Heart

Heart
Cuore
, ,

Fredonia Books (NL)
1886
Paperback
274
Italian
Isabel Florence Hapgood
March 18, 2018 March 21, 2018

Written following the Italian war for independence by a sub-lieutenant who had fought in the siege of Rome in 1870, Heart is the fictional diary of a boy's third year in a Turin municipal school. It was written to foster juvenile appreciation of the newfound Italian national unity, which the author had fought for in the recent war. The book is often highly emotional, even sentimental, but gives a vivid picture of urban Italian life at that time. A master, introducing a new pupil, tells the class, "Remember well what I am going to say. That this fact might come to pass--that a Calabrian boy might find himself at home in Turin, and that a boy of Turin might be in his own home in Calabria, our country has struggled for fifty years, and thirty thousand Italians have died." The novel became internationally popular, and has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works. Edmondo de Amicis (1846-1908) established a reputation as a writer in various genres after his experience as a soldier.


About the book

This is a book that when I was a child everyone told me “read it”, “it’s a beautiful book for kids” and now that I read it, I wonder how is it that a book so “out of the Italian language” being for children? I need to say that I read this book just because, for the Challenge of Popsugar, I had to read “a book from my childhood that I wanted to read and I never read”, otherwise, as I said on Goodreads where I added all the books that I own, I would have never read it.

First of all, the book was written in the nineteenth century so obviously the Italian is not the Italian of today, so I wonder how a child/boy who has just started his journey in the Italian language can fully understand what is written. Not all the book is like that but if it is not fluent for me because of ancient Italian, how can it be for a boy? How can a child like this book? Now I know why I never read it when I was young, as soon as I started it I gave up.

Continue reading “Heart”

The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy
, , ,

, Book # 1
Random House Publishing Group
February 21, 2006
ebook
514
English

Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.

It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’ s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize– and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.

Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.


About the book

The Templar Legacy is the first book in the series starring Cotton Malone, a former CIA agent, who retired in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he opened a bookshop of ancient books, his long-standing passion. The book begins when his former boss comes to visit him in Copenhagen and even before she can meet Malone finds herself in a chase through the streets of the city when her purse is snatched. Between blackmail, murder, suicide, betrayal and escapes around Europe, will the former CIA agent solve the mystery?

I like this kind of conspiracies, I like hidden secrets, I like treasure hunts, I like the dark side of people, even the most devoted have one, so the plot intrigued me a lot. Style and details not so much. First of all: if the masters were 66 and have “governed” for 18 years (average) from the XII century onward, something isn’t right in the book, because (66×18 = 1188 years governed in total by the masters) +1150 (year of foundation of the templars) = 2338… and the book was written in 2006…  we are not in 2300 now… Can someone please explain this detail to me? Yes, I’m that kind of person who counts and looks after these details.

Continue reading “The Templar Legacy”

The Black Echo

The Black Echo
, ,

, Book # 1
Orion
1992
ebook
570
English

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call-out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.

To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow 'tunnel rat' in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.


About the book

This is the first book in the series of a Los Angeles police detective called Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch. He has no family or life outside of his job, his father left the family when Harry was a kid and Harry’s mother turned to prostitution and was killed when Harry was eleven. After her death, Harry was assigned to the California child protection services. He spent the rest of his youth in a series of foster homes before joining the army. He is a Vietnam veteran traumatized by his experiences of war and after leaving the service, joins the police forces, becoming a leading detective in the Homicide Division.

