2010 Holiday Reading: Fiction

For some reason, I didn’t seem to get as much reading done as usual on holiday this year. At a later date, I’ll have some comments on the serious books that I read, but let’s kick off with some fiction.

I have long been a great fan of P. D James books, but I have to admit that the The Private Patient was somewhat of a disappointment. It feels to me that the the great lady is finally running out of steam and that there is less depth to her characters and plotting than we are used to. If, like me, you are a fan of the Adam Dalgleish mysteries, you will want to read this one, but if you have never read a P. D. James book before, don’t start with this one; get hold of P.D. James, A Taste For Death (Adam Dalgliesh Mystery).

I’ve not made a habit of looking out for Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe novels, but I seem to have read a good few over the years and generally found them enjoyable. Midnight Fugue has to be one of the best of Hill’s books. They mystery is tightly plotted and there are one or two excellent ‘laugh out loud’ moments. If you only know Dalziel and Pascoe from the BBC TV series then you really should read the books – they are far better.

I came across a copy of Stig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy) in a gift shop in Grasmere, on sale for five quid. There has been quite a bit of buzz about Larsson’s books, but I’d never read one, so I thought I’d give it a go. It is an excellent novel, the characters were well drawn and the plot is tense and gripping. On the other hand, there are no particularly pleasant characters in the book and some of the seamier aspects of the story are pretty nasty. On balance, I enjoyed it and I’ll probably read the others in the series, but I have to issue a strong caveat emptor with this one. Not everyone who reads Kouya Chronicle will feel comfortable with Stig Larsson.

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