Newest Crime Reviews

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Review of

The Suspect by Rob Rinder

4.5star.jpg Crime

The nation's favourite daytime TV presenter, Jessica Holby, was murdered live on television and it seems that there's only one suspect. He's celebrity chef Sebastian Brooks and his contract stated that he must not serve anything containing miso to Jessica Holby. She's seriously allergic and carries an EpiPen in case of emergencies. Everything seemed as normal - as normal as they can be in a busy, live television studio - and Brooks served a ragout to Holby. Her EpiPen was nowhere to be found and she was dead within minutes. It was soon clear that this was no accident. Full Review

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Review of

Swanton Morley (John Tanner) by David Blake

3.5star.jpg Crime

It seemed like an open-and-shut case. A man, covered in mud and blood - and carrying a knife, comes into the police station shouting that he hasn't killed the man. A body at the bottom of a freshly dug grave at Swanton Morley church - he's been stabbed to death. DCI John Tanner is just back from his honeymoon, which coincided with the birth of his daughter Samantha. You would think he'd be grateful for an easy answer but the words 'perverse' and 'John Tanner' were made for each other. He's sleep-deprived to the point of falling asleep at work but he's determined to keep going - probably because he can't get any sleep at home. Full Review

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Review of

Lowe and Le Breton Mysteries - Death at the Dress Rehearsal by Stuart Douglas

3.5star.jpg Crime

During location filming for his 1970's sitcom 'Floggit and Leggit', leading man Edward Lowe stumbles across the dead body of a woman on the edge of a reservoir. The police seem happy to assign it as an accidental death, but something about the whole thing bothers Lowe, and he enlists the help of a fellow actor, John Le Breton to help him investigate matters further. They travel across the country during their days off filming, uncovering more possible murders and, seemingly, a link to death during the Second World War. But is there really a link between the deaths? And will they manage to uncover who is responsible before more people lose their lives? Full Review

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Review of

Death in a Lonely Place by Stig Abell

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Former Metropolitan Police detective, Jake Johnson, has settled into his rustic life at Little Sky. There’s perhaps a little uncertainty about the future of his life with his vet girlfriend, Livia and her daughter Diana, as moving in together would mean a lot of compromise: does Jake give up his off-grid and relaxing life to move in with Livia or does Livia move to Little Sky despite her reservations about whether or not this is the future she wants for herself and her daughter? For the moment they’re enjoying life in the present and putting the future on the back burner. Full Review

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Review of

The Janus Stone (Dr Ruth Galloway) by Elly Griffiths

4.5star.jpg Crime

Builders were demolishing an old house in Norwich - the site was going to hold seventy-five 'luxury' apartments - when they discovered the bones of a child beneath a doorway. There was no skull. Was this a ritual killing or murder? Inevitably, Dr Ruth Galloway finds herself working with DCI Harry Nelson. It's difficult as Ruth knows, but Nelson doesn't, that she is pregnant with his child as a result of the one night they spent together some three months ago. Her condition will be obvious before long, not least because Ruth is prone to sudden bouts of sickness. Full Review

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Review of

The Devil You Know (D S Max Craigie) by Neil Lancaster

4.5star.jpg Crime

It's unusual for anyone from the Hardie family to approach the police. Neither side likes or has any respect for the other. But Davie Hardie is struggling in prison and he's prepared to tell the police where the body of a missing person is buried and who was responsible for her death. This person, he promises, is someone big and it will be worth the police doing what he wants. And what he wants is to be transferred to an open prison to serve the remainder of his sentence and to get an early parole date. Not much to ask, is it? The new Deputy Police Constable doesn't think so and she's even prepared to do the other thing that Hardie demanded - make certain that DS Max Craigie and anyone who works with him is kept well away from what's happening. Full Review

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Review of

A Stranger in the Family (Maeve Kerrigan 11) by Jane Casey

5star.jpg Crime

It's sixteen years since nine-year-old Rosalie Marshall disappeared from her bed one summer night. She was never found and the investigation ground to a halt. Now, her mother, Helena, and her father are dead in their bed. Initially, it looks like a straightforward murder/suicide but there's something about the positioning of the bodies that makes DS Maeve Kerrigan and her boss DI Josh Derwent suspicious. What looked as though it was going to be an open-and-shut case is now a complex double murder. Kerrigan is convinced that the explanation lies in Rosalie's disappearance: others (such as Derwent's boss, Una Burt) are less convinced. Full Review

