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Rory Morty "Rory Morty" (Giessen, Germany)
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London Bridges.
London Bridges.
von James Patterson
  Taschenbuch

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1.0 von 5 Sternen Give it a miss, 28. November 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: London Bridges. (Taschenbuch)
Well, this had the makings of a good book, but it just didn't go anywhere! The story starts out with an intriguing plot in an intriguing place: a serial killer (we think), in a fascinating and festive part of Brazil (Salvador), suddenly seems to be in trouble. Of course this idea appeals to us. And with some of Patterson's earlier works in mind, like "Along came a spider", we dare to get excited. The story suddenly takes an additional twist when we open a new chapter in some backwater trailer park in Nevada, getting evacuated by the military. Now we are a bit suspicious, but dare to hope. Well, all to soon the hope dries up.
Wait for it.... we are in the middle of yet another boring monologue about a deranged terrorist trying to plant a nuclear device in... wait for it..... New York City, or Washington DC. OH MAN!!! Is there nothing else to write about these days? And Paterson does a spectacularly bad job. Okay, for a change the bad guys were not arabs (Vince Flynn didn't learn this lesson yet), but even so, Patterson did a terrible job, and it took him 124 chapters!
Along the way, several major catastrophes come to pass. The Fifty-Ninth Street bridge in New York gets blown up (remarkably easily at that!) and we don't get to hear about one of the tragedies that come in its wake, other than a casual note that a few bodies were flying around? Come on! Same for London, a bit later on. The story seemed very superficial, and at times, I feel like Patterson didn't know himself what he wanted to write. Towards the end he tried to throw in a few twists. For example, the revelation that Klára was the Wolf. This was utterly implausible. Then some poor soul who just endured some plastic surgery without anaesthesia? Yeah right.... it is utterly impossible to have a rhinoplasty without anaesthesia. But then he is popped off as well, but he isn't the wolf either! The suddenly we find the Wolf and kill him, and the story ends. This story made a long boring straight line, then suddenly did a few zig-zags at the end and came to an abrupt and very unsatisfying end.
On a more technical side, errors abound. For me the most annoying one was the author describing Lübeck (which is a city of a quarter of a million people) as a farming area, in the same league as Middleton Hall (population 400) and Sunrise Valley (even less!). This book was not well-researched at all.
In a nutshell, the structure of this story is a mess. Give it a miss.


Deep Black (Nick Stone, Band 7)
Deep Black (Nick Stone, Band 7)
von Andy McNab
  Taschenbuch

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Average read.... needs too much page skipping, 28. November 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Deep Black (Nick Stone, Band 7) (Taschenbuch)
In deep black, we accompany Nick Stone on another one of his adventures. After some preamble that described one of Stone's earlier missions into Bosnia that went wrong, we open in the present, with a highly depressed Stone, talking to a shrink, lamenting the loss of somebody close to him, although it is not immediately apparent who that may be. Stone is then rather implausibly coerced into accompanying a friend of his, Jeral, ostensibly on a journalist mission into Bagdhad, to meet the elusive Bosnian revolutionary Nuhanovic. And so the story kicks off, taking us both to Bagdhad and Sarajevo. Further details would spoil the plot for prospective readers.
I fault this story because it is told entirely through the eyes of one man: Nick Stone. As a writing technique, this style certainly has its place. But not in this story, which quickly became very one-sided and very boring because of the limited perspective. I felt like I had blinkers on, and Nick Stone is certainly not too introspective. In fact, he doesn't seem to weigh up anybody else's opinions except his own, which end up making him seem like a dim-witted thug. Jeral, Nuhanovic.... they all must have had their own thoughts and actions, which would have contributed considerably to the overall picture.
There is certainly some intrigue and manipulation worked into the story: essentially the US government manipulating Nick Stone into doing their dirty work for them. But he figures it all out, and then does the job anyway. I can't imagine somebody really responding like that. The book also moves at an odd pace. Sometimes the interesting bits get condensed into a paragraph, while at other times, a boring trek up a hill in the dark can be expanded into chapters. Hence, I found myself skipping quite a few pages.
There are also some slightly irritating errors. McNab (not his real name) refers to terrorists flying "a 747 into a building". But no Boeing 747 has ever been flown into a building. Since McNab claims in the author notes of his books that he "lectures to security and intelligence agencies in the USA and the UK", one would think that he would be better informed? Perhaps not?
Overall, I would probably recommend something else. Two-and-a-half stars from me.


