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Booked – a criminally good book blog

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February 2017

The Sixth Window Rachel Abbott

The Sixth WindowThe Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After eighteen months of grieving for her husband Bernie, killed in a horrific hit and run accident, Natalie Grey has found love with her husband’s best friend – Ed Cooper – and has moved herself and fifteen year old daughter, Scarlett, into his home. But Natalie begins to suspect Ed has a dark side – and even darker intentions.
Desperate to get her daughter to a place of safety, she and Scarlett move to a new home that holds secrets of its own. But has removing Scarlett from one potential threat placed her in far greater danger?
This was a really enjoyable read, despite the subject matter. With a deft pen and a penchant for always moving the story forward, Ms Abbott creates an excellent crime thriller, mostly told from the POV of the victims. However, an added layer is that Natalie’s husband Bernie was a policeman and Natalie’s new love is also a policeman. This added an extra frisson to the investigation into his death. The adjoining investigation into a predator grooming young girls and blackmailing them with their sexy photographs and eventually the sex act itself, was really well written, with a ring of realism that was upsetting to read. Ms Abbott never fails to deliver, and is well deserving of the accolades heaped upon her.

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Wrong Number Carys Jones

Wrong Number (Wrong Number #1)Wrong Number by Carys Jones

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A missing husband. Mysterious calls. And the biggest lie of them all. Read with caution – you may never want to answer your phone again…Will and Amanda Thorne are living the dream until, one day, their phone rings. Within 24 hours, Will is missing and Amanda’s world is shattered. Who was on the phone? Where has Will gone? Amanda is determined to find her husband and is drawn into a world of drug dealers, criminal masterminds and broken promises. As the truth becomes clearer, she has to face the terrible possibility that she may never have known her husband at all…

Actually the ‘biggest lie of all’ is that line ‘Read with caution you may never want to answer your phone again’! I find it really irritating when books make bold claims that are clearly not credible. This was an okay read. I finished it. Did I enjoy it? Yes and no. The plot was too trite at times and I got annoyed with Amanda for being so bloody dumb! The hair brained chase up to Scotland was – well hair-brained. So, an okay read, which would have been better without the claims that it just couldn’t live up to and so in the end the book proved to be a disappointment. Oh, and don’t get me started on the end! But that’s all I’ll say as I don’t want to leave a spoiler.

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My Sister’s Bones Mel Sherratt

Don't Look Behind You (Detective Eden Berrisford, #2)Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet. The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.
A well plotted police procedural with the theme of domestic abuse. Every woman DS Eden Berresford encounters has had some sort of abuse meted out to them. And then Eden comes under pressure of her own when the husband who disappeared two years ago, returns. Domestic abuse is a terrible thing and the author made a brave decision to examine it. However, for some reason I had difficulty in connecting with the victims. At times I felt Ms Sherratt was telling us all about how they felt, rather than showing us. This meant that at times there were large info dumps and backstories, which for me rather took away the pace of the novel. 4*

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My Sister’s Bones Nuala Ellwood

My Sister's BonesMy Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Sister’s Bones Nuala Ellwood
Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped their father. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks. But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her very first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first she tells herself it’s just a nightmare, a legacy of her time in Syria. But then she hears it again. And this time she knows she’s not imagining it… What secret is lurking in her mother’s garden? And can Kate get to the truth…before she loses her mind?
I really rate this novel and my interest is being drawn more into psychological novels instead of straight police procedurals. The theme of this book is post traumatic syndrome. Who can get it? Can it be recognised? Can it be treated? The character of Kate is multi-faceted, yet real. Her dysfunctional family have obviously had a hand in moulding her character, but it’s her job as a war reporter that eventually breaks her. As she spirals out of control, she is still trying to get people to take her seriously about hearing screams in the night and spying a lone child in the garden of her mother’s house.
In a world where all is not where it seems, Kate struggles with her mental illness and her family to solve the mystery of the child she believes she has seen, but no one else does.
A seriously good book 5*

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The Book of Mirrors

The Book of MirrorsThe Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Do you trust other people’s memories? Do you trust your own? Should you? Princeton, 1987: renowned psychologist Professor Joseph Weider is brutally murdered. New York, twenty-five years later: literary agent Peter Katz receives a manuscript. Or is it a confession? Today: unearth the secrets of The Book of Mirrors and discover why your memory is the most dangerous weapon of all.
This book had an interesting premise, a tale told from three different viewpoints, each casting a little more light on the question of who murdered Professor Weider. It is a well-constructed psychological mystery which aims to highlight the difference in how witnesses remember things. But this is nothing new, we all know that if 10 people witness an event, you’ll get 10 different stories, each convinced they are right. Having said that, it is an enjoyable read. There has been an enormous amount of hype about this book. It was a good read, but a great one? Not for me. There are better books out there more deserving of the ‘great’ description. 3 stars.

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The Trapped Girl Robert Dugoni

The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite #4)The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?
I really enjoy the Tracy Crosswhite books and this is up there with the best of them. With a convoluted plot and a cast of strong, believable characters, Robert Dugoni explores not only crime, but the human psyche. Fast paced and believable this is another winner!

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