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Enter the Author as Detective

The Sentence is Death
Detective Daniel Hawthorne 2
Anthony Horowitz
crime fiction, thriller, suspense,
Century
November 29, 2018
400

This is the first of Anthony Horowitz’s novels about detectives that I’ve read. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The concept of putting the real author into imaginary scenes, some of which are based on semi-fact, and including autobiographical details was fascinating. And made the whole story so much more believable.

I found it however, to be slightly confusing in that it was set in 2015 but had just come out in 2018, but understood that writing about real events that happened to the author were better if viewed in the past rather than as his current life.

I am even tempted to go and see if this road and house – Heron’s Wake – do exist and look like they are described in the story. And it would be nice to find out if the production of the TV show really did have problems in London with filming, but there are limits to just how much I will do to verify authenticity. And I have been caving in the past so the descriptions of the pot holing system were very realistic for me. Confession time though. It made my fear of confined places very much worse – especially the crawling on your stomach in water aspects!

I liked the style of writing. At first read it is prosaic yet the characters, including his own as portrayed, come through clearly. the descriptions are spare but clear and sufficient and fluent.

The only criticism I have is the constant mention of the children’s series of books. OK Anthony. We know you are perhaps better known to a certain set of readers for the Alex Rider books, and perhaps you want others to know about them, but… mention once or twice but no more, please!

I did particularly like this though:

[a] good definition of creative writing is to unlock doors and take the reader through to the other side.

 

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And it comes back?

Ricochet Book Cover Ricochet
David A. Kennedy 
adult, thriller, crime
Acorn Publishing
November 6th 2018

Brenda Roseberry’s youth was fractured with personal loss and sexual assault. In response, she’s trained her body through rock climbing and Isreali martial arts. Her genius at engineering tends toward the devious: she invents technology that allows her to see through walls, along with bulletproof clothing and specialized grenades.

Brilliant, fearless, and eminently disturbed, Brenda is ultimately recruited by Special Crimes Response And Mitigation—SCRAM. And so begins her daring pursuit of white-collar crime, fringe terrorist conspiracies, and anyone deserving of her unique brand of draconian justice.

Her only real friend is a notorious MS-13 gangster named Pucaso. He’s got a crush on her but that only makes Brenda deride him and loathe herself. Still, she relies on his help, whether she’s in Belize to wipe out the server farm of a corrupt hedge fund, or on Maui to take on the poisonous executives of a giant chemical company. Brenda treats wrongdoers like insects—the kind that need extermination.

I debated about the stars ranking but in the end, I felt that it just didn’t enthuse me enough, and I won’t bother with book 2 in this series – when it comes out.

Please note that the author does climb and thus we can be fairly sure that the parts about climbing are (more or less, given artistic licence) correct. I thought that these climbing descriptions were the best part of the story. And would have liked more written about what it was like to make these climbs and the characters of the type of people who undertook extreme climbs,

This was another character set that didn’t feel quite rounded to me. I got the disturbed nature of the characters but …

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40194838-ricochet?ac=1&from_search=true

https://amzn.to/2JJX3jG

About the Author

Dave is a guidebook writer/publisher turned novelist. He began rock climbing around 1984, which was a “logical” extension of hiking, camping and backpacking since boyhood. After his first article on climbing in San Diego’s back-country was published in Rock & Ice magazine, he created the San Diego County Climbing Guide, which proved extremely popular. Next came San Diego Adventures: Classic hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. In 2007 he completed and published a second edition of the climbing guide, which vividly detailed over 2,000 routes.

Subsequently, he embarked on a fiction-writing odyssey, producing sci-fi novels and short stories “rather unsuccessfully” in terms of publication. He finally found his proper voice in 2017 when he wrote Ricochet, an intense modern-day thriller about a young female vigilante. Upon its completion, he learned about Acorn Publishing while attending the 2018 Southern California Writers’ Conference and was signed by them shortly thereafter.

