Posts

Showing posts from July, 2014

Book Review One Kick by Chelsea Cain : If you’d been abducted by a paedophile, become part of their ‘family 'for 6 years before being rescued and returned to your family at age 11- what sort of adult would you turn out to be be?

Image
If you’d been abducted by a paedophile, become part of their ‘family 'for 6 years before being rescued and returned to your family at age 11- what sort of adult would you turn out to be be?

Well Chelsea Cain has, in Kick Lannigan, created a young woman who suffered all of that and came out of the other end a ‘survivor’.
Kick, although a survivor is in no way a super hero. She has issues, guilt for inadvertently destroying a directory of paedophiles, and a determination to protect herself .  It is those things that make her such an intriguing, beguiling and realistic character.

When, the mysterious John Bishop offers Kit the chance to help find the latest in a series of abducted boys, she puts her distrust of the man to the side and agrees to help.This agreement puts her in danger and forces her to face elements of her past.
One Kick plunges us into the world of organised paedophile groups and how they operate to protect their ‘family’ members.It is fast paced and the characters are to…

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (featuring the enigmatic Lacey Flint and The River Thames)

Image
A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (featuring the enigmatic Lacey Flint and The River Thames)
Sharon Bolton was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, the CWA in the Library and longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Prize for Crime fiction – not a bad 2014 for her.
This is the second Lacey Flint novel I’ve read and I have to admit I’m intrigued by her character… well, who wouldn't be?She’s a police officer with a past, yet her best friend is a serial killer residing in Durham prison and the only person whose advice she accepts.I know she has hidden secrets but I just can’t fathom her out - mind you, not revealing any important plot clues,  but we do get some hints in this book.
In a Dark and Twisted Tide, Lacey lives on a yacht in the Deptford Creek and has taken to Wild Swimming along the Thames with her neighbour.On one of her swims Lacey discovers the body of a woman shrouded in white and soon realises the serial killer targeting illegal immigrants (I’m not referring to …

Book Review: Darkness Darkness by John Harvey – Hankies out folks cos this is the last ever Charlie Resnick book!

Image
Having just heard John Harvey ‘In Conversation’ with Mark Billingham at Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate I can announce that I am in love with him, as I suspect are most of the audience.


I mean who wouldn’t love a crime fiction writer who admits that his first influential read was…  

Book Review - Sea of Stone by Michael Ridpath. Number 4 in the Fire and Ice series finally exposes who murdered Magnus' father

Image
The end of Meltwater, book 3 in the Fire and Ice series, sees Magnus going to confront his grandfather, Hallgrimur, only to find him dead.Magnus concludes that his younger brother Ollie is responsible for this terrible deed.Sea of Stone starts with the police finding Magnus at the crime scene, seemingly deliberately interfering with the evidence, and so incriminating himself.We know from Meltwater that Magnus is innocent, but as the reader is the only person privy to that secret, we then see polarised views of whether Magnus is a murderer or not.

Theakston's Crime Festival moves from True Crime to True Love and from Blood curdling to Heart warming

Image
Crimes of the Heart  (from Bloodcurdling to Heart warming)
Scott Turner, 28, and Jo Parker, 39, both from Gloucester, met at their first Theakstons Crime Writing Festival in 2009, both share a mutual love of the genre and are the first 'crime couple' to become engaged during the festival
Jo came to the first Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, after reading about it on author Mark Billingham’s forum six years ago.  Shaking with joy from the surprise proposal, Jo said: “It was a complete shock. We’re both massive crime fans. We’ve made great friends over the years here, and it feels like part of the family now.””


Jo, a reviewer for the crime website, Crimesquad, was surprised by Scott during the author panel ‘In Space, No-one Can Hear You Scream’ featuring crime authors Steve Mosby, Lauren Beukes, Sharon Bolton, James Smythe and Lavie Tidhar.
Steve Mosby, this year’s Festival Programming Chair,said: “We had got to the end of the panel where audiences are invited to ask…

Tip Offs: Want To know who your favourite Theakstons Old Peculier crime write's cosy up with at night? - Read On

Image
On the prowl in The Old Swan Hotel Harrogate we decided to find out a bit about our favourite Crime Writers' own reading tastes.

Our question: Which Crime Writer are you taking to bed at the moment .... and why?

Here are their answers

Robert Galbraith: One Fan reports

Image
Robert Galbraith in Sell-out Exclusive UK Appearance
Robert Galbraith (or Bob, as Val McDermid affectionately called him) was dressed immaculately in a light grey suit and stylish peach coloured tie.  He was over the moon that Val prior to knowing his real identity had said of his first book : “The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place.” With endearing vulnerability Galbraith explained that he wanted to know that his book was published and received under its' own merit and not on the back of his alter ego's status.  Not sure what to expect from Mr Galbraith I was pleased to witness a funny humble and likeable person, honest enough to confide that he loves Robin as a character, hates Matthew and disagrees with Cormoran on a political level. Named after his alter ego's political hero Bobby Kennedy and his childhood attachment to the name Galbraith during imaginative play (the creativity began early it seems) , Robert has writte…

Look Out For These - Theakstons Old Peculier Crime writing festival special - Number 2: Broadchurch

Image
This is the third of my posts from the Theakstons Old Peculier crime writing festival, after Saturday’s panel about Broadchurch. Guests included Jodie Whittaker and Olivia Coleman who starred in the TV series, Chris Chibnall who wrote the screenplay and Erin Kelly, who has completed the novelisation of Broadchurch.

