The UK crime Book club

I love to read, and I probably mostly read crime fiction and Graphic novels/Manga. In both these genres I have often discovered that the smaller independent authors produce some really amazing and interesting stuff. I love roaming comic cons for new and exciting Indie comics and have even recently got some of the Kids I teach hooked on them too. I Have also in the last year or so and this is mostly thanks to Kindle discovered a load of fantastic self publishing authors in the crime genre as well. Now and I am biased here as I am an Admin for the site there is a great new book group on Facebook and maybe to follow on Twitter, if I can figure it out for you to join if you want to and talk to some of these great independent crime authors and to chat about books you enjoy, with a UK based theme mostly. The link is below, it’s very new and we would love members so tell your friends……



I’m Travelling Alone

In the interests of fairness, I feel that before I start this review I should make it clear that I am obsessed with all things Scandawegian. I love the Literature, the drama’s on TV, Moomins and travelling in Scandanavian countries something that I have had the great good fortune to do some of.



62315_152167018149876_916838_n.jpg the best view of me in Norway

So if a Novel is based in a Scandawegian country it’s already going to appeal to me, as I’m travelling alone really did.

Unfortunately we didn’t get off to a good start, the prologue features a young woman dying in childbirth, sad and scene setting to be true, but the young lady has Haemophilia, this isn’t completely unlikely but it’s also extremely rare and made me slightly grumpy with the book before it really started.

You see Haemophilia is an X-Linked genetic disorder meaning it’s carried on the X chromosome, like colour blindness therefore it mainly affects men, Women inherit 2 X chromosomes compared to men’s 1 so they tend to only become carriers of the disease. Although being a carrier can result in a mild form of the disorder, and it is possible for a lady to develop haemophilia if she’s the child of a carrier and a sufferer it’s extremely unlikely. Also if you knew you had a bleeding disorder you are very unlikely to ever have a period let alone get pregnant as menstruation is likely to kill you. But lets say you got as far as giving birth in hospital and you did have a clotting disorder with the advent of blood banks and clotting factors your survival chances have probably significantly improved. This is a petty niggle I know but childbirth has loads of inherent dangers already and it’s quite possible to die of any number of quite common ailments related to pregnancy that to give the women such a crazily rare genetic disorder seems quite unnecessary to me so it really jarred me out of my enjoyment of the novel.

However things quickly improved into quite an eerie yet relatively slow paced thriller, one that didn’t overly do anything special to stand out but was still well planned and entertaining, however  for me this is a good read not an outstanding read. I felt that the author was trying to incorporate too many strands and themes into the novel the main crime should have been the focus and it would have been an amazing story. The whole story thread with the church and heavens gate seemed a little counter intuitive to the rest of the story, It felt like to have done that aspect well would have required a whole other novel one which I would also have really enjoyed.

The story itself takes in quite a large amount of Oslo and the surrounding Norwegian countryside which is well described and the island featured is an amazing example of the breath taking scenery to be found in the country and the use of this varied and relatively uninhabited regions found not far from the main cities really lend themselves to the pace and type of story here. If you are a fan of Scandanavian literature this is well worth a read but not a real stand out for me.

For a Genuine stand out Norwegian treat try Anne Holt, her book 1222 is a brilliant variation on the classic locked room mystery set at the the highest point on the Norwegian railway system a beautiful station on a railway line considered to be one of the finest railway journeys in Europe.


Finse in Norway


Ebooks vs paper books

I recently read a dogs life by Oliver Tidy  (I know he gets mentioned here a lot by I like supporting indie authors) and in it there is a debate about vanity publishing and ebooks versus paper books, I know this is an ongoing argument but I thought I’d blog about my opinions on the matter.

I have a really bad reading obsession and I do own a kindle, it was gifted to me by my brother when he upgraded his, and ostensibly it should be an excellent choice for me. I read 300 books a year so some free or very cheap books are an excellent idea.

But heres the thing I’m a bibliophile and like good old Inspector Romney I don’t think anything can replace printed books, they never run out of battery half way through for the start. This in a kindle can be especially frustrating when you get to a good bit then have to go and plug the machine in before you can continue.

The other thing I prefer about paper books is Bookstores I love to explore new genres and find interesting new authors, just the feeling and smell of books can be relaxing and inspiring. I find online stores much harder to browse and rarely find new authors this way.

I am also an unremitting geek and love to read graphic novels and Manga especially interesting and independently published ones and the few I’ve read of these in ebook form mostly from Netgalley just don’t really work, you can’t see the artwork in detail and it often results in the text already inside smaller text bubbles being extremely difficult to read. This may explain why comic stores are still doing well despite the hit taken to other bookstores from the Ebook phenomenon.

I will also admit to a bias, my hubby (or my better half as some may call him) owns a secondhand bookstore online and does sell on some of my books as well as ones sourced independently. So I would never make the switch to sole use of ebooks for that reason alone even if I did prefer them which I don’t for the reasons described above.

However I have nothing against Kindle users, I do however think you lose some of the joy of gifting books to people if they own kindles, I know you can gift things electronically but it’s not the same. The one thing however that I do love about the kindle is that all our devices in my family are registered to the same amazon account my Dads (excellent because he buys the books for all of us) and so when a new book by one of our favourite authors comes out we can all read it at the same time and discuss it together, this is probably bad for the authors though as there is only one purchase for the three of us (but then we would share books and have in the past).

Unless you share devices in this way however you do miss out on the joy of lending out books or forcing other people to read something you get really excited about, I guess what I’m trying to say is that Ebooks result in you missing out on a lot of the social aspects of books, although they do let you store lots of books easily and buy them for ridiculously cheap prices.

I am going to stick with Inspector Romney though on the ebook/paper debate especially as one of my other favourite things to do is to see authors and hear them talk about there works and get the especial treasure of a signed copy of their books and yes I know there are esignatures but they are not the same, some of my signed books (especially my signed charlaine harris one) are amongst my most treasured possessions, I feel the same about signed comics too.

Let me know what you think about the Ebook/paper debate in the comments below.