Current Reading: Dunstall, Macdonald, Cornwell

After finishing the Patricia Moyes mystery, I was in the mood for some science fiction, so I decided to read Linesman by S. K. Dunstall, a mass market paperback I bought last year. I liked it quite a lot, both for the characters and the interesting idea of lines of energy that control various aspects of ship controls, including the ability to make jumps through the void (and thus faster than light travel throughout the galaxy).

Ean Lambert is a Linesman Ten, (the highest level) but gets no respect from the other Linesmen (of any level or gender). He “hears” the lines, and sings his communications to them, whereas other Linesmen “feel” them with their minds, an uncertain process. But Ean’s abilities surpass most others, as long as he can sing. When as alien spaceship is discovered in a mostly-deserted corner of the galaxy, Ean is brought to examine it, and discovers an eleventh line, one that speaks only to him.

I’ve just gotten the next two books in the trilogy and will start it after I finish another novel, namely The Galton Case by Ross Macdonald. After Bill Crider posted on a book about Macdonald, I thought it was time to read another of his that I still hadn’t gotten to. This was the choice. I’m about 50 pages in.

Barbara finished John Sandford’s current Prey series novel, Golden Prey, and as usual with these books, enjoyed it.  She’s now about 3/4 of the way through Patricia Cornwell’s latest, Chaos. 

So how about you?
What have you been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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21 Responses to Current Reading: Dunstall, Macdonald, Cornwell

  1. tracybham says:

    I finished the book I was reading last week: Their Finest by Lissa Evans. I hope to watch the movie in the next week or so.

    Since then I have read Bodies Are Where You Find Them, by Brett Halliday. I remember your review from last year. The book was a lot of fun and I look forward to trying others in that series. Then Brothers Keepers by Donald Westlake. I loved it. Now I am reading A Shock to the System by Simon Brett.

    • Mike Shayne, like Shell Scott books by Richard Prather, can be fun. I prefer the former, but somehow I link them in my mind, probably because I started hunting down old paperback copies at about the same time. I’ve tried but not particularly enjoyed Westlake. He just doesn’t “click” with me. But then I don’t care much for humorous mysteries.

  2. I have yet to read Patricia Cornwell, and even some good sf, for that matter.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    I am reading Michael Robotham’s SECRETS SHE KEEPS (or something like that). It is very good. I always like his books. Also HILLBILLY ELEGY for my book group. Phil is reading EMMA after finishing THE GENTLEMAN FROM MOSCOW, which he liked a lot. Phil has never read a Jane Austen and now that she’s on the ten pound note, he thought he should.

  4. Jerry House says:

    I read Lee Child’s THE ENEMY, a first-person Reacher novel about his time in the army following the collapse of the Soviet Union — the death of a two star general leads to a vast conspiracy within the army. As always, Child delivers the goods. Reed Farrel Coleman’s ROBERT B. PARKER’S DEBT TO PAY puts Jesse Stone on a collision path with one of the most dangerous killers he has ever faced. Coleman adds a depth to the series that Parker never did. Basil Copper’s off-kilter private eye Mike Faraday gumshoes his way through BLOOD ON THE MOON, the title of which had nothing to do with the story. The phrase is used once in the book, near the end, and made no sense within the context of the novel — just one of the things I love about the Mike Faraday series. I also read Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi’s graphic novel BRIGHTEST DAY, VOLUME TWO; I need to read the next volume in the DC universe series to make full sense of this one.

    I am about halfway through Ralph Milne Farley’s THE RADIO MAN, the first in about a dozen “Radio” books, some of which have nothing to do with the others. This one first saw light as a pulp serial in 1924 (and reads like it) — an Earthman is transported to a Venus ruled by giant intelligent ants. Campy fun so far. Hoping to also get to Stephen King’s THE PLANT this week.

    This week has been one of blazing heat, alternating with violent thunderstorms, so I spent most of the week inside watching episodes of MIDSUMMER MURDERS and wasting a couple of hours I’ll never get back again watching STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE. I hope your week was more productive, Richard.

    BTW, your garden is beautiful.

    • I still haven’t tried one of the non-Parker Spencer books. I read very late into the original series, but got tired of a certain sameness in them as they got shorter with both less plot and content. The early ones are best, I think.

      We like MIDSOMER MURDERS, and still have a great many episodes lined up in our Netflix queue to watch, when we finish GRANCHESTER. It’s been hot here, too, at least for us, with temps in the mid to high 80s and reaching into the low 90s (like today), so we’re very glad indeed for our air conditioning. I get outside in the mornings, but am in for the day by 11:00am.

