The Lemur by Benjamin Black

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Just the kind of thing I was in the mood for. Well written, plotful, good characters and not too long. Not too long is probably pushing the boundaries of definition actually, it’s a really short book. But that makes it better rather than seeming like a half arsed attempt at stretching a short story into novel. Like the author knew just exactly how much to put in to tell the story and didn’t add anything else just for the hell of it.

I don’t want to mention the plot at all – it didn’t go where I was expecting it to go but after finishing it I can’t imagine how I ever thought it was going anywhere else.

Oh, and really good, highly recommended. Future classic, quite possibly. And probably the only book I’ve ever read that mentions websites by name and it doesn’t feel like the author’s just trying to seem hip and trendy.

“Well,” Riley said, “let’s say I go way beyond Wikipedia.”

Quite.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 1st December 2009.

The Second Midnight by Andrew Taylor

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This tale of Andrew Taylor’s hasn’t yet been reissued like other of his earlier works. I tracked down a secondhand copy to give it a try. I can see why it hasn’t made a reissue as it’s not as mystery based as his other work. I enjoyed it all the same.

Hugh is a young teenager in London, somewhere before the start of the second world war and he’s just been expelled from school. His bullying father is recruited to do some kind of Secret Service mission to Prague and ends up taking Hugh with him. The mission is never going to succeed and Hugh ends up stuck in Prague with a false identity while his awful father goes home happily without him. It’s a good start to a story and I thought it was going to be more of a children’s book for a while, but it isn’t.

The story does go a bit all over the place, it doesn’t fit as a mystery, or as a spy story but nor is it not one of those. I wouldn’t particularly recommend it to anyone as Taylor’s written lots of good books that you should read first, but I did enjoy this one all the same.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 1st December 2009.