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  • News & article

    Ravens' feast

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 27/12/2018

    » This reviewer's understanding of historical novels is that the authors do historical research on their topic, using actual figures and imaginary ones where need-be, to write essentially factual and hopefully interesting stories. But not all historical novelists follow this form. Some are more concerned about their own largely fictitious story than the actual events behind it.

  • News & article

    Dan Brown with a Thai voice

    Life, Melalin Mahavongtrakul, Published on 05/03/2018

    » The Thai award-winning detective novel Kaholmahoratuek is that rare breed: a page-turner set in the 1940s that mixes poetry, history, murder and revenge. The book's appeal also lies with the writer's use of genre elements -- serial murders, cryptic clues and detective work -- in the vintage setting of old Bangkok where century-old temples, back alleys and local communities become grisly crime scenes.

  • News & article

    Vatican thriller

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 25/08/2017

    » Christianity hasn't been around long, its two millennia shorter than Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism. The God-Mary match captured the public's imagination and Holy Mother Church has been matched with God ever since. It survived its encounters with the Saracens and the Reformation, and now has an estimated following of 1 billion.

  • News & article

    Child victims

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 16/06/2017

    » Novels are supposedly fictional, imaginary. Similarities to persons and places are coincidental. Which is a legal way of saying: "Don't blame us" -- authors and publishers -- "for sticking it to actual people and/or places."

  • News & article

    Open season on IS

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 27/04/2017

    » Though the president of the United States is a character in more than a few novels, he is a product of the authors' imaginations and bears little if any resemblance to the actual incumbents. In some stories he's idealised, in others vilified.

  • News & article

    The Tudor women

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 03/03/2017

    » So much has been written about England's Tudor dynasty that duplication is inevitable. Historians and historical novelists are hard put to find new angles. Henry VIII has been analysed every which way. There is no way of getting around the fact that he had six wives, ordering two to be decapitated.

  • News & article

    Be prepared

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 09/06/2017

    » A reporter outside my homeland for more than a half-century, I never had the gall to call myself a foreign correspondent, lacking the qualifications of working for an American publication -- my byline in India, Japan and Thailand notwithstanding -- even though Time magazine gave me an honourable mention.

  • News & article

    Monsters among us

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 13/01/2017

    » There are killers, serial killers and mass killers -- murderers all. The police make a distinction, a different branch designated for each. Mass killers bring in the FBI to assist. While all killers are regarded as psychopaths, mass killers are sociopaths.

  • News & article

    Far-fetched plot

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 02/12/2016

    » Three decades ago a Baltimore, Maryland, insurance man Tom Clancy entered the literary world with The Hunt For Red October. Acclaimed critically and popularly, he never looked back. Never in the military, his interest and research in the weapons of war elevated him to the rank of military analyst.

  • News & article

    Tackling IS

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 21/10/2016

    » After a delay that has tried my patience, this reviewer congratulates Britain's Stephen Leather for coming through for us. For half-a-decade authors have given IS (Islamic State) a wide berth, aware of their practice of murdering those disparaging their faith. Unlike suicide bombers, they have every intention of fleeing the scenes of their atrocities.

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