So, it's been a while...
Thank you Ryan for those suggestions. I read the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was a teenager but haven't read them since. I loved them then, although I made the mistake of reading every single story, one after the other and they did start to merge into one another! But they are fantastic. Sherlock (and Watson) are such memorable characters, and I should try re-reading them. And the Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourite books. I just love the story, it is heartbreaking, yet hopeful throughout, and it is so timeless, Stephen Fry - 'The Stars' Tennis Balls,' gives it a modern twist.
I read Linwood Barclay's 'No Time For Goodbye,' and really enjoyed it. It began with an interesting premise, with a young girl's family suddenly disappearing, and you were very much filled with a sense of emptiness and confusion on her behalf. It was a well paced thriller, twisting and turning its way to its dramatic conclusion and it kept you guessing the whole way.
I also read 'Too Close to Home,' (also Linwood Barclay) which I felt started promisingly, again with interesting, sinister events, but I felt it fell away. Throughout the book I could see everything coming and the plot was really thin on the ground. The word count seemed to be bulked out from latching on to some tangent to the main story and dragging it out, despite it having little to do with the outcome. I kept waiting for some of the twists I'd not seen coming in the 'No Time For Goodbye,' hoping it would get better, but unfortunately it didn't.
I see he has a new novel out, 'Fear the Worst,' and I read the first chapter, again, it started really strongly, but is it worth a read?
I'm currently reading 'The Shadows of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I read 'The Angel's Game,' first (accidentally). I think the writing is very beautiful, and he very much captures the essence of what, I imagine, Barcelona was like at this time. The characters in both are very vivid, very intriguing, some are eccentric, all so beautifully described, as are the settings, fantastic gothic locations instill a chilling feeling and the City of Barcelona itself, which I think I will have to plan a trip to, just to wander some of the streets and parks Zafon mentions.
'The Angel's Game' is a very intricate story woven around a young writer called David Martin, who lives in Barcelona in the 1920s. He writes sensationalist novels to pay the bills, but feels he has more to give. He meets a strange publisher, and then his troubles begin. I loved this book, I really did, but I felt a bit let down by the ending, I like resolution, but I did feel there were a few loose ends, and that I don't actually know what happened. But as I say, I would thoroughly recommend it, for its beauty, and for the most part, the story.
Zafon recommends Dickens 'Great Expectations,' as further reading to his stories, and I have just started that too. I am enjoying it, but I find with Dickens that I have to be in the right frame of mind in order to fully concentrate on it.
My last attempt at a classic failed miserably, I'm on about page 102 of Madame Bovary and I'm ashamed to say I was so utterly bored by the long winded descriptions and events that I had to stop, and I hadn't even got to the good bit yet (!)
Any good books, let me know!