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Review of

The Kellerby Code by Jonny Sweet

3.5star.jpg Crime

Edward Jevons is a working-class young man, obsessed with his upper-class friends, Robert and Stanza. Robert's a theatre director. He's also self-obsessed, demanding, handsome and entitled and uses Edward to run errands for him. Edward has been in love with Stanza since their university days - and he's drunkenly confided how he feels to Robert. Most men in Robert's position would stay away from Stanza or tell Edward that a relationship had begun between them but he's not like most men: Edward is left to stumble upon the two of them kissing in a dark passageway. Full Review

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Review of

Leave No Trace by Jo Callaghan

4star.jpg Crime

When a man is found crucified on the top of a hill in Nuneaton, DCS Kat Frank finds herself assigned to the case alongside her sidekick, the AI detective Lock. It's their first live case together, having previously been very successful with several cold cases. But when there is a second body found crucified a few days later, Kat is suddenly struggling with a potential serial killer and a very high profile case that draws a lot of unwanted attention to their AI Future Policing project. Will they be able to solve the case in time, or will Kat find herself taken off the case and, potentially, out of a career? Full Review

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Review of

The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder by C L Miller

3.5star.jpg Crime

It's twenty years since Freya Lockwood has been back to the English country village where she grew up. She's back now because of a request for help from her beloved aunt, Carole. Freya's former mentor and Carole's close friend, Arthur Crockleford, is dead and the circumstances seem suspicious, to say the least. Arthur was the reason why Freya had not been back to the village: Arthur, she feels, let her down badly. Even though they were in business together as antique hunters, she has not felt able to be near the man or pursue the profession she loved. After the split, she worked in a cafe, met and married James (on the rebound from the love of her life, who was murdered) and Freya and James have now divorced. Full Review

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Review of

Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter? by Nicci French

5star.jpg Crime

Charlotte Salter was expected at her husband's fiftieth birthday party but never turned up. Her children, sons Niall, Paul and Ollie and her daughter, Etty. are all worried but - strangely - her husband, Alec, is not. Shortly afterwards, Etty and Greg, find the body of Greg's father, Duncan Ackerley, in the river. It was an easy assumption for the police to make that Duncan had murdered Charlie and then committed suicide when he couldn't stand the guilt. The Salter children are not convinced but there's little else they can do but get on with their lives and wonder about what really happened. Full Review

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Review of

The Ghost Orchid by Jonathan Kellerman

4star.jpg Crime

It hadn't been Lt Milo Sturgis's fault that Alex Delaware had been badly injured but he felt responsible and even after Alex recovered, Sturgis was reluctant to ask for his help on difficult cases. His assertions that there were only open-and-shut cases which didn't need the help of a psychologist only worked for a while. Finally, it was Robin, Delaware's partner, who nudged Milo into asking for help again. She knew that the involvement was something that the man she loved needed. The next case did look simple, though. Two lovers were murdered in the swimming pool of a remote property in Bel Air. He was the heir to an Italian shoe empire and she is married to an extremely rich man and it's not the Italian. But which of them was the primary target? Full Review

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Review of

Knife Skills for Beginners by Orlando Murrin

4star.jpg Crime

Chef Paul Delamare took a teaching job at a residential cookery school in Belgravia. He didn't really want to but celebrity chef Christian Wagner had a way of getting both men and women to do what he wanted. Paul somehow got the impression that he'd be at the school to assist Paul, who had a broken arm, but it didn't turn out that way. The teaching - and the problems - are all his own. The one thing he hadn't expected was for someone to turn up dead. Unfortunately, he was the person who discovered the body and everyone knows that the police consider that person to be the prime suspect. Full Review

