Showing posts from August, 2019

Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth, Book Review

Do you ever watch ‘Who do you think you are?’ Or have you ever wondered about your family history? Even if you have traced your line back as far as you can, turning up a few skeletons along the way, you probably didn’t consider genealogy a dangerous past-time. But then you haven’t read Stephen Booth’s Drowned Lives yet.
Take a loner who is awkward and a bit nerdy, with a passion for historic canals, in this case the long lost Ogley and Huddersfield Canal, and introduce him to another eccentric who is passionate about his own family history with its feuds and betrayals. Said eccentric is Samuel Longden who claims to be related to Chris Buckley, said loner who loves canals, but who isn’t interested in genealogy. Not until, that is, he finds out that Samuel has been killed in suspicious circumstances. Then he starts to take the documents Samuel has given him to research more seriously.
Imagine you think you are the last of a line and that you don’t really have any relatives. That’s wh…

I Am the Night, a stylish American Noir thriller series currently on Alibi

I love a mystery based on real life happenings. This stylish and dark series is inspired by the memoirs of Fauna Hodel, the granddaughter of the infamous George Hodel, suspect in the gruesome and unsolved Black Dahlia murder case of 1947.
Written by Sam Sheridan and starring Chris Pine as a veteran of the Korean war and now freelance journalist and India Eisley, who plays an adopted young girl who thinks she is of mixed-race parentage and is looking for her birth parents. The series is set in Los Angeles during the time of the Watts race riots and the Civil Rights Movement, and the setting oscillates between a poor black neighbourhood and the swish Californian surroundings of the privileged.

Fauna Hodel (Eisley) travels to Los Angeles in an attempt to track down her grandfather George Hodel, a wealthy doctor and art lover. Even though he says he wants to see her, she never manages to establish a meeting. His ex-wife tells the girl that she is in fact white, but she refuses to say any…

Careful, loving your children can leave you very vulnerable. A review of two thrillers, one American, one British.

What motivates humans to kill or to commit crimes? Greed, passion, hatred … Crime drama is therefore essentially about relationships and often about love. Loving someone, be it a partner, a child or a friend, it leaves us vulnerable. And crime seeks out victims who are vulnerable. Today I would like to bring two books to your attention which involve the love a mother has for her children. What is a mother’s worst nightmare? That her children are taken away, kidnapped or killed.
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Interesting premise: a few young mothers join together to form the May Mothers, a sort of friendship / support group, with the idea of meeting up with their babies. When they decide to go out for drinks one night, the baby of a single mother is kidnapped. Mayhem ensues, as the police bungle the case and the media lays bare the private lives of, first the mother, then all the mothers. Secrets, best hidden, are exposed, reputations and families destroyed. When all seems lost, th…

Der Pass (Pagan Peaks) TV Crime Thriller Series

I’m glad I waited until I’d seen all eight episodes of this German / Austrian co-production. Unlike the reviewer of a popular daily paper, I’m not going to write obvious lazy generalities, comparing it to the Bridge, the Tunnel and other programmes that deal with cross border police investigations. I think he even managed to bring Corbyn and Boris into his review, so I’m not sure we both watched the same series at all. Der Pass might resemble Scandi Noir in its atmosphere and pacing, but Wiedemann and Berg, producers of Dark and The Lives of Others have brought to screen a cracking story with unexpected twists and an outstanding Austrian / German cast. 
When a bizarrely staged frozen body is found on top of a snowy pass straddling the Austrian / German border (described by previously mentioned reviewer as the dullest pass in Europe, it is in fact not used in the winter due to the altitude and snow levels), teams from both countries are forced to work together to investigate this stra…

Book Review: Child's Play by Angela Marsons

Another brilliant offering by Angela Marsons. 

As an author Marsons goes from strength to strength. Each novel is so distinct from the others. Her storylines are always intriguing and Child's Play is no exception. 

I thought it would be difficult for Marsons to top the last Kim Stone novel, Dead Memories,  but I couldn't have been more wrong. Child's Play delves into family dynamics, explores how families faced with the extraordinary can react and takes us on a thrilling, time sensitive race to find a disturbed killer. 

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear. Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired co…

Three British Mid Summer Reading Suggestions

Fall Down Dead by Stephen Booth
Some of you might enjoy walking holidays at the Peak District. Careful when the fog descends, all kinds of creepy things could happen, you could even die. DI Ben Cooper is suspicious when Faith Matthew falls to her death. Not only does he have to try to figure out if she was murdered, but there is an internal investigation involving DS Diane Fry which threatens Cooper himself. What will happen to the ever popular police duo? The internationally bestselling author Stephen Booth has won the CWA Dagger and the popular Cooper and Fry series is now in development for television. First published in August 2018 by Sphere.

The Death Knock by Elodie Harper
Some of you might enjoy weekend breaks in East Anglia, it’s on my bucket list. But what if you meet a serial killer, one that kidnaps people before murdering them? Ever wondered what it's like being held by a psychopath? The police refuse to face that possibility, but journalist Frances Latch, aka Frankie…

Book review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

I read an interview given by the author Adrian McKinty telling the story behind The Chain  and was immediately intrigued. Chain letters were something that happened a lot when I was a kid too and I'm sure Agatha Chritie also used them as inspiration for a couple of her novels. Theri insidiosness, their anonymity plays on our frailties as human beings and can be very distressing. Of course social media has made the chain letter a thinng of the present in the form of those meassgaes asking us to share a message with our friends to show our comittment to or support of a particular cause. McKinty however takes the basic concept of the chain letter one humungous step further and much as I 'd like to believe that particular atrocity is confined to the pages of McKinty's novel, I can't let go of the thought that maybe ... just maybe .....

With that said, here's the blurb: