Fury: A supernatural horror novel by Joan De La Haye

Fury by Joan De La Haye

Fury was a deeply disturbing and at times uncomfortable book to read. The sexual violence that kicks this story in to action was cleverly written to convey how truly nasty it was without needing too much exposition. My warped little mind took all the hooks and made things much more horrific.

Angela had a bad day. A night out with her friends  goes badly wrong when she was lured away by a honeypot working for a criminal gang. What happened to Angela was beyond what anybody should ever have to endure. Something happened at that moment and Angela’s spirit was released to gain revenge on those that had wronged her.

There was an interesting counterpoint in this story. Another victim called Alice experienced her ordeal in a completely different way. Her journey had no less peril and in a different way was just as disturbing. I was left wondering whether her situation was down to her personal desires or whether the Stockholm Syndrome was more of an influence. Either way her life looks set to be tumultuous at best.

I still think Requiem in E# is my favourite story by Joan De La Haye, but this one is clean, snappy and has a nice flow to it.

In An Unknown Country Edited by Adele Wearing

In An Unknown Country

This book is the seventh in the Fox Pockets series of books. These books are smaller than a Kindle and fit nicely in to cargo pockets with room to spare.

This book was had a really unusual feel to me. It felt like a travel log. That is if a dark force gave Bill Bryson glimpses in to places no mortal mind should ever see and twisted the entire universe to fit the cruel and disturbing holiday wishes of an unknowable entity. I don’t think this was a deliberate theme and was all just part of my twisted little mind but it does show how reading this book got inside my thought processes.

I would normally try and pick out a couple of stories that I enjoyed the most in an anthology but I’m not going to. I found that although these stories had very different characters, themes and settings there appeared to be a cohesion and equality amongst the writing quality. There were no obvious peaks and troughs making this a smooth and easy to read book.

This is an ideal book to spend 15-20 minute chunks reading short stories without getting frustrated about having to try and pick up the plot. This was exactly what I needed to get me back in to the habit of reading new books again.


Netflix Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

I Don’t usually review films and this is my first Netflix review. I had been looking forward to this for a while. I really enjoyed how gritty Daredevil was and had extremely high hopes for this series. It was not what I expected. I’ve seen many attempts to capture a noir feel on screen fail miserably. Krysten Ritter manages to make everything seem so natural in a way that fit perfectly. It didn’t feel like anybody was forcing a 1930s feel it felt much more like how things should have evolved.

The very best thing about the series is David Tenant as The Purple Man. I was worried that he might come across as a bit too cheesy for the dark feel I was hoping for. I was utterly wrong. It was a masterful performance that added extra layers of darkness I hadn’t expected.  The attention to detail was great. Jessica Jones drinks a lot of whisky throughout the series. I challenge you to count how many different brands she drinks.

Ritter and Tenant were the clear stars but the support cast worked really well. I enjoyed how Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple linked Jessica Jones to Daredevil and how Mike Colter’s Luke Cage was a numb as I’d hoped he’d be.

I watched the final six episodes of this series straight through. I’ve gone back and watched the final episode again and the pivotal moment between Jessica and Kilgrave not only still surprised me but lost none of the impact. It was the kind of ending that I wanted to see. Whether you are a Marvel fan or a crime noir fan this series is a much view. I’m struggling to find anything about it I didn’t like.

Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man by Tom Cox

Under The Paw: Confessions Of A Cat Man by Tom Cox

First I’ve got to start by saying that until about twelve years ago I was firmly a dog person. Cats were OK but my family were and mostly still are dog people. After some traumatic family events I decided that we needed something positive to focus on. A dog was out of the question as we both worked full time and could not commit to the amount of time and effort it would take. To cut a long story short we ended up getting two kittens (we only went for one but they were too cute spooning) that changed our lives. The kittens had an amazing impact on our lives. They made us laugh and helped placate us in less happy times. Our cat overlords can be a pain in the backside but we love them to bits.

Yes I am a cat man now. I’ll stop in the street and try to fuss cats that are clearly upset that I am not one of their nominated feeders. I’d like to say that’s why I read this book but it isn’t. When I’m playing games in the lounge late at night I normally hear very little in the way of noise. A few weeks ago I kept hearing giggling coming from our bedroom. My wife is not a particularly giggly person so I put down my controller and went to investigate. I couldn’t really ignore a recommendation like that so I decided to give it a go.

My wife was right. This book was hilarious and scary at the same time. I have now determined for sure that I am now a crazy cat man. I’m no longer in denial. Most of the things that I could not directly relate to I could easily pick out in several of my friends. If you want to understand cat people (as opposed to cat-people which are completely different) then this book will give you an interesting insight in to the peculiar affliction that is a cat obsession. If you have a cat yourself then you will probably spend most of the book giggling to yourself about one behaviour or another that you thought was yours alone.

This book is funny and insightful. I whole-heartedly recommend it.

The Lawyer: The Retributioners by Wayne D. Dundee

The Retributioners by Wayne D. Dundee

I have been struggling to read recently for various reasons. What I needed was a simple and easy to read book. This hardboiled western was exactly what I needed. Although easy to read it is a deceptively good book. There is no wastage. Everything in this book is there for a reason. I could almost see the action unfolding in front of me on a 1970s TV screen.

J.D. Miller was an upstanding atornee before the slaughter of his family at the hands of a vicious gang. He left his life behind and became the vigilante known as The Lawyer to track down and kill each and every one of the men responsible for the death of his family. This installment sees an unlikely team-up with a jilted deputy so that both can achieve the retribution they desire. Although clearly wrong it was hard not to empathize with the need to avenge the death of loved ones and that creates an extra level of tension for the reader.

This story is short but in no way sweet. It is however a great distraction and thoroughly enjoyable read.

Satan’s Sorority by Graham Wynd

Satan's Sorority by Graham Wynd

When I started reading this I thought it was going to be a little too erotica for my tastes. Whilst there are wild lesbian orgies in this book they are there for a reason. It was a refreshing change for me. I have read plenty of horror stories about marginalized outsiders coming together in Greek row to find themselves through each other (this may be a little literal in this story) but usually end up with them becoming popular once people discover their inner beauty. That doesn’t happen here. If  anything Sigma Tau Nu are shunned even more at the end.

For those more learned than me there are plenty of literary and occult references in this story.  Putting a twist on Goethe’s famous character by making it female was interesting and also made the ending more surprising for me.  I enjoyed the ending, even if it was more of a beginning than an ending.

Sometimes when I read a book I find a single line sums it up perfectly. The poets often claimed that death wore a mask, but they never said it wore a sorority pin. Not yet anyway.

Dream Book Unikirja by K.A. Laity

Dream Book by K.A. Laity

Kate Laity is the literary Les Dawson. It takes great skill to play a piece of classical music perfectly every time. It takes a special kind of mind to understand exactly what the most dischordant and out of place note to hit would be. The intelligence and humour required made Dawson a fondly remembered entertainer. Kate Laity manages to do a similar thing with Finnish folk tales. To produce this book shows a deep understanding not just of the literature itself but an abiding passion in learning about the culture that created the tales.

Before each story is a quick introduction to say what tale the story is based on and how it has been subverted. Some twists seem quite subtle in terms of how we see things in our culture today but the more you think about it the more they rock some of the fundamental perceived views of that and any society at the time. If you have never read anything about Finnish folk stories this is a great modern twist that opens up a lot of possible more traditional views. This book was intellectually stimulating as well as being thoroughly entertaining.