Newest Crime Reviews

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Name of the Dog by Elmer Mendoza

3.5star.jpg Crime

If, like half of the country you've been glued to Netflix with series such as Narcos and El Chapo then I think you'll really enjoy this. The machismo of the cartels, the disillusionment of the police and collusion of the military are all familiar territory and are well explored by Mendoza with the odd surprise provided such as a female cartel boss at the heart of the story whose gumption and conniving matches any of the male characters. Lefty the detective, is the classic antihero of literature and is attractive despite himself so eliciting quick good will and a sense of comradery from the reader. If you're less set in your ways than me then I certainly think this book and series are worth a read - just give yourself a few chapters to acclimatise! Full review...

Forever After: a dark comedy by David Jester

4star.jpg Paranormal

Michael Holland is a cocky and brash young man who dies and gets made the offer of his lifetime; immortality. We follow Michael, a grim reaper and his friends Chip (a stoner tooth fairy) and Naff (a stoner in the records department) as they grapple with their long lives and finding a clean surface to sit on in their flat. Full review...

Buried Secrets by Lisa Cutts

4.5star.jpg Crime

You never know what goes on in a marriage: most people thought that Detective Inspector Milton Bowman had the ideal life. He had a beautiful wife and a house that had a mortgage which was smaller than most people's credit card bill. On the other hand, there weren't that many people who had a good word to say about him and when he was involved in a serious road traffic accident which left him minus a leg and with only a few hours to live, people were more worried about the extra work than saddened. When his wife's battered body was found in their kitchen, the idea that it was a murder/suicide seemed like the obvious answer. Full review...

Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery by Gladys Mitchell

4star.jpg Crime

Adela Bradley decided to spend Christmas with her nephew Jonathan and his wife Deborah at their new home in the Cotswolds. Mrs Bradley is a well-known psychiatrist but she's also a respected detective renowned for her sharp powers of observation. She soon comes to hear the story of a local ghost, that of a country parson whose apparition can sometimes be seen slung over the gate leading to Groaning Spinney: the ghost will play a part in what is about to happen. Jonathan Bradley has effectively become the local squire with the acquisition of his property and Mrs Bradley quickly becomes acquainted with some of the locals as they visit to give festive wishes. Full review...

By the Light of a Lie by Marjorie Orr

4star.jpg Crime

Tire Thane was devastated when her best friend, Erica, was killed in a hit-and-run accident (if, indeed, it was an accident) but she really couldn't understand why she should have been in Hammersmith. She'd left her getting into a taxi at 11 o'clock the night before outside the theatre in St Martin's Lane and she was on her way home to Hampstead to review papers ready for a court appearance the following morning. Then she died three hours later and miles out of her way. The police didn't seem likely to pursue the case on the grounds that it had probably been an accident, but being an investigative journalist made Tire suspicious and she wasn't going to leave her friend unavenged. Full review...

Marty's Master by Suzanne Elizabeth Reed

3.5star.jpg Crime

Margaret was nervous about going for the walk around the lake on her own, convinced until the very last moment that her husband would relent and go with her. She made it to the Blue Forge Club House where her friend Laura worked behind the bar, relieved that she'd managed to leave the drunken man who was Marty's master and some other suspicious-looking men behind her. Laura looked uneasy: her dead sister's widower, Avel, had remarried and his new wife, Elena, was in the clubhouse with Avel's children - three teenage girls and a boy who was little more than a toddler. Elena didn't look in the least pleased to be there and despite Avel's promises to pick them up, he was nowhere to be seen. Full review...

Wychwood by George Mann

4.5star.jpg Crime

Thirty-something Elspeth Reeves has lost her job and left her partner. Much as she prefers London, she decides to retreat to her childhood home in an Oxfordshire village for a short time to lick her wounds, but she arrives to find the neighbouring part of the Wychwood is a crime scene. Even broken-hearted journalists can't afford to pass up the chance of a story, particularly if they know they need to drum up some freelance work soon, so Elspeth can't resist sticking her nose in. With her childhood friend Peter the detective sergeant on the case there's an extra interest in it for Elspeth, and once she's spotted the connection between the ritualised murder and the local myth about the Carrion King, Peter and Elspeth pool their resources to try and uncover a serial killer. Full review...

