Quint by Robert Lautner

Before there was Jaws, there was… QUINT Fifteen years since I landed on Amity, an island full of rich folks adrift between the Hamptons and Montauk. Got a business and a boat, got me a truck with my name and a pretty shark scratched on the door. Carved it myself. Bad job. I got ghosts around me, lot of ghosts. Gotta put ‘em somewhere. Can’t drink ‘em all. Ain’t here for company, and I only got two stories for telling company anyways. Thinking if I get them stories down, on paper mind, then that’s just between me and the ink. You already know the end of his story: now find out where it all began. So much more than a fisherman, Quint is a survivor, a fighter, a man who has left three wives in his wake. From his time as a young sailor facing the horrors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, to a deadly night-long showdown with a frenzy of sharks years later, before he finally settles on the island of Amity. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Jaws. It could well be my favourite film. If I put my mind to it…

The Beggar and The Ghost by Vincent Holland-Keen

Before this week’s review, I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone all the best for this forthcoming season. For reasons I shall not bore you with, my output has been somewhat sporadic in 2023. After today’s post, I’m going to have a much-needed break with my lovely family for a couple of weeks and then I promise that The Eloquent Page will return in 2024. Hopefully, I’ll be able to manage my time a bit better and get back to a more regular posting schedule. As ever, my often rambling book-related waffle will remain front and centre 🙂 Apologies for that interruption. Now back to the bookish stuff you came here for in the first place… At the very moment when Daniel Littlewood decides to end his worthless life, he’s not himself any more. He’s the suave and deadly hero of a Hollywood dream filled with fast cars, beautiful women and jetsetting intrigue. As fantasy and reality begin to collide and a global conspiracy threatens the fate of the world, the only question is, Just how badly Daniel Littlewood screws up this time… This week I’ve been taking a look at The Beggar and The Ghost by…

Cyberpunk 2077 No_Coincidence by Rafal Kosik
Orbit , Rafal Kosik , Sci-Fi , Thriller / August 18, 2023

WELCOME TO NIGHT CITY. THE CITY OF DREAMS. IF IT HASN’T CHANGED YOU YET, IT WILL . . . AND IF IT DOESN’T KILL YOU, YOU MIGHT COME OUT THE OTHER SIDE AS A LIVING LEGEND. In neon-drenched Night City, a ragtag group of strangers have just pulled off a heist, robbing a convoy transporting a mysterious container belonging to Militech. The only thing the group has in common is that they were blackmailed into participating in the heist – and they have no idea just how far their mysterious employer’s reach goes, or the purpose of the artifact they stole. This newly formed gang – composed of a veteran turned renegade, a sleeper agent for Militech, a computer nerd, a therapist, a ripperdoc, and a techie – must learn how to overcome their differences and work together, lest their secrets be unveiled before they can pull off the next deadly heist. I’ll begin with an admission; I haven’t played Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a shame, I love CD Projekt Red’s other gaming monolith, The Witcher, but I just can’t do first-person games. They give me terrible motion sickness. That said, I am still a huge fan of near-future cyberpunk dystopias,…

The Bones Fields by C F Barrington
C F Barrington , Head of Zeus , Sci-Fi , Thriller / August 3, 2023

Please note, The Bone Fields is the fourth book in The Pantheon series. With that in mind, it is highly likely the book-related waffling that follows will contain some minor spoilers. Dont say I didn’t warn you! THE GAME From the beginning, The Pantheon has been a secret society of bloodshed and order. Modern-day gladiators abandon their lives, fall into rank and battle to the death – cheered on and funded by online watchers. THE PLAYER Tyler Maitland was recruited to fight in the Games, but his real ambition is finding his missing sister-even if it means bringing down The Pantheon for good. THE END The start of the Twentieth Season delivers never-before-matched teams to the fields of eastern Europe, where a hidden force will blow the truth of the Games wide open, once and for all… THE FINAL SEASON STARTS NOW. It seems like only yesterday we were first introduced to Tyler Maitland. Directionless and downbeat, his life was a matter of just existing on a day-to-day basis. Then he discovered the world of The Pantheon, a secret game backed by the world’s great and good. A world-spanning league of the most ferocious warriors pitted against one another for…

Bad Actors by Mick Herron
Baskerville , Mick Herron , Thriller / June 23, 2023

Please note, Bad Actors is the eighth book in the Slough House series. It is likely what follows, if you haven’t read what has come before, will contain some mild spoilers. Consider yourselves duly warned.  In MI5 a scandal is brewing and there are bad actors everywhere. A key member of a Downing Street think-tank has disappeared without a trace. Claude Whelan, one-time First Desk of MI5’s Regent’s Park, is tasked with tracking her down. But the trail leads straight back to Regent’s Park HQ itself, with its chief, Diana Taverner, as prime suspect. Meanwhile her Russian counterpart has unexpectedly shown up in London but has slipped under MI5’s radar. Over at Slough House, the home for demoted and embittered spies, the slow horses are doing what they do best: adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation. In a world where lying, cheating and backstabbing is the norm, bad actors are bending the rules for their own gain. If the slow horses want to change the script, they’ll need to get their own act together before the final curtain. I don’t get as much time as I would like to enjoy on-going series when it comes…

Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward
Catriona Ward , Horror , Thriller , Viper Books / April 20, 2023

In a lonely cottage overlooking the windswept Maine coast, Wilder Harlow begins the last book he will ever write. It is the story of his childhood summer companions and the killer that stalked the small New England town. Of the body they found, and the horror of that discovery echoing down the decades. And of Sky, Wilder’s one-time best friend, who stole his unfinished memoir and turned it into a lurid bestselling novel, Looking Glass Sound. But as Wilder writes, the lines between memory and fiction blur. He fears he’s losing his grip on reality when he finds notes hidden around the cottage written in Sky’s signature green ink. Catriona Ward’s new novel, Looking Glass Sound, is an exploration of love, loss, and trauma viewed through the eyes of a man revisiting his formative years.  Even as an adult, the still lurking pent-up frustrations of teenage angst make Wilder Harlow the most unreliable of narrators. His entire life has been shaped by the events during the summers of his youth, and his perspective is skewed at best. It would be easy to pity Wilder, but by turns, he is both the hero and then the villain of the piece. The…

Cold by Jim Pearce
Jim Pearce , Matatdor , Sci-Fi , Thriller / February 10, 2023

The near future is a world in which scientists and their AI got it wrong. Rising temperatures have caused fires that burned landmasses, and the ash from these fires block out the sun. The resulting cold is extreme, like a nuclear winter, and was a mass extinction event for human beings the world over. Electricity grids, communications and services all failed. Societies collapsed. Humanity is reduced to small groups of survivors, scraping by however they can. Resources are scarce, and bands of survivors resort to violence to obtain enough food and fuel to survive. A man and his family group have survived the cruel winter by hiding in a house in Surrey, but when a roaming gang starts to ravage the area, they are forced to run. As they flee to safety, the cohesion and tolerance that had kept them going for so long starts to fracture… It’s time once again to dip my toes into the waters of apocalyptic fiction. Regular visitors to the site will know I am obsessive when it comes to extinction-level events. I’m drawn to novels that describe our end. I can’t help myself. I find that not only does apocalyptic fiction offer an endlessly…

Downfall by Louise Carey
Gollancz , Louise Carey , Sci-Fi , Thriller / January 17, 2023

Please note, Downfall is the third book in the Inscape trilogy. It is highly likely that what follows will contain minor spoilers if you haven’t read books one and two. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! THE SAFETY OF INTECH’S RESIDENTS IS PARAMOUNT. INSURRECTION WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Tanta and Cole may have stopped the mass murder of InTech’s residents, but the cost was severe. Despite their efforts, Harlow 2.0 – the update to InTech’s mind-based operating system – fed out. Now its citizens are compliant zombies, and Tanta and her crew are trapped underground. All except for Fliss, who has no system to update. She alone can go outside, and it’s Fliss the crew are relying on to help get them out. For only then can they dismantle the damage Harlow 2.0 has done. If Tanta, Cole and InTech’s residents are to truly be free, it needs to be destroyed. But Tanta knows that task will put her on a collision course with the corporation that raised her, her oldest friends, and the woman who was once her soulmate. And this last mission might ask more of her than she’s able to give. After an extended break from The…

The Hastening Storm by C F Barrington
C F Barrington , Head of Zeus , Thriller / August 30, 2022

Please note, The Hastening Storm is the third book in an on-going series. If you haven’t read what has come before, The Wolf Mile and The Blood Isles, then the book-related waffle that follows will contain something akin to minor spoilery-type stuff.   Live by the rules. Die by the rules. Or break them and take your chances in the chaos that follows… The Pantheon Games are the biggest underground event in the world, with millions watching online as modern-day recruits battle to the death with weapons of the ancient world. Tyler Maitland left his life behind to search for his sister, who disappeared after joining the Pantheon’s Edinburgh chapter. But one year on, he’s still no closer to finding her… After the shocking climax of the Grand Battle, Tyler must now find a way to forge a new brotherhood amongst his enemies. There will be new identities, new teammates, a new cause… but the same blood will flow on the streets while those at the top enjoy the show and count the money rolling in. This season will be like no other. Tyler must accept a new mission, one that hasn’t been attempted in twenty years of the Pantheon. His…

Upgrade by Blake Crouch
Blake Crouch , Pan Macmillan , Sci-Fi , Thriller / July 7, 2022

“You are the next step in human evolution.”   At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.   But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.   The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.   Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.   Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.   And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if…

Slow Horses by Mick Herron

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the ‘slow horses’ these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty. In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don’t run ops, they push paper. Not one of them joined the Intelligence Service to be a slow horse and the one thing they have in common is they want to be back in the action. When a boy is kidnapped and held hostage, his beheading is scheduled for live broadcast on the net. And whatever the instructions of their masters at the Intelligence Service headquarters, the slow horses aren’t going to just sit quiet and watch. I’ve gone totally off-piste this week and thrown my review schedule completely out the windows. To Hell with new releases; for a change, I’ve decided to jot down some words about a book I read purely for the pleasure of reading it. I’d heard nothing but good things about a new television drama series called Slow Horses so I thought I would give it a go. Good news kids, it is truly…