Following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap – and she moves from London to Boston.

But soon after her arrival Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin’s next-door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police begin asking questions about Corbin’s relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours come forward with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own.

Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. so how can she trust any of the strangers she’s just met? 

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

Kate Priddy is the type of character that pulls you in completely; you root for her from the very beginning and want her to succeed in whatever she does. Suffering from panic attacks and an anxiety disorder brought about following an attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate moves to Boston for six months to try and rebuild her life and move forward. I’m sure you can guess but things don’t turn out quite as she expects – do they ever?

Her Every Fear has a distinct Hitchcockian feel to it, a cinematic classic in the making – think 1954’s Rear Window starring James Stewart. The book is uncomfortable in parts especially when we are introduced to the neighbour who is obsessed with Audrey Marshall, Kate’s new neighbour, spending hours upon hours watching her from the comfort of his lounge. The character is all wrong, he’s a creep, has issues and he shouldn’t be likeable but the strange thing is that he is! Oh and to be truthful he probably shouldn’t be involved in any kind of relationship!

Full of suspense, murder and intrigue the book works on multiple levels. You’re kept guessing until the very end with a number of red herrings and double crosses but one thing is for sure, as a reader, you’re never really sure who you can trust. Characterisation is impressive and they all bring something a little different to the table but it’s Kate Priddy that keeps you turning the page, an incredible character. Nicely done Mr Swanson!

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher:Faber & Faber; Main edition (12 Jan. 2017)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0571327109
  • ISBN-13:978-0571327102
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The Bone Field by Simon Kernick

When the bones of a 21-year old woman who went missing without trace in Thailand in 1990, are discovered in the grounds of an old Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist. Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, Henry Forbes, now a middle-aged university lecturer, comes forward with his lawyer and tells DI Ray Mason of the Met’s Homicide Command that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.

So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich, dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost…

Another assured performance from Simon Kernick, the book moves along at a fairly rapid pace with a very strong narrative and an equally gripping storyline. This is the fourth book I’ve read by Simon and it’s one of his best – Siege remains my favourite by far for a pure edge of your seat thriller ride and subtle references to Die Hard – only time will tell if the author will continue to take Ray Mason to places most authors wouldn’t dare! I do hope he will!

Talking of DI Ray Mason, he’s a colourful character who carries an awful amount of baggage. To say he’s not flavour of the month at the Met’s Homicide Command would be an understatement but our intrepid hero manages to find himself in precarious positions throughout The Bone Field. His decision making is questionable but he’s a character that wears his heart on his sleeve and at the end of the day he just wants to do right by those wronged. He has no interest in conforming to a yes man and I love him for his maverick attitude.

A loyal policeman, he will go that extra mile to make things right – if it’s in his power to do so – even when he knows that his superiors and internal affairs will be baying for blood. You can’t ask more from a character than this! He does have a sensitive side and this does come through occasionally, it’s this mixture and the fine line that he walks on day after day, hour by hour, that helps shape the protagonist carry his shoulders high.

Another hit, The Bone Field is wrapped up quite nicely, everything makes sense, and I’m really hoping that we get to see more of DI Ray Mason. Television series anyone?!

  • Hardcover:400 pages
  • Publisher:Century (12 Jan. 2017)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1780894538
  • ISBN-13:978-1780894539
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Cross The Line - Alex Cross 24

Cross The Line – Alex Cross 24

Alex Cross chases a cold-blooded killer…with a conscience. 

Shots ring out in the early morning hours in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. When the smoke clears, a prominent police official lies dead, leaving the city’s police force scrambling for answers.

Under pressure from the mayor, Alex Cross steps into the leadership vacuum to investigate the case. But before Cross can make any headway, a brutal crime wave sweeps across the region. The deadly scenes share only one common thread – the victims are all criminals. And the only thing more dangerous than a murderer without a conscience, is a killer who thinks he has justice on his side.

As Cross pursues an adversary who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner, he must take the law back into his own hands before the city he’s sworn to protect descends into utter chaos.

There’s not much I can say about James Patterson’s Alex Cross series that hasn’t been said before, countless times, but one thing I will say about Cross The Line – Patterson’s latest offering (24th in the series) – is that the book is a joy to read, simply a joy.

