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benhunt
Madrid, Spain
Hack turned flack living in Madrid with three kids hoping one day to be able to read Arturo Perez Reverte in his native Spanish...
Interests: wine, cooking, family, historical fiction, rugby, crime fiction, us civil war, biography, cricket, american football
Recent Activity
I've read most of those over the years. I'm not crazy about James Paterson but have read a few, and I used to read all the Scarpetta books but stopped some years ago for reasons I don't remember any longer. Janet Evanovicj I have never tried but have heard good things about them. Perhaps I'll try #1!
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Hi Jaz, Sadly my Spanish is still marooned at Meg and Mog level, and Senor Pérez Gallida really is the new Stieg Larsson it'll be 2016 before I've finished his novel... Thanks for the tip though, I'll keep an eye out for a translation when it comes.
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One of my favourite tasks of the summer is compiling the holiday reading list. This year we have three weeks shared between France and Spain and I estimate that about a quarter of my reading for the entire year will take place during this period. I'm estimating to read no fewer than 12 books over the three weeks and so far have identified only five titles. Please help me decide on the rest!!! All suggestions welcome in the comments section on the blog... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at Material Witness
Hi Angela, in the interview I did with John recently http://materialwitness.typepad.com/material_witness/2014/06/interview-john-connolly-on-his-influences-self-doubt-and-the-future-life-of-charlie-parker-.html he said that Charlie definitely will be back, in a new phase of his life....
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I very much enjoyed CJ Sansom's 2012 alternate-history novel Dominion, but I suspect I was not alone among his fans in feeling just a little impatient at the long wait for the next instalment of his Tudor crime fiction series.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at Material Witness
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You know you're in a Mo Hayder novel when just seconds after the start of the audio the hairs on the back of the neck stand up and the shiver runs deliciously down the spine. I'm not sure there's anyone... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at Material Witness
He doesn't seem the most prolific. I've read one or two of the others, but still have some to go including most of the Jack Irish books. Did you see the television adaptation of The Broken Shore. I don't think it's made it to Europe yet but the reviews from Australia suggested it was very good.
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Hi Nina, I've not done my regular summer holiday reading feature next - hopefully next week - but if you liked this one you may want to try, The Boy Who Never Was or Apple Tree Yard, which are both reviewed here.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2014 on REVIEW: Eeny Meeny by MJ Arlidge at Material Witness
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Dixie City Jam is not my favourite James Lee Burke novel - that is In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead - but there's a reason why it's the book that's open on this site's masthead: it was the book... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at Material Witness
benhunt is now following Nicholas Bate
Jun 12, 2014
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My thriller of the year to date is a compelling portrait of an imploding marriage that will keep you up late at night. Five stars... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at Material Witness
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By Its Cover is the 23rd Guido Brunetti novel from Donna Leon, and the first one in a sumptuous series that has left me disappointed. All the usual Leon ingredients are present - corruption, gastronomy, philosophy, glorious Venice- but somehow... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Material Witness
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It is said that Hollywood actresses of a certain age struggle to find great roles as the image-obsessed industry drinks only at the fountain of feminine youth. Those waiting for the casting director's call should therefore immediately start lobbying for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Material Witness
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John Connolly's Charlie Parker series has developed into one of the best in crime fiction and has become a mainstay on my shelves in recent recent years. Here Connolly tells me about his writing influences, the problem with Irish crime fiction and what Charlie Parker does next.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2014 at Material Witness
Yes, Charlie the affair was one of the turns I found difficult to countenance, also the bizarre behaviour of the senior officer. Overall, the novel felt like it needed some more judicious editing.
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I hope my compatriots turn their backs on the politics of hatred and fear on Thursday. Farage and UKIP are no friends of ours. The most eloquent commentary I have seen on these issues comes from the writer Michael Rosen, and it sums my views up far better than I can right now: "I sometimes fear that people might think that fascism arrives in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis. Fascism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you...It doesn't walk in saying, "Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution." Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at Material Witness
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The middle-aged male was not likely the demographic Helen Walsh wrote her steamy May-to-December novel The Lemon Grove for, but given its acclaim I couldn’t resist a dip into my wife’s copy. Some elements I found convincing – the over-blown... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2014 at Material Witness
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How a very talented bookseller helped me find the wonderful Peirene Press, publisher of beautiful award-winning European novellas. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at Material Witness
Hi Mar, I sure hope you're right... but the way this one was left nothing is guaranteed.
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The best Connolly tales open themselves up like an unwelcome noise downstairs in the dead of night: you know there's nothing down there, but you're scared of it all the same. You don't want to check it out, but you know you have no choice. This book, The Wolf in Winter, the twelfth in the outstanding Charlie Parker series, might just be the perfect supernatural thriller. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at Material Witness
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Gripping court room thriller. Check. Dark, psychological drama. Check. Edgy sexual tension. Check. Great writing and characterization. Check. If you're off on holiday this week, here's the book you need... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at Material Witness
I don't know to what extent Adrian Mole made it to the US. In one sense it was very British humour and the early books contained a lot of social and political reference that would have been very particular to Britain in the 1980s. I think later books might have "translated" better as some of those themes - the absurdity of celebrity, the mendaciousness of politicians - have become more transatlantic and more accessible, in part because of the internet. I'm sure you probably have similar work from the States.
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Adrian Mole was funny, subversive and full of clever, understated social commentary. He had a profound impact on my early reading life and I regard Townsend as a comic genius with a gift for drawing people in all their glorious absurdity. She leaves behind a pithy, witty chronicle of the last three decades and will be much missed. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at Material Witness
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John Grisham reputation as the king of the courtroom thriller is richly deserved, but his latest offering, Sycamore Row, is a stinker. Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Material Witness
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The Goldfinch is a long, sprawling book that requires a signficant investment of the reader. The narrative traces the journey of one Theo Decker, whose mother is killed in the bombing of an art gallery - an event that he... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at Material Witness