The escape that wasn’t?

The Convenient Escape Book Cover The Convenient Escape
Robert Downs
crime, private investigators
Black Opal Books
November 12, 2016

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her. Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won't last...

A mysterious girl and a drunk PI, but the girl has all the moves and kidnaps the PI.

They went to the same High School in small town USA and the girl studied to become an accountant, which is where her life went wrong.

So just whose accounts did she know too much about? And where has she stashed the incriminating evidence? Or has she?

Not quite as original as the beginning would indicate. But some solid story telling.

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What was that word again?

The Word Is Murder Book Cover The Word Is Murder
Anthony Horowitz
thriller, suspense, Sherlock Holmes, psychological
Century
August 24, 2017
416

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she's arranged her own funeral. A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own. A reluctant author drawn into a story he can't control. What do they have in common? Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's page-turning new thriller. SPREAD THE WORD. THE WORD IS MURDER.

About 60% of the way through Horowitz announces he knows who the murderer is and why. But I’d already thought about that solution – and dismissed it. Certainly I agreed with his reason, but not the identity. And guess what – the solution was not what he thought.

Now this may seem a strange way of starting a review – isn’t Horowitz the author? So how can he be working out the who the killer is? He must know surely.

Well this story is told autobiographically where Horowitz the author plays Horowitz the story participant.

Which was a very interesting concept of telling a pseudo PI/Sherlock Holmes story.

For me it was refreshing and original.

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When defending your blood

Blood Defense Book Cover Blood Defense
Samantha Brinkman #1
Marcia Clark
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
Thomas & Mercer
(1 May 2016)

First in a new series from bestselling author and famed O. J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark, a “terrific writer and storyteller” (James Patterson).

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Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.

Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.

Choices.

What do you do when you are a defence lawyer and won’t work for the Public Defender’s Office? Probably take whatever cases come your way? even when the client is a little or even extremely dodgy.

And you need to make your name so that higher paying cases come your way? Then a high profile case will be good for you – won’t it?

This was the first book I have read by this author and I liked her style. It is written in the first person, with enough dysfunction in the lawyer to enable her to make some really poor life choices, but yet still manage to win her cases. and there are very few indeed physical punch-ups. Her legal morals might well be a little on the shady side if her client benefits but unless she is caught activiely trangressing then it’s all good.

I liked the writing characterisation but found the secondary characters a little thin. Especially her associates.

I am however, very concerned about Sam’s health. She drinks a lot of tequila. Far too much coffee and other caffeine drinks. Enormous amounts of sugar and no vegetables or fruit that I can discern – just high fat and fried food. I am expecting one of the later books in the series to have her in hospital when her liver/kidneys or heart have given out!

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Who get punished?

Unpunished Book Cover Unpunished
Gardiner and Renner Thrillers #3?
Lisa Black
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Police procedurals
Kensington
Jan 2017

Maggie Gardiner, a forensic expert who studies the dead, and Jack Renner, a homicide cop who stalks the living, form an uneasy partnership to solve a series of murders in this powerful new thriller by the bestselling author of That Darkness.

It begins with the kind of bizarre death that makes headlines—literally. A copy editor at the Cleveland Herald is found hanging above the grinding wheels of the newspaper assembly line, a wide strap wrapped around his throat. Forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner has her suspicions about this apparent suicide inside the tsunami of tensions that is the news industry today—and when the evidence suggests murder, Maggie has no choice but to place her trust in the one person she doesn’t trust at all . . .

Jack Renner is a killer with a conscience, a vigilante with his own code of honor. In the past, Jack has used his skills and connections as a homicide detective to take the law into his own hands, all in the name of justice. He has only one problem: Maggie knows his secret. She insists he enforce the law, not subvert it. But when more newspaper employees are slain, Jack may be the only person who can help Maggie unmask the killer-- even if Jack is still checking names off his own private murder list.detective

This story is centred around a forensic examiner who is as nosy as they all seem to be. She (as they tend to be in this genre) is never happy with the easy answer and always finds extra clues.

That said, I really enjoyed this novel. I had not read the previous books about this forensic/detective/killer combination and as a fan of the TV series ‘Dexter’ I was hooked by Renner.

I found both characters believable and the writing had me guessing the ending wrongly – so good for Lisa!

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Where to find a body?

The Body in the Marsh Book Cover The Body in the Marsh
DCI Craig Gillard
Nick Louth
mystery, suspense, crime,
Canelo
(25 Sept. 2017)
Kindle

When a woman goes missing, it gets personal for DCI Craig Gillard. But he could never imagine what happens next.

Criminologist Martin Knight lives a gilded life and is a thorn in the side of the police. But then his wife Liz goes missing. There is no good explanation and no sign of Martin…

To make things worse, Liz is the ex-girlfriend of DCI Craig Gillard who is drawn into the investigation. Is it just a missing person or something worse? And what relevance do the events around the shocking Girl F case, so taken up by Knight, have to do with the present?

The truth is darker than you could ever have imagined.

A gripping novel that I couldn’t put down – until I guessed the ending about 3/4 of the way through. Shame, otherwise it would have been a 5 not a 4.

Still, if you like a UK police/detective novel, this one is for you. The ending should be a surprise (and rather gruesome at that) for many but there are clues in there – if you know something about chess….

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