REVIEW: Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl (Oslo Detectives #5)

Series: Oslo Detectives

Book Number: 5

Read this book for: multiple investigations, multiple points of view, personal cases, Nordic noir, graphic violence and sexual violence

Quick Review: Best read as part of the series, and great for those who like multiple investigations and high-drama cases.

***

When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he begins to look deeper into the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda finds another body, and things take a more sinister turn. With a cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway casting a shadow, and an unsettling number of coincidences clouding the plot, Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again.

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REVIEW: Western Fringes by Amer Anwar

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: fights and fisticuffs, missing person search, shifting motivations, spiraling plot, twists and turns, clever characters

Quick Review: A violent yet smart mystery with enough table-turning to keep any thriller fan happy – you should definitely check this out.

***

Southall, West London. After being released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put the past behind him. But when he’s forced to search for his boss’s runaway daughter it quickly becomes apparent things aren’t all to do with family arguments and arranged marriages as he finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge. With time running out and pressure mounting, can he find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?

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REVIEW: The Age of Olympus by Gavin Scott (Duncan Forrester #2)

Series: Duncan Forrester

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: detailed historical setting, post-WWII espionage, whodunnit mystery, archaeologist adventurers, romance subplot, multiple murders

Quick Review: Even better than the first outing, this book fuses Christie-style whodunnit with the archaeology of Indiana Jones for a suspenseful adventure in Greece.

***

Duncan Forrester has travelled to Greece, intent on recovering the ancient Cretan stone he discovered during the war, while part of an SOE mission to kidnap a German commander. But during a visit to Athens he witnesses the poisoning of a Greek poet, who it appears may have not been the intended target. 

The man Forrester believes to have been marked for death is a general, who has been approached to lead ELAS, the military arm of the Greek communists. With Greece on the brink of civil war, and more attempts made on the general’s life – not to mention an enemy from his own past on his heels – Forrester knows that the country’s future depends on the fate of one man…

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REVIEW: Parallel Lines by Steven Savile

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: criminal’s perspective, cover-up, thriller, multi-plot, suspense, heist, bank robbery

Quick Review: A fantastically plotted, tight, tense and fresh take on a heist story, PARALLEL LINES will grab you and hold you to the end.

***

Adam Shaw is dying, and knows he’ll leave his disabled son with nothing. His solution? Rob a bank. It’s no surprise that things go wrong. What is surprising is that when another customer is accidentally shot, no one in the bank is in a hurry to hand Adam over to the police. There’s the manager who’s desperate to avoid an audit, the security guard with a serious grudge, and the woman who knows exactly how bad the victim really was… Eight people, twelve hours, one chance to cover up a murder. But it’s not just the polices they have to fool. When so many lives intersect, the results can be explosive.

PARALLEL LINES is not Steven Savile’s first novel, and it shows in his mastery of the pace and suspense of a truly enjoyable thriller.

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REVIEW: Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: non-fiction, true crime, multiple storylines, US-based story, victim-focussed narrative, serial killer

Quick Review: A true-crime narrative about five victims of the ‘Gilgo Beach Killer’ – women who were killed and hidden in Long Island – their personal histories and their families’ still ongoing search for justice, written from a refreshingly different perspective.

***

Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island, and presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of online escorts, where making a living is easier than ever and the dangers remain all too real. A triumph of reporting, a riveting narrative, and “a lashing critique of how society and the police let five young women down” (Dwight Garner, New York Times), LOST GIRLS is a portrait of unsolved murders in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet, and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them.

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REVIEW: A Good Month For Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad by Del Quentin Wilber

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: non-fiction, true crime, gritty detective stories, multiple storylines, police procedural, US-based story

Quick Review: Dark, gritty and incredibly real, this true-crime novel resists the urge to glamourize the detective’s life and presents an intense and compelling picture of murder investigations.

***

After gaining unparalleled access to the homicide unit in Prince George’s County, which borders the nation’s capital, bestselling author Del Quentin Wilber begins shadowing the talented, often quirky detectives who get the call when a body falls. After a quiet couple of months, all hell breaks loose: suddenly every detective in the squad is scrambling to solve one shooting and stabbing after another. Meanwhile, the entire unit is obsessed with a stone-cold ‘red ball’, a high-profile case involving a seventeen-year-old honour student attacked by a gunman who kicked down the door to her house and shot her in her bed. This is the inside story of how a team of detectives carry out their almost impossible job. Murder is the police investigator’s ultimate crucible: to solve a killing, a detective must speak for the dead. More than any recent book, A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER shows what it takes to succeed when the stakes couldn’t possibly be higher.

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REVIEW: Tragic Shores: A Memoir of Dark Travel by Thomas H. Cook

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: travel writing, memoir, non-fiction, hauntingly beautiful prose, chilling events, terrible historical events

Quick Review: A beautifully written and poignant memoir that will make you want to pack your bags and visit, Cook uses the sites of some of the darkest chapters of human history to shed light on the good parts of humanity.

***

Thomas Cook has always been drawn to dark places, for the powerful emotions they evoke and for what we can learn from them. These lessons are often unexpected and sometimes profoundly intimate, but they are never straightforward. With his wife and daughter, Cook travels across the globe in search of darkness – from Lourdes to Ghana, from San Francisco to Verdun, from the monumental, mechanised horror of Auschwitz to the intimate personal grief of a shrine to dead infants in Kamukura, Japan. Along the way he reflects on what these sites may teach us, not only about human history, but about our own personal histories. During the course of a lifetime of traveling to some of earth’s most tragic shores, from the leper colony on Molokai to ground zero at Hiroshima, he finds not darkness alone, but a light that can illuminate the darkness within each of us.

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a mystery lover's exploration of the best reads in the crime genre.

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