Newest Crime Reviews

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Review of

Bound (Detective Sam Shephard) by Vanda Symon

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Dunedin was shocked when it heard of the murder of a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman out at Seacliff. His wife had been bound and gagged and placed so that she was forced to watch the murder, with the scene being discovered by their son, Declan, when he returned home from an evening out. The subsequent investigation would prove that John Henderson had been involved in some activities which might have been considered shady and certainly questionable if not illegal. His company, Eros Global, manufactured and marketed vitamin-type supplements and, well, sexual enhancers, that kind of thing, as Henderson's employee, Blair Harvey-Boyd explained. Full Review

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Review of

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

4star.jpg Thrillers

Joseph Knox, known for his series surrounding Detective Aidan Waits, has created a new genre with his latest novel, "True Crime Story". The story follows the disappearance of Zoe Nolan from her university halls of residence. Split into four parts, the reader is taken through the life and disappearance of Zoe through the eyes of her twin sister, other family, friends and professionals, such as the police. The various accounts help the reader get to know Zoe, or at least the Zoe she presented to others. However, the twists and turns at the end of each chapter leave you shocked, confused and unsure of what is true or fabricated. Whose accounts can we trust? Full Review

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Review of

What Will Burn (Inspector McLean) by James Oswald

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When Cecily Slater's body was found, she'd already been dead for a week - in a house fire in deserted woodland near Edinburgh. Heavy rain had washed away most of the evidence, but DI Tony McLean, demoted and just returned from suspension, is reluctant to accept that this is nothing more than a careless accident. There were indications that Slater had been savagely, almost ritualistically beaten before the fire. But who would hate a ninety-year-old woman to the extent of doing something like that? She was a virtual recluse: who could she have upset to that extent? Full Review

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Review of

Where Ravens Roost by Karin Nordin

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Inspector Kjeld Nygaard had been estranged from his father, Stenar, for more than a decade but when he got the rather muddled phone call from him saying that he'd seen a murder in the barn on his land he didn't hesitate to drop everything and go to Varsund. Actually, 'drop everything' rather overstates the situation. Nygaard was on suspension following the shooting of a suspect in the Aubuchon murder enquiry. There had been a complication: the Kattegat Killer turned out to be Nils Hedin, Nygaard's best friend. Still, the ten-hour drive from Gothenburg in the south of Sweden to Varsund in the far north shouldn't be underestimated. Full Review

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Review of

The Art of Death by David Fennell

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It was an art installation of the type which does appear in Trafalgar Square: a depiction of three homeless men in glass cabinets surrounded by liquid. Only this time it's not a depiction: these are the bodies of Billy Perrin, Stan Buxton and 34-year-old Noel Tipping. The installation is the work of @nonymous, underground artist and extreme version of Banksy. He's made a macabre promise: more will follow. In fact, we've already met the artist although not by name: he's been in the Lumberyard Cafe with his Moleskine notebook, Maki-e fountain pen, MacBook Air and iPhone. Elaine Kelly is there with her son, Jordan, and she's explaining to her best friend, Jackie Morris about the state of her marriage. Actually, it doesn't take a lot of explaining: Frank's attentions are obvious on her face despite the foundation she's applied. Chau Ho is behind the counter. There's someone online, CassandraH, that the artist has his eye on, too. Full Review

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Review of

Dark Memories (DS Nikki Parekh 3) by Liz Mistry

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Peggy Dyson was in her sixties and hadn't worn well. She was a drug addict and was living under the arches in Forster Square Station in Bradford. Her killer thought that he was probably doing her a favour by putting her out of her misery. DS Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik are on the case. Nikki can't quite understand why she's been sent an anonymous letter with a press report of the death. It had been impossible to make any progress in the case and the note seemed to taunt the police. Then another note arrived with a report of a seemingly unconnected death in Cambridge. The third death - in the street where Nikki lived as a child - brought another communication, with a further clue under the victim - and Nikki was sure that there was something personal in the case. Full Review

