Suggestions For A Good Read

MorningAngel

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This looks like it might be one of interest.

The Stranger Times

‘There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that's their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door - and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who's got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they'd previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.

The Stranger Times is the first novel from C.K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction.’
Did anyone read this? I’ve just finished it.
 

Cochise

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Can anyone suggest some UK detective type books? I've just reread the Inspector Rebus series and the Morse books. I've done Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, even my late mum's Agatha Christies. Really looking for more in that sort of vein, stuff I can read when the insomnia kicks in.
 

Endlessly Amazed

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@Cochise – Here is an old-fashioned author of UK detective stories: Josephine Tey. One needs to get into the story’s pace, which is heavily detailed and apparently slow. I think she died in the 1950s. Some novels are better than others, but some are the best I have ever read in the detective or mystery genre. Perfect for insomnia. The stories are less about the reader solving the mystery through clues, and more about the evolving interactions of the characters.

Another suggestion is to look for Christmas murder stories. There are hundreds. Great for those late night mental snacks. I read some every Christmas season.
 

Baron Scarpia

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Thanks ramonercado... sorry ! Deleted my original post was going to start again.....format looked strange. This is what I originally wrote. Excellent, I will read 'The Alteration' next. Appreciate your response.

"Have only just heard of 'Pavane' :Thank you to the people who have mentioned it. I have a great interest in history, and also counterfactual / alternative history. Had started working on an alternative history model where the Reformation fails in England as Mary I and her consort Phillip II managed to have a child .....the outcome was that the succession was secured and saw the return of England to Catholicism . I understand the plot of 'Pavane' to be different but the end result was the undoing of the Reformation. Have just ordered 'Pavane' , and if anyone knows of any other novels on similar lines- where either the English Reformation does not happen or fails - would welcome recommendations."
 

GingerTabby

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Can anyone suggest some UK detective type books? I've just reread the Inspector Rebus series and the Morse books. I've done Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, even my late mum's Agatha Christies. Really looking for more in that sort of vein, stuff I can read when the insomnia kicks in.
Yorkshire native Peter Robinson's new novel is to be released this coming week. I quite enjoy the Inspector Banks novels. I find the inspector a very sympathetic character. Banks has been ageing along PR, which means both character and author would now be in their early seventies. Retirement must be in sight for Alan Banks so I wonder if PR is soon going to end the series. Perhaps Banks will take retirement only to be dragged out to work on contract.

https://inspectorbanks.com/

Six degrees of separation: A brother of my late partner is married to a sister of Peter Robinson's wife, if that makes any sense. I've never met Peter Robinson.
 

Frideswide

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@MorningAngel I've just bought Stranger Times on Audible. Thank you!
 

Cochise

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@Cochise – Here is an old-fashioned author of UK detective stories: Josephine Tey. One needs to get into the story’s pace, which is heavily detailed and apparently slow. I think she died in the 1950s. Some novels are better than others, but some are the best I have ever read in the detective or mystery genre. Perfect for insomnia. The stories are less about the reader solving the mystery through clues, and more about the evolving interactions of the characters.

Another suggestion is to look for Christmas murder stories. There are hundreds. Great for those late night mental snacks. I read some every Christmas season.
Read one of Josephine Tey's - quite enjoyed it, will try some more. Also found the Dr. Thorndyke mysteries by R. Austin Freeman. In some respects they follow the Holmesian archetype a bit too closely. Quite enjoyable though, and they cover more of the scientific and legal side of cases.
 

Spookdaddy

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Can anyone suggest some UK detective type books? I've just reread the Inspector Rebus series and the Morse books. I've done Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, even my late mum's Agatha Christies. Really looking for more in that sort of vein, stuff I can read when the insomnia kicks in.
Big crime fiction fan here. It's a broad spectrum and I have a feeling that our tastes might diverge a little - but I reckon you could have a look at Alan Parks' Harry McCoy series.

Set in Glasgow in the 70's. Some old-school fists and booze coppering, but not just that. A lot of authors and film makers appear to be using the 70's simply so that they can by-pass the niceties of contemporary society (wasn't it great when we could beat confessions out of people - sometimes they were even guilty - that type of thing) but I think Parks is much wiser with how he deals with it. Believable characters, good plotting and an acknowledgement of how dark the 70's, and for the matter Glasgow, could be - but without getting all worked up about it.

