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Reviews and Ratings
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reviewed The Rule of Four. April 07, 2011
The Rule of Four
The Rule of Four is a coming-of-age novel built around a real-life mystery, The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance book that has puzzled scholars and historians for 500 years. As a literary device, …
reviewed Mr. Timothy. March 22, 2011
Mr. Timothy
Timothy Cratchitt, now fully grown with his crippling childhood infirmity reduced to a limp and a chronic ache in bad weather, is sadly mindful of his financial dependence on his uncle. Somewhat disappointed …
reviewed The Alienist. March 19, 2011
The Alienist
In 1896, Theordore Roosevelt hadn't yet made it to the White House. As Commissioner of the New York City Police, Roosevelt was sadly aware that the gruesome serial mutilation and killing of young …
reviewed Dissolution. February 19, 2011
Dissolution
It's 1537, the height of the English Reformation, and Thomas Cromwell, vicar general for the court of Henry VIII, is absolutely bent on the systematic ruthless dismantling of England's feudal …
Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding)
In 1768, a recently orphaned Jeremy Proctor arrives in London and promptly finds himself in the dock facing false charges of theft under the gavel of the blind magistrate, Sir John Fielding. The justice, …
Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)
Stephen Lawhead's storytelling is certainly ambitious. In Taliesin, he has proposed nothing less than a fanciful, fluid blending of three mythologies into a single epic history - the twilight and …
Murder in Grub Street (Sir John Fielding)
Recently orphaned Jeremy Proctor, "adopted" by blind magistrate Sir John Fielding and dutifully installed in the position of his assistant, protégé, jack-of-all-trades and utilitarian …
The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of
I wonder if Stone would feel honoured or slighted at my brash theft of HIS title "The Agony and the Ecstasy", as the basis for my review of his wonderful work!      Irving …
The Emperor's Assassin: Memoirs of a Bow Street
In July 1815, having returned home from war with France, HMS Bellerophon, one of England's finest battleships, rests at anchor in Plymouth Sound transporting a very special prisoner. The water is …
reviewed Gallow's Thief. November 21, 2010
Gallow's Thief
Captain Rider Sandman, a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and the Battle of Waterloo, has returned to England to find a civilian life in shambles. As a matter of personal honour, Sandman has sold his commission …
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
Every once in a very long while, I am privileged to read a novel that is so compelling, so breathtaking and so utterly absorbing that I find myself holding my breath in awe as I turn the final page. "One …
Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)
When Ken Follett was asked why he chose to write FALL OF GIANTS, the first novel in his planned CENTURY trilogy, the intersecting history of five families beginning in the early years of the twentieth …
reviewed Daniel. October 18, 2010
Daniel
Dateline Vietnam 1972, US Army Firebase Martha located in the jungles of the central highlands. When an unidentified stranger, clearly bewildered, confused and disoriented, makes his way out of the night-time …
reviewed Memoirs of Cleopatra. September 23, 2010
Memoirs of Cleopatra (Spanish Edition)
A biographical novel re-creating the entire life of an enigmatic, yet colourful, ambitious, conniving and flamboyant character such as Cleopatra embellished and fleshed out with fictional anecdotes and …
reviewed Clothar the Frank. September 17, 2010
Clothar the Frank
CLOTHAR THE FRANK, the 6th novel in Jack Whyte's extended series THE CAMULOD CHRONICLES, steps back from Dark Ages England and moves across the channel into post-Roman Gaul to provide an imaginative, …
Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding)
"Smuggler's Moon", Bruce Alexander's eighth novel in the highly acclaimed Sir John Fielding series, is neither the cozy, lightweight mystery (à la Agatha Christie or Susan Wittig-Albert) …
reviewed The Angel of Darkness. August 18, 2010
The Angel of Darkness
In "The Angel of Darkness", Caleb Carr returns his readers to the atmospheric, intriguing, rough and tumble world of late nineteenth century New York. The story is told through the eyes of Stevie …
Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love Story
A romantic reconstruction of imperial life in 17th century India, "Beneath a Marble Sky" recounts the turbulent story of princess Jahanara, the daughter of the emperor who commissioned the construction …
reviewed Ffolkes' Medicine. May 19, 2010
Ffolkes' Medicine
You have to give first-time author, BR Stateham, full marks for creativity and imagination. Geoffery Armitage Ffolkes is a very interesting character, indeed. Imagine if you will a tall, cocky, swaggering, …
Watery Grave (A Sir John Fielding Mystery)
In 1767 off the shore of Cape of Good Hope, the crew of British naval frigate HMS Adventure encountered what, to them, must have seemed the typhoon of the century. At the height of the powerful storm, …
reviewed The Quiet American. May 01, 2010
The Quiet American
