Murder Game. Caroline Mitchell Christmas book recommendation 3

Earlier today I saw a tweet by Caroline Mitchell stating it was 4 years today that she held the first paperback copies of her first published book. Coincidently I was just about to write this blog recommending her books as great Christmas Presents for anybody who likes no holds barred, realistic crime thrillers

A few months ago I reviewed, and took part in the blog tour, for her novel Murder Game. It is one of the best books I’ve read this year. The link below leads to my post on the tour. I think you’ll see why I have recommended it as a Christmas Present

https://nigeladamhttps://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/murder-game-blog-tour/sbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/murder-game-blog-tour/

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Last Cry Anna-Lou Weatherley

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I struggled with writing this blog. There is so much good to say about this book; the story, the characters, the writing, but there is a couple of things that very nearly put me off it.

I’m glad they didn’t, I’m glad I stuck with it to the end. It’s a great book with a great story so what could I have possibly found wrong with it. I’ll tell you at the end of the blog.

The book starts with a murder in a hotel. I think it’s safe to say that the victim, a successful banker, is killed by a very attractive Escort, or a woman posing as one. The killer is aware of how to stage a scene using Counter Forensics. She makes the death look like a suicide at first inspection, but she knows that a good cop will spot it for what it is straight away. Is that what she wants?

That’s exactly what she gets. DI Dan Riley is sent to the scene and immediately see’s it for what it is. Riley is a complex character who is still in mourning for the loss of his partner, and their unborn child, in a motorcycle accident 2 years ago. As much as he is mourning he is also trying to get his life back on track, and has started to dabble in the dating scene. The scenes where he is conflicted about his basic feelings, of wanting to be with somebody else whilst feeling guilt at charting on his dead partner, are brilliantly written.

The book has two protagonists, the killer, and Dan Riley. Chapters are devoted to each, and every chapter had me hooked. The killer is horrible and everybody will be fully aware of what she is doing, and wonder how stupid the other victims are for not seeing her for what she is. But that’s the thing about killers, they don’t have a sign tattooed on them to give us a warning.

Riley is just the type of man you’d like to share a drink with, or just sit down with and have a chat. He is what most Police Officers are, normal.

The killer is working to a plan and the bodies are starting to pile up, but will Riley managed to identify her, and stop her before she commits her worse crime. I can guarantee that the last 30 pages of this book will have readers gripped, and what an ending. By the time you get to the end you will think you have it all sorted in your mind; but then there’s that last few pages.

So, what were the things that were wrong with this book. I read it on a Kindle and I thought there was a reason that I didn’t know the name of the main protagonist, even though he’s there almost from the start. Then I began to wonder if the author had just forgot that she hadn’t given him a name; but no, we find out his name 14% into the book. I knew everything about him before I knew his name, it just felt strange

Secondly, and this would usually really wind me up, you can drive a bus through the inaccuracies in the Policing in this book. There are problems with procedures and ranks. There are things that happen during the investigation that had me shacking my head, after all if you have CCTV of somebody entering a room, how can you not have footage when they leave the same room.

But if you can get past these, this book is really worth reading. A great story, with a great ending.

Pages: 307

Publishers: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 31st January 2007.

Available to pre-order on Amazon

Hell Bay Kate Rhodes

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The phrase saves the best till last springs to mind when I start this review. This year I have read some great books; but as its December I can safely say that one of the best has been one of the last of the year.

“Hell Bay” by Kate Rhodes is a cracking read. The story is set on Bryher, one of the smallest of the Scilly Isles, just of the Cornish coast and only accessible by boat.

The stories main protagonist is DI Kitto Benesek, a Met undercover detective from the Murder Investigation Team, he is returning to his home island to get himself together following the death of his partner. The last thing he needs is a murder amongst the closely-knit residents of the island. An island with only 98 residents, nearly all of who he knows.

But that is what he gets when on the night he returns a young girl goes missing. Drafted in by the local Police Kitto heads an investigation into her disappearance.

From the start the reader knows she has been killed but by who. The characters on the island are rich and colourful, and not one of them seems to have a reason to kill her.

There are two added twists to the plot that might relate to the murder. One of the residents is trying to buy out the poorer residents to develop the island, he is making no friends with his strong-arm tactics but would he stretch to murder. Then there is the modern-day smuggling ring that is dropping drugs onto the beaches to be picked up and distributed on the mainland; did she stumble across one of the transactions, or could she be part of the smuggling ring.