David is also an accomplished horticulturist. He became interested in tropical plants called Bromeliads in 2010, which quickly turned into a passion. He is an active member of the San Diego Bromeliad Society, and has won “Best of Show” awards in their annual show multiple times. His Tillandsia collection is considered one of the best in the region. For many years he and his wife Debbie have been chief volunteer caretakers of the San Diego Zoo’s Kent Bromeliad Garden.

Becoming a novelist is the realization of a lifelong dream. David loves the process of storytelling, of waking up each day well before dawn and diving into the art of making words come together in a way that appeals.

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And the Truth is?

Where the Truth Lies Book Cover Where the Truth Lies
DI Ridpath #1
M J Lee
crime fiction
Canelo
22nd October 2018

A killer in total control. A detective on the edge. A mystery that HAS to be solved.

DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising young detective whose first case involved capturing a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then people start dying: tortured, murdered, in an uncanny echo of Ridpath’s first case.

As the investigation intensifies, old bodies go missing, records can’t be found and the murder count grows. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, digging up skeletons some would rather forget, Ridpath is caught in a race against time: a race to save his career, his marriage… And lives.

When a detective goes missing everything is on the line. Can Ridpath close the case and save his colleague?

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a nail-biting crime thriller, full of breathtaking twists and turns in this fast-paced and extraordinarily original novel. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Faith Martin

 

‘We seek evidence, it’s all that counts. The truth always lies. Only evidence is clear. Pure, unadulterated evidence.’

This is the quote that is at the heart of this book. It is used to explain the difference between the police and how they find a criminal and bring him/her to court, and the Coroner’s office and their investigations. In the Coroner’s office, they look for the truth. The truth of how a person died. How they died and where. And sometimes, they also look for who might have committed a crime – if what they find out indicates it.

So sometimes, the police use evidence to put someone in prison for a crime they did not commit but the evidence is there for the court- or sometimes it is put there.

In this story, the evidence is manipulated it appears as one body is lost and others are found.

I really liked this story and the way it was told. I felt I could understand the motives of the Coroner and Tom and his wife. This is crime writing at its best.

About the Author

M J Lee has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a university researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.

He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the north of England, in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning advertising awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and the United Nations.

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When the truth is not what you knew

Everything is Lies Book Cover Everything is Lies
Helen Callaghan
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
2018-09
400

Sophia's parents have lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she's always believed. Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find her mother hanging from a tree in the garden. Her father lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death. The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn't a killer. To clear her mother's name Sophia needs to delve deep into her family's past - a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .

An architect, Sophia,  goes home only to find that everything that she thought she knew about her parents was untrue. It all comes out when she discovers her parents dead at their small nursery garden – only her father survives the stabbing. the police believe that it had been an attempt at a joint suicide, or that her mother had attempted to kill her father and then hung herself in remorse. neither scenario makes sense.

This follows a series of break-ins at the nursery – which seems odd as it was small and not doing well and thus would have little to offer a would-be burglar. perhaps there was another reason for he crime?

Sophia then meets her estranged grandmother and things begin to change, and the mystery deepens as a lost manuscript that her mother was apparently writing, comes into play.

A good suspense story with Sophia gradually discovering the truth about her parents’ lives and her own family. nicely written with the plot becoming more tense as Sophia finds out more.

 

 

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Using Magic in the PI business

Witch is When it all Began Book Cover Witch is When it all Began
A Witch P.I. Mystery #1
Adele Abbott
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, PI, Witchcraft, Humour
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(24 Aug. 2015)

What would you do if you discovered you were a witch?

That's exactly what happens to Private investigator, Jill Gooder. And as if that wasn't enough, she has a serial killer to catch. More magic, mystery and laughs than you can shake a stick at.

This is crime cozy when Jill finds out, rather late in life, that she is actually a witch. Her magic had been blocked at birth and thus she had never known her family, even her real mother, yet alone the magic town – just over the horizon and in another dimension, in which they all lived.

A nice story.

And there is a rather nice cop involved with her in her human PI life.

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