that I know well, in behind the Spotlight store no less, although I don't agree with her characterisation of the public library there! The book builds nicely to a satisfying conclusion and a tentative thawing of the thick wall of ice surrounding our protagonist. Well worth a try if you are looking for a new mystery author.
Alex Rutherford continues a rich historical action adventure tradition with this fictionalised story of Babur, the Moghul emperor. The story begins with Babur inheriting his father's small kingdom in central Asia and follows him as he pursues his dream to emulate his ancestor Timur or Tamberlaine. Ranging through the countries of modern day Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, Babur's armies face many trials before achieving success. I don't think this reaches the standard set by other historical action writers such as Conn Iggulden or Bernard Cornwell but it is an insight into a very different time and different cultures and very enjoyable escapism.
December 21, 2009
December 01, 2009
No, it's not Malcom Turnbull in 2009, it's Alcibiades in 415BC Athenian society as reported in A History of Histories by John Burrow (p. 45).
A review on LibraryThing appears here. Over 200 members of LibrayThing have given this book an average of 4 stars and I would agree with them. This book is an overview of who has written history from the earliest records to the present day; why they wrote it and why it matters what was going on around them when they did. Scholarly and informative, the author's wry humour leavens what can inevitably turn a little dry. I have enjoyed it in instalments and also secure in the knowledge I was reading just for my own pleasure - not to face a test! If you like history you may well get a lot out of this book.