REVIEW: Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett (DS Kay Hunter #1)

Series: DS Kay Hunter

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: thriller/suspense, serial killer, creepy badguys, multi-person POV, UK mysteries based outside central London

Quick Review: A promising opening to a new series featuring DS Kay Hunter, with a few interesting twists on classic thriller elements to create a worthwhile read.

Publication/Release Date: December 6, 2016

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When the body of a kidnapped teenage girl is found in an abandoned building, the police treat the case as a kidnapping gone wrong, but DS Kay Hunter is not convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession. Instinct leads her but it is difficult to find the evidence to put away her suspect. Will she be able to untangle the puzzle before another girl dies?

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REVIEW: The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (PC Peter Grant #6)

Series: PC Peter Grant

Book Number: 6

Read this book for: dry humour, accurate police procedures, supernatural/magical/fantasy elements, action, London and its history, FBI ties

Quick Review: The brand new Peter Grant instalment is action-packed and fun, with a refreshing return to the main series story and interesting new characters.

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PC Peter Grant doesn’t usually deal with non-magical suspicious deaths but when he has a favour called in by one of the Thames goddesses, he can’t refuse. What should be a relatively easy request drops him into the world of London’s super-rich, and some magical items and individuals that are all too familiar, and all too dangerous…

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REVIEW: Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (DC Peter Grant #3)

Series: DC Peter Grant

Book Number: 3

Read this book for: dry humour, accurate police procedures, supernatural/magical/fantasy elements, action, London and its history, FBI ties

Quick Review: An excellent (if slightly weird) instalment in this fantastic series that tends toward Neil Gaiman at points, with all the fun and focus of a good murder mystery.

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The body of an American exchange student – the son of a senator – is found murdered on the tracks at Baker Street tube station, and PC Peter Grant gets pulled in over some of the stranger elements of the case. While DI Nightingale tracks the ‘Faceless Man’, Peter gets to literally dig through the tangled depths of London to get to the bottom of the case. This task is further complicated by the arrival of an FBI agent who Peter is not supposed to tell about magic…

 

WHISPERS UNDER GROUND is the third Peter Grant novel by Ben Aaronovitch, and stands alone slightly better than most of the other novels in the series. However, I would still recommend reading RIVERS OF LONDON and MOON OVER SOHO before tackling this one in order to really be able to best follow what is happening (particularly in the ‘Faceless Man’ plot).

As I have said before, these books are so closely linked that it is extremely difficult to read any of them as a standalone. This novel’s particular link to the others is the Faceless Man, which is referenced consistently but not really explained in this novel, making a read through the other books a must.

While the Faceless Man exists as a separate plotline, this novel predominately focuses on Peter’s investigation into the death of the American art student, and an entire realm of magic he had never previously considered. While the ‘urban fantasy’ element of the novel is much stronger in this book – think along the lines of magical people and places embedded in everyday London, like Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley or Grimmauld Place – the mystery plot is also quite well done. While it gets a bit complicated by the end, the whodunnit element makes a good starting point for the supernatural elements of the book, and balances the fantasy portion well.

Definitely pick up WHISPERS UNDER GROUND, particularly if you have enjoyed any of the prior novels! It’s hard to put down, and a fun read.

REVIEW: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (DC Peter Grant #2)

Series: DC Peter Grant

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: dry humour, accurate police procedures, supernatural/magical/fantasy elements, action, London and its history

Quick Review: A bridging book in this fantastic series but still a fun and intriguing story.

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DC Peter Grant – young constable and apprentice wizard – has his hands full with a few strange happenings, from a mysterious creature preying on unsuspecting men to the mysterious death of a part-time jazz musician that bears a strange magical signature. When he discovers a pattern of strangely high mortality rates of Soho jazz musicians, he begins to believe something sinister is at work. He never dreams he might be putting his own family in danger…

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REVIEW: Tony & Susan by Austin Wright

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: literary thriller, longer read, books about books, story within a story, interesting concept, gripping thriller

Quick Review: A concept that book lovers will appreciate, wrapped around an utterly mesmerising thriller.

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Twenty-five years after their divorce, Susan Morrow receives a manuscript from her ex-husband who had never succeeded as a writer. The novel tells the story of a terrible crime: a horrific tale of a highway ambush and a secluded cabin in the woods. It’s a harrowing tale and Susan wonders how it could have been created by the man she once loved – and why he has sent it to her now…

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REVIEW: The Wicked Go To Hell by Frederic Dard

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: quick read, espionage novel, paranoid thriller, suspense. classic crime novels

Quick Review: A short but extremely tense read that is almost impossible to put down once you start!

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Frank and Hal are new prisoners in one of France’s toughest prisons. Neither trusts the other, but they plot a daring escape together. The catch: one is an enemy spy, and one is a police officer sent in to trap him. But which is which?

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REVIEW: Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham (DI Tom Thorne #1)

Series: DI Tom Thorne

Book Number: 1

Read this book for: modern crime fiction, police procedural, killers get personal, London-based detectives, thriller, disillusioned/damaged detectives

Quick Review: A solid debut novel and intro to the series and Tom Thorne, with an intriguing premise.

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Alison Willetts has survived a stroke that has left her alive but unable to communicate. The police believe that a killer who has been inducing strokes in victims through manipulation of pressure points in their head and necks has made his first mistake. But DI Tom Thorne discovers the truth: Alison’s survival isn’t the mistake – it was the three women that have already died. And Thorne’s obsessive nature could jeopardize the force’s ability to catch the killer. Continue reading →