The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver

‘The Sleeping Doll’ is the first novel in Jeffery Deaver’s Katherine Dance series. Katherine Dance is a Special Agent with the California Bureau of Investigation and an expert in kinesics, the science of interpreting behaviour.

Daniel Pell has been in prison for murder for many years. He was dubbed ‘Son of Manson’ because he set up a ‘family’ of young women who he controlled and sent out to steal to support the family. He was caught after murdering a family, all except a young girl who was in bed at the time – known as the Sleeping Doll. New evidence has recently come to light implicating Pell in another murder and Dance is excited at the opportunity to interview him.

But things go terribly wrong. The interview is set to take place at the couthouse rather than the prison and Pell is able to escape, killing several law enforcement officers in the process. This places Katherine Dance in charge of her first manhunt. Continue reading

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Carnival of Shadows by R.J. Ellory

‘Carnival of Shadows’ is a very different novel. It can’t really be categorised as a crime novel, even though it involved the FBI and a murder investigation. It is set in 1959 in Kansas. At the time, America feared communism so much that law enforcement agencies were prepared to do almost anything to combat the red menace and there was a lot of paranoia.

FBI Agent Michael Travis is sent to the small town of Seneca Falls to determine if a murder that has occurred there is a federal case. A murdered man’s body has been found under the carousel of the Carnival Diablo. The man has not been identified and the carnival workers and townsfolk claim not to know him. Continue reading

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Crucible of Secrets by Shona (S.G.) Maclean

‘Crucible of Secrets’ is also known as ‘Crucible’ and depending on the version you read it is by Shona Maclean or S.G. Maclean. It is the third novel in her Alexander Seaton series set in 17th century Scotland.

Alexander Seaton has come a long way. He has married Sarah and they have a young daughter Deidre in addition to Sarah’s first child Zander. Seaton is now a master at Marischal College in Aberdeen.

When the College librarian Robert Sim is brutally murdered in the library courtyard, Seaton is asked by the principal to investigate his friend’s life to determine what has led to his murder. Pretty soon he makes some discoveries that lead him down some dangerous paths – the Masons, Rosicrucians and other secrets that were best avoided in 17th century Scotland. Continue reading

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Fall by Candice Fox

‘Fall’ is the 3rd novel in Candice Fox’s Archer and Bennett series.

The novel opens with a scene from Eden Archer’s secret life – just so that we know that even with her injuries sustained in the previous novel – ‘Eden’, she still means business.

But the main case in this story involves the murder of female joggers who are plucked from parks around Sydney while jogging after dark.

From very early in the novel we know the identity of the killer. Their life story is gradually presented to us while the murders and the investigation continue. It takes till late in the novel before we find out the motive. Continue reading

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In Dust and Ashes by Anne Holt

In Dust and Ashes is the 10th novel by Anne Holt featuring Oslo Detective Hanne Wilhelmsen. All novels in the series have now been translated into English.

Hanne continues to work from home assisted by the young and awkward police officer Henrik Holme. But since exposing a network of right wing extremists in their previous case together, there have been no more cases for them. Hanne searches the internet looking for cases to solve and finally finds a suicide that she strongly suspects is a murder.

Meanwhile, Henrik is approached by a retiring police officer – he believes there was a miscarriage of justice and the wrong man was jailed for murder, he wants Henrik to prove the man’s innocence. When Henrik studies the details, he suspects that the death was suicide, but 15 years later it will be difficult to prove. Continue reading

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A Darker Domain by Val McDermid

‘A Darker Domain’ is the 2nd novel in Val McDermid’s DI Karen Pirie series and in this novel Pirie has a much larger role than in the first novel.

Pirie and her team are working on 2 cold cases in this novel. In 1984 Sir Broderick Maclennan Grant’s daughter Catriona and grandson Adam were kidnapped. The ransom payment was bungled and as a result Catriona was shot dead and Adam was never seen again. Now more than 20 years later, new information has come to light that may lead to the kidnappers and news of Adam. Pirie’s boss has given this case top priority and believes that this is the only case she is working on. Continue reading

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Mari Hannah Profile and Books

Mari Hannah brings her personal experience to her detective stories. She worked as a probation officer until she left the job after being assaulted. The main character in her Kate Daniels series is a lesbian murder detective just like her own partner.

It was after leaving her probation officer job that Hannah turned to writing. ‘The Murder Wall’ started as a screenplay for the BBC before being modified to become a novel.  The novel won several prizes and Mari Hannah’s writing has gone on from there.

She lives in Northumbria with her partner. Continue reading

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Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey

‘Skeleton Hill’ is the 10th Inspector Diamond mystery by Peter Lovesey. The series is set in Bath and always makes me want to visit the place.

Lansdown Hill was the site of a civil war battle 350 years ago. These days, civil war re-enactments are carried out on the Hill.

It is during one of these re-enactments that two cavaliers (pretending to be dead) discover a human femur buried under a tree. Thinking that it dates back to the civil war, they rebury it. When History Professor Rupert Hope returns to retrieve the bone  to show in one of his history classes, he is hit over the head. Continue reading

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The Likeness by Tana French

‘The Likeness’ is the 2nd novel in the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French.

After the events of the previous novel ‘In The Woods’ Cassie Maddox left the Murder Squad to work for domestic violence. Rob also left, but Sam O’Neill continued with the squad and also began a relationship with Cassie. Now Sam has a very disturbing case. The body of a young woman has been found and she looks so much like Cassie that initially Sam is convinced that it is her.

Also involved in the case is Frank Mackey who heads undercover cases. He was Cassie’s boss when she went undercover as Lexie Madison. The murdered woman is also calling herself Lexie Madison. Continue reading

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Clear To the Horizon by Dave Warner

‘Clear To the Horizon’ is a crime novel by West Australian musician and author Dave Warner. This novel features characters from two of his earlier novels – Snowy Lane from ‘City of Lights’ and Dan Clement from ‘Before it Breaks’. But it is not necessary to have ready either of the earlier novels.

In 1999 Snowy Lane, a Private Detective, was hired by the O’Grady family to find their missing daughter Caitlin. She was one of three girls who had gone missing over several months from outside a nightclub in Perth. Lane was not able to find Caitlin or any sign of the other girls. The police hounded a man to suicide and named him as the abductor, but Lane was sure this was the wrong man and he never stopped thinking of the case. Continue reading

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