The Distant Echo by Val McDermid

‘The Distant Echo’ is the novel where we are first introduced to DI Karen Pirie, but she doesn’t appear until well into the story.

In 1978, Alex Gilbey and his three best friends, all four from Kirkcaldy are studying in St Andrews. After a night of drinking and partying, they stumble across Rosie Duff lying in the snow, raped, stabbed and barely alive. By the time they have summoned help she is dead.

The four young men are the only suspects in Rosie’s murder and the suspicion follows them from that day on. But there has never been enough evidence to charge any of them. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, McDermid, Val, Series Fiction, Terrorist

Chris Whitaker Profile and Books

Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working there as a financial trader. He has now left his job to write full-time (with a bit of trading on the side).

His first novel, Tall Oaks is a humorous crime novel, and from interviews, the humour reflects Whitaker’s personality. The novel has won several awards and he has now released a second novel – All The Wicked Girls.

Whitaker lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and young sons. Continue reading

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The Boy Bishop’s Glovemaker by Michael Jecks

‘The Boy Bishop’s Glovemaker’ is the 10th Knights Templar mystery by Michael Jecks.

In Exeter Cathedral (and many others) there is a tradition where one of the Boys in the choir is selected to be bishop for a day, on Holy Innocents Day, and the entire church hierarchy is turned on its head. The boys have a lot of fun, but not too much since they have to face their masters the next day.

In the year 1321, Sir Baldwin Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock are to be presented with ceremonial gloves by the boy bishop. They arrive early to spend Christmas in Exeter, and with Baldwin’s wife Jeanne pregnant, Baldwin would much rather be at home. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, Historical, Jecks, Michael, Mystery, Series Fiction

After You Die by Eva Dolan

‘After You Die’ is the 3rd novel by Eva Dolan featuring DI Dushan Zigic and DS Mel Ferreira of the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit. The first two in the series are – ‘Long Way Home’ and ‘Tell No Tales’.

Holly Prentice became severely disabled after a climbing accident. Soon after, she and her mother Dawn started being harassed. Eventually they came to the attention of Ferreira. But Ferreira has been forced to take leave after a work injury and hasn’t followed up for a while.

When the house next door is badly damaged in a gas explosion, Dawn Prentice’s body is found with multiple stab wounds. She died several days earlier and Holly, left unattended, died a few days later. Continue reading

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The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah

‘The Murder Wall’ is Mari Hannah’s debut novel and the first in a series featuring DCI Kate Daniels, a detective based in Newcastle.

Eleven months ago, Kate entered a church in her home town to light a candle for her long dead mother. There she discovered the body of the priest and a girl who had been raped before her murder. Kate has spent nearly a year trying to solve the crime without much success. Now her boss has placed her on another case.

A man has been murdered. Kate knows Alan Stephens, the ex-husband of a close friend. But she keeps this to herself so that she can keep on the case – her first as Senior Investigating Officer. But despite Kate being SIO, her boss Detective Superintendent Bright is micro-managing the case. And against Kate’s judgement, Stephens’ ex-wife Jo Soulsby is charged with murder. Kate is devastated as she and Jo shared a relationship in the past – her sexual orientation just another of the many secrets that Kate is keeping. Continue reading

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End Game by David Baldacci

‘End Game’ is the 5th novel in the Will Robie series by Davis Baldacci.

At the end of the previous novel ‘The Guilty’, there was a burgeoning relationship between the two master assassins Will Robie and Jessica Reel. But Reel has gone cold and Robie doesn’t know why. They haven’t seen each other for six months and have thrown themselves into their separate assignments. Robie has just taken down a terrorist cell planning a huge explosion in London’s underground and Reel has been Iraq. But now they have been brought back together for an urgent mission.

Their boss and friend Roger Walton, known as Blue Man, has gone missing while on holiday in his childhood hometown of Grand in Colorado. Continue reading

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From Potter’s Field by Patricia Cornwell

‘From Potter’s Field’ is the 6th Kay Scarpetta novel by Patricia Cornwell, featuring Virginia Chief Medical Examiner and FBI Consultant Kay Scarpetta.

The FBI has been notified of another victim of long term serial killer Temple Gault. And unlike the last time, this victim really is one of Gault’s. A young woman has been killed and displayed in New York’s central park, naked in the Christmas snow. She was obviously homeless, but there are some distinguishing features that should help to identify her.

But as Kay begins to investigate, it becomes clear that Gault is killing people as a gift to her and he is tracking every movement that Kay and her niece Lucy make. Heavily guarded, Kay and Lucy continue with the investigation. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cornwell, Patricia, Crime, Detective, Forensic, Series Fiction

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

‘The Rooster Bar’ is the latest legal thriller from John Grisham and novel number 25 for him.

Gordy, Mark, Todd and Zola each embark on a law degree for their own reasons. They join a for-profit law school with the promise of good jobs at the end so that they can quickly pay off the huge student loans that they have accumulated. But as they progress through their degrees, they discover that the school they are attending only has a 50% pass rate for the bar exam and graduates rarely get the good paying jobs. By their final year they find out that their situations are completely hopeless. Continue reading

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Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

‘Fools and Mortals’ is a novel set around the theatre in 1595. The main character of the story is Richard Shakespeare, younger brother of William.

When the young Richard ran away from his Stratford home to join his older brother William in London, William was not thrilled. William was already gaining success as a player and writer and placed his younger brother into St Benet’s choir school to learn some acting skills. But the school was run by Sir Godfrey Cullen who preyed on the boys in his charge, pimped them out and got them to steal for him.

When Richard finally joined William’s theatre company, he was continually given female roles. Richard just wanted to be taken seriously. Continue reading

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Jane Harper Prodile and Books

Jane Harper was born in 1980 in Manchester in the UK. She moved to Australia with her family at the age of 8 but moved back to the UK 6 years later. She studied journalism and worked for a number of newspapers before moving back to Australia on her own at the age of 28 – arriving in Victoria during a severe drought.

In Australia, Harper continued to work as a journalist but she had always wanted to write fiction. She was accepted into an online writing course run by Curtis Brown. The course ran for 3 months and during this time, working nights and weekends, she produced the first draft of her novel ‘The Dry’. Continue reading

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