Category Archives: Series 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.

***

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.

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

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.

***

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: 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…

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

REVIEW: A Presence of Absence by Sara Surgey and Emma Vestrheim (Odense Series #1)

Series: Odense Series

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: thriller, gritty detective story, British crime, Nordic noir, damaged detective, personal detective story

Quick Review: A combination of noir and thriller, this has the soul of a great detective story.

***

British detective Simon Weller escapes the fallout from the recent suicide of his Danish wife, Vibeke and heads out to her home city of Odense. But once there he is paired up with a local detective, Jonas, who is also about to hit rock bottom in his home life and they must overcome their differences and personal problems to try and catch one of the worst serial killers Odense has seen in many years. The case takes them back into past decades as history starts catching up with some of the local inhabitants.

When Simon realises that his wife’s suicide may not be all it seems and her name appears in the case, his integrity within the case is compromised, how far will he go to find out the truth of Vibeke’s past and hide it from his already troubled police partner?

Back home in London Simon’s family are struggling with their own web of lies and deceit and the family is falling apart.

With one family hiding a dark secret, the whole case is just about to reach breaking point.

Continue reading REVIEW: A Presence of Absence by Sara Surgey and Emma Vestrheim (Odense Series #1)

Q&A: Matt Johnson about DEADLY GAME

Author of DEADLY GAME and WICKED GAME, the second and first novels in his Robert Finlay series, Matt Johnson graciously took the time to answer some questions about his writing process and inspiration for this fantastic series. Read on for his fantastic answers!  Continue reading Q&A: Matt Johnson about DEADLY GAME

REVIEW: DEADLY GAME by Matt Johnson (Robert Finlay #2)

Series: Robert Finlay

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: thriller, military and spy thriller, terrorist plots, bombing plots, detectives in trouble, now-it’s-personal story, trust no one

Quick Review: A twisting and multi-layered thriller that will keep surprising you throughout; definitely a great second novel in this series!

***

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all…

Continue reading REVIEW: DEADLY GAME by Matt Johnson (Robert Finlay #2)

REVIEW: Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson (Dark Iceland #4)

Series: Dark Iceland (Ari Thor)

Book Number: 4

Read this book for: realistic police procedure, contemporary mystery, minimalist writing, traditional whodunnit, Scandanavian/Nordic Noir, journalist investigator, multiple storylines

Quick Review: Yet another brilliant addition to a fantastic series, offering both the isolation and claustrophobia of SNOWBLIND with the elements of a semi-political thriller. Put this series on your reading list!

***

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjördur. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later, an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all. In nearby Siglufjördur, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjördur in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.

Continue reading REVIEW: Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson (Dark Iceland #4)