Tuesday, July 06, 2010

7Day Wonder Holiday Reading: No. 1 'Blue Lightning'.

As I have mentioned, in September I am going to be a guest author of 7Day Wonder Holiday in Girona in Spain. Accordingly, I have been collecting the books of the other guest authors, and now have a complete set.

It is an interesting and varied collection of four different genres. Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves is crime fiction; Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill is horror; Any Human Face by Charles Lambert is, I believe, a thriller while mine is historical.

I have begun working my way through this little pile, and have started with Ann Cleeves's Blue Lightning. I found this an excellent read, rather gripping and well-plotted. It reminded me of the Agatha Christie books I loved to read when I was on holiday as a young teenager. There was usually a collection of well-read paperbacks wherever we were staying and I remember spending entire summers steadily chomping my way through them. There was something reassuring in the format: a collection of somewhat eccentric characters would be trapped together in some exotic place and there would be a murder. The rest of the book would be devoted to finding out who did it.

Ann Cleeves's book also features a murder (of course) but her location is atmospheric Fair Isle and her collection of characters are the sort of people I recognise: a 'twitcher' or birder, an academic, a small-time journalist, a broadcaster, a homely cook, a student. Each is very well-drawn, and, as in the Agatha Christie novel they are trapped - in this case on an island by the weather. Luckily detective Jimmy Perez is also there, and he, assisted by his fiance Fran, get to work...


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