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Book Reviews: In Conquest Born +The Third Victim +Gone +The ABC Murders +The Sisters

In Conquest Born by C.S. Friedman
This is a classic sci-fi masterwork originally published in 1986. Braxi and Azea are two interstellar civilizations fighting an endless war over a long forgotten cause. It is the distant future and the two civilizations are descended from humans but chose to breed differently over countless generations to embody opposing ideals. The Braxana who are the warrior elite of the Braxin Holding are an aloof aggressive secretive clan. Zatar is a Braxana general, a self-made symbol of unobtainable perfection and someone with no concept of reasonableness. Anzha is an Azean telepath who is an outcast among her own kind. She is a non-personality who has made the war a personal vendetta against Zatar and his opposing culture.

This is a good tale of relentlessly completive people caught up in the in exactitude of war. Their attitudinal training has made them wilfully terrible people and damning indictments of their cultures. Revenge leads to even more impassioned responses leading to a climax that shows the utter futility of it all. The characters in this fragmented book are awful and magnets for anti-social behaviour.

They utter the loudest and crudest arguments for the doctrinaire liberty to kill. How do these societies even function? On Leprechaun economics? Still despite the fragmentary chapters, loads and loads of characters, unclear time passage and dislikeable characters, this is a book of outstanding significance. The characters aren’t fragile and real, but they are memorable. As is this book. I read the 2001 anniversary edition, read this and the sequel.

~
The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner
This 2001 novel sees a small town devastated by a school shooting. The perpetrator is the obvious suspect but his parents refuse to accept he is guilty. This is Rainie Connor’s 1st homicide investigation and with the help of an FBI profiler she discovers there is more to the case than is readily apparent.

This is an okay tale of overly vehement parents, false pride and exposition dumps. This takes a sensationalist twist on school shootings but so many more mass shootings have taken place since this book was published that he plot twist seems a convoluted way of post-rationalising such events. Also the concept of gun control isn’t even mentioned as people debate the degree of transgression the killer has committed.

This is a tale of emotional demands, unsuitably advised people who lack commendable honesty, uncertain truths and falsified motives. While this was okay it is still a tale of a killer who kills because he is angry, because he lives in a town where homogeneity is elevated to a virtue or something. While not the definitive thriller, it is readable. But there is no intensifying of environments or incidents. Empathy is not consistently engaged as a lot of the characters are impossible to connect with.

Best Lines:
“Trying to forget the future that would never be.”

“Who now looked at them with the compassion usually reserved for lepers.”

“With more tattoos than morals.”

“There’s just something about a cop with a corpse under their deck that people don’t like.”

~
Gone by Lisa Gardner
This 2006 novel is a sequel to ‘The Third Victim’. Rainie the heroine of that book has rather flatly gone downhill and has now been kidnapped in a plot that defies standard logic. The kidnapper’s motives are indistinct and the narrative is stilted and stumbling. Rainie’s husband Quincy and his snotty daughter contentiously investigate. Meanwhile a troubled foster child is also involved and he has over determined narcissism of the highest order.

This was not finely hewn or captivating in its authenticity. It was dull, largely trifling and virtually incomprehensible and somewhat uninspired. It has a lack of a strong adversarial figure and is disappointingly humdrum. It is full of people either shouting nonsense or having bland conversations. This was dreary and purgative.

~
The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
This was a majestically tedious tale that has wilful incoherence.

~
The Sisters by Pat Booth
This 1988 novel is about a best selling author and her rivalry with her hated younger actress sister. This has sex, violence and is plain nasty with a silly twist.
Tags: book review, poirot
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