It’s an effortless read, a book you can pick up and read 50 pages in quick succession and then get on with the rest of your busy day but if you’re lucky enough to have more time on your hands then the book will be over all too soon. My days are incredibly busy these days – like most of us – and finding the time to read isn’t always an option and when a book comes along that’s easy to read, entertaining and thought provoking I jump at the chance.

I’ve been fortunate enough to read a number of James Patterson titles over the years but very few from the Alex Cross stable, no idea why it just hasn’t happened but boy do I want to put that right. Cross is a wonderful character and along with his colourful family there’s a good balance between the troubles and consternations of crime fighting and the daily chores that family life brings. Talking of family, Nana Mama is amazing, who wouldn’t want to have her in their lives? She’s the glue that holds the family together, a person who nurtures the young family, a moral guardian if you will. Don’t get me started on her cooking – a Nana Mama cookbook full of mouth watering recipes! Just has to be written!

The plot is strong and the characters driven. Patterson weaves his magic from beginning to end and there really is no respite in the action and along with an expressive narrative this is a book to be savoured and devoured in a few sittings!

Wonderful.

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Century (3 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780892683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780892689

 

 

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Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…

But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

Alan Conway’s Atticus Pund has seen better days, he’s not a well man and in fact has a limited time left on this earth and in Magpie Murders, Conway is determined to give Atticus Pund a final hurrah, a fitting send-off for a character who has given so much to the author.

Magpie Murders is a book that keeps on giving and is in fact two books for the price of one, a story within a story if you like – the first set after the Second World War in a sleepy English village and the second bring us bang up to date in modern times. I remember reading the first part of the book and I’d reached the middle of the book and wondered where Anthony Horowitz was going to take the story. I was initially confused but it soon became apparent as to what had happened!

There are numerous red herrings throughout, sleight of hand springs to mind, Horowitz is a crafty old bugger – in the nicest possible way! He has you leaning one way and then a few chapters down the line you begin questioning your own reasoning. Fascinating stuff!

I was immediately transported to the 1950’s and village life, the good and the bad, and to be honest I felt quite at home there, from squeaky bicycles to former criminals trying to go straight, a busy body and a lord of the manor who wasn’t exactly the most endearing of characters. Close your eyes and the imagination would run riot. Think Agatha Christie and you won’t go far wrong.

There is no Sherlock Holmes this time around although Pund does have his trusty sidekick!

I did find it rather interesting how the feel and pace of the book changed for the second half, set in the present. The narrative has a certain fluidity to it, easier to read and the characters allowed the pace of the book to intensify. Even though the second half felt very different to the first there’s still ample room for the author to throw in the odd curve ball and you end up finishing the book and thinking – why didn’t I see that?!!

Another good read from Anthony Horowitz. A quirky murder mystery that will definitely keep you guessing until the end. After all it’s all rather Elementary!

  • Hardcover:464 pages
  • Publisher:Orion (6 Oct. 2016)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1409158365
  • ISBN-13:978-1409158363
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Mark Novak’s greatest mystery might just be his own …

Private Investigator Mark Novak’s relentlessness as an investigator has been his professional calling card and curse, but the one case he has couldn’t bring himself to pursue is the one closest to his heart: that of his wife’s death.

Rise the Dark by Michael Koryta

Rise the Dark by Michael Koryta

Returning to the scene of her murder, a country road outside Cassadaga, Florida, he uncovers disturbing leads that show how her murder might be connected to Novak’s own troubled youth in Montana.

The investigation leads him back to the mining towns of Montana which he thought he’d left behind forever. On returning, he discovers there are more than just bad memories to be found when you go digging up the past. Novak faces an adversary more frightening than he’s ever known, and a secret that has wended its way through his entire life: from the caverns beneath Indiana to the abandoned streets of a southern gothic town to the darkest corners of the Northwest. Novak is about to discover that evil and heroism are inextricably and tragically linked.

Another engaging and entertaining read courtesy of Michael Koryta, this time around we follow Mark Novak in Rise the Dark, a continuation of the private investigator series.

