Saturday, 17 March 2018

Bill Todd

Another Danny Lancaster story. Part of a series but it'll stand alone.

Godlefe's Cuckoo link

My review -

After an explosion on a small boat eighteen months ago, Danny Lancaster is missing, presumed dead. He’s crossed a Russian who wants to make sure he is, and to pull him out of hiding if he isn’t, by killing his known friends.

This is a taut thriller with some nasty people. Danny has to remain focused to remove the threat. He knows that might mean some of those he cares for are put in harm’s way. The two people who found him after the explosion are resourceful people and their clear heads are vital in a hostage situation. I believe this story would work well as a stand-alone, not just another in a series. There are several points in the story where I wondered how it could possibly work out well for Danny. There’s some real heart-in-mouth stuff in this story and I enjoyed it very much.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Will Dean

A dark, unsettling story and a very impressive debut novel.

Dark Pines link

My review -

In a refreshing departure from the fashion for maverick detectives solving crime mysteries, here the main protagonist is a newspaper reporter. Tuva Moodyson is in the small town of Gavrik to be close to her dying mother. The town is in the dark pines of Utgard Forest and the whole story feels claustrophobic and enclosed. Modern murders take the same form as unsolved murders from twenty years ago. Tuva wants to find the truth because that’s what she deals in.

I found the characters really interesting, both good and bad. Tuva is a great protagonist as she’s young, keen, yet dogged by guilt about her mother. I found the pace of the story good and the ending very exciting. I highly recommend this to people who enjoy mystery stories but want a change from the usual police procedural. A great and confident debut novel.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Jane Harper

This crime/thriller is set during a drought in Australia and tensions are high. I couldn't put this one down.

The Dry link

My review - 

Aaron Falk returns to his childhood home – a small outback town – for the funeral of his school friend, Luke, brutally shot with his own gun. Luke’s wife and young son were also shot to death. That’s just the start. Murder/suicide? Can it be that simple? As we pick apart the toxic relationships in the town, anything could be possible. Jane Harper guides us through the web of deceit and enmity in a way which had me turning pages for dear life. I absolutely love this story. A hearty five stars.

Monday, 5 March 2018

S E Lynes

A third excellent book - S. E. Lynes is rapidly becoming a favourite author!

The Pact link

My review -

Two sisters who lived through abuse as children make a pact to protect one another. Toni, the younger, has a little girl and is very protective of her. They form a triangle. How far can we go to protect our families, our children? What do we worry about? Are we worried about the wrong things? Are we missing the real dangers? The story, told from different viewpoints, is exciting, and the themes are real food for thought. Susie Lynes writes elegantly and directly. I love her style and her ideas. I absolutely adored this book and I know it’ll stay with me for a long time.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Oliver Tidy

A dystopian thriller now from a man who isn't fazed by genre!

The Prole Soldier link

My review -

I came to know this author as the writer of crime/mystery/thriller stories. This isn’t so much a change of genre as a widening of the horizons, as there are crimes, thrills and mysteries enough for anyone in here.

This rather grim, futuristic story shows how people can be inured to injustice and feel unable to question their lot in life. If they have no rights, and have never had them, they have no belief in their own ability to take their futures in hand and make their own decisions. If they’ve been threatened by external forces and told that their needs are catered for and the authorities are protecting them, they come to believe it. All it takes is one boy with a belief in justice and a hard-won knowledge of the unfairness of the system and things can be changed. Theo is a catalyst for change and the story is totally gripping and has a few heart-stopping moments that I thought he could never come back from. The story ends in a satisfying way, but I’m so glad that this is the first part of a trilogy. I’ll certainly be reading more.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Samatha Hayes

Here's a really enjoyable story with some characters steeped in survivor guilt and others hiding secrets. Gripping stuff.

The Reunion link

My review -

This is a story of a missing child, now an adult, and a cast of characters, several of whom appear to be dodgy in one way or another. I really thought I knew what had happened and who was responsible – several times. This is a very well-constructed story. People are not necessarily who we think we are and it doesn’t pay to be complacent. Feelings of survivor guilt are well explored and the characters felt real, to me. I found it a really enjoyable book and a hard one to put down.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Rachel Abbott

Another excellent offering from Rachel Abbott. She's never let me down yet!

Come a Little Closer link

My review -

A young woman is found dead in a country park with no wounds and no apparent cause of death. It looks like assisted suicide. Tom Douglas and his team find another case of a similar type and a pattern emerges. Callie, another young woman is helped by a mother figure after meeting her on a cruise. She’s given accommodation at the older woman’s house and things begin to deteriorate. Tom’s on the case.

This story is very persuasive in terms of the psychological effects of the woman and her partner, a retired psychiatrist, on the girl Callie, who believes she murdered her boyfriend. Another girl has gone missing, the sister of one of Tom’s old friends. The tangled web Rachel Abbott weaves is both intriguing and horrifying and I found myself living this story. I was totally gripped by it.