Watching who? And Who is watching?

Watching You Book Cover Watching You
Lisa Jewell
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Cornerstone Digital
(12 July 2018)

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.

That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you.

 

I was going to save this book for my hospital night-time sleeplessness – coming soon – but I couldn’t resist it. One of my favourite authors.

And in my opinion, her best novel yet.

Everyone is watching everyone else, and with good cause it turns out. But not always for the reason you originally thought! The plot twists enough times for all your assumptions to be turned upside down more than once.

I did make one correct guess about who had opened the photos but not why, or what they thought they were seeing!

Well plotted, with plenty of potential endings in the style of Agatha Christie. And stylistically concise and unsentimental with clean prose.

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The Sniper

London Carter Book Cover London Carter
London carter
BJ Bourg
hard-boiled, romantic suspense
Kindle

JAMES 516 (2016 EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Mystery)

Could a deep and dark secret be behind the sniper-style killing of a sheriff’s office captain, or is it simply the work of a madman with a rifle? Whatever the case, the killer is taunting the cops with a mysterious message, and Police Sniper London Carter is determined to decipher the message and capture the murderer.

Will London solve the mystery in time, or will more officers die before he can bring the killer to justice?

PROVING GROUNDS

When the sniper-style murder of an alligator poacher puts two rival families on edge, Police Sniper London Carter and Detective Sergeant Dawn Luke join forces to solve the case. But they'll have their work cut out for them as the two families recruit small armies to fight each other and the FBI becomes involved in the case.

It doesn't take London long to realize they're dealing with a professional killer, but the motive for the murder is far from clear. Will he and Dawn solve the case before it's too late, or will the swamps of Louisiana run red with the blood of the rival families and the cops who are trying to stop them?

SILENT TRIGGER

Days after Police Sniper London Carter resolves a hostage situation at a local car dealership, Detective Sergeant Dawn Luke calls upon him to assist her with a mysterious death investigation. The cause of death is not obvious, but the body is found in a peculiar position and the individual is connected to the recent hostage situation, so something seems amiss.

London and Dawn end up facing numerous roadblocks in their quest for the truth--including an unidentified body, uncooperative witnesses, and a killer tornado--and through it all they start to develop feelings for each other. But the case is growing complicated and dangerous, and if they’re not careful, one of them could end up like their victim…dead and naked on a cold morgue slab.

London Carter: Yes that’s his name. Who gives a child a name that’s a city as his first name? OK, we nearly called our first child Florence as if she had been a ‘she’, she may have been conceived there but!

I tried, I really did. I like police procedurals as a norm but this one just didn’t click with me.  I guess, maybe because the hero loves his guns and I just don’t, but a different sniper would have been OK. I just didn’t take to his character, or his handling of the situations and personnel.

So no, I didn’t finish book 1 -let alone 2 or 3. And I don’t see how it got an award frankly, as I didn’t think the writing was that good, let alone the story-telling.

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Drive carefully in France

Accident on the A35 Book Cover Accident on the A35
Graeme Macrae Burnet
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Police procedurals
Contraband
2018-04
288

From the author of "His Bloody Project", shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. There does not appear to be anything remarkable about the fatal car crash on the A35. But one question dogs Inspector Georges Gorski: where has the victim, an outwardly austere lawyer, been on the night of his death? The troubled Gorski finds himself drawn into a mystery that takes him behind the respectable veneer of the sleepy French backwater of Saint-Louis. Graeme Macrae Burnet returns with a literary mystery that will beguile fans of "His Bloody Project" and "The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau". Darkly humorous, subtle and sophisticated, "The Accident on the A35" burrows deep into the psyches of its characters and explores the forgotten corners of small-town life.

This is my failing I am sure.  When I pick up a book by someone who has been given or has been shortlisted for one of the major prizes, I almost invariably don’t like it.

As with this one.

I thought it might be interesting to read a police procedural in France. just for a change. But it wasn’t. I did try – honest. But it made me yawn. I just couldn’t find the Inspector empathetic or even vaguely interesting.  No doubt too subtle and sophisticated for me. I didn’t want to waste my reading time on him. Sorry!

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The creepy man

The Smiling Man Book Cover The Smiling Man
(Aiden Waits)
Jospeh Knox
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Police Procedurals
DoubleDay
8 March 2018

Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift: an endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends.

Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to the Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city. There they find the body of a man. He is dead.

And he is smiling.

The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth have been filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life…

But even as Waits pieces together this stranger’s identity, someone is sifting through the shards of his own.

When mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats start to escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move.

And to discover who the smiling man really is, he must first confront himself.

A strange and somewhat disturbing tale of the man found in a hotel room with a smile on his face. Investigated by yet another of these dysfunctional detectives who is yet very bright and very good at finding the criminal, we find all sorts of interesting facts about this murdered man, as the story continues.

The story is dark and not uplifting but also compelling and whilst I can’t say reading it was enjoyable, I was determined to find out what had happened to the man. I did not warm to any of the characters and thus would not necessarily read more about this detective. But the story line was good as was the writing style, so I may yet be convinced by this author…

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Don’t go to Florida….

Lake Morality Book Cover Lake Morality
The Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series Book #8
Dawn Lee McKenna
Florida, crime, suspense,
Sweet Tea Press
January 28, 2018
264

People get up to all kinds of mischief out at Lake Morality.When Kristen Morgan abandoned her baby girl in a locked car, Lt. Maggie Redmond was angry. Though the baby was uninjured, things could have been much worse.When the mother¿s body is found two days later, in a lake far outside town on the road to the county prison, Maggie suddenly has more than child endangerment or a missing person on her hands.Kristen Morgan¿s family and doctor say that she was depressed and possibly not taking her medication, and that she¿d talked about suicide in the past, but Maggie and her fiancé, former Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, aren¿t convinced.When evidence of homicide surfaces, Maggie must discover who wanted a young mother dead, and why.The greatly-anticipated 8th book in the Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense series has plenty of page-turning action and suspense, along with its trademark coastal atmosphere, rich characterization and dry humor.

There are now 8 books in this series and Lake Morality is the latest.

I’m reviewing ALL 8, as I read them one after the other as I found the location really foreign and yet based in the USA, to me as a UK person, and very interesting to learn about.

The location is the Florida Panhandle, aka The Forgotten Coast. Home to locals who traditionally fished shrimp and oysters from small villages, and whose livelihood has been largely ruined by the various oil spills in this area of the coast. It sounds as unpleasant to live there as I have found the rest of Florida to be – very hot and humid most of the year, and lots of bitey insects! (I stopped counting after my bites got in the 3 figures after a week)

They are not necessarily what you might call full length as novels, but not short enough to be novellas. Long enough to develop a good story-line and come to a conclusion.

Nicely written. Gentle without being cosy but not full-on noir either.

I found the descriptions vivid and the conversations chimed with reality and the devastation of the local economy is clear but without sentimentality.

The amount of sweet tea they drink though, must surely rot their teeth!

 

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