Category Archives: Series Reviews

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.

***

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.

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

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.

***

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

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

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.

***

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.

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

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.

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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 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)