Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Favourite Discoveries of 2015 (8)

The penultimate entry in the series of posts containing the Euro Crime reviewers' Favourite Discoveries of 2015 is my own, rambling contribution!

Firstly, to continue the DVD theme of previous posts, I have two recommendations:

The Saboteurs which was shown on tv but I caught up with on DVD courtesy of the library.

It's the Second Word War and the story is told from the point view of the Germans, the British and the Norwegians; it revolves around the production of heavy water in Norway which is wanted in Germany to create an atomic bomb.

When a Norwegian scientist escapes to Britain he is recruited to oversee the Allies operation to infiltrate the Norwegian factory in Telemark and destroy its heavy water making facilities.

With a multi-national cast speaking in their own languages this was a gripping drama and having not seen the film The Heroes of Telemark and showing my ignorance of this time period, this was all new to me.

My second recommendation is Agent Carter which though set in the US stars a trio of British actors: Hayley Atwell, Dominic Cooper and the (hilarious) James D'Arcy - unrecognisable from Broadchurch.

It's 1946 New York and Atwell plays Peggy Carter, a British agent with the Strategic Scientific Reserve. She has been relegated to tea-making even though she's sharper than all the male agents put together.

Agent Carter is recruited by Howard Stark to clear his name which means going against the organisation she works for.

So begins a cat and mouse chase with the net ever tightening on Peggy.

I was a little dubious after the first episode which was very Alias-y with Peggy in a wig however I stuck with it and found it very tense and enjoyable.

Next, going off topic a little now, 2015 was the year I rediscovered my interest in the Tudor period. I think it began with the superlative Wolf Hall drama - the soundtrack is marvellous - though my OH refers to it as "that melancholy music"...

Then, as the library has not been buying as many books this year due to a book fund "pause", I have been trying books I perhaps wouldn't have usually. And so Philippa Gregory's The Taming of the Queen, about Catherine Parr, fell into my hands. And so the Tudor floodgates have opened. I have bought a box-set of Jean Plaidy books - I may have read some of these a long time ago but it's so long ago they'll seem fresh! - and have checked out from the library, books on Henry VIII's queens. So far I've concentrated my reading on Catherine Parr and can recommend Elizabeth Norton's The Temptation Of Elizabeth Tudor which covers the time when Elizabeth was staying with her step-mother, as well as Norton's biography, Catherine Parr.

My other rediscovery is Michael Connelly - but more on him in a separate post.

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