Book Reviews – September 2013

Syston Past 4
Complied by Ray Young, Syston Local History Group
Chartwell Press Ltd
£6
The latest in the series of these very interesting and informative books published by the Syston Local History Group. This one is full of photographs and wonderful articles recalling times past. It covers the unveiling of the War Memorial in 1921 at the top of High Street, where the mini roundabout is today. There is an interesting piece on the ‘Home Guard’ which features two platoons, No. 9 and 10, who covered Syston, Thurmaston and Queniborough. Other stories include Westbury’s Woodyard with a large field that is now St John’s Avenue, Keble Drive and Oriel Drive. There is a tribute to professional boxing at the Queen Victoria on High Street, where local boxer Tony Sibson trained. It also features the celebrations held for Queen Elizabeth II Coronation in June 1953, with lots of photographs and programme of events.
If I had to choose a favourite it would be ‘Memories of the Fosse’, written by a lady who grew up there, and could name not only people in her own street but those in adjourning streets, shops etc, It made me wonder how many people living in Syston could do this today, as it is often muted that people don’t know their neighbours, let alone shop keepers and small business owners.
This would make a good gift.

NYPD Red
James Patterson
Arrow
£7.99 less £1
Detective Zach Jordan is a member of New York’s elite force NYPD Red. Their job is to protect New York’s wealthiest: the rich, the famous, the high profile figures. The story begins on the day Zach gets a new partner. His previous one is off work injured. Zach’s feelings about his new partner are mixed to say the least. No doubt that she’s a great detective but she’s also a maverick, a loose cannon and a rebel. But that’s not the real problem here. Kylie MacDonald is Zach’s ex.
Their first day on the job together and a high profile film producer appears to have collapsed during his breakfast. On closer investigation the detectives discover he has been poisoned. It’s a race against time before more of the industry’s illustrious figures are killed off.

1356
Bernard Cornwell
Harper
£7.99 less £1
September 1356.
All over France, towns are closing their gates. Crops are burning, and through-out the countryside people are on the alert for danger. The English army – led by the heir to the throne, the Black Prince – is set to invade, while the French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down.
But what if there was a weapon that could decide the outcome of the imminent war?
Thomas of Hookton, known as le Batard, has orders to uncover the lost sword of Saint Peter, a blade with mystical powers said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. The French seek the weapon, too, and so Thomas’s quest will be thwarted at every turn by battle and betrayal, by promises made and oaths broken. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near Poitiers, Thomas, his troop of archers and men-at-arms, his enemies, and the fate of the sword converge in a maelstrom of violence, action, and heroism.
Rich with colourful characters, great adventure, and thrilling conflict, 1356 is a magnificent tale of how the quest for a holy relic with the power to change history may culminate in an epic struggle.