Kathy Reichs Death de Jour Not as good as her first book (the series Bones, which I haven't seen is based on these novels) and with a completely unconvincing plot.
Henning Mankell The Man Who Smiled I'd been meaning to get around to reading some of these Swedish crime novels but probably should have started with the first one. I didn't find the detective particularly engaging and found the pace a bit slow and the dialogue very flat. I might gove them another go form the beginning.
Mark Slouka The Visible World This was a beautifully-written, slow-burning fiction based around the story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942, Czech emigres to America and a young American man's gradual piecing together of his mother's tragic love story. There is an unexpected - and heartbreaking - twist at the end which had me weeping (though that could have been the morphine).
Deidre Purcell Tell Me Your Secret The first three quarters of this book was excellent. It's the story of a rural Irish girl whose family inflict a terrible punishment on herwhen they discover she's having a sexual relationship with a boy from the worng side of the tracks. The evocation of rural Ireland during the war years and the depiction of the characters when younng is great, but the contemporary side of the story and the too-neat resolution deterioartes into chick-lit.
John le Carre The Mission Song I love John le Carre's writing, bothe the Cold War spy novels and the later geo-political thrillers. I like his unheroic heroes for the same reason I like William Boyd's. They are usually underdogs caught up in events or systems over whichthey have no control. This book was up to the usual standard, with one caveat. The one thing that le Carre, now in his seventies, can't quite do is conjure up 21st century society with the insight he brought to his depictions of the Cold War and the Thatcher years. The casual racism inflicted on the the couple at the centre of the story is too heavy-handed, too 1950s and not an accurate reflection of modern London. Still, a very good read.
Ian McEwan On Chesil Beach Short, troubling and brilliant. A moving account of curtailed marriage in the 1950s that forms an insightful sexual history of an entire generation. Magnificent.
Audrey Niffenegger The Time Traveller's Wife This was perfect morphine-addled reading. It's an intriguing, whimsical (but not whimsical) sort of SciFi romance about the nature of time and love. The kind of book that is so good it makes you sad you have finished it.
William Boyd Restless Beloved WIlliam Boyd. He never disappooints. This is a rivetting and moving read as an epdisode of wartime espionage has repercussions into the seventies. His characters are always so convincing, especially the women. This cannot be said of bloody Sebastian Faulks, who covers a lot of the same territory with half the conviction and finesse.
Justin Cartwright The Promise of Happiness I'd not heard of this writer before but enjoyed this account of an ordinary, extraordinary family subject to a series of troubling but enlightening crisis. Gorgeously restrained writing and many of those moments of recognition when the emotional truth rings out.
Mark Haddon A Spot of Bother This was a re-read and a very comforting one. Funny insightful and gripping. I shall probably read it again sometime.