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Look after your precious

Keep Her Close Book Cover Keep Her Close
MJ Ford
crime fiction, police procedurals, female sleuths
Avon Books
March 7th 2019

When a young woman goes missing from Jesus College, Oxford, DS Josie Masters is plunged into a world of panic as fear grips the city. Along with Thames Valley Police’s newest recruit, the handsome DS Pryce, Josie must act fast – and when two more students disappear from Oriel and Somerville colleges, she realises the killer is sending her a deadly message in a cruel game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?

In a desperate race against the clock, Josie hunts for the kidnapper, and soon discovers he could be a lot closer to home than she’d ever thought…

A British police procedural set in Oxford and its dreaming spires. The previous book explains why the lead female detective has PTSD but this one can be read as a stand-alone as enough of the back story is given. I have not read the previous book.

I found the story interesting and compelling reading and the characters involved were complex enough that I never guessed who the villain was, let alone why, although the clues were there.

A good tone of voice by the author made this reading easy enough to follow and to be interested in the characters. I enjoyed this book.

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The Sea is no-one’s friend

Cold Bones Book Cover Cold Bones
DS McAvoy #8
David Mark
police procedurals, murder, mystery, thriller
Mulholland Books
January 24, 2019
368

It's the coldest winter in Hull for years. When McAvoy is told by a concerned stranger that an elderly woman hasn't been seen for a few days, he goes to check on her - only to find her in the bath, encased in ice: the heating off; the windows open; the whole house frozen over. It could be a macabre accident, but when McAvoy finds a series of cryptic messages, he senses murder. Someone watched her die. As he starts to uncover the victim's story and her connections to a lost fishing trawler, his boss Trish is half a world away, investigating a mysterious death in Iceland. Hull and Iceland have traditionally been united by fishing -in this case, they are linked by a secret concealed for half a century, and a series of brutal killings that have never been connected. Until now - when the secrets of the dead have returned to prey on the living.

This is a haunting story that disturbs the emotions and emphasises the problems that a toxic masculine culture brings upon a community. Where fists are tools of the trade and used with abandon.

It is a tale of revenge and punishment in a fishing town, by fishermen and their relatives, that is carried to extremes by a belief in the righteousness of violence being the answer.

At times I found the story confusing, especially the opening scenes, as the various characters take their parts and lie with abandon.

But take heart any reader, all is explained in the end – and the very culture that spawned this way of dealing with life is now much more rare as certainly the fishing industry in Hull, and towns like it, is diminished, on a larger scale of boats (and thus less of a tight grouping of men), and more automated.

I might have understood a little better if I had read previous novels in the series.

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When you need to be vigilant

Vigilante Dead
A Kate Jones Thriller: Volume #8
DV Berkom
Thriller, Detective, Crime, Female Sleuth
Duct Tape Press
(26 Nov. 2016)

Death. Lies. Revenge.After years of running, Kate Jones is finally putting her past behind her. Between restoring ties with her younger sister, moving in with Sam, a cop-turned PI, and working as a PI herself, she's learning to live life without looking over her shoulder.Then Kate lands a case that changes everything: a young college student with no history of drug abuse dies of an overdose, and the parents come to Kate demanding answers. Soon, Seattle is reeling from dozens more deaths, all with the same chemical markers. At first, police assume that the victims are closet junkies who got a hold of a bad combination, but after someone close to her becomes a victim, Kate believes something far more sinister is going on.The deeper Kate digs, the more she uncovers about the deadly drug’s origins, forcing her to choose between doing what’s right… and getting revenge

I read ‘Bad Spirits’ (book #1 in this series) some time ago and meant to follow it up but didn’t. I just may have read the last book in the series and missed all the ones in between… but still, DV Berkom hasn’t disappointed.

 And I could follow enough of the series’ storyline for this book to stand alone.

Kate thinks she has finally left her nemesis behind and is free of being hunted, but by deciding to interfere in a drug case, she finds more people who want her dead. The story about the drugs gets complicated as more unsuspecting people die from tainted pain killers.

A good suspense and thriller story, which doesn’t get too technical and gives some handy hints for women about self-defence.

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Clockwerk and Mapwerk?






The Watchmaker's Daughter Book Cover




The Watchmaker's Daughter




Glass and Steele #1/#2





C.J. Archer





Historical Crime, Thrillers & Mystery,  Romance, Fantasy




C.J. Archer




June 28, 2016




380



DESCRIPTION India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who'll accept her - an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he's ill. Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won't tell India why any old one won't do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London's best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she's certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she'll find herself unemployed and homeless again - and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life. With a cast of quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and a dash of romance, THE WATCHMAKER'S DAUGHTER is the start of a thrilling new historical fantasy series from the author of the bestselling Ministry of Curiosities, Freak House, and Emily Chambers Spirit Medium books. KEYWORDS: historical mystery, historical fantasy, victorian era, victorian fantasy, steampunk, historical romance, paranormal romance, romantic fantasy, paranormal fantasy, magic, fantasy mystery, wild west, oulaws, victorian romance, alternate reality, magical realism

The Watchmaker’s Daughter/The Map Maker’s Apprentice

Part of the Glass and Steele series #1 and #2

I initially thought that these were Clockwerk Urban/Steampunk novels but realised soon that we were actually talking about the alternate Victorian London where there was magic. So I was slightly disappointed at beginning.

But …. then I liked the stories in these 2 books but agree with some reviewers that the language used was not typical English Victorian, but this didn’t bother me as this was not ‘our’ Victorian world after all.

We did see the typical prejudice of the time against women played out well and hidden beneath it, we finally discover, is the prejudice against craftsmen who have a different and rather special skill – magic.

Book #1 was rather slow at times but I did buy the follow on book – however,  found myself not bothered enough to read any more of this series.  Book 1 was better than book 2 in my opinion. Book 2 was repetitive of book 1 and the theme not as strong.

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Taken for an unusual reason

The Taken Girls Book Cover The Taken Girls
GD Sanders
Thrillers, Crime, British Detective, Police Procedural
Avon; Digital original edition
(21 Feb. 2019)

Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?

This is a solid police procedural with the frustrations of modern policing and the requirements for solid evidence well portrayed. Not to mention the fact that the senior officers want good press coverage even when what you have is more speculative than fact and contradicts the above …
I found this new DI (a debut novel) to be a believable character – and fallible too, and was intrigued by the perpetrator and motives.
This is a series I think that will develop well and I look forward to reading more.

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