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Really cold

Eighteen Below Book Cover Eighteen Below
Fabian Risk
Stefan Ahnhem
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Head of Zeus
Pub Date 01 Dec 2017

The epic sequel to Victim Without a Face.

ON A HOT SUMMER'S DAY. 
A car speeds through the streets of Helsingborg. When it reaches the harbour, the driver keeps going, straight into the cold, dark sea.

A BODY IN THE WATER. 
But it is not a suicide. The autopsy reveals that this man has been dead for some time. He was murdered two months ago, and his body has been deep frozen.

TURNS EVERYTHING COLDER. 
As more bodies are discovered, Fabian Risk must hunt a killer with a mission: to preserve his victims, and create the perfect death...

I am not really a ScandiNoir person and don’t usually get on with Scandinavian literature – too dark and mysterious writing as a rule. But not this one. This novel was a major surprise to me and I thought really interesting.

Well written and with twists and turns you cannot guess until you read it.

Yes, you get some hints from the blurb but still the story surprises you and intrigues you, and you keep on reading until you get to the end and the final denouement. The plot was ingenious and well thought through.

I shall look for this author again.

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Secrets? Everyone has some

We All Have Secrets Book Cover We All Have Secrets
Dr. Molly McCormick Series Book 1
by Florence Love Karsner
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 06 Apr 2019

The year is 1962. Dr. Molly McCormick, a young female physician, has been attacked by a deranged psychiatric patient and has suffered physical and psychological damage. She is recovering at her grandfather’s home which is located on an island off the Southwest coast of Florida. Such a great location with one problem . . . it is just a hop and skip to Cuba where Fidel Castro has just pointed Russian missiles in the direction of the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis is heating up and the whole world is on pins and needles.Dr. McCormick’s grandfather, a retired U. S. Navy Captain, Intelligence Officer, is neck deep in stopping arms from being sent to the rebels in Cuba. Recently he has learned that someone on his island is preparing to supply the rebels with a stash of sulfur mustard, a chemical that can be converted to mustard gas. This weapon can be spread many ways and will cause grave illness and possibly death to thousands. Oh, and just one more small issue . . . Dr. McCormick’s attacker is still out there . . .and has promised to “find her” again!

Down to the sea we go – the steamy sea – the islands with swamps and mosquitoes and noseeums – all ready to drink your blood…

In this novel we go back to the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the islands that are just next door to Cuba.

There are some interesting hints of future storylines coming through in the male characters and it will be disappointing if the series doesn’t follow them up.

The female character – Molly- still lacks definition for me, not yet fully formed but hopefully she will develop. Her final choice of career was obvious from the visit she made to an outlying island so no surprises there.

This is not the first book by this author that I have read, but the one with most potential for me.

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More bad than beautiful

Beautiful Bad Book Cover Beautiful Bad
by Annie Ward
Mystery & Thrillers , Psychological
Quercus Books Quercus
Pub Date 21 Mar 2019

Maddie and Ian's romance began when he was serving in the British Army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend Jo in Europe. Now sixteen years later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when an accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian's PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son Charlie; and the couple's tangled and tumultuous past with Jo. From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, the years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime. But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad? Perfect for fans of The Woman in the Window and The Wife Between Us.

Wonderful twist to the end.. Not what I expected as I followed Maddie’s sessions in therapy and what we discovered about her, her marriage, and her husband.

It seems very clear that Ian is suffering from PTSD from his time in the army and is unstable as a result. And as the story progresses, you begin to wonder about Maddie’s injury. Just how did she get it? Who was involved? Was it Ian?

And the therapist seems so helpful, but rather unprofessional but Maddie finds her useful to help her process her thoughts and emotions.

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How difficult is it to lie?

The Most Difficult Thing Book Cover The Most Difficult Thing
Charlotte Philby
General Fiction (Adult), contemporary, thriller, suspense
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction

WHAT WOULD YOU SACRIFICE TO UNCOVER THE TRUTH?

‘Chilling’ Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said

‘Compulsive read’ Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

‘Enigmatic’ Louise Candlish, author of Our House

‘Brilliant’ Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

On the surface, Anna Witherall personifies everything the aspirational magazine she works for represents. Married to her university boyfriend David, she has a beautiful home and gorgeous three-year-old twin daughters, Stella and Rose. But beneath the veneer of success and happiness, Anna is hiding a dark secret, one that threatens to unravel everything she has worked so hard to create.

As Anna finds herself drawn into the dark and highly controlled world of secret intelligence, she is forced to question her family’s safety, and her own. Only one thing is certain: in order to protect her children, she must leave them, forever. 

And someone is watching. Someone she thought she could trust. Someone who is determined to make them all pay.

Stylish and assured, The Most Difficult Thing is an irresistible combination of contemporary espionage and domestic suspense, and a compulsive, highly charged examination of betrayal.

How many lies make a truth?

Everyone in this story lies, and everyone has an ulterior motive. Personally, I never trusted Harry and Anna has invented herself and her family. Maria – well she was up to something right from the beginning, and Clive and David always had something to hide….

Now back to the actual story-telling. I found the middle section hard going and was tempted at times to stop reading. It seemed to be going nowhere and the constant flashing to and fro in time was distracting. But by Chapter 40 it had settled down into ‘proper’ story-telling and then along came Felicity again, and upset the apple-cart!

And as for the ending… most unexpected.

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The Dead pile up

Where The Dead Fall Book Cover Where The Dead Fall
DI Ridpath #2
MJ Lee
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
Canelo
11 Apr 2019

One chance encounter, one street side murder, will change everything…

The extraordinary new Ridpath crime thriller Manchester has been at peace for twenty years. Not any more.

DI Ridpath is in the process of getting his life back together when everything goes wrong.

Driving to meet his daughter, he is caught in a horrific motorway accident, in which a near-naked man is rundown by a lorry, while fleeing from a lone gunman.As Ridpath closes Manchester’s road network in search of the assailant, one question remains: why did nobody else see him?

Ridpath’s investigations, which at first seem to follow protocol, soon unearth a number of inconsistencies, which pulls the police force itself into question and hint at something sinister to come...

For Manchester is on the brink of a fresh surge of violence unlike anything it has seen in decades. As Ridpath battles this unprecedented conflict, he must battle his own demons. One thing is for sure. There will be blood on the streets…

The nail-biting sequel to Where the Truth Lies, M J Lee’s Where the Dead Fall is an absolute must read, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Faith Martin and Peter James 

This book is set in Manchester UK – a grim town as I recall (always raining) and according to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett in their novel Good Omens, it was created by the demon Crowley as part of his work towards sending humans to Hell [not to mention his slight adjustment of the M25..].

This novel does not encourage you to think that it might be a nice place to visit and be a tourist. It talks about crime families – 4 in Manchester – having ‘carved up’ the town into 4 quarters each holding their own with no inter-gang warfare, but each specialising in drugs, or prostitution, or…  but not really guns until this story starts.

I found it a useful introduction to the work of a Coroner’s Office which I had not known – I always assumed that it was part of the offices that dealt with the post-mortem – no doubt confused by TV stories. But here we find out that they stand for the victim and attempt to discover just what happened to them and how the death was investigated, if necessary.

The story makes grim reading as we have a series of deaths and a very ill policeman working for the Coroner’s Office who is charged with assuring the Coroner of her facts as she holds her Inquest into their deaths.

But still compelling and whilst I had guessed some of it, I had not guessed all of the back story which ended up with these particular deaths.

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