At Risk (Liz Carlyle, Band 1)
At Risk (Liz Carlyle, Band 1)
von Stella Rimington
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,49

3.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent first novel (3.5 stars from me)!, 23. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: At Risk (Liz Carlyle, Band 1) (Taschenbuch)
I really enjoyed this book. I was a little suspicious seeing the "From the former head of MI5" written on the cover. These marketing ploys by publishers get worse and worse lately. So, I picked it up with some reservations. But, I was not at all dissapointed. The story is wonderfully crafted. A whole lot of apparently unrelated bits and pieces of information get pulled togther, and this story was wonderfully realistic. One wonders if it perhaps comes from some MI5 files that the public will, of course, never get to hear about!!
AT RISK opens with an introduction to Liz Carlyle, the key character in the novel, currently an agent-runner with the counter-terrorism unit of MI5. Liz, while bumping heads with colleagues thanks to the usual inter-offfice, and indeed, intra-office politics in a male-dominated workplace, is also confidently supported by Charles Wetherby, her superior at MI5. We then witness the entrance into the UK of an "invisible", a terrorist and/or terrorist aid who can pass off for a local, and this invisible facilitates the entry into the UK of an arab terrorist. The plot takes off from there, and any further information would be a plot spoiler! It is certainly a fascinating and exciting story. And, with so much coverage of terrorism in the popular fiction today, this was a refreshingly original piece of story-telling (listen up, Vince Flynn!).
One cannot help but wonder how much the key character, Liz Carlyle, is actually Stella Rimmington. Carlyle's character is extremely well developed, and we get to learn a lot about her. In fact, all of the characters in the novel felt very real to me. I wholeheartedly recommend it!


Bad Company (Sean Dillon, Band 11)
Bad Company (Sean Dillon, Band 11)
von Jack Higgins
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,99

1.0 von 5 Sternen Airplane fodder, 23. Oktober 2005
Read this book to pass the time. There is no other reason to recommend it. Indeed, that is what I did, and it was short enought to get me through a one-and-a-half-hour Frankfurt-London run. Higgins has written well in the past, this one is probably one of his worst efforts.
The story really starts in wartime Berlin, almost at the end of the war. Hitler, just before everything came to an end for him, passes his diary on to a loyal member of his officers elite, Max von Berger. The story then picks up after his repatriation to Germany several years later. The story had great promise at this point, but I was already a quarter way through the book, and was getting nervous. Indeed, it was a dissapointing run from there. The sad part is that the framework of the story is really really good. It was just terribly handled, considering the skill that I know Jack Higgins possesses! The Hitler diary, the fascinating link between the war and the present day President of the USA. The story takes us to some fascinating places: Germany, the USA, England, Iraq, Yemen. BUt the visits are so short, Higgins doesn't take advantage of having travelled us there. He seems more interested in the local cuisine, and that's about it! I didn't like this novel. I found it highly predictable, very shallow, almost as though Higgins was not interested in telling the story at all, but rather a summary of it. Sean Dillon was a little too invincible for my liking, and Rossi doesn't fit in at all! I would rather re-read The Eagle has Landed. One star for a really original idea. It is sad it was so poorly worked.


The Codex
The Codex
von Douglas Preston
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,99