There’s an underlying darkness to Rise the Dark, believe it or not, filled with subtle references to the supernatural and a sophistication that helps make the book an uncomfortable read at times. Koryta doesn’t do easy; this complex plot is immaculately delivered and although I didn’t feel as one with the leading character or the storyline this is still a book to be savoured.

This isn’t the first Michael Koryta book I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last. I always look forward to his next title and from past experiences I prefer the darker, more sinister, more chilling titles. Think So Cold The River, a book that still remains high in my top five books of all time! It’s always going to be difficult for an author to top his own book in my eyes but Koryta is consistently good at delivering high quality products.

One thing I would say about this book is that it is easy to imagine the book as a short television series or film. It has all the hallmarks of a gripping thriller. A private investigator who will rest at nothing to avenge his wife’s murder, a villain who is as evil and psychopathic as they come – he really is a nasty bit of work! – and a reunion with loved ones from his past that have a certain inevitability.

Another top notch performance from Koryta, you’ll find him in the supernatural and chilled isle in most good supermarkets, he is after all a master of both! I look forward to the next title.

  • Hardcover:400 pages
  • Publisher:Hodder & Stoughton (25 Aug. 2016)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1473614570
  • ISBN-13:978-1473614574
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Bullseye by James Pattereson & Michael Ledwidge

Bullseye by James Pattereson & Michael Ledwidge

As the most powerful men on earth gather in New York for a meeting of the UN, Detective Michael Bennett receives intelligence warning that there will be an assassination attempt on the US president. Even more shocking, the intelligence suggests that the Russian government could be behind the plot.

Tensions between America and Russia are the highest they’ve been since the Cold War, but this would be an escalation no one could have expected.

The details are shadowy, and Bennett finds false leads and unreliable sources at every turn. But he can’t afford to get this wrong. If the plotters succeed, the shockwaves will be felt across the globe.

A joint collaboration between James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, Bullseye is a quick and effortless read. With a heady pace and storyline that develops quicker than a speeding bullet I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was an entertaining read as I struggled through my long indoor bike rides at the gym. Although I’ve read a few James Patterson books in the past I’ve not read any of the Michael Bennett series so it will be interesting to take a look at the earlier novels and compare old and new.

More often than not, any storyline that involves the White House or a standing United States President always piques my interest and I simply can’t resist, Bullseye is no exception and I for one am glad I gave it a shot – excuse the pun!

Characterisation is interesting. I really enjoyed following Michael Bennett’s progress throughout the book, workload and his family troubles – caused mainly by children – I mean anyone with 10 children are going to have a trying day at the best of times! Mary Catherine’s character sounds too good to be true, a nanny turned partner who takes on so many children? Wonderful – I did want to learn more about her in the novel but unfortunately she isn’t in the storyline a huge amount but what there was of her I enjoyed. Similarly Father Seamus who although in a couple of scenes his humour and personality shone through, I’d definitely like to learn more about him and his relationship with the family as a whole!

The storyline itself was good and you never really knew who would end up paying the ultimate sacrifice at the end and who was involved in the plot to kill the US President but everything is tied up nicely in the end. It did get a little complicated in the beginning with a number of arcs running alongside the main storyline and protagonist, it took me a while to distinguish between the two assassins, but maybe that’s my simplified brain at fault!

Would I read another Michael Bennett book? You bet. Enjoyable, entertaining and a very quick read, you can’t ask for much more than that.

  • Hardcover:368 pages
  • Publisher:Century (28 July 2016)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1780892721
  • ISBN-13:978-1780892726
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Elizabeth Black is a hero. She is a cop who single-handedly rescued a young girl from a locked cellar and shot two brutal kidnappers dead. But she’s also a cop with a history, a woman with a secret. And she’s not the only one.

Redemption Road by John Hart

Redemption Road by John Hart

Adrian Wall is finally free after thirteen years of torture and abuse. In the very first room he walks into, a boy with a gun is waiting to avenge the death of his mother. But that is the least of Adrian’s problems.

He was safer in prison.

And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen. It is not the first to be found.

This is a town on the brink. This is Redemption Road.

