Last Goodbye Arlene Hunt

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Say hello to DI Eli Quinn and DS Roxy Malloy, quite possibly the best DI and Sergeant Team since Morse and Lewis.

DI Quinn, arrogant at times, works outside the lines at times, but he has a good moral compass and gets results.

DS Roxy Malloy; very often a character in a book reminds me of somebody I know, or another character from a TV series. In Roxy’s case I just kept seeing Taylor from Billions. What a great character she is. Straight as a die, stubborn, no filters, socially awkward, and determined to get to the truth. There is black and there is white, but there is no grey in her world.

At the start of the book Quinn and Malloy aren’t even on the same team, but her tenacity sees her seconded to him when she gets her teeth into a murder that may be connected to one he is investigating.

A killer is striking women in Dublin. The women are killed and staged in a romantic setting, unfortunately the men they are with ,when they are killed, are left butchered at the scene.

Quinn’s team are already investigating the first of these murders when a second murder takes place. Newly promoted to DS, Roxy and her partner are sent to the scene of another murder with a similar MO, but she isn’t as convinced as some that it’s the same murderer.

Seconded to Quinn’s team he quickly realises that Roxy is a rising star, even though she’s a little strange, and puts her to work.

Not surprisingly Roxy comes up with evidence that opens a can of worms. Her murder victim is the daughter of a mysteriously untouchable gangland boss.

From then on the investigations into the murders take a sinister twisting path through the politics of Dublin, and  the clashing cultures of its previously corrupt police force and its modern cleaner counterpart.

This book is great. The new duo of Quinn and Roxy is one of those relationships that is going to have the reader wanting more and more books in the series.

As well as the characters the storyline is outstanding, and brutally realistic.

Can you tell I really enjoyed this book.

I guess the hunt for my holiday reads is over. I’ve just found Arlen Hunts back catalogue.

Pages: 294

Publishers: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 22nd May 2018.

Deep Fear Rachel Lynch

 

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Earlier this year I reviewed Dark Game by Rachel Lynch. The book in which she introduced us to DI Kelly Porter. It was one of the best debut crime thrillers I had read for a while so when I saw the second one was about to be published I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Deep fear see’s the unassuming DI Kelly Porter still living at home with her mom and suffering harassment from her sister, who has her perfect life of Husband and family. But things are about to change Kelly’s Mom is ill, and spending a lot of time in hospital.

Meanwhile somebody is killing people in the Lake District and the pressure is on Kelly and her team to find the murderer.

People are being targeted then killed. The killer is posing their bodies to suggest the failings that lead them to be killed. Along with the murder, mutilation, and posing of the bodies, the killer is leaving cryptic clues in the form of quotes from the Lakes poets.

As the body count rises, in a very short period of time, the team struggle to find the connection between the victims which would help them identify the killer.

All the time Kelly is working hard on investigating the murders the pressure is on at home as her sister and her argue constantly bout their mothers care.

Will the duel pressure of work and home life be too much for Kelly? Can she devote enough time to both?

The story rattles along and has a terrific ending that left me open mouthed for a good few minutes after I’d finished it.

I have often heard the expression “the difficult second” usually attached to music artist and records, or actors and TV series. I always wonder if the second book in a series will live up to the promise of the first.

Well this one has, and more. This is a cracking book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one after the trauma of the end of this one.

Pages: Kindle size 1184KB

Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date UK: 14th May 2018 available to pre-order on Amazon

The link below is to my review of Dark Game, the first in the Kelly Porter Series

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/dark-game-rachel-lynch/

Deathly Wind. Keith Moray

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This is the second book in the DI Torquil McKinnon series set on a remote Scottish Island.

But don’t let the remote small island, with its small community put you off. This is a complex story with many twists and turns.

The story starts with an assassin killing a family, and a missing Police Officer.

At the same time a big-time-Charlie from the mainland takes over the big house and brings with him the threat of erecting a wind farm on the old crofts. The problem is the crofts are still being run as farms by well-established families.

The new Laird is Jock McArdle, a business man from Glasgow, who brings with him two enforcers.

More deaths start to take place on the island but are most of them just accidents.

As the death count rises there are conflicts amongst the small group of residents on the island. Half of them are against the wind farms, the other half are for them.

There is a hedgehog cull about to take place but one resident, Megan, who is fervently against it, starts to cause problems. Could she be responsible for some of the deaths?

Her Boyfriend Nial is a Bird Protectionist, who is very protective of the eagle population on the island. So, when it is claimed one of the deaths is down to an eagle attack he too starts to act strangely. Could he be the murderer?

Then there is the young pretty Megan. She only had eyes for the missing Police Officer but is finding comfort in half of the male population. Is one of her comforters acting out of jealousy.