The book uses the isolation of the island to build the tension. The characters are typical of a small English town, but are hemmed in buy the Atlantic.

Kitto has been away from the island for a long time only returning for his parent’s funerals. His friends have grown, new relationships have been formed but basically not much has changed.

Kitto is used to the violence of the capital but dealing with it on his own island amongst his friends and family is hard. How can he not have preconceptions.

This book longer than most books being published at the moment but every chapter had me reading the next in quick succession. I can’t say I read it in one sitting, but I read it at every opportunity, and hated having to put it down when work intervened.

Thankfully the last few pages are a preview of the next book in the series so I know there’s another coming. Now I just have to sit and wait.

Pages: 432

Publishers: Simon & Schuster

Publishing date: 25th January 2017.

Available to pre-order on Amazon

Christmas Recommendation, A Deadly Game, Joanne Griffiths

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A Deadly Game; Joanne Griffiths my second Christmas Present Recommendation

In September I reviewed a book by  a new author, A Deadly Game by Joanne Griffiths

I loved this book for two reasons. The first was that it approaches the crimes in a different way to most books. The book gives a lot of time to the after effects of the crime on the families that become involved. The emotions of the victim’s families and their frustrations when the police don’t seem to be making any headway in finding the killer.

The second thing I loved is the area the crimes are set. I know the area well and Joanne Griffiths does a great job of describing Aston, in Birmingham, and the people who live there. A mix of industry and low-income housing with people struggling to make ends meet, and now the worry of a serial killer equals a perfect mix for this crime thriller.

This book would make a great Christmas present for anybody who likes a good Crime/Psychological Thriller with a decent bit of who-done-it thrown in.

The link below is to my original blog

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/a-deadly-game-joanne-griffiths/

Now You See Me Blog Blitz

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Today I’m taking part in the Blog Blitz for Now You See Me by Kierney Scott.

I like finding new authors with the promise of producing good books in the future. With Kierney writing this book she has hopefully opened up the door to a great new series featuring Detective Jess Bishop.

I hope she has, and if she has I’m glad I was along for the ride from the very beginning

There’s a description of the book below, along with my original review, a bit of a bio, and some useful links.

My Review

Introducing Special Agent Jessica Bishop, a name I think we are going to get to see a lot more of.

Five foot two, red-haired, big breasted, and intelligent. She has studied for her PhD in Psychology and is brilliant at analysing every move a person makes and every word they say.

Too good to be true? Yes, she’s flawed, very flawed.

During the book her history becomes known and gives credence to the way she behaves in her social life. She has a very blasé attitude to close personal relationships, she uses men in a way that would have most of us running for the hills.

In total contrast she is fiercely protective to her work partnerships.

When a torso is recovered from a bayou in Louisiana Jess and her Partner are sent to investigate. This is the third body to be found with the same wounds in three months. Working with her new partner Nash she starts to look for connections between the victims.

All is going well until her ex-partner, Jamison Briggs, returns from a two-year undercover operation.

Jess can handle the return but Briggs and Nash don’t get on. The conflict starts to affect the investigation and things start to take a turn for the worse when a forth body is found and Jess begins to see connections to her past. Will keeping the connections to herself, to keep her secret, harm the investigation and put people in danger.

From the muggy, oppressive, murder scenes in the bayou; to the seedy pub washroom stress-relief scenes in Washington, the story thunders to an end which made me hold my breath for way to long.

This book is utterly compelling. The story takes second place to the introduction of the characters for the first half of the book, but comes into its own in the second half.

Those of you that read my blogs know I enjoy the characters and the way they develop through series. I think that Jess and her team are going to be fantastic, if somewhat complex, people to get to know.

Pages:318

Book Description

 

As she saw his face for the first time, she knew he was going to kill her. She just didn’t know when.

When the dismembered body of Lydia Steiner is found washed up in the waters of a blisteringly hot Louisiana swamp, Detective Jess Bishop knows for certain this isn’t the murderer’s first kill.

Three other dismembered bodies have been found, all bearing the same marks. Marks that strike fear into Jess’s heart. They are identical to those from a case she’s spent her entire career trying to forget.

As Jess and her team try to link the victims, another body is discovered and they fear the serial killer is taunting them. They know it’s only a matter of time before he kills again.

As the body count rises, and the hunt goes cold, Jess knows she has to confront her past in order to catch the killer, even if that means making herself the bait…

Now You See Me is a gripping and heart-stopping thriller full of twists and perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter, Robert Bryndza and Lisa Gardner.

