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Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Read by Olivia Caffrey
Published by Whole Story Audio Books, July 2011. ISBN: 978-1-40748-565-2
(9 CD’s) Playing time 10 Hours.
When the bodies of a young man and woman are found in an apartment in a good part of town it looks initially a possible killing followed by suicide, with no third party involved, but Reilly voices other possibilities much to the disgust of Detective Pete Kennedy of the Serious Crime Unit - he is keen for an open and shut case. But Detective Chris Delaney has a more open mind and at least listens to her. As more bodies turn up it becomes a serious possibility that they have a serial killer operating in
Having a young American female brought in to update their forensic operation unsurprisingly creates tension and in some cases resentment. Reilly deals with the situation with professionalism. As Reilly and her team sifted through the ever increasing crime scenes, I was enthralled as along with the detectives the deductions begin to point in an unexpected surprising direction.
This is a well-plotted and fascinating mystery, with an interesting protagonist, who has a troubled past that is only slowly revealed, keeping the reader avidly turning the pages. I highly recommend this mystery and eagerly look forward to hearing more of Reilly Steel.
Much of my enjoyment in this story comes from the narration by Olivia Caffrey - she has a beautiful voice, with that lovely Irish lilt which effortlessly produced a credible American accent when the story called for it.
Monday, 29 August 2011
Harrogate to carry out her contractual obligation for the pawn shop owner, and taking the opportunity to see a play, Kate virtually trips over a dead body outside the theatre. Seeking another pawn shop customer Kate is approached by Captain Wolfendale who fears his granddaughter Lucy who was in the play has been kidnapped. Soon Kate is drawn into the lives of the actors.
The story is told with a series of flash backs to the turn of the century when Lucy’s grandfather was a Captain during the Boer war. The descriptions of the scenes are quite harrowing, and invoke a terrible period in British history.
In A Medal for Murder, Frances Brody had produced a fascinating tale of deception, and murder, as she skilfully negotiates the reader through a tangle of fraud and dishonesty.
The characterisation is superb. Interestingly, one of Kate’s decisions brings her into direct conflict with her trusty sidekick the ex-policeman Sykes. Whilst I could see Kate’s point, I felt that the reader knew more about the character in question than did Kate, and I wondered if Kate’s decision would come back to haunt her.
An excellent story well paced that keeps the reader turning pages. One of those unable-to-put down books. Highly recommended.
Starting her writing life in radio, she has written scripts for television and theatre.
Frances turned to crime for her fifth novel, Dying in the Wool, set on the outskirts of Bradford, Yorkshire in the 1920s.
Monday, 22 August 2011
This book had me edgy from the beginning, even reading it I began to feel suffocated by father Laurence Moore and fiancé
. Both continually ignoring anything Sam said and steamrollering over any suggestion she made as if she was mentally deficient. Also the constant harping on the need to take her medication, that clearly turned her into a zombie. Jackson
Whilst Anne Weaver has her own set of problems she sets out to help Sam recover by imposing a relatively strict regime to improve the muscle tone in Sam’s damaged leg. But any progress is constantly undermined by the visits of Laurence Moore and Jackson. And who is the lady in lavender that Sam sees in the dead of night? Is she real or a hallucination?
The story is narrated from multiple points of view, the most chilling being the first person narrative by an unknown person, who is clearly disturbed, but not knowing the person’s identity has the reader questioning everything and everyone.
It is a mind bending work as I stopped on several occasions wondering just how would one react in that situation. Would you suspect that the people you trusted didn’t have your best interests at heart, and why and to what end?
With many interesting characters, this a cleverly crafted work, that had me suspecting everyone.
For information on Jess and Shirley visit www.shirleydamsgaard.com
Friday, 19 August 2011
Reports of the incident in the in the local paper identifiy him as Vincent Green, but Victor is not too concerned as returning to work he is for the first time centre of attention – a novelty for Victor. The subsequent arrival of a cheque for £20’000 payable to V Green has Victor mystified, but with no return address, just an unsigned note with the words ‘ Be more discreet next time’.
Eventually the victim is named as Tommy Hewson, known as ‘Gruesome Hewson’. This information is conveyed to him by his local bobby Constable Alan Grimes, who tells Victor that he has done the community a service as Gruesome was part of one of the gangland mafia. He gives Victor some background on the two gangs the Pretty Boys and the Blues Brothers who both started their lives in South London and subsequently moved to the
Isle of Wight. The whole thing alarms Victor so much that Alan has left before he remembered the cheque.
Soon Victor is caught up in the gang warfare unaware that both gangs think that he is the Vincent Green, the name used by international hit-man Vincenzo Verdi. As the two gangs try to take each other out hapless Victor is constantly in the wrong or maybe the right place at the wrong time, leaving innocently a trail of bodies behind him. And when a lady takes an interest in him Victor is initially transported, but be careful what you wish for.
Jan has created some marvellous characters, Alan Grimes close to retirement and recently widowed, his daughter Charity who feels it’s her mission feed him lentils to keep him healthy, The Blue Brothers, Reggie, Randy and Dodge, and the Pretty Boys - Harry, Garry, and Barry, not to mention Fluffy the poodle. A fun read had me laughing out loud.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Attending a fashion event at the Longstreet Manor in
West Sussex, the home of Barry Digby-Jones, Harriet slips into her persona of Henrietta, wealthy model girl about town. Soon Barry Digby-Jones has sexual designs on her also. Evading Gil’s pudgy hands and keeping Barry at bay is manageable – just. Then attractive Axe Winston steps into the picture, and lures her to lunch and feeds her strawberries on the beach – all manageable, but ex-lover Denzil who is stalking her with a knife is not manageable.
