No Noise?

House of Silence Book Cover House of Silence
Sarah Barthel
Fiction
Kensington
2016-12
300

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin s future like that of every young woman hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiance commit a horrific crime and no one believes her. Gregory denies all, and Isabelle s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband s assassination. In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine. Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel's debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling."

The publisher’s write-up sounded fabulous and so I attempted to read this book several times. But found that whilst the beginning was engaging, once Isabelle was committed to the asylum, I found myself getting less interested and less interested. Somehow my attention wandered… I never managed to complete the book.

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Where to find a body?

The Body in the Marsh Book Cover The Body in the Marsh
DCI Craig Gillard
Nick Louth
mystery, suspense, crime,
Canelo
(25 Sept. 2017)
Kindle

When a woman goes missing, it gets personal for DCI Craig Gillard. But he could never imagine what happens next.

Criminologist Martin Knight lives a gilded life and is a thorn in the side of the police. But then his wife Liz goes missing. There is no good explanation and no sign of Martin…

To make things worse, Liz is the ex-girlfriend of DCI Craig Gillard who is drawn into the investigation. Is it just a missing person or something worse? And what relevance do the events around the shocking Girl F case, so taken up by Knight, have to do with the present?

The truth is darker than you could ever have imagined.

A gripping novel that I couldn’t put down – until I guessed the ending about 3/4 of the way through. Shame, otherwise it would have been a 5 not a 4.

Still, if you like a UK police/detective novel, this one is for you. The ending should be a surprise (and rather gruesome at that) for many but there are clues in there – if you know something about chess….

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When questions are bad

Ask No Questions Book Cover Ask No Questions
Detective Caelan Small #1
Lisa Hartley
female sleuths, mystery, crime fiction
Kindle

Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one

After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.

Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect - even close colleagues.

Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.

That isn't an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.

The nerve-shredding new crime thriller from bestseller Lisa Hartley starts a must-read new series. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza, it will keep you guessing until the very end.

A taut thriller in LisaHartley’s usual slick style.

Caelen is 28 years old and already a legend for her her uncanny ability to be a chameleon in her undercover work. In the stroy we follow Caelen and Ronnie with an addictive interest as she hopes that he will lead her to his criminal father, and he hopes that he won’t.

But things are not as they appear and the story becomes more complicated. And more complicated. And yet more complicated.

And in the end, just too complicated for me – and I like a bit of complication in my books…

I suspect an Agatha Christie look-alike storyline in which the author doesn’t actually know herself who  dun it, until the very end, and lays down many clues so that it could be one of many.

I’d like to give this book a 4 but in the end find I can’t. For the reasons above. When you have some 5 suspects the story gets too complex and involved and almost unbelievable. Clues appear like magic to fit up too many….

So 3.5 it is.

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When Brothers help their Sister

Two Nights Book Cover Two Nights
Sunday Night
Kathy Reichs
police procedurals, mystery, suspense, thriller
William Heinemann
July 13, 2017
320

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct ...

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.

But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead?

Did someone take her?

If she is out there, why doesn't she want to be found?

It's time for Sunnie to face her own demons - because they might just lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

With Kathy Reichs, the reader knows that they are in the hands of an expert. As a forensic anthropologist, 1 of only 82 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board, Reichs’ real-life expertise has given her novels an authenticity that most other crime novelists would kill for. From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her lab, no one is better qualified to write about what it’s really like to catch the killer and solve the crime.

Such a different character and departure from her series about Brennan here, but  well worth reading.

Reichs has created a new, tortured (the female PI default) character called Sunday Night, who has a twin August Night. Now these are very unusual twins in that not just their sex is different – one male, one female – but due to a genetic hiccup, August is black and very short – compared to Sunday anyway. Their father was probably black it is hinted at in the book.  And they were born into a cult that committed mass suicide just after they escaped together. Their difference in characters but twin closeness and ability to know the other’s thoughts and intentions, enable them to work together in a way that partners can only envy.

I enjoyed this new character and the story-telling was up to Reich’s normal standard so what’s not to like? Complex plot and excellent story-telling mean a new series to follow.

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Where does the money come from?

Hush Money Book Cover Hush Money
Hush Money Mystery #1
TE Woods
mystery, suspense, crime,
Alibi
(22 Aug. 2017)
Kindle

The mayor is smart, funny, and loved by all. Except for the person who leaves him in a pool of his own blood. . . .

Madison is booming with dreamers and drifters, visionaries and entrepreneurs. Among them is Sydney Richardson, the daughter of a cop who died on these streets and now the proud, stressed-out owner of Hush Money, one of the city’s top new restaurants. Like everyone else in town, Sydney is shocked when Madison’s popular mayor—a crusty, charismatic man of the people—is shot to death in his own home. But the news hits especially close to home for Sydney because one of her own stands accused of the brutal crime.

Sydney’s the one person that Wanda Fields, a quiet, hardworking waitress and single mother, can think to call after her arrest. Now she might be Wanda’s only hope. As Sydney gets wrapped up in the case, she runs up against powerful people with secrets to hide—and a mayor who wasn’t the person everyone thought he was. After Wanda divulges a bombshell of her own, Sydney’s sure the real killer is still out there, hiding among Madison’s elite, perhaps even dining in her beloved restaurant . . . with more than enough motive to kill again.

A gently written story that pulls you along steadily with good characterisation until the final denouement.

The novel shows well the lack of sophistication of the town in which it is set when the new restaurateur finds that on a Sunday night at 9.30pm all the customers have gone, and that on other nights 10pm is last orders!

{And a side point, English wine is now regarded as good, note that Champagne Taittinger announced it was buying a vineyard in Kent and would produce an English sparkling wine; and:- English sparkling wine specifically has been highly praised for its quality, beating Champagne in some competitions, and collecting a total of 130 medals and trophies in the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards.}

So the town shows its small town politics in this novel, with the intrigue that comes with a small population jockeying for power and prestige.

This novel is very different from TE Wood’s ‘Fixer’ novels in both style and content and thus shows her versatility as a writer.

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