Southern Seas, Los Mares del Sur by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, los mare del sur

Los Mares del Sur bu spanish thriller writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

Los Mares del Sur, Southern Sea, by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán is a beautifully crafted novel  which is dripping in atmosphere and Spanish feeling.

Spanish detective Pepe Carvalho and former communist investigates the murder of an influential businessman, Stuart Pedrell, who disappeared a year earlier only to turn up dead on a Barcelona construction site. He had been brutally stabbed to death.

Pedrell’s wife hired the shrewd and tenacious detective to find out who did it. On his path the reader is given a taste of Spanish cuisine and literature.

While trying to unmask the killer, Carvalho must deal with former anti-Franco left wingers.

A lovely read by an interesting author on a rainy day in the damper parts of the world. It makes you want to live in Spain and to study Spanish.  After reading it I don’t understand why Spanish people would leave Spain.

After a few months in London a Spanish friend of mine has been living  in Cambridge, in the UK for several years now and loves it. She did a course to learn British Council English and is very happy here now. For me – I prefer the Spanish sun, wine and food….and of course the people!

Los Mares del Sur, Mar del Sur, de Manuel Vázquez Montalbán es una novela bellamente elaborada que gotea en la atmósfera y el sentimiento español.

El detective español Pepe Carvalho y el ex comunista investigan el asesinato de un influyente hombre de negocios, Stuart Pedrell, que desapareció un año antes solo para aparecer muerto en un sitio de construcción en Barcelona. Había sido brutalmente apuñalado hasta la muerte.

La esposa de Pedrell contrató al detective astuto y tenaz para averiguar quién lo hizo. En su camino, el lector recibe una muestra de la cocina y la literatura española.

Al tratar de desenmascarar al asesino, Carvalho debe lidiar con los ex izquierdistas anti franquistas.

Una hermosa lectura de un autor interesante en un día lluvioso en las partes más húmedas del mundo. Te hace querer vivir en España y estudiar español. Después de leerlo, no entiendo por qué los españoles abandonarían España.

Después de unos meses en Londres, un amigo mío español ha estado viviendo en Cambridge, en el Reino Unido, durante varios años y le encanta. Hizo un curso para aprender inglés del British Council y está muy feliz aquí ahora. Para mí, prefiero el sol español, el vino y la comida … ¡y por supuesto la gente!

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming

On her majestys secret service by ian fleming

On her majestys secret service by ian fleming

Who could talk of a spy novel or thriller without mentioning one of the best writers in the genres, Ian Fleming.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming is one of the most famous of his works.

James Bond, United Kingdom secret agent with a licence to kill, had been involved in hunting down the SPECTRE organisation and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the boss. They had hijacked nuclear devices in order to blackmail the governments of the West. Bond had a disagreement with the British Secret Service in the running of the matter and he writes a letter of resignation to M, the head of the service.

Bond saves a beautiful Contessa by paying the gambling debt she cannot fulfil but they are captured by criminals. Her father is Marc-Ange Draco, the boss of the Unione Corse crime organisation.

Draco tells Bond that Blofeld is in Switzerland after which Bond returns to England to filter fact from fiction. The College of Arms in London discovers that Blofeld has taken on the persona of Comte Balthazar de Bleuville to mask his identity.

Bond pretends to be a member of the College of Arms, Sir Hilary Bray. He visits Blofeld face him and to ascertain his right to the title, finding that Blofeld has undergone surgery to cover up his identity.

Blofeld has been brainwashing women into carrying biological warfare agents to destroy the agricultural economy of the British Isles. Bond escapes by ski from Piz Gloria, as he believes he has been uncovered.  He is chased and kills some of his pursuers. Exhausted he reaches the local town where he is helped by the Contessa.

Draco’s Union Corse help Bond to attack Blofeld’s clinic. The clinic is destroyed and Blofeld escapes. Flying to Germany Bond marries the Contessa. They drive away on holiday only to be machine gunned by Blofelds team. Bonds new wife dies.

James Bond, otherwise known as 007, is probably the most famous spy to have worked on behalf of the Queen and the Union Jack flag.

A classic spy novel from one of the worlds finest writers. I am looking forward to the next film with Daniel Craig, No Time to Die. The Queen’s best agent and a real Made in England hero!.

The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz The Eyes of Darkness

Dean Koontz The Eyes of Darkness

Dean Koontz is a highly prolific and readable American author who has used many other names to write under. In fact he wrote this thriller novel in 1981 under the name Leigh Nichols. He has sold over 450 million copies of his works and was ranked in the top ten for highest paid world authors.

