REVIEW: Madman Walking by LF Robertson (Janet Moodie #2)

Series: Janet Moodie

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: legal procedural, death row appeal, realistic process, prison stories

Quick Review: A highly realistic legal procedural that is refreshingly honest about the way the system works, and without the extra filler that you often find in legal thrillers. A must read.

***

Howard Henley is not a killer. That seems obvious to lawyer Janet Moodie when she’s called in to work his appeal. Her new client was convicted of arranging the shooting of a drug dealer, but the man who pulled the trigger has always said Henley had nothing to do with it. So why is Henley the one on death row?

Janet’s new case takes her from the desperate world of prison gangs, where men are murdered as an initiation rite, to the courtroom, where a mental illness might mean the difference between life and death. Can she convince a judge of her client’s innocence before it’s too late? Continue reading REVIEW: Madman Walking by LF Robertson (Janet Moodie #2)

REVIEW: The Things You Didn’t See by Ruth Dugdall

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: unreliable narrator, psychological thriller, UK mystery, family mystery, multiple interpretations of events, suspense

Quick Review: An eerie, suspenseful novel that keeps you questioning everything you have learned, a twisting narrative with a satisfying end.

***

On a chilly morning in rural Suffolk, Cassandra Hawke is woken by a gunshot. Her mother is clinging on to her life, the weapon still lying nearby. Everyone thinks it’s attempted suicide—but none of it makes any sense to Cass. She’s certain there’s more to it than meets the eye. With her husband and father telling her she’s paranoid, Cass finds an unlikely ally in student paramedic Holly. Like Cass, she believes something is wrong, and together they try to uncover the truth. But is there more to Holly’s interest than she’s letting on? With her family and loved ones at risk, Cass must ask herself: is she ready to hear the truth, and can she deal with the consequences? Continue reading REVIEW: The Things You Didn’t See by Ruth Dugdall

REVIEW: The Retreat by Mark Edwards

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: horror thriller, supernatural elements, missing children, cold cases, amateur detectives, obsessive detectives

Quick Review: A solidly written, genuinely creepy mystery that will keep you turning pages even while dreading the ending.

***

Julia Marsh has spent the last two years grieving the tragic accident that lead to her husband drowning before her eyes in a local river. Her eight-year-old daughter Lily is still missing, presumed dead. Now living alone, Julia finds herself unable to move on, convinced that Lily is still alive. But as money runs out, Julia needs to find a way to keep hold of their beautiful and secluded family home. She decides to open a writer’s retreat.

Lucas is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block and one of the first guests. He’s no stranger to personal tragedy and forms an instant bond with his host, Julia. The longer he stays, the more a local legend of the Red Widow, a fabled witch who kidnaps young girls, captures his imagination. But as Lucas delves into details of these disappearances, and as locals take more than a passing interest in his investigations, Lucas finds himself at the center of a very real horror story. The retreat is harboring secrets: all Lucas must do is separate the facts from the fiction before the ghosts of this small town.

Continue reading REVIEW: The Retreat by Mark Edwards

REVIEW: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: psychological thriller, female protagonist, family drama, dark past, twists and turns

Quick Review: Subtly paced and completely engrossing, this is a read that will keep you hooked to the end.

***

Sixteen years ago, child psychologist Kate Wolfe’s young sister Savannah was brutally murdered. Forced to live with the guilt of how her own selfishness put Savannah in harm’s way, Kate was at least comforted by the knowledge that the man responsible was on death row. But when she meets a retired detective who is certain that Kate’s sister was only one of many victims of a serial killer, Kate must decide whether she can face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free. As she unearths disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, she becomes sure that she has uncovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death. But as she hunts for a killer, a killer is hunting her…

Continue reading REVIEW: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard

GUEST POST: Hero, Not Heroine

We’re very excited to have a special guest post today from Alice Blanchard, author of A BREATH AFTER DROWNING, out April 10 from Titan Books. Her new book features female protagonist Dr. Kate Wolfe, and in this post, Blanchard describes why she should be called the hero of the novel, not the heroine.

Continue reading GUEST POST: Hero, Not Heroine

REVIEW: The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl (Oslo Detectives #6)

Series: Oslo Detectives

Book Number: 6

Read this book for: multiple protagonists/investigators, Nordic noir, now it’s personal, detectives with personal issues, whodunnit

Quick Review: Fast-paced, action-packed and full of twists and turns, this Nordic noir read has all the punch of a hit TV show.

***

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.

Continue reading REVIEW: The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl (Oslo Detectives #6)

REVIEW: Keeper by Johana Gustawsson (Castells & Roy #2)

Series: Roy & Castells

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: historical connection, international mystery, serial killer, multiple investigative threads, female detective/protagonists

Quick Review: A fascinating mix of history, tense threads of multiple stories, and solid detective work; a great read.

***

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.

London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?

Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.

Continue reading REVIEW: Keeper by Johana Gustawsson (Castells & Roy #2)

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

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