Tag: Mark

Monthly Review – January 2013

Posted January 31, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

As the first month of 2013 comes to a close, it has been amazing to see how much excitement people are having towards both The Shadow of the Wind and the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge. For those who don’t know about the reading challenge, there is still time to join in the fun, so check out my introductory post here.

I’ve been off to a flying start this year, I’ve read twenty books, a feat I’m not sure how I managed, but I’ve had so much fun doing so. Nine of those books go towards the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge and you can find my own record of the challenge here. I’m thinking about trying to read two books for each genre this year and I’m keeping a record of every book and which genre it best fits into on that page as well, just to see which genres need more attention in my exploring.

Highlights of the month for me include; the highly talked about Wool by Hugh Howey, the bittersweet Big Ray by Michael Kimball and the existential The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. But the one I really thought deserves high praise is Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, a novel of great beauty, decorum and love lost. I haven’t reviewed these books yet but keep an eye out, they will come. So what have you been reading this month?

Monthly Reading

  • Big Ray by Michael Kimball
  • Black Vodka: Ten Stories by Deborah Levy
  • Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
  • Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles by Paul Lieberman
  • In the Midst of Death by Lawrence Block
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
  • Revenge: Stories by Yoko Ogawa
  • The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
  • The Dark Winter by David Mark
  • The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Silver Linings Play Book by Matthew Quick
  • The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block
  • The Toe Tag Quintet by Matthew Condon
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Wool by Hugh Howey

The Dark Winter by David Mark

Posted January 11, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Crime / 0 Comments

The Dark Winter by David MarkTitle: The Dark Winter (Goodreads)
Author: David Mark
Series: DS Aector McAvoy #1
Published: Blue Rider Press, 2012
Pages: 304
Genres: Crime
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Three bodies are in the morgue in Hull, East Yorkshire; each of them a sole survivor of a past tragedy. Someone is playing God, targeting the people who have once cheated death. It is up to Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy to try and stop them. In the depths of The Dark Winter, driven by need for justice will he find himself on the wrong side of the killer’s blade?

Aector McAvoy is an unlikely hero; he is more of an office worker than an investigator and you get the feeling he would more comfortable on a computer working than pushing his weight around as lead detective of this case. He is also appears very compassionate which makes for an interesting situation. The dark gruesome nature of this crime mixed with the ‘niceness’ of the protagonist never really worked for me; it felt like cosy crime trying to break into a noir novel.

There are secrets and complexity to this case that really didn’t translate well in the writing. I can see what the author was trying to do but I never felt like it came across well. There are the twists in the case and I was glad for them because I was often close to abandoning this book as it wasn’t working for me.

While Aector was too compassionate and nice to be a decent protagonist solving these horrific murders, the rest of the characters in the book were too one dimensional that I couldn’t really get a sense of their personalities.

When it came to the plot I think David Mark has some great ideas and with his journalism background he did know how to make these macabre crimes feel realistic, but I felt there were too many hole in the story. Mark has the potential to be a good crime writer, with better character development and more practice in weaving a complex plot together. But in the end this book didn’t work for me, I struggled off and on with the book and in the end had to really force myself to finish it.