Agatha Raisin and the Witches' Tree by M C Beaton

3star.jpg Crime

For those of you not familiar with Agatha Raisin she is essentially a short-tempered private investigator in her early 50s with an alcohol, doughnut and man obsession. Much like TV's Midsomer Murders, the small Cotswold village where Agatha lives has an astonishingly high crime rate with enough murders to sustain 28 books so far. Full review...

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch

4star.jpg Crime

When local police find something weird - spectres scaring commuters on a particular part of the Metropolitan Line, for example - they call for PC Peter Grant of the Special Assessment Unit, also known as The Folly. Stray river gods, missing Victorian children, fleeting 18th century dispatch riders, they are all in a day’s (or a night’s) work for The Folly. Full review...

The Happy Ending by David Stokes

3.5star.jpg Crime

Harry Pigeon is 97 years old. He's a bit shakey on his pins, can't move far without his walking frame, has been known to have a fall or two – so makes sure he has his panic button with him – but still he's managing well enough at home. Mentally he's all there, even if he does have these conversations with his wife, who's been dead the last 6 years. There's a point when 'doing ok' stops being quite so ok, a point when there's clearly no purpose left. No-one comes, even the paramedics seem to have shunted you to the bottom of the list, and well, it's all becoming just a bit too undignified. To be honest, when he found the morphine Betty'd been stock-piling against the day her own illness got too much for her but never used as it turned out, Harry was on the point of using it himself. Full review...

These Darkening Days by Benjamin Myers

5star.jpg Crime

Somewhere in his brain Tony Garner knew that getting hold of the knife was a mistake, but he liked knives and had quite a collection until they were all taken away after the accident which had left him, well, not quite as he ought to be. The problem with this knife was that it was beside the woman who was lying in the ginnell, one leg twisted under her rather strangely and with blood coursing down her face. Tony thought about ringing the police but dismissed the idea quickly. She was still alive - just - so an ambulance might have been a good idea, but Tony had an instinct for when trouble was going to catch him, so he dropped the knife down a drain and disappeared. Full review...

Portrait of a Murderer: A Christmas Crime Story by Anne Meredith

4star.jpg Crime

Adrian Gray was not a particularly pleasant man, but that was no reason why he should meet his death at the hands of one of his own children as they celebrated Christmas at Kings Poplars in 1931. None of the six children were fond of their father and several had cause to wish him dead. Richard was the eldest and was married to Laura. He was a politician and keen to advance himself - and to get a title other than the knighthood which he already had - but such endeavours cost money which he didn't have. He'd also been indiscreet with another woman who was attempting to blackmail him and was hoping that his father would advance some funds to get him out of the mess. Full review...

Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton

4star.jpg Crime

My very first crime fiction book was a Kinsey Millhone story, and I found it so utterly captivating that it converted me from a crime avoider to a crime lover! Since that first story, I have been committed to the alphabet mysteries, so it I felt both excited and a little sad to be holding the penultimate story in the series in my hands! Full review...

Look For Her by Emily Winslow

4star.jpg Crime

In 1976, Annalise Wood disappeared on her journey home from school and instantly became a local celebrity. For decades the town of Lilling tried to solve the mystery of Annalise's disappearance until, almost twenty years later, her body was discovered. Annalise's body was badly decomposed and there was lack of DNA available, the only trace on the body was found in her skirt and does not match anyone on record. The chances of finding her killer were extremely low and the murder soon becomes a 'cold case' – but still the most famous Lilling has ever seen. Full review...

