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Book Review: Paul Cross A Counterfeit Priest

A Counterfeit Priest - Paul Cross

A Counterfeit Priest is a standalone novel by author Paul Cross.  Blaming the Catholic Church for the death of his wife, documentary film maker Henry Hawkins is determined to make an expose revealing their responsibility.  The Cardinal he was due to meet reneges on their agreement so he concocts an ambitious plan to get infilitrate the church but soon finds himself in the middle of a whirlwind when the pope suddenly dies.


This was something of a strange novel in that the main thrust of the book, the revenge aspect never seems to really lead anywhere.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Chris Carter An Evil Mind (Detective Robert Hunter #6)

An Evil Mind - Chris Carter

An Evil Mind is the sixth novel in the Detective Robert Hunter series  by author Chris Carter.  A freak accident in Wyoming leads the Sheriff's department to arrest a man for a double homicide.  They hand the case over to the FBI who are forced to ask LAPD detective Robert Hunter after the apprehended man says he will only speak to him.  The man is an old college friend of Hunter's and what looks like a case of an innocent man having been arrested soon becomes much more and deeply personal for Hunter.


If the book opens like a cross between The Transporter and Lee Child's One Shot it soon becomes much more.  Read the full review here


Book Review: LJ Sellers Deadly Bonds (Detective Wade Jackson #9)

Deadly Bonds (A Detective Jackson Mystery) - L.J. Sellers

Deadly Bonds is the ninth novel in the Detective Wade Jackson series by author LJ Sellers.  Jackson is called to a crime scene when a young woman has been found dead in her home.  He soon realises that there maybe a child missing and finds him hidden under the house.  Meanwhile, Detective Evans is assigned to a case in which a college football player has been found dead from what looks like an apparent drugs overdose.


There seemed to be a bit more life to the characters in this novel and a bit more feeling and passion generally in the book.  Read the full review here


Book Review: William Lashner Bagmen (Victor Carl #8)

Bagmen (A Victor Carl Novel) - William Lashner

Bagmen is the eight novel in the Victor Carl series by author William Lashner.  Lawyer Victor Carl is down on his luck when he is recruited by an old college friend to make a pay off to someone blackmailing a congressman.  But when the blackmailer later turns up dead Victor suddenly finds himself arrested for her murder and his only hope of survival rests on a group of bagmen, people who work in the shadows of the political world and help make problems disappear. 


The writing in this novel had just the right mix of humour and sarcasm and brought out some classic one-liners and dialogue reminiscent of the great Raymond Chandler.  Read the full review here



Book Review: David Jackson Cry Baby (Detective Callum Doyle #4)

Cry Baby - David Jackson

Cry Baby is the fourth novel in the Detective Callum Doyle series by author David Jackson.  Erin Vogel is attacked and left unconscious in her apartment.  When she wakes up she finds that her six month old baby has been kidnapped.  But she is given a chance to get her back because the kidnapper has placed an ear bug and camera on her only the price is unthinkable- she must kill people.


This has quite the twist on the idea of a serial killer thriller as Erin must kill random people on behalf of the killer who her instructs her to leave a message on each of the bodies.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Linwood Barclay No Safe House (#2)

No Safe House - Linwood Barclay

No Safe House is the second novel in the series by author Linwood Barclay.  Seven years on from the events that nearly destroyed their family Terry Archer is still dealing with the repercussions.  His daughter Grace is rebelling against her family and one night she heads off with her boyfriend Stuart.  For adventure they break into a house intending to 'borrow' the owners car but when Stuart gives her a gun and it goes off events threaten to spiral out of control and Grace and her family are drawn into an underworld in their seemingly idyllic home town and must stay alive.


This isn’t one of Linwood Barclay’s more twisty turny psychological thrillers that we normally associated with the author.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Mark Edwards Because She Loves Me

Because She Loves Me - Mark Edwards

Because She Loves Me is a standalone novel by author Mark Edwards.  After having an eye operation at the hospital Andrew Sumner meets the girl of his dreams- edgy and beautiful Charlie.  The two embark on an intense affair but he soon wonders whether all is as it seems as when tragedy starts to strike people in his life  he must confront a startling truth about whether Charlie may end up being the woman of his nightmares.


I tend to find Mark Edwards novels a bit of a difficult read, I was unable to finish The Magpies, and this novel too has something of a slow build up with much of the book taken up by details of the relationship.   Read the full review here


Book Review: James Patterson and Liza Marklund Postcard Killers

The Postcard Killers - James Patterson, Liza Marklund

Postcard Killers is a standalone novel by authors James Patterson and Liza Marklund.  NYPD cop Jacob Kanon is on the trail of serial killers who have been murdering newly married couples across the USA and Europe, including his own daughter.  Kanon teams up with Dessie, a Swedish reporter who received a postcard from the killers in Stockholm and now they must race against time to catch the killers


James Patterson actually did more of the running on this one coming up with the first draft and asking Marklund is she would like to be involved.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Tim Weaver Fall From Grace (David Raker #5)

Fall from Grace - Tim Weaver

Fall From Grace is the fifth novel in the David Raker series by author Tim Weaver.  David Raker is hired by DC Craw to find her father who has gone missing not using normal police channels.  Her father was a retired and much respected policeman himself who had recently begun consulting for the Met and was working on a case so his disappearance may be related to what he was working on.  But the police deny sending him a file and as Raker investigates he soon finds that the case may have more personal leanings.