      Thanks for the compliment on the garden.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The Galton Case was one of my favorite Macdonalds. I read the first several of Cornwell’s books, but I came to dislike her protagonist so much (and her niece even more) that I quit.

    The SF book does sound interesting to me. I read THE LATE SHOW, Michael Connelly’s start to a new series, with a younger, female answer to Harry Bosch, Renee Ballard. She is also a loner, not that great at following orders, who is on the late shift after her complaint about her boss’s sexual harassment was dismissed. But she likes the late hours, as it gives her more time to surf. (She’s a Hawaiian native.) After plodding a bit at the start, I raced through the last 300 pages in a day.

    I also read MATCHUP, the Lee Childs-edited collection of male/female “thriller” writing teams. As so often in these books, it was uneven, but there were a number of stories I liked. You can skip the ones you don’t.

    Currently reading the second Woods Cops collection by Joseph Heywood, HARDER GROUND. (Thanks for mentioning this.) This one seems to be mostly women game wardens, and quite the eccentric lot they are. I’m enjoying it a lot. It is set in various counties in upper Michigan, both the UP and below the bridge.

    I read an interesting review somewhere of Michael F. Haspil’s GRAVEYARD SHIFT, so reserved it, and he had a piece on John Scalzi’s blog about it the day it came in to the library. SO far I’m liking this story about the Nocturn Affairs cop in Miami after “The Reveal” when vampires came out (so to speak). Alex Romer is actually Menkaure, an Egyptian pharaoh, though how he got to this place and time hasn’t been revealed as yet. His partner is a vampire, from Ancient Rome. Yet it’s presented mostly as a cop novel, just dealing with different bad guys. So far I’m getting a real kick out of it.

    I’m also reading the previously mentioned FORESKIN’S LAMENT: A Memoir, by Shalom Auslander (creator of HAPPYISH on TV, by the way).

    • That Connelly didn’t sound interesting to me, but then I haven’t read much of his stuff. I’m looking forward to HARDER GROUND, when I get to it. I saw GRAVEYARD SHIFT on Scalzi’s blog, one of the “Big Idea posts, but as soon as I read the word “vampire” I turned off. I’m SO tired of vampires and zombies!

      Hope you’re doing okay in hot NY in the Summer. Reminds me of the Lovin’ Spoonfull song.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        The heat is gone for the present. Low 70s today and tomorrow, then low 80s (normal is mid-80s for late July). It’s still very humid and rained overnight (the way I like it to), but it is supposed to get more comfortable.

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Jerry, I used to buy the Basil Copper books in England whenever I found them, as most of them were not published in the U.S. at the time. I never did read one, though.

    We watch a MIDSOMER MURDERS every Saturday night we’re home.

    • Jerry House says:

      Jeff, to my knowledge the Mike Faraday books — there were 53 of them — were not published in the US, but have had large-print trade paperback editions published in England and have found their way across the pond. Most are readily avaiiable cheaply from the usual online sources. MIDSOMER MURDERS is still going strong with 19 seasons filmed and a 20th in the works.

  7. I’m waiting for my new computer to arrive. The stack of Library books is down to just a couple of novels. I’m looking forward to seeing ATOMIC BLONDE later this week.

  8. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    I read the new Michael Connelly The Late Shift. Liked it a lot but I am a big Connelly fan. His Bosch books are probably my current favorites. Also read The Search by Howard Linskey-a British police novel. It was okay but nothing special. Am now reading a collection of short stories by William Browning Spencer called The Unordthodox Dr. Draper and Other Stories. Spencer is a overlooked writer who has written such novels as Zod Wallop and Resume with Monsters.
    Could never get into Midsomer Murders or Granchester Just find them boring. Too close to being cozies.
    Also stopped reading Cornwell after about the 3rd book because I didn’t care for the characters.

    • Your comment “too close to being cozies” makes them sound like a dangerous virus. There are more than one kind of cozy, the tea shop-bookstore with cat kind, and the mystery with the violence offstage kind. The latter, if well written, can be very good.

      I haven’t tried any of the Cornwall books, and Barbara had stopped, but this one came from her publicist as a freebie so she decided to try it.

  9. Charles Gramlich says:

    I picked up some good new SF this weekend that I’m looking forward to reading.

  10. Bob Napier says:

    Cornwell is such a bitch I wouldn’t read her on a bet. I just finished a Western called Brasada, by Sherreffs, and just started a Cody’s Law series Western, but not one ghosted by Bill Crider.

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