Tell No Lies Lisa Hartley

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Internal compartmentation in covert policing makes life dangerous for the undercover police officer; but, are Met and the NCA working with or against each other on this case.

The secrets that are being kept have far reaching effects on the investigation and the personal lives of some of the officers carrying it out.

There is a new drug baron in one of London’s suburbs. Actually, it’s more accurate to say the old one has been arrested and is in prison and some low-level dealers are trying to muscle their way into the big time.

But then a body is found tortured to death, and its linked to a second death that happened a few days earlier, that of a Policeman that died in similar circumstances.

The Met decides to send in a team of undercover officers.

This story follows Detective Caelan Small. At the start of the book she is recovering from a recent undercover operation that has damaged her physically and emotionally. She is given no choice go to work or go away. So, she assumes an identity she has used before and goes in search of information about the new drugs dealers.

She soon establishes that there may be more than one gang involved and that the dead Policeman may have been running his own investigation, “off-the book”

The investigation leads to some of the more salubrious areas of London, and this is where the book really comes into its own.

Lisa Hartley describes the areas and people of London involved in the gang and drugs culture very well. I was hooked by its reality.

The story is very fast paced. In fact I intended to read it over a week and ended up not putting it down, and finishing it in a day.

Its pace is breathless. The story takes place over just a few days and I felt like I was there with Caelan. Feeling her frustrations at her Senior Officers who were making decisions based on facts she could not be told, the frustrations of knowing other officers are working with her, but feeling they are working against her.

I felt the anxiety she feels when she has to make snap decisions, putting herself in danger, but more worryingly potentially putting others in danger.

The story is complex, and right up till the last page I had no idea how it was going to end.

I loved it

 

Pages: 331

Published by: Canelo

Publishing date: 19th February 2018

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Cold Heart Stephen Edger

 

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This is the 3rd book in the Di Kate Matthews series, a series that just keeps getting better.

The story starts in the middle of an investigation. 15 year old Daisy has been missing for 7 days and Matthews is interviewing the Head Teacher of her school.  During the interview a member of staff announces that he thinks he has found a body in the derelict school sports hall.

What he’s actually found is a resuscitation doll; but what Kate finds when she’s looking around the building is what appears to be a kill room, with lots of blood and a foot.

And so begins a complex investigation, which has the team going off in many directions.

Like any real Police Investigation the officers are led by the evidence and their own instinct. At times the plot is like a domino rally. Once one domino has been set tumbling it sets of others, at times the domino’s split and two trails set of in opposite directions but eventually all coming back to the same point.

The accidental discovery of the kill room seems to signal bad news for Daisy’s family but are the team investigating Daisy’s murder or has she become involved in something which has led to disappearance.

With corruption, prostitution,  and many other serious crimes on the table maybe Daisy going missing is the best thing that could have happened.

This book is really good and had me turning page after page. In fact I read this in as close to one sitting as any book I’ve ever read.  Roll on book 4 .

Pages: 350

Publishers: Bookouture

Publishing date: 12th March 2018.

The Photographer Craig Robertson

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This book covers issues so current that at times I almost felt like I was reading a fly-on-the-wall expose of a real investigation.

From the start of the book a vicious rapist is identified and taken to court, only to have key evidence thrown out on a technicality. The one and only witness who has been brave enough to come forward to give evidence at the trial breaks down and runs away leaving the judge no choice but to throw the case out.

The accused rapist is a semi-famous business man and his name has been released to the press, his victim is only known by a pseudo name. The moral debate about this is touched on, but what follows is a huge amount of trolling abuse aimed at the victim and the female police officer who took the case to court.

Detective Inspector Rachel Narey is the officer in question. She is becoming the target of abuse and threats of violence.

Rachel is frustrated that the case got thrown out of court, and even more frustrated that a file containing hundreds of photographs of random women taken all over the streets of Glasgow was thrown out of evidence; and that she was forced to return the photos and all copies of them to the accused.

She knows she had the right man, her bosses know she had the right man. They also know that every woman in the photos is a victim, or potential victim, of the attacker. Those photos are now off limits. How can she get after him?

When her husband, Tony, a journalist, is sent the photos on a computer file he knows he can’t tell his wife. He also knows he may have the biggest story he has ever had, but at what cost to his marriage.

Meanwhile a rape counsellor has been on the trail of a man who attacks his victims in a very specific manner, and it’s the same way that Narey’s victim was attacked. She has a file she’s named “The Beast File” containing 9 year’s worth of investigations. She has never got near identifying the victim until now.

Three lines of investigation start. DI Narey is still after her man but is confined by the letter of the law. Her husband Tony is not nearly so confined but without official status he is placing himself in danger.

Then there is Tony’s Uncle Dan, an ex-cop and God Father to Rachel and Tony’s little girl. He arrives to stay and look after the girl because of the threats made on social media to Rachel. He opens up a third line of inquiry when he joins in the twitter chat and ingratiates himself with the bigoted keyboard warriors that hide behind their computer screens.

