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Posts Tagged ‘dexter’

otherson_cvr

I know, I know. It is that time of the year where we all get touchy and as the eggnog flows, most people want to curl up to something warm and fuzzy. The last thing you want to read about is about Swedish psychopaths. Alas, I missed that memo. Sorry chaps.

About a year ago (or so), I had reviewed Söderberg’s debut, The Andalucian Friend, and we were introduced to Sophie Brinkmann, the nurse, and her son, Albert. In Friend, one of Sophie’s patient was a drug kingpin named Hector Guzman who, seemingly, took a liking to her. Unfortunately, the moment Sophie started falling for his charms, that was the moment her world exploded as her path collided with a delightful (and frightening) array of characters that pretty much blurred the lines between good and evil. Actually, they practically erased the bloody line. Seemingly vicious gangsters that actually had somewhat of a moral compass and law enforcement officials that were morally void sociopaths that would render most demons speechless. All those roads (littered with corpses and drenched in blood) seem to lead to Sophie. Needless to say, not in a pleasant way. In the end of Friend, we find Hector Guzman in a coma and Sophie being offered a choice she can’t possibly refuse: take control of Hector’s affairs or face the possibility of being dirtnapped. Hmm, decisions … decisions.

Other Son opens, six months later, and we find Sophie managing the slowly crumbling Hector Guzman empire whilst being guided throught the proverbial shark-infested waters of the drug trade by Hector’s loyal and lethally efficient right-hand, Aron Geisller. Living her life constantly peering over her shoulder and bogged down by Aron’s security protocols, Sophie finds herself being pushed further and further to the edge of the abyss. To add to her troubles, Ralph Hanke (Hector’s rival) has become quite bold and vicious in his attacks as he sanctions the kidnapping of a Lothar Tiedmann, Hector’s illegitimate son. Sophie soon finds herself being tested by various cutthroat factions and being pushed into making decisions that raises Aron’s eyebrows … and that is not a good thing. Now I know what you’re thinking … it can’t get any crazier than this. And I have to say to you that you really don’t know Scandanavian crime novels. Enter Tommy Jansson (corrupt cop extraordinare), Antonia Miller (an actual decent cop with really good wits), Ove Negerson (a half-black, half-Swedish psychopath), and Miles Ingmarsson (a surveillance expert that seems to spends most of his time in strip clubs), Koen (a heroin addicted hitman) and the loveable bear of a Russian mafioso, Mikhail, returns. Aye, to say that the shit is about to hit the fan is, laughably, the biggest uderstatment of the century. There are more twists and turns than disorganized origami and intrigue is so thick that you can almost gag on it. The body count climbs (caution: try not to get attached to characters) and the blood spatters like something in Dexter’s wet dream. The race to the jaw-dropping (yet abrupt) conclusion will keep you riveted, fired up and jonesing for the next sequel by Söderberg.

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innocent_cvr

Will Robie is a very efficient assassin that works for the US government. There is no job too hard or tough that he can’t accomplish and he’s extremely resourceful. He is also the consummate professional: follows orders, no questions asked, complete the task/mission at hand. If you were stuck in a windowless and doorless box at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, he’d find a way inside to kill you. Of course, if you were stuck in a windowless/doorless box in the bottom of the Marianas Trench, you’d probably die of suffocation … and the possibility of the box crushing you due to the deep sea pressure at that depth. Aye, I guess Will won’t have to do much on that mission.. I have detoured … oh so slightly. When Robie is sent on a mission to kill woman in Washington, many red flags rise in Robie’s mind (since most of his assignments often involved enemies of the countries … in other words foreign wankers that deserve what’s coming to them). During the mission, he realizes that the something stinks more than year-old, unrefrigerated, brie cheese, when he notices that there were two young children at the mission sit e and they were supposed to be “collateral damage”. So in deciding against his orders things (rapidly) go south and soon Robie realizes that he is a marked man. On the run Robie, encounters a runaway named Julie Getty, on a bus, that is being stalked by … let’s just say … some tosser with very ill intentions concerning Julie’s life. After dispatching the killer (think Schwarztnegger on the a plane scene in the early part of Commando … what … you haven’t seen Commando … seriously, mate? … check it out … and Rae Dawn Chong is quite the bird in it … bloody hell … I’ve detoured … again), he escapes with Julie off the bus just in time to watch it explode. Soon Robie finds that his world along with Julie’s are more intertwined in the most diabolical designs of fate. To make things worst, Robie is joined with FBI super-agent Nicole Vance to investigate the bus bombing that HE survived. Needless to say, Vance has no idea that Robie was part of the crime scene and a delightful game of cat and mouse ensues, as Robie tries to keep ahead of Vance to hide his involvement. Think just about any episode of Dexter, where Dexter tries to outfox the Miami-Dade police on some of his handiwork.
An intriguing tale, Innocent keeps the reader guessing and at the edge of their seat where everything and everyone aren’t what they all seem to be. The action is quick, vicious but well paced. And Julie Getty, the runway, is not your typical teenager that seemingly keeps both Vance and Robie on their toes. Excellent read, and it is to my knowledge that this is one of many Robie books. I am eagerly looking forward to reading more about this Robie bloke. He intrigues me. And yes, queue up Commando on Netflix. It’s awesome, especially how he breaks that bloke’s neck on the plane. And you’d probably appreciate a cute Alyssa Milano. And yes, Rae Dawn Chong.

