Newest Crime Reviews

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Reckless Obsession by Dai Henley

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

It was several years since DCI Andy Flood's wife had been murdered, but he'd not come to terms with it. His daughters were coping reasonably well, not least because his mother had moved in after Georgina's death and she ran the home and looked after the girls. Flood's real problem was that the Met had moved the murder to cold case status. He couldn't believe that they'd do this when the murder of the wife of one of their own was unsolved, but he's determined not to give up on the case. Each evening when he's finished work he goes into his study and works on the statements from the case, looking for any inconsistencies. Full Review


Silver-Tongued by David Barrie

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Bruno Kahn is a bit like Marmite: people either love him or hate him. He's a psychiatrist, who has managed to insert himself into one of the richest families in France. There are those who suspect that he's exerting undue influence over the head of the family, Guy Larroque, who is either 'not as sharp as he used to be' or 'suffering from vascular dementia', depending on where you stand within the family. At the vascular dementia end of the continuum is Guy's daughter, Sabine Larroque, who's paid Samuel Bencherif, a freelance photographer, to dog the footsteps of Kahn and Guy Larroque's (very) young wife in the hope of finding something which she can use to free her father from their clutches. So far, so very much as the very rich live, until Bencherif is found bludgeoned to death in a passageway by the Theatre de l'Odeon in the centre of Paris. Full Review


Reckless Obsession by Dai Henley

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

It was several years since DCI Andy Flood's wife had been murdered, but he'd not come to terms with it. His daughters were coping reasonably well, not least because his mother had moved in after Georgina's death and she ran the home and looked after the girls. Flood's real problem was that the Met had moved the murder to cold case status. He couldn't believe that they'd do this when the murder of the wife of one of their own was unsolved, but he's determined not to give up on the case. Each evening when he's finished work he goes into his study and works on the statements from the case, looking for any inconsistencies. Full Review

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The Vanishing Season by Johanna Schaffhausen

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

Schaffhausen has been garnering a lot of attention for her first crime novel having already been crowned a First Crime Novel Award Winner by the Mystery Writers of America. My interest therefore was definitely piqued and I was excited to read this book. So, does it live up to all the hype? In a word: yes. I was gripped from the outset (forgive the terrible pun, we are after all dealing with a serial killer who chops off the hands of his victims to keep as trophies!) Full Review


Girl on Fire by Tony Parsons

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

A drone collides with an air ambulance, the mess falls on a busy shopping centre and we are barely out of the first chapter. DC Max Wolfe's latest adventure looks at religion, radicalisation, hate and paranoia. Without drawing breath we immediately jump to catching those responsible. The rest of the book gradually builds a web of intrigue and a virtual soap opera of family issues. Full Review

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Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

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

What happens when Utopia is achieved? When everyone is linked neurologically to everyone else and people vote on each minor decision so every aspect of life is truly democratic? Everyone knows everything and everyone decides everything so what can possibly go wrong? Except people are dying, melting to be precise, and no one knows how, or why, or who could be next. In such a circumstance who can be trusted to solve this crime and do so without spreading panic? What if the only people who can be trusted have already let you down once before? Full Review

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A Pitying of Doves by Steve Burrows

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

The body of a senior attaché from the Mexican consulate was found in a local bird sanctuary, along with the body of the director. It was a strange tableau: the girl impaled on a branch and the man lying at her feet, both in a cage. The fact that the man is a diplomat isn't immediately evident - he was in the area under an assumed name. DCI (and birder enthusiast) Domenic Jejeune is conflicted. The immediate problem is obviously to establish who murdered the man and the woman - and even that's complicated by the political necessity of not to involving the Mexican consulate, thus tying his hands rather tightly. The thoughts which are running in the back of his mind though are about the full-time research position studying birds which the director's death has opened up. Could this be his escape route from the police force? Full Review

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The Dark Angel (Dr Ruth Galloway) by Elly Griffiths

