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Shorn of their trees – an environmental disaster






Gray Mountain Book Cover




Gray Mountain





John Grisham





crime, thriller, mytsery, legal




Hodder Paperbacks; 01 edition (2 July 2015)



Donovan Gray is ruthless and fearless. Just the kind of lawyer you need, deep in small-town Appalachia.

Samantha Kofer is a world away from her former life at New York's biggest law firm. If she is going to survive in coal country, she needs to start learning fast.

Because as Donovan knows only too well, the mountains have their own laws. And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line . .

A very apposite read as Trump trumpets about jobs for Coal – Make Coal Great Again! Which is the last thing of course that environmentalists want to happen, especially if retrieving that said coal means strip mining off forests and taking the top of mountains!

Coal is one of the worst air pollutants (see London Smog) and burning it and mining it is a sure way to ill-health and eventually death for the miner – my husband’s grandfather was a coal-miner.

The lack of legislation still, in the US, about health insurance, working conditions and environmental responsibilities makes me very glad I don’t live there. And this novel is a telling tale that reminds us why not to go and live in the Appalachians.

So not a fun read, but a worthy read and one that reminds us that the technological revolution has brought misery to many as well as life improvements to others, and that we humans are raping our planet’s riches and destroying our life giving eco-systems.

Rant over.

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What is a Forensic Archaeologist to do?

The Crossing Places Book Cover The Crossing Places
Dr Ruth Galloway 10 books, 11th coming out soon
Elly Griffiths
Fiction, thrillers, mystery,
Houghton Mifflin
2009
303

Summoned by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson to help the investigation of bones found near England's Saltmarsh region, archaeologist Ruth Galloway discovers that the remains are bizarrely linked to a case involving a disturbed anonymous letter-writer and a missing child.

It seems  that her job is to solve murders – both new and ancient, and those somewhere in between. 

I confess, I read every book in this series without a break. 

i got fascinated by Ruth Galloway, Dr. And kept wanting more. I wanted more of her expertise in solving murders, old and new; and more of her daughter; and more of her romances; especially with her daughter’s father, but we are cleverly always on the hook about that one!

For me though, there was one problem. reading the books in a series burst, the style and content of the writing become very obvious, and I felt that the latter stories from around book 6 onwards, were getting thinner. 
There was less forensic archaeology and more ‘soap’ – more people relationships and less crime if you like and for me that let them down.

They are still good stories and I love the landscape in which they are set. I have visited this area quite a few times and the bird sanctuaries and have even been to a seal birthing site – a little way up the coast which is very like that one described except that you can very close to the babies – behind a wire fence – and they are very curious and come right up to you, and are cute beyond belief!

A Norfolk Seal Baby

So overall, I liked the books and was happy to pay for them, and will certainly continue to read this series in the future, but I need a change now after 10 books!  Oh, and PS, the wooden henge is real – I’ve seen it…

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The truth is not always so straight forward








All the Hidden Truths





Claire Askew





Adult, Psychological Thriller, crime, women's fiction




Hodder Paperbacks




(2 May 2019)



n the aftermath of a tragedy, the world needs an explanation.

In Edinburgh, after the Three Rivers College shooting, some things are clear.

They know who. They know when.

No one can say why.

For three women the lack of answers is unbearable: DI Helen Birch, the detective charged with solving the case. Ishbel, the mother of the first victim, struggling to cope with her grief. And Moira, mother of the killer, who needs to understand what happened to her son.

But as people search for someone to blame, the truth seems to vanish...

This is a police procedural with a difference set in Edinburgh.

That the author knows the city well is evident but she is/was a writer in residence at the uni there, so not surprising that she set her debut novel there.

The author’s voice is clear and well styled but I did initially find the the way the story was et out into different people and time lines confusing. But then I ‘got it’ and was able to manage and found it interesting stylistically.

I thought there were some nice reader questions that came through when reading the sections, for instance ‘What is she hiding?’; ‘Did she know?’; ‘Why did he do it?’; which kept you reading as you wanted to know the answers. And it follows a story that we are finding the truths hard to stomach – why do young people want to shoot their peers? At least with some gun control this is curtailed but…

I thought the reflections on how difficult it is to be an outsider as a teenager were well described; and also just how hormones can deflect morals and beliefs, and thus cai=use your people to things they would not have normally considered using a rational mind and thought process.

Overall a promising novelist and a series to follow surely.

