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Writers are supposed to read. A lot. My reading tends to go in bursts, and, concentration issues aside, I’ve read a bit recently, so I thought I’d share. Most of my reading is now done on ereaders, in large part because I live in a rural area, but I have read a few ‘real’ books too (and added them to the groaning bookshelves).

Links on the book covers go to Goodreads, from where you can click another link through to your bookshop of choice.

This has been on my to-read list for a while. it’s a crime novel in three parts, set in a future solar system where trillions of people live in ‘bubbles’, like a second asteroid belt. it’s a fairly standard evil overlord setup, and Jack is the murderer and freedom fighter (this is pointed out in the prologue, so I’m not spoiling anything. An entertaining, well-written and thought-provoking romp, with one problem – I didn’t ever care about any of the characters.

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Elly Griffiths is one of my new favourite crime writers. I’m a little sick of the self-pitying divorced/widowed male detective with a taste for whisky and slightly offbeat musical taste, or the slender, staggeringly beautiful female detective with amazing skill at hand-to-hand fighting who every male character wants to sleep with. Meet Dr Kate Galloway, a woman who really is smart and independent, who wears tracksuit bottoms around the house and lives on an isolated area of marshland with her cats. She’s a forensic archaeologist who assists DI Nelson in cases around Norfolk. Within the expected genre boundaries, Galloway is a sympathetic and believable character, and I recommend the whole series.

Beautifully written story of a group of people travelling through England, trying to stay one step ahead of the plague. A brilliant and absorbing read.

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I have lived on the Isle of Lewis, so I’m not sure how this book will read to someone who doesn’t have that familiarity with the landscape and culture. That said, this is an excellent crime novel, holding back just enough information to keep you speculating. Well written, and recommended for those who like their novels to have a spirit of place.

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Some people were startled when I picked up this book – it is a hefty tome, which sadly is going to be offputting to many. It doesn’t, however, read that way. Two separate but linked stories, one a murder in a future Newcastle, where a gate is located that allows people to travel to another planet,. This planet, having no sentient inhabitants, has been set up as a massive biofuel farm, and the world has become very dependent on that fuel’s steady flow. The second story takes place on this planet, where people are beginning to suspect that it may not be as uninhabited as previously thought. Absorbing and very well-written.

[and if wordpress would allow you to have empty paragraphs, the layout of this post would have been a lot easier]

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