Newest Crime Reviews

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search

1472127013.jpg

Review of

Agatha Raisin: Hot to Trot by M C Beaton and R W Green

4.5star.jpg Crime

Raisin Investigations had quite a bit of work on hand. The chairman of Philpott Electronics was concerned about his managing director, Harold Cheeseman, who had apparently returned from Australia because his wife did not like it there. This was unusual, as his wife had died before Cheeseman went to Australia. Then there was the Chadwick divorce: Chadwick was convinced that his wife, Sheraton, was seeing another man. Mr Gutteridge wanted Raisin Investigations to instal listening devices in the staff canteen: he wanted to know what the staff were saying about him and his secretary, who was from Geneva. Apparently, the staff called her The Swiss Roll.

Then there was the murder. Full Review

1408712288.jpg

Review of

Still Life (DCI Karen Pirie) by Val McDermid

4star.jpg Crime

It was the middle of February and bitterly cold when a fishing boat out of St Monans pulled a body out the Firth of Forth instead of a lobster pot. It fell to DCI Charlie Todd and DS Daisy Mortimer to investigate and it didn't take too long to establish that the man was Paul Allard, ostensibly a Frenchman, but in reality James Auld of Edinburgh. A decade earlier he's gone missing when he was the prime suspect in the disappearance and possible murder of his brother, prominent civil servant, Iain Auld. DCI Karen Pirie, as head of Police Scotland Historic Crimes Unit, had been the last person to review the case, a couple of years earlier and it seemed sensible to bring her into the case at an early stage. Full Review

1913193365.jpg

Review of

A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone

3star.jpg Crime

Film star Amelie Hart throws up a career that is only beginning to hit the heights to retire to the highlands with an ordinary guy…an accountant of all things, though to his credit he would rather be working in forestry. They have found a hideaway on a small Scottish estate, but things are starting to feel wrong between them. Full Review

0241425441.jpg

Review of

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

4.5star.jpg Crime

The first member of The Thursday Murder Club we encounter is Joyce Meadowcroft. She used to be a nurse and is thus the perfect person for Elizabeth to consult about how long it would take a person who has been stabbed to bleed out. Details of where and how are exchanged and Joyce confirms that it would have taken about forty-five minutes and that the victim could have been saved if she'd received prompt medical help. It didn't put Joyce off her shepherd's pie (which tells us that it was a Monday) but it does get her interested in The Thursday Murder Club. They meet each Thursday (as you might have guessed) in the Jigsaw Room at Coopers Chase Retirement Village. Full Review

1509889515.jpg

Review of

The Darkest Evening (D I Vera Stanhope) by Ann Cleeves

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was a mercy that DI Vera Stanhope took the wrong turning as she drove home in the blizzard. If she hadn't the car might not have been found until the morning and who knows what would have happened to the toddler strapped into the car seat, particularly as the car door had been left open. Vera took the boy and drove to the nearest habitation. She thought it would be the village but it was Brockburn, the ancestral home of the Stanhopes: her father had been the younger brother of the man who inherited - and Hector was the black sheep of the family. Calling there unannounced, particularly as they seemed to have guests was going to be embarrassing, but there was little else that she could do in the circumstances. Full Review

1506909442.jpg

Review of

The Worst Dogs: A Progressive Murder-Mystery by Matthew de Lacey Davidson

4star.jpg Crime

The greatest hatred, like the greatest virtue and the worst dogs, is silent.

The title of this enjoyable crime procedural, is from German romantic writer Jean Paul. But who are the worst dogs in de Lacey Davidson's latest novel and for whom is the hatred? This mystery will last all the way to the very last and carefully plotted pages but you will be thinking about unwarranted hatred all the way through. It sounds uncomfortable - but it isn't: it's honest. Full Review

1542017432.jpg

Review of

The Nidderdale Murders by J R Ellis

3star.jpg Crime

It was a Friday in mid-September when the shoot was held on the grouse moor near Niddersgill. The shooters at the butts were a strange mixture: Alexander Fraser (Sandy to his friends) was the owner of the moor and a retired judge. James Symonds was a local landowner and Henry Saunders was a banker. He and Fraser had known each other since their school days. The fourth member was Gideon Rawnsley, who dealt in exclusive cars in nearby Ripon. Rawnsley had a gripe with Fraser: he'd sold him an expensive car and Fraser was being slow to pay. Other people had reason to comment on Fraser's attitude to money: his gamekeeper, Ian Davis thought he was stingy and very difficult to work for. Full Review

0008314721.jpg

Review of

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah

5star.jpg Crime

The Hadids are an effortful family. Flowers are sent for the slightest problem or achievement: letters are sent to thank and this prompts a phone call in return. There are two sons of the family, seventeen-year-old Kamran and sixteen-year-old Adam. Their mother, Sofia, regrets that she didn't name them the other way round: 'Adam and Kamran' trips off the tongue so much more easily than 'Kamran and Adam'. Sofia worries about that sort of thing. Both boys go to the prestigious Hampton school, where they board, despite the school being less than ten miles from their Belsize Park home. Kamran has a place at Oxford next year and all seemed to be going well until the night when he was raped. Full Review

1913193381.jpg

Review of

The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn and Rosie Hedger (translator)

4star.jpg Crime

Come here for a thriller that interestingly doesn't even try to suggest a genre of any kind until we're a full fifth of the way through. We start with our couple, she a literature lecturer, he big in medical provision and decisions at the council, being forced to move out of their home, a building that had existed throughout her life since childhood and which they'd occupied for over thirty years. The building he's inherited, meanwhile, and which they let out to a single mother, is needed by their adult daughter, who quite blatantly says to its occupant 'take a hike, I'm moving in and you're moving out'. Now, at this stage you may well, if you know this is a genre read, think it's going to be a throwback to those 'home invasion' thrillers Hollywood gave us in the 1980s, but no. We avoid genre completely, as I say – instead learning about Greek tragedy, in case that has any bearing on what happens here, and seeing how an older-middle aged couple live their lives. Until at that twenty per cent stage we find something that raises an eyebrow as any crime book should – until the point where the evicted tenant is found to have completely vanished. Full Review

1471179273.jpg

Review of

House of Correction by Nicci French

5star.jpg Crime

When we first meet Tabitha Hardy, she's in prison, on remand. She's sharing a cell with Michaela, who's more caring than she first appears. She delivers tough love and gets Tabitha eating and drinking - and encourages her to have a shower, unpleasant as the whole processes might be. And how did Tabitha get here? Well, on 21 December the body of Stuart Robert Rees was discovered in her garden shed by Andrew Kane, who was helping with the renovations to Tabitha's house. So far as the police are concerned, Tabitha is the only person who could have killed Rees - and when they arrived at her house she was covered in his blood. Full Review

1408712415.jpg

Review of

Cry Baby by Mark Billingham

4.5star.jpg Crime

It's June 1996 and football's European Championships are about to start in London. DS Tom Thorne is having a nightmare and it's one he has regularly. It relates to a case from ten years earlier when he knew that a man was guilty, but didn't take any action until the man's wife and three children had been murdered and the man had killed himself.

Cat Coyne and Maria Ashton are with their sons Kieron and Josh. It's a happy combination in that the boys are devoted to each other and - despite differences in the where and how they live - the women are best friends. The boys are seven-year-old and they play on the swings in the park and then dash off to play hide and seek in Highgate Wood. Josh was the one doing the hiding - but he returned tearfully to the women: Kieron never came to find him and now he can't find Kieron. Full Review

1529402271.jpg

Review of

Murder on the Moorland (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries) by Helen Cox

3.5star.jpg Crime

DI Malcolm Halloran and Kitt Hartley's relationship is developing nicely: they're even into a spot of bandage now, although the details are (mercifully) scant. After a night of passion Halloran is called away in the early hours of the morning. There's been a murder in Irendale, where Halloran used to live and where his wife, Kamala, was strangled five years ago. There are sufficient details of the current murder to make Halloran suspect that the man who murdered his wife - and others - is in some way involved, despite being in prison. The DI heads off to speak to Jeremy Kerr. Full Review

1913193403.jpg

Review of

Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardottir and Quentin Bates (translator)

