Confessions of a Readaholic

Reviews | Interviews | Giveaways | Recommendations | "I'm Mad About Books"

Reviews | Interviews | Giveaways | Recommendations | "I'm Mad About Books"

Tag: Crime & Mystery

BOOK REVIEW: Luther- The Calling by Neil Cross

Luther The Calling by Neil Cross
Series: John Luther #1
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Detective

The Calling is the first novel featuring DCI John Luther. Yes, the same Luther you saw on telly as I did, played by Idris Elba. There are so many DC’s and DCI’s the modern British Crime Fiction has produced, so why bother about this one? As usually, he is tortured and that is interesting. Aren’t all?

DCI John Luther has a clearance rate of cases which is extraordinary as it is portrayed by Neil Cross in the telly series too, in the first few episodes. If you have watched the series or/are planning to, you can still read the book. The consequences of this book are what followed by the television series. It’s a prequel.

The plot is simple, John Luther is hunting for a brutal murderer and baby kidnapper who intends to do what he has done again. Now, the most extraordinary thing is there in this simplicity and the credit goes to the author of the book, Neil Cross. The opening scene is do dramatised and there a few more to grab, I feel as if it was a real crime scene in front of me. Every detail is spectacularly written, and very rare in crime fiction novels do you find such generous reception. (more…)


BOOK REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot #10
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Detective, Classics

This one certainly one of the most famous Agatha Christie’s crime tale. Whomsoever I am talking with about crime fiction, does bring up Agatha Christie (even if they haven’t read her). The queen of crime as they like to call her, but Hercule Poirot certainly not the king of detectives.

Murder on the Orient Express is a renowned locked room mystery. A locked room mystery, if elaborated is a crime that sounds impossible to ensue. The plot starts on the famous Orient Express train that promises to take her passengers to a journey across the Europe, but is stuck somewhere in between due to heavy snow. Now this is a real incident, an experience the queen of crime has shared with us, her readers from the memorabilia of her life.

This locked room mystery is based on the whole coach of the Orient Express and Hercule Poirot happens to be in that coach. The deed is done, the culprit runs away and Poirot is given the task of bringing the culprit into the spotlight and by deducing his every move, to satisfy his own curiosity as well as the readers of the book. (more…)


Crime and Punishment and Redemption

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Genres: Fiction, Classics

Redemption. We all seek redemption. Most of us are seeking it from our past self for an idealistic future self in various forms. Writing Crime and Punishment for Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a creative redemption from his past and some of his brother, originally titled The Drunkards. Dostoyevsky became fond of this project and rewrote a version of it from scratch, that we take in our hands today and proudly read.

From the start of the novel, the author accomplishes to decipher that the protagonist, Raskolnikov, is tortured by his own thoughts. A student, as many, poverty-stricken, plans an instantaneous murder of an old pawnbroker, thinking it will delay his poverty for few more weeks, completely ignorant of the aftermath and having minimal self-control. This act of morality follows an aftermath which turns out to be psychological for Raskolnikov and the author spots an absolute scenario of what happens after one stands on the brink of insanity using Raskolnikov as his puppet until the protagonist is bring in contact with his own buried conscience and another sufferer. On the engagement of the book and one’s mind, one will indulge in it actively enough as the plot moves forward.

There is suspense in the novel no doubt. Dostoyevsky, in some amount succeeds in the main theme which he tries to revolve around the story: redemption. Characters like Raskolnikov do have a place in a reader’s mind once they have acquired his attention, for longer period of time. But novels like itself, fails to provide strong reasoning for characters who prove to be a drag thoughtout it. I am not going to name a few, you have to read it and judge it for yourself. My assessment is this, when moving forward the path author wants it to and so does the reader, then why a writer like Dostoyevsky would use elements to create a labyrinth, a maze which has no possible point to prove through the novel and does proves to be unnecessary?


The World of Crime Fiction

In Italy, people call a story that consist of detectives or crimes giallo, for the word yellow. The reason is that since 1930s mostly crime fiction books had yellow covers. The earliest known crime fiction book is over twenty pages and is written by Danish author Steen Steensen Blicher and published in 1829. It is called The Rector of Veilbye and is supposedly based on a true murder case from 1626 in Vejlby, Denmark. The story is in the form of diary entries by a character named Erik Sorensen whose focus is on a trial about an unexplained disappearance of a farm labourer and after fifteen years the bones are unearthed.

The evolution and popularity of the genre increased in late nineteenth century in UK and USA, offering cheap paperbacks and mass producing them. Author like Arthur Conan Doyle made a huge contribution in the development of this literary genre for the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. (more…)

BOOK REVIEW: Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin

Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin
Series: Inspector Rebus #20
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Detective

John Rebus is back. Old, fat, still surviving on booze and nicotine. This time he is back with some old fellows as DI Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox, and his old Dr. Hyde resembler, Big Ger Cafferty. With new villains and other fresh characters such as Daryl Christie and James Page, introduced only two novels back in Standing in Another Man’s Grave, Rankin has indulged us readers into a deeper mystery this time.

Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is investigating the death of a senior lawyer during a robbery. But the case becomes more complex when a note is discovered, indicating that this may have been no random attack, and when local gangster Big Ger Cafferty receives an identical message, Clarke decides that the recently retired John Rebus may be able to help. He’s the only man Cafferty will open up to, and together the two old adversaries might just stand a chance of saving Cafferty’s skin.

