Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Short Review - Mr Mercedes

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Take a retired detective haunted by not solving his last case, a serial killer with an inappropriate relationship with his mother, Stephen King's writing and characterisation, and you have a winner.

A straight up crime thriller, I was expecting a touch of the supernatural to appear and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Detective Hodges and his sidekick duo are such  well drawn characters that I found myself wishing the book was longer. This isn't unusual with some Stephen King books, and I guess it's how he's built his reputation.

4.5 / 5

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Back in the allotment again

Seems I've not posted much this last year, so I guess a quick allotment update is in order.

Again, there was more fruit and veg than we could possibly eat or give away, which seems the norm for an allotment. The infamous shed and greenhouse are still somehow standing (more on the greenhouse later) and a late growing winter cabbage became a summer monster.

Firstly, the mega cabbage. A so-called winter cabbage never really grew during the winter of 2013, so I left it to see what would happen. By June or July it had grown into this.

Of course I could have picked it then and fed the whole street, but being curious as to how big it would get, I left it. By September it was bigger though had suffered from caterpillar damage. I picked it and was possibly the worse tasting cabbage ever, tough and bitter. I thought there was an Aesop's fable about leaving a cabbage so long it becomes inedible, but the google proves otherwise.

The allotment bath tub I inherited continued to look real purdy when the water lillies flowered.

An amusing shaped courgette caused much hilarity.

Onto the greenhouse. It looked like it was falling down when I took the allotment over two years ago

As it hasn't actually fallen down, and also survived two years of storms, I figure it's stronger than it looks. So, operation fix greenhouse is now underway. I've done some general tidying (though it doesn't really show) and started to shape some wood to replace the worst of the rotten bits. Next step is to paint what's left to stop further rotting and then rebuild. The final job will be to fill in the broken panes with cheap eBay polycarbonate sheets.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Short book review: Of Blondes and Bullets

I might be a month or two late to this party, but I've just read the first release from new Noir publisher Number 13 Press

Of Blondes and Bullets by Michael Young, is gritty, very British, and brings back memories of classic pulp and noir titles.

Although the first chapter starts with a fight in a workshop, it takes some time before we know who these people really are. In the second chapter we meet Frank and it's through his eyes we see the rest of the novella. After saving a drowning woman, Frank then attempts to help and gets involved in her current problems - that's putting it mildly, and I'll stop there to avoid blowing the plot.

Have to say, it was a pleasure to read. It was always going somewhere and there were no wasted words. It's a novella so it doesn't take to read, but it's the right length for the story.

Look forward to more titles.

4.5 / 5