Archive for June, 2010

Truly Free!

Last week I discovered a great site that allows one to read some of the latest books for free. I am not a freeloader and am more than happy to acquire books in the legitimate fashion, but for those who are not affected by scruples or a conscience, check out this site – http://www.truly-free.org. The site offers free text downloads of 2000+ books, featuring some of the most popular names in Fiction. There’s no sign up required and its a hassle-free experience.

The site operates in a legal grey area by offering these books as a library, limiting the downloads to 5 books in a 2-week window and with a stated request that the reader delete each book once he has read it, thereby “returning” it back to the library.

I think its a pretty good idea, especially for those who want to try out a new author. I wouldn’t condone putting up new books (there’s even all three books of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series!) for free downloads, but as a concept to try out well published authors, I think this is an excellent idea. As long as you delete the book once you’ve finished reading 🙂



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Review of Cop Hater, by Ed McBain

If you like the no-nonsense thriller-cum-murder type of stories set in a typical American city, then you’ll love this edition of the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain. This is the first book by that author and its not the recommended one either, but if this is anything to go by then I look forward to others from the series.

The story is set in a typical American city, where detectives from the 87th Precinct have the responsibility to investigate a range of crimes. Detective Steve Carella has two murders on his hands, both of them fellow detectives who seem to have been gunned down with no apparent reason. There are no clear clues or leads, as Steve & his partner Hank Bush try to figure out who’s behind the killings before the next person goes down. A heat wave that is making life a misery adds to the frayed tempers around, as does a nosey journalist who almost upsets the uneasy truce between the city’s gangs & the police.

Ed McBain writes well. Cop Hater is an afternoon’s entertaining read, not too long but not too short either. I liked the way the story ends too, nice and clean, no loose ends left.

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Review of Jeffrey Archer’s And Thereby Hangs a Tale

Jeffrey Archer is a fantastic story-teller and he tells it like no one can. Its amazing how he draws his readers into his stories, involves them and keeps their attention glued till the end. This book presents his sixth instalment of short stories, with a varied collection that takes us across the globe in the settings for its tales.

Yet, inspite of it all, I was a bit disappointed by the stories. Not all of them, but more than the usual. More than what I would have expected. The stories are well-told, the ideas are unusual, yet as with his early offerings, these ones do not have that sting in the tail, that twist, the last line that makes you laugh out loud at the way the story has changed. Though the endings are not predictable, they don’t have that element of surprise either.

As I said, not all the stories are like that. Some of them are good, with a surprise ending and a feel-good finish. I liked them.

I will still recommend buying the book, simply to enjoy one of the best story-tellers we have around. His writing style is simple, his characters are believable, his settings take you on a journey around the world and even if you don’t have a surprise waiting at the end of them, he gets them to a nice end.

Its an easy read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.


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