Newest Crime Reviews

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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

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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

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Child's Play (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

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There's a prologue and we know that we're dealing with someone who is very disturbed. The descriptions are horrifying, but worst of all is the coldness of the killer. Full Review

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A Nearly Normal Family by M T Edvardsson and Rachel Wilson-Boyles (translator)

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We're going to hear this story through the viewpoints of three different people: Adam Sandell, his wife, Ulrika and his daughter Stella. Adam's a pastor in the Church of Sweden and Ulrika is a lawyer. Stella is, well, just difficult. You sense that she's always been difficult and there have even been occasions when Ulrika has let slip that she wishes that Stella was more like her best friend, Amina Bešic - and no one has ever said that if they don't think that the other person is better. We first meet the family on Stella's 18th birthday and we get a sense of Adam's controlling nature. Permission has to be given for a glass of wine for Stella at the celebration meal. Full Review

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Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

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DC Cat Kinsella is back at the Met after a secondment to the London Mayor's Office: the hours were good but the job was boring. She's grateful to be back with the old team - her partner DS Luigi Parnell, boss DCI Kate Steele and DC Rénee Akwa. She's still not prepared to say anything about the identity of her boyfriend: the knowledge that she's in a relationship with Aiden Doyle, the brother of a murder victim and moreover a murder with which her father might have had some involvement could finish her career. Kinsella and Parnell are called to the discovery of the body of a young woman: Naomi Lockhart was Australian, just twenty-two years old and her body was discovered by her flat mate, Kieran Drake, an ex-offender. Full Review

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The Boy Who Fell (Inspector Tom Reynolds) by Jo Spain

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There were six friends: four men and two women. They're all about eighteen and they've known each other since they started school. Both girls - Hazel Brophy and Charlotte Burke - have been in relationships with one of the boys, but Charlotte was determined that it would not be sexual. Hazel's views were so dramatically opposite that you wondered how they could be friends. They were all partying in a derelict house when Luke Connelly was pushed to his death from a third floor window and Daniel Konaté Jones was charged with rape and murder. Daniel was loosely associated with the group but never felt himself one of them. He didn't come from a wealthy background, is of mixed race and openly gay. Targets don't come much easier than that, except for one thing. Full Review

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The Suffering of Strangers by Caro Ramsay

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Roberta (please call her 'Bobby') Chisholm is sleep deprived. Six-week-old Sholto doesn't ever seem to sleep, so Bobby's like a robot. There's a little light on the horizon, though: her husband James is up for a new job, which could mean quite a bit more money. When he rings to tell her that he's got it he's obviously over the moon and tells Bobby to go to the local shop and get a bottle of champagne so that they can celebrate. For once Sholto has dropped off to sleep and when Bobby gets to the shop she's reluctant to disturb him: surely there won't be a problem if she dashes into the shop to get the bubbly? She can keep an eye on the car through the shop window, but when she comes out, the car has gone... Full Review

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Bold Lies (DI Kelly Porter 5) by Rachel Lynch

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It was the smell which announced the presence of the body in the wheelhouse of a boat and identification wasn't going to be easy as the man was stark naked. There were all the signs of a brutal, cold-blooded execution but gradually the man was traced back to Allendale House, the estate of the former Lord Allendale, and then to London, where two more bodies, naked, in a staged setting in a garage, were discovered. Senior Investigating Officer DI Kelly Porter had to go to London and was shocked to discover that the SIO for that case was DCI Matt Carter, her manipulative and untrustworthy ex-lover. It was going to be anything but easy to work alongside Matt the Tw... Ah, well let's not go there. Full Review

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The Playground Murders by Lesley Thomson

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Rachel Cater was having an affair with her boss, Chris Philips, an auctioneer. It was, she told her mother, love at first sight. Her mother was more sceptical and wondered why, if it had been love at first sight, it had taken him so long to do anything about it. Still, more than anything, she wanted her daughter to be happy. That was what Rachel wanted too and it was why she went to the Philips' family home, determined to have it all out in the open. Instead she was stabbed fifteen times. Her lover was convicted of her murder. Full Review

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All That's Dead (Logan McRae 12) by Stuart MacBride

