Good Reading : August 2008
Buccaneer Tim Severin Following on from his earlier adventures in Corsair, Hector Lynch and his friends are captured by Captain John Coxon. Hector, mistakenly assumed to be a relative of Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica, is taken to meet Sir Thomas’s arch-enemy, Sir Henry Morgan.When Hector’s real identity is revealed, Coxon is ridiculed by Morgan and swears revenge on Hector. Hector and his mates then join a ragtag band of buccaneers in a campaign to attack Panama overland. This goes disastrously wrong and it takes many months and further misadventures before they once again return to the Caribbean where they find they are wanted men. Hector only has his courage, a stolen set of Spanish maps and an uncertain relationship with a Spanish noblewoman standing between himself and the hangman’s noose. As in Corsair, the adventures are never very physically threatening – they’re virtually Boy’s Own Annual escapades – which does not make for engrossing reading. And Severin still has trouble with female characters – they are once again, shallow and ephemeral. This is light fare. ★★ Macmillan $32.95 Reviewed by Brooke Walker The Dark Tide Andrew Gross Andrew Gross has been a co-author with James Patterson and it shows: he knows how to start the story quickly and move it along at a cracking pace, with plenty of twists and turns. The story starts with Charles Friedman having to take the train because the car needs to go in for service. Later that morning Karen Friedman learns her husband was on the mor ning train that met with a terrorist bombing and from which few survived, especially those in the front carriages which is where Charles usually sits. As she is trying to come to terms ith his death, her family is hreatened. She turns to the Detective Ty Hauck. He agrees o help her discover what is ehind the threats she and her daughter have received. But he hadn’t counted on feeling more for Charles Friedman’s widow han just empathy. The longer time goes on, the less Karen Friedman feels she knew about the man she’d bee a ried to for 18 years. And then a year after her husband’s death, Karen sees TV footage that shows her something she never expected to see again … This is not a genre I often read but I became quickly caught up in the story and resented having to put the book aside to tend to other things. ★★★★ HarperCollins $32.99 Reviewed by Dale Harcombe general fiction word of mouth March to the Sound of the Guns Ray Grover As an Aussie, I have read many stories (both fiction and fact) about the ANZAC legend. In retrospect, most of them have been concerned with the ‘A’ (for Australian) part of the story; I can’t recall reading much about the ‘NZ’ side … until now. Ray Grover has meticulously researched soldiers’ diaries and letters, as well as accounts from the battlefields in Gallipoli and France where the flower of New Zealand youth were killed and maimed in their thousands – 18 000 out of 100 000 never came home. Recounted in a fictional paradigm, he reproduces the mores, attitudes, prejudice and flow of the times, representing New Zealand’s sacrifice through the eyes of five participants – four of them just 19 years old. It is a harrowing account of the rigours and despair of war, with the occasional leavening of humour and ratbaggery that can arise out of the worst situations. It was interesting noting that the Kiwis thought poorly of the Aussies’ initial performance at Gallipoli, although this was remedied by the time they evacuated.This is a must read for any aficionado of military historical fiction. ★★★★ Random House $34.95 Reviewed by Leslie Lightfoot ATTENTION SCHOOL LIBRARIANS & TEACHERS www.goodreadingmagazine.com Would you like the staff and students at your school to be able to simultaneously view and keyword search the current and back issues of Good Reading, the digital edition? YOU DO? Just contact us and we’ll tell you how! Phone Merle at subscriptions on 02 8090 1051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.