Here are two reviews that I intended to keep short, but I ended up having more to say than I thought. I thought about doing two separate posts, but decided to keep them together as they are both murder mysteries.
A Fine Summer’s Day by Charles Todd
Inspector Ian Rutledge #17
Publication Date: January 2015
This was another wonderful audiobook in this series. This one however is different than the others in that we get to see Ian before the war and his PTSD. It was a also a different reader than the other books that I have so far listened to. This time around it was Steven Crossly giving a voice to Ian and while I did like his version, I was kind of use to hearing Simon Prebble’s voice. Once I became use to the new voice I quite liked it.
It was very interesting to see Ian before the war and compare that to how different he was after. The mystery he has to solve in this one is quite complex and he had quite a time convincing his superiors that he was on the right track. From the outside the cases were not connected and most looked like suicides, but Ian sees through this. It was a bit disheartening in the end as well. It was also interesting to see London and Ian experiencing the things that went on that lead up to the war. There was a lot of anxiety and some of the issues surrounding the beginnings of the war that were portrayed well here.
We got to see a lot of Ian’s fiance, Jean, in this book. She is mentioned a lot in the other books, but we mostly only see her through Ian’s memories. I never liked her much, but this book really solidified how wrong she would have been for Ian and I am so glad he didn’t end up marrying her.
My one disappointment was not seeing Hamish as much as I thought we would in this one. We get a short scene with him at the beginning and then again at the end when he and Ian meet for the first time. And even though I knew Ian would not hear Hamish in his head I still missed that part of Ian’s character.
Another solid story with an interesting twist for this series and some new insights into Ian and his personality before everything changed in the war.
Bloodlines by Peter Hartog
The Guardian of Empire City #1
Publication Date: August 2018
This wasn’t exactly the fun Urban Fantasy that I was expecting, but I still ended up liking it. It was a bit slow moving, especially at the beginning, and I had a hard time getting into it. But once the pace picked up in the middle and the action started getting more intense I really started to enjoy myself.
Tom ‘Doc’ Holliday was an interesting character. He is very rough around the edges and has a hard time relating to people. He is also prone to quoting Shakespeare and Chaucer, which you would expect given his Phd in English Lit. It is not quite clear how he went from Phd to cop but just go with it. He also has a gift, which everyone calls the Insight, which allows him to see other things and kind of into the future. It is hard to explain but it is interesting. He has a team working with him on this case and they are all from different backgrounds. All of the characters are pretty well fleshed out and have their own fascinating backstories.
The world that this book takes place in is the most interesting part of this book. It felt more like a science fiction story than urban fantasy at times. It takes place in the future and there is a lot of advance tech as well as some kinds of magic. There is some talk of tech and magic working together to create some of the things that are in the story. But overall there was more science than fantasy.
The writing was dense and for about the first half of the book slow moving. I am not sure I totally got along with the writing style as I did find it hard to focus on the story sometimes. Once the action picked up a bit (they spend a lot of time just driving around the city) I was able to enjoy the story a bit more. The plot was very interesting with a lot of twists and surprises that left both you and the characters playing catch up most of the time. But you have to love those monologuing villains, they were the best.
A bit more science fiction than urban fantasy but overall a solid read. There is a sequel that I am thinking about reading at some point in the future.