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Dabbed brushmarks of subtly varied colors construct the thatched roof and the grass bank beneath it, on which the movement of the brushstrokes suggests the movement into space. This directs the eye toward the central pivotal point, which is the sunlit patch of ground between the two main houses. Despite this visual clue, and despite the artist's use of a foreground path which ought, by tradition, to invite the viewer to enter the pictorial space, other devices work against such an interpretation. The flat lighting and solid paint on the foreground path make it ambiguous--it appears as a barrier, blocking off the pictorial space.

Similarly, the curve of the path, down toward the central sunlit patch, is obscured from view as it twists out of sight, thus again inhibiting easy visual access. This is reinforced by a slab of palish ochre color which projects left, from the central sunlit patch of ground. I think the best strategy to enjoy this book is to just sit back and absorb it as it happens. I was really put off at the start with a lengthy description of sailing, complete with sailing terminology that I wasn' Having enjoyed The Information Officer I was looking forward to this novel but I must admit I was really disappointed.

I was really put off at the start with a lengthy description of sailing, complete with sailing terminology that I wasn't familiar with, that just seemed excessive and out of place. I know that books are meant to expand your horizons but I don't expect to have to have a sailing manual to hand to read a novel.

This happened another few times throughout and felt like the author was trying to prove some sailing knowledge or something. It just felt superfluous.


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With regards to the entire book and the overall plot, I was left feeling let down. In the novel the information officer, by the same author, there were some amazing twists and turns of the plot.

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I suppose I was expecting the same, but the single main twist and some smaller ones in this novel was really quite predictable perhaps I read too many books like this and have grown adept at guessing outcomes! The rest of the plot just felt like a chase to an inevitable end that the author outlines really early on in my opinion and leaves little to be left uncovered. The relationships don't have time to develop before they are being altered and the reader just has to believe the strength of the friendships to begin with in order to share in the main characters' distrust of suspicions.

Further relationship development at the start might have made some of the plot more unexpected instead of just throwing in some flash backs from time to time to support how the relationships are supposed to be but making the plot more obvious in the process. I expected more from some of the characters due to hints and developments they are given but then this comes to nothing; particularly Venetia, Barnaby, Benoit, Ilse and Klaus - I was waiting for some greater sinister motive from each of these characters.

Plus some storylines between secondary characters seemed to serve no purpose. It was an entertaining enough read but could have been so much better and was just too obvious for my liking; with many characters and plots left undeveloped or under-developed when they weren't at the blatantly obvious end of the spectrum. Nov 10, MisterLiberry Head rated it really liked it. This espionage novel set in is satisfying in its every aspect--well-written, with bold characterizations, gritty action, plus a well-grounded setting in geo-politics and locale.

He is comfortably supporting himself as a writer, surrounded by interesting friends and preoccupied with his twenty-year-old goddaughter. One balmy night, a total stranger creeps into This espionage novel set in is satisfying in its every aspect--well-written, with bold characterizations, gritty action, plus a well-grounded setting in geo-politics and locale.

One balmy night, a total stranger creeps into his upstairs bedroom and tries to murder him. His paranoia and tradecraft reawakened, Nash tries to stay alive while debating whether to strike back or make a run for it. Tom Nash, errant son of a country vicar, often reminded me of a classic Dick Francis hero--he's decent, doughty, clever and surprisingly sentimental. Nevertheless, when both his lifestyle and his lifespan are threatened by unknown conspirators, he proves to be briskly homicidal and coldly logical in his tactical thinking.

Highly recommended. Then, for the remainder of the book, the scene moves to France in July with inherent pitfalls, not all avoided see below. Tom Sharp, an Intelligence officer when first met in Russia, has opted out and is making a good living as a travel writer. He has a god-daughter, Lucy, one of whose bickering parents is Tom's former boss in the secret world.

With an effort, they can just about be accepted as credible people, which is more than can be said for the sixteen-year delay until an Italian would-be assassin turns up to avenge a murder Tom committed in Russia. Tom kills the Italian, whereupon the narrative stalls. We are plunged into a world of tennis afternoons and brittle dinner parties. A cast of characters assembles. Only Hercule Poirot is missing but soon he turns up in the person of Commissaire Roche. Tom jumps from one misplaced conclusion to another. The Red menace re-enters, corpses accumulate, resolution tests belief to the utmost limit.

All this may suggest a poor specimen of the genre, but the attempts to give it period authenticity drive it beyond rescue.

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Though the excursions into Tom's boyhood may be supposed to explain his character, the digressions into Teheran and the premiership of Reza Khan, or the United States of Roosevelt's New Deal, seem tediously irrelevant. Maybe they did listen to Bach's Goldberg Variations on the gramophone but the only possible version would have been Wanda Landowska's harpsichord recording presumably on eighteen 4" sides.

They certainly could not, however, have had Schoenberg's 2nd Quartet; the first recording of that work dates from December As for Lucy's step-mother introducing Tom to "all Liszt's piano works," a few minutes research would have turned up the Humphrey Se I received this book as a promotional copy from the publisher through the Good Reads First Reads program. I enjoyed this book; the somewhat nonlinear arrangement and Mills' talent for compelling storytelling worked well. I found it to be a generally entertaining read.

The characters ranged from complex, compelling, and well-developed to completely one dimensional. Luckily, the majority of them including the protagonist fall into the former category and it did not negatively impact the story by I received this book as a promotional copy from the publisher through the Good Reads First Reads program.