I've loved them - and have the fourth in the series on pre-order.
 

Cochise

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Big crime fiction fan here. It's a broad spectrum and I have a feeling that our tastes might diverge a little - but I reckon you could have a look at Alan Parks' Harry McCoy series.

Set in Glasgow in the 70's. Some old-school fists and booze coppering, but not just that. A lot of authors and film makers appear to be using the 70's simply so that they can by-pass the niceties of contemporary society (wasn't it great when we could beat confessions out of people - sometimes they were even guilty - that type of thing) but I think Parks is much wiser with how he deals with it. Believable characters, good plotting and an acknowledgement of how dark the 70's, and for the matter Glasgow, could be - but without getting all worked up about it.

I've loved them - and have the fourth in the series on pre-order.
My wife and I had a divergence as well. she was very fond of the American detective stuff Kathy Reichs and Linda Farstein, plus others I've forgotten. She did introduce me to Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, however.

I find in general American detective books repetitive and too violent for my taste - Jack Reacher for example I find pretty unpleasant. Silence of the Lambs not my cup of tea.

The Rebus books are pretty violent though, so maybe I'll try the Harry McCoy ones.

I do all this on kindle these days since my house is full of books even despite a couple of clear out attempts.
 

Souleater

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Can anyone suggest some UK detective type books? I've just reread the Inspector Rebus series and the Morse books. I've done Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, even my late mum's Agatha Christies. Really looking for more in that sort of vein, stuff I can read when the insomnia kicks in.
A couple of British crime novelists i can recommend,

Stuart McBride: gritty Aberdeen based. police officer Logan 'Lazerus' McRae novels, some forteanesque investigations.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/55946-logan-mcrae

Mo Hayder: West Country detective Jack Caffery looks into the darker side of the area, again some fortean themes

https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Mo+hayder+jack+caffrey&qid=vUutRB6giK

For something non police based, the supernatural Jack Nightingale series by Stephen Leather, very fortean, with daemon summoning, soul deals and double crossing.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/59393-jack-nightingale
 

Souleater

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Mark Billingham writes books in a similar style to Rankin. I've only read a few, but they rattle along quite nicely.
I read 'scardycat', 'sleepyhead', 'lazybones and 'the burning girl' although the first 2 were excellent i thought the next 2 struggled and didnt bother after that.
 

Souleater

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My wife and I had a divergence as well. she was very fond of the American detective stuff Kathy Reichs and Linda Farstein, plus others I've forgotten. She did introduce me to Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, however.

I find in general American detective books repetitive and too violent for my taste - Jack Reacher for example I find pretty unpleasant. Silence of the Lambs not my cup of tea.

The Rebus books are pretty violent though, so maybe I'll try the Harry McCoy ones.

I do all this on kindle these days since my house is full of books even despite a couple of clear out attempts.
On American crime thrillers i can highly recommend John Connollys 'Charlie 'bird' Parker' series, very fortean with dark humour but pretty dark themes.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/42499-charlie-parker

And Michael Marshalls 'Jack Whalen' series, more dark fortean themes

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Marshall_Smith

Couldnt find a decent link to his crime novels, his sci-fi under Michael Marshall Smith are good too, highly recommend 'Spares'
 

BlackPeter

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Naughty_Felid

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Can anyone suggest some UK detective type books? I've just reread the Inspector Rebus series and the Morse books. I've done Elizabeth George and Minette Walters, even my late mum's Agatha Christies. Really looking for more in that sort of vein, stuff I can read when the insomnia kicks in.
I quite enjoyed the Cadfael Chronicles of Ellis Peters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cadfael_Chronicles
 

MercuryCrest

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It's been a while, but can I recommend several books for fun?

The Atrocity Archives

The Public Works Trilogy

Fool on the Hill

The Illuminatus! Trilogy

And finally, The Disappearing Spoon.
 

Baron Scarpia

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Just ordered a copy . I think that folkhorrorrevival.com is a fascinating website and a recommendation from them carries some weight.

Currently reading Keith Roberts 'Pavane' . Think that it is excellent and thank you again to whoever suggested it. I gather that another Alternative History novel where the Reformation in England is reversed is 'Times Without Number' by John Brunner. Will try and read it at some point.