THE QUIET AMERICAN is the tragically banal yet moving story of two white men living in Vietnam during the colonial war in French Indochina. Thomas Fowler, a British journalist covering the war, is world-weary …
reviewed Stonehenge: 2000 BC. April 26, 2010
Stonehenge: 2000 BC
Dr Phil would have loved to get his teeth into these boys - the perfect dysfunctional Bronze Age tribal family!       Three brothers - Camaban, the all but insane sorcerer born a cripple …
reviewed A Tale of Two Cities. April 19, 2010
A Tale of Two Cities
What an interesting thought.       If it was possible for Dickens to write something that was less Dickensian than the rest of his impressive body of work, "A Tale of Two Cities" …
reviewed Dark Fire. April 03, 2010
Dark Fire
CJ Sansom introduced an appreciative reading audience to Matthew Shardlake, a crafty 16th century attorney specializing in property law, in his well received debut novel, "Dissolution". In "Dark …
reviewed The Caves of Périgord. March 17, 2010
The Caves of Périgord
Congratulations, Mr Walker! You've turned an astonishingly simply premise into a superbly crafted novel that leaps over centuries and links three vastly different worlds!       Major …
reviewed Vienna Blood: A Novel (Mortalis). March 11, 2010
Vienna Blood: A Novel (Mortalis)
Dateline Vienna 1902, location - the sprawling majestic Schönnbrunn Palace's Tiergarten Zoo. Detective Oskar Reinhardt is called to the scene of a grisly slaying - the cruel killing of a 30 foot …
reviewed The Book of Negroes (Illustrated Edit.... February 21, 2010
The Book of Negroes (Illustrated Edition)
Many of us will remember being moved to tears by the power and depth of "Roots", Alex Haley's compelling novel on the slave trade that was published almost 40 years ago. Lawrence Hill's "The …
reviewed Pirate Latitudes. February 19, 2010
Pirate Latitudes
Crichton's posthumously published tale opens in 1665 Port Royal, Jamaica - the Caribbean equivalent of the cut-throat, brutal, lawless midwest in 18th century USA where "might was right" and …
reviewed The Railway Detective. February 14, 2010
The Railway Detective
Victorian England in the 1850s is the dawn of the locomotive age. Trains are supplanting the use of horses, carriages and canals as the method of choice for economic movement of goods and personal travel. …
reviewed Picture Perfect. February 10, 2010
Picture Perfect
Who among us couldn't identify with young Caroline? Is there even a single reader with a brother or sister who hasn't at some time or another, in a fit of intense sibling anger or jealousy, wished that …
reviewed Person or Persons Unknown. February 02, 2010
Person or Persons Unknown
As if life for the working class in 1770 London wasn't difficult enough, Covent Garden becomes the haunting ground for an 18th century version of Jack the Ripper. A psychopathic killer is targeting the …
reviewed The Thief Taker: Memoirs of a Bow-Str.... February 01, 2010
The Thief Taker: Memoirs of a Bow-Street Runner
It's June 1815 in Regency England. Nathaniel Conant, the current Bow Street Magistrate better known colloquially as the "Beak", is struggling with the Bow Street Runners' growing reputation …
reviewed Rodney Stone: A Tale of the 18th Cent.... January 26, 2010
If you read very, very carefully and remain absolutely attentive to every passing paragraph, you'll realize that "Rodney Stone" is a historical mystery.       But, truth …
reviewed A Death in Vienna: A Novel (Mortalis). January 24, 2010
A Death in Vienna: A Novel (Mortalis)
Turn of the century Vienna - at the time, the social, cultural and scientific centre of a Europe rapidly entering the modern world of the twentieth century - serves as the setting for Frank Tallis' debut …
reviewed Jack, Knave and Fool. January 21, 2010
Jack, Knave and Fool
"Jack, Knave and Fool", Bruce Alexander's fifth novel in the highly acclaimed Sir John Fielding series, is neither the cozy, lightweight mystery (à la Agatha Christie or Susan Wittig-Albert) …
reviewed Death of a Colonial. January 10, 2010
Death of a Colonial
"Death of a Colonial", Bruce Alexander's sixth novel in the highly acclaimed Sir John Fielding series, is neither the cozy, lightweight mystery (à la Agatha Christie or Susan Wittig-Albert) …
reviewed One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. January 03, 2010
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" is Alexander Solzhenitsyn's first book, a classic of modern Russian literature and the title that propelled him onto the literary world stage. As for …
reviewed World Without End. January 01, 2010
World Without End
"World Without End" continues the story of Kingsbridge, a medieval town noted for the awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral designed and built some 200 hundred years earlier in the 12th century by …
reviewed Garden of Beasts. December 30, 2009
Garden of Beasts
Paul Schumann, a notorious hit man for the New York Mafia, has finally been nabbed. But the feds have offered him a choice - accept a dangerous undercover government assignment in pre-war Germany or never …
reviewed The Bone Garden. December 19, 2009
The Bone Garden
   Tess Gerritsen's "The Bone Garden" is a thoroughly entertaining, historical thriller that begins with the admittedly prosaic literary device of divorcée Julia Hamill finding …
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