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Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

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Published: March 2017
Reviewed: 23 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Trapeze in return for an honest review

Description:

For fans of Disclaimer and I Let You Go, Tattletale is the debut psychological thriller you can’t miss.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who believed in fairytales. Now she is out to get your happy ending.

One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.

One day changes Mags’ life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiance Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind.

But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…

My Thoughts & Review:

When I saw the folks at Trapeze saying how good this book was and how it would be one of those books not to miss out on I knew that it had to be something pretty special and one that I might need to read.

Tattletale is an incredibly tense read, it’s creepy and there’s an aura of claustrophobia that leeches from the pages.  The reader is aware that danger lurks in the shadows and the silence but cannot stop reading.  As the story unfolds the reader learns that things are not as clear cut as they may have initially seemed.

The tales from Mags and Abe’s childhood are disturbing and saddening reading, the details adding to the overall picture of these complex characters and give an insight as to how they ended up where they are today.  The narrative from a young girl, the identity of whom we find out later is utterly harrowing and uncomfortable reading.  The reader knows what is happening from the subtle and not so subtle language used by Naughton which makes this an emotional read and one that I can only describe as traumatic but enthralling.

The writing itself it a thing of beauty, it really is.  The clever layering of plot and small details mean that the reader experiences some amazing writing.  Building a complex plot is one thing,  but to combine it with incredibly intense and clever psychological framework is taking it to another level.  Deviously, Naughton allows the reader to form their own conclusions from the breadcrumb trail she sets out before slowly revealing what actually happened, and despite the clues being there, I will admit I sat back for a moment and was wowed at what I had read.  Exploring sensitive subjects in a novel can be difficult for some authors, they need to be written with objectivity and the correct level of sensitivity, but I think that it is handled well here, but I would urge caution, as it does handle some topics that some readers may feel very uncomfortable reading about (child abuse and rape).

Definitely recommended for fans of psychological thrillers

You can pre order a copy of Tattletale here.

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It’s a great delight to welcome you to my stop on Ragnar Jónasson’s blog tour for his latest Icelandic thriller “Rupture” and share my review of this immensely amazing novel.

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eBook Published: 24 December 2016
Print Book Published: 15 February 2017
Reviewed: 23 January 2017

5 out of 5 stars

 

Description:

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all … In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them. Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s foremost crime writers.

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s safe to say that Ragnar Jónasson is a writer who can do no wrong in the eyes of many readers, this one included.
He writes some of the most poetically haunting scenes in his novels with the use of very few words, and yet evokes a great sense of chilling unease from his readers in doing so.  Never before have I read a book that has left me feeling the need to find a thick pullover and a hot water bottle purely because of the way in which a scene is described.  The chilly tendrils of suspense leech from the pages of this book, slowly weaving their way around a reader until it gets to the point that you are victim to this masterfully written thriller, the outside world ceases while you are wrapped up in this.

With numerous threads running through the plot a reader might be concerned about trying to keep track of what is happening but fear not, each thread is succinctly interwoven with the next, coming together to form an immensely clever plot, one that keeps readers guessing and keeps the pace steady.  Although this is the fourth book to feature Ari Thór, it reads well without having read the previous books (Snowblind, Nightblind and Blackout), but I would wholeheartedly recommend reading all of them to immense yourself in this wonderful atmospheric delight.
There’s a sense of danger that lies early on in the plot, that gives rise to a feeling of unease, a foreboding that builds to an uncomfortable claustrophobia which just makes this all the more gripping and enjoyable to read.

I’m desperately trying not to say too much about the plot of this one, there are so many subtle aspects that give things away or may skew your thinking but suffice to say this is definitely a contender for book of the year.  The writing is clever, clear and precise.  Short chapters ensure the pace moves along swiftly without anything superfluous added in for theatrical flair, just the sort of deliciously perplexing read that we have come to know and love from Ragnar Jónasson.

A special note to say a huge hat tip to Quentin Bates, the translator of this magnificent novel, his skills are truly brilliant and has translated this so well that it reads naturally as if it were originally penned in English, losing nothing of the subtle nuances or atmosphere.

My absolute heartfelt gratitude to Karen at Orenda Books for sharing this wonderful series with me and having me be part of the blog tour for Ragnar’s latest book.

You can buy a copy of Rupture via Amazon here.