3star.jpg Crime

Meet Ursula, the stand-in minister, drafted in from outside the leading party to cover the post for a year. You might get to meet her hunky husband she can't believe she deserves, and the children who are ignorant of just how she spent all her empathy for them on previous jobs in the foreign aid charity sector. You'll meet her ministry's cleaner, who bizarrely has fallen into the task of helping a famous newsreader with her Tinder profile. You'll certainly meet a homeless tramp, who has taken one look at a newspaper image of Ursula, and, knowing her of old, decided she needs saving from the devil posing beside her. You'll meet the ministerial bodyguard and driver the tramp almost immediately forces Ursula to accept. But as for the first ministerial case, of a woman demanding her daughter's rape get looked at and pronto, nobody can say, for all records of Ursula's meeting with the woman have been wiped… Full Review

1409187438.jpg

Review of

The First Lie by A J Park

3.5star.jpg Thrillers

On the second of October 37-year-old barrister, Paul Reeve, returned home at 9 pm to find his house in darkness and the front door open. His wife was in the bedroom in a state of shock and in the bathroom there was a dead man who had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck with Paul's paper-knife. In that moment Paul takes a decision that will be irrevocable: he decides that he and Alice are not going to ring the police and tell the truth. They're going to bury the body in woodland and go on as though nothing has happened. Full Review

1529401801.jpg

Review of

Grave's End (DS Alexandra Cupidi) by William Shaw

4.5star.jpg Crime

Gram Hickman, who worked for an estate agent, took his girlfriend, Angela Booth, to a house which his firm was marketing. Guildeford Hall was an old Kentish oast house and was on the market for millions of pounds. Gram was hoping that he could get Angela into bed and he'd brought a bottle of prosecco along. It was when searching for somewhere to chill the bottle that he found the body of a man in the freezer in the garage. DS Alexandra Cupidi and DC Jill Ferriter are on the case. Full Review

1785768239.jpg

Review of

End of Summer by Anders de la Motte

4star.jpg Crime

In the summer of 1983, little Billy Nilsson goes missing. He was chasing a rabbit, through the garden, and into the maize field behind. He has not been seen since. In the present day, Veronica Lindh is a grief counsellor running group therapy sessions for the bereaved – although she clearly has problems of her own: anxiety, panic attacks, a scar on her arm that she keeps obsessively hidden and she is barely hanging on to her job. It's clear that she has just returned to work after an episode that seems to have resulted in restraining orders against her, a deal of therapy, a change of location and her supervisor is watching closely. As well, he needs to. Full Review

1785765698.jpg

Review of

Shed No Tears by Caz Frear

4.5star.jpg Crime

In November 2012 Christopher Masters, the man who would become known as 'the roommate killer', strangled three women in a fortnight. When he was arrested he admitted the killings. A fourth death was attributed to him - that of Holly Kemp - and on occasions, Masters admitted to the killing, then he denied it - then admitted it, then denied it. He played with the police, but there was sufficient evidence on the first three killings to put him away for a long time and the CPS were not convinced about the Holly Kemp case. There was no body and once Masters was murdered in prison, no hope of progressing the case further. Full Review

1472265602.jpg

Review of

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth

3.5star.jpg Crime

Too hot to sleep. Too hot to think straight. Too hot to go back

During a British heatwave 15-year-old, Lily Dixon, has left home and is reported missing. Rachel is a teacher at Lily's school and the mother of Mia, Lily's best friend. As Lily's family and the police struggle to find any evidence that may lead to Lily, Rachel takes it upon herself to start looking for clues. However, as the case goes on Rachel becomes fixated on finding Lily and finds herself crossing boundaries, breaking trust and facing some impossible choices. Will they find Lily? Does Lily want to be found? And will life for Rachel ever be the same again? Full Review

1787301435.jpg

Review of

Dark Waters by G R Halliday

4star.jpg Crime

Twenty-two-year-old Annabelle Whittaker made her second mistake when she opted to drive down the private road in Glen Turrit. It was a long road through some breath-taking scenery and she could push the car to its limits without fear of being caught speeding. When the blond child stepped out in front of her she instinctively jerked the steering wheel and hit a tree. When she came round after the accident she couldn't work out where she was, but it obviously wasn't a conventional hospital. She'd made her first mistake some time ago, although the realisation wouldn't be obvious to her for a long time. She'd made it when she chose to have her father buy her a pale blue BMW M4. Full Review

Move on to Newest Crime (Historical) Reviews