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Booked – a criminally good book blog

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Police Procedurals

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

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 Night Stalker Robert Bryndza

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

This is the second outing for DCI Erika Foster who first appeared in The Girl in the Ice. This offering is dark and disturbing, with multi-layered emotions as Erika Foster, at times, feels some sympathy for the killer the media have dubbed The Night Stalker. The Night Stalker is a disturbed, abused individual who feels abandoned and hurt by men, so plots to exact revenge. Meanwhile Erika has her own problems to deal with, not least of which are an inability to get on with colleagues and follow orders. Even she feels she is out of control at times, as she becomes convinced the Night Stalker is stalking her.

I just loved this book and thought it was even better than The Girl in the Ice. I read this until the wee small hours and am sorry to have finished it. More please, Mr Bryndza!

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

 

Blood Sisters Graham Masterton

In a nursing home on the outskirts of Cork, an elderly nun lies dead. She has been suffocated. It looks like a mercy-killing – until another sister from the same convent is found viciously murdered, floating in the Glashaboy river. The nuns were good women, doing God’s work. Why would anyone want to kill them? But then a child’s skull is unearthed in the garden of the nuns’ convent, and DS Katie Maguire discovers a fifty year old secret that just might lead her to the killer… if the killer doesn’t find her first.

Graham Masterton is one of my favourite authors and once again he weaves his special brand of storytelling magic in this Katie McGuire detective thriller. Gory, gruesome and in parts totally unexpected, this maybe is a book for those who like their crime thrillers dark and dangerous. It focuses on a series of grisly murders that takes a truly fiendish mind to conjure up. But even as the reader is horrified by the explanation, it is also a poignant scenario to contemplate upon.

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

 

The Missing Hours Emma Kavanagh

One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace. Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been. What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?

For me this one fell a bit short. Yes it was interesting, but I found the ransom cases rather more interesting than the story which was built around them. I thought the cases were the stronger part of the story, which was the wrong way round and therefore I found I was becoming irritated with Selena and the detectives Leah and Finn. They were all a bit wishy-washy and at times I wanted to shake them and tell them to get on with it!

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

 

Play Dead Angela Marsons

Crikey, Angela Marsons has done it again! A thrilling crime novel, perfect for all fans of the genre. Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime. It was good to see Tracy Frost have a larger role in this novel, it was fascinating to find out all about her and the secrets that  she’d been hiding in his own life. This made Play Dead a very poignant novel as well as a fast paced crime thriller. With multiple story threads, all of which were riveting, this is arguably the author’s best book yet. No, scrub that, they are all my favourites!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Click on the cover to go to the book page on Amazon.

 

The Dying Detective Leif Persson

Retired Chief of the National Crime Police and Swedish Security Service Lars Martin Johansson has just suffered a stroke. In the hospital, a chance encounter with a neurologist provides an important piece of information about a 25-year-old murder investigation and alerts Lars Martin Johansson’s irrepressible police instincts.

And so the reader is taken on the journey with Lars as he leaves hospital, investigates the cold case with the help of friends in the police force and embarks on his rehabilitation. This book could have been repetitive, especially the list of what Lars did every day, but the magic of the writing meant that this was not the case. Slowly pulled into Lars’ world the reader goes through every agony of his illness and frustration with the case and his recovery. This was a completely different type of crime novel for me and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 5* Click the cover pic to go to Amazon.co.uk.

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