Andy Paciorek's review of my folk horror collection Green, Unpleasant Land. https://folkhorrorrevival.com/2020/...eoRIWnb7MAQR4VNwEMTzdoHBJpr50hfA2tWbNoyLp9Q3Y
 
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ramonmercado

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Just ordered a copy . I think that folkhorrorrevival.com is a fascinating website and a recommendation from them carries some weight.

Currently reading Keith Roberts 'Pavane' . Think that it is excellent and thank you again to whoever suggested it. I gather that another Alternative History novel where the Reformation in England is reversed is 'Times Without Number' by John Brunner. Will try and read it at some point.
I had forgotten the Brunner book, it's quite good though. Involves time travel.
 

maximus otter

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A couple of random selections l’ve thoroughly enjoyed in recent years:

a) Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded

A superb account of the legendary eruption, with fascinating digressions into biology, meteorology, geography etc.

b) The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking

The title’s the giveaway! Why was Mary, Queen of Scots made shorter by a head? Why “padlock the padlocked box, then return to sender”?

c) The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

OK: Just how bad is the bite from a black widow spider? Pretty ****ing awful...

Grice's household is full of murderous pets; his powerful imagination obsessed by every eery and evil aspect of nature. His remarkable book is a unique combination of scientific description, tall and twisted tales, wildly funny recollections and dark philosophical reflection.”

d)
The Ghost Disease, And Twelve Other Stories of Detective Work in the Medical Field (available secondhand on Amazon)

Why did French farmers go mad, leaping from high windows then trying to run away with both legs broken? What was mysteriously destroying the kidneys of those people in the Balkans?

maximus otter
 
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Coastaljames

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Where the Footprints End vols 1 & 2... Bigfoot meets High Strangeness, excellent books!
Oh yes, oh yes. Glorious and vital.





Anyone have kids? I'm currently reading this as a bedtime book for my 7 year old stepdaughter -

1616069830898.png


This is the first of the trilogy, we actually read the third and final one first...long story :D It has not affected our enjoyment of this one at all. I'd say it's probably written for a child of about 11, 12, 13 to read on it's own. She is a fantastic writer. Very English...mystical and magical. Funny, exciting and can get very, very dark. Dark foreboding forests, mystic philosopher giants, genuinely and shocking savage and evil witches The two main characters...hurt and unaccepted. Struggling to be something when they feel stupid and weak. It's powerful stuff. The author has an amazing way of talking to kids about emotions...the good ones, but often the painful, dark ones...but she never talks down. She speaks to kids as if they were adults, it's like she trusts them to handle some of the heavy stuff she's speaking of, knowing kids feel this heaviness sometimes, and maybe often. However, on top of this it's very beautiful, funny, silly even sometimes, good-natured, with a big heart - none of the characters are good or bad...just struggling to do the right thing in a dangerous and confusing world but not always making the best decisions for a myriad of reasons...sound familiar?
 

Baron Scarpia

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Interesting , I had wondered about the combination of time travel and alternative history. Seems that John Brunner fulfilled this with 'Time Without Number'.

I had forgotten the Brunner book, it's quite good though. Involves time travel.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Interesting , I had wondered about the combination of time travel and alternative history. Seems that John Brunner fulfilled this with 'Time Without Number'.
If you're looking for Alternate History type books Ward Moore's Bring the Jubilee is about a World where the South won the US Civil War, not rad it.

If you're looking for time travel then Time and Time Again by Jack Finney is very good, a contemporary (1970) man goes back to the late 19thC NY, lots of focus on the small differences between then and now.

Would strongly recommend Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates, contemporary (early 80s) people go back to the early 19thC. Lot's of magic but Power's writes magic almost like a form of technology, hard to explain but I love the way he does it. He inserts magic into historical events without changing the event but giving an "alternate" explanation for their happenings.

Lauren Beukes' The Shining Girls features a time travelling serial killer, it's pretty good.
 

Spookdaddy

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...c) The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

OK: Just how bad is the bite from a black widow spider? Pretty ****ing awful...
I'm pretty sure that Blair's description of the symptoms of his self induced black widow bite takes something like half a dozen pages.

That book is a great read - I mentioned it back on the 'Murder Hornets' (Asian Giant Hornets) thread.

I always think of that book when I see grown adults getting all flappy and hysterical about the odd wasp.
 
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