Sunday, June 29, 2008

A couple of recent reads

I took a break from my review books and read a couple of books from my personal TBR pile. Unfortunately this coincided with a time when life interfered with my reading time, so it’s taken me longer to get through them than I would have liked.

The first was A Cure for All Diseases by Reginald Hill, the latest in the Dalziel and Pascoe series. Andy Dalziel is still recovering from the bomb blast that put him in a coma for most of the previous book, The Death of Dalziel, and he checks into the Avalon Clinic in seaside Sandytown to continue his convalescence.

A group of local business people is behind the town’s renaissance as a centre for healing. However they don’t agree on the direction this should take. We get to know the large cast of characters and observe the escalating tensions through the eyes of Dalziel, via ‘Mildred’, his mp3 recorder; and the visiting Charley Heywood, a young newly qualified psychologist, who writes long detailed emails to her sister.

When one of the town’s prominent citizens is murdered in a rather macabre way, DCI Peter Pascoe arrives to lead the investigation. Dalziel and Charley provide unwelcome assistance.

This took me a little while to get into. The first part of the book is apparently Hill’s tribute to Jane Austen’s unfinished work, Sanditon, and to my mind was rather too long. It wasn't until well past the 100 page mark that it started to truly engage me. However from then on, it was fabulous, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The other book was Appeal Denied by Peter Corris, the umpteenth (31st I think) in the Cliff Hardy series. Hardy has been stripped of his investigator’s licence and his appeals against the decision have been denied. When someone close to him is murdered, he can’t just leave it to the police to investigate. For a start, there’s more than the whiff of corruption about the police unit in charge of the investigation.

Part of the attraction of the Cliff Hardy books is the location, they are very Sydney. While I don’t live there, I know it well enough to be familiar with most of the places Corris mentions, and I enjoy all the references to local personalities and events.

I used to read Corris way back, but for some reason he slipped off my list of authors. I think that was at a time when I joined some crime related email lists, and started discovering so many new authors that some of the old ones fell by the wayside. Then a couple of months ago I picked a Cliff Hardy, my first in probably over 10 years, and found I still liked Cliff a lot. He’s aged and changed with the years but he’s still an interesting character, and Corris still knows how to turn out a well written story. Hardy may be beginning to feel his age, but Corris is certainly not showing his!

Now back to that review pile ...


  1. We really do share reading DNA Helen. I've just recently read A CURE as you know, am about to read GALLOWS LANE, and listening to APPEAL DENIED in the car to and from work

  2. I think you'll enjoy Gallow's Lane, Kerrie.

    I picked up Appeal Denied because it's one of the Ned nominees, and I thought I'd try to read as many as I can before MWF. Don't know how far I'll get, but I'll try anyway. :)

  3. Helen - I've not started A Cure yet, but the latest Joe Sixsmith The Roar of the Butterflies was great - I can't remember if you like that series or not.

    If you're "doing" the Neds long list you should join in on Sunnie and my noting what we've read from the long list so far over on AustCrime:

    Sunnie's list is at:

    Mine is at: