Book Review: “The Khmer Kill” by Barry Eisler

As noted in my review of “The Detachment“, I read four books by Barry Eisler this summer, and “The Khmer Kill” was the second of these. The first thing to say about this book is that it is a short book. This is a good thing. The book performs a particular role and is a…

Book Review: “Our Trespasses” by Michael Cordell

To break up the book reviews I will be doing on books by Barry Eisler (see my comments at the start of the review for “The Detachment”), I am doing a review of a book which I have actually only just finished, rather than one of the ones from earlier in the summer. I got…

Book Review: “Strangers We Know” by Elle Marr

Who are we? Where do we come from? I don’t ask these questions in terms of the bigger questions in terms of where all life came from, but more in terms of our own life. Most of us know the answers. We know who our parents are. We know who are siblings are. Some will…

“The Dead Zone” – Mixed Memories, Premonitions, and Horror

As noted in my post Splitting Atomic Symbolism: Differing Words, Images, and Sounds of a Nuclear World, I am due to give a paper related to symbolism of nuclear weapons (primarily) at a conference in May 2022. This paper fits with my on-going research on symbolism and Visual Packaging Culture, and also builds on the…

Book Review: “No Place To Run” by Mark Edwards

Reading books is often about escapism – travelling to another place and getting away from the troubles of the “real world”. I often read books set outside the UK for that reason. But, sometimes there is no escape. The thing that I have always enjoyed most about Mark Edwards’ books is that he takes characters…

2021 in Review – A Difficult Year with Some Positive Highlights

Much like 2020, 2021 didn’t really work out as planned. When I look back at 2021 the over-riding memory is of losses. First, my father, Peter Hood, and then also friends, most notably Masaaki “Mick” Yamada. But there were other losses too – such as Shin’ichi Iida, fellow-Blade David Wainwright, and Salti (the owner of…

Book Review: “The Lucky Ones” by Mark Edwards

As I noted in my review of The Retreat by Mark Edwards, reading that book and my comments on social media, I realised that I needed to re-read The Lucky Ones. This is what I have recently done. The timing actually worked out well as I was visiting Shropshire (‘the rural environs of Shropshire, one…

Book Review: “The Last One To See Her” by Mark Tilbury

I have been doing quite a bit of reading (and writing as I am working on my own books, Frankie Fans Say and also my latest novel) over the last week. The next book I have finished is The Last One See Her by Mark Tilbury. Like The Receptionist by Kate Myles, it was one…

Book Review: “Violet” by SJI Holliday

Having enjoyed the The Last Resort, I took advantage of a promotional price to pick up another of Holliday’s books. As with The Last Resort, part of the enjoyment of the book was the degree of escapism that it allowed, by taking us on a trip to somewhere else. While the other book was centred…

Book Review: “The Retreat” by Mark Edwards

I read a lot. But I rarely read novels more than once – unless, like Climber’s High (or Seventeen as it was translated into English) for example, it’s related to my research. Novels are, by definition, meant to be novel, new. Part of the reasoning for not reading a book more than once is that…

Book Review: “Follow You Home” by Mark Edwards

If I were asked to provide a list of my favourite books, there would be quite a few in that list by Mark Edwards. Follow You Home would certainly make the list. Thanks to a Facebook video event that Mark hosted yesterday (24 March 2021) and that I was going to be given the opportunity…