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Booked – a criminally good book blog

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September 2016

The 7th Canon Robert Dugoni

The 7th CanonThe 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.
This was a compelling legal thriller, up there with Scott Turow and John Grisham. Peter Donley was immensely likeable and you could relate to the problems he tussled with. He does everything he can within the law (just) to help his client Father Martin, who is steadfast in his innocence. The story gathers pace as it hurtles to the end.
A clever, entertaining read. Robert Dugoni is fast becoming a force in the legal fiction genre.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Click the book cover to go to the book page on Amazon.co.uk.

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Murder on the Internet

cwa

To celebrate the CWA Daggers Awards 2016, ENDEAVOUR PRESS, in partnership with the CWA and KILLER WOMEN, is running a virtual crime fiction festival.

From October 10 – 14 Tweet your burning questions to some of your favourite crime authors. The line-up includes best-sellers Quintin Jardine, William Shaw, Graham Masterton and little old me, Wendy Cartmell. We will be running competitions and giving free eBooks to everyone who participates. Sign up is totally free and gives you the opportunity to share your love of crime fiction with some of your favourite authors!

Click here to sign up for free!

Fifth Columnist Frank Westworth

In Fifth Columnist, a bent copper is compromising national security but none of the evidence will stand up in court. That’s exactly why men like Stoner operate in the shadows, ready to terminate the target once an identity is confirmed…

Oh my, this book surely packs a punch. A covert operative determined to keep his distance from the British policewoman he’s working with. He’s a last resort. Mostly silent, definitely enigmatic, a man of few words yet always on hand. Known only as ‘Sarge’ DCI Hannah Jack Hannah doesn’t know what to make of him. Yet in his cold, still, silent way Sarge solves the mystery. He instructs her, and the reader, in the ways of covert operations, always giving a different ‘take’ on any situation.

The writing is bold and blunt, with horrific things said in a matter of fact way. “I kill people. That’s what I’m paid to do.” It sends a shiver down your spine.

Following the short story is the opening to the author’s new book Redemption of Charm to be published in 2017. This was gripping, thrilling and with lots of action. In a way the antithesis to the short story. Both good. Both gripping in their own way. This was my first foray into the writing of Frank Westworth and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

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

Local Girl Missing Claire Douglas

Local Girl MissingLocal Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night. She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier – and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca. 18 years later a body’s been found. And Francesca’s drawn back to the seaside town she’s tried to forget.
This is a chilling tale, written from the alternating POV of the two women, Sophie who vanishes and Frankie her friend who in the intervening years builds a life without her friend. Spooky and at times really well written, I felt the holes in the plot let this book down. I had issues with ‘remains’ being found 18 years after Sophie fell into the sea, yes I really did say 18 years! Secondly she was asked by Sophie’s brother Daniel to help him identify the remains! Seriously? If she was identifying a trainer, it could have been done via a photograph! And there must have been thousands of pairs of those popular trainers around at the time of Sophie’s death. Later in the book the timeline was a bit out regarding Sophie and a ‘significant event’ (I don’t want to spoil the plot). Also in one memorable scene Sophie was dressed in jeans, only to put a note in her dress pocket.
These anomalies, for me, spoilt what was shaping up to be a good psychological thriller and real page-turner. I received a copy of the novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Missing Presumed Susie Steiner

Edith Hind is gone, leaving just her coat, a smear of blood and a half-open door. Each of her friends and relatives has a version of the truth. But none quite adds up. The press grows hungrier by the day. Can DS Manon Bradshaw fend them off, before a missing persons case becomes a murder investigation?

What a brilliantly satisfying read this book is. A tense police procedural and psychological novel rolled into one. This was one of those books that I couldn’t wait to return to as I needed to know, not just what was happening with the investigation, but in the chaotic lives of DS Manon Bradshaw and her colleagues. The characters were flawed yet likable for the most part. Those that you didn’t like, you had a good understanding of. The strength of Ms Steiner’s writing is its honesty. People are flawed. They are a mess. They are battered and bruised by their past. Manon Bradshaw tries hard not to be depressed by her singleness, pissed off with her family and irritated by her colleagues. She tries internet dating without any success and manages to get through her days with wry humour and the support of good friends. But just how unstable she is, is highlighted when she does find someone to love. Or at least she thinks it’s love. Frankly it’s far more of an obsession. The reader can see this, but not Manon.

The team has no leads, no body and no idea what’s going on. But the ripples from Edith’s disappearance spread inexorably outward, devastating her family and close friends; with disastrous consequences. Missing Presumed, is easily the best book I’ve read since Daisy in Chains. Absolutely brilliant!

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

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