Luckily, the majority of them including the protagonist fall into the former category and it did not negatively impact the story by much. My biggest criticism comes from the plot itself, and is extremely hard to explain without disclosing too many spoilers. For this reason, I am going to be extremely vague. One of the plot twists, which was meant to be surprising, was not: I had it figured out from the moment it was first mentioned. This sort of thing bothers me maybe more than it should, and this flaw is largely responsible for the rating of 3 stars.

Ideally, I like a twisty plot or a mysterious incident to gradually provide me with subtle clues and hints throughout the course of a particular storyline. Sometimes I figure it out before the protagonist, sometimes I do not. Either way I am able to look back and put together the complete puzzle, delighting in how clever the author has been and inevitably discovering clues I had missed or misinterpreted.

This book didn't allow me that delight and therefore failed one of my main requirements of a suspense novel. My other major complaint is, again, tricky to divulge without revealing a major plot-point.

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The House of the Hanged Man (La maison du pendu), Auvers sur Oise, 1873

I will just say that I found some of the relationships in the story to be puerile, formulaic, and predictable. I feel bad giving House of the Hunted only 3 stars. I enjoyed it and it was, for the most part, well written and engaging. My 2 main criticisms above might not bother some readers, and I think those people will love this book. However, these issues are the reason that my rating dropped from 4 stars to 3. I appropriately, and not by accident read this book on the long train ride from Scotland to the French Riviera.

And while it was an enjoyable holiday read that adequately filled in all those hours that would otherwise have been spent trying to end conversations with Frenchmen who figured we now shared a special bond of friendship because they had chivalrously 'helped' me a poor foreign damsel no doubt distressingly unfamiliar with the intricate workings of train facilities open the toilet do I appropriately, and not by accident read this book on the long train ride from Scotland to the French Riviera.

And while it was an enjoyable holiday read that adequately filled in all those hours that would otherwise have been spent trying to end conversations with Frenchmen who figured we now shared a special bond of friendship because they had chivalrously 'helped' me a poor foreign damsel no doubt distressingly unfamiliar with the intricate workings of train facilities open the toilet door onto some poor unsuspecting man just trying to pee in peace true story.

Anyway, as I was saying it was a good distraction from the journey. I did find it hard to sympathise with the main character, who, for all his espionage training, seemed very naive, overly trusting, and altogether not very good at reading people What I did particularly enjoy was all of the political context that he threw in, sore of regarding the lead up to WWII, which was very interesting.

WebMuseum: Cézanne, Paul: House of the Hanged Man

He sets a nice scene in the south of France, and most of the characterisation and dialogue is good too. Apr 22, Heidi rated it really liked it Shelves: own-hardback , favorites , den-heidi-s-side , historical-mystery , written-review. While this wasn't my very favorite of Mark Mills's books, it was very enjoyable. As I surfed through other Goodreads comments, I came across many complaints of the story being too slow, which lowered its overall ratings. But the fact is that Mark Mills is not a pure action adventure writer, although there is both action and adventure in his stories; he is a creator of character, of personal growth, of mood, of texture and history, and that is why I will read one of his books anywhere, any time.

Even the least of them appeals to me more than a "DaVinci Code" with its sensational goings-on but wooden characters. Full disclosure: I couldn't get through DVC.

A hanged dead body found in a house of Nuapada ward no.7

I loved this story of Tom Nash, who thinks he has left his checkered past behind, and discovers it is still on his tail. I loved the depiction of an era between the two wars, and how Mills brings the old Riviera to life. I enjoyed the cast of characters, particularly Lucy, Tom's goddaughter. It kept me reading and engrossed from start to finish, and I felt I was among these characters in a very immediate way, which is the highest possible praise I can give a book.

I didn't mind the slower parts, because I was enjoying being there, and that's how life is — it's not all car chases and sex scenes. I can't wait for Mark Mills' next book. Feb 04, Tim rated it liked it Shelves: mystery-suspense. Not a bad book But Mills, in his fourth novel, is in no hurry to reveal what happened between Nash and his lover Irina Bibikov--indeed, the entire novel feels sluggishly paced.

Now a writer, Nash is enjoying a well-heeled expatriate life on Not a bad book The prose is often pleasing, the period details interesting and convincing, but the plot can scarcely be taken seriously. Jun 12, Adrienne rated it really liked it Shelves: worth-another-read. Got this recommendation off of CNN, actually.


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I did enjoy this book. I thought the dialogue was pretty good, and the story itself was pretty well constructed I actually guessed the ending and the "twist". The author wouldn't go there, would he? I guessed it right? I've read a couple of John Le Carre books, and while I know he's the real deal, I've found him a little hard to keep up with because he's so detailed, and twisty with his plot. So I appreciate how Mark Mills has his twisty moments, with some action thrown in, but also with a little breathing space to recover. And I also like how he ended it, because I feel like there could be a sequel, which I would definitely want to read although it's perfectly fine if there isn't.

Mills' three previous novels have all been good-quality mystery thrillers set against very distinct periods and locations. He's on the move again with this one, set in the s French Riviera and featuring an intruiging hero: a kind of inter-war James Bond trying to escape his murky espionage past. To pad it out, the author slows his faltering pace still further with frequent flashbacks, dreams and backstories, some of them of little relevance.

He also spends far too much time with his less-than-interesting supporting cast - mostly public school types wining, dining and frolicking in the Med sunshine.