REVIEW: The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: psychological thriller, interesting perspective, tight pacing, brilliant plotting

Quick Review: Brilliantly written, intensely plotted and absolutely riveting. An absolute must-read of a thriller.

***

Henry Hayden is a famous bestselling author, who is generous, considerate, a loving husband, and a kind friend. But Henry’s past is deeply buried, along with an incredible secret – only he and his wife know that she is the one who has written the novels that made him famous. His mistress becomes pregnant, leading him to make a mistake that could bring the entire façade down around him, and even land him in jail. With the police and the past catching up to him, Henry has only his cunning and charm to help weave the lies and truths about what really happened into something that will save him.

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REVIEW: The Blue Pool by Siobhan MacDonald

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: psychological thriller, suspense, inter-personal drama, tense whodunnit

Quick Review: A quick but incredibly satisfying thriller about a missing person and the secrets surrounding them; definitely pick this one up.

***

Twenty-five years ago, four university friends go to a remote cabin by the Blue Pool to relax for a weekend during summer vacation. Only three return. Now, twenty-five years on, the three remaining friends have tried to move on with their lives. But they are suddenly thrown back into the case when a man turns up claiming to have knowledge about the disappearance of Sarah. What really happened at the Blue Pool?

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REVIEW: Echoes of Sherlock Holmes edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

Series: King & Klinger Sherlock Holmes Anthologies

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: a wide variety of short stories, a range of tones, styles and time periods, Sherlock Holmes – in character and in reference

Quick Review: A brilliant and diverse collection reaching far beyond the typical Holmes pastiche, and a must-read for anyone who loves Holmes stories.

Release Date: October 4, 2016

***

What happens when great writers and creators who are not necessarily known as Holmes devotees are inspired by the Conan Doyle stories? This anthology of brand-new stories showcase the vast range of ways that the stories can drive new creations.

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REVIEW: The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie (Miss Marple #3)

Series: Miss Marple

Book Number: 3

Read this book for: classic Christie whodunnit, cozy crime fiction, scandal and gossip, village life

Quick Review: A Marple mystery almost completely without Marple, but still a fun little read!

***

Nothing happens in Lymstock, except for a spate of anonymous hate mail that nobody bothers much about. But when one of the recipients commits suicide after reading one of the letters, some strange things come to light that prove dangerous — and even deadly — for the inhabitants.

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REVIEW: The White Lioness by Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander #4)

Series: Kurt Wallander

Book Number: 4

Read this book for: realistic police procedure, history – Apartheid, mentions of historical figures, suspense, minimalist writing, Scandanavian/Nordic Noir

Quick Review: Another wonderful addition to the Wallander series; several different but overlapping and suspenseful storylines make this a satisfying read!

***

Kurt Wallander is called in to investigate the execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife with a seemingly perfect existence. A series of strange circumstances around her death puts him on the trail of a killer that is poised to cause an entire nation to descend into chaos.

THE WHITE LIONESS is chronologically the fourth novel in the Wallander series, but the third in publishing order, following on the heels of THE DOGS OF RIGA. Although not strictly necessary or central to the plot, some of Wallander’s behaviour is informed by and makes reference to the events of the previous novel, so I would suggest picking that one up first. In comparison to the prior novels in the series, I enjoyed THE WHITE LIONESS more than THE DOGS OF RIGA, but still not quite as much as FACELESS KILLERS.

In THE WHITE LIONESS, Mankell continues his trend of connecting the somewhat sleepy police force in Ystad to major global events through crime. While I have always felt that Mankell’s minimalist writing style was best suited to the clean and occasionally bleak Scandinavian countries, he uses Wallander to great effect as we watch him try to come to grips with the world’s major political issues as they bring problems to his own front door.

Interestingly, as Wallander’s cases become increasingly vast, we get to se more of his inner struggles. His behaviour is increasingly unpredictable, erratic and irrational – although somehow as a reader you can begin to understand his emotional reactions. Every novel opens the door a little further into Wallander’s state of mind, and that fact alone is almost enough to recommend this book on.

As for the plot, this is where THE WHITE LIONESS really shines in comparison to THE DOGS OF RIGA, with multiple interwoven and overlapping plot lines, and layer upon layer of subterfuge. It’s an excellently penned, satisfyingly complex thriller, as well as a great detective story.

I do want to point out that this edition is not perfect; I noticed several typos and defects that would benefit from a closer look by an editor. The minimalist prose is in this book almost exaggerated by the translator – I would love to see it a little more refined. Happily, this did not detract too badly from the enjoyment of reading this novel!

Pick up THE WHITE LIONESS if you are a Scandinavian or Nordic Noir fan, or even if you just love a good thriller! You will not be disappointed.

REVIEW: The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander #3)

 

Series: Kurt Wallander

Book Number: 3

Read this book for: realistic police procedure, Cold War influence, gritty espionage thriller, straightforward plot, minimalist writing, Scandanavian/Nordic Noir

Quick Review: Decent read; while the twists and turns of the espionage element are unsurprising, the gritty details of the day-to-day prevent this novel from becoming unbelievable.

***

Kurt Wallander returns in his second novel to investigate two bodies that have washed up in a liferaft. Instead of being able to hand off the case when he discovers they have come from another country, he is drawn into a maze of corruption and politics he is unprepared for. Will his unwilling involvement cost him his life?

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REVIEW: SoHo Sins by Richard Vine

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: moral ambiguity, twisted and gritty crimes, sexual content, noir, minimalist writing, philosophical moments

Quick Review: A subtle, minimalist portrait of a life lived in a moral grey area – not so much a whodunnit as an exploration of right and wrong – but utterly compelling. So hard to put down!

***

Philip and Amanda Oliver are pillars of New York’s SoHo art scene, until Amanda is found murdered in their loft, and Philip – suffering from a degenerative brain disease – confesses to the killing. But he doesn’t remember being in Los Angeles at the time, thousands of miles away. Art dealer Jackson Wyeth is asked to help his friend, PI Ed Hogan, investigate the killing on behalf of Philip’s lawyer. Trying to save his friend Philip from jail time for a crime he likely didn’t commit, Wyeth begins to peel back the layers surrounding the family, and finds depravity there that shocks even him, despite his SoHo lifestyle… Continue reading →