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GeminiJen wrote:

ne point as a “middle-aged, red-headed, irascible Celtic woman”. I don’t believe she could have achieved what she has done if she weren’t so formidable. What also shines through her writing is her humanity, her humour and her respect for the dead.

Highly recommended read.

I’ll certainly keep my eyes open for that one, @GeminiJen . I’m currently reading James Patterson’s ‘The Store’ – and I really hope it is
‘only fiction’ – but wouldn’t be surprised if we are almost at this stage. Think a cross between 1984 and Stepford Wives!

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Sue Black: All that remains. A life in death

[From the book blurb] Professor Dame Sue Black is one of the world’s leading anatomists and forensic anthropologists. Her expertise has been crucial to many high profile criminal cases; and in 1999 she was the lead anthropologist for the British Forensic Team’s work in the war crimes investigations in Kosovo. She was one of the first forensic scientists to travel to Thailand following the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 to provide assistance in identifying the dead.

I’ve just finished reading this book. It’s been on my To Read pile since I heard her talk [promoting this book] at the Edinburgh Book Festival in 2018, an event chaired by Val McDermid. I suppose I was expecting a book about death to be at best sad, at worst macabre….which may be why it took so long to reach the top of my pile!.. Sue’s book is neither. There is tragedy, but there is also humour in stories as gripping as the best crime novel. I wasn’t surprised to read how many famous crime writers had sought her advice, and how they had joined forces in support of fundraising for what subsequently became the Val McDermid Mortuary at the University of Dundee. Nor was I surprised to read about the considerable interest from individuals signing up to donate their bodies to the Mortuary after death!

Sue describes herself at one point as a “middle-aged, red-headed, irascible Celtic woman”. I don’t believe she could have achieved what she has done if she weren’t so formidable. What also shines through her writing is her humanity, her humour and her respect for the dead.

Highly recommended read.


Another fan here of AL Kennedy. Agree with all your points.


I’ve bought up all Alice (AL) Kennedy’s other four short story collections for a matter of pence, with perhaps the exception of the jubilant Jhumpa Lahiri, I have never come across such a writer who gives voice to the unspoken, shape to the intangible, in life sketches of the externally ordinary but internally disaccociated, can’t put it better than that. Her characters are to be found in shop queues, bus stations, parks, swimming baths, pubs, offices and even army camps. There are scorpion stings in many of these tales, marauding mundanity in others Funny, frightening, all in one. She has the uncanny knack of allowing you inside someone else’s mind in the first few paragraphs, enabling you to tune in to the mindset of that particular misfit or misanthrope and their often bizarre behaviour and activity. Alan Bennett’s “Talking Heads” is the nearest comparison I can make, I don’t know why many of these tales haven’t been adapted to short small screen dramas.

Last Edited by GreyWolf at 12 Jan 22:52

Thanks for the heads up Steve – will keep my eye out for them in our local charity shop.

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Licensed to Thrill1: Hunt for Jack Reacher Books 1-3

Might be one for you to keep your eye out for @Cruzeroqueen1

As a fan of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher I thought I’d give them a try. Part one is a decent length book but parts two & three are not much more than short stories. Books 2 & 3 also seem to be numbered 1.1 & 1.2 ?

Should you get the opportunity to pick them up for free or very cheaply they might interest Reacher fans but I wouldn’t pay much for them. Easy poolside reading.

Extract from Goodreads synopsis:
Hunting Jack Reacher is a dangerous business, as FBI Special Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar are about to find out. Otto and Gaspar are by-the-book hunters who know when it’s necessary to break the rules, but they Don’t Know Jack. Reacher is a stone cold killer. Is he their friend or their enemy? Only the secrets hidden in Margrave, Georgia will tell them. Is Reacher a wanted man?


Essex UK

Wonderful! Thank you, Alan.

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

@Cruzeroqueen1 and this was the episode that put me onto Father Ray Kelly.


Will do Gill.


Fossil wrote:

12:01 04-Jan-20

In 2018 Father Ray Kelly, an Irish priest, entered Britains Got Talent and came 4th. I loved the song he sang on his last appearance as did the audience. I was inspired by his rendition of Leonard Cohens song Hallelujah he sang at a wedding ceremony he was performing in 2014, it went viral and had over 72 million views on YouTube so when I found he had written a book I bought it.

It arrived this morning simply called Hallelujah memoirs of a singing priest…….

I remember that version, and thought that it was brilliant – a beautiful song, beautifully sung with real feeling.
Please let us know how you enjoy the book.

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain
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