Hope Never Dies – by Andrew Shaffer

3 10 2020

I bought this book as a gift for a couple of people a year or two ago, it sounded hilarious and like it would suit their tastes, and then this year I finally got a chance to try it! The thing that made me get it as a present, was the last paragraph of the blurb:

“Part action thriller, part mystery, part bromance, and (just to be clear) 100 percent fiction, Hope Never Dies imagines life after the Oval Office for two of America’s greatest heroes. Together they’ll prove that justice has no term limits.”

If that doesn’t sell it, I don’t know what will!

I finally picked it up now as with the election coming up, it felt timely. Joe Biden narrates the book, and does occasionally ponder on if he’d ever run for office again, but mostly the book is digging into the death of his favourite Amtrak (train company) conductor in suspicious circumstances.

This was by no means great literature, but it was a fun read if you’re looking for something light and escapist!

Elizabeth Is Missing – by Emma Healey

22 09 2020

The final book in the stack from Mum!

Before I read this, I knew it was about a woman with dementia who was convinced her friend was missing. What I didn’t know was that she narrates the book.

I’ll be honest, I really struggled with the first few pages as I adjusted to it – it was almost upsetting to read stuff that is so familiar and close to home, from the perspective of the person who is confused. You can feel her deteriorating through the book, which is tough, but laced with humour as well.

Once I got used to the style though, it was an excellent book – the narrator suffering from dementia is such a clever idea. Maud switches between struggling to work out what’s currently going on (other than being sure that her friend Elizabeth is missing, there’s a note in her pocket that says so), and flashing back to when she was a child and her older sister went missing. Essentially it’s two stories being told in parallel, but one reliably, and one not.

I guess it’s really a mystery book, and that’s what had me hooked, trying to work out what’s happened in her past, and what on earth is going on in her present. It really was a good read, I read it in seven days, crazy fast for me!

It turns out that there’s an adaptation of it on iPlayer at the moment, so hoping to watch that this week, trailer below!

Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet – by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

15 02 2014

I’m a relatively recent convert to Sherlock. I watched my first episode on New Year’s Day this year when the first episode of series 3 was aired – I was hooked! I dedicatedly watched the rest of the series and am now catching up on series 1 & 2 that I’ve been able to borrow from friends.

I was aware they’re based on the old series of books, and another friend offered to lend me the first one – I thought, why not?! Always aiming to read more, why not read something a bit more classic.

I read “A Study in Scarlet” which is the first book in the series, where Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet, it’s also the book that the first TV episode, “A Study in Pink” was based on. It didn’t disappoint.

Considering the books were written in the 1800s I was expecting it to be hard work, but it wasn’t, the story grabbed me in and I was so keen to know what happened. I had an idea as I’d already seen the TV episode, but there’s enough difference that I didn’t really know how it would come together.

Just when it was about to resolve though I had a bit of a shock. Suddenly we were in Utah, USA, with different characters, and several chapters without any reference at all to our Hero. I messaged my friend who had leant me the book and assured me it was still the same story, but the jump was so sudden I really wasn’t sure.

In the American section of the book there’s a whole bit on the Mormons which was slightly weird for me as one of the last books I read had also had a large section on them – bizarre!

Definitely a recommended read. The book is only little and even then less than 200 pages, so it doesn’t take long, and is definitely entertaining.

sherlock holmes