Newest Crime Reviews

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Black River by Will Dean

5star.jpg Crime

Tuva Moodyson returns - and this third book in the Tuva Moodyson mystery series delves deep into her personal life, returning her to the isolated town of Gavrik and into a desperate search for her missing best friend. With the Midsommar sun blocked out by the dark pines of the forest, Tuva fights to save her friend. But who’ll be there to save Tuva? Full Review

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Man at the Window (Detective Cardilini) by Robert Jeffreys

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It's when we read that a young boy is creeping reluctantly to a teacher's bedroom one October night that we realise something is badly wrong. Nowadays you might hope that something would be done about it fairly quickly but this was 1965 and child abuse was generally regarded as malicious mischief on the part of the child. The boy would be safe that night though - albeit in the most horrific fashion. When he reached Captain Edmund's bedroom he found the man dead on the floor, the top of his skull missing. The school's initial reaction was that this was a dreadful accident: there had been a cull of kangaroos in some nearby fields and it was obviously a stray bullet which had killed the Captain. Full Review

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The Bad Fire (Bob Skinner) by Quintin Jardine

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Nine years ago local councillor Marcia Brown took her own life after being accused of shoplifting from a local supermarket. It's always been assumed that she couldn't live with the shame. People were surprised that she committed suicide just before the court case when she had been adamant that she would fight to clear her name. She said that she'd been set up because she was hot on the trail of corruption in the council. Her ex-husband has contacted Alex Skinner, Solicitor Advocate as well as retired Police Constable Bob Skinner's daughter, and asked that she look into clearing Brown's name: it's something which he feels that he has to do in memory of his son who was murdered recently. Full Review

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A Body in the Bookshop (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries) by Helen Cox

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Evie Bowes is very conscious of the scars on her face. They were acquired when she was rescued from a car in the River Ouse by Inspector Halloran. She’d been suspected of the murder of her boyfriend, Owen, and in the process of clearing her name she and her best friend, Kitt Hartley developed a taste for detection. Kitt developed a taste for Inspector Halloran Too, but they’re taking it slowly. Well, sort of slowly. Full Review

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All the Rage (D I Fawley) by Cara Hunter

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A very beautiful, but extremely distressed teenage girl was picked up by a minicab driver on the outskirts of Oxford. She didn't want to go to the police station or the hospital: she just wanted to be taken home. The driver wasn't so certain though - and after dropping the girl at home he went to the police, which is why DI Adam Fawley found himself talking to Faith Appleford and her mother. Both were adamant that this was nothing more than an April Fool's joke which had gone wrong. No crime had been committed and Faith didn't want to take the matter any further. Fawley and his team weren't prepared to leave it at that and they began investigating. What they found strange was that Faith Appleford didn't seem to have much of a history. Full Review

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The Royal Baths Murder by J R Ellis

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When Damian Penrose was murdered there was no shortage of suspects: he was a deeply unpleasant man. In fact the only surprising thing was that there wasn't more of a queue waiting to do the dirty deed. What was a bit of a headline maker was that Penrose was a crime writer and that he was strangled in the midst of Harrogate's crime writing festival. He went for a swim at the Royal Baths and never returned, his body being found by the receptionist. DCI Jim Oldroyd was the man tasked with investigating the crime. It would not be the only death, and it was only because of the quick actions of his sergeant, Andy Carter, that Oldroyd's was not one of them. Full Review

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It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo and Elizabeth Bryer (translator)

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It Would Be Night in Caracas illuminates the everyday horrors of modern day Venezuela. It begins with the death of Adelaida Falcon's mother and chronicles Adelaida's coming to terms with her new solitude in this world and her attempts to escape it. Danger stalks the shadows and, in a society where the establishment is crumbling, who can you turn to? Full Review

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The Lying Room by Nicci French

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

When we meet Neve Connolly it's pretty obvious that she has something to hide. She crept into the house after midnight, carefully putting her clothes into the washing machine and she can't wait to get husband Fletcher and children Mabel, Connor and Rory off on their various ways the next morning when she gets a text telling her to come to the flat. He has a few hours to spare and can't wait to see her. Only, when she gets to the flat she finds Saul Stevenson, her boss and lover, dead on the floor. The hammer that's been used on his brain is at his side. Full Review

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Dead Flowers (Dr Sian Love) by Nicola Monaghan

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It was more than a little bit of a surprise to Dr Sian Love (and the rest of the relatives) when her uncle Bobby left her his home - a former pub called The Loggerheads in the Narrow Marsh area of Nottingham. Then it was a shock when she found two bodies in the cellar before she'd even got settled in - and managed to break a bone in her foot in the course of making the discovery. They'd been there for some time, but who - exactly - were the man and the woman, wrapped in each other's arms? Having spent ten years on the Murder Squad, ending up as a DCI she knows what's going to happen next, but she's not prepared for quite how personal it's all going to get. Full Review

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The Long Call (Two Rivers) by Ann Cleeves

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

When we first meet DI Matthew Venn he's at his father's funeral, although 'at' rather overstates the proximity. He sees everyone - his mother and the preacher included from a distance - but he doesn't go it. He wouldn't be welcome. Those attending are part of the Barum Brethren and the teenage Matthew was thrown out when he told the congregation how wrong they were in their beliefs. It coincided with him leaving university and joining the police force. The announcement of Matthew's marriage to Jonathan Church was in the local paper and whilst he doesn't know if his father saw it, he can't imagine that it will have gone down well. Full Review

