Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

The Elisenda Domenech Investigation Series

Chris Lloyd

An intense and brilliantly realised crime thriller set in the myth-soaked streets of Girona
A killer is targeting hate figures in the Catalan city of Girona – a loan shark, a corrupt priest, four thugs who have blighted the streets of the old quarter – leaving clues about his next victim through mysterious effigies left hung on a statue. Each corpse is posed in a way whose meaning no one can fathom. Which is precisely the point the murderer is trying to make.
Elisenda Domènech, the solitary and haunted head of the city’s newly-formed Serious Crime Unit, is determined to do all she can to stop the attacks. She believes the attacker is drawing on the city’s legends to choose his targets, but her colleagues aren’t convinced and her investigation is blocked at every turn.
Battling against the increasing sympathy towards the killer displayed by the press, the public and even some of the police, she finds herself forced to question her own values. But when the attacks start to include less deserving victims, the pressure is suddenly on Elisenda to stop him. The question is: how?

1. Where did you get the ideas from these books?
The whole idea for the first book began when I was researching for a travel guide. I was in the city archives in Girona when I came across a whole load of legends about the city. The more I looked, the more myths and stories I discovered – it was tremendously exciting. One of the stories was of a statue of the Virgin Mary that stood over one of the medieval city gates. She was called the Virgin of Good Death, and she was there to give a final blessing to condemned prisoners as they were led outside the city walls to be executed. The gate was not far from the archive, so I went to find the statue and it was there in a niche above the archway. It was seeing the statue and the idea of the legends that sowed the seed of someone using Girona’s history and myths to bring what they thought was justice to the city, announcing their attacks using the statue – a blessing for the condemned.

2. Do you have any writing habits? (i.e. you have to drink coffee/can only write in a cafe)
That probably comes down to rock music and cups of tea. I always start a writing session listening to music through headphones to immerse myself. I associate every character with a song or piece of music, so if I’m going to write about a specific character, I listen to their song to get me into the zone. For Elisenda, I’ve got about half a dozen songs – most of them by her favourite Catalan rock band, Sopa de Cabra – and I listen to a song or two depending on the mood I want for the scene I’m starting with.
Another of my rituals is to leave a handwritten note the previous session that roughly tells me what the first line I’m writing the next day has to say. Having that to hand makes it easier to get the first words on screen – always the hardest moment for me.
And the final ritual is tea. Getting up from my desk to go downstairs and make a cup of tea is a great moment for gathering my thoughts and thinking of the next scene while the kettle’s boiling. The problem is I nearly always let the tea go cold when I start writing again!

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Ha, I reckon I’m probably somewhere between the two. EL Doctorow said that writing was like driving at night – you know where you’re going, but you can only ever see as far as the end of your headlights at any one time. And that’s probably true for me – it often feels like having a road map with pages missing and tea stains on the important bits! I roughly know how things are going to end up, although that changes more often than I’d like to think, but I don’t always know what’s going to happen along the way. I try to map out the key scenes (knowing full well they’re never written in stone), then make a few notes on how I think the story might get to those points and what has to be included and which characters should do and say what, and then I just start writing. As the story develops, other strands and characters present themselves, but the milestone I’m heading for usually stays pretty much the same. Then once I reach that, it’s onto the next milestone and so on until the first draft is finished.

4. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
As a kid, I always wanted to be William from the Richmal Crompton books. He was always well-meaning, but still got into scrapes and adventures – when I was a child, it always struck me as being a pretty neat way of going about things!
As an adult, it might seem strange (and I dread to think what it says about me), but I’d quite like to be Bernie Gunther from the Philip Kerr books about a German detective during WWII. Almost like a much more radical William, he’s an ordinary man trying to be good in bad times. An iconoclast and anti-Nazi, he has to work with the bad guys to work against them. He’s constantly trying to set things right as far as he can in a world going horribly wrong, and he’s often thwarted but still keeps going. I’d love to have his steadfastness and courage, and the front to stand up to scary authority figures the way he does.

5. If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
There are plenty of fictional worlds I’d love to visit, but I’m not sure I’d want to live in any of them – that sounds far too scary. The obvious one here is Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. I’d be fascinated by Unseen University and sentient furniture, but I know I really wouldn’t want to hang around somewhere as terrifying as Ankh-Morpork too long. I’d want to know that I could get out of there any time I wanted.
The same is probably true for the alternative Swindon of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next novels. In these, Thursday is a literary detective chasing fictional characters who escape from the books they’re supposed to be in. She has a pet dodo called Pickwick and she gets to meet all the greatest characters in literature when they decide to go AWOL. It would be great to meet Jay Gatsby and Jane Eyre, but then imagine being stuck in a world where Moriarty and Hannibal Lecter live just around the corner.
I’d also want to visit the Aberystwyth of Malcolm Pryce’s hugely imaginative Louie Knight stories, about a 1930’s-style gumshoe in a parallel Wales where beautiful Welsh spies dance the tango and druids run speakeasies. But even that’s too frightening a prospect. So, instead of living in any of them, if anyone could arrange a short holiday to these worlds, I’d be at the front of the queue. Just don’t ask me to stay there forever.

6. If you had to give advice to aspiring authors, what would you say?
That’s a really hard question, as we’re all motivated in different ways. One of the pieces of advice you often hear is to write what you know. I’d say that more than that, you should write what you feel. I got my first book deal because I was so incensed by a travel guide unfairly denigrating a part of the world I loved that in a wave of self-confidence I’ve never felt before or since, I wrote to them and told them I could do better… and they called my bluff. I ended up writing four travel guides about Catalonia for them.
The same goes for the Elisenda series. I have a passion for Catalonia and for the many things about the country that I love and that I admire, especially the way they maintain their traditions while embracing change. When there is something like that – it can be a place, a person, a cause, a historical period, anything – it’s so much easier to harness that passion and let it come across in your writing. You also can’t always know everything, but you can feel it or empathise with it. No matter how much I research, there are always going to be aspects of Elisenda’s life and her work that I can’t know, but by using what I feel and my own similar experiences and by transposing that onto her situation, I can put myself in her place and (I hope) convey her world in my writing. The secret is to know your passions and let them take you somewhere you might not have thought you’d go.

7. When you’re not writing, what do you do all day?
That’s easy… thinking about writing.
I also work as a freelance translator from Catalan and Spanish into English. Ideally, I try to translate all morning, leaving the afternoon and evening free to write, although sometimes that doesn’t always go to plan as a rush translation will come in and I have to drop what I’m writing and get it done before the deadline. Even when I’m translating, though, ideas come – especially as the stories are set in Catalonia and the texts I translate are in Catalan – so I keep a notebook next to me all the time to jot anything down. It’s surprising how much the day job can send you off on a train of thought when you least expect it.
When I’m not doing either of those, my life is a hectic social whirl of sitting at home reading, watching TV or listening to music… I also love walking – the Brecon Beacons are half an hour one way and the Gower is half an hour the other, so we’re spoilt for choice – and going to live music or stand-up in Cardiff. My wife’s a painter, so we often go to gallery opening nights and exhibitions, which are great fun – artists are a pretty cool crowd! And, of course, I’m forever planning my next trip to Girona.

8.​ Do you have any more books that you’re working on?
I have a few Elisenda stories swirling around inside my head, but right now I’m working on a new idea that I’m finding really exciting. It’s another police procedural, but very different, both in terms of time and place. The story is set in Paris in 1940 in the early days of the Nazi Occupation. It’s a period that’s always fascinated me, and at the moment, I’m devouring newsreels, films and books from the time to immerse myself in the atmosphere.

Lastly, thank you for hosting me on Big Book Little Book today.

Chris was born in an ambulance racing through a town he’s only returned to once and that’s probably what did it. Soon after that, when he was about two months old, he moved with his family to West Africa, which pretty much sealed his expectation that life was one big exotic setting. He later studied Spanish and French at university, and straight after graduating, he hopped on a bus from Cardiff to Catalonia where he stayed for the next twenty-four years, falling in love with the people, the country, the language and Barcelona Football Club, probably in that order. Besides Catalonia, he’s also lived in Grenoble, the Basque Country and Madrid, teaching English, travel writing for Rough Guides and translating. He now lives in South Wales, where he works as a writer and a Catalan and Spanish translator, returning to Catalonia as often as he can.
He writes the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring a police officer with the newly-devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona. The third book in the series, City of Drowned Souls, is published on 6 February 2017.