The small island Police force is headed by DI Torquil McKinnon, the motorcycle riding, bag pie playing, widower, who went to school with most of the main suspects in the crimes. With one of his two full time officers missing he has to run the inquiry with his full time DS, and two volunteer constables. The story of the investigation is brilliantly addictive, and the result is not easily anticipated.

Over the last year I have read a few books set in the remote Scottish Isles. The large open spaces with the small tight knit communities lend themselves to some great stories. In fact, I have come to realise that The Scottish Isles Murder books are the new Closed Room Mysteries of Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie fame.

The two books in this series which have so far been published are brilliant.

If you like a good murder mystery you will love these books.

With summer creeping up on us, people might be looking for a book to read around the pool or on the beach. Get this series. There is only one problem with them. You will be left desperately wanting book 3, and we are going to have to wait for a while for that.

Pages: 224

Publisher: Sapere

Available now

The Lost. Mari Hannah

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Marie Hannah has long been one of my favourite Authors. Until her Kate Daniels series I was not much of a fan of British Crime fiction, but once I read The Murder Wall she had me hooked.

Mari changed tack and started a new series a couple of years ago, with The Silent Room, and I was worried, until I read it, that it wouldn’t be as good as the Daniels books.

Now she is starting a fresh again. This time with the first book in the Oliver and Stone Series.

The Lost introduces us to DS Frank (Frances) Stone. The third generation of Police Officer in her family, following her father and grandfather. She is a no nonsense brash but likeable officer.

DI David Stone is a more complex character. Returning to his home county of Northumbria, after a successful career in the Met, he has taken a reduction of rank to move home. He carries a secret that haunts him to the point of distracting him. Moving up from London he has moved into his late grandmother’s cottage which can best be described as near derelict, but he shows no signs of renovating. Is he here to stay, is he punishing himself, is it an excuse to keep people at bay from his personal life.

Working with Frank Oliver keeping people at bay is going to be very difficult. She is fiercely loyal, but wants to know everything.

The first case they work together is complex. A young boy goes missing whilst his mom is on holiday with her sister. The boys stepfather is supposed to be looking after him. When the au-pair and stepfather both think the other is picking the boy up from football practice he goes missing, and the stepdad has no choice but to report it to the police.

It’s not a case Stone’s team would usually be involved with but Oliver convinces him to take it on.

What follows is a series of crimes based around the family. A family where nobody seems able, or willing, to tell the truth. The mother is a controlling figure who looks down on her business man husband. The husband is addicted to drink and drugs, and his business is going down the pan.

Even the au-pair is not what she seems and leads the investigation team up an avenue that includes blackmailing old clients.

So who is the target of the crimes. The family or the Au-pair.

Before the end of the book more than one life lies in ruins, and at least one person is dead.

This is the start of a great series. Oliver and Stone are fantastic characters and Mari Hannah is one of the very best writers out there. And by “out there” I don’t just mean the UK.

Pages: 416

Publishers: Orion

Available now

The Next Girl Carla Kovach

 

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When I read the synopsis for this book I was expecting another Police Procedural with a twist of Psychological Thriller. There would have been nothing wrong with that, in fact that is my favourite genre of book. But I got much more than that, I got a book that made me think about the affects investigating crimes can have on people, because not all Police Officers are as tough as they make out.

 

DI Gina Harte is the head of a small team of officers. At work she is a strong woman, at home she is having problems in her relationship with her grown up daughter. Harte, a widow, had been the victim of domestic abuse but how does she tell her daughter that. Especially as her daughter is arranging a memorial service for her dad, who she thinks the world of.

 

Harte is also in need of a confidence building bit of TLC, but she is also concerned about starting a relationship, especially one that could interfere with her job.

 

When a baby is discovered abandoned in a small village it is Harte’s team that is tasked with investigating where the baby came from.

 

At the same time a young father is struggling to get over the disappearance of his wife 4 years ago. He too is struggling with his feelings as he starts to slide into a new relationship. Guilty that he has feelings for the new woman in his life, and guilty about being unfaithful to his missing wife, Luke is struggling enough.  When DI Harte knocks at his door his confusion is about to get much worse.

 

As Harte and team look at the case of the abandoned baby, and re-open the 4 year old missing persons case, it soon becomes evident that they are linked.

 

Harte continues to have run-ins with her daughter who has always blamed her for putting her job first. She finds her TLC in an unusual place, and with both these things playing on her mind she tries to lead the investigation.

 

This book takes the reader into the troubled worlds of a Police Officer who has been a victim and is struggling both professionally and personally, and a victim who has never had closure and is struggling to find direction in his life.

 

Those that read my blogs will know I love characters to have a good back story and an element of an ongoing personal life. Well this story has given me that and wrapped around it is a great crime story.

 

I like it when a book I like appears to open up the possibility of a series.

 

Well it says on the Amazon page Detective Gina Harte Book 1.

