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…