REVIEW: Charlesgate Confidential by Scott Von Doviak

Series: N/A; part of the Hard Case Crime releases

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: noir, hard-boiled detective, US mystery, heist story, multiple timeframes, murder

Quick Review: A beautifully plotted, satisfyingly simple heist and murder novel. Highly recommended for noir fans!

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A group of criminals in 1946 pull off the heist of the century, stealing a dozen priceless works of art from a Boston museum. But while the thieves get caught, the art is never found. Forty years later, the last surviving thief gets out of jail and goes hunting for the loot, involving some innocent college students in his dangerous plan – and thirty years after that, in the present day, the former college kids, now all grown up, are drawn back into danger as the still-missing art tempts a deadly new generation of treasure hunters.

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REVIEW: The Sons by Anton Svensson (Made In Sweden #2)

Series: Made In Sweden

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: criminal’s perspective, sympathetic criminals, family matters, based on a true story, heist thriller

Quick Review: A continuation of the story begun in THE FATHER; a deep descent into a dysfunctional family, with a sensitive handling and thriller roots.

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NOTE: SPOILERS for THE FATHER contained in this post. Do NOT read if you have not read THE FATHER!

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REVIEW: The Father by Anton Svensson (Made In Sweden #1)

Series: Made In Sweden

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: criminal’s perspective, sympathetic criminals, family matters, based on a true story, heist thriller

Quick Review: A cinematic thriller with a complex emotional heart; a must-read for any thriller lover.

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How does a child become a criminal? How does a father lose a son?

The Father is inspired by the extraordinary true story of three brothers who committed ten audacious bank robberies in Sweden over the course of just two years.

None had committed a crime before. All were under twenty-four years old. When their incredible spree had come to an end amid the glare of the international media, all of them would be changed forever as individuals and as a family. This intoxicating, heartbreaking thriller tells the story of how three boys are transformed over the course of their lives from innocent children to the most wanted criminals in Sweden. And of the man who made them that way: their father. Continue reading →

REVIEW: Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin (Jilly Truitt #1)

Series: Jilly Truitt

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: Canadian mystery, legal thriller, legal procedural, realism, legal investigation, defense lawyer point of view, strong female lead

Quick Review: An excellently satisfying legal procedural with a solid mystery and the weight of reality lent to it by its author — the former Chief Justice of Canada.

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There’s nothing Jilly Truitt likes more than winning a case, especially against her former mentor, prosecutor Cy Kenge. Jilly has baggage, the residue of a dark time in a series of foster homes, but that’s in the past. Now she’s building her own criminal defense firm and making a name for herself as a tough-as-nails lawyer willing to take risks in the courtroom.

When the affluent and enigmatic Vincent Trussardi is accused of his wife Laura’s murder, Jilly agrees to defend him, despite predictions that the case is a sure loser and warnings from those close to her to stay away from the Trussardi family. Determined to prove everyone wrong, Jilly investigates Laura’s death, hoping to discover a shred of evidence that might give the jury a reasonable doubt. Instead, she is confronted by damning evidence and uncooperative witnesses at every turn. Someone isn’t telling the truth, but who?

With her reputation and Vincent’s life on the line, Jilly tries to unravel the web of secrets surrounding Laura’s murder. As she digs deeper, she uncovers a startling revelation that will change not only the case, but her life forever.

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REVIEW: Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer (Obama/Biden #1)

Series: Obama/Biden

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: satire, political satire, humour, noir, buddy detectives, amateur detectives

Quick Review: Ridiculous, over the top fun that reads as a tongue-in-cheek love letter to Obama and Biden, this novel actually has relatively good noir mystery chops.

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Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic. Continue reading →

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Dust by James Lovegrove (Lovegrove Holmes #5)

Series: Sherlock Holmes by James Lovegrove

Book Number: 5

Read this book for: Sherlock Holmes, Victorian mystery, literature crossover, globe-trotting story

Quick Review: A fun Holmes adventure that feels a lot like Arthur Conan Doyle’s originals, with lots of twists and turns and featuring another ‘fictional’ character.

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It is 1884, and when a fellow landlady finds her lodger poisoned, Mrs Hudson turns to Sherlock Holmes. The police suspect the landlady of murder, but Mrs Hudson insists that her friend is innocent. Upon investigating, the companions discover that the lodger, a civil servant recently returned from India, was living in almost complete seclusion, and that his last act was to scrawl a mysterious message on a scrap of paper. The riddles pile up as aged big game hunter Allan Quatermain is spotted at the scene of the crime when Holmes and Watson investigate. The famous man of mind and the legendary man of action will make an unlikely team in a case of corruption, revenge, and what can only be described as magic… Continue reading →

REVIEW: Skyjack by KJ Howe (Thea Paris #2)

Series: Thea Paris

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: action thriller, kidnap/hostage negotiations, spy thriller, secret organizations, fast pace

Quick Review: A page-turner that moves at breakneck speed with all the visuals of an action thriller movie, this a perfect light vacation read.

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International kidnap expert Thea Paris is escorting two former child soldiers on a plane from an orphanage in Kanzi, Africa, to adoptive parents in London when the Boeing Business Jet is hijacked. As the plane screams toward an unknown destination somewhere in the remote Libyan desert, Thea has to figure out a way to take back control on the jet without endangering the lives of the passengers aboard–especially the two young boys in her care.

Behind the skyjacking is a former nemesis, a sophisticated Sicilian mobster who wants something, or someone, on that plane–possibly even Thea herself. When the dust settles on a tense negotiation, Thea finds herself at the beck and call of a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing to crush his rivals, even if it means forcing her to break international law. Thea, Rif, and the rest of the Quantum team soon find themselves doing the mafioso’s bidding while racing against the clock to discover his true motives.

Revealing a deadly conspiracy that connects the dark postwar legacy of World War II to the present, this case will bring all parties to an explosive conclusion that will decide the fate of millions across Europe and the Middle East.

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