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Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth

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

When council officer Chris Buckley is approached by an old man who wants his help in healing a decades' old family rift he's reluctant to get involved, but then Chris is reluctant to get involved in anything but a pint in the pub these days. It could just be the way that he is, or the fact that he's just lost both his parents within three months of each other. He's currently existing in the family home and wondering when he's going to be made redundant from his job with the council. The short answer to that one is 'soon'. Chris does his best to deter the old man, but it's not before he's left a lot of papers with his neighbour. Then the old man is murdered and the police come calling on Chris. Full Review

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The Benefit of Hindsight (Simon Serrailler) by Susan Hill

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A superficial look would suggest to you that Simon Serrailer has been lucky and - all things considered - his life is as good as it could be. He's back at work after a long break to recuperate from the violent incident which cost him his arm and almost his life. When he's not at work he's spending his time in the cathedral roof drawing the medieval angels which are being restored. There's talk of an exhibition of his drawings. Lafferton seems to be quite settled as far as crime is concerned until one night when two local men open their front door to a couple seeking shelter. It's the usual story of a broken-down car, and a phone which won't make a call. The man are generous and welcoming and have no suspicions that the couple are simply there to plan a robbery. It's a serious error of judgement in the course of this investigation which will throw Simon Serrailler's future into doubt. Full Review

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The Dirty Dozen (Jane Tennison 5) by Lynda La Plante

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

Jane Tennison had worked hard to get a place on the Flying Squad and she felt that she was there on merit. The Squad wondered who she'd slept with to get the place and bets were being taken as to who she'd sleep with in the first week. What none of them - Jane included - knew was that she was there as an experiment, in the hope that a female presence would have a calming effect. The job had been advertised and Jane was the only female who applied who ticked all the boxes. She doesn't tick all the boxes for the head of the Squad, DCI Murphy. He wanted someone with at least ten years' experience, and the appropriate set of genitals - and he's determined that Jane will fail. Full Review

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A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows

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

DCI Domenic Jejeune is no longer with Lindy Hey, the estrangement being of his making, not hers. He hasn't explained to her that he is doing this - and leaving for his native Canada - because he thinks that this will keep her safe from his nemesis, Ray Hayes. Lauren Salter has been promoted to sergeant and now has her first murder case. It looks as though there's an obvious suspect, but Salter isn't so certain. Sgt Danny Maik is (unofficially) keeping an eye on Lindy Hey, whilst Jejeune embarks on a treacherous journey to rescue his brother, Damian, who has gone missing in one of Canada's largest national parks. Full Review

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The Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates

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

Bobby is an angry, damaged man - damage that came from being abandoned as a baby in a bus station locker, and then being thrown from one foster home or detention centre to another, never far from violence or abuse. Eager to succeed as a musician, he arrives in Hollywood to find his dream - but it soon becomes clear that his paranoid delusions and seething rage will enable a capacity for acts of extreme violence. Unpublished for 40 years, this edition of The Triumph of the Spider Monkey comes combined with a connected novella – Love, Careless Love. Full Review

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Clear My Name by Paula Daly

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

Tess Gilroy works for Innocence UK, a charity investigating the cases of prisoners who can convince them that they've been wrongly convicted and they're just moving on to their next case. She's somewhat surprised when Clive, the head of the charity, announces that she'll have someone shadowing her. Avril's in her mid twenties and rather gauche as well as prone to putting her foot in it. One of the reasons they're now going to look at the case of Carrie Kamara is that she's female and Innocence have never yet taken up the case of a woman: such impressions matter. Full Review

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A Breath on Dying Embers (DCI Daley) by Denzil Meyrick

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Few government trade missions arrive by luxury liner, but the cruise ship Great Britain is berthed in Kinloch harbour and on board are high-powered international delegates. It's hard to avoid the suspicion that it's not entirely about work as the billionaires, entrepreneurs and their civil service minders tour the country, golfing and sightseeing with their entourage of security personnel. It's an event which DCI Daley hopes will pass quickly, particularly as his formal uniform is far too tight for comfort, but it's not long before one of the crew members and a local bird watcher go missing. Full Review

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Cold Granite (Logan McRae) by Stuart MacBride

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DS Logan McRae is just back from a year's sick leave after he was attacked by a killer. He's just about OK and he's supposed to be easing himself back into the swing of the job in a gentle way - until three-year-old David Reid's body is discovered in a ditch. He'd been missing for some time and it came as no surprise that he was dead but he's the first of several child murders. To add to the complications the police even have a body but no child reported missing. A serial killer, a child killer and abuser, is on the loose in Aberdeen and the press are missing no opportunity to bay for blood. As if that wasn't bad enough there seems to be a leak from within Force Headquarters: a local journalist, Colin Miller, quickly finds out everything that's happening. Full Review

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Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson

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

I guess that most of us have made the odd impulse purchase but Tracy Waterhouse, security chief at the Merrion Centre in Leeds, blew most people's ideas of an impulse purchase out of the water one morning. Seeing a known prostitute dragging a toddler through the shopping mall whilst cursing at her, Waterhouse followed the woman and bought the girl for £3000. The difficulty of a purchase like this is knowing what to do next and Tracy's humdrum life is replaced with one of stress, fear and an overwhelming love for four-year-old Courtney. Full Review