Hypothermia – Arnaldur Indridason

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The haunting book before Black Skies and Outrage, that sets Erlendur off on the journey that is to be told in Strange Shores.  You might as well skip the next two books and go straight to Strange Shores from this one as they add nothing to the story that is to unfold after while both Hypothermia and Strange Shores will stay with you for some time to come.

Black Skies – Arnaldur Indridason

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Black skies sees another book in the Reykyavik series without its main character of Erlendur and so this time focuses on Sigurdor Oli, and his investigations into the murder of woman who had been trying to blackmail an acquaintance of one of his friends.

The tale runs concurrently with the investigation of Elinborg in the previous book Outrage, which was an interesting concept I’ve seen done often on TV with certain linked shows, rather than in a novel.

I found this a slower read than Outrage, but I think that is because I really dislike the awful, slightly lazy and completely snobbish character of Sigurdir Oli, which is  a true testament to Indridason’s writing talent. 

The plot was as complex as ever, and what I like about these books, is that the writing style seems almost simplistic as it is so easy to read, but simplistic is exactly the one thing that it isn’t at all.

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing – P. D. Viner

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Twenty years ago Dani Lancing was brutally raped and murdered.

Her death left more tragedy in its wake by tearing her family apart. Her Father has withdrawn from the world and lives with only a ghost for company. Her best friend, is now a Detective, a last hope for lost young girls, and her Mother, obsessed with the truth is about to find out what happened, all it takes, is for her to become a murderer.

This book took me completely by surprise. It was nothing at all like my expectations, it was much better, and another of my one sitting reads.

The narrative switches in turn between the three main characters, as they embark on the journey that will lead them to the truth of what happened to Dani, and captures well the devastation to a family caused by such a tragedy, the healing power of knowledge and understanding, and the dangers of hidden lives and secrets kept for the best of intentions.

Whether you like murder mysteries, love stories, ghost stories or all of the above, there’s something in this book for you

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is available from September 12th 2013

The Cry – Helen Fitzgerald

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A missing baby, two distraught parents and a media frenzy. What happened to baby Noah?

I picked this up early one evening and if it wasn’t for the annoying need for sleep, I would have finished it in a single sitting. I absolutely loved it. It is exquisitely written, heartrending in places, and as I have come to expect from her books, nothing is as it seems

Telling the story of Joanna & Alistair in the weeks following the disappearance of their son, The Cry brilliantly details the breakdown of relationships in the wake of such tragedy. It also displays the speed at which the global imagination is captured by such events, and how social media has begun to play a larger part in them, not only as a means of support, and a way of increasing public awareness, but also as a method of investigation, and a tool of judgement.

It is in turn a tale of broken families, controlling relationships, grief and murder. If you’re looking for a book that is guaranteed to generate some great discussions at your next book club coffee morning, then this one is definitely it.

The Cry is available from September 5th.

Dead Gone – Luca Veste

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DI David Murphy is a haunted man with a tragic past, out to prove his worth. After being given what appears to be a straightforward murder enquiry, with the help of DS Laura Rossi he sets out to do just that. What they discover is a shocking tale of psychological experimentation, drugs, kidnap, torture and the deranged outlook of an enquiring and evil mind.

Dead Gone truly is a dark and disturbing novel, and an amazing debut. From the moment you pick it up it draws you in, and as you progress, every turn of the page becomes more eager than the one before. Full of twists in the tale, it’s well constructed, will keep you guessing all the way through, and leave a lasting impression once you reach the end.

I personally devoured this book in just a couple of sittings, as I genuinely struggled to put it down. Not helpful if you have chores to do or if you’re supposed to pick the kids up from school, but everything you want from a good book.

Dead Gone is published by Avon, and is out in paperback in January 2014, and on Kindle from December 2013.

The Last Minute – Jeff Abbott

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An adrenaline rush of action, The Last Minute has you wondering just how much punishment one man can take, even when he is a desperate man doing anything to locate and rescue his missing son.

A gripping page turner you will not want to put this book down.

First Family – David Baldacci

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It’s been around ten months since I read the preceeding novel in the Maxwell and King series, and I overdosed on reading Baldacci by ploughing through half a dozen of his books in just a couple of months.

I’ve been really glad of the break as it meant that while reading this book I could enjoy and remember just how intricate his plotting is, and how the whole story rarely wraps up the way you think it will.

The Killing (1) – David Hewson

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Having watched the TV series once I was already looking forward to reading the book, despite it still languishing on my bookshelf a year after purchasing it at the book launch at CrimeFest, Bristol last year.

What prompted me to pick it up and start however, was the fact the we started watching the original TV series again at work, as a way of helping night shifts to pass. I must admit that I believe my enjoyment of the book was increased a little by the knowledge of the TV series, but also in looking for the differences between the two, up to and including knowing that the killer has been changed in the novelisation.

I was wondering how it would be done, but it was brilliant. The shame of it is, I can’t tell you why without spoiling it, which I will not do. Suffice is to say it works well with the story, answers alot of questions remaining if you’ve watched the series, and is far more fitting for the characters.

It honoured the series well, but is at the same time a fabulous book in its own right for anyone who chooses to read it who hasn’t seen the TV version. I certainly recommend it whether you are interested in the TV show or not

Dead Mens Harvest – Matt Hilton

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Dead Men’s Harvest sees a big step up in writing style for Matt Hilton which makes this book, far more gripping than all of the preceeding novels, and brings to a climax a story line left unfulfilled since his first book, Dead Men’s Dust.

With his best friend kidnapped, and an old enemy targeting him once more, Joe Hunter has to face harder moral questions than eveer before,

Hard hitting from page one, and with no holding back you will not be able to put this book down.