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Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Published by HarperCollins
12 January 2012.
The meeting with Paul has her questioning her time at the unit and what happened there, and as she concentrates on it she realises that her memory is at fault and that there are gaps. Can she fill in these gaps and should she? What was happening at the Cold Research Unit all those years ago?
This is a chilling tale, as Kate seeks to uncover exactly just what did happen twenty years ago when she thought that she was participating in finding a cure for the common cold. As with Paul’s help Kate probes deeper, she puts herself and others in danger.
These mysteries set in Research Stations always make fascinating reading, but just sometimes, one wonders just how much is fiction! However, although we are all aware on one level of the ‘flu virus’s, seeing then listed was a scary moment. This is one of those unable to put down books – have to finish it or won’t be able to concentrate on anything else. And there is one of those delicious twists that have the reader reeling.
Thursday, 26 January 2012
This is not your normal crime fiction whodunit. Carlyle is not a larger than life hero, keen to put in the hours, dedicated to finding the perpetrator. Basically Carlyle wants to get a result and get home, so that his wife Helen doesn’t give him a hard time. He cares about his daughter Alice, and he loves Danish pastries - even the offer of one will get his attention.
Contacted by TV presenter Rosanna Snowden who thinks she is being stalked, a whore Carlyle has known from way back whose says her child is in danger from her father, Carlyle owes then both but will he help? Well, if he can get to it. But life so often gets in the way, his boss Superintendent Carole Simpson certainly gets in his way. I wanted him to do more, but when I looked at it in reality I realised he was doing what he could, but as I have said he is not a super hero. But I warmed to him as the story unfolded, he did the best he could, but sometimes the truth maybe just isn’t worth the paperwork, sometimes, maybe you just take the result. I suspect that this is how it pans out in the real world.
I found this compelling reading for many reasons, but you need to read the book for yourself to see if the reality works for you. A real page turner, this book is highly recommended.
His first book London Calling was published in 2011.
Monday, 23 January 2012
Narrated by Sandra Duncan
Published by Whole Story Audio Books,
(13 CD’s Playing Time 14.75 hours).
The Cowdray Club where Josephine is staying is run by her old tutor Celia Bannerman. Josephine is keen to interview anyone who was around at the time of the hanging and Celia Bannerman proves to be a help in this instance having herself worked for a short time at Holloway prison.
Having also agreed to take part in a star-studded charity gala in aid of the Cowdray club Josephine meets up with the Motley sisters, who are the cousins of her friend Inspector Archie Penrose. But when a young seamstress is found brutally murdered at the studio of the Motley sisters Josephine begins to suspect a link between the current death and the hanging thirty years earlier.
A fascinating insight into two era’s poles apart, depicting both the life of an independent woman who stays in a private women’s club when she visits London, against the stark reality of London slums in the early 1900’s and the bleakness of Holloway prison.
Once again I find that I am listening to a crime fiction book that I know is going to have me delving back into the history of this period when women got rid of children they couldn’t afford. A chilling aspect of life at the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
This is Nicola Upson’s third book featuring Josephine Tey and in this book, she has for me began to find her place in writing first class crime fiction.
The narration by Sandra Duncan brought much to my enjoyment. This audio is highly recommended.
Since discovering the work of Golden Age author Josephine Tey/Gordon Daviot, she has developed a passion for the theatre and literature of the period, and an admiration for those who wrote and performed between the wars. Her research has included many conversations with people who remember the time and who knew Josephine Tey, including Sir John Gielgud and Margaret Harris, one of the design team ‘Motley‘.
She lives with her partner and splits her time between
Cambridge and , where the next novel in the series is set. Cornwall
Photograph of Nicola courtesy of Julia Hedgecoe
Friday, 20 January 2012
* See The Lizard’s Bite
For more information visit his web site http://www.davidhewson.com
Monday, 16 January 2012
Every year DorothyL (Internet discussion group which last year celebrated its’ 20th year) asks us to list our Top Ten List of top reads for the preceding year. Basically the books that knocked your socks off, here is mine:
Lizzie's Top Ten 2011
66° North by Michael Ridpath (2011)
For whatever reason you pick up this book, don’t put it down unless it is safely in your tote bag and you are taking it home. It is a not to be missed read. I just can’t wait for the next one.
A Means of Escape by Joanna Price (2011)
Debut book. Cleverly plotted this is an intriguing mystery which kept me reading into the early hours. Kate is a most engaging protagonist, feisty and yet vulnerable, her interaction with her immediate boss Rob Brown adds much to the story. Whilst, the solution was satisfactorily tied up, there is a good hook at the end to make me want to keep an eye out for the next book
Thursday, 12 January 2012
Published by Robert Hale,
30th September 2011.
Later, called to the incident of a jumper Nikki is horrified to see the body of her neighbour Martin, who just a few hours previously had greeted her with pleasure. Now he is dead by his own hand. He had thrown himself from the top of the church tower. What could have happened to drive this happy man she saw earlier to suicide in a matter of a few hours. With friends and family Martin appeared to have no reason to take his own life.
Sergeant DS Joseph Easter is pleased to be back at work, but not so excited at being given the task of reviewing suicides in the area. But a chance sighting of Billy Sweet, a man from Joseph’s past turns Joseph’s life upside down – what is Billy Sweet doing here? Joseph has reason to fear Billy Sweet and eventually unable to deal with the nightmare, realises that he has to face his past before he loses his mind and maybe his life. Should he tell Nikki of his past experiences so that she can understand his deep fear of Billy Sweet?
A discovery of a second body, one who bears a resemblance to Billy Sweet, totally unnerves Joseph. But Nikki is trying to make sense of another bizarre suicide. Are there two killers out there?
