The Baggage Handler ~ Colin Browne


The Baggage HandlerThe Baggage Handler by Colin Browne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s scary when you have a book written by a friend on your bookshelf. To be honest – my pile of books written by people I know is getting bigger and I very seldom tend to it as I am a pure coward. Even if you don’t know that friend very well, there definitely exists a bit of tension between yourself and this book that you feel kind of obligated to. I know in some worlds a five star rating for a friend is a given – and I do not disagree with this because I believe that completely unbridled and biased support for a friend is absolutely wonderful and it has its place in holding up the receiver of that support – but I sort of feel unable to offer that kind of support in the book world because it is a world so close to my heart. If you were to create a video game or knit a scarf I might unashamedly brand you flawless – here I cannot do so without feeling like my integrity is being severely compromised. Now… it very unlikely that I will ever give a friend (or an acquaintance)a terrible review because for the most part I am not a soul-destroying art demon. What I do try to do is pull out the things that worked for me and focus on those. I also try to judge work for itself and not for what my particular tastes might be, which is not always very easy because I have such specific taste. For instance, I find YA fiction especially hard to judge because I don’t think I relate to run-of-the-mill teenagers very well at all. In fact when I read these books I kind of tend to think of my step daughter and go “will she like this in a few years time?” and go from there. Anyway – the point is that I try to judge a book for what it is and where it fits in as far as the literary world is concerned and then I go from there. But for this book? This book I just gave it five stars because I enjoyed reading it very much. It is 100% *MY* genre for one (can we call it “blokelit”? I love blokelit!)When I give a book 5 stars it is simply because the book has my *it* requirement. I never know when I am going to find my *it* requirement and I have found it so seldom lately but this one just had *it* for me. Keep writing Colin Browne my dear friend. You will be up there with Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby and Mike Gayle in no time. I am so glad I finally got around to nodding along with your book :)



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Pieternella: Daughter of Eva ~ Dalene Matthee


Pieternella: Daughter of EvaPieternella: Daughter of Eva by Dalene Matthee

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not even the slightest bit of desire to finish reading this book. Ever. It’s long winded, stuffy and completely boring. The translation is terrible. The only reason I didn’t give it a 1 star rating was because it is very obvious that the research was done brilliantly. But I think there is a fine line between researching something to enhance a story, and throwing so much research into a story that people who read for pleasure put the book down because they feel like they’re being given a preachy history lesson. Sorry if that comes off as a little anti-South African of me. It’s not that at all. I just like it when I actually enjoy what I’m reading.

That said I am aware that this review is completely unfair since I haven’t completed the book. If I ever do end up finishing it I might revise my review – but at the moment I am trying to adopt a policy of “only read it if you want to”. I do imagine that the Afrikaans version is surely better.

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Bitter Pill ~ Peter Church


Title: Bitter Pill

Author: Peter Church

Publisher: Burnet Media

Pages: 379

Where I got it from: The author had a book launch at Fogarty’s which I attended.

Rating: 5

Goodreads Blurb:

Inside the heaving party hub that is Cape Town’s student playground, someone is preying on the young and unwary. As allegations of drink spiking and illicit sex hit the local papers, university authorities move quickly to limit the damage…

A world away in Seattle, Carlos De Palma, the shadowy operator behind Dark Video, is plotting his survival strategy in the ever-changing Internet landscape. With his precious clients clamouring for heightened thrills, Carlos begins tapping into a new service that blurs the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds…

Enter Robbie Cullen, nice guy and average student, dumped by his girlfriend and struggling with grades. But when it comes to the crunch, Robbie doesn’t know the meaning of stepping back. Once he encounters the beautiful and mysterious Fallon, his small-town bravado is set to make him some powerful enemies…

A gripping thriller that sweeps through the intoxicating haunts of Cape Town’s nightlife and lingers on the sugary sand of Plettenberg Bay – before exploding on the streets of the Mother City’s exclusive southern suburbs.

My thoughts: Bitter Pill is a fantastic follow-up to Dark Video. I love when writers take us so deeply into the minds of the disturbed. Crime fiction at it’s best. And the best part? It’s set in South Africa!

Dark Video ~ Peter Church


Title: Dark Video

Author: Peter Church

Publisher: Two Dogs Publishing

Pages:285

Where I got it from: Met the author at a book launch for his other book, Bitter Pill, and decided it would be a good idea to purchase both books.

Rating: 5

Goodreads Blurb: A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club… What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning?

Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money – and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel.
From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club… What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning?
Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money – and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel.
From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

My thoughts: Ok so maybe I am one of those overly-enthusiastic proudly South African people – but I seriously loved this book! I tend to devour crime fiction on a regular basis but have been finding most of the stuff I pick up a little dissatisfying lately. Dark Video, however, was brilliant. The entire book kept me on my toes.