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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Just who is the detective nasty with now?

Savage Echoes
Nickie Savage
R T Wolfe
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Police procedurals, women sleuths
ePublishing Works!
(9 Jan. 2014)
Kindle

Lending her expertise to help the FBI bring down a child trafficking ring, Detective Nickie Savage discovers that the men they're tracking are the same ones who abducted her as a young teen.
Risking her badge, Nickie goes rogue with surveillance expert Duncan Reed. But the closer they get to the King Pin, the closer she and Duncan become with each other.
Now Nickie must choose: break her own rules and risk her heart, or forge ahead...alone.

I enjoyed these books – yes, I’ve read them all. Nickie Savage is believable and her back story is sufficiently told for you to understand her motives. Though how she manages now I am really not sure… Her family sound horrible!

I found the writing to be fairly addictive and well enough written that I didn’t get tired of reading through the series. The style is fluid and has enough humour and romance to counteract the serious nature of the story-line. not LOL but you can grin occasionally…

 

 

 

THE NICKIE SAVAGE SERIES, in order
Savage Echoes
Savage Deception
Savage Rendezvous
Savage Disclosure
Savage Betrayal
Savage Alliance

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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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Where computers go next

The Fear Book Cover The Fear
Robert Harris
Artificial intelligence, suspense, thriller, psychological
Random House
2012
400

A chilling contemporary thriller from Robert Harris set in the competitive world of high finance. Dr Max Hoffman is a legend. A physicist once employed on the Large Hadron Collider, he now uses a revolutionary and highly secret system of computer algorithms to trade on the world's financial markets. None of his rivals is sure how he does it, but somehow Hoffman's hedge fund -- built around the standard measure of market volatility: the VIX or "Fear Index" -- generates astonishing returns for his investors. Late one night, in his house beside Lake Geneva, an intruder disturbs Hoffman and his wife while they are asleep. This terrifying moment is the start of Robert Harris's new novel -- a story just as compelling and timely as his most recent contemporary thriller, The Ghost. Over the next 48 hours, as the markets edge towards another great crash, Hoffman's world disintegrates. But who is trying to destroy him?

So a rather chilling tale of just what happens when AI begins to get ideas for itself. It we are trying really hard to program autonomous units that can choose and optimise routes for delivery, routes for shipping and so on; and of course for hedging your bets. And this is where this story comes in. A computer system is devised that uses AI to hedge financial bets – ie work the stock market in the margins.

Which is great. No longer do you have to have really bright people working numbers. Instead you create algorithms that do this work for you. And you make money. Loads of it. Loads and Loads of it because you bet on the margins – which you can do if you start with a lot of money to begin with.

And this book stretches these ideas out. Into what is not a new concept of idea but used in a different field of application. What happens when the robots start to think for themselves?

A good book, but somehow not as chilling as it might be. I knew the answer by mid-way through, maybe because the book is 2011?

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Things that go bump on a tube line near you!

The Furthest Station Book Cover The Furthest Station
PC Grant - Novella
Ben Aaronovitch
Fiction, contemporary horror, fantasy, thriller
Gollancz
March 8, 2018
144

There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call. It's PC Peter Grant's speciality . . . Only it's more than going 'bump'. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow up interviews rather difficult. So with a little help from Abigail and Toby the ghost hunting dog, Peter and Jaget are heading out on a ghost hunting expedition. Because finding the ghost and deciphering their urgent message might just be a matter of life and death.

My husband and I look forward eagerly for each new book in this series, but were disappointed that this was only a novella.

It is good, don’t get me wrong – they can never be bad, but we both wanted it it to be longer – a full-sized book – and felt that it had the potential in the story for this.

It does make me think though, that I should be a little more aware when  I ride our on the Met line – which I often do – as who knows just ‘what’ is sitting next to me!

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