I was totally hooked as I struggled to comprehend the mystery of the suicides, and how Joseph would resolve his personal nightmare. A fascinating and complex mystery from a clearly gifted writer.
* see Mask Wars
Joy Ellis grew up in
Kent but moved to London when she won an apprenticeship with the prestigious Mayfair florist, Constance Spry Ltd. Having run her own flower shop in Weybridge for many years, Ellis then worked as a bookseller until a trip to the Greek , where she took part in a writer's workshop with Sue Townsend who encouraged her to write her own books. She now lives in island of Skyros with her partner Jacqueline and their two Springer spaniels, Max and Rowan Lincolnshire
Monday, 9 January 2012
Harry Tate is a former MI5 officer who still has a ‘loose’ attachment to the Security Services. So he was not unduly surprised to be contacted by an MI6 officer, one Richard Ballatyne, who wants him to do a job and in return he will return the favour. The favour being the whereabouts of one Henry Paulton, former Operations Director of MI5, the man who had posted Harry to
and nearly succeeded in having him eliminated – Harry hasn’t forgotten and is still keen to catch up with Paulton. But Ballatyne has another job for Harry – locating missing Military personnel, but not your average squaddies who are AWOL, these are personnel who carry important information that could be damaging if it falls into the wrong hands. He gives Harry a short list of six, the most important being one Vanessa Tan who has failed to report for her return flight to Georgia . Afghanistan
Locating missing people is one of Harry’s skills, but he discovers that he is tasked with locating people who have been taken, or are in the process of being taken by a professional group called ‘The Protectory’. Not, as he later learns, a group to be crossed. But the sweetener is that Ballatyne says that Paulton is connected to the group.
As Harry tackles the list of missing military personnel he comes to the attention of the group and runs into their disposal personnel.
In tracking people down Harry has the assistance of his friend Rik Ferris, who still has his arm in a sling following a shooting. But even Rik cannot seem to get a handle on the whereabouts of Vanessa Tan. Soon matters escalate and Harry receives help from an unlikely source, one that Harry doesn’t trust but one for which is nevertheless grateful.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s I was a great fan of spy books, particularly those by Palma Harcourt – I still have them all. In latter years they seemed to go out of vogue but just recently seem to be having a revival and this is one of the best.
Fast paced with some great dialogue this is one of those unputdownable books – the ones that keep you reading into the night. I loved it. Highly recommended.
Friday, 6 January 2012
Published by Spellbinder Press, 2011.
When she comes to full consciousness she discovers that she is in a long-term care facility and has been in a coma for two years, following her suicide attempt. Although her brain is fuzzy Gina tells the police that she had not tried to commit suicide but that that she had been attacked by a man wearing a ski mask, and that she believes the man to be her ex-husband. But, her ex-husband is a police officer, so who will believe her.
The case is assigned to Detective Wade Jackson, who works with the violent crimes unit of the
Police Department. DI Wade has an excellent record of closing cases, but DI Wade is distracted by a letter received from Hector Vargas, the man accused, convicted and jailed for the murder of his parents, eleven years ago. Hector Vargas tells Eugene, Oregon that he is innocent, and now that he is terminally ill with cancer he wants to set the record straight. Despite Jackson ’s skepticism he knows that he has to follow it up. Jackson
The story of both cases grips the reader, with the narrative alternating between Jackson and Lara Evans. I could not put this book down - a fine piece of plotting that had me hooked, and turning the pages eager to know if, and how justice would be done for these two cold cases.
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Published by Sphere,
22 December 2011.
Investigating is Detective Chief Inspector William Lorimer’s team and his new Detective Constable Omar Adel Fathy. And so they begin the interviews of those closest to Kenneth Scott with the exception of his ex-wife who they cannot locate.
Across the city, a hit-man is keen to collect his fee and be on his way. But matters don’t go smoothly and this makes him angry and bent on revenge.
Spain wee toerag Billy is living royally on 10K that isn’t his, but wee Billy is not that savey away from his native . Glasgow
Further professional killings has DCI Lorimer struggling to find any evidence, and following budget cut-backs he cannot call on criminal psychologist Solomon Brightman, to give him a profile of the killer. Although saddened that he is no longer able to be involved, Solomon and his wife Dr Rosie Ferguson, the forensic pathologist is pregnant with their first child, so they have much to occupy them, but Solomon is closer to the case than he knows.
An intriguing mystery, rich is characters that initially seem unrelated until the author skilfully draws the threads together and the story unfolds to reveal the full picture. The strands of the story are satisfyingly tied-up, with a twist at the end that for this reader ejects into the story a note of sadness. Very highly recommended.
Monday, 2 January 2012
Although Lesley has never been found, Lauren knows who took her daughter but without a single piece of evidence the police are powerless to do anything and despite their pity for Laurens plight her constant haranguing of the police department have worn thin their patience. Now Lauren has moved to Oak Knoil but has the man who took her daughter also moved to Oak Knoil – is he stalking her?
Aptly titled it is indeed a dark road that Lauren is travelling, accompanied by her daughter Leah who should as a teenager be enjoying life but who lives daily in the shadow of her missing elder sister and her mother’s total preoccupation with bringing to justice the abductor of her daughter. Whilst the loss of a child, particularly in these circumstances is unbelievably horrific, this story illustrates how a tragic event can consume one to the detriment of everything and everyone.
Written in first person journal form by Lauren as she seeks to gain catharsis by recording the events as she remembers them, and by multiple third person point of view, we gain a picture of the lives of the people touched by this terrible event. The overriding emotion is one of powerlessness as Lauren tries to protect her remaining child, but at every turn she seems to be the one in the wrong as she reacts in panic when matters begin to move beyond her control. Not a comfortable book, but one that will remain with you long after you have turned the last page, as one cannot help but wonder ‘what would I do in these circumstances’?