Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Three books

"Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe"
Bill Bryson is one of my favourite authors and with this book I crossed another of his humorous travelogues off my reading list. This time Bryson is criss-crossing Europe, detailing his experiences in countries such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. Being a Bryson book, there are several laugh-out-loud moments -- whether cheating death by crossing a road in Paris traffic, being robbed by a gypsy girl in Florence, or trying to order something edible from a German menu. Highly recommended even if you are not planning a Europe trip.

"Third Girl"
Chanced upon this Hercule Poirot mystery that I don’t remember reading over the past two decades. It’s also an uncommon one since the murder is not actually committed in the first half, while Poirot is left to wonder whether the weird girl who confessed to a murder in the first few pages is insane. I have read most of Agatha Christie's 66 detective novels, and while I was happy to discover one that I hadn’t, “Third Girl” (1966) was a let-down in terms of plot, motive and characters. And there are far too many coincidences. Not among Christie’s best.

"The Devotion of Suspect X"

This crime thriller by Japanese author Keigo Higashino was a pleasant surprise. In the first few pages, we know who the murderer is, why the victim is dead and who is responsible. What we don’t know is how the murder was hidden, and the reader looks on as police detectives piece together clues to catch the killer. Will they get him (or her) in the end? A truly 'different' thriller. Highly recommended. A Bollywood version to be directed by Sujoy Ghosh is in the works.

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