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SusannaG

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %
Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Elizabeth Fremantle
Progress: 22 %
1913: The Eve of War
Paul Ham
Progress: 20 %

Ashes of London

Ashes of London - Andrew Taylor

This, ladies and gentlemen, is an official DNF.

 

I don't make those very often; mostly I let a book marinate in my "currently reading" pile, because I might get back to it.  I save DNF for a book that I know I will never "get back to."

 

Ashes of London is one of those.  And I'm disappointed, because I was looking forward to this one.  Mystery thriller set in the Great Fire of London and the aftermath!  Just my type of thing.

 

Not so much.  We start with the fire well under way - with the collapse of Old St Paul's Cathedral, the great medieval hulk, begun by William the Conqueror, that towered over the London of Charles II.  But we don't get a dead body, or anything like a crime.  (You would expect one by 15% in, which is about as far as I got.)

 

Aside from the fire, we don't really get a sense of 1666 at all.  I read historical fiction to get a sense of the past.  I didn't get that feel here.  This could have been any pre-modern time with a big fire.

 

The writing is bland.  We get no real sense of 1666.  The characters are fairly flat.  And we have two protagonists.  (I dislike multiple protagonists, particularly uncharacterized multiple protagonists.  Instead of giving us two flat narrators, how about giving us one interesting and developed one?)

 

So now I'm about 15% in, and nothing is really exciting me about this one.  And then

Taylor decides to start the characterization of our female narrator by having her mustachio-twisting cousin (he fairly screams "I am evil!") rape her

(show spoiler)

, and I am out.  I will never pick up this book again.

 

Because first I was bored, there was neither a sense of the past or a visible mystery to solve, and I didn't care about the characters (I can't even be bothered to remember their names), and then I was offended.  And now I am gone.