Books, life the universe

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Where has spring gone and books

I did think after such a pleasant day yesterday - apart from the cold start - that spring just might be in the air but today it's cold and blowy and wet. Come back spring, all is forgiven.

I finished reading M R Hall's The Coroner - a tense crime story, featuring as might be expected, the work of a coroner. I found it interesting as it features corruption in various places and it has a good old dig at the idea of privately run prisons. I think the only aspect for which I would criticise it is that Jenny - the Coroner of the title - had some anxiety problems which she found difficult to deal with and was constantly popping pills. I wasn't wholly convinced by this and was unsurprised to read - after I'd finished it - that the author is male and I don't think he's wholly got inside this female character.

It didn't spoil the book for me as the plot was excellent and the other characters convincing. It is made clear in the story that there is something in Jenny's past which caused her mental problems but what exactly is not revealed. I'm assuming there will be others in the series and hopefully all will become clear. I would still recommend the book especially for its different background from the usual.

I'm currently reading The Music Room by William Fiennes, an interesting memoir of his childhood growing up in a moated castle somewhere near Warwickshire. His portrait of his brother who suffered from a severe form of epilepsy and how it affected the whole family is poignant but accepting. Memoir is interspersed with excursions into various theories of the mechanics of epilepsy. The writing is of excellent quality with evocative descriptions of the countryside, his home and the various flora and fauna. Worth reading.

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