Andrew Cartmel - Shastrix Books

Andrew Cartmel

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Victory Disc

Victory Disc

Andrew Cartmel

3rd July 2022

The Vinyl Detective’s third adventure is triggered by the discovery of an ancient record from WW2, and the appearance of the daughter of a band member, who hires him to find more.

It’s another really strong tale, hilarious throughout, but especially the opening chapter, which I unusually read aloud and couldn’t get through without giggling.

The plot is a bit complex but keeps moving at a good pace, bringing together familiar characters and new and developing the investigation in a great fun way. I can’t believe nobody’s done a TV version of this series yet as it would work really well.

Love it. Looking forward to more, as I bought books three, four, and five together.

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Body Work

Body Work

Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee Sullivan & Luis Guerrero

1st June 2022

I’m not typically one for graphic novels - but after reading the latest Rivers of London novel I finally decided that I was missing out on story by not consuming this format too, and so started here at the beginning.

This is the tale of an investigating into haunted cars.

The format remains I think not my favourite. I struggle to recognise the illustrator’s depictions of the characters from the visions I had formed in my head, particularly Nightingale and Molly. And I find that my eyes only really want to focus on the words. There was one place where the experience felt really disjointed, which I think might have been a transition where the issues where split when this was published as comics, and it didn’t really give any explanation of the transition or repetition of some scenes.

However the story itself was good, and I enjoyed filling in some of the gaps in the characters’ lives. I found it interesting that there seems to be more time spent away from Peter, when not tied exclusively to his first person narrative, and seeing particularly more from Nightingale felt like a new take.

I don’t know if I will continue reading these graphic novels - I suspect it will depend on what sort of prices I can find them at.

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Written in Dead Wax

Written in Dead Wax

Andrew Cartmel

4th July 2021

On reading the second book in the series and writing a review, I discovered that I’d somehow missed reviewing this first book when I read it last October. So, based on what’s now a distant memory, here are my thoughts.

I really enjoyed this opening novel, which tells the story of a record collector and seller who is hired to find the rarest of rare records, a project which leads to a bizarre set of circumstances and relationships.

It’s a surprisingly believable, but incredibly fun, detective story with a wide variety of well defined and entertaining characters and locations.

I’m very much planning to now read the whole series.

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The Run Out Groove

The Run Out Groove

Andrew Cartmel

26th June 2021

The second book in the Vinyl Detective series has satisfactorily shifted me out of a bit of a reading rut and back into the groove. In this sequel we’re reunited with the familiar characters and cats from the first novel, as they are drawn into investigating a complex missing persons/records case.

I was slightly dubious that a sequel wouldn’t work - how much more could be got out of this concept, and with the shifts in characters after the events of the first novel - but I needn’t have worried, Cartmel has put together another great plot which all his players fit really nicely into.

As a mystery story, it’s got all the classic elements, but in an entirely new and modern setting which keeps humour flowing alongside plot. I had a few theories as to what was going to be the outcome, but of course Cartmel is far too clever and was tricking me with all the little red herrings or obvious tricks.

I am strongly tempted just to buy the rest of the series now, to have them on my shelf as motivation to keep reading until I feel there’s been a sufficient gap after this book to dive straight in.

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Consequences

Consequences

James Moran, Joseph Lidster, Andrew Cartmel, Sarah Pinborough & David Llewellyn

5th June 2010

This book made a refreshing change from the usual style of Torchwood books. Rather than one story, this contains five loosely connected short-stories, ranging from early 20th century Torchwood hunting baby snatchers to post-series two Torchwood battling drug-dealers, and the strange case of Nina Rogers.

Each of the stories is the perfect length - taking me around 20 minutes to read, just right for my daily commute. The spread through time is good too, as it means each tale can focus on different characters and the reader does not bore. The subtle way in which the stories are tied together is pleasing, and as you realise reading through, elements of these have been seeded in the earlier Torchwood novels.

The second story had a disappointing ending. I was hoping when I read it that that meant it was leaving issues to be resolved later on, but it didn't, rather just serving to tie into the next story. The structure of the fifth story was also a little strange, but once the end was reached it mostly made sense. One of the problems with the short format is that there is not much space for explanation. The origins of certain elements are not gone into in much depth, which does leave the reader wondering in places.

Overall though a pleasant change. It does seem as if this might be the last Torchwood novel, at least until series four (if it ever emerges), and it's a good way to round off the set on a high.

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