The Book Of Mirrors

the-book-of-mirrors

 

the Book Of Mirrors

by E. O. Chirovici

 

When big-shot literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.

The author, Richard Flynn is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late 80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder.

One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.

Peter Katz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of what happened that night twenty-five years ago and is convinced the full manuscript will reveal who committed the violent crime.

But other people’s recollections are dangerous weapons to play with, and this might be one memory that is best kept buried.

 

When part of a manuscript lands on the desk of literary agent, Peter Katz, he is intrigued by the story of Richard Flynn, a student at Princeton, his girlfriend Laura Baines and charismatic Professor, Joseph Wieder.  Richard began working for the Professor in his library, but when he is found murdered, Richard becomes a suspect.
When Peter Katz tries to uncover the rest of the manuscript it transpires that it is lost. There follows two investigations into this 20 year old crime, one by a journalist, and the other by a detective who was also on the original investigation.
 It is a journey of twists and turns delving into the memories of the characters who played a part in the original story and who have very differing tales to tell; with lapses of memory, truths, half-truths and lies tripping off tongues.
This is a fine multi-layered, intelligent crime story that will keep you guessing about more than just the perpetrator of the crime. The author has created characters with depth and feeling. They take hold of you and immerse you in the story, leaving you reluctant to let it go until the final pages have been read.
A certain winner.
Many thanks to Martin Myers of Penguin/Random House for giving me a copy of this book.

 

 

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Prankenstein On Tour

prankenstein-on-tour

 

Prankenstein On Tour

by Andy Seed

 

The third instalment of this fantastic series is finally here! Soapy Thompson’s dad wins a world cruise for a family of five and Soapy convinces his parents that best friends, Arvo and Loogi should come along to stop him going mad with boredom.As they cruise past the East coast of Africa there is a great commotion in the dead of night and Soapy discovers that pirates have boarded the ship and taken two hostages – his parents – and are demanding GBP1m in cash. Soapy knows that his only hope is to unleash Prankenstein – his prank-crazed alter-ego and the adventure out at sea really begins.

 

This is the third book in the Prankenstein series, about Soapy Thompson, a young boy with an alter ego. I haven’t read the first two in the series, but as I am doing an event with author Andy Seed, I thought it only right that I should acquaint myself with the latest book, and I am very glad that I did.

Soapy, his mum and dad and his two friends go on a cruise, where things start to go wrong almost immediately, and Soapy has to call on Prankenstein to sort out the mess. Unfortunately, once Prankenstein has been released he is a very difficult character to get rid of. And his antics leave you roaring with laughter.

When Soapy goes missing,it is up to his two friends Arvo and Loogi, and the two girls they meet on the cruise, Minty and Ursule, to try to save the day.

This is a fabulous read for all children aged between 7 and 11. But I strongly suspect that if you have a reluctant boy reader then this could be the series to get them interested.

There is humour on every page. I personally loved the characters of Arvo and Loogi, from Estonia, and the dialogue between them and Soapy is hilarious.

As well as the humour,the story of the boys’s adventures is extremely readable. Which is a big help if you are a parent helping your child with his/her reading.

I would highly recommend this series, and although this book can be read as a standalone, I think children would love to start at the beginning with Prankenstein and follow his adventures through the series.

 

ANDY_SEED

 

Andy Seed is an author and poet, living in North Yorkshire. He writes memoirs, funny poems and humorous non-fiction books as well as all sorts of things for teachers. Andy’s most popular book for adults is All Teachers Great and Small and his most popular book for children is a non-fiction book, The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff, which won the 2015 Blue Peter Best Book with Facts Award.

 

 

The Mine

the-mine

 

The Mine

by Antti Tuomainen

 

In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.

A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.

 

Janne Vuori is a reporter. When he is sent an email asking him to investigate corruption and illegal activity at a mine in Northern Finland and then company executives start dying under mysterious circumstances, Janne is determined to uncover the truth of what is happening at the mine, even to the detriment of his home life.

Janne is not only a reporter, he is a man with a family, and a family that is cracking under the strain of his commitment to his job, When Janne’s father reappears after 30 years of abandonment he is forced to confront his own attitudes and responsibilities.

Whilst this book is about corruption on an industrial scale and the subsequent effects on the environment; the story of Janne’s relationship with his wife and father is equally as strong if not stronger. The mistakes made with his wife and the slow disintigration of love and trust is achingly real.

Emil, Janne’s father, has a secret life that he is hoping to leave behind. He has his own story told through separate chapters, they give us an insight into his life and the reasons why he had to leave.

Janne is torn between his conviction that the environmental disaster at the mine must be exposed and the worry that he is his father’s son and would put his work before his family. Pauliina, his wife, never misses an opportunity to tell him that this is so.

This is a beautifully written book with some very strong characters. Janne and Emil with their tortured relationship, but also Pauliina, finding it difficult to cope with Janne’s career and the fact that he invests so much time and effort into it.

The sense of place is very strong with the scenery and weather playing a huge part in the story and the descriptions are captivating:

The snow-covered landscape was full of motion: it rose and fell, twisted and turned, stretched out flat. At times the forest rushed past, then the trees disappeared and the world was again nothing but endless sheets of snow.

If I have one small criticism it is that the ending was slightly underwhelming, after all the tension in the book everything seemed to come together too neatly rather than explode, but I’m sure other will disagree.

I really enjoyed this book which was beautifully written, and credit must go to the translator, David Hackston,  as it is impossible to tell it is in translation.

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy