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Monthly Round Up – September 2020

I’ve found it difficult to read books this month although the ones I have read I have enjoyed immensely. I’m going to be, hopefully, working my way through some books for blog tours in October so am looking forward to reading those!

Books I Have Read

Blunt Force by Lynda La Plante

The sixth in the Tennison series, sees Jane working in a much quieter environment than she has been used to – that is until the body of a disembowelled man is found at his home. A slow build-up leads up to an unexpected conclusion with, potentially, the opportunity to revisit part of the plot at a latter date.

 

When the Past Kills by M J Lee

The fifth book in the Ridpath series takes the detective back to his most famous case – the capture of the Beast of Manchester. With people close to the case being killed, this is very personal to Ridpath. With an absolutely explosive ending, this is the best in the series so far.

 

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

The second book to feature Detective Harbinder Kaur is another fantastic novel by the superb Elly Griffiths. Full of wonderful characters, The Postscript Murders is an investigation into the death of an elderly woman known as a ‘murder consultant’. Brilliant!

 

The Thief on the Winged Horse  by Kate Mascarenhas

This novel idea for a book merges a whodunit with magic and, while it is not generally the sort of book I would read, I loved it! Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

 

Books I Have Acquired

He was never truly gone, only biding his time…

Late on midsummer’s night there is a splash in the river Thames. A body is found on an island, asphyxiated and laced with strange markings. For DCI Craig Gillard it’s a baffling case. The victim’s identity is elusive, clues are scarce and every witness has something to hide.

Meanwhile one of Britain’s deadliest serial killers is finally up for parole after a deal to reveal the location of two missing bodies. The felon has his own plans to get even with witnesses, accusers and the officer who caught him thirty years before. And who was that? A young trainee, by the name of Gillard.

 

The most difficult position in football? Being a goalkeeper. That’s what they say, right? You must be mad to stand between those posts and bat away shots and crosses all game long.

Neville Southall should know. He was the goalkeeper for one of the best teams of the 1980s and became an icon of the game during his 20-year career between the sticks. But what did it take to prepare himself mentally for the difficulties of the position? How did he dig so deep on the biggest occasions and in the highest-pressured moments? What scars were left at the end of his long career – a tenure that saw the highs of winning trophies, but also the lows of losing games, making mistakes and feeling the full weight of club and country on your shoulders. And how has he used his post-playing career to campaign for a better future for the next generation?

In this unique book, one of football’s greatest cult players reflects on the travails of the modern game, how some of society’s problems are reflected within it and draws upon his own experience to tackle one of its final remaining taboos: mental health. On fear of failure, confidence, sexuality and homophobia, suicide, social media and many other talking points – Neville doesn’t hold back on the biggest subjects and gets stuck in to some of the most important topics surrounding the beautiful game.

 

What would you do to protect the ones you love?

1861. George’s life changes forever the day he meets Lucy. She’s beautiful and charming, and he sees a future with her that his position as the second son in a wealthy family has never offered him. But when Lucy dies in a suspected poisoning days after rejecting George, he finds himself swept up into a murder investigation. George loved Lucy; he would never have harmed her. So who did?

Now. On the surface Cassie is happy with her life: a secure job, good friends, and a loving family. When a mysterious gift in a long-forgotten will leads her to a dark secret in her family’s history she’s desperate to learn more. But the secrets in Cassie’s family aren’t all hidden in the past, and her research will soon lead her to a revelation much closer to home – and which will turn everything she knows on its head…

 

You have to stop me from hurting anyone else. I don’t want to do these horrible things. Help me before I’m forced to do it again. And I will do it again because I have no choice. I’ve never had a choice.

In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional murder. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?

Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.

But with her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.

With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.

Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.

But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?

And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.

 

Here’s hoping for a good October. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Blunt Force by Lynda La Plante

Detective Jane Tennison is no longer part of the famed ‘Flying Squad’, now finding herself working at Gerald Road, a station not exactly known for its involvement in dangerous crime. Everything is about to change though, when the body of theatrical agent Charlie Foxley is found at his home, brutally assaulted with a cricket bat, dismembered and disembowelled.  Working alongside her old friend DS Spencer Gibbs, Jane must enter into the unfamiliar world of show business to find the killer before they strike again.

It’s no secret that I am a huge Lynda La Plante fan, in particular of her Prime Suspect/Tennison series and so I always look forward to seeing what she has in store for the detective. I have enjoyed seeing her development from police probationer to a fine detective in the making, the traits of the character in the Prime Suspect television series beginning to shine through. In the previous book, we saw Jane working for the male-dominated Flying Squad, also seeing how abruptly her time there came to an end, and I was pleased to see that this was dealt with in Blunt Force, although I feel that there could still be more repercussions to come as a result of Jane’s actions.

