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    • Michelle

      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
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ian

Ian's reading log 2016

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The Twelfth Card by Jeffrey Deaver

 

A nail-biting suspense about why a professional hit-man would target a brilliant high-school girl, who is digging into a 140 year old mystery about her ancestor & his shocking secret

 

My Thoughts.

 

I've read a few of these now, so I know what to expect: lots and lots of twist, most of which you won't see coming. And if you do, it will be a double bluff. It's fast-paced, without losing any readability. My only problem? I guess that most readers. like me, know that there are twists, and so we look harder for them. This means that the author has to work harder to keep us on our toes; a kind of arms-race of red-herrings! So, at times, I did feel like I was being tricked, rather than just reading a book. Still really good though, so 4/5.

 

Interestingly, I picked this up at a charity shop without really looking at it. It turned out to be an "uncorrected bound proof" copy, which isn't something I've come across before

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Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver

 

James Bond, in his early thirties and already a veteran of the Afghan war, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of MI5, MI6 and the Ministry of Defense, its very existence deniable. Its aim: To protect the Realm, by any means necessary.

A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: 

Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission . . .

 

My Thoughts

 

Jeffery Deaver & James Bond? What could go wrong? Well, something could, because I was left feeling a little underwhelmed by this. 

My first problem was the first couple of chapters. It felt like Deaver was trying just a bit too hard to introduce little bits to make the book seem more British.  And he didn't need to - he got it pretty much nailed down. Also, we seemed to spend a lot of time at the start re-introducing James Bond, who in this book is a modern day Bond. Is that really necessary? 

 

It settles down after the first quarter, and becomes much more readable, but still, it didn't come across to me as very exciting, and I can't pinpoint why.  Perhaps my expectations of this book were just too high. 3/5

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Shame this was a bit of a disappointment. I hope your next read will be nicer! I enjoyed reading your review, anyway.

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Blow Back by Peter May

 

When France's top chef, Marc Fraysse, summoned the world's press to make a shattering announcement, rumors abounded that he was about to lose one of his three coveted Michelin stars.  Instead, on arrival at his remote restaurant on a volcanic plateau in central France, they were greeted with the news that the troubled genius had been murdered, and the message he intended to deliver was never made.  Seven years on, the identity of his killer also remains an enigma.  

Enzo Macleod takes on his fifth cold case and delves into the big business and high stakes of French haute cuisine.  As winter sets in, and snow gathers along a volcanic horizon, he retraces long cold footsteps across a remote hilltop.  But unravelling the complex web of relationships that surrounded the brilliant and mercurial chef - a spurned lover, a jealous wife, an estranged brother, an embittered food critic--also leads to strange parallels with his own life.  And in opening up this celebrated cold case, he finds himself reopening old wounds from his past (taken from Goodreads)

 

My Thoughts

I thought I would enjoy this more than I did. I didn't really warm much to the main character - Enzo Mcleod. Maybe it's dropping into a series in the middle, rather than starting at the beginning, but he (Enzo) comes across as a bit of an insufferable know-it-all. He knows about wine, he knows about food. He can solve crimes that have baffled everyone else for years. Naturally, every woman in his presence falls for his charms. 

 

But, fair play, this is a memorable crime and it's well written and obviously well researched. The relationship between Enzo & the female police officer goes into a direction that I wasn't expecting and so was refreshing in what can be a bit of a cliche in crime novels of this type. I obviously need to read more. 3/5

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