User Profile

Jon Nixon

Joined 2 years, 1 month ago

Husband, father, dog adopter. Retired IT Engineer. Traveler. Learning French and Watercolour painting

This link opens in a pop-up window

Jon Nixon's books

Currently Reading

Reni Eddo-Lodge: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race (EBook, 2017, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc) 4 stars

The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the …

Clear and powerful. Hits home

5 stars

Really well written; clear and powerful; full of history I wasn’t aware of, an irrefutable description of structural racism, insights into black experience, and observations of white attitudes that really hit home. I will be quoting from this book the next time friends and family trot out the “all lives matter” line.

Reni Eddo-Lodge: Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race (2017) 4 stars

In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote on her blog about her frustration with the …

Really well written; clear and powerful; full of history I wasn’t aware of, an irrefutable description of structural racism, insights into black experience, and observations of white attitudes that really hit home. I will be quoting from this book the next time friends and family trot out the “all lives matter” line.

reviewed The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London, #6)

Ben Aaronovitch: The Hanging Tree (2016) 4 stars

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even …

Review of 'The Hanging Tree' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

Another really solid addition to the Rivers of London series with a healthy pile of well written magical shootouts thrown into a tightly plotted police investigation thriller. I’m still loving the wry first person narration and all of his nerdy cultural references. All of the characters are great.

Patrick deWitt: The Sisters Brothers (2011) 4 stars

The Sisters Brothers is a 2011 Western novel by Canadian-born author Patrick deWitt. The darkly …

Review of 'The Sisters Brothers' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

Hired killers, Charlie and Eli Sisters travel from Oregon City to San Francisco to murder Herman Warm. On the way, one of them starts to question their line of business. The first half of the book is a surreal, dream-like ramble through an Old West populated with bizarre and wonderful characters. The second half gets a bit more plot bound and moves from comedy to tragedy via a parade of grisly deaths. The whole thing is very readable, funny, sad and strangely beautiful. Definitely worth reading.

William Gibson (unspecified), William Gibson: Neuromancer (2016, Orion Publishing Group, Limited) 4 stars

"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel." …

Review of 'Neuromancer' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

This one has everything. At it’s core it’s a really good noir thriller full of great characters, but built on top of that is a really good science fiction novel full amazing concepts, and a wonderful piece of art with psychedelically poetic descriptive prose. I will definitely need to read it again

M. C. Beaton: Agatha Raisin and the case of the curious curate (2004, St. Martin's Press) 4 stars

Review of 'Agatha Raisin and the case of the curious curate' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

Cosy cotswold village whodunnit with a funny heroine and plenty of other engaging characters. An easy read with a nice, quirky feel to it. I enjoyed it but not enough to actively look for others. Probably good books to read on journeys. 

Ben Aaronovitch: Foxglove Summer (2014) 4 stars

When two young girls go missing in rural Herefordshire, police constable and wizard-in-training Peter Grant …

Review of 'Foxglove Summer' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

An angry, invisible, carniverous, cart horse sized unicorn called princess Luna. What’s not to love?

Great fun. I think Aaronovitch is back on form with this one. It's full of wry humour and funny cultural references (I like the way that he drops them in and doesn't explain them). All of the new characters are great, but it's great to see so much of Beverly Brook again. As a bonus it’s set 25 miles from where I grew up.

A couple of gripes; it stalls slightly in the middle (but picks up again fast) and the ending felt tagged on (as if he couldn't think of a clever way to wrap things up) . I love Beverley’s character and the fact that she’s not to be messed with, but after such a clever and interesting book it was a shame that the ending was uninspired. 

Agatha Christie: Dead Man's Folly (1974, Pocket Books) 4 stars

Whilst organising a mock murder hunt for the village fete hosted by Sir George and …

Review of "Dead Man's Folly" on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

A nice and cosy, very English whodunnit. The murder takes place during a pretend murder hunt at a summer garden fete. The whole thing feels like Christie having fun with the genre she has created. I like the Ariadne Oliver crime author as it's clearly Christie laughing at herself. I like the knowing touches, for example where she draws attention to people "SPEAKING IN CAPITALS". 

On the down side, I thought the characters were all stereotypes (maybe to be expected in this sort of book) and although I was able to predict a couple of twists the final solution would be too labyrinthine for any except Poirot to untangle. 

Some of the 1950s attitudes are a little shocking (eg. The idea that the murder might be a sex crime is dismissed because the victim wasn't very attractive).

reviewed Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London, #4)

Ben Aaronovitch: Broken Homes (2012, Gollancz) 4 stars

A mutilated body in Crawley. A killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one …

Review of 'Broken Homes' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

Still not as good as #1 and #2 but on a par with #3 and I'll keep reading. 

The investigation dragged a bit so the resolution didn't seem very well tied to the opening. The new characters weren't as interesting as in previous books, though Varvara has great potential. The action was well handled and the ending twist was good.

John Wyndham: The Midwich Cuckoos (Paperback, 1957, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

The Midwich Cuckoos is a 1957 science fiction novel written by the English author John …

Review of 'The Midwich Cuckoos' on 'Storygraph'

3 stars

Surprisingly dull.

The central idea of a group of telepathic and psychopathic alien children being raised in a sleepy English village while they prepare to replace humanity is great fun, the thought of all those forced pregnancies is genuinely horrifying, and the downbeat end is effective, but...

The framing is really clumsy. The story is narrated by someone who is only loosely involved, has no agency and no real character of his own. His opening line tells you that he and his wife weren’t badly affected by what happens, there are several missing years while he’s off working in Canada during which time interesting things should have been happening, and lots of events are described to him after the fact by other people; all of which robs the whole thing of any tension or excitement.

The most interesting people to follow in this story would have been the women and …

reviewed Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (Culture, #1)

Iain M. Banks: Consider Phlebas (Paperback, 2005, Orbit) 4 stars

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, …

Review of 'Consider Phlebas' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

This is the second Banks I’ve read and I thought they were both terrific. Unlike some epic, galaxy-spanning space operas, this was pacey, smoothly written with great characters and loads of action and adventure.

reviewed Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London, #3)

Ben Aaronovitch: Whispers Under Ground (2012, Orion Publishing Co) 4 stars

Peter Grant is learning magic fast. And it's just as well - he's already had …

Review of 'Whispers Under Ground' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

Third in the series. Still good but I didn’t think it was quite at the level of volumes one and two. The writing is still smart, sharp and funny and full of London detail but this one lacked the jeopardy and the showdown with the big threatening villain that the others had. I did like the new characters and the chase through the underground and sewers was good.

Ben Aaronovitch: Moon Over Soho (2011, Gollancz) 4 stars

Review of 'Moon Over Soho' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

Really well done. The characters are great. The writing is cool, sharp and funny. The action is well handled and the scene in the strip club of Dr Moreau is downright creepy!

What's happened to Leslie is brutal. Unfortunately I suspect any fix will come at a major cost :/

This is the second book in the series and I thought it was just as good as the first of one so I already have number three lined up.