Continue reading “The Black Echo”

Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper – Case Closed

Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper - Case Closed


Mass Market
November 11, 2002
ebook
383
English

In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror.  An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London’s East End.  Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes were clearly escalating in violence from victim to victim.  And then the Ripper’s violent spree seemingly ended as abruptly as it had begun.  He had struck out of nowhere and then vanished from the scene.  Decades passed, then fifty years, then a hundred, and the Ripper’s bloody sexual crimes became anemic and impotent fodder for puzzles, mystery weekends, crime conventions, and so-called “Ripper Walks” that end with pints of ale in the pubs of Whitechapel.  But to number-one New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, the Ripper murders are not cute little mysteries to be transformed into parlor games or movies but rather a series of terrible crimes that no one should get away with, even after death.  Now Cornwell applies her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise to dig deeper into the Ripper case than any detective before her—and reveal the true identity of this fabled Victorian killer.

In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell combines the rigorous discipline of twenty-first century police investigation with forensic techniques undreamed of during the late Victorian era to solve one of the most infamous and difficult serial murder cases in history.  Drawing on unparalleled access to original Ripper evidence, documents, and records, as well as archival, academic, and law-enforcement resources, FBI profilers, and top forensic scientists, Cornwell reveals that Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world’s finest museums: Walter Richard Sickert.

It has been said of Cornwell that no one depicts the human capability for evil better than she.   Adding layer after layer of circumstantial evidence to the physical evidence discovered by modern forensic science and expert minds, Cornwell shows that Sickert, who died peacefully in his bed in 1942, at the age of 81, was not only one of Great Britain’s greatest painters but also a serial killer, a damaged diabolical man driven by megalomania and hate.  She exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters that were written to the Metropolitan Police and the press.  Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows that his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man’s birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions, and their effects on his upbringing present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.


About the book

This book is not fiction but an essay, a summary of the research done by the author on Jack the Ripper. I read this book for the Popsugar challenge prompt “True Crime” and therefore I had no expectations.

I find the book a bit confusing. I liked it as an essay, but it jumps from one period to another without chronology and I think, my personal thought, that if you are writing a report of a real person’s life, you need to chronologically plan the book or at least a little bit more chronologically that it is; you can’t jump from one period to another and then go back. She talked about Jack’s first murders, then she jumped to those who may have been his own murders but that have never been attributed to him, only to return to those attributed to him a few years earlier. I know it is divided into chapters and each chapter has its argument, but even more so, putting chapters in chronological order is wiser in my opinion. And she talks a little bit too much about the watermark of the paper… but I noticed this in her books, too, she is too much detailed on certain things and often the common reader is bored about it (and also it’s boring to those who know about argument because they already know those things).

The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library


, Book # 3
Kindle Edition
February 1942
ebook
224
English

Colonel Bantry has found the strangled body of an exotic blonde bombshell lying on his library hearth - and the neighbors are beginning to talk! When Miss Marple takes an interest, though, things begin to move along nicely, and its all far more convoluted - and sordid - than the genteel Bantrys could have imagined.

A curmudgeonly financier, his self-absorbed adult children, a couple of pragmatic and clever hotel workers, tons of money and influence, a wild local lad, some smitten girls, the film business, mix into a classic Christie plot filled with twists, turns, and double-backs galore. Plus the glorious settings of A Great House, a fancy Hotel, and an excessively genteel little village, and let's not forget Miss Marple...


About the book

This is a fairly old book, I read it for the Popsugar challenge “a book set in a bookstore or library” and therefore I had no expectations. I’ve never read anything about Agatha Christie and I do not think I will read anything else about the author. I found this story a bit too simple.

I have a question: isn’t the series titled Miss Marple? Because I met her only twice and I’m on page 47…. I thought she was going to be more present… Maybe in the other books she is more present but not in this one and I’m sad about it.

The book is nice, obviously being a dated book is not one of those complicated that exist now and that obviously I like more, but the reading was pleasant, simple even if as I said I hoped for more Miss Marple. All right, she solves the case, but being the protagonist (more or less) I would have liked more presence. It was a little obvious who the killer was, reading the mysteries written nowadays, solving the case before the protagonist of an “ancient” book is common I think, but I did not see the small final twist.

The title, among other things, especially the English one (The Body in the Library) reminds me of an episode of the Bones TV series…