Monday, 27 December 2010

James Phelan's Lachlan Fox Series and other 2010 Highlights

I'd have to say my biggest surprise and best read for 2010 was James Phelan's Blood Oil, which I listened to on audio tape from my relocation drive from Adelaide to Sydney earlier this year. I've long been a fan of political thrillers but not many come up to the mark. However, Blood Oil was fantastic, with an indepth commentry on the current issues in Africa and the petrochemical industry, yet written in a simple and elegant style with lots of action and suspense, that literally kept me wanting to read more.

For Christmas my wife bought me another book in the series, Patriot Act, which is just as fun to read. All Phelan's thrillers are connected through the adventures of the main protagonist, Lachlan Fox, an ex-Australian Navy officer turned syndicate journalist. I plan to read more, and feel that they would make a great movie series.
This year I also read Clive Cussler for the first time on a recommendation of a friend, Inca Gold, and really enjoyed that too. I should read more thrillers, if for no other reason than that the writing style is always fluid, suspenseful and draws the reader in. Science fiction writers in comparison often have a boring style. I guess that's one reason why I really like Alastair Reynolds, because his style is very much like that of a thriller writer. It's a style I keep hoping to achieve, and if recent reviews on SF Crowsnest, perhaps I'm achieving that goal.

The Time Traveller's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger was also brilliant, and she too shows what can be achieved in a simple but elegant style of writing.

Favorite movies that I saw this year are Inception followed closely by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Favorite magazine remains Cosmos and favorite television series is Spooks, with the very excellent Series 8 recently airing in Australia.

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