Interviewed by Faye

Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: July 2015
Format: Ebook
Pages: 318
Genre: Crime
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
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Sneak Peak: Playlist for a Paper Angel

Jacqueline Ward

One child found, one child missing – what’s the connection?
DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.
Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.
Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

Our reviewer Faye reviewed the first on her own blog last year.

You can find that review here.

This follow up sounds just as enticing, don’t you agree?


Jacqueline Ward writes short stories, novels and screenplays. She has been writing seriously since 2007 and has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. Jacqueline won Kindle Scout in 2016 and her crime novel, Random Acts of Unkindness, will be published by Amazon Publishing imprint Kindle Press. Her novel SmartYellowTM was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and was nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2016. Jacqueline is a Chartered psychologist who specializes in narrative psychology, gaining a PhD in narrative and storytelling in 2007. She lives in Oldham, near Manchester, with her partner and their dog.

Playlist for a Paper Angel is now available to purchase from Amazon UK

Publisher: Kindle Press
Publication Date: January 2016
Format: Ebook
Pages: 282
Genre: Detective Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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13 Minutes

Sarah Pinborough
27802575I was dead for 13 minutes.
I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.
They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

*Please note that due to the nature of this novel I am not going to go into too much depth whilst giving a synopsis as I think it is best to go into this one with limited knowledge of what might unfold.*

13 Minutes is a young adult psychological thriller that follows the on going twists of a gripping murder mystery involving a group of seemingly normal teenage girls.
The novel opens with the lucky discovery of Natasha’s close to dead body in a local river. She is revived at the scene, having been technically dead for 13 minutes (hence the title), but is left in a state of amnesia in that she can’t remember the days leading up to the incident including how she ended up in the river.

Natasha happens to be the leader of the popular girls (or ‘Barbies’) at her sixth form and her near-death experience sends shock waves through the community – ultimately triggering a series of rippling events that threaten to destroy anyone and everyone involved.

Right from the beginning of this novel I was absolutely hooked and the vast variety of perspectives and formats, including text messages and transcripts, lead the way for a story full of intrigue and deception I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. The vast majority of the book is told from Becca’s perspective, Natasha’s ex-best friend, who sheds light on the history of herself and the so-called ‘Barbies’ in a way that adds a depth I haven’t seen in many YA books. I especially loved Sarah’s use of doctors reports that were placed perfectly throughout and allowed us to delve beneath the surface of the characters actions in order to grasp a sense of who they truly are and thus created layer upon layer of character development.

This novel is more than just a murder mystery, though a great one it is, it is a book that highlights the pressures of the modern day and offers an insight into teenage friendships and social structures. It provides a constantly evolving plot that spirals into something I never ever would have predicted when I first picked up this book. I love the vast spectrum of characters that Sarah uses to create a complex and colourful plot she weaves so perfectly to create a story that left me utterly speechless. The story line slots together with a loud and vastly satisfying click right at the end but up until that point I had no idea where it was going and Sarah had me constantly guessing from the very beginning.

Verdict: Sarah Pinborough utterly delighted me. I cannot stress enough how skilfully plotted this book was – I will for sure be purchasing many more of her books. I would definitely recommend this for lovers of Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, Torn by Cat Clarke or just anyone looking for a really great and well-crafted quick read. Just keep in mind this book is not suited for young readers due to the nature of the plot and some sexual content.