Redemption rɪˈdɛm(p)ʃ(ə)n/the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

Everyone needs a little redemption at one point in their lives, fortunately for us John Hart is at hand with his latest novel Redemption Road, a story about one woman’s struggle to come to terms with her torment, her past and her strained relationship with her father. A woman struggling to conquer her demons, the book charts her fight to come through her trials and tribulations and seize her life back.

I remember reading Iron House five years ago, a book I remember fondly to this day, I remember being mesmerised by John Hart’s storytelling and magnificent characterisation. There are few books that have that lasting effect on you but as an author John Hart is right up there with the best of them.

Redemption Road is well paced and incredibly brutal; in fact the book is rather unforgiving. I briefly mentioned characterisation above and this book is no exception. Elizabeth Black is damaged and her past slowly catches up with her as the greater story unfolds. An interesting character, Elizabeth is a protagonist that will divide opinion. Some will love her, some will hate her, for me she had a wonderful balance of right and wrong, good and evil. It’s all about survival and protecting those she holds dear. With a colourful history that has helped shape her become the cop she is today, Lizzie will stop at nothing to find the truth.

Along with a host of interesting characters, Crybaby Jones was possibly my favourite character of the book. An ageing lawyer who hasn’t left the sanctuary of his big house for a decade or more, he as a character, had so much to offer the book. Even though Jones wasn’t in the book as often as the main protagonists he left his mark with emotion and passion. For me, whenever he was involved in the storyline the book was the stronger for his appearance, he certainly left his mark with me.

The story moves along at a fairly rapid pace, there’s so much to take in and the pace slows every once in a while due to the complexity of the storyline but the pace takes nothing away from a magnificent book. Reading the first chapter I knew I was hooked, a book that causes your heart to miss a beat, not once but twice in the first chapter, you know you are with some certainty on to a winner.

Another breath-taking story from a master storyteller, Redemption Road is one not to be missed.

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (5 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848541813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848541818
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NYPD Red 4

NYPD Red 4

In a city where crime never sleeps, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in when a case involves the rich, famous and connected. Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are the best of the best – brilliant and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to catch a criminal, even if it means antagonising the same powerful people they’re supposed to be helping.

When a glitzy movie premiere is the scene of a shocking murder and high-stakes robbery, NYPD Red gets the call. In a hunt that takes Zach and Kylie from celebrity penthouses to the depths of Manhattan’s criminal underworld, they have to find the cold-blooded killer – before he strikes again.

My first foray into the NYPD Red series, NYPD Red 4 is an incredibly fluid and entertaining read. From the very first page until the very last there’s no pause in the action. The pages flow effortlessly from one to another, the narrative easy on the eye and the various sub plots all adding to a terrific experience.

Of all the books I’ve read this year I’d have to say that this has been the easiest to read by far and one that was incredibly hard to put down. Even the lure of a warm bed late at night couldn’t tear me away from the book.

With rain lashing down outside, the book was the perfect companion. Characterisation was perfect and the main protagonists worked well together but it was the narrative that won the day for me. I can’t do it justice in these few paragraphs but when a book works it works. James Patterson and Marshall Karp have the makings of a wonderful partnership, they’ve combined for the entire series, a series I hope they continue. Although I haven’t had the chance to read the first three in the series I felt right at home with NYPD Red 4 but I’ll definitely seek out the other three if the standard is half as good as this book!

The main story – Elena Travers’s murder – is quickly usurped with multiple thefts of expensive hospital equipment from hospitals in the district and the Mayor has called in team Red to investigate. Detectives Zach and and Kylie have their work cut out for them but it’s not the only thing the pair have to deal with in this book. Both are enjoying trouble on the home front and it appears to be an almost impossible task of juggling the home life with an ever increasing work schedule, it all adds to the unique flavour of NYPD Red.

So there we have it, without going into too much detail NYPD Red 4 is a wonderful and effortless read. A great book for a summer vacation or one to wile away the hours if the weather just happens to be rather inclement outside, either way you can’t go wrong.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Arrow (19 May 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0099594447
ISBN-13: 978-0099594444

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The Hanging Club

The Hanging Club

A band of vigilante executioners roam London’s hot summer nights, abducting evil men and hanging them by the neck until dead.