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Review of

Laying Out the Bones by Kate Webb

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was one of those flash downpours that the British weather often delivers in a heatwave. In a gully, a human skeleton came to the surface and forensic testing proved the body to be Lee Geary, who had disappeared nine years earlier. He'd been a known drug user and had learning disabilities, so it could have been a simple case of misadventure but DI Matt Lockyer wasn't convinced. Geary was a townie, so what was he doing out on Salisbury Plain alone? There are connections to the suicide of Holly Gilbert and to two other deaths which were not considered suspicious at the time. Lockyer and DC Gemma Broad of the Major Crimes Review Unit (that's cold cases to you and me) investigate. Full Review

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Review of

Lost and Never Found (A D I Wilkins Mystery) by Simon Mason

4.5star.jpg Crime

In Oxford, there are two D I Wilkins. Raymond Wilkins is of Nigerian descent, Balliol educated and always exquisitely dressed. D I Ryan Wilkins, son of Ryan and father of Ryan, is not. He's not any of those things. He's white, originated from a trailer park, barely educated (reading's not really his thing) and his wardrobe consists mainly of shell suits and trackies. They're usually in lime green or acid yellow. You might wonder if you're being introduced to a police procedural written for laughs. Well, you're not. The two men are just different sides of the same policing coin. Sometimes the combination works brilliantly well. Sometimes it's problematic. Full Review

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Review of

The Winter Visitor by James Henry

4star.jpg Crime

It's February 1991 and Essex is bitingly cold, which made Bruce Hopkins' return all the more surprising. He'd been exiled on the Costa del Sol as a wanted drug smuggler for a decade. The return has come about because he's had a letter from his ex-wife, saying that she's ill and hasn't long to live. It's hard to feel any sympathy when Hopkins is abducted, stripped to his underwear and sent to a watery grave in the boot of a stolen Ford Sierra. Is it a warning from a Spanish gang or a problem closer to home? Full Review

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Review of

A Nye of Pheasants by Steve Burrows

4star.jpg Crime

DCI Domenic Jejeune's close friend and former colleague, Danny Maik, has taken a short holiday in Singapore to meet up with an old ally, Guy Trueman. Maik was involved in a street brawl - he would later maintain that he was facing a man armed with a knife - and he killed a Ghurka. Initially, he faced a charge of manslaughter but evidence came to light that suggested that he might have planned to murder the man. Now he could be facing the death penalty. Domenic Jejeune can do nothing to help as any interference from another police force could provoke a diplomatic incident and wouldn't help Danny at all. Full Review

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Review of

They Had It Coming (Greg Mason mysteries) by Keith Redfern

4star.jpg Crime

Greg Mason's just beginning to get his confidence as an investigator to the point where he'll warn someone about how much he charges. It's a good job too because Greg and Joyce will soon have a baby and they're both delighted. Joyce will be more delighted about the baby when she gets past the morning sickness. Greg is approached by an old friend whose brother-in-law appears to have killed himself. Stuart's concerned about his sister, Lucy, who's struggling to make ends meet and her son is not thriving. Lucy, he says, is convinced that Gil would never have killed himself - it simply wasn't in his nature. The police and the coroner have accepted that the death was suicide, but Stuart's prepared to pay Greg to find out what happened on the night Gil died. Full Review

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Review of

Responsibilities (Greg Mason mysteries) by Ann Macarthur

4star.jpg Crime

It's the 1990s and Greg Mason's twenty-eight years old. He used to have a high-flying job in the city but it wasn't satisfying so he's now set himself up as a private investigator. 'Shades of Cameron Strike', you might be thinking. Nice bloke, but where's the life experience that backs up this profession? On the other hand, he has been asked to look into something. Joyce and Helen are half-sisters, or rather, they were until Helen was killed in what's been written off as a tragic accident at an unmanned level crossing. Joyce - and her parents, Oliver and Pam Hetherington - can't understand what she was doing there - or how she could come to fall in front of a train. Greg's been asked to investigate. Full Review

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Review of

The Misper by Kate London

4star.jpg Crime

Ryan Kennedy killed a police officer: there's no doubt about that. He was the fifteen-year-old holding the gun and pointing it at DI Kieran Shaw. He pulled the trigger but due to the vagaries of the jury system he was found not guilty of both the murder and the manslaughter of the officer. And so lives must go on. For DI Sarah Collins that means leaving the capital and hoping for a quieter life in the countryside but when a missing teenager is found on her territory she's drawn into a wider investigation - and back into the orbit of Ryan Kennedy. Full Review

