Book review: Philip Galanes: Father’s Day

What happened when the glass is almost half empty, the music never good, the atmosphere never right and a date only good when there is a flaw in the act? Meet Matthew, who is addicted to the Pump Line, a telephone dating service for gay men, lives in New York, and who doesn’t want his new found lover Henry to be Mister Right. Why does he want life to be superficial and shallow? Why can’t he enjoy life and love?
Well, probably because his father shot himself some months ago.
And neither Matthew nor his mother can’t open op and talk about it. They avoid the issue, they never say what they mean and don’t admit that they feel guilty. Matthew’s shrink isn’t any help either. And that leaves Matthew to the Pump Line or the bathhouse.
Galanes shows great insight in the human condition, in grief and in the frailty of the human condition, but I have to admit that is very hard to read 216 pages without any smiles, humour and fun. Despite the comical situations I think that it is a rather pessimistic book that leaves us readers only with the slight hope that things may turn out well for us human beings. Let’s keep hoping so.

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Book review: Tess Gerritsen: Whistleblower

Round two of the Gerritsen-double in one back with a story from 1992. And here again a man and a woman meet under difficult circumstances: he is shot and bumps into her car and she takes him to hospital. That’s the beginning of a hunt because the villains want them both dead and they just want to survive and make love. Naturally, that’s what a guy and a gal do when they meet. They just fall in love. But of course there’s silly doubting and hot kisses till the end. Unfortunately there’s not much more because the thriller plot doesn’t contain much more than escaping from a vicious killer over and over again. Not very entertaining or interesting. The only thing that keeps you going is the great ability to write from Gerritsen; even more than 20 years ago, she know how to put a reading spell on you. Good that she’s able to put a better story together nowadays….

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Book review: Tess Gerritsen: Never Say Die

I bought this book in a 2-pack (in combination with Whistleblower) after I read the 10 Rizzoli & Isles detectives. And to be quite honest, in the beginning I thought that I could better skip this one… a story about the Vietnam war? OMG? But although there was a lot of talking about the war in the 70ies the most important part was the story of Willy Maitland, a young woman who is looking for her father, a pilot who got lost during the war. Occasionally I could have done with less damsel in distress and more independent woman, but what the h…, then there wouldn’t be the chance of that sweet romance with ex-army officer Guy Barnard who is looking for mister Maitland, too. And while all those secret adversaries try to hinder and kill young Willy, Guy is determined to safe her. So, in fact it’s a love story, dipped in a sauce of mystery and murder. Why not.

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Book review: Josh Lanyon, A Ghost of a Chance

One of those typical Josh Lanyon stories: two different men meet under odd circumstances, feel the attraction towards one another and finally end up being a couple. Nothing’s wrong with that but I start thinking that Lanyon could do more with his stories and his characters.
While we learn a lot about Rhys, a professor who looks into the possibility of haunted houses, Lanyon tells us next to nothing about the silent Sam Devlin who stays at the same house he does. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a very nice read, but there aren’t any surprises, who the real villain is, becomes obvious rather soon, and some loose ends could have been tied with some more dedication. But still, Lanyon still offers me a nice read (perhaps I should think less about the content of the story).

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Book review: R.J. Scott: Sanctuary 1 & 2

R.J. Scott: Guarding Morgan (Sanctuary part 1)
The story has been written over and over again: witness to a crime needs to be protected until the trial is due and the two fall in love. But still, it’s an entertaining read without any spectacular moves or turn of events. Very nice for a lazy afternoon in the shade.

R.J. Scott: The Only Easy Day (Sanctuary part 2)
This is a kind of a sequel to Guarding Morgan but after Morgan and Nik became a couple, it’s time for his mate Dale to be convinced, too, that love is possible. That happens when he meets the brother of the killed woman. The two men are quite different but still, they have a lot in common.
But nothing with the two guys on the cover of that book! What did the publisher think? That this is a farmer’s sex story with guns???

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Book review: Hilary Mantel: Bring up the Bodies

Well, after the first novel about Thomas Cromwell I was sure that I would read part two of the trilogy as well. And my trip to London was the perfect background for this intriguing story about the life (and death) of so many people.
Like a game of chess people fight one another, manoeuvre and try to beat the queen to get to the king. In this part it’s all about the queen Anna Boleyn who is losing her power to bewitch the king after she failed to give him a son and who is far to self-centred to realise that people don’t like her. Now it’s Thomas Cromwell’s task to get rid of her. Well, it’s bring up the bodies and several possible ways. Very impressing. The tough read is really worthwhile.

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Book review: K.A. Mitchell: Bad CompanyAfter being kicked out of his father’s house due to his less than appropriate behaviour, Kellan turns to his former friend from school, Nate. But Nate, being openly gay, isn’t that excited about seeing back the guy who didn’t help him at school when he was being bullied. Now Kellan really has to try, show and prove to Nate that he is more than a good-looking guy, definitely not the self-centred bastard he always appeared to be. The story is rather funny and easy to read, though nog compelling, and definitely no great insights or deep thoughts. Nothing wrong about that: relax and enjoy the ride.

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