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    This book will stay with me for a long time; I can’t decide if that’s a good thing. It tells the story of a body being found in a small town in the south. It is a psychological drama rather than a police thriller: we don’t care who the victim is or even the killer as much as watching the events and drama unfold in the characters we learn so intimately.

    The story switches between many different perspectives which gives, overall, a very broad and detailed view of the setting. There are a few perspectives that might be called the Main Character, but I’d say it was Susanna, and she was without doubt my favourite. She is a woman disappearing in her own life: a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher at the local school, but somehow she’s lost herself identity in serving others, something many women will identify with. There’s also the thirteen-year-old girl who discovers the body, the ex-pro-athlete detective, and a host of other unforgettable characters.

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    by  Number of Views: 68 
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    A Vish Puri Mystery


    This book was my introduction to Vish Puri, India’s Most Private Investigator, though it is the fourth book in the series. Don’t let that put you off: Hall introduces everything properly so you haven’t missed anything. This is a classic mystery book, in line with an Agatha Christie type. Vish Puri is called “the Indian Poirot” on the back cover, and I agree. He is joined by a full cast of well-rounded characters, including my personal favourite: the formidable Mummi-ji, Vish’s mother.

    The book is well-written, if not a total page-turner. The book opens following many disparate plotlines, which at first is sort of distracting, but they weave together at the end and it all makes sense. Like any good mystery, we have all the clues Vish has so we can try to solve it ourselves.

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    by  Number of Views: 77 
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    Smith has returned for his 15th visit to the No1 Ladies Detective Agency in Gaborone, Botswana and specifically to Mma Precious Ramotswe. For those unfamiliar with the series these are detective stories, but not the blood n guts shoot em up type so beloved of Holywood. These are gentle journeys into the lives of ordinary people of Botswana dealing with all the human foibles such as greed, sloth, lust and a few more of the Seven Deadly’s.

    A new Beauty Salon opens in the shopping mall yet someone is spreading rumours that people using the salon will have skin problems and hair loss. A man has died leaving a valuable will and the lawyer suspects that the long-lost son is not in fact his son. And Mma Makutsi who has now married has just had a baby which brings a new dimension into how the Detective Agency works.
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    by  Number of Views: 107 
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    Graham Hurley is a Crime fiction writer with links to Portsmouth and the West Country. Western Approaches is the first book of two in the D/S Jimmy Suttle series.

    Western Approaches centres around D/S Jimmy Suttle who has recently relocated to the Devon and Cornwall force, to chase his dreams of living in the country, moving his wife and young baby into a run down, remote cottage in the process.

    Hurley has put a great deal of effort into portraying the chaotic turns that Suttle’s personal life takes as he struggles under the pressure of balancing his personal and business lives. He is torn in three directions over the course of the story, in the age old too much to do and too little time to do it in. He must choose between chasing his dream to return to his countryside roots, saving his marriage as his wife becomes increasing embittered by the state of their cottage and her new lonely life away from her city and pre-baby life and solving the murder of a greatly disliked man, which could very easily be simply written off as a drunken accident.
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    by  Number of Views: 216 
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    2. History,
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    The North Korean Threat in a Changing Era


    I will preface this by saying I have a degree in International Relations with a speciality on North East Asian studies and the History of Warfare. I’m no expert, but I know enough about the history and politics of the region to know when someone is seriously divergent from general academic consensus on a topic.

    I have read plenty of books about politics in my life. Some I loved, some I hated, and some have just frustrated me. This book falls into the latter category.

    Bechtol tries to unpack the history, culture, and future aspirations of North Korea in a series of short essays, each designed to explore in depth a particular element of this ‘mysterious country’. The basic premise of this book is that during Kim Jong-il’s regime from 1994-2011, the threat that North Korea posed to the rest of the world intensified. Bechtol points to the ‘conventional military threat’, strategy on the Northern Limit line, nuclear capabilities, support for foreign terrorists and the political succession process as key areas where North Korea poses a threat.

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