Monday, 26 December 2016

2016 Reading Part Five

Phew! With a week of 2016 to go I have managed to finish another six books. This, without a doubt, will be the final showcase of books for this year!

I started this batch with the next in Dennis Wheatley's Roger Brook series. In this, the fifth in the series, Roger leaves the world of the French Revolution and is made Governor of one of the Caribbean islands. Travelling with his wife, his long-term lover and her husband and a young ward who has the hots for him (Wheatley hardly ever disappoints his readers - and certainly does not cause his heroes to lack for the odd spot of nookie!) the ship they travel in is taken by pirates including a pirate queen who has the hots for him (sheesh!) This relationship proves somewhat stormy to say the least... After escaping the pirates he gets caught in the middle of an uprising, is recalled back to France and comes back in contact with the pirate queen who now has the frosts for him... 'Pon my soul...

Wow - you should read this, folks... If this isn't tending towards the prophetic, then I'll eat my hat. Western governments should read this and quake... We are starting to lose all faith in you!

I bought this quite a while ago in a large second-hand book store. The third of John Robb's excellent books for children featuring the trail scout and gun whiz, Catsfoot, this has him reluctantly fighting American indians whilst sympathising with their cause in a way most rare for the time in which this book was written. There's a band of outlaw brothers to deal with also and, naturally, a whole heap of common folks in need of protection.

I jumped out of Simon Scarrow's excellent Roman series featuring Cato and Macro to read this awesome fictionalised account of the Ottoman siege of the fortress of Malta in 1565. Malta was defended by the Knights of St John, already displaced through history from Jerusalem and then Rhodes. Had they not triumphed in this most bloody of sieges, the world would be a very different place today. I can't recommend this too highly.

My Name Is Trouble is a book of five short stories about American Private Eye detectives (you'd never guess from the crude unimaginative cover would you?) The short story format suits this genre and the pace is never short of frenetic as Raymond Chandler's various heroes are hired, stalked or simply dragged into danger, flying fists, hard-nosed dames and gunfights.

Whilst we are talking about fast-paced stories... Alistair MacLean wouldn't know how to write a slow-moving drama and why on earth would we want him to? This tale deals with Nazi S.S. nasties, stolen gold, revenge and a location set deep within the cannibal and head-hunting tribes of the Amazonian jungle. A lost city, a hovercraft falling down waterfalls and a hero in the typical MacLean mould; ruthless, crack shot, arrogant and playing a secret close to his chest. More to come in 2017...

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