Due to having a holiday in December I actually managed to get several books read and I had some real treats to savour. I also found a new author to me who I think I’m going to be enjoying for years to come.
The Upper Hand by Johnny Shaw
I straight-up – no ifs, buts or maybes – bloody loved this book. In a way, you could argue I was always going to. A couple of readers recommended it to me and they said it combined crime and humour in the way I try to in my work. Still – I’ve read a lot of books that try and do that and more often than not, it doesn’t work. Johnny Shaw is a master at it. The humour flows naturally around a compelling story and really engaging characters and he just does it right. The characters lead the way and the plot, without engaging in that ‘a twisty twist you’ll never see coming’ nonsense genuinely does flow beautifully and naturally in unexpected directions. I can’t recommend this book any more highly – go get it!
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
I’ve heard a lot about this over the last six months so I purposefully left it for a holiday treat – it really delivers. It is a full-on thrill ride done at a level that few authors can match. The premise is great and it is executed with such wonderful gusto that you can’t help but be swept along by it. You her the phrase page turner thrown about a lot, not always in a positive context, but in my experience very few authors can pull it off. Steve Cavanagh absolutely nails it in the best way possible.. Prepare to have a very bad night’s sleep because you’ll want to finish. Is it 100% plausible all the time? Maybe not – but who cares? This book is just great fun from start to finish.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Confession time – I did actually read this years ago but a friend gave me a copy for my birthday and I thought it was time for a revisit. I’m glad I did. It really is a classic of the genre. Supernatural humour is a tricky beast to master and nobody has done it as well as this book does. It combines the best of both authors and the book manages to feel both timeless and very timely – probably because it seems to be a feature of modern life that we always feel like armageddon could happen by Friday. The TV series is coming soon and it has an awful lot to live up to.