James Patterson – Cross Kill

review, novella, crime, bookshot

Handing out breakfast at a church school kitchen, Alex Cross and his partner John Sampson are surprised by shots coming from behind them. When they have a look, the cook and a nun are already wounded. Just seconds later, Alex and his partner are also under fire und John is seriously hurt. Alex got to see the assailant but cannot believe his eyes: Gary Soneji is back. A murderer he saw burn to death more than 10 years ago. This is just impossible. With his partner fighting for his life, Alex has to hunt him down on his own and is soon confronted with a whole army of Soneji fans who support their idol.
“Cross Kill” is a story from the new bookshots serious starring a well-known character in a short and fast-paced novella. Just like all the long crime novels by James Patterson, we have a thrilling story with Alex Cross under fire and at the edge. However, no side stories keep you from following the main story and you can simply enjoy in one sitting. Albeit the focus is on the story here, Patterson does not forget his characters and what I liked especially about this story is the fact that Alex Cross is not the ice-cold policeman here, he gets quite emotional and makes mistakes which nearly cost him his life. He seems to be much more human under those circumstances than we know him. All in all, I like the idea of the crime novellas and look forward to reading more of them.

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Elizabeth Bowen – The Heat of the Day

review, novel, war, London,

1942, the war is raging in London, but Stella Rodney did not flee the city like so many others. Her son is a solder and she is in constant fear of losing him. She finds some hours of relief with Robert, her lover. When a man, Harrison, approaches her, she does not really know what to think of him. When he tells her that her lover is a double-agent handing over secrets to the enemy, her world crumbles. Harrison warns her not to tell him that he has been uncovered since this would have serious consequences. Stella does not know whom to trust anymore – just like her son who uncovered the truth about his father.
Even though the novel is labelled as a thriller of suspense, I did not really perceive it as that. Of course, we do find agents and double-agents and the bombing of London is in full course, but for me this was much more a novel about a woman in a complicated situation and the question of whom to trust, what to reveal about yourself and family secrets. I appreciated Elizabeth Bowens unagitated tone which made the novel run smoothly gave you some feeling of security before the big secrets were revealed. It is obvious that she is a master of making use of ambiguous language and of close observance – she knows that everybody has secretes and she is interested in opening Pandora’s box and letting them free.