The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene by E V Harte

5star.jpg Crime

I love reading full stop so I was excited to have the chance to read the first crime novel from established, well-regarded author Daisy Waugh, writing under a pseudonym. But, as a self-confessed chicklit fan, who's never read a crime novel before, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it....turns out I absolutely loved it! Full review...

From The Shadows by Neil White

4.5star.jpg Crime

I'm a bit old-fashioned and therefore not a great fan of stories that can't keep their timeline straight. I'll go with a prologue – even if it's becoming a bit of clichéd way of creating a mystery at the beginning of a story – but switching between 'now' and 'a fortnight ago' – just feels a little lazy, a way of creating tension when all else fails. That, however, is my only little gripe about From The Shadows and I admit, whether I like it or not, it does more or less work. Full review...

Dead Souls (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was a field trip, but to be honest a lot of the students didn't really look all that interested in the excavation and Dr A really rather hoped that none of them would go into forensics. There was more excitement when the skull was discovered but at that point the students were quickly escorted from the scene and D I Kim Stone came on site to begin her investigation. Unfortunately D I Tom Travis from the neighbouring force also arrived with the same intention: the burial site was right on the border between the two forces and no one was quite certain where one ended and the other began. Stone assumed that it would be her case and was shocked and bewildered when she found that it was to be run as a joint investigation. She nearly refused: she and Travis had history. Full review...

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

4.5star.jpg Crime

An attractive, well-heeled woman enters a classically-minded funeral parlour in London, and makes plans for her own funeral. Within just a few hours, she's had lunch, engaged with business affairs – and been killed in her own home. Could anyone have foreseen the service to have been needed so quickly? That's the initial premise of this thriller, this most intriguing mystery, and if you want to read it – which is something you really should do – with no surprises, you should not read the book's blurb, or even the authorial biography, and perhaps not even the following. Just go in blind, and wait for the surprises – that start, as it happens, with chapter two… Full review...

The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue

4.5star.jpg Crime

DI Mike Lockyer and his preferred sidekick DS Jane Bennett are back – but this time not on home turf. Lewisham's finest are sent to the country for this outing. There's been a death down in Somerset. It's not the sort of thing you'd expect the regional murder squad to get involved in, it looks like a hit-and-run on a remote road in the Quantocks, probably just some drunk driving a big four-by-four who didn't even know he'd done it. Full review...

The Long Arm of the Law by Martin Edwards (editor)

4.5star.jpg Crime

When we think of the 'golden age' of crime fiction, we think of the brilliant amateur forever putting the official P.C. Plod to shame. Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Father Brown and so on. I'll admit to being a fan of all of those, but they aren't the whole story. The other side of the coin shows the official police doing their job and getting their man. Full review...

Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid

5star.jpg Crime

When we meet Kathryn McCormick we know that she's got less than three weeks to live. Had Kathryn known that she might have made different choices. I've a suspicion that she might not have wasted time being at the wedding, but it was there that she met her killer. He said his name was David and he was charming, respectful, unwilling to rush anything as he was still getting over the death of his wife. Kathryn was left with the feeling that he was still more than a little bit in love with Tricia. They went on a couple of dates and then David took her to a cottage in the Dales for the weekend. By the end of the weekend Kathryn would be dead in her burned-out car. Full review...

All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker

4star.jpg Crime

In the small town of Grace, fifteen-year-old Summer Ryan suddenly goes missing. A model student with exceptional musical talent and beloved by all that know her, the incident rocks the entire town. It is even more terrifying set against the backdrop of recent crimes; for over the course of the year, five young church-attending girls have gone missing from all corners of Briar County. The kidnapper and murderer responsible for the disappearance of these girls is nicknamed Bird by law enforcement, and has so far evaded capture. Whilst he roams the streets, no one is safe. Full review...

