15 April 2019

Review: DISAPPEARED, Anthony J. Quinn

  • this edition published by Head of Zeus UK in 2015
  • ISBN 9781781858998
  • 252 pages
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

In Northern Ireland's darkest corner, the Troubles have never ended

Though bombs no longer rock Belfast, for some the fight goes on. Retired Special Branch agent David Hughes disappears after looking into the previously closed case of Oliver Jordan, who went missing at the hands of the IRA decades ago. Soon after, a former spy is found bludgeoned to death, the day after placing his own obituary in the newspaper. Beneath Northern Ireland's modern calm, ancient jealousies threaten to rend the country asunder once more.

A Catholic detective in a Protestant nation, Celcius Daly knows too well the agonies of sectarian strife. To solve this string of murders, he must reach decades into the past, confronting a painful history that Ireland would prefer to forget.

My Take

To be honest, for most of the time I found this novel hard going. I empathised with David Hughes who has Alzheimer's and is extremely frustrated because his memory is rather like a patchwork quilt with large holes. I understood young Dermot Jordan's desire to know where his father is buried, and perhaps even to clear his name.

But I struggled to remember which side was which, and who had done what.

Someone who has a better understanding of The Troubles would obviously enjoy the book far more. Thank you Anthony Quinn for trying to educate me!

My rating: 3.6

I've read
4.6, CURTAIN CALL
4.3, THE LISTENERS

9 April 2019

Review: A KILLING NIGHT, Jonathon King

  • this edition published in 2005 by Orion
  • #4 in the Max Freeman series
  • ISBN 0-75286-936-1
  • 289 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

Max Freeman is at a crossroads. No longer content to live solely in his remote shack in the Everglades, he is looking to move beyond his self-imposed isolation. So when his onetime girlfriend, Detective Sherry Richards, asks for his help as a private investigator in nailing an ex-cop she suspects of killing several young women in South Florida, Max is ready to help her see justice done.

But there's a problem. Sherry's suspect is a former police officer from Philadelphia who served with Max; a brother-in-blue who once saved Max's life. Matters are made worse when Max's own aggressive investigation leads him to believe that Sherry's crusade to protect these women is about to roll over a possibly innocent man.

Caught between his loyalty to Sherry and his debt to his fellow ex-cop, Max's search for the truth will take him back to the streets of Philadelphia, where he will dig into his fellow officer's troubled past . . . only to come face-to-face with his own. And while Max continues his quest, a controlling, cunning killer inexorably closes in on what could be his next victim. . . . 

My take

Three female bartenders in South Florida have gone missing and the finger of suspicion points at Colin O'Shea, a childhood friend of Max Freeman's, also a former cop that he worked with in Philadelphia. But Colin swears he is innocent and Max believes him.

So Max finds himself trying to work out if there is a serial killer on the loose, and at the same time he is trying to prove that it isn't Colin.

Max is also working for Billy Manchester, a black attorney that he also grew up with in Philadelphia. Billy is working on a case of cruise liner employees who are being threatened by stand over thugs,

I found the story a bit slow in the beginning. The author seemed to need to fill me in on some details that I already knew even though I have only read #1 in the series. This story has many strands and both Max and the serial killer speak in the first person, which initially takes a bit of careful reading,

My rating: 4.4

4.4, THE BLUE EDGE OF MIDNIGHT

7 April 2019

Review: NINTH AND NOWHERE, Jeffery Deaver

  • format: kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 4956 KB
  • Print Length: 52 pages
  • Publisher: Amazon Original Stories (January 29, 2019)
  • Publication Date: January 29, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07JYPTLJW
Synopsis (Amazon)

Seven strangers. Two hours. One tragic moment of violence that changes everything.

In this electrifying short story by New York Times bestselling author of The Never Game Jeffery Deaver, the destinies of seven strangers intersect in ways no one sees coming. It looks like just another gray March morning in the tough urban district nicknamed Nowhere when seven lives converge: a young man intent on buying a gun; the gangbanger who cuts him a deal; a by-the-book police officer on a last patrol; an advertising executive keeping secrets from her husband; a veteran haunted by a combat death; a single dad in a bitter custody battle; and a sharp-looking businessman en route to a new job he desperately needs. Any one of them could have a dark motive. Any one of them could be walking into a trap. When the fog lifts, it will all be much clearer—that a single, shattering act of violence has marked each of them forever.

My Take

I liked the way each of the 7 main characters was introduced in this novella. Inevitably as the author described each of the characters I made a judgement about them, but, as it turned out I was very wrong.

Tension builds as the reader realises each character is heading towards Ninth Ave in Nowhere and you know that something is going to happen.

An excellent read. Highly recommended.

My rating: 4.8

Review: THE MURDER AT REDMIRE HALL, J. R. Ellis - audio book

  • audio book from Audible.com
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Series: Yorkshire Murder Mystery Series, Book 3
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-13-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Synopsis (Audible.com)

An impossible murder behind a locked door. Can DCI Oldroyd find the key to the mystery?

Lord Redmire’s gambling habit has placed him in serious debt. Determined to salvage his fortune by putting Redmire Hall on the map, the aristocrat performs an impossible locked-door illusion on live TV. But as the cameras roll, his spectacular trick goes fatally wrong....

Special guest DCI Jim Oldroyd has a front-row seat, but in all his years with the West Riding Police he’s never witnessed anything like this. He sees Redmire disappear - and then reappear, dead, with a knife in his back.

