Showing posts from 2019

Time for the Dead by Lin Anderson, Guest Book Review

Time for the Dead is the 14th book in the Rhona MacLeod series by Lin Anderson. Returning to her childhood home on the island of Skye, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod hopes to spend some time recovering from the traumatic events that played out in the previous novel. However, she encounters what appears to be a crime scene in the woods – the complication being there is no body. Fortunately, she is helped by local tracker dog Blaze [an interesting plot device] and is off on the trail of some army medics on leave from Afghanistan. After the discovery of a body at the base of a famous cliff and a potential link to a DS McNab case in Glasgow, before long all of Rhona’s colleagues are joining her on the investigation.
It is often said that the landscape in which a story is set can often act as an additional character and this is particularly true in this novel. It is excellently described in its beauty and brutality and plays no small part in the evolution of the story. In fact, the evocat…

The Malta Exchange by Steve Berry, Book Review

Dan Brown said of this book, ‘My kind of thriller’ and I see why. Lots of interesting history, conspiracy, violence and travel to engaging settings. This latest Cotton Malone book, the 14th in the series, can be read as a stand-alone by anyone new to this engaging protagonist. 
The author Steve Barry has obviously done his research into the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, their Malta base, Rome and the Vatican and even Mussolini, his secret correspondence with Churchill and Mussolini’s death in Northern Italy. If you are a devout Roman Catholic, you might want to give this novel a miss, as the author does not shy away from controversial interpretations of early church history and the corruption at the heart of the Vatican. For those, who like pacey action thrillers blended with conspiracy, then go for it!
The Cotton Malone books are probably some of the most action-packed historical crime novels on the go. Malone has now retired as an operative from the US Justice Department and und…

The Body on the Train by Frances Brody, Book Review

Another enjoyable Kate Shackleton mystery by popular historic crime author Frances Brody. Set in Yorkshire in 1929 during the time of labour unrest and widespread poverty, Kate is hired by Scotland Yard to undertake a sensitive investigation as a consultant. Being an investigator evidently means learning a lot about a wide variety of topics, including, in this case, rhubarb. I have actually attended a talk on rhubarb growing in Yorkshire, so I wasn’t surprised to read about the ‘Rhubarb Special’ train which delivers the huge quantities of rhubarb in season to London. I wasn’t expecting a dead body in among the rhubarb though, but then, anything can happen in Yorkshire.
Fortunately, Kate is well connected and instigates an invitation to a country house in the rural area suspected by the police to be the centre of a conspiracy. Many current crime authors feel that their plots must touch upon a quest for social justice, or at least reflect social realism and represent minority and disad…

Blog Tour: A Death in Mayfair by Mark Ellis. Guest Article: THE WORLD WAR 2 CRIME BOOM

It gives me great pleasure to be part of the A Death in Mayfair blog tour. It gives me eve greater pleasure to welcome the author, Mark Ellis to The Crime Warp today. mark has kindly written a brilliant and very informative guest article about The World War 2 Crime Boom. I learned some things I didn't know before. 

So, before we get to the article, here's the blurb for Mark's new book A Death in Mayfair:

A Death in Mayfair Blurb
December 1941. On a bright Sunday morning in Hawaii, Japanese planes swoop down and attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbour. America enters the war and Britain no longer stands alone against Hitler. Conditions on the home front remain bleak. In a city pulverised by the Blitz, with rampant crime and corruption and overstretched police resources, life for Scotland Yard detective Frank Merlin continues as arduous as ever. In the week of Japan's aggression, the shattered body of beautiful film star Laura Curzon is found on the pavement beneath her Mayfa…

Sneaky Peek: Leigh Russell's Deathly Affair (book 13 in her hugely popular DI Geraldine Steel series )

With well over a million copies sold, it's no secret that Leigh Russell's DI Geraldine Steel is a popular character, so it gives me great pleasure to offer a Sneaky Peek of her most recent Steel thriller DEATHLY AFFAIR

First though, here's the blurb:
Four bodies... But who is guilty in this deadly web of secrecy and lies? When two homeless men are strangled to death, Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel is disturbed by the cold-blooded nature of the crimes. Her suspicions intensify as two more victims are discovered, forcing her to question the motivation behind the murders. Plagued by red herrings, the investigation drags Geraldine ever deeper into the lives of three people caught in a toxic triangle of love and deception. Are these murders random, or is there more to this than meets the eye? 

A little bit about the lovely author  LEIGH RUSSELL:
Leigh Russell’s Geraldine Steel series has sold over a million copies and is translated throughout Europe, and China. Shortlisted for th…

Book Review: Criss Cross by James Patterson, the 27th book in the series and in this one perhaps the past comes back to haunt Alex.

James Patterson is one of the most prolific writers in the world and I remember his first few Alex Cross books with warmth. They were stunnigly written with real attention to the psychological state of the villains. Over the years I have dipped in and out of the Cross novels, secure in the knowledge that Alex and his family will welcome me back with open arms and some of Nana Mama's wonderful chicken.

