To Be A Better Writer

Who doesn’t want to be a better writer? However great you think you are, there’s always scope to improve your writing further. I would like to share a few interesting blog posts full of sensible advice to writers and would be writers:- Read “The One Book That Shines” which details the 5 Characteristics Of A Great Book.  The first fact mentioned puts things in perspective. Most literary agents receive 2000 or more submissions every year and only 1 % of the agent’s “slush pile” is rewarded with an offer of representation.  Also that publishing is a business like any other where the owner of the publishing firm wishes to see fair return on his investment. Keep these two points in mind whenever you sit down to write. You cannot afford to forget them.

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“Dead Like You” by Peter James

Finished with all 643 pages of “Dead Like You” by the British crime fiction writer, Peter James. This is the first book I read by this author, who has written a series of books featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. I was intrigued by the book’s title as I like titles to be short and crisp. To start with, some names of the characters in a book appeal to some readers while some don’t.  I for one didn’t much like the name “Grace” as I associate it with the lady’s first name though I do know that the Father of Cricket, Dr W G himself, had graced the name “Grace.” Continue reading ““Dead Like You” by Peter James”

“The Ladykiller” by Martina Cole

This was the first book I read by Martina Cole, a British author of crime fiction. That I intend reading more of her work indicates my recommendation for this novel which is set in a small town in England.

In “The Ladykiller”, Detective Inspector Kate Burrows finds herself in the middle of a storm as a spate of murders takes place in her jurisdiction. There are a few common features about these murders. Without exception, all the victims are women. Without exception, the bodies are terribly mutilated. The signs point to a sick mind and a pervert roaming free in this hitherto peaceful town. Burrows has come up the hard way in the Police force and is now seen to be a successful officer. However, some men who are her subordinates still do not accept her leadership not able to stomach her rise in the police force only because she is a woman.  To add to the stress caused by this case Burrows,who has been separated since long, is attracted towards Patrick Kelly, a man well known in the underworld.

Despite all that he does in the underworld, Kelly cares more for his daughter than anything else in the world. When she is found murdered, Kelly starts his own investigation to nab the murderer. He wants the murderer to suffer as much as his daughter did. He is frequently in touch with DI Burrows ( who is dealing with his daughter’s case) and finds himself falling in love with her. They both have the same goal, to catch the murderer but have opposite opinions on what to do after the man has been caught.

George Markham has had an extremely unhappy childhood but is today as nondescript as anyone else in town. He lives in a world of fantasy for most of the time.  This story traces events which made Markham the man he became. A simple accountant in a firm during the day and a hungry predator capable of the worst violence at night.

The book is gripping  in most part but I did feel it was too long at 625 pages. There was also some element of repetition. Several of the characters are mentioned to have had the grace to look away when accosted by the truth. This mannerism  appears several times in the book  in several characters, which I found rather strange.

All in all, a good read. I shall look out for more books from Martina Cole. I find she has written a dozen thrillers so there are many more to be read.