The neon rain, by James Lee Burke. London: Phoenix, 2005. Originally published 1989.
The first of the Dave Robicheaux novels; going back to start the series from the beginning as there are a lot of these. After two years sober, Dave has a serious falling off the wagon, including assaulting a fellow officer (who quite frankly deserved it), and is suspended from the police. He's still fascinated with the murder of a young black girl found in the Louisiana swamps though, and is determined to carry on the investigation despite death threats. This is immensely readable and quite moving at times.
Not dead yet, by Peter James. London: Macmillan, 2012.
Roy Grace is anticipating the birth of his child when a body is found, badly decomposed, at a local chicken farm. Meanwhile a global superstar is coming to Brighton to play the part of Maria Fitzherbert in a new biopic of George III. As the seemingly disparate cases seem determined to come together, Grace and temporarily-promoted Glenn Branson investigate. Meanwhile, someone is threatening Grace's partner Cleo. This rattles along, but I always have difficulty with books containing celebrities because building up the back-story is always a bit clumsy; and I don't like the way James is taking the long-running personal side-plot in this one.
Claws, by Stephen Booth. Kindle edition.
This is a short story featuring Dale Cooper and a tale of egg-stealing and the illegal poaching of birds of prey. A lovely crunchy little snippet of a story I really enjoyed on the train up to the North East for Christmas and well worth the 99p.
Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix, by J K Rowling [audiobook]. Read by Stephen Fry. Bristol: Cover to Cover, 2003.
Somehow, even though it's not exactly a happy book, this was the right thing to be listening to at Christmas, maybe because Stephen Fry's reading is so very warm. The length of time it takes to get to Hogwarts in the first place is still irritating, as are Harry's tantrums at the beginning, but as ever I spot different things each time I listen to one of these readings...
That's the end of this year's book round-up - except to say that the Evening Standard totally agreed with me on the unsuitability of Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher, for exactly the same reasons... I shall now, finally, shut up on the subject.
Happy reading in 2013, all.