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Review of

The Devil Stone (DCI Christine Caplan) by Caro Ramsay

4star.jpg Crime

In the village of Cronchie on the West coast of Scotland, five members of a wealthy family are found murdered. The only item missing from the home is the Devil Stone: myth says that if the stone is removed from Otterburn House, death will follow. The only suspects are known Satanists but in many ways, that's an easy conclusion given that two of them 'discovered' the body. The Senior Investigating Office is DCI Bob Oswald but when he disappears, DCI Christine Caplan is pulled in to 'shadow' him. Full Review

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Review of

The Raging Storm (Two Rivers) by Ann Cleeves

4.5star.jpg Crime

It's all bloody peculiar, isn't it, Sir?

Well yes, it is. Jem Rosco blew into the local pub one evening in the middle of an autumn gale, stayed for about a month and then turned up, naked and dead, in a small boat, anchored in Scully Cove close to the village of Greystone, in Devon. Rosco had the status of a national treasure: a renowned adventurer, round the world sailor and all round celebrity. I nearly said 'all-round good egg' but as we'll find out, he could be more than a little bit close with money and his background isn't exactly an open book. Where did he get the money for his first boat? How did he finance the trip? Full Review

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Review of

The Girl in the Eagle's Talons by Karin Smirnoff

5star.jpg Crime

Life has more to offer than people - prime numbers for example.

Lisbeth Salander has headed north to the small town of Gasskas, where the so-far-untapped natural resources of the area have sparked a gold rush. The criminal underworld has not been slow in coming forward. Salander's niece's mother is the latest woman in the area to have vanished without trace. It was only with reluctance that Salander became her niece's guardian but it quickly becomes obvious that Svala is a remarkably gifted teenager who's unaware of the part Salander played in her father's death. Full Review

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Review of

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard

4.5star.jpg Crime

It's a scene replicated all too often in the early hours of the morning. Drunken revellers spilling out of clubs and looking for a way to get home. Some are lucky and manage to get one of the few taxis available. Others squash onto the night bus that will only go as far as one of the outlying villages. The woman all regret the 'taxi problem', particularly in the light of 'the missing women'. For one young woman, the final stop on the bus leaves her a long way short of her home. She had intended to ring someone to come and collect her - but her phone's dead. The bus had driven off before she had the chance to beg the bus driver to let her use his. There's no option but to start walking - unsuitably clothed and in high-heeled shoes. Full Review

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Review of

A Death at the Party by Amy Stuart

4star.jpg Crime

From the first page, we know that Nadine Walsh's party will not end well. The victim - a man - is dying when we first meet him and Nadine consciously makes no effort to call the ambulance he so desperately needs. What we don't know is who the man is or why Nadine prefers to have him die. I'd better give you a little more background so that you can understand what's happening. Full Review

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Review of

Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was in December 2003 that fifteen-year-old Maura Howard came home and found the body of her stepfather, Luke Ryder, in the garden of their West London home. He had an injury on the back of his head which could have happened if he'd slipped down the steps but the vicious beating his face had taken was obviously deliberate. Twenty years later, no one has been charged with his murder and it's now the subject of Infamous, a true-crime show. A group of experts has been brought together to review the evidence and to take the investigation further. More to the point, they're going to do this live on camera, episode by episode. There's no dump of the whole box set - and no shortage of cliffhangers. It's compelling viewing. Full Review

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Review of

Coming to Find You by Jane Corry

4.5star.jpg Thrillers

Nancy's mother and step-father were brutally stabbed at their Sussex farmhouse and her step-brother, Martin, has been convicted of their murder. We first meet Nancy outside the court, after Martin receives a life sentence. The barrister tells her that she's received a 'silent sentence' - she's not been found guilty of anything but will have to live with what happened for the rest of her life. Of course, it's made worse because Nancy's rich - she inherited five million pounds from her mother - and the papers are making the most of it. Farmhouse slaughter daughter is one favourite epithet and rich bitch might not be printed but is undoubtedly spoken. Full Review

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