Look Out For These – Theakstons Old Peculier Crime writing festival special – Number 1:Turning to crime

Image
This is the second of my posts from the Theakstons Old Peculier crime writing festival. I went to the Friday session “Turning to crime” which featured a panel of authors who either had other day jobs, like broadcaster and columnist Mark Lawson, or had become authors despite having established careers in other fields, Tony Parsons who was a journalist, Natalie Haynes a stand-up comedian and Sarah Pinderer a teacher.

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. From a shortlist of six to the overall winner

Image
This is the first of a series of blog posts from the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. I was at a crowded and exciting opening ceremony for the festival on Thursday night to find out who would be the winner of the Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. A longlist of twelve novels had been winnowed down to six, including a strong Scottish contingent of Malcom Mackay, Peter May and of course Denise Mina who won the two previous year’s awards. Many of us in the audience were wondering whether it would be a Scottish win and perhaps even a hat trick for Denise Mina.

Book Review: The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths – Don’t know what a Gibbet is? Now’s your chance to find out.

Image
What I enjoy about Elly Griffiths’s novels is that I’m not perched on the edge of my seat expecting someone to pounce out at me and I don’t have a desperate need to triple check my locks - Instead I know I can relax in a comfy chair, with a Kit Kat and a hot chocolate and … just… enjoy. I revel in the archaeological gems liberally sprinkled throughout the pages, I adore the characters from the grumpy Nelson to the colourful Cathbad and I love the mix of mysticism, religion, occultism and paganism that floats throughout the chapters.

In The Outcast Dead Ruth Galloway our friendly archaeologist quite by chance finds the skeleton of the infamous Mother Hook – a notorious child murderer and the last woman to be hung at Norwich castle.Within hours she’s been roped in to working on a TV Production of Women Who Kill.However, an American History expert on Victorian Britain has evidence that Mother Hook was innocent.
Meanwhile, the father of Ruth’s child DI Harry Nelson investigates the death of …

Book Review - Into a Raging Blaze by Andreas Norman. An honest person whose life is about to be turned upside down and destroyed by a dishonest world

Image
Carina Dymek is a career civil servant, aspiring to be a diplomat.Astute, highly intelligent and committed, she’s dedicated to her job and focused on promotion.Perhaps her only fault is a forthright honesty, which is where the trouble starts.After a diplomatic meeting in Brussels, “Jean” approaches her and gives her a USB stick containing a confidential proposal for a European Intelligence Service.Uncertain of what to do, she does the right thing by emailing her superiors asking them to sort out the problem.

Film Trailer of S J Watson's Before I Go to Sleep. If you thought the book was scary have alook at the Trailer

Image
If you didn't read SJ Watson's psychological thriller Before I Go To Sleep you missed a treat. 
It's bad enough that she wakes up every morning to a completely erased memory, but add in the intrigue and you'll be petrified. 
This book was really scary and atmospheric.  My advice is to read it before the film is released in September, then go and watch the film. If the film is half as good as the book (and with two great well -cast actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in the leading roles) I have high hopes for it. Trailer of Before I Go To Sleep

Look Out for These – Techno Trio #3: Netwars - The Code 1 by M Sean Coleman. A hardcore techno thriller in six bite size chunks

Image
I’ve described this as a hardcore techno thriller which has lots of hackers, technology and the dark net, so if these kind of things are what you look for in a thriller, this book is for you.  Netwars is published as an e-book that comes in six parts and this review based on Part 1.



Book review: Research by Philip Kerr. No Bernie Gunther in this book, but the quality still shines through in this novel of murder and intrigue in the writing community

Image
Kerr is best known for his dark and atmospheric Bernie Gunther series, which I’m keen on.  I was interested to see what sort of standalone novel Kerr would write and whether it would have that combination of an interesting plot and atmospheric writing that the Bernie Gunther series has. 

Review: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter - Take a deep breath before you read!

Image
Reading a Karin Slaughter crime novel is like getting into a Formula One Racing car with Lewis Hamilton in the driving seat – yeah, you feel safe (he’s a professional after all), yet there’s that persistent tingle in your gut because you know that RISKS will be taken and the UNEXPECTED will happen… and in Cop Town , Slaughter delivers the unexpected and the risks aplenty.
Slaughter is a genius with dialogue.I found myself laughing out loud at some of her more gritty exchanges and cringing at the very apt, but by todays standard, completely out there sexist and sexual comments. She paints a very convincing picture of the attitudes of the time.Her female characters are each very distinctive with diverse strengths and weaknesses.
The storyline is compelling and I read it in two sittings sitting on the edge of my seat
Set in 1974 in Atlanta, where the Civil Rights movement has managed to elect the first ever black mayor, The Vietnam war has ended and things are moving forward.However the A…

Tip OffsTheakstons Shortlist and Robert Galbraith streaming spaces

Image
Broadcaster and Festival regular Mark Lawson hosts the Awards on the opening night of the 12th annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on 17 July. 
The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.

Also on the night, Lynda La Plante will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, joining past winners Ruth Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill.

Look Out for These - Techno Trio - #2 Skinjob by Bruce McCabe: murder and conspiracy in a believable future that is not so far away

Image
#2 in the Techno Thriller series comes from Australia, where Bruce McCabe’s first novel was a self-publishing phenomenon.  The title can come across as slightly odd, but the novel is a solid futuristic techno thriller, where the police have all CCTV on live stream, people can be tracked real time using face recognition software and handheld lie detectors are used at crime scenes and interviews to identify suspects.