The Water Clock
5 journalers for this copy...
This is a duplicate copy of a book written by an author local to me, here in the Fens. I passed it on to BookGroupMan at today's Ipswich meet-up, because he is interested in books about East Anglia. Thanks to BGM for setting it up. I really enjoyed my first visit to Ipswich.
Thanks Gooner, not only a local book, but a local author, and a (nearly) a prize-winning crime debut. Looks good. As this is your *second* copy, I assume I can pass on to our newbie Freston when finished?
(6/12) review to follow...
I’ve not read a proper crime novel for ages, but slipped back into the well-worn groove quite easily with this debut. Lots of familiar devices here, including the ravaged, weary ‘detective’ with a complicated past and a dysfunctional present (ex-Fleet Street reporter, Phil Dryden, now plying his trade in Ely and rural fenland). Enough hooks here to build on for a dozen sequels
The main plot revolves around a robbery and shooting nearly 40 years ago, brought back to…er…life, by the appearance of 2 bodies. All good stuff, flashbacks, convoluted plots & sub-plots, gritty characterisation, social politics & hot current issues (flooding, gypsy camps, ‘Locked in Syndrome’).
It may be a ‘cookie-cutter’ crime novel, but it’s done very well. There were a couple of things that I especially liked;
Dryden’s Sancho Panza-like sidekick & chauffeur is quite underplayed, but could become a real comic hero & foil to the main man, "Humph wriggled in his seat, setting off concentric rings of wave-like motion in his seventeen-stone torso which he had snugly slipped into his nylon Ipswich Town tracksuit top"
The descriptions of the unreal watery landscape that is the Fens, make the location the real star performer, and linking critical novel action to external events; the floods of 1977 and 2001(?), and 1966 world cup, roots the whole thing nicely in the real world.
Thanks very much Gooner. I have an idea, if I buy the sequel, then I can lend it to you ;)
Orphaned at the last BC/MU
Picked up at the January Meet Up. I have also (like BookGroupMan) not read a crime novel for years but on his and Gooner's recommendation will give this one a go!
I really enjoyed this. As I said my first crime fiction book for years. Great story, great characterisation etc etc and well written.
Dryden's fear of water strikes a chord with me and his experiences sounded as though written from real life and were terrifying.
Best part has to be the location - the Fens. I don't know the area well but have passed nearby on my way to family holidays in Hunstanton, sometimes stopping for a break in the journey in Ely. You don't need to know the area to enjoy the book as the descriptions are so good you feel you are there.
Journal Entry 7
Stamford Arms, 62 Stamford Street in Lambeth, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, February 07, 2005
Released 14 yrs ago (2/9/2005 UTC) at Stamford Arms, 62 Stamford Street in Lambeth, Greater London United Kingdom
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Upstairs at the meet up
Picked up at yesterday's London bookcrossing meeting - on the strong recommendation of JemimaJ! I look forward to reading it!
Ooops! Took me a little while to get around to reading this one! But it was a goody. The whodunnit solution was a bit obvious, and there was a distinct lack of decent red herrings - however the characters were really enjoyable (particularly Humph) and the story was well written. Dryden needn't have been so toe-curlingly "good looking, but without realising it", but that was a minor quibble. Would definitely read other books by this author.
Journal Entry 10
Starbucks - (zone closed October 2012) in Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom on Saturday, September 10, 2005
Released 14 yrs ago (9/10/2005 UTC) at Starbucks - (zone closed October 2012) in Horsham, West Sussex United Kingdom
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On the OBCZ bookshelf