SENTENCED TO DEATH
– The gang member who’s abused vulnerable girls.
– The wealthy drunk driver who’s mowed down a child.
– The hate preacher calling for the murder of British soldiers.

As the bodies pile up and riots explode across the sweltering city, DC Max Wolfe hunts a gang of killers who many believe to be heroes.

And discovers that the lust for revenge starts very close to home …

A thoroughly entertaining read, the book flows well from beginning to end, full of intrigue and murder, DC Wolfe returns for another challenging case in The Hanging Club.

A very simple but clever concept – no idea why this hasn’t been done before – it doesn’t take long for this this book to scream into life. Videos suddenly begin appearing online, not your average youtube video mind you, there’s no Michael Buble or cover artist in site. Someone’s hanging people and posting them for others to enjoy what turns out to be a gratifying revenge kill. One hanging follows another and it becomes apparent very quickly that the victims who turn up in Tyburn aren’t that nice.

The victims have a dark and unsavoury past and once this becomes apparent to a public hypnotised by the killings the police are fighting a loosing battle, especially with the press corp who appear to be supporting the group of vigilantes responsible. DC Max Wolf certainly has his work cut out for himself and only time will tell if he can get through to the end safely and find those responsible.

With each kill comes additional information and subtle clues. The police can’t find the kill zone and have no idea where these hangings are occurring. What they do discover rather quickly is roughly where the bodies will pop up – but that really doesn’t help their cause initially.

This is the first Max Wolfe book I’ve read and although it would be better for continuity purposes if I’d read the previous adventures I didn’t feel as if this fact hindered my enjoyment at all. Max is a great character and a determined one at that. He has his fair share of scrapes in The Hanging club, that’s what protagonists are fore aren’t they?!

The pace is good and the introduction of numerous supporting characters is well thought out, not once did I feel that a character was introduced just for the sake of it. I can’t wait to read the next DC Max Wolfe, he’s found a new fan in this reader that’s for sure.

Hardcover: 416 pages

  • Publisher: Century (19 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780892373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780892375
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Die of Shame by Mark Billingham

Die of Shame by Mark Billingham

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about addiction. There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and above all, shame.

Then one of them is killed – and it’s clear one of the circle was responsible.

Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together. So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?

And how do you find the truth when denial and deception are second nature to all of your suspects?

From the maker of Tom Thorne comes a standalone, ladies and gentlemen I introduce Mark Billingham’s Die of Shame. The book has a totally different feel from his Tom Thorne series, I’d be interested to know more but for me – as I read the book – I just had a feeling the author has tested himself with this book. I can’t quite put my finger on it!

A complex story centred around a group of addicts – who meet once a week – the book flits between Then and Now. It’s a complex start but once you get your head around the time shifts and numerous characters the story develops incredibly quickly and fluently.

One thing you can always depend on with Mark Billingham is the narrative and his ability to sell a story, Die of shame has both in spades and then some. We have Mark’s one liners, his humour and his talent for weaving a story from seemingly nothing into something incredible. The story is told from two perspectives, a murder investigation with DI Nicola Tanner and the eclectic group of addicts, both very different viewpoints but they morph together well and because of this following the murder investigation in real time is a delight.

As I mentioned above the start is complex and because of it the first few chapters are a little slow but once things start to fall in place there’s no holding this story back! Plotting is strong and the slow release of information from the Monday night group brilliant. The balance between giving away too much or too little has never been a problem for Mark in any of his books and once again he’s hit the nail on the head with this one.

The characters are powerful, their backstories enlightening and for the first time in quite a while no one completely stole the show for me which is quite unusual. You’ll suspect everyone at one stage, it’ll take a while before you know who’s been murdered and even longer for it to all make sense but make sense it does. I’d like to see Nicola Tanner developed at a future date but for Die of Shame she works very well.

A fascinating read with powerful stories of addiction yet at the same time, a yin to the yang I guess, weakness is as an overriding and invisible force throughout and something that everyone in the group has in possesses. Another great read from Mr Billingham.

  • Hardcover:448 pages
  • Publisher:Little, Brown (5 May 2016)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1408704838
  • ISBN-13:978-1408704837
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A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 14

A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 14

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.

Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve.

All in the name of the Dead King.