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

Dr Ruth Galloway has got used to being a published author, to being on television, but she's still flattered when Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli asks for her help with some bones which he's discovered in a tiny hilltop village outside Rome, but doesn't know what to make of them. Ruth succumbs to temptation: she and Angelo have some history (it was just the one night...) and it's years since she's had a holiday. Even a working holiday has to be an improvement. Castello degli Angeli isn't quite what she was expecting, but it will make a reasonable break for her, her daughter Kate, friend Shona and Shona's son Louis. Full Review

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A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows

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

Detective Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune is new to Saltmarsh, but his reputation has come before him. Success in a high profile case has made him the poster boy for the police. There's a snag though: Jejeune isn't actually that keen on the job. He'd much rather be out birdwatching, but that doesn't bring in an income and there's a simple fact. Jejeune is very a very good detective, with insights which few other people possess. There's one advantage to the job too: Saltmarsh is situated in North Norfolk, the UK's premier birding country but sometimes Jejeune's mind is more on the birds than the job. Full Review

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The Execution of Justice by Friedrich Durrenmatt and John E Woods (translator)

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

It's 1957, and we're somewhere in Switzerland, and there's just one case on everyone's lips – the simple fact that a politician has gone into the crowded room of one of those 'the place to go' restaurants, and point blank shot a professor everyone there must have known, and ferried a British companion to the airport in his chauffeur-driven Rolls before handing himself in to face the murder rap. Of course he's found guilty, even if the gun involved has managed to disappear. He's certainly of much interest, not only to our narrator, a young lawyer called Spaet – even if he rarely gets to frequent such establishments with such people, he is eager to know more, especially once he is actually tasked by the man in hand to look into things a second time. But what's this, where he opens his testimony about the affair with the conclusion, that he himself will need to turn killer to redress the balance? Full Review

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Auntie Poldi and the Fruits of the Lord by Mario Giordano

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

How to describe this book - well for starters it's unlike anything I've ever read before. It's chaotic, mad, funny, fast-paced, confusing but once you get into it it's really good fun and totally enjoyable. Full Review

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A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis

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

FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing children. There's a link back to her childhood here, as she might not have been missing but she was certainly lost. Her mother was abusive and her father preferred not to do anything about it: there might have been a bit of pretense but there was no protection. All that should be in the past, although Elsa is still self-harming when under pressure, but her father is dying of lung cancer and although she would have hoped for some personal time with him, her boss has allocated her to a new case, that of 17-year-old Ruby Haverstock, and you can't waste any time when children go missing. Full Review

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The Chalk Man by C J Tudor

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

The Chalk Man follows a group of friends haunted by an eerily terrifying spectre, conjured during one fateful summer. By the time the new term begins, friendships will be fractured, and a girl will be dead. But who is the killer; is it The Chalk Man, whose dusty white grip squeezes ever tighter, or someone much closer to home? Thirty years later, Ed has tried to forget about that summer, about all the poisoned, sinister memories of The Chalk Man. However, someone seems determined not to let him and when the letters start to arrive, the past follows, plaguing him and dredging up the fever dream nightmare of the summer of 1986, populated by fairs, ra-ra skirts and death. Driven deeper into the mysterious events surrounding Ed's sleepy suburban life, the reader cannot help but wonder; who is The Chalk Man, and will he ever let Ed go? Full Review

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Name of the Dog by Elmer Mendoza

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Okay, so call me a traditionalist but I enjoy picking up a book and instantly recognising the genre to which the book belongs and from here making an immediate, if not altogether accurate, assumption about whether I am likely to enjoy said book. Quite often it is not until we are fully immersed in a story we start to recognise and appreciate the style and tone of the writer and decide whether we are want to continue the story to completion. This surely is the process by which us mere reading mortals decide whether or not we enjoyed a book? Well, after reading Name of the Dog I have to be honest and say I did not know what to make of it on initial inspection. Nor have I settled my state of flux wherein I am trying to decide whether or not I really did enjoy Mendoza's tale of corruption and crime in Cartel run Mexico. Full Review

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Forever After: a dark comedy by David Jester

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Paranormal, Horror, Fasntasy

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

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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

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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...