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Average but entertaining read, 23. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Codex (Taschenbuch)
I didn't find this book particularly outstanding, and neither was it particularly bad. So, it gets an average three-and-a-half-star rating from me. The story kicks off when three sons (Philip, Vernon and Tom) arrive at their father's house to find it empty, dad (Maxwell Broadbent) missing, and immediately assume that there has been a burglary/abduction. They soon discover, however, that dad has set up a game for them, and the prize is their inheritance. The aim of the game is to get his spoilt and generally good-for-nothing children to actually work for their inheritance, since they seem to have had everything in their lives handed to them (literally) on a golden platter. Dad also hoped that the three of them would work together, and in doing so, forge better relations bewteen the three of them. So, dad barricaded himself and his treasures in a remote location in a South American jungle, and set them the task of tracking him down. At the same time, a second story runs in parallel. A pharmaceutical company (Lampe-Denison Pharmaceuticals) is in financial dire straits, and needs a new wonderdrug or similar discovery to pump up its stock. Broadbent's collection of antiquities contains a Mayan codex, which is effectively a recipe book from the Mayan alchemists/medicine men. Contained therein is the solution to Lampe-Denison's problems. So, a parallel team of ruthless explorers sets off, competing with the Broadbent boys, to locate the Broadbent fortune.
While it is a fun adventure, the story is entirely implausible. Okay, it's fiction. But a key theme in the novel is the changeing relationships between the three sons, but neither the characters of the three boys, perhaps with the exception of one, are at all well developed in the novel, nor are the relationships between them. The story is an adventure, with liberal doses of humor, betrayl and excitement, and is certainly full of entertainment. But it is unoriginal, and predictable from the beginning, and I think the second plot, running parallel, actually detracts from, rather than adds to, the story. Nevertheless, with a three-and-a-half star rating I can recommend the novel.


The Lure
The Lure
von Bill Napier
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Original and entertaining read, 23. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Lure (Gebundene Ausgabe)
THE LURE kicks off in the Tatra's, in an underground laboratory which detects signals that could only have come from an extra-terrestrial intelligence. How do we authenticate it? Do we respond to it? And most importantly, what consequences could this have for us? Indeed, several governments suddenly take a big interest in the matter, and they have somewhat different view about how to deal with this situation. The result: scientists on the run! Getting chased by none other than the CIA hit squads and other unsavory characters!
This novel takes us to some fascinating locations in Eastern Europe, and I enjoyed the trip. However, this book requires considerable suspension of reality, so fair enough: it is a novel after all. In fact, I found the idea very original, which was a refreshing change from most of the re-hashes I have read lately. Furthermore, the author is clearly a scientist. Indeed, he is a Professor of Astronomy! It is absolutely evident from his writing, and you do not encounter a string of scientific "blunders" as you do for example with Matthew Reilly's novels. Which is a good thing. However, on the down side, while his idea is excellent, the story leaves a bit to be desired. There are too many boring stereotypes. Somewhat forward Norwegian (read Scandinavian) women with long blond hair; Russians who never stop smoking and who could drink endless amounts of hard liquor. They tend to make the plot seem a little shallow and unoriginal. The key political figures, for example, the US president, seem to be simple and somewhat dim; although given the current incumbent, this is probably right on the mark. There is also perhaps an overdose of physics and astronomy, but these are well-worked into the story. While I still recommend THE LURE without hesitation, I certainly preferred NEMESIS, REVELATION and SPLINTERED ICON, and would direct prospective readers to those novels first.


America
America
von Stephen Coonts
  Taschenbuch

3.0 von 5 Sternen Average, 22. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: America (Taschenbuch)
This story grabbed me in the beginning, but my interest dwindled towards the end. The story opens with the USA losing a SuperAegis satellite, part of a multinational missile defense system, upon launch. Enter Rear Admiral Jake Grafton, who we have met previously in several of Stephen Coont's novels. But before much more can happen, the USS America, a nuclear submarine, is hijacked on her maiden voyage. Shortly thereafter, the America fires Tomahawk missiles equipped with EMP warheads at the USA, shorting out the electronics of several areas of the east coast. The result: airplanes crashing, hospitals crippled, not to mention the Dollar! And off we go, searching for hijacked submarines and lost satellites (not to mention the bad guys themselves), with several sub-plots thrown in as well.
While I did enjoy the submarine chases, they are all over the popular fiction at the moment, and I don't think that Coonts' effort stands out significantly from many of the others. His character development is poor. Even Grafton himself seems a little dull and underdeveloped. And we don't even get to know most of the bad guys, and then somewhere along the line, he tries to draw sympathy for some pretty bad apples? I found the direction a bit confusing from time to time. But, it was the end of this novel that really ruined it. Read: "Adventure on the Loveboat". The author had gone to some effort to make the story somewhat plausible beforehand, and now it becomes quite ridiculous. So, the novel ended with me feeling a little sour about it. Three stars from me.


