Books, life the universe

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Angel with Two Faces

I finished reading Nicola Upson's Angel with Two Faces featuring Josephine Tey as an amateur sleuth working with her friend - Scotland Yard detective Archie Penrose. Set in the 1930s, it is a convoluted tale of family relationships and secrets from the past which threaten to derail the present. It was a good story and well written and I like Josephine Tey in this incarnation. What I thought didn't come over too well was the 1930s atmosphere. It just didn't gel to me and I kept thinking any moment someone was going to pick up a mobile phone! I don't think the swear words fitted with the period either.

That said, I did enjoy it. The characters are well drawn and the dialogue believable. One of the best scenes was a recreation of 'The Jackdaw of Rheims' at the open air theatre at Minack. Very atmospheric to the extent I felt I really was there watching it as I was reading. At 422 pages it could perhaps have done with a ruthless editor as it was a little too long. 370pages might have been a better length.

Another book in progress is Richard T Kelly's Crusaders about the North East of England and a clergyman setting up - or 'planting'- a new Anglican church. This is a book for the long term and I'm reading about 30 pages a day. It's good - I've reached page 200 - but again could have done with a more ruthless editor.

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