With all three looking for a way to put the attacker behind bars the story highlights the difference between how different people can get information, legitimately or otherwise.

It shows the frustrations of modern policing, what can be done and what can’t.

It shows the frustrations of victims who get up the courage to step forward, only to be let down by the judicial system.

It shows how easy it is for so called secret identities to be found out; and how they become widely known through social media, and the effect that has on the person who is so often the victim of a serious crime.

This book could not be more topical. It reflects issues that have been in the press very recently, and even mentions the Black Cab Rapist whose immanent release is causing so much consternation.

I like books that get me thinking. This book got me thinking about some of the laws of this country, and the way some trials are reported.

It also got me thinking something I have never thought before. Maybe some of this investigative journalism is better placed to find out the truth than a proper legal investigation.

For a work of fiction that takes some doing.

Then I read Craig Robertson’s biography.

Now I know why this book is so good.

I’m off to find his back catalogue. I can’t not read them. I hope they are just as good as this one. They have a lot to live up to.

Pages: 448

Publishers UK: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date UK: 25th January 2018

Dark Game Rachel Lynch

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2017 has seen the publication of some fantastic psychological thrillers, and if this book is anything to go by 2018 is going to see even more.

Kelly Porter is a 36-year-old DI in Cumbria; but that was not where she started her Police career, she has recently moved home from the Met, and she brings with her all the experience of an officer who has served time on an MIT in London.

However; she is not like most protagonists in this situation, she actively tries to not come across as the big-city-girl and is very easy to like. She is struggling with living at home with mom, and having an over-bearing sister living nearby, but as far as her job goes, she’s good and she just lets her professionalism speak for itself.

To start with she is given cold cases to review whilst she is mentored by her predecessor before he moves on to his new job. So, when she digs into the case of a girl who was murdered after being kidnapped during a family outing, and there appears to be a link to a current crime, she is soon thrown into the thick of a serious investigation and takes over as the SIO.

Amongst the small towns of the Lake District there is a growing community of immigrant workers. Amongst these workers are a community of illegal workers held against their will and forced into prostitution and drug abuse.

When one of the local businessmen dies whilst engaging the services of one of these sex workers it starts a chain reaction that uncovers layers of evil that unfortunately do not only exist in fiction.

The young girls forced into working as prostitutes; the human trafficking that gets them into the country, the vicious gangs that are responsible for the trafficking. Then there’s the other crimes that the gangs bring with them. Dog fighting, humans forced into fighting, rape and murder.

This book holds no punches, and certainly has no filters, as it follows Kelly Porters investigation into an ever increasingly serious criminal investigation.

Each new chapter holds another revelation, some of which I didn’t see coming; each of which seems to get more violent as the higher ranking criminals realise that Porter is working her way up the food-chain and is getting close to them.

People who read this blog regularly will know that I place a lot on reality. Rachel Lynch has done her research. The story is frighteningly realistic; the crimes, as they take place are described brilliantly. The crime scenes, and the effect they have on the Police, are stunningly written. The chain of events that transcribe the investigation are logical with no big leaps of faith. In fact, the way the investigation opens up, and the processes the officers go through, are perfectly written.

I hope this is the first of a series. If it is, the next one can’t come soon enough.

 

Published by Canelo

Publishing date: 29th January 2018.

The Vanishing Girls Lisa Regan

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Straight from the start I’m going to say I loved this book. The Plot, the main protagonist, the setting, everything.

The story is based in the small fictional town of Denton Pennsylvania. When a young woman goes missing it attracts the attention of all of the local police department, but the one woman that really wants to get involved in the search is on suspension for hitting another woman.

Detective Josie Quinn is a troubled character, she has recently left her husband when she found out he was having an affair with the local stripper. Her husband, her childhood best friend turned-lover-turned-husband, was not only a cop, he was her best friend.

The towns chief refuses to let Josie back from suspension so she starts to look into the disappearance of the girl herself; and she starts to uncover some terrible secrets.

Everybody she thinks to turn to for help might be put in danger, or may put her in danger. In turmoil and not knowing who to trust Josie uncovers historical crimes that she links to the disappearance of the girl. Her one-woman investigation goes from looking for a missing girl to looking for a serial killer.

This book is brilliant. The story had me hooked from the start and kept me engrossed throughout.

The culmination of the investigation is not at the end of the story. Thankfully Lisa Regan has continued, past the end game of the crimes, to include the inquest that goes on after the perpetrator has been found. But did he work alone, and has Josie identified everybody involved.

Thankfully there are more Josie Quinn books on the way and I, for one, can’t wait for the next.

Whilst I was reading this the style of writing, and the story, reminded me of another of my favourite authors. So, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anybody who likes books by Greg Isles

 

Pages: 345

Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing date UK: 17th January 2018

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/

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