The main plot moves on at a slow pace, allowing the story to develop naturally, giving us a chance to get to know the supporting cast of characters. The investigations concentrate on the world of showbusiness, a world that the detectives are clearly unfamiliar with, and one where they know that they are only being told half truths by many of the people they interview. Like Tennison and Gibbs, I felt that there was something they were missing and when this was finally revealed, it threw the whole case completely on its head. Part of this story is left unfinished and I hope that this is because the author revisits it in a forthcoming book as I feel that this is where we could definitely see some of Jane Tennison’s legendary tenacity.

Although this is very much a police procedural, its 1980s setting makes it different from many of the series around today. It is refreshing to see the police relying upon their wits and investigative skills rather than having them stuck behind a desk, computer-bound like in the present day.

Blunt Force is another great addition to the Tennison series and I can’t wait to see how her career continues to progress. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, here are my reviews:

Tennison

Hidden Killers

Good Friday

Murder Mile

The Dirty Dozen

 

 

Monthly Round Up – August 2020

I thought I would have managed more books this month but I found that despite having more time to myself than in previous months, I didn’t actually read a great deal! I’ve got some great books to read in September, so I’m hoping to get through some of that TBR pile!

Books I’ve Read

Grave’s End by William Shaw

Murder and environmental activism combine in the third book in the DS Alexandra Cupidi series. A complex, very readable plot and the first time I’ve read chapters penned by a badger… It’s not as daft as it seems!

 

Lost Cause by Rachel Lynch

The eighth book in the Kelly Porter series has a particularly dark plot about the abduction and imprisonment of young women. This has become one of my favourite crime series, and this is one of the best so far.

 

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

A cosy mystery (albeit one with some gruesome murders) and a cast of unforgettable characters, this promises to be one of the hit novels of the year. A brilliant read.

 

Close to the Bone by Susan Wilkins

The second in the series to feature Megan Thomas sees the detective investigating the murder of a local businessman whilst also working alongside the NCA on a case involving human trafficking. This is promising to be a great series. Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

The Smuggler’s Daughter by Kerry Barrett

This dual timeline book set in present day Cornwall and the same place in 1799 is a wonderful mystery story about smuggling and revenge. Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Books I’ve Acquired

The past is never over. It’s just waiting for an opportunity to return…

When the notorious serial killer the Beast of Manchester was captured, the streets should have been safe. Except the police got the wrong man. An innocent person was convicted, and only later was the culprit put away.

Now, those connected to the case are being targeted. Someone wants revenge. DI Thomas Ridpath has to relive the horrors all over again. As the bodies stack up once more, Ridpath knows the answers lie in the mistakes made the first time round.

But as he is searching for clues from years ago, fresh terror awaits. While Ridpath seeks to save lives, he risks overlooking the greatest danger of all – and losing more than he can stand.

 

‘He’s gone…’

When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it’s not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.

Rebus fears the worst – and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.

He wasn’t the best father – the job always came first – but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective?

As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast – and a small town with big secrets – he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn’t want to find…

 

10 Rillington Place: the house of death.

John Reginald Halliday Christie and Timothy John Evans were hanged after a series of brutal murders in the 1940s and 1950s.

But should they both have been executed?

The sole survivor who grew up with Christie and Evans tells the untold story of what really happened inside 10 Rillington Place…

 

 

 

He is my husband.
To honour and obey.
Until murder do us part.

London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes. His behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets.

Lonely and frustrated, Susannah starts following the gruesome reports of a spate of murders in Whitechapel. But as the killings continue, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time her husband stays out late, another victim is found dead.

Is it coincidence? Or is he the man they call Jack the Ripper?

 

Things can’t get much worse for detective Jane Tennison.

Unceremoniously kicked off the adrenaline-fuelled Flying Squad, she’s been relegated to Gerald Road, a small and sleepy police station in the heart of London’s affluent Knightsbridge.

With only petty crime to sink her teeth into, Tennison can feel her career slowly flatlining. That is until the discovery of the most brutal murder Jane has ever seen: Charlie Foxley has been found viciously beaten to death, his body dismembered and disembowelled.

As a big-time showbiz agent, Foxley had a lot of powerful friends – but even more enemies. And alongside her old friend DS Spencer Gibbs, Tennison must journey into the salacious world of show business to find the killer, before they strike again . . .

In Lynda La Plante’s most gripping thriller yet, Tennison discovers that the brightest lights hide the darkest secrets – and the killer doesn’t always hide in the shadows . . .

 

I’m currently reading, and enjoying, Blunt Force – I don’t think I’ve ever read a bad book by Lynda La Plante! Are any of these on your TBR list?

 

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