The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom (My Goodreads Review))

Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent historical read. Set in King Henry VIII's England of 1540. Matthew Shardlake must help Thomas Cromwell. The king's main man is in serious trouble concerning the Anne of Cleeves marriage. In an attempt to win back favour with the king, Cromwell enlists the help of the hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake to find the secret of Greek Fire. In this day and age, Greek fire is akin to an atomic weapon and would allow Henry VIII's navy to have tremendous power. The problems start for Matthew as he comes across a collection of dead bodies along his investigative way. Soon his own life is in peril too.

This is a gritty fast-paced historical thriller set against the backdrop of protestant reformist England etc. It has a splendid feel and is the second Shardlake story I have read. It was very compelling and I'll certainly be reading the third instalment after this exciting historical thriller brought 1540's London to life.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Sunrise Over the Fenland.

It was a glorious sunrise over the Fen. We had got up before driving to King's Lynn on a shopping expedition. This is before coming back and finding a Soviet Tank in front of the drive - as you do. 

The kind morning moment allowed for reflection of a kind autumn day. We had a coffee and watched from the gate as the sun came up. A fine start to my four days off of work.

An Old WWII Soviet Tank Blocked My Drive.

We were coming home from Kings Lynn shopping centre today and my drive was obstructed by a lorry and trailer carrying a huge old Soviet T-34 type tank. Like one of those used at the Battle of Kursk in 1943.

The Lorry had just pulled out of a driveway that runs along the railway line. It goes out into the fields by the River Nene. There is a yard there with several tanks. The work that occurs here involves renovating old pre-War vehicles. When finished they are taken away to various collectors here there and everywhere. Perhaps even drama studios. 

The lorry finally moved passed and I was able to go into my drive as my wife, Carole, quickly photographed the tank. It looked splendid and very retro. 

The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray (My Goodreads Review)

A compelling and often frightening account of how we European's are wrapped in our leader's political denial to get to grips with the many wrongs that have been festering. Problems and resentment from decades of denial caused by uncontrolled mass migration of Islamic culture into our continent. A pretence that the peoples of Europe supported this mass influx of Muslim people. How we (Caucasian Europeans) have become subjugated by the twisted politically correct rulers of our nations. A pretence that we must feel culturally enriched by camouflaged denials of our rulers. The persistent denial of the facts we everyday people have seen. The persistent muffling of concerned people. The debasing of concerned people. People not allowed to mention for fear of being labelled RACIST.

RACIST - The condemning word that gives anyone a free pass to victory over any sensible debate. The radical change of many of our inner cities and the criminal negligence of Police and Government to stop the problem. The persistent and much more enthusiastic attempts of the Police and Government to deal with the consequential or secondary problems that have begun to surface from their continued denial.

It tells us everything we know but what we are afraid to say. This is a very brave book and I recommend it to all who believe in freedom of speech.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett - (My Goodreads Review)

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge, #3)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the two earlier Kingsbridge stories. This third one is set a few hundred years hence and the town's folk are still prosperous as merchants and love their town's wonderful cathedral. This story starts off in 1558 and young Ned Willard is eighteen years of age. He is madly in love with Margery Fitzgerald and she is in love with him. It is the latter days of Bloody Mary the Catholic queen of England and Ned's family are hoping that Protestant Princess Elizabeth will become queen.

The story takes the reader on a dynamic and exciting journey through the reign of Queen Elizabeth and Ned becomes a member of the English Secret Service. He is instrumental in ensuring the virgin queen's safety through the many circumstances of her reign. We are taken to the French court of Catherine de Medici and young Mary Stewart (Queen Of Scots). We are on adventures during the St Bartholomew's Massacre in Paris. The Babington Plot the Spanish Armada and even the Gunpowder plot too.

A roller coaster ride of political intrigue, murder and deception throughout. An absolute page-turner entwined with real historical events and characters. We are taken from 1558 to 1620 and I enjoyed every page of it. A splendid historical story and I would recommend any history lover to read this.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Bus Stop in London.

I found this clip on LinkedIn. I had to put it on the blog. I loved every individual's face as the strange scenes played out through the glass of the Bus Shelter window. My favourite is the huge tiger coming down the busy London street directly for the waiting commuters. The reaction is pure gold dust. 