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Review of

The Night Hawks (Dr Ruth Galloway) by Elly Griffiths

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The night hawks are metal detectorists and they're out on Blakeney Point where they suspect that there's treasure to be found. Unfortunately, the youngest of the group, twenty-one-year-old Troy Evans, finds the body of a man floating on the incoming tide. After pulling it ashore, they call the police. DCI Nelson thinks that it's probably the body of an asylum seeker but there's no evidence of any activity to be had from the coastguard. The dead man turns out to be Jem Taylor, a North Norfolk man recently released from prison. Full Review

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Review of

The Shadow Man by Helen Fields

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Fergus Ariss is in his late thirties and he knows that he's dying. His body is giving up on him, his internal organs beginning to putrify but before he dies he wants a wife, a child and a brother. He's been on the lookout for the perfect people and he's made certain preparations. The flat where the family will live is prepared and even windows with curtains, and pictures in frames have been painted onto the walls. Angela Fernycroft was to be his wife. Her husband, Cal, had taken the children - a boy of seven and a girl of five, away for the weekend. Unfortunately, it doesn't go according to plan and Angela dies. Full Review

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Review of

Winterkill (Dark Iceland) by Ragnar Jonasson

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Ari Thor Arason is the police inspector in Siglufjordur and he's still living in the house on Eyrargata which he shared with his wife Kristin and son Stefnir before Kristin left to go to Sweden to do a Masters degree, taking three-year-old Stefnir with her. They were supposed to spend Christmas together but Kristin cancelled. It's now the Thursday of Holy Week and his family is due to arrive in Siglufjordur that afternoon. Ari Thor is having trouble sleeping but when he finally managed to get to sleep the phone rings: the body of a young woman has been found on Adalgata, the main street of the town. Full Review

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Review of

Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman

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It wasn't exactly the case Lt Milo Sturgis had been dreaming about: a death from thirty-six years ago and the daughter of the woman who died wanted some answers. She had money and money translated into clout and so the problem was dropped onto Milo's toes. Dorothy Swoboda was twenty-four years old when she died in a car which went off a cliff on Mulholland Drive and burst into flames. It turned out that she wasn't actually married to the man with whom she'd left her daughter but Dr Stanley R Barker, optometrist, was a good man and he took out adoption papers for Ellie - and she took his name. Ellie was three when her mother left her with Dr Barker and she has nothing of her but one photograph of her mother and father and a necklace made of serpentine. Full Review

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Review of

The Coffinmaker's Garden by Stuart MacBride

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At the coastal village of Clachmara, the headland is slowly eroding into the sea. Storm Trevor speeds up the process. A ship - the Ocean-Gold Harvester is stuck on the rocks and young Alfie Compton cannot resist sneaking out of the house to see what's happening. Margaret runs after her son and as she grabs him to pull him back to safety she glances across at the newly-exposed cliff front and sees human bones. Gordon Smith's home is falling into the North Sea and the evidence of what he's been doing for decades is going with it - except for what Ash Henderson of LIRU can grab as he later escapes the tumbling ruin. Full Review

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Review of

The Khan by Saima Mir

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Jia Khan has alway lived by the motto be twice as good as men and four times as good as white men. This has served her well in her rise through the criminal justice system and by the time she is called home for her sister's wedding after fifteen years in self-imposed exile, she is at the top of her game. Returning to the city of her birth, to old scars and fresh wounds, Jia must confront her past and reconcile her visions for the future with her sense of honour and duty. Full Review

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Review of

Fallen Angel (Gaby Darin Book 3) by Jenny O'Brien

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Acting DI Gaby Darin is twiddling her thumbs: the usual flood of cases has slowed to less than a dribble and she's looking through cold cases for inspiration as to which one she should have a good look at. DS Owen Bates suggests the murder of eighteen-year-old Angelica Brock in 1995 and Gaby is intrigued. She can't see any immediate failings in the original investigation: Angelica disappeared from a room in a securely-locked house, wearing her pyjamas, and was found dead by a dog walker on the Gt Orme in Llandudno the next day. She was wearing a hand-made nightdress which her mother had never seen before. Bates hasn't quite told the whole story: he's married to Kate Brock, Angelica's younger sister. Full Review

