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Booked – a criminally good book blog

Gone missing TJ Brearton

Gone MissingGone Missing by T.J. Brearton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katie Calumet is on an early-morning run when she hears a baby crying. The park is deserted, and there’s no one in the street. She follows the cries, but then everything goes black. When Katie wakes up, she’s blindfolded and her hands and feet are bound. Detective Justin Cross takes on the case, but with the trail leading into endless dense forest, and a failing marriage weighing on his mind, finding Katie is his most challenging case yet – not least because the Calumet family are keeping secrets of their own. Justin and Katie face a race against time that will push them both to their very limits. As Justin works day and night to discover who took her and why, Katie fights desperately to escape from her kidnappers and the forest that surrounds her…
I found this book captivating and couldn’t stop reading it. The forest and Katie’s struggles were so real I was out there with her. The author managed to capture the rawness of the forest, the trials of those trying to find her, and, of course, the grit and determination of Katie herself. This book could easily have become cliched and the author didn’t once fall into that trap. Powerful stuff!

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Her Best Friend Sarah Wray

Her Best FriendHer Best Friend by Sarah Wray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overwhelmed by grief after losing her mother, Sylvie Armstrong tries to block out the memories in her childhood home – but then someone leaves a gift on her doorstep: a gold necklace with a heart-shaped locket. The locket belonged to Sylvie’s best friend, Victoria Preston – and she was wearing it the night she died. Now it’s back in Sylvie’s life… and it soon becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria. Sylvie has to know the truth. But is she in terrible danger?
The best thing about this book is the twist at the end. At the final reveal I was still in two minds over what might have happened. There are quite a few characters in this book, some work well, some not so much, but all provide subtle clues about the truth. The only one I failed to connect with was the film maker, Sam. His role was to attempt to find the truth, but I found him a bit lacking in empathy somehow. This was a great psychological read and kept me guessing until the end.

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Let the Dead Speak Jane Casey

Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan, #7)Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. All the signs point to murder. Maeve Kerrigan is determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is hiding something, but getting her to open up is impossible. No one on the street is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share…
A complex plot with many twists and turns, reveals and conceals in abundance, complimented by believable characters, makes for a great police procedural. What’s not to like? It does exactly as it says on the tin.

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The Betrayals Fiona Neill

The BetrayalsThe Betrayals by Fiona Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

None of them would forget that week on the wild Norfolk coast. Best friends Rosie and Lisa’s families had always been inseparable. But that summer, Lisa had an affair with Rosie’s husband Nick. And now, after years of silence, she sends Rosie a letter begging for help. A letter which exposes dark secrets. Daughter Daisy’s fragile hold on reality begins to unravel. Teenage son Max blames himself for everything that happened that long hot summer. And Nick must confront his own version of events. There are four sides to this story. Who will you believe?
This is a believable and interesting story of family life in crisis, and which also explores how the mental illness of one person in the family affects not only the person herself but ripples out to the rest of the family. Having dealt with her OCD once, Daisy finds herself falling more and more in its thrall. In her warped determination to shield her mother from upset, she inadvertently provides the catalyst for everyone having to face up to what they saw during that holiday, or didn’t see, as the case may be.

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Blue Monday Nicci French

Blue Monday (Frieda Klein, #1)Blue Monday by Nicci French

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blue Monday is the thrilling first novel in Nicci French’s top-ten bestselling killer new series introducing psychotherapist Frieda Klein *** Monday: five-year-old Matthew Faraday is abducted. His face is splashed across newspaper front pages. His parents and the police are desperate. Can anyone help find their little boy before it is too late? Psychotherapist Frieda Klein just might know something.
What an excellent opening book in a new series for author Nicci French. The story is so polished it glitters, despite the awfulness of the crime. Her relationship with the police, her family and her mentor and his builder are so well drawn you feel you could be standing in the room with her. The twist is excellent and the ending leaves you begging for more. I thoroughly recommend this for readers of psychological fiction and crime, thriller and mystery. This book can hold its own against anything written by Jonathan Kellerman and Harlan Coben.

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Anything you do say Gillian McAllister

Anything You Do SayAnything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own. Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Coming fast. You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor. Now What?
And that’s the big question. Told as a dual narrative (reveal and conceal) the story explores what would happen in either scenario. A brilliant, captivating, thought provoking read, which will keep you up reading long into the night – at least it did me!

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Good Friday Linda La Plante

Good Friday (Tennison, #3)Good Friday by Lynda La Plante

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every legend has a beginning . . .
During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.
Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured.
Crikey, what a rattling good read! At first I wasn’t sure about reading about the early career of Jane Tennison. Then I watched the tv drama and was hooked. I like Jane as a character and its really interesting to see how she develops her skills and enthusiasm for the job. The writing brings the drama to life and draws us into the mid1970’s when the IRA were determined to disrupt British life as much as possible. As much a drama as a crime thriller this book is hard to put down!

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The Silent Corner Kean Koontz

The Silent CornerThe Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“I very much need to be dead.”
These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what. She discovers other people who had supposedly committed suicide as she races around America, flying well under the grip, as she races around America trying to find those behind her husband’s unexpected death. The plot is not as pacy as normal Koontz books, which disappointed me somewhat. The lengths Jane goes to stay hidden are interesting but is she really as undetected as she hopes?
I had mixed reactions to the characters in this book, sometimes empathising with them and sometimes not. An interesting read, if not satisfying, read. Be warned, this book is part of a trilogy and so does not have all the plot threads resolved.

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The Good Daughter Karin Slaughter

The Good Daughter (Good Daughter, #1)The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every now and again a book comes along that you don’t want to put down, you don’t want it to end and you wish you could write as well as Ms Slaughter!. This is such a book.
An engrossing read, with well defined characters. Yes, they are flawed, but you don’t feel the flaws are in any way over the top, rather you perfectly understand who they are and why they are that way. The narrative grips you from the early pages and doesn’t let go until the very end of the book. Full of intrigue, mystery and double dealing there is a revelation in every chapter and I didn’t work out who did what they did and to whom! A seriously satisfying read for lovers of crime fiction.

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