As Oldroyd and DS Stephanie Johnson soon discover, nearly everyone at the event had a reason to resent the eccentric lord. But how did the murderer get into the locked room - or out, for that matter?

When the only other person who knew the secret behind the illusion is brutally silenced, the case begins to look unsolvable. Because as Oldroyd and Johnson know, it’s not just a question of who did it and why - but how?

My take

This is the third, for the moment, the last,  in the cozy mystery series featuring DCI Olroyd and his colleague DS Stephanie Johnson. The audio book is well produced and is engaging listening.

Lord Redmire's father was the one who had the locked room trick installed in his house, but once performed, it was forgotten for over 30 years. now his son wants to use the trick to bring tourists to the house.

He invites DCI Oldroyd to be an official witness at the operation of the trick, but that actually has the effect of ensuring that the police  are at hand to begin the investigation into Lord Redmire's death.

I certainly hope there are more titles to come in the series.

My rating: 4.4

See my other reviews in this series
4.3, THE  BODY IN THE DALES
4.4, THE QUARTET MURDERS

6 April 2019

Review: THE GIRL WHO WOULDN'T DIE, Marnie Riches

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1124 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (April 2, 2015)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2015
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00U1K18VY
Synopsis (Amazon)

HE’S WATCHING HER. SHE DOESN’T KNOW IT…YET

When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer.

But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.

And the killer has a very special part for George to play…

A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!

WINNER OF THE 2015 DEAD GOOD READER AWARD FOR MOST EXOTIC LOCATION

My Take

I'm afraid this book didn't grab me in quite the way the blurb promised. I found the plot overly complex and black. It would probably appeal to a much younger reader.

George McKenzie presents as a Cambridge student studying sociology in Amsterdam where girls are going missing. When a bomb explodes in an old library of the University of Amsterdam, and other students go missing, it is George who works out that there must be some connection with the faculty she belongs to. That's when the reader finds out that George is not quite who she seems.

Not quite my cup of tea.

My rating: 3.5

About the author
Marnie Riches is an award-winning, best-selling British author of crime-fiction, making her debut in the US with "The Girl Who Wouldn't Die" - the first novel in her gritty, gripping George McKenzie series. The series of five books has sold approaching two hundred thousand copies in the UK and continues to garner critical acclaim from her peers and in the press, as well as a loyal readership.

Marnie grew up in a tough neighborhood in Manchester, England, infamous for its violent crime but loved for its world-class music and friendly people. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a post-grad degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser. When she's not writing, Marnie likes to run, refurbish old houses and drink gin.

Her George McKenzie crime thrillers, tackling the subject of trans-national trafficking, were inspired by her time spent in The Netherlands. "The Girl Who Wouldn't Die" and subsequent four books are must-reads for all fans of Scandinavian and British mystery, suspense and thrillers, who love a kickass heroine who will happily flout the rules if it means catching a killer. George's partnership with troubled Inspector Paul van den Bergen of the Dutch police and her complex family relationships back in London have readers returning, book after book, to see how George's life unfolds...

Marnie is also the author of "Born Bad" and "The Cover-Up" - the critically acclaimed UK hit series about Manchester's notorious gangland.

2 April 2019

Meme: NEW TO ME AUTHORS January to March 2019

Some really good reads among these: 14 read in 3 months
Not all crime fiction
  1. 4.6, MINE, J.L. Butler
  2. 4.7, THE DARKEST PLACE, Jo Spain 
  3. 4.6, WEEPING WATERS, Karin Brynard
  4. 4.2, AS THE CROW FLIES, Damien Boyd 
  5. 4.3, THE  BODY IN THE DALES, J. R. Ellis
  6. 4.4, THE KOOKABURRA CREEK CAFE, Sandie Docker not crime fic
  7. 4.3, THREE GOLD COINS, Josephine Moon not crime fic
  8. 4.4, THE NOWHERE CHILD, Christian White 
  9. 4.4, THE BLUE EDGE OF MIDNIGHT, Jonathon King
  10. 4.2, SOMETHING IN THE WATER, Catherine Steadman
  11. 4.1, MURDER UNDER A GREEN SEA, Phillip Hunter
  12. 4.4, THE BOOK CLUB, Mary Alice Monroe not crime fic
  13. 4.8, THE MARRIAGE CLUB, Kate Legge not crime fic
  14. 4.5, THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPH, Kate Riordan mystery rather than crime fic 

What I read in March 2019

A good month
Pick of the Month March 2019
  1. 4.3, THREE GOLD COINS, Josephine Moon - Australian author, not crime 
  2. 4.4, THE NOWHERE CHILD, Christian White - Australian author 
  3. 4.4, THE BLUE EDGE OF MIDNIGHT, Jonathon King
  4. 4.4, A STRANGER IN THE FAMILY, Robert Barnard 
  5. 4.2, SOMETHING IN THE WATER, Catherine Steadman
  6. 4.3, THE LISTENERS, Anthony J. Quinn
  7. 4.4, THE QUARTET MURDERS, J. R. Ellis - audio book
  8. 4.1, MURDER UNDER A GREEN SEA, Phillip Hunter  
  9. 4.4, THE BOOK CLUB, Mary Alice Monroe - not crime fiction
  10. 4.7, SHARP OBJECTS, Gillian Flynn
  11. 4.8, THE MARRIAGE CLUB, Kate Legge
  12. 4.5, THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPH, Kate Riordan   
See what others have read this month.

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