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Booked – a criminally good book blog

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Crime thrillers

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.

Blue Heat John Bray

Everyone is corrupted. Except Dante. Until now. His trophy girlfriend is demanding far more than he can afford on a cop’s pay. Is his devotion to justice about to crack? Can he be tempted to cross the line…and join forces with the men he has spent his life trying to put behind bars?

This fast paced, gritty, police crime thriller asks questions of those officers who spend their lives enforcing law and order, sometimes at great personal cost. Being British I wasn’t used to the US legal system, but Mr Bray handles that deftly, all the while weaving the story lines through believable characters. A great police procedural novel with a twist.

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

The Bonus Boys Jan Needle

When go-getting Scottish journalist Rosanna Nixon sets up an interview with Thea Astley she sees it as a smooth and easy route to getting her chaotic life back on track. But career criminals are planning a raid on her house and they get there first.

Jan Needle’s great skill is making this crime thriller such a good all round read. There are criminal investigations, parliamentary investigations, reporters and newspapers trying their best to get ‘the scoop’ and the families suffering the fall-out from the criminal activity. This is a creepy crime novel, brutal, yet eloquent, in its delivery. I loved Rosanna, her doubts about her work and her on/off relationship with Andrew, felt for the battered wives, and was contemptuous of the police. The pace of the narrative picked up as the story progressed to its explosive end. A brilliant read!

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

 

A Circumstance of Blood Jeannette Cooperman

Father Colin McAvoy, a Scottish Jesuit priest, is the principal of the newly formed Matteo Academy. With fifty students, the majority fee paying, he looks forward to being able to offer places to another fifty students whose parents are unable to pay. One of the academy’s students, 17-year-old Philip Grant, dresses like Oscar Wilde and hasn’t troubled to define his sexual orientation. Irreverent and rebellious, he’s researching the private lives of the faculty for a video mashup. Philip’s enough of a handful, but then Auxiliary Bishop Matthew Ehrlich arrives at the school to tell Colin that he has a new pupil for him. The son of a local lawyer and psychologist, Graham Dennison has been accused of trying to kill his mother. And then one of the boys is found dead from a possible drugs overdose.

This is an intriguing novel, with a wonderful cast of characters. Sarah Markham comes across as a strong lead character and with her friend, Jesuit Priest Colin McAvoy they attempt to unravel the mystery of the murder of a young pupil at McAvoy’s school. This book could best be described as an Agatha Christie type murder mystery. It is intelligent in its plot and themes and brilliantly worked out. A Circumstance of Blood is not one of those thrilling, page turning reads, but is something more. Skilfully written, it gets under your skin and won’t let go. A thoroughly satisfying read. I do hope there is a sequel?

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

 

The Killing Files Nikki Owen

Dr Maria Martinez is out of prison and on the run. Her mission? To get back to the safety of her family. Little does she know that this might be the most dangerous place of all…

I read and enjoyed The Spider in the Room, now retitled, and enjoyed that. But this one, not so much. I felt the attempts at tension were at times desperate and I didn’t like the switch in times between before capture and after capture as at times I wanted to shout, ‘enough already we know she’s been captured’. Having said that, the plot, once it got going was great with twists and turns and Maria was, as before, sharply drawn with regard to her struggling with her Asperger’s.

I realise I’m flying against the other reviews on this one, but can only give my own honest opinion. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Click the cover to go to the Amazon book page.

 

No Easy Way Out Paul Bennett

If you’re looking for a highly entertaining read, then No Easy Way Out is definitely a book for you. Johnny Silver, an Israeli army-trained mercenary, has retired to St Jude in the Caribbean and runs a beach bar with his pregnant Chechnyan wife Anna. Forced out of retirement by an unscrupulous DEA agent, Johnny must take on the task of releasing Maria, the daughter of Emanuel Estavez, a pillar of the community, who runs a chain of Mexican restaurants in the States.

The author’s military knowledge shines through, but does not overshadow the adventure of a band of brothers, comrades in arms, who know each other well. It is essentially an updated spaghetti western, with the good guys bowling in to save a small town from the baddies. But Johnny Silver isn’t a cliché. I thought his character was well drawn. He has a straight forward, no nonsense military way of thinking, but also has a heart. The story had a multi-layered plot, with lovely cameo parts – Chico was a particular favourite of mine – and a twist at the end. Essentially this is a rattling good read. Don’t over think it – just enjoy it!

I was given a copy of this novel via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

See How they Run Tom Bale

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie. This is no burglary gone wrong. The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw. And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

It appears I am in the minority of reviewers for See How They Run. I was really looking forward to reading this, as I love Bookoutre books. But, this one just didn’t do it for me. The writing was fine, it was the plot. For me it was too farfetched and once Alice and Harry started on different road trips, I lost the plot myself. There wasn’t enough realism in the book for me. I couldn’t imagine Edward Renshaw living like he did at an old age without heating or lighting and hardly going out and frankly it just went downhill from there.

I would like to thank the publishers for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review, via Netgalley.

Click on the cover to go to the Amazon page.

My Sister’s Grave Robert Dugoni

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. My Sister’s Grave was a fascinating crime novel, with great characters and a twisting and turning plot. It reminded me of the case of Stephen Avery in terms of ‘did he do it’ or ‘didn’t he do it’? Relationships are deftly explored and the reader feels fully rooted in the fictional world the author has created. An interesting and compelling read.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. Click the cover pic to go to the Amazon book page.

 

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