Newest Crime Reviews

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Cold Bones (DS McAvoy 8) by David Mark

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

It all began almost innocently: DS Aector McAvoy was told by a concerned stranger that she and her son had regularly seen an old woman who lived in a nearby cottage but she hadn't been for a few days. Perhaps McAvoy could check that she was alright? No - she wouldn't go with him, but she'd tell him where the house was. And so McAvoy went, only to find the windows open on a freezing cold day - and inside an old lady was in her bath encased in ice. It might have been a tragic accident, but McAvoy suspected murder - and he thought that someone had watched the woman die. Full Review

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It Should Have Been Me by Susan Wilkins

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Thrillers, Crime

It's seventeen years since DC Jo Boden's sister, Sarah, was murdered and her life since has been lived in the shadow of what happened. Jo was only eleven at the time and her parents' marriage broke up in the aftermath: her brother Carl opted to go and live with his father but Jo stayed with her mother who was mentally frail and not coping with everyday life. She wasn't pleased when Jo decided to join the police, but the job satisfies Jo. She's passed her sergeant's exams but in the Met these days it's a case of dead men's shoes and no one seems inclined to make way for the younger generation. Still, being a detective is better than being a PC and when the opportunity to go undercover comes up, Jo grabs it. Full Review

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Malice in Malmo: (Inspector Anita Sundstrom) by Torquil MacLeod

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

It was embarrassing when a leading Malmo business man was kidnapped, particularly as the police didn't know anything about it until the man was discovered afterwards, tied to a park bench in a cemetery. He was coy about how much ransom was paid, but it was sufficient that he'd felt the pain of the digital transfers. That would have been bad enough, but a second businessman was snatched soon afterwards and the pressure on Inspector Anita Sundström and her colleagues was to find the businessman and to capture the kidnappers before they took anyone else. Worse was to come though when an investigative journalist was found murdered in his flat. Was one of his victims the murderer, or was it someone he was about to expose? Full Review

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The Whisperer by Karin Fossum

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

When we first meet Ragna we can't understand what's going on. She's talking to Inspector Konrad Sejer and it's obvious that she's being held in custody because of a crime which she admits she's committed. Only, as we hear about Greta's life it seems that she's more sinned against than sinning. After a botched operation on her vocal chords she can't speak above a whisper and to add insult to injury she's been left with a horrible scar across her throat. She's done her best to make a go of her life though: she enjoys her work in a shop and has learned ways of coping with the difficulties of communicating with people. Full Review

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Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Gamache) by Louise Penny

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

It came as something of a surprise when Armand Gamache was named as liquidator in the estate of a woman he'd never met. Another villager from Three Pines is also a liquidator, but the third is a stranger to them both. The mystery deepens when the will is read: given that the deceased was a cleaner it seems unlikely that she would have had the millions which she bequests at her disposal. Then a body is found. That's not Gamache's only problem though: one of his protégées, Amelia Choquet, has been expelled from the police academy for drug dealing, and the enquiry into the incident which led to his suspension as the head of the Sûreté in Quebec is dragging on and the outcome is looking increasingly ominous. Full Review

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To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers

If you're a detective on a murder squad one of the first things you learn is detachment. You develop a distance from the victim: it allows you do do your job with the minimum amount of emotion. That's relatively easy when you encounter your victim when they're already dead but DS Alice Parr met the woman they would need to call Jane Doe when she was alive, albeit only just. She was being tended by an off-duty paramedic who was struggling to cope with the fact that the woman's throat had been cut and she'd been stabbed several times. The attack had been called in by a dog walker and Alice had been walking to work when the call came over her Airwave radio. Full Review

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Cookin' The Books (Tish Tarragon Mystery) by Amy Patricia Meade

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

Tish Tarragon is working towards opening her literary cafe, Cookin' The Books, when the opportunity to cater for the Library fundraiser comes her way. It's a bit of a poisoned chalice, in more ways than one, as the head of the library committee, Binnie Broderick is difficult. In fact, when she's poisoned at the meal Tish has catered, there's no shortage of suspects. It's not just that she feels herself to be superior (she's a Darlington, you see), but that she actively goes out of her way to make life difficult for anyone she encounters. The town might be heaving a collective sigh of relief (except not in front of the sheriff, obviously) but Tish is worried that the fact that Binnie died face down in a meal she'd prepared might mean that people will not be all that keen to come to her cafe once it's opened. Full Review

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The Count of 9 by Erle Stanley Gardner

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Historical Fiction

The Count of 9 is a hardboiled detective story written in the 1950s. It revolves around the detective duo of Donald Lam and Bertha Cool as they attempt to solve the theft of priceless Bornean artefacts. However, their case quickly turns into something darker - an impossible murder. Full Review

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Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn Book 4) by Lisa Regan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

Detective Josie Quinn is no longer Chief of Police, but in many ways that's something of a relief, although it does mean that she doesn't quite have the autonomy that she had. It also means that the other detectives have a habit of calling her 'boss'. IT's the autonomy bit that strikes home though when she has to watch a fellow officer being arrested for a cold-blooded murder, but what other conclusion can you come to when the officer goes missing, her vehicle and phone are off the radar and there's the body of a young man in her driveway? Josie Quinn can't believe that Gretchen - the woman she brought onto the Denton police force - could be guilty of such a crime, but she and Noah Fraley are not going to have much time to prove that Gretchen is innocent, and Gretchen doesn't seem inclined to help them. Full Review

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The Woods Murder by Roy Lewis

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

Jenny Carson was just nine years old when she was murdered whilst taking a shortcut through Kenton Woods. Her father blamed lawyer Charles Lendon for her death - not that he thought he was physically responsible, but because Lendon had refused to allow the local children to use his driveway as a shortcut to school, forcing them to cut through the woods if they were late. Lendon wasn't a popular man - he would say that lawyers never are - partly because of his attitudes, but his incessant womanising had made him a lot of enemies. When Lendon was murdered a couple of months after Jenny's death, there was no shortage of suspects. Full Review