I can't imagine how I would react to the tiger. Obviously, the others would make one jump but I think the brain would kick in quickly and one might perceive the illusion on the glass window. However, the tiger might confuse and cause a fright. By the time you jump the beast is making its way around the bus shelter. It would certainly make the heart skip a beat.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Winged Escort by Douglas Reeman (My Goodreads Review)

Winged Escort

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A BIG WOW! For this Douglas Reeman story. I always enjoy most of his War stories, but this one was exceptional. I think it is because I always feel compelled by aircraft carriers and have a particular interest in HMS Ark Royal and her Fairy Swordfish (Stringbags) during World War II. Therefore, I was seduced by the front cover. I know this is wrong but the story is even more exciting than the lavish and dramatic front cover.

In this tale, we go aboard an American made aircraft carrier, called HMS Growler, as she prepares for her mission to protect a convoy on route to Murmansk in the Soviet Union. We are introduced to various characters. The main man for the reader is twenty-six years old RNR pilot Tim Rowan.

HMS Growler uses the famed Fairy Swordfish and Seafires. Seafires are Fleet air arm marine version spitfires. The action throughout the story is splendid and very gripping indeed. There are submarine attacks, attacks in the Norwegian Fjords, head to head, cruiser and destroyer action. And this is just in the first half of the story on the Barent sea run. We then go to the Pacific where HMS Growler is with another battle group facing Japanese Kamikaze attacks.

If you love seafaring stories, this one is an absolute must. One of the most dynamic war stories I've ever read. Heroes, Villains, wet behind the ears boys coming of age and some not getting the chance. Plus a backdrop of winning the lady of his dreams. GREAT STUFF!

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The Thirteen-Gun Salute by Patrick O'Brian (My Goodreads Review)

The Thirteen-Gun Salute (Aubrey/Maturin, #13)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another splendid continuation of the Jack Aubrey and Steve Maturin adventure. It is 1813 or 1814. The War with France and the USA is still happening. Aubrey and Maturin are on a new ship and must meet with the HMS Surprise after the fulfilment of a diplomatic mission in the South China Sea on Java - a Dutch-influenced area of the world. A man named Fox is in charge of the negotiation. On the competing French side are two British traitors, one of whom, is the arch-cad and card cheat from Treason's Harbour story and others. Edward Ledward, once of the Treasury and Andrew Wray, (The arch-cad)

Some diabolical climax concerning the devious dealings of these traitors comes to an almighty and surprising climax. We are left on the edge of a new adventure and wanting more.

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Friday, 28 September 2018

Didn't we just love Emma Peel?

Didn't we just love Emma Peel? As a kid, I would always be good on the evenings that this was on TV. The Avengers was so out there for me. It was on rather late but my Mum always knew I liked it. And in our house, if one wanted something, one had to get Mum's approval. So behave and perhaps I might get to see it.

In the sixties decade, Britain and the U.S. had wonderful escapism TV programmes. I suppose many of these retro shows are rather passe and twee nowadays. However, I still look back at many with nostalgic fondness. These things were part of the little 'impressionable boy' world I grew up in.

The Avengers and The Prisoner were two smashing TV shows that I was a glutton for. I liked the Avengers because of John Steed and Emma Peel. Every week they would have to confront some sort of bizarre criminal who found some diabolical way of potentially upsetting the normal way of life. 

It was gorgeously far-fetched and unashamedly so. That was what I think I liked about it. Even today, I enjoy the repeats of the show. Especially if the glorious Emma Peel is in it. I know the actress is Diana Rigg, but I like the character of Emma Peel. It fills me with 'Retro Brit' Nostalgia.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The Letter of Marque by Patrick O'Brian (My Goodreads Review)

The Letter of Marque  (Aubrey & Maturin, #12)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm profoundly in love with Diane Villiers. Steve Maturin's estranged wife. Both these characters turn over another leaf in this glorious tale of the continuing Aubrey/Maturin saga. Captain Jack Aubrey has been struck off the naval list because of enemy agents framing him for a stock exchange crime he did not commit. Many know he has been framed and the enemy agents guilty of the entrapment have fled the country. Aubrey is presented with HMS Surprise, which Steven Maturin has bought out of his inheritance. Therefore, Jack Aubrey is sailing the ship as a Letter of Marque - a privateer. He is still fighting for his country and trying to clear his name and win reinstatement back into the Royal Navy.

Once again I was enthralled by this twelfth story of the Royal Navy saga set in the time of Napoleon and the British/American War of 1812 to 1814. I can't wait to start on the next one. Splendid stuff.