Newest Crime Reviews

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Access Point by T R Gabbay

4star.jpg Thrillers

When we first meet Ula Mishkin she's having something of a professional success: using a device of her own invention she's helped a man who has been blind for decades to see an image of a hummingbird. She's thirty-six years old and her life is about to change radically as, cycling home, she's involved in an accident with a bus. It's two years before we meet her again and in the meantime, she's spent 392 days in a coma and now walks with a stick. A professional colleague persuades Ula that she should let out a spare bedroom to bring in some income. Full Review

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Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

5star.jpg Crime

When we first meet Dee she's talking to Nick Law, the new college master. Law's lately of the BBC and he doesn't come with an entirely good reputation: he's a bit of a bully and Dee can sense something of that in their first conversation. She had been planning to return home to Scotland before taking on a new job as a nanny, but somehow she finds herself going to see Mariah, the Danish wife of the master. She's pregnant and looking for help, not with the new baby bit with the master's daughter by his first wife, Ana. Felicity is selectively mute: she does talk to her father, but to no one else. The eight-year-old is grieving for her dead mother and struggling at school. Full Review

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Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee

4star.jpg Crime

It was easy to assume that the death of the young Chinese girl at the Immigrant Removal Centre was suicide. Her throat was cut, there was a lot of blood and the knife was on the floor at the side of the bed, She was due to be deported that day. But... how did the knife get into the secure centre and why was the girl's room the only one which was unlocked? DI Thomas Ridpath, the coroner's officer, is sent to investigate and he quickly becomes suspicious, There's a snag though: the inquest is due to open in a couple of days' time, the girl's parents are coming over from China and they want to take their daughter's body home with them. Ridpath has just five days to solve the case. The coroner is disinclined to delay the inquest: for her, it's about giving closure to the parents. Full Review

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Burnt Island (Ben Kitto) by Kate Rhodes

4.5star.jpg Crime

The 5th of November was D I Ben Kitto's thirty-fifth birthday and the occasion for the usual bonfire celebrations, but it would be marred this year by the discovery of Professor Alex Rogan's body on a bonfire. He'd obviously been alive when he was put on the fire and can only have died a terrible death. The body was first discovered by Jimmy Curwen, better known on St Agnes as the Bird Man because he speaks little or nothing and his only concern is the welfare of the birds he looks after. His instinct is to cover Rogan's body and he uses his sheepskin coat to do this, with the result that he's the prime suspect. Full Review

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Murder at Enderley Hall (Miss Underhay) by Helena Dixon

4star.jpg Crime

It's the summer of 1933 and Kitty Underhay is on her way to visit the family which she never knew she had, at Enderley Hall. Her grandmother, Mrs Treadwell, and Great Aunt Livvy are back at the Dolphin Hotel in Dartmouth. Kitty gets easily bored working at the Dolphin - every day is much the same - but her real reason for going away is that she needs a break after her recent adventures, which involved three vicious murders, an arson attack and an attempt on her life. Full Review

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Keeper by Jessica Moor

4.5star.jpg Crime

Katie Straw worked in the women's refuge and the women who lived there liked and respected her. She treated them well and seemed to have an understanding of what they were going through. Why then did she jump from the local suicide spot into the river below? There had been no signs that she was unhappy and she and her boyfriend seemed to have been content together - and Noah has a decent alibi for the time when she died, but what other explanation could there be for her death? The police are convinced that it's suicide, but the women who knew her believed otherwise. Full Review

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Keep Him Close by Emily Koch

3.5star.jpg Crime

Alice had two children: Benny (well, Benoît, actually) and Louis. Lou's seventeen and he's just got his A level results and he and his brother are going out to celebrate. Someone has to find something to celebrate in the letters, D, D and E. Alice has always had a good relationship with nineteen-year-old Benny but it's a touch problematic with Lou and being honest, he's not terribly likeable. The letters which kept coming to my mind were ADHD. Full Review

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Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

4star.jpg Crime

Malcolm Kershaw was the co-owner and manager of the Old Devils Bookstore on Beacon Hill in Boston. The store specialises in crime novels, but Mal has given up reading crime. His life's been pretty chaotic of late: It's five years since his wife, Claire Mallory, died and he's never really got over it. She was driving whilst inebriated, having just been to see the man with whom Kershaw suspected she was having an affair. His interest in crime fiction comes back when he's approached by Special Agent Gwen Mulvey. She's interested in a blog post he wrote a few years ago: My Eight Perfect Murders. Full Review

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Bobby March Will Live Forever (Harry McCoy) by Alan Parks

4.5star.jpg Crime

In February 1964 Bobby March was on his way to London with fellow band members Tom, Scott, Barry and Jamie. He'd had to get his father to sign the contract for The Beatkickers, as Bobby wasn't old enough. And his father had been reluctant - he'd have preferred Bobby to get an apprenticeship, for the regular money. By July 1973 Bobby is back in Glasgow. The Beatkickers didn't survive and March is on his own, but hardly thriving. There's an obvious drug habit. Meanwhile, the police are consumed by the search for a missing girl, Alice Kelly. Full Review

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Little Doubt (D I Kelly Porter) by Rachel Lynch