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Review of

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton

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Agatha Raisin has taken early retirement and she's left South Moulton Street for a cottage in the Cotswold village of Carsley. She's have preferred one of the more romantic names but at least Carsley is off the tourist trail with all the problems that brings. Now the problem is settling into a different way of life - and Agatha has never done small talk or even being pleasant to people. The first move is to enter the village quiche-baking competition and the beginning of the campaign is taking the judge, Reginald Cummings-Browne, and his wife Vera out to dinner. She knows she's being ripped off at the pub in the next village but this is necessary and it's a good investment as she knows that she's going to win. How? Well, her quiche is coming from a Chelsea Bakery... Full Review

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Review of

Fallen Angels by Gunnar Staalesen

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Varg Veum, lone wolf detective, is back. After attending a former friend's funeral, Veum catches up with old friends but soon historic grievances and wounds are opened and the sins of the past are exposed to the light of the present. A horrific murder threatens these tenuous bonds and Veum is thrust into an investigation to root out the clues hidden in his own history and to catch a killer. Full Review

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Review of

Death Awaits in Durham (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries) by Helen Cox

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Kitt Hartley's assistant, Grace Edwards, has left her library job and taken a place on the Venerable Bede Academy's vocational library studies course in Durham. It's an unusual place to study as students with government grants are not accepted, so most of the people attending are scions of the seriously rich, scholarship students - or they've managed, somehow, to scrape together the money. Grace, who's 22, comes into the last category. Her parents agreed to fund the course but told her that if that was what she chose to do then they were finished with her. Not long after she started the course, Kitt Hartley came for a visit - and immediately discovered an unsolved disappearance of a student from a year ago. Full Review

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Review of

The Captive by Deborah O'Connor

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Hannah knows the cage, intimately. It lurks in the corner of her eye. Soon, it will be occupied. Then what? What if he speaks to her? What if he escapes? What if he hurts her? What if she hurts him? Full Review

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Review of

Deadly Cry (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

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DI Kim Stone and DS Jim Bryant were on their way back from Diversity Awareness training. The need for coffee overtook Stone - the course had been a complete waste of time for her as she knew that she was equally rude to everyone. It was in the shopping centre that Stone caught sight of a little girl clutching a teddy bear in the absence of her mother. Stone and Bryant didn't realise the extent to which this case was going to occupy their minds as the body of Katrina Nock is discovered some hours later. Her neck had been broken and it had all the hallmarks of a quick, functional kill, but who would do that to a young mother out shopping with her child? Full Review

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Review of

Body Language by A K Turner

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Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Raven is the senior mortuary technician and not only does she talk to the dead, she also hears what they have to say to her. It's not something she's inclined to share with people as she's pretty certain about what their reaction will be. She's certainly not going to share it with the new pathologist, Dr Archie Chuff, wearer of a genuine Barbour jacket and old Harrovian. He's very conscious of his position and isn't even inclined to ask for the view of the anatomical pathology technicians despite the fact that they have a lot more experience than him and he has only a limited amount of time to spend on each body. That will prove to be a mistake. Full Review

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Review of

The Roots of Evil (Bob Skinner) by Quintin Jardine

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On New Year's Eve, Sir Robert Morgan Skinner was celebrating at the golf club with his wife, Professor Sarah Grace, daughter Alex Skinner and the man with whom she shares a house, Dominic Jackson. Jackson would be better-known to the criminal fraternity of Edinburgh as Lennie Plenderleith but he's reformed and the new name reflects a new man. The Skinners don't stay much after midnight at the clubhouse and are dropped home not long into the new year. Skinner's tempted to let the phone ring but knows that he cannot: it's Mario McGuire asking for his presence at a crime scene in the centre of Edinburgh. Skinner's not technically with the police now - he's chairman of InterMedia UK - but the police value his knowledge and experience. Full Review

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