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It seemed like a good idea. Logan 'Lazarus' McRae was back at work after a year off sick. He'd been stabbed in the line of duty and recovery had been slow: he still had some pain. His first case was to be a simple one - just to ease him back into work - but it turned out to be anything but. Professor Wilson, a high-profile anti-independence campaigner has gone missing, apparently abducted from his home, but nothing was left behind except some bloodstains. In much the same way that Brexit is dividing people south of the border, there's going to be a war between the pro- and anti-independence factions in Scotland - and the police are not above being involved. Full Review

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The Last Stage by Louise Voss

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If you were looking back to when it began you'd have to say that it was before 1995. Meredith Vincent (that wasn't her name then) had gone to Greenham Common on her seventeenth birthday, dressed as a teddy bear, to protest about nuclear weapons. It was whilst she was there that she met Samantha, fell head over heels in love with her and went to live in a squat in London, leaving behind her A levels, her recently-widowed mother - and her twin brother, Pete, to look after her. Samantha was there occasionally but Meredith was drawn into forming a band with the boys from the squat and against all the odds Cohen went on to become a sensation and it wasn't long before Meredith was living in a mansion rather than the squat. Full Review

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The Body in the Castle Well (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker

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Claudia Muller was an American, studying art history and being mentored by an eminent French art historian and Resistance war hero in Limeuil in Perigord. She was beautiful, wore designer clothes and was well-liked by everyone. She didn't parade her wealth, or her father's White House connections. In fact, her closest friend was a man recently released from prison. So when she left a lecture saying that she felt ill, and her body was later found at the bottom of the castle well it seemed that the likeliest explanation was that this had been a dreadful accident with the only people to blame being the builders who had left the well unsealed. Full Review

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Boy in the Well (DI Westphall 2) by Douglas Lindsay

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The body of a nine-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a well which had been sealed for two hundred years - but the boy had only been dead for less than two days and there was no sign of how the body had got into the well. The owners of the property are adamant that the well was sealed when they went to open it, but DI Ben Westphall would be entitled to have his doubts. Belle McIntosh holds some strange views, particularly about the way that the government is controlling everyone through drugs which are added to the water supply which led to her wanting to reinstate the well. Her wife, Catriona Napier, is more moderate, but doesn't seem to have a lot of knowledge about what's going on on the fa Full Review

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The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

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Muriel Hinkley was walking her dog when she found the body on a quiet country lane, just south of Exmoor. She didn’t recognise him - no one would for a long time as it was obvious that he’d been the victim of a hit-and-run. He had no face - most of it was smeared on the road and when D I Jan Talantire came to look at the body she realised that there was absolutely nothing on him which would allow for identification. All the labels had been cut out of his clothes and there was no wallet and no phone. Hi was Mister Nobody. Full Review

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Fall Down Dead (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth

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DS Dev Sharma is delighted - if delight is the right word to apply to a murder case - but he's got a result when the husband of a murder victim is found with the knife, standing over the body, and admitting to the murder. DI Ben Cooper is concerned with a suspicious death on Kinder Scout. A party of walkers - the New Trespassers Walking Group - got lost in the fog and problems arose when one of the party was injured. The group split up to find help, or at least a mobile signal, but when they're rescued they're one short and the body of Faith Matthew was found at the bottom of Kinder Downfall. It looked like a dreadful accident, but Cooper wasn't happy about the way the body had fallen. Things are not always as they seem - in either case. Full Review

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Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt

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We're in Stoke on Trent. A group of young women who study at Dunwood Academy are running the cross-country course. One of them - Lauren Ansell - stops behind to tie her shoelace and is murdered, to the shock and devastation of her friends. Twins Courtney and Caitlin Piggott, Sophie Bishop and Teagan Cole cling together for support - or do do as much as they can given that their parents are understandably reluctant to let them out of their sight. One of the parents is journalist Simon Cole, boyfriend of DS Grace Allendale, who is charged with investigating the murder under the guidance of DI Nick Carter. It's a struggle to keep their professional lives separate. Full Review

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Cruel Acts by Jane Casey

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They called him 'the white knight' because he picked the women up when they were in difficulties. But they called him a serial killer too, because he murdered them and everyone heaved a sigh of relief when he went down for life. Then one of the jurors self-published his story of the trial which explained how he and another juror had looked up Stone's history and found a trail of violence. After that, he explained, they knew that Stone was guilty. The juror got two months for contempt of court and Stone was released on bail pending a retrial. Full Review