Meanwhile a team from Glasgow has arrived and they will leave no stone unturned for what they want before the leave Edinburgh in its own hands. DI Malcolm Fox is assigned a simple looking yet harsh task of providing local expertise to the undercover squad but he is soon drawn in too deep as everything collides. (more…)


BOOK REVIEW: Tooth And Nail by Ian Rankin

Tooth And Nail by Ian Rankin
Series: Inspector Rebus #3
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Detective

Tooth and Nail is the third novel by Ian Rankin featuring Inspector John Rebus. Rebus is sent to London to help detectives hunt a serial killer dubbed the Wolfman by the press. In the previous year, in some reviews and an essay on John Rebus, I have talked about Rebus a lot. My love and hate relationship with him and his actions and why he is to be considered as one of the most proficient detectives written in the contemporary world.

Rebus arrives in London just as news of a new victim of the serial killer begins broadcasting over the news. Rebus goes directly to the scene of the crime and is shocked to see the brutality first hand of a case he has only read about. Rebus attends the autopsy and spends some time with the lead detective, uncomfortably aware that this detective seems to think he is some sort of expert based on one case Rebus worked several years before.

Meanwhile, he is as usual vulnerable to some aspect of the story. He is new to London, despise it, and his ex-wife and teenage daughter live in London and a visit with them reveals that his daughter is dating someone who is not the kind of person a copper would choose for his daughter. (more…)


A Glimpse of The World with Detectives

In the previous post, The World of Crime Fiction, I talked briefly about the origins of crime fiction. In this post I present you a list of detectives around the world.

Ian Rankin’s John Rebus books set in Edinburgh are engrossing tales of a misanthropic policeman who solves crime ordinarily or extraordinarily committed.

Set in Reykjavik,  Arnaldur Indridason’s Inspector Erlendur novels have the bleak setting, social realism and gentle pacing associated with Scandinavian noir. (more…)

Top Ten Books in 2015- A Half Yearly List

2015 is going well for me in terms of reading. I have already some books ahead of my schedule to read 125 books this year and I am confident that I will be able to complete the challenge before the year comes to an end. This year I have read a variety of books. Fiction, non-fiction, many kind of sub-genres. Another good thing to happen is I have met many fellow bloggers who from time to time recommend me titles that I would have not known otherwise and I have picked some of them and I am glad and thankful for their recommendations.

Thus, here I am evaluating ten best books I have read so far in the year.

Find Me

Laura van den Berg’s debut novel FIND ME is a rare novel. You won’t find it on everyone’s bookshelf, and if you do, make a plea to let you read it, stop everything, and start reading.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The steadiness of this novel is will make you fond of the writer.

The Hanging Garden

One of the best Rankin’s book.

Norwegian Wood

Mesmerizing Murakam’s words.

Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott’s book is necessary for anyone who aspires to write for his own inner peace.

Kafka On the Shore

Another mesmerising Murakami’s mesh for a reader to experience. His words, the structure, the flow of text, the plot, and the characters together build that mesh.

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

It’s Shawshank Redemption and it is as good as the movie.

Zero to One

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress and a new way of thinking about innovation.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

A great fiction story for the love of books.

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

One of the most amazing collection of letters I have ever read.

BOOK REVIEW: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Genres: Fiction

We all know about THE GODFATHER. The trilogy of movies, purely Italian, the director, and the performers. The famous book cover with the black background and a marionette puppet theme. The novel deals with a mob war fought between the Corleone family and the other four of the five Mafia families in New York. It is quite different from the movie. A glance upon the trilogy of the movie, reveals that the story of latter parts: The Godfather II and The Godfather III are completely different from the book.

To have not read this book is a felony indeed. Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER is undoubtedly one of the great books written on organized crime and the Mafia. This book details the life of Don Vito Corleone and his operations as the head of the Corleone family. The Corleone family is one of the Five Families in American mafia scene of the New York. Don Corleone is shown as a just and authoritative man. Well-respected by all and is equally feared. His influential capacity is legendary and are his policies. The Don, lovingly referred to as the Godfather, has a list of principles which he abides by, no matter what. It follows the lives of the Don and his family and how the least involved and distant son goes on to take up his father’s empire. The intricacy and the twists and turns in the plot will leave you stupefied at times. (more…)


BOOK REVIEW: Dead Souls by Ian Rankin

Dead Souls by Ian Rankin
Series: Inspector Rebus #10
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Detective

This is my fifteenth John Rebus novel, and before starting this book I had a question in my mind. When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh?

One thing is that, after reading a John Rebus’ book, I have an anguished feeling of visiting Edinburgh, see all those places describe the author with my own eyes. The series is set in Edinburgh and Rankin displays an unnerving knowledge of, seemingly, how crime works there. Rankin has a very unique of displaying simplistic events. His engrossing words will get under your skin.

The novel, Dead Souls, starts on a greater node. In the prologue to the book, the suicide of one of Rebus’ colleagues is detailed. Rebus chases a released pedophile when he is supposed to be trying to catch someone who has been poisoning the animals. Then there was the Shellion case, regarding young children abused by their custodians, and now his superintendent had saddled him with another case a violent serial killer, Gary Oakes, was deported back from US to Edinburgh. I wonder, is he never tired? (more…)



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