Series: Sage Westfield
Book Number: 2
Read this book for: historical mystery, contemporary mystery, cold case, police procedural, multiple storylines, UK mystery
Quick Review: A deftly constructed novel that offers a nuanced blend between historical and contemporary mystery stories.
Archaeologist Sage Westfield has her first forensics case: investigating the murder of a teenage girl. Hidden by holly leaves, the girl’s body has been discovered on the grounds of a stately home, where another teenage girl went missing twenty years ago – but her body was never found. The police suspect the reclusive owner, Alistair Chorleigh, who was questioned but never charged. But when Sage investigates a nearby burial mound – and uncovers rumours of an ancient curse – she discovers the story of another mysterious disappearance over a hundred years ago. Sage will need both her modern forensics skills and her archaeological knowledge to unearth the devastating truth. Continue reading →
Series: Charles Holborne
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: legal thriller, 60s London, semi-historical, this time it’s personal, wrongfully accused, amateur detective, corrupt cops
Quick Review: Vivid atmosphere, a great story and a wade range of people, places and parts of society; THE BRIEF is an extremely fascinating dual thriller.
1960s London – gang wars, corrupt police, vice and pornography – ex-boxer, Charles Holborne, has plenty of opportunities to build his reputation with the criminal classes as a barrister who delivers. But Holborne, an East End boy made good, is not all he seems, and his past is snapping at his heels. When his philandering wife has her throat slashed, Holborne finds himself on the wrong side of the law and on the run, back in the only place he thought he’d be safe, the East End. But now he’s got caught in the middle of a turf war between the Kray twins and the Yardies. Can Holborne stay one step ahead of the police and the real murderer, discover the truth and escape the hangman?
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Series: Anderson & Costello
Book Number: 9
Read this book for: police procedural, Scottish mystery, female detective, this time its personal, multiple investigations, child abduction, kidnapping thriller
Quick Review: A twisting kaleidoscope of related investigations; a must-read for fans of the series!
DI Costello faces a disturbing child abduction case; a six-week-old has been stolen and replaced with another baby. The swap took cold and meticulous planning, so Costello treads the seedy, Glaswegian backstreets for answers. She’s convinced that more than one young life is at stake.
Promoted into the Cold Case Unit, Colin Anderson reviews the unsolved rape of a young mother, whose attacker is still out there. Each case pulls Anderson and Costello in the same direction and, as their paths keep crossing, they begin to suspect their separate cases are dangerously entwined. Continue reading →
Series: Fethering Mysteries
Book Number: 18
Read this book for: cozy mystery, UK mystery, whodunnit, contemporary mystery, amateur detectives, female detectives
Quick Review: An extremely cozy English mystery with all the trimmings, including a fun little puzzle, but with the freshness of a contemporary setting.
Having been booked to give a talk at Fethering Library, successful author Burton St Clair invites his old friend Jude to come along. Although they haven’t met for twenty years, Jude is not surprised to find that St Clair hasn’t changed, with his towering ego and somewhat shaky relationship with the truth. What Jude hadn’t been suspecting however was that the evening would end in sudden, violent death.
More worrying, from Jude’s point of view, is the fact that the investigating police officers seem to be convinced that she herself was responsible for the crime. With the evidence stacking up against her, Jude enlists the help of her neighbour Carole not just to solve the murder but to prevent herself from being arrested for committing it. Continue reading →
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: near future setting, sci fi elements, cyberpunk elements, whodunnit thriller, genre crossover, hard-boiled detective
Quick Review: A solid thriller wrapped in an intriguing technological premise — an excellent read for the summer!
You can’t get away with anything. Least of all murder.
DI Clive Lussac has forgotten how to do his job. Ten years of embedded technology – ‘iMe’ – has led to complete control and the eradication of crime. Then the impossible happens. A body is found, and the killer is untraceable. With new partner Zoe Jordan, Clive must re-sharpen his detective skills and find the killer without technology, before time runs out for the next victim… Continue reading →
Series: N/A; part of the Hard Case Crime releases
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: atmospheric mystery, non-traditional whodunnit, philosophical mystery, meta moments, US mystery, quaint mystery, procedural
Quick Review: A meditation on the nature of mystery and stories, wrapped in a vintage noir feel. A must read for all mystery lovers.
On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues, and it’s more than a year before the man is identified.
And that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still…? Continue reading →
Series: Natalya Ivanova
Book Number: 2
Read this book for: crime procedural, Russian mystery, political thriller, police corruption, crime thriller, contemporary mystery
Quick Review: Polished, well-executed, and intense, BLACK WOLF is a must read for those who are interested in a believable political angle to their procedural thrillers.
A young woman is found dead on the outskirts of St Petersburg on a freezing January morning. There are no signs of injury, and heavy snowfall has buried all trace of an attacker.
Captain Natalya Ivanova’s investigation quickly links the victim to the Decembrists, an anti-Putin dissident group whose acts of civil disobedience have caught the eye of the authorities. And Natalya soon realises she is not the only one interested in the case, as government security services wade in and shut down her investigation almost before it has begun.
Before long, state media are spreading smear stories about the dead woman, and Natalya suspects the authorities have something to hide. When a second rebel activist goes missing, she is forced to go undercover to expose the truth. But the stakes are higher than ever before. Not only could her pursuit of the murderer destroy her career, but her family ties to one of the victims threaten to tear her personal life apart.
Continue reading →