Archive for April 2, 2012


Posted: April 2, 2012 in China, review

Thanks to publishers Sort Of Books I have just finished an ARC of Border Run by Simon Lewis, whose Bad Traffic was so well received by critics. This involved me in making  a metaphorical long  journey from Scandinavia [after reading three Nordic books] to the border area between China and Burma. 

Will, a keen photographer, and his friend Jake are on a gap year jaunt to South East Asia, when they are offered a one day trip to see a secret waterfall near the border with Burma. 

Howard the man making the offer has a jeep, and is only slightly weird but….

He told me about this amazingly beautiful spot that only the tribals know about, it isn’t in any guidebooks or anything. It’s so lovely…..

What sold the trip to Jake was a chance to meet up with Wa girls. “Tribal girls, the one’s deep in the forest, they haven’t got hang-ups like the brittle city bitches you always meet.” 

We expect things are going to go wrong and they do, and Will begins to wish he had gone to see the tea factory and taken the next bus to Laos.

Simon Lewis is a very talented writer because his vivid descriptions of the forest and the antics of three main characters make you feel you are right there with them on the borderland. The fast moving action is a blur of pangolins, penknives, drugs, forest, Jeeps, China, tribal peoples, smugglers, waterfalls and struggling with crossbows. Perhaps there is a little too much discussion of their situation by Will, Howard and Jake, but this is because you want the action to continue and find out what happens next. At just over 200 pages this book seems almost like an extended short story or novella, but the ending interestingly leaves you wanting more.  

Looking back: March 2012

Posted: April 2, 2012 in memes, Scandinavia, Sweden

One advantage of  reading at my present slow pace [I am only  just about to start book number 15 this year!] is that it makes it easy to pick my Crime Fiction Pick of the Month as part of Kerrie’s meme at Mysteries in Paradise

My Pick of the Month was Exposed by Liza Marklund in one of the new translations by Neil Smith. This book written in 1999 is a clever mixture of a murder mystery, political scandal, and a primer in journalism.