Travelling Again

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We are travelling again this time it’s 5 weeks in Europe. Starting with a 2 week cruise leaving from Dover in England. There are quite a few ports of call Dublin and then Oban in Scotland. The ship then sets sail for Iceland. We are landing in four ports Sigurdsfjordur, Akuyeri, Grundursfjordur and Reykjavik. The final two ports are Belfast and Liverpool before we return to Dover.

Stage two is four days in the U.K. a drive down to Looe and then up to London. We then head to Lisbon to start a 10 day river cruise through Porto and into Spain to the city of Salamanca.

A quick flight to London and then off to Malta for 5 days. The last hurrah is back to London and a flight home via Doha.

Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary ArmyBlackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is Jeremy Schahill’s probe in Blackwater and organisation that is it seems an army for hire. I’m sure that those that support this kind of endeavour will think this is a biased account of their activities. Apparently, Blackwater declined to put their side of the story. The author has relied of official documents and former employees some of whom are disgruntled.  

That aside the book has an impressive list of references for each chapter so I can only assume that Scahill has done his research  Continue reading “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army”

The Marco Effect by Jussi Adler-Olsen

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The Marco Effect (Department Q #5)The Marco Effect by Jussi Adler-Olsen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed The Marco Effect great holiday reading. I have been reading the department Q novels in sequence. This is the 5th in the series and is a well-crafted with the addition of the usual convoluted plot. The Marco effect begins in Africa with a sudden death and before we know it there are senior Danish bureaucrats sweating at their desks.
The focus then switches to beggars on the streets of the Danish capital Copenhagen. What is described is a sophisticated gang of beggars controlled by ruthless family members.
Eventually our hero Carl Mørck comes into the picture. His team which consist Assad and Rose are a quirky bunch. The troubles of the team relate back to the previous volume but are explained enough if you haven’t read any previous instalments of Department Q. Mørck continues to battle with his superiors.
All in all another satisfying instalment of Department Q. Perhaps it would be better if I could read The Marco Effect in its native Danish.

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SWAG Elmore Leonard

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SwagSwag by Elmore Leonard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quick and easy read a great caper. Two men meet one with a foolproof idea to get rich quick the other brought along with the promises of riches. They live by a set of predetermined rules which are meant to make them smarter than other criminals.

The lifestyle that they quickly become accustomed to is what becomes their undoing. Really easy to read and fast paced perfect holiday reading A short sharp review.

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The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q, #4)

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The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q, #4)The Purity of Vengeance by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Purity of Vengeance is the fourth in Juri Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series. Like its predecessors darkness abounds . As with other novels the plot is twisted and has its origins as you would expect with a cold case team. This time touching on the rise of minor parties with extreme views and steeped in eugenics. I have come to quite enjoy this series and I am pleased that there are more to come. I have already started the next in the series.
Carl Mörck and his motley crew are in the thick of it again. Carl fighting accusations from his past fending off his ex-wife and the confused state of is his domestic arrangements. Then there is Assad his mysterious assistant who despite no apparent police training has skills and connections. However he does dodge anything to do with his personal life. Last but not least there is the bombastic Rose who rounds out the team. Her personality is always a test for Carl.
The Purity of Vengeance really does draw on the cruelty of the past. A time when the state was only too happy for troubled young women to be dealt with behind the walls of institutions or as in this case the walls are a stretch of water. I would Imagine that most “western” countries did similar things to those of low intelligence , mentally ill or with behavioral disturbance. The vulnerability of these young women is very well portrayed in Purity of Vengeance.
The unravelling of one woman’s life is amazing and a fantastic read five stars from me. I can’t give the plot away you’ll just have to read it yourself. There are films based on these novels but I have held off watching them until I’m way ahead with the novels.

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WordPress tutorial

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I have been using WordPress since about version 1.5 for the most part I am self-taught. I manage this and 2 other blogs. Two are self hosted and one is a blog. This has come about as I read early on in the piece that a blog needs a focus. This one is primarily about what I read and some occasional holiday photos.

The other self hosted blog  has a focus on my woodworking hobby and renovation projects. The third is an occasional rant blog

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A Pet Peeve About Books

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I read a lot Nordic fiction which is translated into English. That isn’t an issue but the names of the books peeves me. There are often several english names for the one title. At least two versions of the book one for the UK and another for the states. Names which do not have any connection at all sometimes the original name is lost. This also makes it confusing when looking for books in a series.

The most recent book I have read is a case in point. The original Danish “Flaskepost fra P” roughly translates A Message in a Bottle from P. The version I read is called Redemption and in the US Conspiracy of Faith. All a bit confusing when trying to track down the next in the series. On the surface it appears that there are twice as many books in the series than is actually the case.

Any way that puts my pet peeve on books to rest, for the time being.

Redemption (Department Q, #3) by Jussi Adler-Olsen

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Redemption (Department Q, #3)Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my third Department Q novel and so far the best in the series. I am trying to read them in order. I am really enjoying the series by Jussi Adler-Olsen.The title in Danish that loosely translates as a note in a bottle from P, which sets the scene for the story. This is another cold case story that is not on the files at Department Q. A convoluted and at time disconnected story involving groups that are separate from mainstream society and therefore isolated.
There is the usual antagonism between Carl Mørck and his right hand man Assad. Then there is the ongoing tensions with Rose the admin person and a replacement called Yrsa. There are all the usual antagonisms with the upper echelons with Mørck and Assad.
The case itself involves a man who has more layers and alibis than can be imagined. His dual life is extraordinary as are his methods, which he employs. It is difficult to write about the story without straying into the plot.  Victims picked to inflict the most terrible pain on their parents.Suffice it to say fans of the Nordic style will be pleased.

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