Category Archives: Thriller

The Writing Show : The View from Ireland, with author Kevin Stevens

This is a great interview, ranging through many books and authors. But who, some may be asking, is Kevin Stevens? The short answer is that he is an ex-pat Boston writer who now lives in Ireland. I have recently read his first novel, The Rizzoli Contract (2003). Even if I had worked out who was at the bottom of the mess a bit soonish, I still loved it. The blurb:
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Book Reviews – The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason


People will always want, as the publishers do, to compare The Rule of Four with The Da Vinci Code, because both have as central the decoding of alleged ancient codes, cyphers and symbols. But The Rule of Four is much more a real novel, in fact it is as a rites of passage story and as an expose of the dark side of academia that it works best, in my view. It was written by its two young authors over a six year period, so I very much doubt they set out initially to compete with the then little-known Dan Brown. Check the reviews linked above. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 12, 2006 in America, book reviews, Fiction, Thriller, writers


Three in crime or noir mode

Let me quickly dismiss the first of the three as for people who have not quite grown up, though there is some better than average writing and atmospherics in it. Mind you, there are those, like this reader, who will love November Mourns by Tom Piccirilli (2005), but I think Americans have a big enough image problem as it is without works like this confirming everyone’s worst suspicions. But maybe it is just the genre I find annoying.*

So I turned with relief to Blood Redemption by Alex Palmer (2003), a very local product set in Surry Hills, Camperdown, Newtown and other points familiar to me; in fact I passed the “crime scene” several times this week as I went to and from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I found the book a bit slow-moving at first, but once I became involved I could not let go. Palmer rates a very positive mention in Jeff Popple’s overview “Australian Crime Fiction”, Mystery Readers Journal, Volume 20, No. 4, Winter 2004-05:

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Lines from a Floating Life: RUMFITT Jeremy, First Strike, Cambridge, Vanguard Press 2004

I wrote the above entry back in November 2005, and now the author has struck back 😉

Hi there – enjoyed your comments on my book. Didn’t know First Strike had reached Down Under. How did you hear about the book? Did you get it from your local Library?

All the best.

Jeremy Rumfitt

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Posted by on December 28, 2005 in blogging, book reviews, British, personal, Surry Hills, Thriller, writers


Saving Fish From Drowning – Book Reviews – Books – Entertainment –

tan.gifLook again at what Amy Tan has to say about writing in The Opposite of Fate (2003). There are many wonderful essays in that collection. My Hong Kong Australian coachees very much enjoyed “Arrival Banquet”, which I shared with them as a possible supplementary text for the HSC “Journeys” unit. Ben said it was SO Chinese! And Tan is indeed a great mediator between cultures, with a humorous but empathic eye.

She also has a sharp pen when needed. Irony is implicit in the quasi-magical narrative method of Saving Fish from Dying (2005) with its multifaceted examination of cultural (mis)understandings and questioning of tourism — among other things. “Writing with stinging irony about oppression, genocide, culture clashes, religion, media spin, and corruption, [Tan] slyly considers the unintended consequences of everything from a thwarted seduction to a war based on lies.” (Donna Seaman in Booklist 1 Sep 2005.)

A couple of quotes:
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Posted by on December 26, 2005 in America, Asian, Chinese and China, Fiction, immigration, Multicultural, Thriller, Top read, writers


RUMFITT Jeremy, First Strike, Cambridge, Vanguard Press 2004


Talk about romans-a-clef!

In the aftermath of 9th September and the run up to the Iraq war, US President Mike Santos rides high in the polls. But to stay there he needs Saddam Hussein’s scrotum, hanging from his gun belt. When Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service uncovers a terrorist plot to detonate a dirty Bomb in Washington DC, Alex Bowman is dispatched to the States to help the US authorities deal with the problem. The leading hawk in the US cabinet, Secretary of Defence, Karl Herzfeld, pressures the CIA to conjure up the missing evidence of WMDs he needs to justify the war. When the CIA fails to produce the necessary data Herzfeld resolves to facilitate the detonation of the Dirty Bomb, pin the blame on Saddam Hussein and justify the war…

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Posted by on November 18, 2005 in America, book reviews, British, Fiction, Iraq, terrorism, Thriller, Top read, writers


Dream of Darkness by Reginald Hill

First published in 1989 under the pseudonym Patrick Ruell, Dream of Darkness is a mature, intelligent thriller with a background in interesting times. Oddly, it segues well from my reading of Niall Ferguson’s American Colossus. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 20, 2005 in Africa, book reviews, British, Crime and/or crime fiction, Fiction, History, Thriller, Top read, writers