Magnificent, magisterial and masterful – three words that could easily describe both John Connolly’s writing and his creation Charlie Parker. It’s great to have Charlie Parker back, life certainly wouldn’t be the same without an adventure from the private detective, a private detective who’s baggage increases with each outing. There’s no shortage of depth in this novel either, thanks mainly to Parker. It’s the depth of his character that’s so good, Connolly effortlessly allowing the reader an insight into his feelings and an opportunity to share his immeasurable pain born from past experiences.

There’s very little to say that hasn’t been said in the past but John Connolly improves with each novel, there’s no fear of an author resting on his laurels here, Connolly knows what works and sticks with the format time after time but like a good bottle of wine, with maturity comes excellence.

Charlie Parker is one of those characters you’d want on your side. Imagine the scene in school as a kid, you’re faced with a decision that could affect the rest of your days in school, the dreaded pick your team scenario. With Parker it’s a case of do I pick him first or second, Jack Reacher or Charlie Parker (two very different protagonists), two veritable champions, because there’s never the option of not choosing him! Not having him on your team would be a huge mistake and many a bad person have paid the price in the past and will no doubt suffer in the future!

The narrative is as strong as ever and the plotting is both complex and inspired, how Connolly brings this together in the end is crazy! Amazing writing. The tempo increases towards the end of the book, so much so that you feel as if you’re holding your breath on numerous occasions. There are a few shocks in store, Connolly is never one to shy away from violence and there’s definitely no shortage of that in A Time of Torment, this is in parts quite brutal!

Characterisation is good and we get to have another outing with Angel and Louis, two great characters that were introduced to us in Every Dead Thing in 1999, the year that Charlie Parker himself, a former NYPD detective, was introduced to the world. The sidekicks are great value and the books would certainly be lighter without the duo creating havoc and mayhem. Don’t worry, there’s more than enough bad guys to satisfy all readers here!

Another wonderful read, A Time of Torment stands alone well but as with any long standing series, the more you’ve read the more you take from the books. So get reading the back catalogue, you won’t be sorry! Bravo Mr Connolly!

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 April 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444751573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444751574
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The Promise (DC Goodhew 6) by Alison Bruce

The Promise (DC Goodhew 6) by Alison Bruce

In a single night, Kyle Davidson’s life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk.

His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Davidson has a choice to make.

Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation – but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn.

Suddenly the Cambridge back streets hold deadly secrets for Goodhew and the only person who has the answers is planning one final, desperate act.

Alison Bruce is back, or rather I should say Cambridge’s favourite son DC Gary Goodhew is back, finally returning to duty after a prolonged absence.

In The Promise Alison’s writing is as sharp as ever, her storytelling is well developed and plotted magnificently, something you take for granted now in a series that has solidified her reputation in the crime fiction world. Cambridge once again comes to life with her enthusiastic narrative. I always enjoy reading these books for I feel as if I get to know a little more of Cambridge with each novel. I’ve never been to Cambridge but with every Bruce novel I do feel as if I now know it like the back of my hand! Kudos to the writer for allowing us in to her Cambridge.

The book starts off with quite the shock, for me at least, I really hadn’t expected it for the author kills off a character I was very sorry to see go. You know you’re hooked when, with each turn of the page, something or someone is going to say “fooled you” he’s not really dead, I just wanted to read your reaction” but alas the character, and one of my favourites of past stories has been killed off. I won’t spoil it and say who it is, you’ll find out for yourselves but if you’ve read the previous titles in Alison’s back catalogue then you’re in for a big surprise!

Gary Goodhew is back as I mentioned above and although it takes a little to convince himself to return to work he does so despite his lengthy recuperation. The gang are back together, Marks is on the verge of retiring, Sue Gully is poking her nose into an old case that has a direct connection with Gary and Kincaide’s relationship with Gary show no signs of improving any time soon! Let’s face it they are never going to be best mates are they. If this series had been set in the Wild West I’m sure one High Noon scene would have ended it once and for all!