4star.jpg Crime

Ella Watson was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was out running in the park when she was randomly attacked and stabbed to death. Her husband, Thomas, and children, Jordan and Millie were devastated and Detective Superintendent Neil Ormond was outraged that a decent, middle-class woman should be the victim of knife crime. Despite being a golfing partner of Thomas Jordan he declined to distance himself from the case and told DI Kelly Porter that he would be taking a great deal of interest in how the case was handled. He wasn't anywhere near as interested when a second woman was stabbed to death a few hours later. Keira Bradley lived on the Beacon estate and Ormond's view seemed to be that anyone living there should expect this sort of thing to happen. He could hardly bring himself to mention Keira's name. Full Review

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Firewatching by Russ Thomas

5star.jpg Crime

Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is in the Cold Cas Review Unit at South Yorkshire Police and there are those who think that he's lucky to be there, given that he decked a superior officer. He's there because Tyler came off worse in the exchange - there's a scar on his face to prove it - and the superior officer was forced to take early retirement. There's a suggestion too that Tyler's godmother (she's on the force too) has looked after him and that his current boss is keen to have a tame gay to put on the town hall steps come Pride. Either way, he's there, but without anything really interesting to get his teeth into. Full Review

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The Lantern Men (Dr Ruth Galloway) by Elly Griffiths

5star.jpg Crime

Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She's no longer providing assistance to the police and isn't even working at the University of North Norfolk. She's lecturing at Cambridge and has moved from her beloved Saltmarsh cottage to live with Dr Frank Barker in Cambridge. Her daughter, Katie, has settled into school better than she could ever have hoped and life is looking good. Settled. She can't help thinking about Harry Nelson, Katie's father, because Katie sees him regularly and there's a close relationship with his family. You might almost think that Ruth's life is settling down. Full Review

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In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was a coincidence that Detective Sergeant Chris West and DI Clare Mackay were at the beach when the baby was stolen. They were there for the fun run and their attention was taken by the NEFEW protesters who tried to disrupt the race. They're against the planned McIntosh Water bottled water plant to be constructed on Priory Marsh and the firm is sponsoring the fun run. It was Lisa Mitchell's scream which stopped everything. Her daughter, six-month-old Abi, had been taken from her pram whilst no one was looking. It's a major incident when any child is abducted but Abi needs regular medication because of a heart problem: without it, she might have only forty-eight hours to live. Full Review

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When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

4star.jpg Crime

For Janet and Chuck, it was a hiking break in the Appalachians in Georgia and pure chance that Chuck went off the beaten track to find a stick. What he found was a human bone and SSA Kimberley Quincy was called in, along with Sergeant D D Warren. Both women were experienced in this type of rather gruesome work but they also called on the services of Keith Edgar, a computer analyst, and Flora Dane who brought something unique to the table. Flora had been kidnapped and held for 472 days by the notorious killer, Jacob Ness. If Ness had anything to do with the current discoveries then what Flora had to say could be invaluable. Full Review

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The Guest List by Lucy Foley

4.5star.jpg Crime

The boat trip out to Inis Amploir, off the Irish coast, might have been enough to put some guests off, but it was the wedding of the year. Will Slater (television personality, if not yet a celebrity) was to marry Jules Keegan, online magazine publisher, in the ruined chapel on the island. The bride's sister, Olivia, would be her only bridesmaid and the wedding planner and chef are Aoife and her husband, Freddy. They gave a huge discount to get the couple to the island, but surely it would be worth it for the publicity? Full Review

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Perfect Kill (D I Callanach) by Helen Fields

4star.jpg Crime

When Maggie Campbell realised that her son, Bart, was missing he was already 200 miles away and just waking from a chemically-induced sleep. Maggie knew straight away that something was wrong. Bart might be twenty but he was considerate of his mother and wouldn't have stayed out all night without letting her know. Besides, he didn't have his phone with him and he wouldn't have gone far without that. It's not long before Bart realises that he's alone, trapped in a shipping container and on his way to France, where his fate has already been decided. Full Review

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The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold

2star.jpg Fantasy

The Last Smile in Sunder City is an urban fantasy noir written by Luke Arnold. It centres on a Private Detective, Fetch Philips, as he attempts to find a missing vampire in a world filled with magical creatures where all the magic has suddenly disappeared with catastrophic consequences. Full Review

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Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was early summer 2018 and Adam Latimer returned home to Spanish Cove after an absence of ten years. The family had thought him dead - in fact, that's what the private detective his mother had insisted upon had told them. He was cagey about exactly where he'd been but he seemed content, if not happy, to be hope. What brought him? Well, nine years ago his mother died and he'd seen the in memoriam in the paper: this was the first he'd heard about what had happened. His three sisters and two brothers had mixed feelings about his return, but his father is delighted. In fact, he's determined to have a party. Only, with Frazer Latimer, what happens has to be about him. He has an announcement to make - it's nine years since Kathleen died and he's been lonely. He's met Ana, a Polish immigrant, and they're getting married. Full Review

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When the Dead Come Calling (Burrowhead Mysteries 1) by Helen Sedgwick

5star.jpg Crime

It began with the discovery of a body under the swings in the children's playground. It was Dr Alexis Crosse and he was found by PC Simon Hunter, who loved him deeply, but who had reason to mistrust him. Crosse was a psychotherapist who grew up in Greece, but such professions are misunderstood in Burrowhead (along with foreigners), a community which regards anyone not born and brought up there as an outsider. DI Georgie Strachan is an outsider - you've only got to look at her skin to realise that, and her husband, Fergus, well, he's a little strange too, not entirely here. Full Review