Reviewed by Evie

Publisher: Gollancz
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 405
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Age: YA
Reviewer: Evie
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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Cinderella: The Real story

Jan Butchett, Sara Volger and Omar Aranda (illustrator)

cinderella the real storyThis title is part of Bug Club, the first whole-school reading programme to combine books with an online reading world to teach today’s children to read. In this Year 6 Red A (NC level 5c) fiction short story collection … Forget all the stories you’ve read about good, kind Cinderella – they are just fairy tales! Onceuponatime Town has been buzzing with gossip since Cinderella’s imprisonment for unspeakable crimes. What has she done? Here, D.I. Whiskers and P.C. Scratch present you with their extraordinary case files

This book is really good it’s really quite the opposite of the normal fairy tale you hear. In this version Cinderella is the baddie and the ugly sisters are the goodies! I don’t want to give away that much, but when her master plan fails she gets other fairy tale baddies to help her!

This book is filed into two detective cases. These files contain newspaper articles, letters and a lot more.
Two mice give their insight every now and again and usually they end up scampering away with their tails between their legs.

Verdict: This book is aimed at anybody who enjoys fairy tales with a twist and enjoys books with bright colours. It’s probably aged for kids between 6 to 12 years of age.

Reviewed by Izzy (9)

Publisher: Pearson Education Limited
Publication Date: May 2011
Format: eBook
Pages:
Genre:Crime
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Izzy (9)
Source: Borrowed
Challenge:None
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The Detectives Daughter

Lesley Thomson

detective's daughterKate Rokesmith’s decision to go to the river changed the lives of many. Her murder shocked the nation. Her husband never pressed charges and moved abroad under a cloud of suspicion. Her son, just four years old, grew up in a loveless boarding school. And Detective Inspector Darnell, vowing to leave no stone unturned in the search for her killer, began to lose his only daughter. The young Stella Darnell grew to resent the dead Kate Rokesmith for capturing her father’s attention in a way she never could.
Thirty years later, Stella is dutifully sorting through her father’s attic after his sudden death. The Rokesmith case papers are in a corner gathering dust: the case was never solved. Stella knows she should destroy them. Instead, she opens the box, and starts to read

As it says in the blurb this is the story of Stella taking on an unsolved murder mystery when her policeman father dies. The murder happened 30 years previously when Kate Rokesmith was killed by the river Thames in front of her 4 year old son, Johnathon Rokesmith, one summers day. DI Darnell was unable to solve the case and it has come to represent to Stella her father’s absence in her life due to his devotion to his job.

When Terry (DI Darnell) dies suddenly in a small seaside town Stella is forced to confront some of her feelings about him and their relationship. After finding the boxes with all the papers for the case and some hints that Terry was continuing to try and resolve it Stella can’t let it go. Then when she meets the enigmatic Jack Harmon and one of her clients (Stella runs a cleaning agency) dies in strange circumstances all sorts of ‘co-incidences’ come together to spur on Stella’s curiosity and involvement in the case.

This story has many twists and turns. It also has flashbacks to the time of the murder and what happened afterwards scattered through the novel. We get the information we need in bits and pieces to put together a picture of what happened that day and how that has impacted the present day. I really enjoyed this and the levels of suspense that it maintained. I also liked the way that often we have more information than Stella and can sometimes be one step ahead of her in the race to solve the case. Lesley manages to keep you guessing and wondering if your theories about what happened are actually right and to keep questioning the characters and how they are related.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that I did solve the mystery correctly, but I didn’t know if I was right until the end, consequently it was a book I found really difficult to put down, I definitely wanted to know what happened! Plus as the tale reached it’s climax I was gripped waiting to see if there would be another murder…

This is a page turner with a heart though as through the whole story there is Stella struggling to come to terms with losing a Dad she loved but wasn’t close to. The whole theme of loving and losing your parents as experienced by both Stella and Jonathon gives the novel a bigger emotional punch.

I definitely recommend this book.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Head Of Zeus
Publication Date: May 2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 480/1713KB
Genre: Crime
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge:British Book
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Whispers Underground

Ben Aaronovitch

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects…except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.
At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful…and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well.

This is very much a grown up urban fantasy series where Peter Grant is our protagonist and often very amusingly, rather cynical narrator. He’s a policeman based in London, about to be consigned to a data entry post as far too easily distracted for real police work. Just as he’s about to resign himself to his fate he finds that he has an aptitude for sensing the supernatural. He quickly finds out that London is home to ghosts, gods, wizards and so on and it’s up to the police to make sure that they toe the line. Any cases with a supernatural element are passed to Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale with the proviso that it stays hidden from the general public’s knowledge and preferably, separate from their normal police investigations. Nightingale, a wizard in his own right takes on Peter as his apprentice.

