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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
Thanks for the comment! I'm confident the book will repay your investment!
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It's early days in 2015, but The Girl on the Train might yet prove the thriller of the year. It's a beautifully crafted novel with convincing and weIl-drawn characters that keeps you guessing from first to breathless last. I demolished it in less than a day, and you'll want to do the same. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Material Witness
Is that right? Wow - so after four years we finally get there! I had the ring tone on a phone years ago, but it's long since lost... Thanks for the info!
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I came late to Foyle's War. The wartime-detective-turned-spy series had already completed seven seasons by the time I watched my first episode in August 2013. By the end of the month I had binge-watched all 22 episodes I could find.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at Material Witness
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About halfway through The Taxidermist's Daughter, Kate Mosse's first novel since the concusion of her imperious Languedoc trilogy, I considered giving up and starting something else. After a very promising, not to say chilling, opening, the narrative had stagnated, I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at Material Witness
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It's a new year, out with the old and in with, er, the old. This year's reading list features a number of books I already own but haven't gotten around to reading yet. The list also includes new books from Kate Atkinson and SJ Watson - the author of Before I Go To Sleep. But the list is far from complete. Can you help fill it out? Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at Material Witness
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During 2014 I read the fewest number of books I've read since I began recording them on this blog. Thirty-six is a very poor return over 52 weeks, particularly given the fact that I read about 8 of those during... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at Material Witness
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It's not been a vintage year in terms of volume of books read - less than 40! - and I had some odd passages in the year - almost the entire autumn - when I simply couldn't settle into a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Material Witness
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Pop Goes the Weasel is a thrilling, occasionally gruesome, page-turner that gets into the nasty side of Southampton and the nastier side of the human condition. I'm glad I stuck with the series and I'll be back for the next outing. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Material Witness
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CJ Sansom's Shardlake books have become highlights of each of the six years he has delivered them since Dissolution a decade ago. The sixth in the Tudor mystery series, Lamentation, is no exception, a riveting ride through the dangerous waters of the court of the dying Henry VIII. Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Material Witness
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My Wasps journey started, like so many others, in Sudbury about 20 years ago when I started attending matches with a mate, sadly gone now, whose family were like Wasps royalty - former captains and chairmen and the like. It... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Material Witness
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Most long-running and successful crime series have a moment at which they come of age. I'm not exactly sure at what point in the exhilarating fourth book of James Oswald's Tony McLean series this came about, but by the end... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Material Witness
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Stephen King's first detective novel is masterful. Mr Mercedes is the work of a brilliant writer extending his range into new territory and kicking ass. If you've always resisted his work because of the "horror" thing but wanted to understand why he has such a devoted following, this is the book to try. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Material Witness
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In a novel positively seething with atmosphere, Ray Celestin brings to life New Orleans in the post Great War period through a fictional account of the legendary Axeman killings. As debut novels go, this could hardly be better and is a great read for a hot holiday night. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Material Witness
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It's something of a golden era for dystopian fiction. Not only is there a wealth of great literature out there right now - from vampires to viruses - the audience is fully aware that the end of world is closer... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Material Witness
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The Nightmare Place is the most conventional of Steve Mosby's dark crime novels and - these two facts are not connected - also my favourite of the eight he's published. Mosby is a writer of intense and demanding tales that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Material Witness
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