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

GONE MISSING BLOG BLITZ

Gone Missing - Blog Tour

Today is the Blog Blitz day for the publication ofT.J Brearton’s fabulous new book Gone Missing.

I posted my original blog a few weeks ago and have been reading other bloggers  reviews, there is not a single dissenting word written.

T.J Brearton has spent weeks at the top of the Amazon book charts for other publications and I can see no reason why this book shouldn’t have its time at the top.

 

My review of Gone Missing

A good stand-alone novel, from a well-established author. What could go wrong? Absolutely nothing. This book has a hook that got me straight from the start.

Katie is the daughter of a wealthy family that owns a chain of restaurants and hotels. Her and David, her husband live a happy life on the outskirts of New York.

When Katie goes out for a jog she chooses 1 of 3 routes, all of which start and end the same way, on a pathway into a park.

Finishing her run one morning Katie hears a baby crying in a van. Texting her husband what she has found, and jokingly saying if she goes missing call the police, she opens the van and leans in to comfort the baby. Then it all goes horribly wrong for her as she realises, too late, that the baby is a doll, and that its bait to trap her.

The book then takes two main strands. The story of Katie and her kidnappers, and her attempts to regain her freedom; and the story of the investigation into her disappearance.

Investigator Justin Cross is a complex character, and when he is tasked with finding Katie, or identifying the people responsible for her kidnap, he throws himself at the investigation with no regard to his own wellbeing.

The story alternates chapters between Katie’s existence and the investigation into her disappearance. I must say, as much as I enjoyed the whole book, I really enjoyed the chapters covering Katie’s story

Her Husband helps with the investigation but all the time he is growing frustrated with the lack of progress, and at the same time becoming more and more worried that he will never see his wife again.

Fans of C.J. Box will love this book. Katie fights for survival in the woods of New York County. She has to make decisions that nobody should ever have to make. All the time her own ethics make her second guess each decision. Decisions she knows she will have to live with for the rest of her life.

The story never lets up in its breath-taking pace, from start to finish something happen on every page.

Pages:395

Publisher UK: Bookouture

Publishing date: 16th November 2017.

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Dying Day Stephen Edger

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Before you read any further this is a really good book so bear with me till the end.

The main protagonist in this book is DI Kate Matthews, and what a pain in the arse she is. A more infuriating person it is hard to imagine.

However; most of the problems with Kate are based on her stubborn theory that she is right, about almost everything.

Moving on from events in the past DI Matthews is now part of the Major Investigation Team in Southampton. She moved there from London following the death of a young DC, Amy Spencer, who was killed whilst undercover as Matthews Team investigated a series of murders in London.

Not only does Kate blame herself for the death of the young detective but so does the Met Police, and the move to Southampton is the only way Kate can carry on with her career. To make matters worse the case they were investigating, the death of the 3 women and Amy, is still unsolved; and Kate is the only person that is sure that all 4 deaths are connected.

At the beginning of the book Kate disobeys a direct order form her Superintendent to pull out of a high-speed chase. She doesn’t listen and ends up in hospital following a serious RTC.

The injuries lead to her having to take time off but; as soon as she hears that a body has been found in the boot of a car she tries to go back to work, only to suffer the wrath of her superiors.

Pig headed as she is she manages to convince one of her team to feed her information on the case. In her own mind she starts to see connections between the London deaths and those occurring in Southampton. Becoming target biased she starts to carry out her own investigation.

The story is told with Kate as the main character, but there is also chapters written from the dead Detectives point of view, starting about 6 months before her death and leading upto the night of her death.

Amy is another flawed character, a young officer on the new detective program she is badly affected by the sight of a body at her first murder scene. One of the victims in the series Matthews is investigating. Promising the dead woman she will do all she can to catch the killer, whilst battling her own shyness in the team, she sees Kate as a role model and starts to take risks

With both parts of the story heading for a big reveal at the end of the book I can almost guarantee nobody will see the end coming from very early in the book.

In fact, I changed my mind on who was responsible for the deaths all the way to the last couple of chapters, and there was still a twist at the end that had me surprised.

As much as I found Kate Matthews a pain in the arse, as a person, I really enjoyed her character. The story is so well written that it had me turning page after page, half in the hope that I was right and that Kate was wrong, but mainly because the plot was gripping.

I shall be looking out for the next Stephen Edgar book, and maybe even reluctantly to the return of pain-in-the-arse Kate Matthews.

Pages: 326

Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: November 17th 2017.

Available to pre-order on Amazon

Gone Missing T.J. Brearton

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A good stand-alone novel, from a well-established author. What could go wrong? Absolutely nothing. This book has a hook that got me straight from the start.

Katie is the daughter of a wealthy family that owns a chain of restaurants and hotels. Her and David, her husband live a happy life on the outskirts of New York.

When Katie goes out for a jog she chooses 1 of 3 routes, all of which start and end the same way, on a pathway into a park.

Finishing her run one morning Katie hears a baby crying in a van. Texting her husband what she has found, and jokingly saying if she goes missing call the police, she opens the van and leans in to comfort the baby. Then it all goes horribly wrong for her as she realises, too late, that the baby is a doll, and that its bait to trap her.

