Archive for January 21st, 2008

Spence at the Blue Bazaar by Michael Allen and Counter-Coup

January 21, 2008

This is another Spence mystery, which we have thoroughly enjoyed.  Detective Chief Superintendent Ben Spence is one of those gentlemen detectives, quite unlike the modern type that needs to swig bottles of whisky, speak and act rough, and be unable to keep up a relationship with a woman.  No, Spence is a good old fashioned detective and it is a mysterious, but very nasty murder that he is solving.  The dialogue is well-written, and believable.  The settings are well-described and the descriptive material, putting the reader right on the spot, brings a reality to each scene that carries the story along towards the final shocking revelation.  A brutal torture and murder of an exotic dancer, two unsolved nasty murders — one of a young boy — a quiet English village, a surprisingly  smart nightclub, blackmail and guilty secrets, all add up to a fast-moving drama.  We look forward to our next Michael Allen’s Spence mystery.                                                                                                                        

And Now: Counter-Coup by Michael Bradford (Michael Allen) An old title maybe (1980) but relevant today.  This book has everything — suspense, thrills, horror and even good dollops of sex to liven up the most jaded of appetites. What a page turner! Not much work done these past few days, I can tell you. Of course, reading aloud is much slower and that simply heightens tension.  Bradford (aka Allen) brings mere words to life and the descriptive material is such that I can close my eyes and see it all happening before me — scary stuff too! A peaceful African State suddenly slides into chaos with intense savagery as a bloody coup threatens to wipe out democratic rule.  Fortunately, The State of Balembi is blessed with a newly recruited Security Advisor — Philip Morgan — who, with acts of derring do and hard-earned skills, fights for the restoration of the legitimate government with its elected President.  A beautiful and brave woman doctor provides the inevitable sexual tension, and savage baddies add to nail-biting drama.  Odd niggles —unnecessary  repetition of names and rather small print — do not deflect from Counter-Coup being a jolly good story.  An old title maybe, but well worth seeking out.