September Reading Wrap-Up

ClemClem Hetherington and the Ironwood Race by Jen Breach and Douglas Holgate

The first volume in Jen Breach and Douglas Holgate’s Clem Hetherington graphic novel series fuses the coolest elements of Mad Max, Speed Racer and Indiana Jones into a rollicking, think-and-you-missed-it action adventure in which two young archaeologists — Clem and her robot brother Digory — enter a perilous race to locate ancient artefacts and inadvertently discern the truth about the death of their parents.

This is great entertainment for readers aged ten and older. And ahem for 30-year-old men, too. Honestly, the second volume can’t come soon enough.

ISBN: 9780545814461
Format: Paperback / softback
Pages: 208
Imprint: Scholastic US
Publisher: Scholastic US
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2018
Country of Publication: United States


9780751566598Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

This is the 14th Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series — but my first. Rest assured, it will not be my last. Kingdom of the Blind demonstrates Louise Penny’s ability to split her focus between the fundamental police procedural conventions required of the genre and present a fully-formed and relatable cast of characters.

The two cases that occupy this book are unrelated, but twist around each other like the double helix of a DNA strand. One involves Gamache becoming the executor of the will of a complete stranger; the other sees him dealing with the fallout of a dastardly new drug on the streets of Quebec. All this whole he deals with his suspension from the police force, and the looming possibility of expulsion from the department.

It’s easy to see why Penny has earned legions of readers. Kingdom of the Blind blends a beguiling mystery with just the right dosage of social commentary. The banter between characters is pitch perfect, and the narrative kicks into a higher gear at the right moments. There’s nothing quite like discovering a new series to become invested in.

ISBN: 9780751566598
Format: Paperback / softback
Pages: 400
Imprint: Sphere
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 27-Nov-2018
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


9781612183701.jpgCop Hater by Ed McBain

Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels rang among my all-time favourite crime series. Cop Hater is the first of them, and while it’s very obviously dated and its simplicity will hurt it in some reader’s eyes as they compare it to modern crime novels — I am currently reading the new Robert Galbraith behemoth Lethal White, which is approximately the size of four 87th Precinct books! — for me it is always a blast to return to this world and brilliant cast.

Cop Hater spotlights Detectives Steve Carella and Hank Bush as they investigate the murder of one of their own. In the stifling, unbearable summer heat, someone has taken a .45 and executed a cop in broad daylight. Then it happens again, putting the whole city on red alert and its police department on edge.

This is a short, sparking masterpiece of a potboiler. It’s sparse and uncomplicated, and a perfect one-sitting read. McBain laid the groundwork for Connelly, Pelecanos and their contemporaries, and his work should continue to be read and appreciated.

ISBN: 9781612183701
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 210
Published: 8th May 2012
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer