V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton – Book review | Milo's Rambles -
a review by someone completely new to the Kinsey Millhone world - Bernadette from Bookmarklet
Keeping away from these until I've read it but I spotted that his previous post was in praise of Tideline, a new "suspense" novel that made me hurl it across the room in boredom and frustration with crap plot (obsessed woman with damaged past kidnaps son's schoolfriend and that's about it).Tedium city, as well as distasteful plot. - Maxine
You have to ask where he's been? "Until I received V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton a few weeks ago I have to admit I’d never heard of either the author or her protagonist Kinsey Millhone, a colourful, balsy [sic] and determined private detective. I had no idea this was part of a series and... Imagine my delight when I discovered this wasn’t Kinsey’s first outing as a private eye! When time allows I’ll certainly explore the rest of the series if this title is anything to go by." - crimeficreader
He also liked She's Never Coming Back - a title which prompted me to say.."and I don't care". - Karen Meek
I think that was the one I saw refer to 'sex scenes' which, given what was written before, would have been better and more accurately described as scenes of sexual assault, Karen? - crimeficreader
It is a bit hard to imagine a crime reviewer who has not heard of Grafton/Milhone by the V stage, even though she is US and he is in UK, Sue G sells well here & won the CWA diamond dagger a year or two ago to much publicity. CFR - maybe he just likes horrid kidnap novels - Tideline is not overt assault of that variety (I think - only skimmed most of it) but lots of drugging & staring at sleeping body, & later on painting it etc. Reeeeevolting. - Maxine
I'm reading V is for Vengence now so avoiding all reviews until I've finished. Needless to say I'm enjoying it.... - Sarah Ward
Just re-reading this and wondering... is this guy a crime fiction reviewer? A new reader? Don't really know his background but you'd think a crime fiction reviewer would know about Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series by now. ..Maybe not... - Margot Kinberg
His blog is in my 'mostly not crime' group in google reader - he seems to review a bit of everything - whatever the publishers sent him from the looks of things and while he does review some crime I don't think it's a particular passion - I thought it a bit odd that he had never heard of her given he is a 'book guy' but I bet there are plenty of authors of other genres that I haven't heard of that afficionados of those genres would be shocked to hear I've no clue about - Bernadette
Thanks for the input, Bernadette.I think it's a bit odd too about him not hearing of SG's work before, especially if he says he's a "book guy." Not that I've ever heard of every author either.... - Margot Kinberg
I agree it's odd. When reviewing a book it's also good to know its context. Considering the prose and story in isolation seems like a complete flyer... - crimeficreader
Maxine, I love your 'Reeeeevolting' reference. But will keep an open mind in case it comes in for the Creasey. For that I read as objectively as possible, putting 'taste' to one side in search of the best. - crimeficreader
To me it is more like a fan site than a book reviewer site so I don't subscribe in RSS as I don't think the reviews are vg, mostly seem to be raves about what he gets sent by publishers as you say Bernadette. An objective reviewer would do at least some research I think. On Tideline - an awful combination, boring as well as nasty. But that's just one opinion, the book is published in a week or two & we may find the main reviewers may love it (as in When I Go To Sleep out of terminal boredom...) - Maxine
And I return to the comment made above, addressed earlier to Karen re She's Never Coming Back. I am seriously concerned that scenes of sexual assault may have been described merely as 'sex scenes'. That's misleading to readers and exposes a lack of maturity and understanding in my books. - crimeficreader
Worse than a lack of maturity in my opinion, CFR, to confound rape with a "sex scene". - Maxine
Ah. I haven't read it (yet). Was basing my comments on what I have read about it thus far. Interestingly, just found Barry Forshaw raving about it (positively) in the Indie. Yet to read a woman doing the same. And yes Maxine, if it's rape that error is unforgivable. - crimeficreader
Well, without wanting to spoil the story too much, though she does do her best over time to er please the rapist it is because she thinks the kidnapper will kill her once he is bored with her, it is certainly not a mutually agreeable situation and thus is most definitely rape. Fortunately for cfr this is not a debut :) - it is a "literary" writer under a pseudonym. I checked BF's guide to Scandi fiction and he didn't mention the content and only included a few comments from HK so I was suprised that he's raved about it. Will try and find review online. - Karen Meek
Thanks cfr. It's a soulless book imho. - Karen Meek
It doesn't actually appeal to me Karen so I will happily give it a miss. - crimeficreader
anyone know how old the reviewer is? I can't comment on never having read this series as ahem I haven't, but I have at least heard of them! - LauraRoot
After a few days off the blogging circuit I return to discover a "top" crime fiction reviewer who has never heard of Kinsey Milhone and CWA Diamond Dagger winner Sue Grafton. Milo's website is down for maintenance at the moment. That Independent review of She's Never Coming Back is enough to put anyone off and what on earth is a utilitarian translation. - Norman
Nice to have you back, Norman. I hope you defeated the tax. As for Barry F, I suppose he now has a vested (or not so vested!) interest in promoting anything from the region in order to promote his own book (which incidentally is delayed at the printers according to an email I just received from Simon Clarke). BTW The Inde article has gone as well as Milo's Rambles - I am beginning to worry about our influence! - Maxine
The Indie is back up. I think the site was down for a short while. I was looking up 'utilitarian translation'. Thank you Norm. - crimeficreader
I am not sure I want to read the book but Barry Forshaw's Independent review of She's Never Coming back seemed credible and balanced to me. - mediations
... though I do wonder if even Forshaw himself knows exactly what he meant by a 'utilitarian translation' ... I am presuming workmanlike, designed for use rather than beauty... - mediations
yikes that Indie review of the Koppel makes it sound like v strong and unpleasant stuff indeed. I take it the kidnap theme is handled less sensitively than in Mercy by Adler-Olsen? - LauraRoot
The time-frame is much shorter and there is more interaction between kidnappers & victim. Slightly more believable motive for actions in this one but unpleasant reading indeed at times - not all the way through. It is full of coincidences too and the thickest policemen you've ever come across. Make Lackberg's lot look like S Holmes. - Karen Meek
Now I can see the Inde review, I think BF's description is telling, compared with the "sex scene" phrase used at the above blog. BF: "some will find the appalling sexual humiliation and brutalisation of its heroine, kept prisoner in a cellar, hard to take – ". Agreed that BF's review is useful (utilitarian?!) in that it both provides the plus points of the book for some readers and also suitable warning so that others (eg me) don't have to read it and be upset. - Maxine
Just read Ayo's account on Shots blog of the Barry F interview with the Boy in Suitcase authors at the launch last night. In that he is much more upfront about his dislike of the assault and humiliation in SNCB & it seems the book in general. - Maxine
And I wonder who used the words 'sex scenes' here? Ayo in her account or Barry in the original. - crimeficreader
Barry's terminlogy is spot on. A pity Ayo used the phrase but at least she qualified it with "humiliating" and possibly has not read the book, unlike the reviewer identified at the top of this discussion, who had. (Ayo's post: - Maxine
Did you go Maxine? - crimeficreader
No, seen/heard BF so often (including quite recently at Brit Library conf), and though I quite liked the book did not love it. Not too keen on these "fan" events. BTW Laura, as you suggest Mercy is not at all "humiliating" - the kidnappee is empowered and empowering, entirely on her own account. - Maxine
Wish I could go so many of these things, sadly not. Not familiar with the book in question there either. But so little time to pursue the translated. - crimeficreader
I am sure that's right, Rhian, you must be swamped with debuts. If you ever do have time for translated, Mercy (Adler-Olsen) is better, and shorter. - Maxine
Have got as far as loving the feel of the cover with that one... - crimeficreader
Mercy is a really fine debut IMHO - Margot Kinberg
not "H" at all, Margot ;-) - Maxine
I've just finished TBitS - must write a review - I am looking forward to reading more from them though this one didn't grab me as much as I'd hoped, or at least half of it didn't. I was going to go to this but it was moved from a day I could do to a work day :(. - Karen Meek
Agree with Maxine. I consider that an aitch worth dropping. - crimeficreader
Coming late to this party to day Hello to Rhian - and Maxine, who made me smile with reviews of Tideline and When I Go To Sleep - thank you - Sarah Hilary