The Last Nazi
The Last Nazi
von Stan Pottinger
  Hörkassette

3.0 von 5 Sternen Average read, 22. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Last Nazi (Hörkassette)
This was a good effort from Pottinger, but falls short of his success with previous novels. The Third Reich is a very overworked theme in the popular literature, an even bringing in the added twist of a virus tailored to target a specific race was hardly novel. The novel starts in Auschwitz with Joseph Mengele's foster son Adawolf already up to his tricks. Then it moves to modern day New Jersey, where we meet FBI Special Agent Melissa Gale, hot on the tracks of the very same Adawolf, although she appears to bungle his capture. The story takes off from there, in an interesting but fairly predictable manner with all the usual ingredients: betrayl of friendship, people not quite who they seem to be, murder and a failing marriage, all this compounded by Melissa's somewhat personal crusade, since her grandmother died in a concentration camp. It was a fast-paced, entertaining read, but its predictability, and generally overworked theme generated an average read.


Walking the Shadows
Walking the Shadows
von Donald James
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen A nice surprise, 22. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Walking the Shadows (Taschenbuch)
This was a delightful read. I had not read Donald James before. This was my one and only! However, I was not at all dissapointed. The story was fascinating. It took a lot of bizarre twists, and it is less common today that you read a story told by one of the participants. Usually, everything is told by an outsider, that we never get to meet. The book starts with a strange discussion between the lead character and story-teller, Tom Chapel, who learns, at age 40, that he is not his fathers child, and his mother. The story takes off from there, and has its roots in wartime Vichy France. Marcel Coultard, a local from the village of St Juste, France, leaves 28 million dollars to Tom's daughter, Romilly. This mystery takes Tom and his daughter, who is later abducted, to France, where he attempts to unravel the mystery. To give away more would be to spoil the plot! But, this book has some very interesting themes, and I think that some of Tom's more introspective thoughts would strike a chord with many of us. The plot is informative and complex, and the characters are well developed, as are the relationships between them. I certainly recommend this novel, and I have awarded it three-and-a-half stars.


Temple
Temple
von Matthew Reilly
  Taschenbuch

5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Best Reilly so far!, 22. Oktober 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Temple (Taschenbuch)
This book had a totally implausible storyline, to put it rather mildy. And the action scenes are probably more suitable for a movie than a novel. That said, however, I did enjoy the story. It is in fact two stories, set several hundred years apart. Both of these stories could have been told independently of one another and still made sense. They make better sense together. I very much enjoyed the "old" story, set in Peru about 500 years previously, detailing the invasion of the Incan Empire by the Spanish Conquistadors, with Hernando Pizarro leading an effort to capture "The Spirit of the People", a small statue of sorts, carved out of a meteorite, and treasured by the Inca's as a holy relic. One of the top Inca's, Renco, has the opposite goal: to protect the statue from Pizarro's hands; and he is ably assisted in this task by Alberto Santiago, a Spanish monk who has switched his loyalty to the Incan side (and who effectively tells the "old" story), and Bassario, a fellow Inca fallen afoul of the law. Five hundred years later, a similar competition for the same artifact is playing out again in Peru, this time with different governments and political factions wanting the artifact to produce a weapon of mass destruction.
Like all Matthew Reilly novels, this one requires massive suspension of reality. But unlike some of his novels, for example SCARECROW, this one actually has a story! Reilly seems particularly comfortable writing about antiquities and old civilisations, and he has done a good job here. There are some oddities, which perhaps suggest his research wasn't top class. For example, he appears not to appreciate the difference between a nucleotide (part of DNA) and radionuclide (a radioactive substance). Hence, his "nucleotide resonance imager" was a bit of a mystery. The "bible in the pocket stopping a bullet" is a bit of an overdone idea, right? There is no University of Peru. There is a Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and a University of Lima, but no University of Peru. And then there is the disarm code for the supernova, apparently "11221945", to denote 11 November 1945, the proposed execution date of the German. But this German would not have used the American date system with the month first, right? He would have used 22111945...... right? These details irritated me a little. That aside, I still found it an enjoyable read!


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