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Death at La Fenice
1 New from
The debut of Commissario of Police Guido Brunetti sees him investigating the murder of a world famous conductor Maestro Helmut Wellauer. As is the norm in who dun-its their some unsavory characters, some red herrings and some who you cant quite make up your mind about till near the end.
What i found refreshing about the tale was the setting. Venice apparently only comes alive during tourist season. Rest of the time its its a quiet town., where everyone knows everyone else !
Brunetti for me is more Colombo than Morse. Certainly having a happily married policeman with two normal children makes a change from a lead character with a history of failed relationships. I also felt the addition of his inept superior Patta brought much needed comedy to the book.
I look forward to more titles in the series.
Cover Her Face
4 New from
The debut novel of PD James " Cover her face " was originally published in 1962 and for this reader felt like a book of its time. Set in an era when unmarried mothers were frond upon and illegitimate babies were often adopted this thriller sets out to detail the fate of one Sally Jupp a servant girl who is murdered in a stale y home by one of the occupants of the house.
The premise is clearly to establish the guilty person and this is done through the work of a character James creates known as Inspector Adam Dalglesh who would go on to feature in a number of James Novels.
The main criticism that appears now to be levied at the book is that whilst much of the last 50 pages of the book sets out to tie up the loose ends and red herrings which have preceded only to reveal the suspect in the confines of a single paragraph !
in truth this reader felt it was necessary in order to establish the movements and motives of the other characters in the book and therefore enable as full a picture to develop as to Sallys fate as was fees-able. I also felt, that was some padding in the middle of the book which whilst adding volume to the text caused me at times to loose track of the activities of these characters particularly the lesser used ones, so it was refreshing to find my perseverance paid of and the book concludes with if not a spectacular ending a plausible one.
To sum up then as debut novels go this is a more than agreeable yarn spun well but with an aged feel to proceedings. The writer for this this reviwer would go on to write greater works in the proceeding years.
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As a veteran gamer I was appalled to read some of the silly one line reviews for this game. Clearly some people don't believe in giving a game of this quality a chance. Firstly, it seems, some of these individuals clearly have not learn't the concept of strategy gaming. Why run into a horde of beasties when you can lure them out at a distance with your bow, hide in the woods and pick them off one by one or get them to follow you into a village and allow the villagers to do the hard work for you before you get down to business of stripping the corpses of their ill-gotten gains all for yourself.
The concept of an orc king back from the dead appealed greatly and through the use of characters and events the story unfolded with me being drawn in. Yes, what I was looking for and where was I going even with the use of the mini map could have been easier but at least being able to identify an item when you were close to it helped.
I agree the lip syncing and the graphics aren't great but for me this game was easy to play with much land to cover and quests to do.
If there is a major blip and why i'm deducting a star is the lack of detailed explanation on how to teleport. What is not explained is if you choose to download the update for this game off xbox live you can no longer teleport. That is if you follow the instructions in the enclosed manual. However if you push down on the right analog stick. select teleport, choose on the map where you want to go and then press A (green) it should work.
So to summarise if your not too bothered about how it looks or mainly sounds but want a playable RPG that you you don't need a degree in how to play. check this game out.
Caravan (Original Recording Remastered)
Caravan - CD
23 New from
Released way back in 1968 on the soon to be defunct Verve label their first album is a psychedelic record. surprisingly it wasn't a hit at the time with records by Pink Floyd and Traffic overshadowing it which is a shame as there is much to commend this album.
Arguably the first four tracks on the CD are the best. Place of my Own was what got them a deal in the first place and is the lead track here as well as the groups first single. other standouts are Ride and Policeman though i also like other songs later in the CD such as Magic Man and Grandmothers Lawn. Indeed only two songs let the CD down for me Cecil Rons is advent guard but is saved by the catchy chorus and the closing epic Where but for Caravan would I which for me goes on too long.
This CD comes with both mono and stereo mixes of the album and a track ( Hello Hello) which would appear in another version on the groups second album. original sleeve notes are also provided as well as a history of the band up to the time of the first album and it's making of by Mark Powell.
In conclusion if your interested in late sixties psychedelic music check this CD out.
Salvador - Worship Live
Region 1 DVD
recorded at one of their favorite venues ( calvary of Albuquerque in new mexico) way back in 2003 this live in concert DVD amply illustrates why this Christian band are so hot, in fact steaming.