A camping trip in the mountains turns into a nightmare for one mothers son who is called Danny. Despite having gone on similar trips many times before, on the final occasion and with no explanation everyone dies. Finally the mother accepts the inevitable, that her son is gone.

However, she soon begins to receive threatening and cryptic messages about her son. They say that Danny is in fact, not dead. With the help of, Elliot Stryker, the mothers friend – she starts to try to unravel the mystery around her sons apparent death.

Many have said that there are striking resemblances in the book The Eyes of Darkness with the current world pandemic of Corona virus which began in Wuhan, China. This has led to renewed interest in, what is, a very well written and insightful thriller novel from the early 1980’s by Dean Koontz.

The Guns of Navarone novel by Alistair MacLean

The Guns of Navarone by Alistair Maclean

The Guns of Navarone by Alistair Maclean

I’ve just re-read the Guns of Navarone novel by Alistair MacLean.

Alistair MacLean wrote his classic adventure novel, novel The Guns of Navarone,in 1957.

The book was also made into a wonderful film, which I have watched many times. You’ve probably seen the film already, but the book is well worth the read.

A crack team of allied soldiers are tasked with destroying an impregnable German fortress on the Greek island of island of Navarone in the Aegean Sea.

The two powerful guns in the fortress have to be destroyed to protect Allied naval ships, from being sunk.

On the nearby island of Kheros 2,000 British soldiers are cut off. The motley crew who are assembled to destroy the guns are all experts in their wartime fields.

Tensions between the team and their pursuit by the Germans add to the intrigue. The tension is further heightened by the time pressure which is brought to bear on the team

The book, The Guns of Navarone, by writer Alistair MacLean, is a superb novel by a master of his craft.

Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts

Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts

Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts

Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts

Flight of the Intruder is a fantastic novel from the great Stephen Coonts. Written by Coonts in 1986 it spring-boarded his career into being a top selling writer.

The story details United States Navy flyers of the A-6 Intruder. Not the most glamorous of planes but a real workhorse that has the look of a bulldog. It’s a two-man, aircraft carrier-based strike aircraft used heavily during the Vietnam War. Jake ‘Cool Hand’ Grafton, is a naval aviator and the main character and also a real man’s man. He also appears in later books also.

The novel was also made into a movie starring Danny Glover and Willem Dafoe.

Flight of the Intruder is a great read and a super film from one of America’s top thriller writers – Stephen Coonts.

Flight of the Intruder es una novela fantástica del gran Stephen Coonts. Escrito por Coonts en 1986, su carrera se convirtió en el escritor más vendido.

La historia detalla los folletos de la Armada de los Estados Unidos del A-6 Intruder. No es el avión más glamoroso, sino un verdadero caballo de batalla que tiene el aspecto de un bulldog. Es un avión de ataque de dos hombres, basado en portaaviones, que se utiliza mucho durante la Guerra de Vietnam. Jake ‘Cool Hand’ Grafton, es un aviador naval y el personaje principal y también un verdadero hombre de hombre. También aparece en libros posteriores también.

La novela también se convirtió en una película protagonizada por Danny Glover y Willem Dafoe.

Flight of the Intruder es una gran lectura y una súper película de uno de los mejores escritores de suspenso de Estados Unidos: Stephen Coonts.

Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean

Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean

Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean

Alistair Maclean died in 1987, but what a legacy he left behind.

Alistair MacLean wrote the novel, Where Eagles Dare, at the same time as he wrote the screenplay. The 1968 film was shot on location in Bavaria and Austria. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced this classic film with stars such as Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure. Both the book and the film were a major success.

Out of interest, the title comes from Act I, Scene III in William Shakespeare’s play Richard III: ‘The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch’.

The plot has various twists and turns. During the winter of 1943 to 44 U.S. Army Brigadier General George Carnaby is captured by the Germans. He is said to be a chief planner for the Western Front. The Germans take him to Schloß Adler to be interrogated. The castle can only be accessed by cable car or by helicopter.

A British Major, John Smith and a U.S. Army Ranger Lieutenant, Morris Schaffer (Clint Eastwood) are instructed on their mission by Colonel Turner and Admiral Rolland of Britain’s MI6. They are to be parachuted into Germany disguised as German troops with a team of commandos. Their mission – to rescue Carnaby before he can be interrogated.  They are dropped by a captured German Ju-52 transport plane. Smith secretly contacts agents Mary Ellison and Heidi Schmidt. The other commandoes do not know of their existence. Heidi gets Mary a job as a secretary at the castle.