To get closer to discovering the whereabouts of ‘The Frightened Lady’ Harriet uses another of her disguises and becomes Harry – student. Rushing around and adopting disguises is tiring but fun, but soon matters take a sinister turn, and despite being warned by DI Brice McDonald, who incidentally is the only man that Harriet would like to have sexual designs on her, she continues to pursue the painting which gets her into all sorts of trouble.
I enjoyed this caper immensely, Harriet is an engaging and resourceful protagonist, and her many guises entertaining. There is a good twist at the end, and the mystery of the missing painting is satisfactorily resolved. Good characterisation and some marvellous dialogue.
Monday, 15 August 2011
When Jay arrives in California it is to find both Charlie and Gabby in a bad way – angry that the hospital where Ewan was taken after a violent episode should just a few days later send him to a place that let him walk out on his own, and finish up dead at the bottom of the cliff. Recorded as a suicide, Charlie asks Jay to take on the hospital who so badly let down their son.
As Jay seeks to discover the truth of Evan’s death he finds that despite being a doctor himself he is stonewalled by the doctor who was treating Evan, and the mental health social worker. The only person from whom he gets any cooperation is Detective Sherwood from the Coroner’s office. Then a number of oddities have him suspecting that Evan’s death may not have been suicide, but that the answers to today’s tragedy are locked in Charlie’s head back in the past.
Jay’s quest for the truth takes him on a horrific journey as he delves into his own families past and uncovers the secrets that Charlie has kept for thirty-five years. This is a chilling and macabre story that takes Jay into the evil of a 1960’s cult. And soon Jay himself is in danger, and those he loves are at risk. Just how far do the tentacles of this cult stretch? Who will help him but more important who will believe him?
Well crafted and cleverly plotted, this is a thrilling read. Unable to put it down, I read it in one sitting. You will too.
Well crafted and cleverly plotted, this is a thrilling read. Unable to put it down, I read it in one sitting. You will too.
Thursday, 11 August 2011
There is also little warmth from the unhappy inhabitants, united only by their hatred of Stanley Kelton. His sons Bert and Bill, his daughter Deila and his grandson Jeremy all seem cowed by Stanley Kelton, even his own brother Sid Kelton, with whom Jenny strikes an immediate rapport.
As Jenny cooks and watches she learns quickly of the unhappy situation at Kelton Farm mostly from her own observation but also supplemented by comments from the daily Mrs Jarvis. The murder was a surprise, I was not expecting it, I had somehow transported myself to Cold Comfort Farm and I was so caught up in the characters, their lives and situation that the murder took me totally unawares, and I thought for a moment that it must be a mistake!
The investigating officer is Inspector Moulton, and it soon becomes apparent that it’s his first murder case. His side-kick Sergeant Ford seems to have something about him, but Jenny fears if she is to get out of this blighted farmhouse after Christmas she may have to solve the murder herself.
Joyce Cato has created a wonderful protagonist in Jenny Starling. Although clearly rooted in reality she has a certain Mary Poppins quality that is both endearing and scary- her encounters with the gander had me holding my breath.
This is the second book featuring Jenny Starling, and whilst I greatly enjoyed the first one this is even better. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the cooking assignments of Jenny Starling.
Monday, 8 August 2011
As Jason hides, looking for a way to contact Chantelle and persuade her to come with him he witnesses the gang rape of Chantelle’s Aunt Haley. As Haley was the one who informed the police which resulted in his incarceration, Jason faces a dilemma….
Matters escalate rapidly as Jason seeks to get Chantelle away. News of his release has reached Yo Yo Reilly who has the upper hand, as with his pitbulls and henchmen he has the whole estate buttoned down. Can Jason contact Chantelle’s friend Luanne to help him get to Chantelle?
Two killing on the estate following Jason Young’s release, and the police, knowing his record quickly latch onto Jason Young, as armed and dangerous. Assigned to the investigation are DI Georgia Johnson and her cockney side-kick DS Stephanie Green. The arrival of DI David Dawes an expert on
gangs puts them both on alert. London because she speculates on his agenda, and Stephanie because he is attractive and she wants to bed him – not really a compliment, as Stephanie beds everyone. Georgia
As the tension increases and events spiral out of control I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The descriptions of the effect on the frightened people on the estate who react through fear against the only people who could possible help them is an insight into the hold that organised crime can have on the ordinary person. This is an amazing read which moves at a cracking pace and culminates in a stunning climax. The twists and turns had me reeling.
Whilst we live the trauma that is the lives of Chantelle, Luanne and her twelve-year-old sister Alysha on the Aviary estate, we are also privy to the lives of Georgia Johnson, and David Dawes, both scarred by their own pasts. The characterisation was masterly, I can only hope that Linda Regan will write more books featuring these characters, as I so want to read more about them.
But the question is can Jason escape his past? This is a must read. Highly recommended.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
This is a chilling story, in fact a frightening story. I would like to think that people as described in this story no longer exist, but scarily, I sadly believe they do. The action is fast paced and compelling, as along with the good guys we race to nail the killer.
Although much of the narration is from the point of view of the killer we are not privy to his identity. This is a serious subject and I was caught up in the horror, but one sentence gave me a laugh, which was when Denise smiled and sniffed the air and said to Tom ‘You could do with a new set of clothes, big guy’. Do American women really talk like that?
A thrilling murder chase and a salutary lesson - but will we ever learn!
Oliver Stark has been writing for as long as he can remember. His first novel American Devil introduced Detective Tom Harper and psychologist Dr Denise Levern. Oliver enjoys getting out of the city and enjoying the countryside. 88 Killer is his second book, he is currently writing the third.