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Booked – a criminally good book blog

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July 2016

Strictly Between Us Jane Fallon

Tamsin and her best friend Michelle have been inseparable since they were teenagers. Even now they spend all their time together, along with Patrick, Michelle’s handsome husband. So when Tamsin hears a rumour that Patrick is having an affair, she is furious.
I enjoyed this different take on chick-lit and found the story by turns amusing and warming. I loved the conversational style of writing, which was easy and page turning. An interesting plot that keeps you guessing.
I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click the cover to go to Amazon.co.uk.

 

The Girl in the Ice Robert Brynza

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.
This is a good police procedural with a flawed detective and an interesting premise. It keeps you turning the pages right until the end. Although I have to say it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Angela Marsons’ DI Kim Stone. I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click the book cover for the Amazon.co.uk book page.

Switcheroo Aaron Elkins

A cold case dating from the 1960s draws forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver to the Channel Islands decades later to shine a light on the mysterious connection between two men who died there on the same night.
I found this a very easy read, more in the style of a cozy mystery than a crime thriller. The characters are likeable and the plot well thought out, but it is all somehow a bit too ‘on the surface’ and the reader doesn’t really get the chance to be gripped by the story. I would also have liked to read more about what happened to the boys during the war and the affect it had on Jersey. This part was skated over and I thought it was central to the story.
I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click on the cover to go to the Amazon.co.uk book page.

Journey to Death Leigh Russell

Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. I found this a very easy read, more in the style of a cozy mystery than a crime thriller. The characters are likeable and the plot well thought out, but it isn’t a gripping serial killer thriller of the kind I normally read. Having said that, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click on the book cover to go to the Amazon UK book page.

Crooked Heart Lissa Evans

When Noel Bostock – aged ten, no family – is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz, he winds up in St Albans with Vera Sedge – thiry-six, drowning in debts. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.
I found this book spellbinding and compelling. The characters were very different from each other and all changed in some way or another during the course of the story. The greatest challenges, of course, were on Noel and Vera, who had to compromise, learn to have empathy and to let another person into their lives. A captivating read.
I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Click on the cover to go to the Amazon UK book page.

 

The Ballroom Anna Hope

1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors,where men and women are kept apart. It is the story of how John and Ella meet and how they, and Dr Charles Fuller react to that meeting. Overlaying the plot is the historical part of the story, which takes a hard and detailed look at how the poor were regarded and treated at the time.
I found this book spellbinding and compelling. The characters were very different from each other and all changed in some way or another during the course of the story. A captivating read full of obsession, love and revenge. I really couldn’t put this down and would highly recommend it.
I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click on the cover to go to the Amazon UK book page.

 

The Promise Alison Bruce

After the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill.
A good solid police procedural with interesting characters and interesting plot line, all of which kept me turning the pages. I really enjoyed it but it may have been better if I’d started the whole series from the beginning. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click the cover to go to the Amazon UK book page.

 

As Mad As Hell Paul Casselle

In this second book of the Bedfellows series we follow Joseph Miller, a rogue MI6 agent who is using every resource he can to hunt down the culprits behind the New World Order. But he is a man battling with his own internal demons as well as the One Percenters.

This is a highly entertaining and very well thought out spy novel. It draws on real events – the 9/11 attack – as Joseph tries to expose those behind the conspiracy theories. Using elaborate and very clever illusions, Joseph and his friends attempt to rob one of the One Percenters so they can then persuade him to make public his insider knowledge of the attack on the twin towers.

Mr Casselle’s development as an author is clear to see in this intriguing novel. The plot is intricate, his characters are believable and there are lots of unseen twists and turns. Joseph is particularly well drawn and in this novel we learn a lot more about him, his past as an MI6 agent, how he views the world and his loyalty to his small circle of friends. The type of man you’d much rather have on your side, rather than an enemy. The dialogue is crisp and on point and the background explanations are clear and concise.

As Mad As Hell is a great read and I look forward to reading Part 3!

The Tortured Detective Pirate Irwin

Detective Inspector Lafarge, a former prisoner of war, is sent to investigate the murder of the beautiful young film actress Marguerite Suchet. As Lafarge becomes increasingly repelled by his colleagues’ behaviour towards all those who oppose the Nazis, he must question the allegiances and loyalty of everyone around him…and ultimately his own as well.

Hats off to Mr Irwin for pulling off a complex murder mystery intertwined with the equally complex political situation in France during WWII. I knew very little of the lives of people in Paris during the occupation and found the detail in this novel really interesting. The writing shows the author’s ability to evoke suspense and mystery. A really good crime novel, which is not overshadowed by the sense of place and time it is set in, but complimented by it.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Click the cover to go to the Amazon book page.

 

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