Dead Reckoning- Charlaine Harris

  Dead Reckoning is book 11 in the popular Sookie Stakhouse series. (Upon which the HBO series True Blood series is based.) As with all the Sookie novels, Dead Reckoning follows the trials and tribulations of a telepathic waitress from Bon Temps,Louisiana. The central premiss of the series is that the advent of synthetic blood has enabled the vampires of the world to  come ‘out of the coffin’ so to speak. So, vampires and vampiric culture are out in the open and mingling with human society. Although by book 11 we have the Weres (werewolves, werefoxes, werepanthers etc) to contend with and the added complication of the fae who have remained following the Faery Wars in Dead in the Family (book 10).

As with all the Sookie Stakhouse books,  Dead Reckoning is funny, sexy and thrilling. It’s a damn good read, it’s also an easy read. (It took me less than a day.) I do recommend beginning with the first book Dead Before Dark though as it is necessary to have read all the preceding books to understand whats going on.

I HIGHLY recommend this series. I should warn you though that these books are HIGHLY addictive, and despite already being up to book 11, its clear that there is still plenty of life in Sookie left.

The Fifth Witness- Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly has a reputation as a great writer of crime fiction. The Fifth Witness is his latest. Mickey Haller is  a LA based defence attorney, who has found that the current economic downturn has effected business somewhat.  As a result he has moved into the increasingly lucrative ‘foreclosure market’ helping the hundreds of Americans at risk of loosing their homes. That is until one of his clients is accused of murder, and he must revert to doing what he does best. (In return for the proceeds of the film and book sales, of course. It is LA.)

This is the fourth book to feature Mickey Haller, the first being  The Lincoln Lawyer (now a Hollywood blockbuster starring Matthew McConaughey.) However, this is the first book of Connelly’s that I have read. So I can only judge it as a stand alone novel.

The Fifth Witness is a good book, and knowledge of the prior books is not required. It doesn’t revolutionise the genre in any way, but it certainly lives up to what one expects from a courtroom based crime thriller. It is pure escapism at its best.  My only criticism is that the conclusion is somewhat predictable, but it is satisfying none the less.

I would recommend this for anyone who is looking for ‘McDonalds’ crime fiction. No real surprises, and its forgotten almost as soon as its finished. But, a good way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon on the couch.