I Am Missing: David Raker Missing Persons by Tim Weaver

5star.jpg Crime

David Raker is an investigator, specialising in missing persons cases. Over the course of his work, he's seen plenty of unusual things, but he’s never encountered a case quite like this one. A man, Richard Kite, has approached him for help, but explains that his request is quite unusual. You see, Richard Kite isn't trying to locate a missing person. He IS the missing person. Found unconscious at the mouth of Southampton Water 10 months previously, Richard is now suffering from dissociative amnesia, which means that he can't remember anything about his life. He's not even sure that his real name is Richard Kite. Richard is frustrated because he cannot move on with his life. Nobody seems to know who he is, despite news and press coverage of his case, and without a National Insurance number, he is basically 'off the grid,' unable to get a job, pay tax or own a home. This desperate and confused man needs Raker's help to discover the truth. But the truth can be a dangerous thing. Full review...

Good Friday (Tennison 3) by Lynda La Plante

3.5star.jpg Crime

Jane Tennison's a fully-fledged detective now after her ten-week course at Hendon: she's back at Bow Street waiting for her first posting. She'd like the Flying Squad, but she's not got the experience, nor, it has to be said, the necessary physical attributes. This is 1976 and male chauvinism was rampant. It was also London just after the extensive IRA bombing campaign of 1974 and 75 and no one believes that it's going to be over any time soon. Passing through Covent Garden station one morning Jane was caught up in the latest incident in which a bomb killed five people - and she's one of only two people who got a good look at the bomber. Full review...

The Mermaid's Scream (Wesley Peterson) by Kate Ellis

4star.jpg Crime

In 1884 a wealthy young woman became infatuated with the man who ran a travelling puppet show. We'll follow the story of John Lipton's courtship through excerpts from his journal.

In August 2016 Zac Wilkinson was writing the biography of the reclusive novelist Wynn Staniland. It's not easy work as Staniland isn't inclined to give more away than he has to and is unwilling to discuss the one thing which the public will want to know about: his wife's suicide which seemed to follow a scene from his most famous book. Wilkinson is doing his best to drum up interest in the forthcoming book: he does talks at local libraries which are well attended and he was seemingly on his way to one of these talks when he disappeared. Full review...

Murder in Saint-Germain by Cara Black

4star.jpg Crime

Who is Aimee Leduc? I have to be honest and say that though this novel may be seventeenth in series from the best-selling Cara Black, it is in fact my first outing with the deft Parisienne detective. And so, if I'm honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. How does a character with so many investigations under her belt retain the gusto we've come to expect from all good literary detectives? Moreover, how does an author with so well established a character as Aimee Leduc keep her interesting enough for those of us coming late to the party? After reading Murder in Saint-Germain I would suggest that Black manages it quite easily. Full review...

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre and Frank Wynne (translator)

4star.jpg Crime

Christmas week, 1999, and Antoine hasn't got the best of situations. Some of his friends have parted company with him because of the new-fangled Playstation, which his mother refuses to let him waste his time on. He's built a treehouse all by himself, and decided it was solely to woo the girl next door that he loves, but she's rejected it. And his best company, the dog from the other house next door, was injured in a hit and run, and shot to be put out of its misery. In the process of angrily demolishing the treehouse, he's visited by his very friendly and adorable neighbour, the dog's six-year-old owner, and Antoine's swung some of the wood at him – and killed him with one fell and very foul sweep. As the title suggests, there will be a very tense few days and nights while the guilt amasses with the lad – and/or a lifetime of living on a knife-edge, where any false move could lead to him being found out… Full review...

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

5star.jpg General Fiction

18 year old Rachel Fullsmith returns home to Kenya after being away at school in England and finds a lot can change in 6 years. Of course she realises her mother's death would alter things but she's not prepared for her father's live-in 'companion' Sara nor Sara's son Harold sleeping in Rachel's old room. Michael the Kikuyu servant boy she grew up with is still there though and now a man with his own ideas. Meanwhile the unrest between the British rulers and the local Mau Mau fighters is increasing and about to blow. Full review...