Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My Dad Reviews...The Redemption of Alexander Seaton - Shona MacLean

Just a reminder of my Dad's tastes:

DISLIKES: romance, books that have too much swearing in (I guess that's my Dad not going to read my next book either, then - I thought it was just my Mum I had to keep away from it). Also doesn't like horror, and books with vampires, pterodactyls and the living dead in them. Also, something called an ungoliant. No, I have no idea either - I think my Dad has been at the sherry.

: thrillers, spy novels, war stories and books with elves in (the elves can swear their little heads off as far as he's concerned). Oh, and maps. He bloody loves maps. If you ever meet him, for goodness' sake don't ask him for directions. Not even to the bathroom.

PREFERS: Philip Marlowe to Miss Marple, Inspector Morse to Homicide.

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton - Shona MacLean

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Published: May 2009

First Lines:
The old woman lifted her candle the better to observe me.
"You would not think of going out tonight?"
"Aye mistress, I would."
She fixed me with a look I knew well. "On a night such as this, no honest man would stir from his own hearth."
"Indeed he would not, mistress," I said. "But as you have often assured me, I am no honest man." I took down my hat and, bidding her no farewell, I went forth into the remorseless storm."

What my dad says:

This was an awkward book to review. At first I thought it was going to be a contender for a new Olympic sport, "Jumping to Conclusions". After getting hooked into 17th century Scotland I realised there was much more to it. I do not know if it was the author's intention but it appeared to me to be a journey of self discovery by the main character Alexander Seaton.

It tells the story of his efforts to find the reasons behind the death of an apprentice to the local pharmacologist and his daughter. It covers the local troubles with religion, witchcraft, and the prejudices of the times.

Alexander, a priest, failed to obtain a living through a stupid error and the enmity of others. He reluctantly takes the position of teacher to the youth of the town, through his efforts finds out who the murderer is and the method used. Later he is offered a position in the church and so sets out for the tests which will confirm his status.

I found the development of the characters was extremely good, some were likeable and others were easy to dislike.

In all a very easy book to read once you had slipped into the 17th century and forgotten about this one.

Message from me: Dad - you've always been in the 17th century haven't you?


  1. Cute! I really love how you explained where your dad is coming from before the review! GREAT concept!

  2. Hold on Donna directions to the bathroom are absolutely essential when you get to your Dad's and my age. Pleased he enjoyed the book and agreed with me. :o)

  3. No. You pulled me kicking and screaming into the 20Th century.

  4. Uria sounds like my type of man with his liking of music. I saw Louis Armstrong at a venue in London, too many years ago to remember, and Patty Loveless in Fort Worth about 10 years ago, I have yet to see Alan Jackson. As for the rest, I can listen to some classical.

  5. RC - thank you :o) Glad you enjoyed it.

    Norm - yes, but by the time my Dad has finished showing you the map and describing the 25 different ways you can get's too late.

    Dad - yes I did and sometimes (when you say things like "Donna, I googled you. Aren't you strange?") I regret ever having taken you out of the 17th.

  6. Dad - assuming Norm (Uriah) is going to Crimefest next year (which I hope he is) I shall introduce you and you can discuss bathrooms and music to your hearts' content.

  7. Ah, Donna, perhaps you don't know the Ungoliant because, some say, "...she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last." But if your dad knows Ungoliant, the gloomweaver, the dark spider of terror, he must have been reading Tolkien, yes? He sounds like a great chap to me, may I say.

  8. LOL Philip - yes, my Dad is a big Tolkien fan and aso a great chap. But please, don't wake the sleeping 17th Century monster, or we wi never hear the end of it. Mention the word Tokien and it's as though you've woken a very chatty genie :o)

  9. Donna and Dad all being well I will be at Crime Fest in 2010. My car was broken into the other night and they did not steal my CDs a sign I am getting old and my taste is not trendy. But Patty Loveless is superb and we drove through beautiful Eastern Kentucky a few years ago playing her Mountain Soul CD a little too loud. Later we read in the paper that one of those 'charming' mountain towns we stopped in was the crystal meth capital of the USA.

  10. Norm - glad to hear you will be at Crimefest. sorry about your car but that made me laugh - bit of a kick in the teeth that when they leave your CD collection neatly piled on the driver's seat :o)

  11. AH, Mountain Soul. She sang most of those at the concert we went to, it was magical. That was the evening I fell in love again.

  12. Dad said: "That was the evening I fell in love again."
    Good grief - does Mum know?

  13. Yes. she was there

  14. Donna's Dad,
    As a history major (though not nearly as conversant of Scot history as I'd wish), this sounds good, after you get past the new olympic sport mess. :-) In fact, medieval history was what I really liked to study, and it was a very messy time in many ways, so now here's another book added to my tbf list, thanks to Mr. Moore. And your daughter adds to my tbr, tbf, tbb lists often also. :-) So thanks, Moore family.

    Now about Patty Loveless--you saw her!?!? I am trying hard not to be jealous. I play MOUNTAIN SOUL often, love her voice and ability and think she's unique and wonderful. Thanks for loving her too. :-) From afar of course, as a fan...sheesh people often take things the wrong way, don't they! And speaking of wrong way, my husband and I are also map lovers and admirers....things of beauty now almost gone.

    Thank you for the review-well done-and for loving good things. And for your daughter who's lovely too, in her uniqueness and noirism..are those words? I have no idea. We country hicks make up our own words. ;-)


  15. Bobbie - the Moore family thank you :o) And if noirism isn't a word, then it should be!