– Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad –

A book review about a perilous journey by steamboat into the centre of Africa.  Think Humphrey Bogart in The Africa Queen, but with a boat load of cannibals, and no Katharine Hepburn to keep order. One of the first things I noticed about this novel was the splendid use of language, the adjectives, similes, metaphors, and the descriptions. The second thing was the irony, enough to make me laugh aloud, although it is a serious and dark book. Joseph Conrad was a river-boat captain in the Congo, and he experienced a similar journey to the one his  protagonist, Charles Marlowe, endured. The story is of an English adventurer who travelled into the Belgian Congo as a steamboat captain. The purpose of the trip was to bring back ivory from the centre of Africa. It was a long and dangerous voyage, the steamboat broke down, and most of the boat crew turned out to be hungry cannibals. The narrator, talked about, indeed was obsessed by a man called Kurtz, who resided at the furthest point of the journey. Kurtz was a successful trader of ivory, and apparently a remarkable man; a man of education, of  understanding, of culture. Yet after a… Continue reading

– A story of murder, with a part played by Edgar Allan Poe –

The Poet, Michael Connelly. Crime Fiction This is the story of a crime reporter Jack McEvoy, who is told his twin brother, an LA cop, has committed suicide: a bullet to the head while sitting in a parked car, the doors locked. On the inside of the foggy windscreen, written with a finger, is a quote from Edgar Allan Poe. His fellow police officers are convinced that it is suicide. His twin brother, Jack, doesn’t believe it. He begins his own investigation, and soon finds that there has been an extraordinary number of police suicides. As Jack follows up leads, acting the detective, he finds evidence that indicates a cop killer is behind the deaths. Usually there is a suicide note found with the body, the note is a quote from Edgar Allan Poe. The local police try to discourage Jack, they tell him to accept the facts, move on, since they are certain it was suicide and the case is closed. But as Jack McEvoy gathers evidence from different states, the FBI become involved when they discover there is a pattern to the suicide/ murders. Jack and the FBI are now on the trail of “The Poet” who is… Continue reading