Archive for thriller

Book review: JOE COUNTRY by Mick Herron

Posted in Authors, Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

John Murray [Publication date 20.06.19]

‘We’re spies,’ said Lamb. ‘All kinds of outlandish shit goes on.’

Like the ringing of a dead man’s phone, or an unwelcome guest at a funeral…

In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process.

And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.

This time, they’re heading into joe country.

And they’re not all coming home.

The sixth book in the Jackson Lamb series and Mick Herron keeps the high quality of his plotting and writing going. This time the majority of the team become involved in unfolding events in snow covered Pembrokeshire and the action comes thick and fast. I do like the author’s knack of stopping action on a cliff-hanger before switching to another part of the plot, which again often ends in a cliffhanging moment. Although Slough House is for the secret service outcasts where they are meant to be given menial tasks, they often seem to find a way into a hot piece of political action.

If you are a fan already then this will already be on your reading list, and new readers would be best advised to read the series in order just because you get references to characters/events earlier in the series. Either way, ‘Joe Country’ proves that Mick Herron is top of the spy thriller tree.

Book review – A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake
Harper Collins [Pub Date 04 Mar 2019]

It’s a thin line between love and murder…

A tense new thriller, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Cara Hunter and Lisa Jewell

A murder that shocks a city… 
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.
  
A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.
 
An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

Second book featuring crime reporter Harper McClain, this time she is investigating the murder of a law student and the events that unfold afterwards, including plenty of references to the first novel.

Different view as it is not a standard police procedural novel, instead it focues on a murder from the press viewpoint and Harper McClain soon becomes entangled in the case in a dangerous way. Fast paced, with minimal description, Christi Daugherty has written an enjoyable thriller. Good enough to have the reader looking forward to the next McClain novel.

Book review – Gallowstree Lane by Kate London

Posted in Authors, Books, crime writers, Netgalley with tags , , , , , , on December 29, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Publication date 07.02.19 Corvus

A new author to me, Kate London has written a hard hitting police procedural novel based around the London gang culture.

She has a descriptive style, with a good eye for details on police procedure. The book switches between the thoughts of the main characters, ramping the tension up as the book progresses.

Perfect read for those who enjoyed Prime Suspect and I could see Gallowstree Lane being made into a TV series in the not too distant future. Impressive and Kate London joins my list of must read crime writers.

Book review – The Katharine Code by Jorn Lier Horst

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Michael Joseph [Published 9 august 2018]

The latest novel featuring Chief Inspector William Wisting (there are other Wisting books already published although this is a stand-alone one), who has a case he has never managed to solve, that of Katharina Haugen who went missing twenty-four years ago. All she left behind was her husband Martin and a mysterious string of numbers scribbled on a piece of paper – the Katharina code.

Marketed as one for fans of Inspector Wallander, Jorn Lier Horst is similar to Henning Maknkell in that he builds the atmosphere slowly to a riveting finale. The plotting is good, moving along at a steady pace and nothing outlandish in the events that unfurl. Wisting’s character one you can empathise with and it will come as no surprise that this book/series is lined up for a TV adaptation.

Highly recommended for lovers of Scandinavian based crime and anyone after a well written crime novel.

Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr

Posted in Authors, Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , , , on September 18, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Sadly Philip Kerr died earlier this year, so there is more than a tinge of sadness when reading the latest Bernie Gunther novel. The only silver lining is that Kerr wrote one more Bernie Gunther novel, ‘Metropolis’, before his death and this is due to be published next year.

In this novel we find Bernie Gunther under an assumed name and now working in insurance, which on the face of it seems relatively risk free until he is sent to Greece to investigate a shipwreck claim. It is once he is here that his past starts to catch up with him again, as he works with a local insurance claims investigator to unravel the events surrounding the shipwreck which include Nazi gold and a nemesis from his past.

The Bernie Gunther novels are enjoyable as Bernie has a bleak outlook on life and indeed the book is littered with one liners that see Bernie either be sarcastic about himself or others. Very much in the classic Raymond Chandler mode.

Highly recommended and the whole series is worth reading, although they are fine as stand alone reads. It is Kerr’s attention to detail and getting the historical facts and characters in the book, that make these such a rewarding read.

pk

Book review: Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , , , , , , on August 18, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Michael Jospeh (Published 09.08.18)

The book blurb says…
After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic. But then their first guest arrives. Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see. It’s seventeen years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life? Is Selena running from something too? Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . .

The trick with is book is it is part thriller, crime and a touch of the supernatural all melded into a highly readable book. You certainly empathise with the main character Kirsty who is helping her husband recover from a breakdown and raising a young family.

The book opens on the day of her seeing her monther with blood  on her hands… The plot then goes back in time before this day and you get various characters coming into play. Although a crime has been committed it is not a police procedural, more an edge of your seat psychological thriller.

Although when reading the book you do wonder how one family could have so many skeletons in the closet, it is all believable. Claire Douglas should certainly be on your reading list.

Everything Is Lies by Helen Callaghan

Posted in Authors, Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Michael Joseph [Published 22.02.18]

The blurb certainly grabs your attention –

“Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed. Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.”

I have not read ‘Dear Amy’, however having just finished ‘Everything Is Lies’ I will definitely be reading that one. It is not a crime novel, despite the murder that starts the book. The story unfolds as Sophia learns more about her mother and her past in a cult, which was led by a charismatic former singer in a rock band.

Sophia’s mother had been writing her life story and these journals cleverly move the plot along – a book within a book if you will. Shock revelations that impact on the present are contained within and the story does rattle along at a great pace.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the book, which Helen Callaghan seems to excel at in her writing style. Like Robert Goddard, Helen Callaghan successfully takes events in the past and sees how they affect the present, although to be fair she does it at a faster pace.

Highly recommended being both a classic psychological  thriller ‘page turner’ and one that is always topical, as it touches upon the psychological and emotional effects on people by others.