September 17th, 2012

politics

Links I found interesting for 17-09-2012

lovejoy

September Books 15) The Vatican Rip, by Jonathan Gash

Haven't been well enough to do anything but read today, and have therefore got through a number of books, the first being this tale of Lovejoy going to Rome to steal an antique table from the Vatican Museum. Lovejoy is at his most psychopathic here, gratuitously violent to bad guys and to women, and so utterly besotted with antiques as to be unaware of any other person's feelings. Gash redeems the novel as a reading experience with loving detail on Rome, on the Vatican and on Lovejoy's audacious plan to rip an exhibit from the tightly guarded city-state, and also by Lovejoy getting a mildly comical if emotionally improbable comeuppance at the end, after the bad guys have met their just deserts. But I think the narrator's sheer unpleasantness makes it a weaker entry in the series.
rebus

September Books 16) Blood Hunt, by "Jack Harvey" (Ian Rankin)

This standalone tale by Rankin is about a Scottish SAS veteran seeking revenge for his murdered brother (NB that brothers crop up a lot in Rankin's plots). The story is supposedly about the global chemicals industry's conspiracy to poison our food, which was even more topical back in 1995, but actually the real point is the central character's quest for vengeance across America, England, France and Scotland, and how it unexpectedly ties into an old and forgotten personal feud. Exciting action stuff at the end, but presumably our hero would end up facing a significant jail term for the methods he uses to deal with his brother's killers.
tardis

September Books 17) Set Piece, by Kate Orman

The Doctor, Ace and Benny find themselves confusingly distributed between Akhenaten's Egypt, Napoleon's Egypt and 1871 Paris, facing implacable foes intent on dismembering the Doctor. It was all very vivid and enjoyable to read, and only now that I try to summarise it do I realise that the plot was really all over the place. Ace departs the series at the end of the book, and Sophie Aldred writes her character a farewell afterword; Big Finish was still several years in the future at this point...
earthsea

September Books 18) Dagger Magic, by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris

Well, I was warned. Starts with Irish coastguards discovering a long-wrecked Nazi submarine and being promptly murdered by sinister Asian monks. Then we shift across the water to Scotland where the police are aided by a psychic order of nobility linked to the Templars (and white so therefore not sinister). The first line of page 72 is, "At the heart of the Inner Planes lay the Akashic Records" - and at that point I decided I could read no further. Sorry, life is too short.