Knots and Crosses: Ian Rankin

I’ve been going back to some of my favourite book series and starting at the beginning book. Knots and Crosses is the first “Rebus” book for Rankin. It’s not Rankin’s first overall novel, just the first in the Rebus series. Like THE FLOOD and WATCHMAN, KNOTS AND CROSSES is very uneven and immature. A blessing that readers and publishers stuck with Rankin and let him develop his later mature writing voice.

Dead Time: Matt Brolly

Workmanlike until the last 20% of the novel, when the quilt unravels and dumps loose threads all over the floor.

Paint-by-number, formulaic, like a modular home slapped together from a blueprint, rather than something organic that grew together and formed a lifelike whole. Unlike other UK series (like Ian Rankin’s Rebus) there is no real human connection in the story, not in family, friends, or work colleagues. It’s as if someone read about how real human feel and tried to copy it onto the page without understanding what that really meant.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: Gail Honeyman

Heartwarming, charming, lonely, awkward, traumatic, emotional, inspiring, heartening, smart, warm, uplifting, somber, blunt, charming, witty, erudite, quirky, unique, Goldilocks-just-right.

Yet another excellent debut novel. Not only is Eleanor Oliphant completely fine, so is the state of modern literature going forward.

Transcript: Kate Atkinson

Oh my! Didn’t this one surreptitiously infiltrate onto my device clandestinely. I don’t remember ever having heard of this author, much less installing it on my device.

Oh my! Erudition! Intelligence! Bon mots! Clever turns of phrase! A superb sense of time and place!

And of course, the sublime Juliet Armstrong: orphan, romantic, thief, inveterate liar, unhappy virgin, free with her charms, spy, loyal friend, completely selfish, spunky, devil may care, murderess [yes, that’s a spoiler, but Ms Atkinson saves a much larger surprise ending that I had not one iota was coming].

Superb bibliography. With the ‘right’ books (my grad degree is in the History of Intelligence during this time period, so I know which ones are which).

I sincerely hope Ms Atkinson will see fit to provide me with an invitation to be part of Juliet Armstrong’s fascination life again.

I’ll be waiting.

Juliet….Juliet…wherefore art thou?

Early Riser: Jasper Fforde

Fforde is a talented, interesting writer. I truly enjoy his worlds, each just one or two molecules out of kilter with the “real” world we think we inhabit, keeping his universes seemingly mundane, but just enough different to be horribly terrifying.

Although his creations are truly interesting, ulitimately they are, unfortunately, all unique in the same way.

Try his THURSDAY NEXT or NURSERY RHYME SERIES if you like this.