I like Tim Weaver's novels because they start from a different perspective not to common in crime fiction  Read the full review here






Book Review: Tana French In The Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1)

In the Woods - Tana French

In The Woods is the first novel in the Dublin Murder Squad series by author Tana French.  Dublin detectives Roy Ryan and Cassie Maddox are called in to investigate when a twelve year old girl is found murdered on an archaeological site before a new motorway is built over it.  The case is personal for Ryan because in the same woods twenty years earlier he was the only child to be found after three children disappeared.  Keeping his past a secret from everyone except his partner he has a chance to solve not just the current case but uncover the truth about his past as well.


This was a gripping read, despite being on the longer end of the scale.  It has a rather disturbing crime that focuses not just on the personal aspects but also on the political.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Michael Ridpath 66 Degrees North (Fire and Ice #2)

66 Degrees North - Michael Ridpath

66 Degrees North (also known as Far North) is the second novel in the Fire and Ice series by author Michael Ridpath.  Eight months after a group of friends got drunk together after a demonstration and accidentally killed a banker, which for political reasons became a suicide, the head of one of Iceland's major banks is murdered in London.  Magnus is in Iceland and he is asked to join the investigation and soon discovers links between the two cases which suggests there is a conspiracy to kill the people who caused Iceland's financial crisis


The novel is set at the height of Iceland's financial ruin following the collapse of its banks during the recent financial crisis.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Christopher J Yates Black Chalk

Black Chalk - Christopher J. Yates

Black Chalk is a standalone novel by author Christopher J Yates.  Six students in their first year at University invent a game of consequences which was only meant to be of childish dares.  But then it grew out of control and the dares became more personal and humiliating finally evolving into a vicious struggle of tragic consequences.  Fourteen years later the students meet for the final round.


It is certainly one of the more uniquely written and organised books I have read of late.  The story is at times narrated in first person by one of the founding members of the games   Read the full review here


Book Review: Andy McDermott The Valhalla Prophecy (Wilde/Chase #9)

The Valhalla Prophecy - Andy McDermott

The Valhalla Prophecy is the ninth novel in the Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase series by author Andy McDermott.  A Viking runestone is stolen by a murderous gang of raiders.  The stone holds the key to an ancient evil concealed in one of Norse mythologies holiest places.  Wilde and Chase must race against time to find the ancient hall of Valhalla before rival gangs can claim its deadly secrets for themselves.


This is an all action archaeological mystery novel with elements of a historical conspiracy typical of the genre.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Arne Dahl To The Top Of The Mountain (Intercrime #3)

To the Top of the Mountain - Arne Dahl

To The Top Of The Mountain is the third novel in the Intercrime series by author Arne Dahl.  After the disastourous end to their last case the Intercrime team have been split up and sent their separate ways.  But when a man is blown up in a high security prison, drugs baron comes under attack and a massacre takes place the Intercrime team are urgently reassembled as the only people who can do anything about it.


I found this quite a difficult read and somewhat hard to follow at times.  The plot at times seems disparate  Read the full review here


Book Review: Eliot Baker The Last Ancient

The Last Ancient - Eliot Baker

The Last Ancient is a standalone novel by author Eliot Baker.  Nantucket Island is being peppered with brutal crime scenes with ancient gold coins left at each scene.  Journalist Simon Stephenson must unlock the secrets and their links to a disease epidemic that is also sweeping the deer population.  He must battle his own demons as well as his past and more deadly foes in order to unlock the mystery.


This was certainly an interesting and multi layered conspiracy thriller although at the same time not typical of the historical/archaeological type that you would normally see in the genre.  Read the full review here


Book Review: Stephen Booth The Corpse Bridge (Cooper and Fry #14)

The Corpse Bridge - Stephen Booth

The Corpse Bridge is the fourteenth novel in the Cooper and Fry series by author Stephen Booth.  Still dealing with traumatic events DS Ben Cooper is called to investigate when bodies begin to appear on the Corpse Bridge, a route taken for centuries by mourners in Derbyshire to burial grounds.  The investigation seems to be linked to the local Earl's plans to deconsecrate an old burial ground and Cooper knows he must solve the mystery if he is to move on with his life.


This was a very enjoyable English village mystery that still retains a police procedural feel rather than falling into becoming a cozy mystery.  Read the full review here