About the Author:

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Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teaching copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut thriller Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015, with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner, and had rights sold in fourteen countries. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for guest posts, reviews and perhaps a cheeky giveaway!
 

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It’s time to finally set in stone the books of the year, a list that I have created, edited and ripped up mentally for the past few days…..When you’ve read so many books over the year it’s hard to narrow down a top 5, a top 10 or even a top 20, but I will attempt to share my top books of 2016.

Top Indie Books:

In no particular order:

  • Death of a Nobody by Derek Farrell (Fahrenheit Press)
  • The Mine by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda Books)
  • Summoning The Dead by Tony Black (Black and White Publishing)
  • A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone (Orenda Books)
  • A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh  McDonnell (McFori Ink)
  • Casing Off by P.I. Paris (Black and White Publishing)
  • Death In Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson (Urbane Publications)
  • Doorways by Robert Enright (Urbane Publications)
  • The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda Books)
  • The Cleaner by Elisabeth Herrmann (Manilla / Bonnier Zaffre)

Top Crime Fiction & Thriller:

I really tried to keep this to 10…..but well I just couldn’t…..

In no particular order:

  • Strangers by Paul Finch
  • Dark Water by Robert Bryndza
  • Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge
  • The Killing Game by J.S. Carol
  • Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
  • The Dead House by Harry Bingham
  • All Fall Down by Tom Bale
  • Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
  • Blood Lines by Angela Marsons
  • Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell
  • The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
  • In The Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride

Top Books of Brilliance or Smile Inducing Wonderment:

In no particular order:

  • The Accidental Dictionary by Paul Anthony Jones
  • How To Find Your (First) Husband by Rosie Blake
  • The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland by Julia Stuart
  • The Life Assistance Agency Thomas Hocknell
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig
  • A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn
  • 183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan
  • Christmas Under A Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin
  • A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh
  • Christmas At The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

What books would you rate as your top ones for this year?  Have you read any of these ones?  Let me know your thoughts below.


And just because I can, here’s ones I think will be top books for 2017….

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I am so excited to welcome you to my stop on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour by Orenda Books and share my review of Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Exiled.

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Published: 19 August 2016
Reviewed: 13 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Orenda Books as part of blog tour

 

Description:

Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal?

Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit this is the first book that I have read by Kati Hiekkapelto, something I will definitely be remedying in the coming weeks as I fully intend to buy copies of the other books featuring Detective Anna Fekete.

The Exiled is actually the third book in the Detective Anna Fekete series, and thankfully this can be read without reading The Hummingbird or The Defenceless.  There are references to prior cases and colleagues but these are minimal so does not impact upon your enjoyment of the story.
The reader meets Anna upon her return to Serbia for a holiday.  She intends to spend time with family and friends but ends up involved in a robbery and a murder investigation.

Clever plotting and well constructed characters make this a great read, add in the use of native language and you have a wonderfully authentic offering from the Scani Noir genre.  The translation to English has been done so well that this reads as though it were originally written in English.
The vivid descriptions of both scenery and characters really bring them alive.  The easy flowing style of writing lends itself well to this story, the well woven threads of the plot ensure that the pace is good and slowly increases with the secrets that are waiting to be unearthed, drawing the reader in and making this a compulsive read.

As you would expect with Scani Noir, this is chilling, it’s clever and it looks behind the curtain at some very topical issues such as migrancy and refugees including detailing the social impacts and implications.  The writing of these subjects is done with transparency and a frankness that adds a chilling edge to the narrative but at the same time the author shows sensitivity to these subjects by using characters as voices of reason and conscience.

An fantastic read that I cannot thank Karen at Orenda Books for introducing me to, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next Anna Fekete book.

You can buy a copy of The Exiled here


About the Author:

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Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland.  She wrote her first stories at the age of two and recorded them on cassette tapes.  Kati has studied Fine Arts in Liminka Art School and Special Education at the University of Jyväskylä.  The subject of her final thesis/dissertation was racist bullying in Finnish schools.  She went to work on as a special-needs teacher for immigrant children.  Today Kti is an international crime writer, punk singer and performance artist.  Her books, The Hummingbird and The Defenceless have been translated into 16 languages and were both shortlisted for the Petrona Award in the UK.  The Defenceless won Best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Glass Key.  She lives and writes in her 200-year-ols farmhouse in Hailuoto, an island in the Gulf of Bothnia, North Finland.  In her free time she rehearses with her band, runs, hunts, picks berries and mushrooms and gardens.  During long, dark winter months she chops wood to head her house, shovels snow and skis.

