Murder and Medling by Ovidia Yu
Silverview by John Le Carré
I’ve read just about all John Le Carré’s books and liked them too. Most of them start a bit slow until the story catches a thread at a time and gets going. This one, his final book, started rather slow too. A small-town bookshop owner meets a slightly over-inebriated gentleman who claims to have known his father. A woman with a baby delivers a letter to a London house. She’s been told to wait for a response. These two incidents then start a whole process of actions in typical Carré manner, to find out if there’s been a leak in security and if so, who the culprit is. The book was completed by Le Carré’s son after the author’s death.
My review ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The story is low key, nothing much really happens. Most of it is told as memories by multiple people to explain the behaviour and motivations of different people in the past. How spies get to be spies and how they stop, or can a spy actually stop being a spy? And typically to Carré, everybody has their reasons for doing things, staying in the shadows. The book is short, only 200 pages. I liked it.
Review of the last Montalbano books, The Cook of the Halcyon and Riccardino
Admission, I’ve read all Montalbano books by Andrea Camilleri. And watched the TV-series. Most of the books have been excellent and the TV series has made them alive. Those of you who haven’t read them/watched them yet, you really should.
The two last books are a bit different. The Cook of the Halcyon was apparently written for TV and then it became a book instead. Riccardino was written already 2004, as Mr. Camilleri wanted the series to end his way. When he lived longer than he expected to, he updated it later.
The Cook of the Halcyon by Andrea Camilleri
This is the next to last book, #27. The title is a bit odd. Halcyon is actually a huge yacht, a pleasure boat, Montalbano sees in the harbor, and he gets interested in it as they are loading an awful lot of pricy food on it, good wines and other drinks too. Then he sees a beautiful woman, who he had seen earlier boarding the boat and plot thickens. Throw in a murder or two, an American and even FBI in need of help, and things get complicated, very fast.
My review: ⭐⭐⭐
This wasn’t the best of the Montalbano books, I’m sad to say. It’s rather different. As mentioned, it was originally written for TV. It’s still pretty good, plenty of murders and action and the ending was a surprise. But it was lacking the usual Montalbano flair of plotting and character, it read a bit more like an action thriller type which would have likely been great on TV but as a book it lacked nuance and sometimes it goes rather over the top.
Riccardino by Andrea Camilleri
This is the last book in Montalbano series, the final episode, #28. It was written well before Andrea Camilleri died. He sent it to his publisher saying to keep it in the drawer and publish it after his death.
The book starts with Montalbano receiving a call. Not as usual by Catarella but from someone named Riccardino who asks him when he’s going to show up. Montalbano who doesn’t like being woken up early in the morning, says, 10 minutes and hangs up. Clearly it was someone who had dialed a wrong number. Soon later, Montalbano gets another call, about a murder, someone had been shot right infront of his friends. And off we go, the usual Montalbano style.
My review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The book starts the usual Montalbano fashion, he visits the site of the murder, he starts to interview people, but he’s not supposed to handle the case. It’s going to be handled by an upstart from the Flying Squad instead! Montalbano gets a visitor, a fortune teller, who wants to report a strange case of a truck driver leaving packages in an odd place. Montalbano sets out to investigate but then he gets the murder case back because of the bishop insists on it. To complicate matters further, the Author enters in the book complaining that Montalbano isn’t handling things well and may not be up to the job any longer. The “real” Montalbano feels he’s losing to TV Montalbano, that he’s losing the plot and he’s not happy about it.
This book is written a bit differently for sure. Adding the Author in the story makes it rather multilevel in a way. I’m two minds about it whether it’s good or bad. Mostly it works, as Camilleri is a good writer, and the basic story is still classic Montalbano. The ending was very unexpected. It’s an enjoyable read, and a sad read. I’m really sad that the series has come to an end. RIP Mr. Camilleri, RIP Montalbano.
Atlas Shrunk by Jon Philip Rosenberg
It’s 2008 and the presidential election is coming up in the USA. It’s going to be historic. The economy is in a tailspin. The candidate who looks like he could win, is not going to, as he’s found dead, in a room, locked from the inside.
An investigation into his murder leads to a deep dive into banks around the world, their records and a murder.
“The Nighthawks” by Elly Griffiths
This is book 13 in the Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is back at the University of North Norfolk. A group of guys searching buried treasures with metal detectors on the beach in North Norfolk when they find a recently deceased body. Nelson initially thinks the body could belong to an asylum seeker, but it turns out to be a local boy, Jem, instead. It seems the boy could have accidentally drowned. But when two more dead bodies are found, things get very complicated, suggesting murder.
My review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I’ve read all ruth Galloway books and I liked them all. This one, I think, is the best so far. The previous book, The Lantern Men, was perhaps a bit weak, but with the Nighthawks Ruth is back in business. She has been promoted and is now the head of the department, with her own corner office and a coffee machine. She has hired a new lecturer to take over her old job.
But people are not what they seem, and everybody seems to have a lot to hide. There are the Nighthawks, the group of men searching for Viking treasures and Bronze Age coins on the beach, instead they find a body. A dead couple found in an old very creepy house, and the new lecturer Ruth just hired seems to be a bit too friendly. I couldn’t figure out the killer, nor the motive, and the twists in the end were totally surprising.