by John Twelve Hawks
This rather heavy handed a attempt to cash in on the success of 'The Da Vinci Code' conspiracy formula. Interesting issue raised is that of personal privacy and freedom of rights being challenged by the growing use of surveillance technology - CCTV, biometric scanning, ID cards etc.. Homeland paranoia opens way for corporate cabal to rule. As well as being written in the most banal prose thinkable, the trouble with it is it's lack of attention to detail, for example JTH says ... so and so pulled out his "laser guided pistol" well we all know what he means is a pistol with a laser sight, laser guiding is what you do with bombs; and there's lot of examples like that and, if he gets that sort of thing wrong well it sort of loses it's credibility in general. Ha then there's the secrety society (oh dear!) the Tabula; and the Travellers, who can cross over into "other realms" or dimensions; and the Harlequins - martial arts experts who protect them, and kill a lot of people willy nilly; a clown, you ask yourself? - No, unfortunately not, nothing so interesting, just a load of tosh.
by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Picador UK/Harcourt USA
I have been made embarrassingly aware of a heinous error in my pronunciation of the star Dubhe; it should of course be spoken Dub-ee, like stubby. Ooops - silly me!
Click here to listen to Simon read an extract.