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Why Lie? Lisa Hartley Tells the Truth

Tell No Lies Book Cover Tell No Lies
Lisa Hartley
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Canelo
19th February 2018

Now they’re coming after Caelan’s team…

A tortured body is found in a basement. Drug dealing and people smuggling is on the rise. Then police start going missing.

There seems to be no connection between the crimes, but Detective Caelan Small senses something isn’t right.

Plunged into a new investigation, lives are on the line. And in the web of gangs, brothels and nerve-shattering undercover work, Caelan must get to the truth – or be killed trying.

And then there’s Nicky...

Utterly gripping, written with searing tension and remarkable dexterity, Tell No Lies is a blistering crime novel for fans of Angela Marsons, Rebecca Bradley and Faith Martin.

An Interview with Lisa Hartley

New Book: Tell No Lies

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually have an idea at the back of my mind for a while – maybe a couple of weeks? It might be the main theme of the book, maybe part of a sub plot, or even a minor scene that will set up major events later on. I don’t really have a notebook or make a list to choose a theme from. I tend to start writing before I make any concrete decisions about topics and wait to see where the story goes.

 How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Much of the research I do for this series is based on locations, or how a character can get from one part of London to another, and how long it might take them. For this book, I spoke to my partner who grew up in one of the areas mentioned. Because I don’t really plot before I start writing, I tend to do the research as I write, and as necessary.

 What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Generally: newspaper articles, interviews. Google maps (and street view). I also use relevant books such as Blackstone’s Senior Investigating Officer’s Handbook for my series featuring CID officer. For this book: mainly Google maps, and the Transport for London website to plan Tube journeys. I also read articles about people trafficking, accounts of drug use and talktofrank.com.

 What do you read when you are ill in bed?

It would depend how ill I was feeling. Probably a book I’ve read before, so it’s familiar and a comfort. Maybe an Agatha Christie?

 What is your favourite genre?

It has to be crime, doesn’t it? But I love historical fiction too, and of course historical crime fiction…

 If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

There are loads, and more every month. Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, C.J. Sansom, Toby Clements, S.D. Sykes, Ann Cleeves, Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper, Nicci French, David Jackson, Alex Barclay, Joseph Knox, Sara Paretsky, Rachel Howzell Hall, and so many more I can’t think of at the moment. Sue Grafton and Helen Cadbury are two writers whose work I’m really going to miss.

Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

It’s probably predictable for a crime writer to say Agatha Christie, but I’m going to. The first “grown up” book I read after the Famous Five and Secret Seven was an Agatha Christie, and I’ve been hooked on the genre ever since. Christie had the knack of conjuring up a character within a few short sentences or even less, and Poirot and Miss Marple are wonderful creations. Her books are short, but if you want an easy read and a clever plot, they deliver every time.

Author Bio:
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. She is currently working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel, as well as a new series with Canelo.

Twitter: @rainedonparade

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What lies under…

What Lies Beneath Book Cover What Lies Beneath
Cassie McGraw #1
David Archer
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Lone Stone Publishing
(23 Nov. 2017)

Fresh out of high school and off to college, Cassie thought she had the world by its tail, and then she met Mike. Tall, handsome and a police detective to boot, he swept her off her feet and into a whirlwind relationship that led to an engagement ring. But things aren't always as they seem, and Cassie comes to discover that Mike has a dark side. When she learns just how dark it can be, she comes face-to-face with the greatest forward she could imagine, and it leaves her burned and scarred for the rest of her life. Cassie isn't one to wallow in misery. She takes her experiences and a degree in psychology and sets out to help other women avoid the kind of thing that happened to her, but then one of her clients comes to her in desperation. Her abusive husband has kidnapped her daughter, and it's up to Cassie to find the girl before it's too late. Of course, then the only trick is how to survive.

Here David archer tried a different format and a different type of hero – a heroine.

This is the story of Cassie who uses her dreadful injury for good.

Having been a burns victim myself, and also being female, I got Cassie but not her portrayal. for my mind, Archer cannot successfully write for a female character and certainly not her true reaction to such an injury.

Yes, she will have spent time in therapy – a year he says, physical and psychological, but I know myself, from a lesser injury that a year  is not long enough. The therapy, physical at any rate takes much longer.

I also found that he contradicts himself saying initially that they couldn’t graft and then he says that they did.

So my theory of this author stands. He can’t write a female character that I can believe in. (Nb I have read a complete series of his with a male hero).

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Whose eyes are they?

Eyes Like Mine Book Cover Eyes Like Mine
Sheena Kamal
thrillers, literary fiction
Zaffre
2017-02
400

It's late. The phone rings.
The man on the other end says his daughter is missing.
Your daughter.
The baby you gave away over fifteen years ago.
What do you do?

A gripping story that you need to read through to the end. Quickly. And an anti-heroine, who does have friends that you root for all the way and wish for her a better life than fate has given her so far.

Immersive story-telling.

A tortured heroine – and who can blame her? A (previous) life style that ended in an horrendous attack, and, from which, whilst clearly still suffering from PTSD, she has gradually put together a new life. And has some hope for her future. Until her past re-surfaces in a most awful manner.

 

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When the facts don’t add up

Room for Doubt Book Cover Room for Doubt
Carol Childs Mystery #4
Nancy Cole Silverman
cozy, mystery, female PI
Henery Press
July 2017

When radio reporter Carol Childs is called to a crime scene in the Hollywood Hills at five thirty in the morning, she’s convinced it must be a publicity stunt to promote a new movie. That is, until she sees the body hanging from the center of the Hollywood sign. The police are quick to rule it a suicide, but something doesn’t add up for Carol. Particularly after a mysterious caller named Mustang Sally confesses to the murder on the air and threatens to kill again.

With the help of an incorrigible PI, her best friend, and a kooky psychic, Carol is drawn into the world of contract killers and women scorned. As she races to find the real killer, she finds herself faced with a decision that will challenge everything she thought she knew.

I found this story and writing style rather pedestrian.

2.5 stars.

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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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