 

Bring on Book 2. I really enjoyed Book 1

 

Pages: 300

Publishers: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 2nd April 2018.

Dark Lies Nick Hollin

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Nick Hollin has produced two characters which have got me completely and utterly hooked.

DCI Katie Rhodes, once brilliant, smart and reliable; now a promiscuous heavy drinker seemingly bent on self-destruction.

Criminal Psychologist Nathan Radley, a very strange man who has been in self-imposed exile for a year. A man who can get into criminals minds, unfortunately, he also empathises with their dark feelings and lusts for violence.

Why has Rhodes started to self-destruct, and Radley placed himself in exile, because they were both badly affected by the last case they worked together.

When Rhodes is called to the scene of a murder she notices a mark on the body, a mark which is identical to a feature on her own, she starts to worry. Days earlier she had been to another scene where a body also had a mark left on it. A mark that resembled a birthmark that the exiled Radley has on his thigh. Coincidence? Of course not.

The murders are horrific but more than that, somebody is playing with Katie’s head. A head that is full of booze and hasn’t functioned properly for a year.

She can only turn to one person.

Radley has spent the last year living alone in a cottage in Scotland, reading children’s literature because he is too scared to open the boxes in his brain that hold memories of past cases. Scared of the feelings that vicious crime provokes in him.

To say he is unwilling to help his ex-partner is an understatement, but she gets him back to London and they start working on the murders.

What follows is one of the best, and most original criminal psychological thrillers I have ever read.

There are twist and turns as suspects come and go. There are frustrations as the pair are branded mentally and physically unfit to carry on with the Police investigation. But they’ve got to find the killer before he destroys them.

The two main characters are complimented by a cast of fringe characters that bring a credibility to the story.

I loved this book. In fact I have a confession to make. It had been on my to-be-read pile for weeks now. It was only when I remembered, that I was taking part on the launch blog blitz for it, that I picked it up on Saturday morning and started reading it. I put my Kindle down late Saturday night when I finished it. I don’t usually read a book in one day. I just could not put this one down.

Well it says on the cover Detective Rhodes and Radley Book 1. Well bring on book 2, and 3, and 4, in fact Mr Hollin, just keep them coming.

 

Pages: 275

Publishers: Bookouture

Publishing date: 26th March 2018

The Girl Who Got Revenge Marnie Riches

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I still can’t believe that these books have never been available in print.  They have to be one of the best euro-crime series ever written and are definitely the cream of the current crop.

The Girl Who Got Revenge sees  the return of Dr Georgie McKenzie and Police Inspector Paul Van den Bergen in the 5th book in the series.

George is the OCD clean freak who has a PhD in Criminology from Cambridge, not a bad achievement for a mixed-race girl from a rough London Council Estate.

Her life partner Paul is a lot older than her, and is a veteran of the Amsterdam Police, he’s also a raving hypochondriac.

What a team they make.

In this book George is struggling with her own family and with Pauls. She wants him to commit to a relationship, he seems to want to spend more time with his daughter and new granddaughter.

Just when things are getting twitchy between the pair a new investigation throws them back together.

A lorry is stopped in the port of Amsterdam. On board, amongst the 50 Syrian refugees being smuggled into the country, is a dead girl.

Van den Bergen and his team are tasked with identifying the people responsible for running the trafficking ring.

At the same time, it becomes apparent that somebody is killing a group of men who became heroes as part of the Dutch Résistance during World War 2

It soon becomes apparent that Van den Bergen’s new boos is not his biggest fan and he gets side-lined from the investigations but, in his usual style, carries on with it in his own time.

By doing this he steps outside the protection offered by the Police force and puts himself, George, and his family in danger.

Meanwhile George becomes engrossed in the investigation into the death of the war heroes. The discovery of a diary written by a young woman during the war tells the story of the small band of résistance fighters, and her love for one of them.

This is a really clever bit of writing by Marnie Riches. She uses the two cases to draw parallels between the plight of refugees from war torn countries of today, with the plight of Dutch Jews during the German Occupation of World War 2.

As the two investigations continue their paths cross.  Could modern day neo Nazi’s really be smuggling Syrian Immigrants into Europe, and if so why.

Before the end of the book some of the characters are put at mortal risk.

Will everybody survive?

I said at the start of this blog that this series is the cream of the current crop of euro-crime thrillers. I read the acknowledgments at the end of the book and it almost felt like a farewell.

I hope not.

George McKenzie is a brilliant character. The stories she has been involved in are very much on topic for today’s illicit activities.

Marnie Riches has written 5 books, in this series. They are all brilliant. And they are all about to be published in Paperback.

So if you are no fan of the e-reader, now you’ll be able to read the lot in hardcopy

 

Pages: 282

Published by Avon

Publishing date UK: 19th April 2018.