That’s the thing with Alison’s books, without fail they’ve made me angry! I should actually explain myself! It’s Gary’s relationship or lack thereof with Kincaide that always riles me! I’m always on Gary’s side but whenever Kincaide begins to crank up the insults and put downs I get slightly annoyed! I know I shouldn’t but that’s the thing with this series and this writer, you connect with the characters and you feel as if you have a vested interest into their lives.

A serial killer is on the loose in Cambridge and Goodhew is determined to solve the riddle. Only time will tell if he does but let’s face it there’s a very good chance he will! Another cracking read, Bruce continues to go from strength to strength, as does Gary’s character but I’ll sign off this review in the hope that one day soon Gary will get the opportunity to deck Kincaide. We all live in hope!! If you haven’t had the chance to read the back catalogue then I urge you to do so, Cambridge wouldn’t be the same without Goodhew and Bruce!

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Constable (4th Feb. 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1472112261

ISBN-13: 978-1472112262

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Thin Ice (Gunnhildur Mystery)

Thin Ice (Gunnhildur Mystery)

Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter…

When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik’s premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.

Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.

Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages..

The following is an extract from Quentin’s Thin Ice

Tinna Lind lifted herself up and crossed her legs again, letting her hair fall about her shoulders before roughly bunching it into a bun behind her head.

‘I have a proposition for you.’
‘You want to have my babies and live happily ever after?’
‘That might come later, who knows?’ she said, and her voice

dropped. She reached out and walked her fingers up Magni’s chest, ending up with one finger on his chin. ‘How much money does your friend in the bridal suite have?’

‘Something around two hundred thousand euros, I think,’ he an- swered and found himself becoming slightly breathless at the thought.

She leaned forward and looked into his eyes.

‘So how about you and me? We ease your friend out of the part- nership, drop him somewhere with a long walk to civilization, then we drop my mother next at a bus stop somewhere.’

‘And?’ Magni’s mouth was dry.

‘And we disappear. Just like you and Össur were going to do. Think about it. We could live well with that much money if we could get to somewhere warm.’

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Where I work by Rachel Abbott

On February 27, 2016, in Article, Author, Books, Fiction, by Milo

I am lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of world – Alderney, in the Channel Islands – and in a stunning property, a restored Victorian fort. I only live in one part of it as it’s divided into a number of apartments, but it is unique and has great character.

Apart from the magnificent building, the views themselves are breathtaking, and my sitting room and bedroom both look out over a beautiful bay. I am able to watch the sea and all its moods, from a calm, limpid blue, to a maelstrom of white-crested waves crashing onto the rocks below my window.

Alderney Bay

Alderney Bay

I used to work in my sitting room, but then a room adjoining the apartment became available and we had it gutted and refurbished so it makes a fabulous office, separate from, but adjoining my home.

The image below shows the entrance to my apartment on the left, but the door straight ahead at the bottom of the stairs leads into my office. It couldn’t be more perfect.

The Courtyard

The Courtyard

Inside the office it’s a bit shambolic at the moment. There is just so much to do as we prepare for the launch of Kill Me Again. I would prefer to show a photo from the opposite end of the room, because then you would see all the lovely bookcases. But sadly you would also see all the cardboard boxes waiting to go to recycling, and the pile of stuff that has to be started once my book launch is complete. I tend to just keep copies of my own books in the office so they’re accessible if we need to send any out. And I have a full selection of all the foreign language translations too – I love seeing them on the shelves.

The Terrace

The Terrace

I have two homes – although I am in Alderney for most of the time, we also have a small farmhouse in the Le Marche region of Italy onto the courtyard.

For about two months of each year, I take myself off to Italy, where I continue to write, but usually on the terrace of our home there. My days in Italy are less strict. I still get up at around 7, but take more time over breakfast and often take a nap in a hammock after lunch. Despite working fewer hours when I’m there, I am actually very productive.

It’s peaceful, and life is slightly less frenetic than it is here in Alderney, where – despite its size – there is a huge amount going on. In Italy, we tend to go out for the occasional meal, or invite friends round, but for the most part we just relax and enjoy it. There seems to be something about sitting looking out at the view that inspires me to write, and it is there that I wrote my first novel – Only the Innocent – so it’s special from that point of view.

I consider myself to be very luck to have such lovely places to work, and I’m sure they contribute to any inspiration that I may have.

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