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When strange things happen in your back garden

Know Your Rites Book Cover Know Your Rites
Inspector Paris #2
Andy Redsmith
crime fiction, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy
Canelo
Pub Date 22 Aug 2019

Inspector Nick Paris is back in this magical crime mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch. Inspector Nick Paris, now also known as 'the one who stopped the demons', has become an unlikely celebrity in the magical world. He is desperate to return to tackling more ordinary crimes on his home turf of Manchester. However, the fates aren’t in his favour when he is called upon again by his more unusual police colleagues to solve a gruesome killing. The only suspect is a dwarf trying to make it in the rap business. But are there more mysterious matters afoot? Paris is thrust back into the world of magic and murder – but who will face the music?

Inspector Paris is back with the strange collection of friends and foes in this second of the great series set in Manchester.

We have ogres, warlocks, fairies, dwarves, elves, and the small stone child (read and see who I mean).

I thought that this book was not quite as original as book 1 as we had met all the characters before, but there were some excellent lines of text. eg ‘What makes sense depends on how you look at it’; ‘Persuasion, ..that’s one way of describing Ug the Ogre dangling Orin upside down above the station cesspit’; ‘bonetti’s heart was in the right place. even if his brain was nowhere to be found’.

I also liked the espionage cats and the rapping dwarf. Great ideas.

So overall a fun read with giggles.

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Up high you go..

Elevator Pitch Book Cover Elevator Pitch
by Linwood Barclay
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
HQ
Pub Date 05 Sep 2019

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets. Right to the bottom of the shaft. It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos. Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered. Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . . Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

This was a great read and I never guessed the villain of the piece! Which is always the start of a good review from me.

It was well written with characters you loved to hate as well as those you felt some empathy for; and enough central characters to confuse you.

There was the Mayor; his son; his two aides; the journalist; her daughter; and two cops to keep you interested. Their actions and interactions and links proved fascinating and often unexpected which keep the story moving along at quite a fast pace.

Ps Saudi Arabia is currently going for the building height record – the Jeddah Tower opening in 2020 will be 3,280 foot high.

Currently, Burjkhalifa in Dubai is the highest at 2.722 feet.

The New York Trade Center for comparison is 1,776 feet.

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Be careful in vineyards

October Man Book Cover October Man
Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovitch
crime fiction, mystery, thriller, Greeks, and Romans,Urban fantasy
Gollancz
| 13 Jun 2019

Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany's oldest city. So when a man is found dead with, his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.

Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.

Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he's quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men - and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great solving the case may mean unearthing the city's secret magical history.

. . . so long as that history doesn't kill them first.

This book takes us away from the usual London magic haunt and Peter to Germany and a new character who was apprenticed to a Mistress Practitioner of Magic – in the police of course.

Germany suffered badly after the war and its initial need for practitioners was to eradicate the werewolves, it was only once that task had been completed that it was possible to look at the strange occurrences from a policing viewpoint. But as in Britain, the official practitioners had been decimated by the magical battles and ‘magic ‘ police were still learning and had not yet linked up with the more established London police.

Nonetheless, it was rivers and their goddesses that were causing issues. Or perhaps one could say more accurately the lack of such goddesses and their worship.  Especially as some rivers had ‘birthed’ baby goddesses, who being toddlers really had little control of their powers. So we get wine growing, rivers and some very strange deaths and perhaps a new apprentice.

Nice but not quite as original and atmospheric as the London stories.

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Missing corpses? oops

The Corpse Wore Stilettos Book Cover The Corpse Wore Stilettos
MJ O'Neill
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
BooksGoSocial/ Red Adept Publishing
30 Apr 2019

SHE WORE A DONNA KARAN MARKED FOR REPOSSESSION Since Kat Waters’s father took a trip to the slammer on what she’s sure are trumped-up racketeering charges, life’s been tough. All their assets are frozen, and she’s down to the last few pairs of Jimmy Choos she can swap for rent. To keep her family out of the homeless shelter, the former socialite took a job at the local morgue—a job she’s about to lose when the body of a murder victim goes missing on her watch.  HE WORE A CAPTIVATING SMILE While Kat’s processing the latest victim in the prostitute serial killings, ex-Special Forces soldier Burns McPhee strolls in with an air of confidence, expecting access to the Jane Doe. While Burns tries to flirt his way into examining the latest victim, whom he thinks is connected to the death of his best friend, someone else steals the body right out from under them. THE CORPSE WORE STILETTOS Dodging questions from the cops and kidnapping attempts from a body-snatching psycho, Kat and Burns forge a deal. He’ll clear her name and keep her safe if she gets him information on her peculiar coworkers, one of whom he’s certain is involved with the body heist. But digging up secrets can lead to a lower life expectancy. The unlikely team will need all their talents not to end up as the morgue’s next clients while they hunt for a murderer, the missing corpse, and a pair of diamond-studded stilettos.

In any group there are a number of roles that are played according to this story: The ‘leader’; the ‘cheer leader’; the ‘martyr’; the ‘historian; and the ‘information broker’. And when a newly employed assistant in the County morgue has a corpse disappear on her, then these roles are played by the people she co-opts in her search to discover who the corpse was, and who stole her from the morgue.

There were a couple of clues that I thought was not followed up enough – firstly the stilettos themselves – our heroine identifies them as high end designer wear when she first sees the corpse and then this is ignored in the description that was later given as a reason the dead girl was un likely to be a prostitute. Secondly her jewellery was taken off in the morgue and included a solid gold cross which was put into the evidence locker. Again this was not mentioned again in the story.

So Kat really needed to read in more depth her ‘PI for Dummies’ book..

I liked Kat though as a character and her habit of spouting odd facts and her inability to make decisions without lists and decision trees; her issues within social situations; and her general lack of self-worth. I also liked the other characters in this book – DC – the Cheer Leader and wearer of odd outfits; Marshall being suitably creepy; and Burns the enigmatic one.

I’m interested to see where this series goes from  here.

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Not the tourist view

The Body in the Mist Book Cover The Body in the Mist
DCI Craig Gillard #3
Nick Louth
crime, murder, mystery
Canelo
20 May 2019
kindle

A brutal murder hints at a terrifying mystery, and this time it’s personal.

A body is found on a quiet lane in Exmoor, victim of a hit and run. He has no ID, no wallet, no phone, and – after being dragged along the road – no recognisable face.

Meanwhile, fresh from his last case, DCI Craig Gillard is unexpectedly called away to Devon on family business.

Gillard is soon embroiled when the car in question is traced to his aunt. As he delves deeper, a dark mystery reveals itself, haunted by family secrets, with repercussions Gillard could never have imagined.

The past has never been deadlier.

From master storyteller Nick Louth comes the third installment in the DCI Craig Gillard series. Compelling, fast-paced and endlessly enjoyable, The Body in the Mist is a triumph, perfect for fans of Robert Bryndza, Angela Marsons and Faith Martin

Nick Louth is really getting better – this is best book yet.

The story starts slowly, sedately, lulling you into thinking that you know the storyline, but you don’t.

As the story progresses shocking and unexpected revelations take it to a different and very dark level.  This is dark coasts and moors and hills where nasty things happen in the farm woodsheds… And then there is the final page!

The novel is well crafted with logical, if shocking, outcomes that take the story into just what happens in these lonely places, where families have lived a hard scrapple life for many generations, and the neighbours are far away and likely to be feuding. The weather is stormy and dank and cold, and the sun is fleeting and miserly. Not the nice tourist image at all.

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