In this book (the third in the series), Peter is asked to assist in a murder investigation, the victim being an American with a father influential enough to warrant the FBI being involved. The setting for the investigation is centred around the underground tunnels and the stinking sewers of London.

The pace of this book once it gets going, is fast and action packed. Yet again Aaronovitch’s classic British humour is superb. He also has the ability to make you snort with amusement one minute and then feel uneasy the next when the scene suddenly turns sinister.

Inspector Seawoll is back leading the task force and any hopes that his own recent brush with magic will have endeared him to Nightingale’s department and Peter in particular, are cruelly but nevertheless amusingly, dashed.

It’s great to see that Lesley’s presence in this book is much stronger as she joins the team, thanks to her recent disclosure in ‘Moon under Soho’. It’s also interesting to see how she is developing as a character now that her once beautiful face is now so horribly disfigured. It would have been so easy to just ‘magic’ her back to normal. Instead we see her continue to be the technically brilliant police officer that she is whilst she and Peter cope with her new found visual disfigurement.

Verdict : Murder, genius loci, magic and humour all in one book. Aaronivitch has done it again with ‘Whispers Underground’ and is my favourite book of the series so far.

Please note that artwork featured is for the UK hardback published by Gollancz on the 21st June 2012
Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Del Ray Books
Publication Date: June 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 432
Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Crime
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Karen
Source: US publisher via Netgalley
Challenge: British Book
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Hanging Hill

Mo Hayder

One morning in picture-perfect Bath, England, a teenage girl’s body is found on the towpath of a canal: Lorne Woods – beautiful, popular, and apparently the victim of a disturbingly brutal murder. Zoe Benedict – Harley-riding police detective, independent to a fault – is convinced the department head needs to look beyond the usual domestic motives to solve the case. Meanwhile, Zoe’s sister, Sally – recently divorced and in dire financial straits – has begun working as a housekeeper for a rich entrepreneur who quickly begins to seem possibly dangerous. When Zoe’s investigation turns up evidence that Lorne’s attempts to break into modeling had delivered her into the world of webcam girls and amateur porn, a crippling secret from Zoe’s past seems determined to emerge

Oh how I love Mo Hayder. She’s one of those authors where if I see that she’s released a new book, I’ll instantly purchase / borrow the book without even bothering to read the synopsis as I just know I’ll enjoy it!

For those of you who have not yet found Mo’s literary charms but like crime thrillers then a word of warning. Mo’s stories are pretty dark and disturbing and she is one of the few writers that actually made me so scared when reading her earlier works, ‘The Birdman’ and, ‘The Treatment’ I actually debated whether to skip a few pages as I was struggling to cope with the intensity of the action and the grim realisation that Mo has absolutely no qualms about favoured characters or vulnerable innocents suffering unspeakable horrors.

It was then, a few chapters into reading ‘Hanging Hill’, that I got that sense of foreboding that I was once again being invited into a very dark world. This time it involves adolescent young girls who are usually forced into the sex industry and get involved with some very nasty characters indeed who operate both in the UK and abroad.

The story focuses on two estranged sisters in their 30’s. Zoë, is the beautiful police officer with Amazonian attributes. She’s a fighter but emotionally stunted and self abusive when she needs to regain control. Sally is the stereotypical well to do housewife who has become overly reliant on her husband, that is, until he leaves her and starts a new family. She then has to learn the hard way that her carefree ways don’t necessarily serve her well when she has a teenage daughter to look after and ever increasing bills and repairs to pay.

Separately, these women become involved in the tangled web that occurs after a local schoolgirl is brutally and sadistically murdered. They each have to make dangerous decisions and work together to try and keep themselves and those that they love, safe from harm.

Verdict: Probably not as dark and intense as some of Mo’s earlier works but still a very intriguing (I shouldn’t say enjoyable should I….?) read and I was very pleased with the final, ‘plot twist finale’ even if I will be forever wondering, ‘What happened next?!’

Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: April 2011
Format: Hardback
Pages: 432
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British Book
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The Silent Girl

Tess Gerritsen

When a hand is found in a Chinatown alley in downtown Boston, detective Jane Rizzoli climbs to a nearby rooftop and finds the hand’s owner – a woman whose throat has been slashed so deeply that her head us nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and pathologist Maura Isles to make a startling discovery. This violent death had a chilling prequel. Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious and beautiful martial arts master who knows a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. It soon becomes clear that this is an evil that has killed before and will kill again – unless Jane and Maura can track it down, and defeat it…

The Silent Girl is the 9th book in the series featuring (Maura) Isles and (Jane) Rizzoli and starts just a few months after the events of the previous book, The Killing Place. Do bear this in mind if you are reading this book out of sequence as it does contain spoilers from the previous book.

The narration is from the three perspectives of Isles, Rizzoli, and Iris Fang. Iris Fang is a mysterious widow of Chinese descent who has never accepted her husband’s apparent murder-suicide and will do anything to get justice for her husband and daughter.

Most of the action is set in Chinatown, Boston. If, like me your Chinese history and mythology is a little rusty(!) then reading this book will give you an insight into Chinese culture and its ancient traditions and mythology. It does this whilst still remaining a ‘light’ read and not feeling that you picked up a history book by accident.

Expect the usual macabre events that Tess delivers and supernatural elements thrown in the mix too. This was something which, when reading the premise, worried me but, in my opinion, kept within the boundaries of plausibility that you would expect for this genre.

If you’re particularly interested in Maura’s character you may be disappointed that she does not feature so prominently and has little input towards the main storyline. Rat and Bear whom, you would have met from the previous book are back, giving Maura some distraction from her on / off relationship with the lovely Father Brophy. If it’s any consolation, Maura will monopolise the next book when she visits Rat at ‘Evensong’, a school for orphaned children set on a rural campus. What a perfect setting for grisly events to unfold!

Verdict: A great read filled with suspense and kept me delightfully flummoxed almost to the very end. This is Tess on top form!

Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: July 2011
Format: Hardback
Pages: 336
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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Fallen

Karin Slaughter

On an ordinary spring day, Special Agent Faith Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation returns home to a nightmare. Expecting to find her mother minding Faith’s new baby daughter Emma, she is horrified to discover Emma locked in the shed, her mother’s safe open, her gun missing and a trail of blood to the front door.
Without waiting for back-up, Faith enters the house to a scene of carnage. It has been torn apart and a man lies dead in a pool of blood. She stumbles across two more intruders, and within minutes they too are shot dead. And when the Atlanta police force turns up, Faith has some difficult questions to answer. But she has some desperate questions of her own. What were the killers searching for? Ex-Atlanta police chief Evelyn Mitchell was once under investigation by Faith’s partner Will Trent. Is her mother directly involved this time, and where is she now?

This book’s pace is relentlessly fast and needs to be consumed in as few sittings as possible to keep up with the story development and numerous characters that are mentioned. Expect some disturbing scenes, that Karin describes so well as it could make even the hardened reader at least wince in empathy.

The main storyline focuses on Faith and her family. We finally get the truth over whether Evelyn, Faith’s mother, really was as dirty as the rest of her narcotics squad that Will investigated. This delivers a twist I certainly wasn’t expecting and which, to be honest, left me deflated as it was a little far fetched for my liking.

Sara Linton, the protagonist of the series, takes more of a backseat role from the main action but still remains a magnet for danger. Her feelings for Will are much stronger and they are more open in this book.

Sarah finally meets Angie, Wills mostly absent, abusive and volatile wife. It’s no spoiler to say that they’re not likely to be the best of friends anytime soon. In fact you just know that in one of the future instalments, Angie will have a much more prominent role showing us just how dark and twisted she can get in her bid to keep Will firmly under her control.

Verdict: A great read for those that can tolerate the macabre, enjoy strong yet flawed female characters and delivers an ending that may induce just a few tears!

Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Century
Publication Date: June 2011
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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