 

Author Bio:

Originally from California, Kierney Scott lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and their daughter.

In her spare time she likes to read and invent new recipes. Her stuffed peppers are particularly popular with her family, as are her grain-free chocolate chip cookies. In an effort to convert her family to the joys of pumpkin, she created the Great Pumpkin Challenge. For the ten weeks before Thanksgiving, they tried a new pumpkin recipe every week. Pumpkin arancini and pumpkin queso were a big hit. She has promised her daughter to never again roast pumpkin and call them chips.

She loves hearing from readers. If you would like to get in touch, you can email her at KierneyScott@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @Kierney_S
Amazon Links: 🇬🇧 UK http://amzn.to/2gAyqYF

🇺🇸 US http://amzn.to/2wAxw7C

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kierney.scott

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kierneyscott/

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/Kierney_S

A Christmas Present Recommendation 1

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I’ve had a few people asking me to recommend books to buy for Christmas presents. So, on the run up to Christmas I’m going to make a few recommendations based on books that I have reviewed this year.

The first I’m going to recommend is not a single book but a series of 3 great novels that have all been released in the last 12 months.

Patricia Gibney is an author based in Ireland and started writing as a form of therapy following the death of her husband. The stories she writes are complex, and cover some very nasty, but unfortunately common, crimes.

Her main protagonist is a troubled Detective Inspector, Lottie Parker.

Lottie is a strong character; a single mom, struggling at various times with drink and prescription drugs, but she has strong morals.

The stories in the three books are self-contained,  but the characters run through each book. As much as I loved the books for their gritty, multi-layered, storylines, I loved them even more for their rich characters. Lottie’s Police team, and her family, cause her pride and consternation in equal measures.

If you are looking to buy a set of books for somebody, or just want to treat yourself, this would be my top recommendation for a new series which has started this year.

I have a family friend, Coupons, (as her son calls her Coupons in his blogs its good enough for me) who’s in her 70’s. She’s an avid reader and loves everything from a romance to a bit of crime.

My daughter is 26 and works in the West Midlands Police, she likes realistic hard-hitting crime books.

I have recommended these books to both of them. I know I’m on safe ground when I can tell both of them they will love the Lottie Parker series. They are realistic crime thrillers with tremendous characters.

So my first recommendation for a Christmas Present, from this year’s publications, is a complete, but ongoing series;

The Missing Ones

The Stolen Girls

The Lost Child

Written by Patricia Gibney and published by Bookouture.

The links below are to my original reviews of the books.

They are all available on Amazon

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/the-missing-ones-patricia-gibney/

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/the-stolen-girls/

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/the-lost-child-patricia-gibney/

No Cure For The Dead Christine Trent

 

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Another new name to me but by no means a new author. I looked Christine Trent up and found out she is a prolific writer of historical fiction based in the Victorian era. I should not have been surprised, No Cure For The Dead is a well written book that was both engaging and intriguing.

Set in 1853 the story’s main protagonist is the 33 year old Florence Nightingale. Before her well known exploits during the Crimean War Nightingale was the Superintendent of a Women’s Establishment for Temporary Illness. A home for women suffering all sorts of illnesses both mental, and physical; imagined and actual.

It is during her time at the Establishment that this book is set. At the end of Nightingales first week she finds a young nurse hung in the library. As convinced as the police are that this is a suicide, Nightingale is equally convinced that the nurse was murdered.

Embarking on a good old fashioned mystery, in the manor of Sherlock Holmes, Nightingale investigates the crime against the threat of one of the male Committee Members wanting her removed from her post.

 

As the investigation takes place Nightingale gets to know her small staff, and even smaller group of patients. Each has a story, and each seems to have a reason to see the unfortunate nurse dead.

 

This is a proper old school murder mystery that will keep the reader guessing up to the last couple of chapters.

 

When I read a biographical book I often find myself hearing the voice of the subject in my head as I’m reading. That was never going to be the case with this book because I have no idea what Nightingale sounded like. However, it is a testament to the writing skills of Christine Trent that there was a voice narrating this story in my head from the first to the last word. I couldn’t place it at first but then it came to me. The upper-class tones of Jenny Agutter, specifically when she is doing the opening and closing dialogue for the TV Series Call the Midwife.

 

I enjoyed this book. In fact I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Pages: 326

Publishers: Crooked Lane Books