Books/book review/law enforcement/crime fiction
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Look after your precious

Keep Her Close Book Cover Keep Her Close
MJ Ford
crime fiction, police procedurals, female sleuths
Avon Books
March 7th 2019

When a young woman goes missing from Jesus College, Oxford, DS Josie Masters is plunged into a world of panic as fear grips the city. Along with Thames Valley Police’s newest recruit, the handsome DS Pryce, Josie must act fast – and when two more students disappear from Oriel and Somerville colleges, she realises the killer is sending her a deadly message in a cruel game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?

In a desperate race against the clock, Josie hunts for the kidnapper, and soon discovers he could be a lot closer to home than she’d ever thought…

A British police procedural set in Oxford and its dreaming spires. The previous book explains why the lead female detective has PTSD but this one can be read as a stand-alone as enough of the back story is given. I have not read the previous book.

I found the story interesting and compelling reading and the characters involved were complex enough that I never guessed who the villain was, let alone why, although the clues were there.

A good tone of voice by the author made this reading easy enough to follow and to be interested in the characters. I enjoyed this book.

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The Sea is no-one’s friend

Cold Bones Book Cover Cold Bones
DS McAvoy #8
David Mark
police procedurals, murder, mystery, thriller
Mulholland Books
January 24, 2019
368

It's the coldest winter in Hull for years. When McAvoy is told by a concerned stranger that an elderly woman hasn't been seen for a few days, he goes to check on her - only to find her in the bath, encased in ice: the heating off; the windows open; the whole house frozen over. It could be a macabre accident, but when McAvoy finds a series of cryptic messages, he senses murder. Someone watched her die. As he starts to uncover the victim's story and her connections to a lost fishing trawler, his boss Trish is half a world away, investigating a mysterious death in Iceland. Hull and Iceland have traditionally been united by fishing -in this case, they are linked by a secret concealed for half a century, and a series of brutal killings that have never been connected. Until now - when the secrets of the dead have returned to prey on the living.

This is a haunting story that disturbs the emotions and emphasises the problems that a toxic masculine culture brings upon a community. Where fists are tools of the trade and used with abandon.

It is a tale of revenge and punishment in a fishing town, by fishermen and their relatives, that is carried to extremes by a belief in the righteousness of violence being the answer.

At times I found the story confusing, especially the opening scenes, as the various characters take their parts and lie with abandon.

But take heart any reader, all is explained in the end – and the very culture that spawned this way of dealing with life is now much more rare as certainly the fishing industry in Hull, and towns like it, is diminished, on a larger scale of boats (and thus less of a tight grouping of men), and more automated.

I might have understood a little better if I had read previous novels in the series.

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Taken for an unusual reason

The Taken Girls Book Cover The Taken Girls
GD Sanders
Thrillers, Crime, British Detective, Police Procedural
Avon; Digital original edition
(21 Feb. 2019)

Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?

This is a solid police procedural with the frustrations of modern policing and the requirements for solid evidence well portrayed. Not to mention the fact that the senior officers want good press coverage even when what you have is more speculative than fact and contradicts the above …
I found this new DI (a debut novel) to be a believable character – and fallible too, and was intrigued by the perpetrator and motives.
This is a series I think that will develop well and I look forward to reading more.

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The truth is not always so straight forward








All the Hidden Truths





Claire Askew





Adult, Psychological Thriller, crime, women's fiction




Hodder Paperbacks




(2 May 2019)



n the aftermath of a tragedy, the world needs an explanation.

In Edinburgh, after the Three Rivers College shooting, some things are clear.

They know who. They know when.

No one can say why.

For three women the lack of answers is unbearable: DI Helen Birch, the detective charged with solving the case. Ishbel, the mother of the first victim, struggling to cope with her grief. And Moira, mother of the killer, who needs to understand what happened to her son.

But as people search for someone to blame, the truth seems to vanish...

This is a police procedural with a difference set in Edinburgh.

That the author knows the city well is evident but she is/was a writer in residence at the uni there, so not surprising that she set her debut novel there.

The author’s voice is clear and well styled but I did initially find the the way the story was et out into different people and time lines confusing. But then I ‘got it’ and was able to manage and found it interesting stylistically.

I thought there were some nice reader questions that came through when reading the sections, for instance ‘What is she hiding?’; ‘Did she know?’; ‘Why did he do it?’; which kept you reading as you wanted to know the answers. And it follows a story that we are finding the truths hard to stomach – why do young people want to shoot their peers? At least with some gun control this is curtailed but…

I thought the reflections on how difficult it is to be an outsider as a teenager were well described; and also just how hormones can deflect morals and beliefs, and thus cai=use your people to things they would not have normally considered using a rational mind and thought process.

Overall a promising novelist and a series to follow surely.

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Faceless and buried altars






Lies Sleeping: Book Cover




Lies Sleeping:




Rivers of London #7





Ben Aaronovitch





urban fantasy, police procedural, contemporary




Gollancz




November 15, 2018




320



Martin Chorley, aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring Chorley to justice. But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that Chorley, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan. A plan that has its roots in London's two thousand bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees. To save his beloved city Peter's going to need help from his former best friend and colleague - Lesley May - who brutally betrayed him and everything he thought she believed in. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer and agent of chaos known as Mr Punch . . .

We are back in London for this story and in form. The story takes us back to Lesley and the Faceless Man, what they are planning, and explains why.

Our favourite characters are maturing, as are their magical abilities and the talking foxes make a re-appearance with Abigail, who is proving to be more of a natural magician than anyone could have predicted. And I love the explanation of why the foxes talk – and especially  talk to Abigail.

I always very much like the way the history of London, especially the City, is incorporated into these stories. London was built on many ‘magical’ sites of worship from its early founding, and these places become integral to this modern explanation of London and its byeways, special sites, and hidden mysteries.

Indeed, many pagans and historians believe that London may well have had stone circles and standing stones that are now buried beneath the landscape and buildings, as well as religious sites for many religions, and St Paul’s Cathedral did indeed get built over an earlier pagan temple. So truth provides the foundation for great fantasy.

 

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