Effectively a best of set the music combines Latino and English sung favorites. Combining hits, worship anthems and a few of the bands personal favorites. The DVD amply illustrates why Nic Gonzales is a master of his game involving the audience every step of the way. Clearly a fantastic night was had by all. Shame i wasn't there !
Fleetwood Mac - CD
29 New from
Most people think of fleetwood mac as a band who hit big in the late 70's and 80's with lindsey buckingham and Steve nicks. However before then they also made music with other people.
When they first began in the 60's they were a blues band and had a different lineup. They had a amazing guitar player who was called peter Green and he was their leader for a few years leaving at the end of the 60's. It's arguable as to what is the best album from this period but for me I like ' And the band plays on ' (1969).
After Peter left there were further line up changes and then the band settled on what i call their middle period and for me is my favourite. during this time they made a series of interesting albums. The best of which is again arguably ' Mystery to me ' & ' heroes are hard to find ' but also this album ' Bare trees '.
Bare trees was the last album to feature a talented songwriter called Danny Kirwan. Highlights include Dust & Sentimental Lady.There is also out take from the period called Trinity i would have put on this Cd. The title track does not do it for me. candy floss.
In the Land of Grey and Pink (Original Recording Remastered)
24 New from
This is a remastered edition of the groups classic third album originally released in 1971. Arguably their best album everything works extremely well largely due to an abundance of material. Most of the first two albums were written by Pye Hastings so for this record he takes a back seat ( only contributing Love to Love You) and allows the others to shine through. Opening with Golf girl ( one of their most well known songs and a favourite of mine ) by Richard Sinclair the album also enables David Sinclair to show how much as a musician he had developed just listen to the grand epic Nine feet Underground.
As well as the original album this edition also features an abundance of unreleased material inc an early version of Golf Girl called Group Girl and a track which would appear in a reworked form on their next album called Aristocracy. Original artwork by Anne Marie Henderson is included along with new sleeve notes by Mark Powell which provide a welcome insight into the history of the album.
Unfortunately Dave would leave the band following the tour to promote this album which is why i believe this often overlooked gem of the Canterbury Scene is all the more special and at five pounds you could not ask for a better bargin.
Exit Stage Left (Remastered)
Rush - CD
28 New from
Attracting mixed reviews this second live album by rush features both old and new material from the time. Making a marriage between the hard rock sound of old and making more use of keyboards was never going to be easy. What is evident here is that much more tinkering has been done than on the previous live album ( All the Worlds a Stage) so infact it's hard to tell the difference between the studio and live recordings presented here. That said if your looking for a budget price CD featuring highlights from some of their most popular albums you should look no further. The cover is a clever idea featuring images from each of their previous albums.
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Darkfire is the second book in the Shardlake series, set in Tudor times which details the efforts of the lawyer & his assistant Barak as they attempt to unravel the mystery of an ancient weapon and how it can be used to save the both the carrier and life of their master Thomas Cromwell.
Amply illustrating the progression Samson has made since the first book Dissolution this novel is easier to take in and follow than it's predecessor which was at times heavy going. Once again Samson is able to help the reader picture the characters, the setting, even the clothes the people wear. The conditions of London life, the heat the stench etc all adding to the atmosphere.The knowledge you could be burnt at the stake alive for your religious belief and being hanged for stealing bread made me shudder.
In the characters Toky and Wright Samson has created two of the most villainous hired thugs which you could not wish to meet in a alley on a dark night. They will stop at nothing to hinder our hero and his companion. There love of gold and the joy of killing oozes from every scene they appear in.
Part of you longs for Shardlake to meet a women who like Lady Honor will forgive his hunchback appearance and desire his intellect and love him for the man he is but as with Colin Dexter and Morse why should a novel have a happy ending ?
Let It Be Christmas
Alan Jackson - CD
As my title suggests this was Alans second Christmas album released in 2002.
Unlike the first Cd which was more Honky Tonk in style. This album has a more traditional approach hence the inclusion of yuletide chestnuts like White Christmas & Silent Night.
This album includes one Jackson original, the title track which for this reviewer is the best song here standing out among the rest.
Taken as a whole perhaps not the best album of his carrier this Cd does come from one my favourite periods in his discography. The album Drive was released around the same time.