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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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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When water can burn

Murder on the Lake of Fire Book Cover Murder on the Lake of Fire
Mourning Dove Mysteries #1
Mikel J. Wilson
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, new adult
Acorn Publishing
(26 Nov. 2017)

At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. The mysterious death of a teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is soon followed by an apparent case of spontaneous human combustion. In a small town bursting with friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just beneath the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits him against artful private investigator Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome, smart and seductive, and he just might be the killer Rome is seeking.

As we walked home today in the freezing cold with frozen puddles and frosty plants, we mused about how it would be like if we lived in the cold North. And then said how thankful we were that we didn’t. Especially if, to practice your art, you get up in the early and very cold, dawn to skate on your frozen pond.  As happens here. Only to find that someone wants you dead and has a very nasty method in mind….

Lots of good red herrings and twists and turns in this police procedural with more than one murder to solve and the last person you might expect ends up with a reason you might have suspected but not to the lengths they would go to.

An enjoyable read from this author new to me. And this is book 1 of a new series so I shall keep an eye out for book 2.

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Fertilising Sweetpeas

Sweetpea Book Cover Sweetpea
C J Skuse
psychological, thrillers, mystery, murder
Mira
2017-04
384

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

A darkly humorous story that becomes compulsive reading.

It starts with a list of people – the author is writing their diary in the 1st person – clearly doesn’t like. But by age 2 you begin to get a hint I nee friends.. I don’t want then …But to keep up my facade of normality, they’re just necessary  and her friends, on their night out together, don’t recognise her sarcasm, but we , the readers , do.

But what happens less than 5% of the way through the book is where you see the real Rhiannon appear – the sociopath hiding in plain sight. And rather shocking is Rhiannon too.

“A person with antisocial personality disorder. Probably the most widely recognized personality disorder. A sociopath is often well liked because of their charm and high charisma, but they do not usually care about other people. They think mainly of themselves and often blame others for the things that they do. They have a complete disregard for rules and lie constantly. They seldom feel guilt or learn from punishments. Though some sociopaths have become murderers, most reveal their sociopathy through less deadly and sensational means.” From the Urban Dictionary.

Rhiannon knows that she is a sociopath as she takes the test and gets 95% assurance, that yes, she has all the features.

As the book progresses you learn more and more about Rhiannon through her diary entries, she is the sweetpea of the office, with very dark behaviour as well, but she successfully masquerades as normal.

It becomes clearer as you read on that these are not metaphorical ‘kill lists, but real ones – sweetpea really wants to kill these people!

Rhiannon has been hit on the head with hammer when she was a child and received ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage, and the medical articles agree that people with such damage judge attempted harm including murder as morally permissible.

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Heather and Edie together

Watching Edie Book Cover Watching Edie
Camilla Way
Crime, Thrillers & Mystery > Psychological
HarperCollins
(28 July 2016)

THERE ARE SOME FRIENDS YOU’LL NEVER FORGET…
NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY

BEFORE
Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.

AFTER
Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.

NOW
Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?

Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?

A palpable air of menace pervades this story, with nothing concrete to base it on, but it just doesn’t seem right, as Heather obsesses over Edie – and Edie makes poor life choices.

Is this really a friendship or something else? And why does Heather re-appear in Edie’s life after 16 years just as Edie melts into PPD? And does Heather have something to do with this melt-down you wonder.

The story leaves you guessing as it moves from the past to now and back again, but always moving slowly forward in time towards a climax – but what that climax is is left unclear until the end.

A good read if you like psychological thrillers.

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