The book then takes two main strands. The story of Katie and her kidnappers, and her attempts to regain her freedom; and the story of the investigation into her disappearance.

Investigator Justin Cross is a complex character, and when he is tasked with finding Katie, or identifying the people responsible for her kidnap, he throws himself at the investigation with no regard to his own wellbeing.

The story alternates chapters between Katie’s existence and the investigation into her disappearance. I must say, as much as I enjoyed the whole book, I really enjoyed the chapters covering Katie’s story

Her Husband helps with the investigation but all the time he is growing frustrated with the lack of progress, and at the same time becoming more and more worried that he will never see his wife again.

Fans of C.J. Box will love this book. Katie fights for survival in the woods of New York County. She has to make decisions that nobody should ever have to make. All the time her own ethics make her second guess each decision. Decisions she knows she will have to live with for the rest of her life.

The story never lets up in its breath-taking pace, from start to finish something happen on every page.

Pages:395

Publisher UK: Bookouture

Publishing date: 16th November 2017.

Available now to pre-order on Amazon

Dying Breath Helen Phifer

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Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin is back in another realistic crime thriller.

When I reviewed The Lost Children, the first book in the DI Harwin series, I said how good it was to read a book that portrayed a criminal investigation properly. The right ranks-to-roles, the correct terminology, the attitudes and ethos’s of the officers and the relationships between departments. It was one of my favourite reads and put Helen onto the list of my favourite authors

This book is just as good.

The story focuses on two eras’: Lucy and her team investigating a series of modern day crimes; and an anonymous boy growing up with his aunty in the 80’s and 90’s.

The boy growing up is obviously a deviant, and it’s not hard to conclude that he is going to be part of today’s crimes; but what part, and who is he?

There are several candidates but I didn’t guess which one was the murderer until it was revealed on the last few pages. Up until that point it could still have been any one of them.

Lucy and her team pick up the investigation into the murder of a woman who is found battered to death and posed in an unlikely position.

She is the first but not the last. Each victim is killed in a way that appears planned but random. Is Brooklyn Bay in the grips of a crime epidemic or a serial killer.

With each murder being committed in a different manner the team are struggling to link them. When the skeletal remains of a woman are uncovered in some woods Helens boss DCI Tom Crowe decides she needs help and drafts in DI Patrick Baker to take over the body in the woods investigation

Lucy conducts most of her investigation with DS Matthew Jackson, her friend and safety net against getting herself in trouble with the bosses. The rest of her team all take an active part in the investigations, and all have their own character that gives the team a great dynamic. The team are good, highly motivated officers, so when DI Baker appears apathetic Lucy soon starts to lose her cool with him.

This book doesn’t look so deeply at the private lives of some books but we know enough about Lucy and her team to build allegiances. I like Lucy and the connection she has with her team so I felt every frustration she had with Baker. That must be the indication of a good writer.

As the two sides of this story headed for a massive collision at the end of the book I found myself sitting for hours glued to the screen of my Kindle.

Helen Phifer has written another great book that has kept her in my top authors list and I cannot wait for the next instalement.

Pages: 269

Published by Bookouture

Publishing Date: 23rd November 2017

Available to pre-order on Amazon

The Body in the Marsh. Nick Louth

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A confession to start my review. Nick Louth has escaped my attention in the past. He now has my full attention, and his previously published books have just been uploaded to my Kindle.

This is a cracking book.

Set against the back drop of a Cold Case Review, of the Murder of a young girl known in the press as Child F; in which the Surrey Police are under intense scrutiny, the last thing the Major Investigation Team need is another complex, high profile case.

When Elizabeth Knight is reported missing by one of her friends the Police quickly establish she is the wife of Professor Martin Knight, one of the main protagonists in the attacks on Surrey Police, and the way they handled the Child F case. She is also the first love of Craig Gillard

DCI Craig Gillard is a detective in Surrey, but we first meet him halfway up a rock climb in the Lake District rescuing a damsel-in-distress. The damsel happens to be a PCSO from his own force, and proves a bit of a nice distraction throughout the book.

Returning to Surrey Gillard heads the investigation into the disappearance of Elizabeth Knight, which quickly turns into a murder enquiry as forensic evidence stacks up to indicate she has been murdered.

What’s more Professor Knight has also gone missing. Is this a domestic murder? Evidence soon starts to show the Prof is a bit of a player, and has been having affairs for years.

The investigation finds a link between a property, that Elizabeth owns and rents out, to a suspect in the new investigation into the killing of Child F.

Gillard’s team work on both cases, and struggle to make much headway into either. The frustrations of the investigations are wonderfully portrayed by Louth as the story ploughs its way to a not very inevitable end. But what and end.

There is a lot of crime fiction on the shelves, at the moment. Most book shops have a shelf with their top reads,  top recommendations, or top ten.

This book is destined for those shelves, right at the top. It has Number 1 best seller written all over it.

Pages: 360

Publisher: Cancelo

Available on Amazon