Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson (Roy & Castells #1)

Series: Roy & Castells

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: historical ties, serial killer, behavioural profilers, European mystery, gruesome murders

Quick Review: Dark, complex, and chilling, the deep background and history woven into this novel makes it a surprising and excellent read.

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Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina. Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald? Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

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REVIEW: Two Lost Boys by LF Robertson

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: legal procedural, death row appeals, US mystery, strange family dynamics, realistic story

Quick Review: Satisfyingly realistic, complex and dark; a highly recommended read for thriller and true-crime fans alike.

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Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked and recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy, convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. The brothers were tried separately, and Emory received a life sentence, while Andy got the death penalty, labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory’s dominant personality. Convinced that Andy’s previous lawyers have missed mitigating evidence that would have spared him the death penalty, Janet investigates Andy’s past, revealing a sordid and damaging upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous council, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the Hardy family than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but of what?

TWO LOST BOYS is LF Robertson’s first novel, but she draws on her background as an appeals lawyer in capital cases to create an intensely real, immersive story that feels polished and authentic in a way that many more experienced storytellers never achieve.

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REVIEW: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel (The Vinyl Detective #2)

Series: The Vinyl Detective

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: fun mystery, alternative mystery subjects, fast paced thriller, humorous writing

Quick Review: Polished, fast-paced and a ton of fun, this is a fantastic read that is easy to get lost in.

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His first adventure consisted of the search for a rare record; his second the search for a lost child. Specifically the child of Valerian, lead singer of a great rock band of the 1960s, who hanged herself in mysterious circumstances after the boy’s abduction.

Along the way, the Vinyl Detective finds himself marked for death, at the wrong end of a shotgun, and unknowingly dosed with LSD as a prelude to being burned alive. And then there’s the grave robbing…

Continue reading REVIEW: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel (The Vinyl Detective #2)

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.

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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