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englishgirlcvr

Madeliene Hart is a rising star in London politics. Well educated and politically savvy, she soons finds herself working as an aide to the prime minister. On a trip, with friends, to sun-drenched Corsica Ms. Hart disappears and the male resident at 10 Downing Street receives a package with an omnious message: you have seven days or the girl dies. Now one will think that this is where Interpol, MI5 and/or MI6 are called in. Not quite. Enter Gabriel Allon, art forger/restorer, and the Israeli version of James Bond minus the shaken martinis and fancy tux bollocks, and is actually in a monogamous relationship with a woman named Chiara. Oh, did I mention that Chiara is also a very well-trained and formidable Mossad agent? Now as much as I love Jamesy-old-by, Mr. Allon (as Emril would say) puts it up a noch … or two. With a deadline on the horizon, Allon and his team of elite Mossad agents find themselves criss-crossing the globe from the criminal underworld of Marseilles to the icy-cold, vodka-tainted-vomit encrusted streets of Moscow.
Silva’s English Girl is fast moving, visceral thrill ride, on a razor’s edge, in the smoke and mirror world of covert espionage where friends can be enemies and vice versa, and most things can’t be taken a face value. Betrayals leap out of the shadows where you least expect and there are more twists and turns than a non-linear David Lynch flick (aye, I’m still trying delete the memory of Lost Highway from my mind).

Confession time. I have been reading many of Silva’s Gabriel Allon novels and they are quite GOOD. I mean giving Jason Bourne a run for the money … GOOD. And now you’re probably asking … well how is it that the Evil Parrot hasn’t posted any of these books on this site? Some of you might even think that I was being a bit stingy on keeping this to myself. Well the truth is that I was being a lazy tosser and I was busy catching up on back-to-back Dexter episodes on DVD (sorry I can only afford basic cable) during the times I was reading these books. I believe Breaking Bad and Criminal Minds are also to blame for this. The damn telly. Damn you Heisenberg, you loveable crystal meth cooking rogue.

Now I know you might think that you might need to catch up on stuff before you get to this novel (and it is a lot of reading) but the good news is that Silva has this unique and delightful way of doing a “recap” (aye, see that’s what happens when you watch too much series on DVD on the telly … sigh …) that pretty much brings everyone up to date with the life Gabriel Allon. However, a penance I will list all the Gabriel Allon books (in order) for you to personally enjoy … and if you can appreciate action-filled espionage, I promise you will devour these books. And yes, I will manage my time better … since I’m currently watching back-to-back seasons of the Dead Zone on Netflix (or as I call it Netfix).

And as promised (me being a good chap and all) the Gabriel Allon prequels:
The English Assassin
The Confessor
Kill Artist
A Death In Vienna
Prince Of Fire
The Messenger
Secret Servant
Moscow Rules
The Defector
The Rembrandt Affair
Portrait Of A Spy
The Fallen Angel

Happy reading, mates.

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