What Colour are the Bodies?

White Bodies Book Cover White Bodies
Jane Robins
crime, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths, psychological
HQ
(28 Dec. 2017)

‘He’s so handsome and clever and romantic. I just wished he hadn’t forced Tilda under the water and held her there so long.’

Callie loves Tilda. She’s her sister, after all. And she’s beautiful and successful.

Tilda loves Felix. He’s her husband. Successful and charismatic, he is also controlling, suspicious and, possibly, dangerous. Still, Tilda loves Felix.

And Callie loves Tilda. Very, very much.

So she’s determined to save her. But the cost could destroy them all…

Sometimes we love too much.

The Stranger on a Train novel that isn’t.

The story is told through the eyes of Callie and through her journal that she writes in obsessively. All that she knows, or think she knows, about her sister – her twin, as she follows her and tracks her life. The clever twin. The beautiful twin. The tragic twin. The abused twin. Or is she?

And then Callie finds a site for abused women or men and gets drawn into deep conspiracy theories and perhaps even murder.

Callie also suffers from Pica  in relation to her sister’s objects – she thinks by eating these items her sister is somehow drawn into her own essence it would be appear.

So this is a strange book but a compelling read. You follow Callie through all her different beliefs and her obsession with her sister’s life and are drawn into her  worldview. Where nothing is quite what it might appear – or is it?

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What date did this happen?

Deaths of December Book Cover Deaths of December
Susi Holliday
police procedurals, female sleuths, murder, British Detective
Mulholland Books; 01 edition
(16 Nov. 2017)

It looks like a regular advent calendar.

Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors . . . and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one.

The police hope it's a prank. Because if it isn't, a murderer has just surfaced - someone who's been killing for twenty years.

But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station?

As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them . . .

It's shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.

A story with a nice final twist to the tale. You think it has ended – the serial murderer has confessed and is in jail – but no.

We then read more of the detective’s back stories and then comes the final twist…

A nice detective pair, but why have both of them got a problem in their personal life? This is getting to be just too much of a cliche.

 

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The Moor is a cold and lonely place to die

On Laughton Moor Book Cover On Laughton Moor
Dect. Sgt. Catherine Bishop #1
Lisa Hartley
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(11 Feb. 2015)

Detective Sergeant Catherine Bishop has an enigmatic new boss, Detective Inspector Jonathan Knight. How he will adapt to life in Lincolnshire after years in the Met is anyone's guess. When the body of a well known local thug is discovered, an intriguing message found on his battered corpse raises unwelcome questions. Is DS Bishop herself being accused of the grisly murder, or does the message point to a more sinister secret? As the body count grows higher, Bishop and Knight find themselves in a race against time to discover the identity of a merciless, faceless killer whose motivation is a mystery.

Great reading as a police procedural demonstrating just how difficult it can be to solve murders that initially seem random, or where the link is buried deep in the past.

By the final chapter I had guessed who the murderer was though.

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And the fire burns brightly

Bonfire Book Cover Bonfire
Krysten Ritter
women's sleuths, psychological, mystery
Hutchinson
November 9, 2017
368

Nothing burns as bright as the truth.

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's economic heart, she begins to find strange connections to a decade-old scandal involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her friends―just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

But as Abby tries desperately to find out what happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret, her search threatens the reputations, and lives, of the community and risks exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.

A story that is based, as we know only too well, on frequent truths.

Small towns and political corruptions in return for jobs and a thriving economy and never mind the poor who live on the wrong side of the tracks and reap the rewards of this unholy alliance.

Chemical companies it is rumoured are the most frequent polluters of water and yet the list of the ten worst polluters are:

1. Agriculture
2. Mining
3. Fishing
4. Nuclear
5. Fuel
6. Plastics
7. Textile Manufacturing
8. Cleaning
9. Auto Manufacturing
10. Recreation
And the Daily Beast in 2010 claimed that the EPA estimated that there were 3,500 chemical spills each year, requiring $260 million to clean.
For instance, take  Milford, New Hampshire, with a population of 10,000, and the local Fletcher’s Paint Works and Storage. Within 2 Acres  34 Toxic chemicals were found.

Soil and groundwater around the site was found  to be contaminated with arsenic, lead, PCBs, and other chemicals, including volatile organic compounds. Which were also in the municipal water supply.

So why should we believe the chemical company in this story when it claims that the reservoir tests clean?  And what will it and those involved in the local corruption etc do, to ensure that the plant keeps on working without interference?

A story that has obvious links as shown above, with reality, but is then stretched into a complex and intriguing novel that keeps you reading.

PS. Abby does not reflect the Jessica Jones character too closely – but definitely drinks far too much!

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What a Christmas….

Cold Xmas Book Cover Cold Xmas
DCI Antonia Hawkins
Alistair Gunn
british detectives, police procedural, female sleuths, murder, thriller
Penguin
(16 Nov. 2017)

In the small village of Cold Christmas there's a church that faces the wrong way . . . What has it to do with the three dead men found in a London flat? 

DCI Antonia Hawkins has a killer to catch. Only she can't predict what is waiting for her at the end of the chase. 

Nobody remembers the young men entering the abandoned London flat a few weeks ago. Nobody cares if they left.

Until the unbearable smell of decay.

DCI Antonia Hawkins is called in to view the dead men; three, lying neat in a row. There's no damage to the bodies, no obvious cause of death. Is this a suicide pact? Or is that just how it's meant to look?

If there is a link between the three very different men then Hawkins needs to find it, and fast. Because unless she does, more are going to die. And they might not all be strangers.

Overall a good new detective read for me with one main proviso – I am getting rather tired of what is now becoming a cliche – the female detective with angst and a rubbish love life.

A couple of other slightly irritating things – that cat needs to be put on a diet, and as all overweight cat owners know – a. you ignore their plaintive miaows for more food; b. you have them on a strict feeding schedule; and c. you use the special food for overweight cats – I can suggest a few brands if you like – biscuits are best.

Other small irritation is that I thought that all detectives had now learnt to keep wellie boots in their cars!

These small irritations detract me when I’m reading from a good story as they continue to bug me and I want to edit the story for the author, just as I edited my students’ work…. Which is a shame as this could have been a really good series for me, but as I also thought the ending unnecessary in its dolore, I’m downgrading to a 3.5/4.

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