Two of the commandoes are killed in suspicious circumstances, though Smith decides to continue the operation. He works closely with Shaffer and informs London of what is happening.

The commandos surrender to the Germans and Smith and Schaffer are separated from the enlisted men. Smith and Schaffer quickly kill the Germans who are guarding them and then get their escape route ready. They ride on top of the cable car and then climb up a rope, lowered by Mary, into the castle.

Carnaby is being interrogated by General Rosemeyer and Standartenführer Kramer. When the three captured enlisted men arrive, they identify themselves as German double agents.

The plot then gets quite tricky to follow. But it is worth staying with it as it is ingenious.

Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean is a fantastic read and the film is a classic and one to watch over and over again. He is a great author in the style of Desmond Bagley and Hammond Innes.

Buy Where Eagles Dare from one of the worlds greatest authors and you will not be sorry.

The 18th Abduction by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The 18th Abduction (Women's Murder Club - 18) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The 18th Abduction (Women’s Murder Club – 18) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

 

James Patterson is a prolific writer having written 147 novels in his career and selling more than 300 million books. Though it may seem almost impossible to believe, he holds the New York Times record for the most number 1 New York Times Best sellers by an author – an incredible 67. A total of 114 of his novels have actually been in the list.

He has sold more novels than Dan Brown, Stephen King and John Grisham – all top authors in their own right.

Patterson was awarded the Literarian Award in 2015 by the National Book Foundation for his philanthropy in relation to books and reading.

James Patterson regularly works with highly respected co-authors such as Ashwin Sanghi, Candice Fox, Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, Mark Sullivan, Peter de Jonge and Michael Ledwidge and. He even co-authored with former U.S. President Bill Clinton writing the novel, The President Is Missing.

The 18th Abduction is another in the Women’s Murder Club series.

In San Francisco three schoolteachers disappear, all women. Soon the investigation becomes one of murder.

Detective Lindsay Boxer is under great pressure. Her husband, Joe Molinari, gets involved with a woman who has a startling revelation. She came from Eastern Europe and she says that she saw a high-profile war criminal from there in San Francisco.

The journalist, Cindy Thomas, researches the missing women and their backgrounds with startling discoveries. The woman who spoke to Joe unexpectedly disappears adding to the intrigue.

The threads of the mystery begin to merge and Lindsay, her husband Joe and the Women’s Murder Club combine their efforts to expose the international criminals at the root.

Believable, frightening and very readable.

The 18th Abduction by James Patterson is available to buy from Penguin books or Amazon. Between James Patterson and Maxine Paetro they have created a masterpiece in this fiction novel.

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line by Lee Child is another in the Jack Reacher series. I sometimes have to wonder how he comes up with some of his diverse and compelling ideas – but then I think who cares, as long as I get to read them.

Jack Reacher looks into the window of a Mid-western town pawn shop and is surprised to see a West Point class ring. It dates from 2005. So hard to come by, it seems sad and strange that it would be pawned.

Reacher had been to West Point and he couldn’t imagine someone willingly giving something such as this up – if it was willingly.

It belonged to a female cadet who had graduated.

Reacher suspects the ring may have been stolen. Reacher interrogates the pawnbroker who says that the ring was sold to him by Jimmy Rat. He’s a biker who is also a nasty bit of work. Reacher ‘deals with’ the biker’s only to find out that the West Point ring had previously been in the possession of Arthur Scorpio, a fence who also has a laundromat in Rapid City, South Dakota. Reacher knows that Rat will have told Scorpio about him.

Reacher arrives in Rapid City and comes across a detective called, Gloria Nakamura. She has been tracking Scorpio and has tried to build a case against him with little success.

Reacher also meets a private investigator called Terrence Bramall. The PI had been hired by a woman called Tiffany Jane Mackenzie. She was desperate to find her sister, who was, he finds out, the owner of the ring. Her name being, Serena Rose Sanderson.

Reacher tricks Scorpio’s men into abducting him before he show’s them who’s boss! Eventually Arthur Scorpio gives Reacher a name – Seymour Porterfield. Reacher finds that this was the man who gave Scorpio the ring. But Scorpio has sent someone to kill Reacher.

He is consumed with a desire to find the owner of the ring. He tracks her across America to the west and on to a town called Mule Crossing in Wyoming. The plot is a real rollercoaster with crooks, illegal drugs and pharmaceutical companies with little in the way of ethics.

But as always this comes with a price as he tackles dishonest cops, bikers, thugs and a whole host of villains.

The Midnight Line is Lee Child’s twenty-second Jack Reacher book and was released in 2017.

Lee Child is one of the foremost writers of fiction around today and it’s easy to see why.