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What lies underneath






The Dark Net Book Cover




The Dark Net





Benjamin Percy





Fiction, horror, contemporary horror, thriller, crime




Hodder & Stoughton




November 2, 2017




272



The dark net is an online shadowland for criminals to operate anonymously, but when a demonic force begins to hack the minds of its users there is nowhere left to hide. Twelve-year-old HANNAH has been fitted with a high-tech prosthetic that restores her sight, but can't understand why she can now see shadows surrounding certain people. LELA, an emotionally shut-off, technophobic journalist stumbles onto a story nobody wants her to uncover. A story someone will kill to keep hidden. A former evangelist, MIKE, suffers demons - figurative and literal - and keeps an arsenal of weapons stored in the basement of the homeless shelter he runs. And DEREK is a hacker who believes himself a soldier, part of a cyber army dedicated to changing the world for the better. With the virus spreading throughout the net and an ancient evil threatening to break lose on the real world, it falls to these strangers to stop the rising darkness. THE DARK NET is a cracked-mirror version of the digital nightmare we already live in, a timely and wildly imaginative techno-thriller about the evil that lurks in real and virtual spaces, and the power of a united few to fight back. **************** Praise for THE DARK NET 'THE DARK NET is a megawatt defibrillator to the reader's heart' - Dean Koontz 'An impressive, propulsive narrative velocity at work here' - Metro 'THE DARK NET kicked my ass with its deft mash-up of both blackhat hacker culture and black magic. A fast, fantastic, throat-punch of a read' - Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Blackbirds and Zer0es

A very scary read. A Stephen King for the digital age.

Now I already knew that there was a Dark Net, and I knew something about what happens there, so for me, this story just extrapolated its possibilities.

As it says: “Everything is Code”, Everyone is Code”. And just as computers and humans have viruses so in this novel they have worked out how to transfer a computer virus to a human. A dark and deadly virus. A lot of death then ensues.

I am not really a horror story person, I avoid them usually including all the post-apocalyptic stuff, but take computers and add networks and I get interested. I wouldn’t say that I loved the writing style, but the story itself was compelling in the battle between light and dark, and the premise that All Souls Day is the easiest day for Dark to escape into the world. I would have thought All Hallows Eve – the night before, but all the various religions agree that it is this time of year that the skin of the world is thinnest for things to ‘break through’ and for death to enter.

Lela as a character was interesting in a semi-disgusting way – her obsession with getting into print. But Hannah one empathises with, and her final destination is different and interesting.

 

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A Foggy Day?






The Fog Book Cover




The Fog




A Berry Springs Novel #3





Amanda McKinney





Adult, Mystery, Romance




December 4th 2018




kindle



Synopsis:

Former Marine turned ballistics expert, Wesley Cross is known around town for two things, his rugged good-looks and cocky attitude—

until he finds his ex-girlfriend lying in a puddle of blood in his basement. The scene screams setup, but the discovery of a rare gem and a puzzling autopsy suggests the murder goes much deeper than that. Wesley will do whatever it takes to clear his name, including calling in a notoriously headstrong—and sexy—scientist.

While most little girls were playing dress up, Gwyneth Reece was digging in the dirt collecting bugs. Now one of the top forensic entomologists in the country, Gwen reluctantly accepts a job from a pushy cowboy and travels to the small, Southern town of Berry Springs. Heavy storms are brewing, and when she’s forced to check into the creepiest hotel she’s ever seen, she instantly regrets her decision to help out the former Marine.

Following up on a tip, Wesley heads to the Half Moon Hotel but quickly realizes his visit was not by chance. The killer lured him there, and suddenly everyone from the uptight bellman to the wealthy couple just passing through town become suspect. Bodies begin to disappear, and Wesley knows the killer will do anything to get to him…. including hurting the woman who’s kept his head spinning since he first laid eyes on her.


 

I really wanted this book to be longer.
It was very enjoyable but slight specially on the psychological suspense which I felt could have been ramped up.
I liked Gwen and her career and reading about the work of a forensic entomologist and feel that she deserves her own series – all about her cases. But I was not that sympathetic to Wes and the gun culture that pervaded this novel. I realise that it is probably truthful to the setting but….
Although I did feel that Wes could have been explored more as a character – his angst over his past career, his nightmares etc.
Overall, I felt that the storyline skimmed lightly over areas that I would like to have heard more about to give the story more depth.
Bobbi is worth her own story too.
I haven’t read much of this author so I don’t know if this is typical of her work or if the points above have already been dealt with in previous books. It does seem from the series though, that Berry Springs is a bad place to live – nasty things keep happening…
But for me, the lack of them in this book made the story a 3.75 * (4) rather than the potential 4.5.
Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
Award-winning author of sexy murder mysteries, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Her books include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning whodunits peppered with steamy romance. Amanda is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs. Visit her website atwww.amandamckinneyauthor.com
Author links:

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