Could a ghost from his past take everything away from Alex Cross? Mere hours after witnessing the execution of a killer he helped put behind bars, Alex Cross is called to the scene of a copycat murder. A note signed 'M' rests on the corpse: 'You messed up big time, Dr. Cross.' Was an innocent man just put to death? As the executed convict's family launch a vicious campaign against Cross, his abilities as a detective are called into question. The enigmatic 'M' lures Cross out of Washington, DC to the sites of multiple homicides, all marked with distressing…

Blog Tour: A Sneaky Peek from Ross Greenwood's The Snow Killer

I'm very happy to be part of Ross Greenwood's The Snow Killer Blog Tour. I've long been an admirer of Ross's work. His quirky take on things, his character development, his narrative style always hook me from the start. This sneaky peek is no exception. From page one we are drawn into a cast of characters that demand our investment in their story. I defy you to read this sneaky peek and not be hooked ... I now I was!

The Blurb
‘Fear the north wind. Because no one will hear you scream…’ A family is gunned down in the snow but one of the children survives. Three years on, that child takes revenge and the Snow Killer is born. But then, nothing - no further crimes are committed, and the case goes cold. Fifty years later, has the urge to kill been reawakened? As murder follows murder, the detective team tasked with solving the crimes struggle with the lack of leads. It’s a race against time and the weather – each time it snows another person dies. As an exhausted and grizzled DI…

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by S.G. Maclean, Book Review

The problem with being a historian is that there is always more that you don’t know than that you might actually be familiar with. Take the north east coast of Scotland in 1620, the setting of this excellent murder mystery. You wouldn’t even need the back of a postage stamp for me to demonstrate my knowledge of this period in Banff and thereabouts. The coastline itself is gorgeous (have you seen the film Local Hero?), I’ve been there on holiday, but it doesn’t come across as gorgeous in this novel about the trials of young Alexander Seaton. It’s windswept, cold and sinister. And with the total stranglehold of a miserable mean form of Calvinism, it’s despondent as well.
A perfect setting for murder. But also, an apt landscape to reflect the emotional journey Seaton has to take for survival and ultimately growth and acceptance of himself. This historical crime book is more than just a whodunnit. The psychological study of its main protagonist and the society he can’t thrive in is thou…

The Colours of Murder by Ali Carter, Book Review

This is a book about Susie Mahl, pet portraitist to the gentry and nosey parker with a penchant for dead bodies. When her interfering mother wangles her an entrée into a country house party, she decides to go along as it happens to be near the estate where she is currently painting a series of racehorses. What it is about amateur sleuths? They turn up and sure enough, a dead body follows.
It’s amusing seeing a country house weekend party through the eyes of someone who doesn’t belong to the ‘right set’ and wouldn’t normally be there in the first place. True to form, a murder takes place at said country house estate. Miss Dune, a flirtatious American, is found dead in bed in the early hours of the morning. So, who better to investigate on the sly? Susie Mahl, our heroine, is a modern Miss Marple, only young and active and not a knitting needle in sight. The only thing I can fault her for is her taste in men. Listen to me girl, kick Toby into touch, he’s a boring fart.
This isn’t Susi…

Black Ops by Chris Ryan, Book Review

After a series of gruesome murders in geographically disparate places, the SAS soldier Danny Black is tasked with searching for the killer. This quest takes him from his regimental base in Herefordshire to Wales, Lebanon and ultimately into the middle of the conflict in Syria. Despite Black Ops being on the gruesome side for me, I couldn’t put it down. Partially thriller, partially spy novel and lots of military ground ops action with a twist to boot, it makes compulsive reading. Black Ops is book number seven in the Danny Black series, and still no let-up on engagement, excitement and thrills. Yes, it’s fiction, but it’s also based on reality, and that makes the horrors even more horrible. It’s not an orc fighting an elf, this isn’t fantasy.
We might hear in the news that another terrorist attack has been foiled, but we soon forget the news item and move on with our more or less virtuous lives. We think we know about the difficult morally ambiguous decisions our operatives have to…

My Guilty Pleasures Binge Read Style: J.D. Kirk's DCI Jack Logan series.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was on Facebook chatting on one of the online crime fiction bookgroups and someone said they'd just finished a J.D. Kirk book and that it was as good as Stuart Macbride's. Now I'm a huge fan of Stuart MacBride's books. I love the gritty dark humour. Anyway, I thought to myself,, Kirk has big shoes to fill, but I'll give it a go. So, I did and ended up binge reading the first three books in the DCI Jack Logan series set in the north of Scotland. Are they as good as Stuart MacBride? I hear you ask. Well, let's put it this way, there's not a lot to choose between them. Cracking reads!

A Litter of Bones 
Well if the title's not enough to draw you in, wait till you read the blurb:

Was the biggest case of his career the worst mistake he ever made?

Ten years ago, DCI Jack Logan stopped the serial child-killer dubbed 'Mister Whisper,' earning himself a commendation, a drinking problem, and a broken marriage in the process.
Now, h…

My Life of Crime: Owen Mullens, author of Deadly Harm ... and so many more, tells us all about his life of crime!

Owen Mullen has been a supportive friend for a good few years now and I am in awe of his writing, so it gives me great pleasure to welcome him onto The Crime Warp to find out all about his Life of Crime. 

Here's a little bit about him:

Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year and best selling author. Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; he still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where Owen writes. 
Over to Owen.
Thanks for inviting me on here Liz, I love this type of Q&A!
Ok, so what are the things that helped shape the man you have before you today? Let's find out! 
2 Songs that infl…