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Murder at the Manor Hotel (Melissa Craig 4) by Betty Rowlands

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

Melissa Craig should have been getting on with writing her latest mystery novel but she'd been sidetracked into working on the script for a pantomime. It wasn't a traditional panto, but a spoof for the birthday party of a local millionaire, to be held on Halloween. It's got all the hallmarks of a mystery and a pantomime and it looks as though cast and audience are all in for a good time with the rehearsals being held in a luxury hotel. Well, they were until one member of the cast turns up dead in the cellar at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs. What was he doing there and why is the hotel manager acting so strangely? Full Review

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Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James

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The investigation into the thefts of farm machinery has been going on for months and it's getting DI Tim Yates down: he can't see where to go next. It's almost a relief when Jack Fovargue, agricultural entrepreneur and local celebrity is assaulted in the street, but no one can understand why Fovargue is so reluctant to help the police with their enquiries, or to press charges, particularly when a police officer was also assaulted. Yates is then diverted into the investigation which followed the discovery of the headless body of a woman in a canal near Lincoln: it's an interesting case but the downside is that the senior investigating officer is DI Michael Robinson. They're contemporaries but Robinson is bumptious and inclined to taking credit for other people's efforts. Full Review

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A Clean Death by Adriaan Verheul

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Thrillers, Crime

Three very different men meet in the jungle, led there by fate. Davey sees conspiracies everywhere, Oliver seeks answers about the death of his father, and Captain Christmas leads a community of armed men, women and children, hidden far from justice in the forest. As the three men are brought together, the events could cause each to lose something of consequence: maybe illusion, maybe conviction, and maybe, just maybe, life itself… Full Review

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Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee

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DI Thomas Ridpath - call him Ridpath as he doesn't think Tom or Thomas suits him - looked to have a promising future in CID until he was forced to take extended sick leave nine months ago. He's back, but the word cancer leaves people doubting how well you really are, or are going to stay. Perhaps it would be better if he quietly retired? His wife, Polly, would like to see him in a desk job. Ridpath would like to be back in front-line policing, but all that's available to him is a secondment for three months as Coroner's Officer. If that's how it's got to be, then he'll do the best job he can. Full Review

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No Way Out by Cara Hunter

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It was the end of the Christmas holidays and Felix House in an elite area of Oxford was on fire. Two children were dragged from the inferno: one, a toddler, was pronounced dead at the scene and the other, a boy on the cusp of his teens, died in hospital some days later. But where were the parents? Were their bodies in what remained of the house and which was being steadily cleared, or had they left the children at home alone? For DI Adam Fawley it's one of his most disturbing cases. He's still not got over the death of his son and there's every sign that his marriage is on the rocks. For his team it's just a heartbreaking, exhausting case. Full Review

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Cold Case (Bob Skinner) by Quintin Jardine

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Bob Skinner left the police service in Scotland when it was amalgamated into one unit. He didn't believe in it then and he doesn't now and many serving officers would agree with him. He might be retired but he's hardly idle: he's contracted to spend one day a week working for a media group, but usually gives more. His family - six children now - is important to him. There's the occasional private commission, although he stops short of calling himself a private investigator, but he's just been presented with a problem which it's difficult to refuse. It's not the problem that's the difficulty - it's the person who is asking for help. Sir James Proud was Skinner's predecessor as Chief Constable and he's been approached by a blogger who feels that he has evidence that Proud was involved in a famous murder for which a man was convicted. He subsequently committed suicide whilst in prison - and went to his death denying that he was guilty. Full Review

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Red Snow by Will Dean

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Thrillers, crime

Life in the small town of Gavrik is trying to return to normal, following the grim events of Dark Pines. As Tuva prepares to move on from both the death of her mother and her small hometown, she is drawn into another dark investigation. One suicide, and one murder. Are they connected? With black liquorice coins covering the murdered man's eyes, the hashtag #ferryman starts trending, and the local people stocking up on ammunition. With only a fortnight to investigate before moving to the South, Tuva is further troubled by a blizzard that descends on the town, cutting Gavrik off from the larger world. Desperate to stop the killer, Tuva must go delve deep into the heart of the community – but who's to say the Ferryman will let her go? Full Review

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And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers

We know there's something very strange going on as soon as we join the story: we begin by hearing how it's going to end and that someone must die. But that's just a hint: for the time being we're with two police persons. Stephanie's the sergeant and she has Jason, the probationer with her in the squad car, but Stephanie doesn't like where they're heading. The house is stunning, but the last time she was here it was because there was a dead body at the bottom of the stairs to the pool. This time there's been a 999 call with a woman screaming for help: the omens are not good and when they enter the house they find two tangled, blood-soaked bodies in the bed. They both look dead, but one of them moves - it's Evie Clark and she confesses to killing her partner. Full Review

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Wild Fire (Shetland, Book 8) by Ann Cleeves

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

An English family moved to the Shetlands in the hope of a better life, particularly for their young son, who is at the able end of the autistic spectrum. The wife is a designer of knitwear and she makes use of many of the traditional local patterns: some Shetlanders like the idea. Others feel that she's ripping them off for her own profit. The husband is an architect: he's extended the croft they bought. Many admire the way that he's continued the clean lines of the croft and retained the original building. Others... - well, you get the picture. The family can do no right, particularly as the son has an obsession with fire and set some paper alight in the school playground. The former owner of the croft, who had to sell up when he was in financial difficulties, hung himself in the bothy: there are those on the island who feel that the family is responsible for his death. Full Review