For more information on Kati’s books, go to her website http://www.katihiekkapelto.com/ or follow her on Twitter @HiekkapeltoKati


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour for reviews and guest posts by both Kati Hiekkapelto and Annti Tuomainen.

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Lying in Wait

 Author: Liz Nugent
Published: 7 July 2016
Reviewed: 6 August 2016 
5 out of 5 Stars
Copy supplied by Penguin Books (UK) in return for an honest review
Description:
 

The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don’t plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden.

Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to falls apart.

But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl’s family may be the undoing of his own.

My Thoughts & Review:

Lying in Wait is one of those books that sets the tone right from the opening lines.  
Set in Dublin in 1980, the reader meets Lydia Fitzsimmons, a formidable woman with an utterly warped personality who has driven her husband to murder.  Instead of being a traditional murder story where all clues point to the mysterious perpetrator, this story takes the reader on a journey through the motivations for killing, the messes left behind after murder and gives an insight in to the psychology behind it.

With narration from Lydia, the reader is privy to her thoughts which is interesting as it gives a chilling insight to this character and her conniving ways.  Something other characters are unaware of throughout the story which makes it more enjoyable to read.  
Narration also comes from Lydia and Andrew’s son Laurence and Karen Doyle, the sister of the victim.  

All of the characters are expertly created, some that the reader cannot help but hate.  Lydia is one such character, she is narcissistic, manipulative and verging on sociopathic.  Her obsessive tendencies toward her son are claustrophobic; feeling she “owns” him because she gave birth to him, controlling aspects of his life including the foods he eats.   
Karen is a fantastic character, and one that readers will struggle not to feel sympathy for and like.  She’s strong and loves her sister deeply, her determination to find out what happened to her sister is moving.   

With short chapters, this book moves along at a great pace, falling victim to “just one more chapter before bed” I read this in one night.  Nugent is a very skilled writer, evoking a wealth of emotion from readers, creating characters that make the blood boil with rage, and creating a storyline so thoroughly dark and twisted.

A gripping read, dark and extremely thought provoking.  

You can buy a copy of Lying in Wait here. 

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Death of a Nobody

Author: Derek Farrell
Published: 19 May 2016
Reviewed: 23 May 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy purchased via Fahrenheit Press Book Club

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Description:   

“Danny Bird is back and he’s gone full Poirot.”

When Lady Margaret Wright (local girl made good) dies, her will stipulates her wake be held in her old neighbourhood. Sensing an opportunity, Danny, Lady Caroline, Ali & the Asbo Twins commit to giving the old girl the wake to end all wakes and at the same time cement the reputation of The Marquess Of Queensbury as South London’s most up and coming gastro-pub.

As usual though things don’t quite go to plan and it isn’t long before the body count starts to mount. Danny and the unflappable Lady Caroline find themselves thrown into a classic murder mystery complete with poison pen letters, family feuds, money, jealousy and a cast of characters that would put the average Agatha Christie country house mystery to shame.

With his love-life and his business seemingly falling around his ears Danny is determined to get to the bottom of things and hopefully put a stop to people getting murdered in his damn pub.

My Thoughts & Review

Death of a Nobody sees the much awaited return of Danny Bird and Lady Caroline in the Marq. For those not already acquainted with these intrepid sleuths, check out Death of a Diva, Derek Farrell’s début novel. I had the pleasure of reviewing it in November 2015 (Death of a Diva Review) and I can honestly say that I couldn’t see how Farrell would build upon these characters or come back with anything to rival this, but he has.

Masterfully and effortlessly, a mind boggling plot is woven into the somewhat comedic tale of Danny Bird, running a pub for a gangster, attempting to rebuild his love life after it was turned upside down previously and keep his friendship with Caz as demented as ever.

The wake of Lady Margaret Wright gives Danny the perfect opportunity to showcase this abilities in the kitchen and establish the Marq. as a gastro-pub, with waiting staff hired for the event and Caz helping in the kitchen there’s nothing that could possibly go wrong for Danny……that is until a dead body turns up and rains on Danny’s parade.

Following his successful investigation of the murder of Lyra Day, Danny ropes in Caz as his incongruous Dr Watson, and the pair set about tracking down the motive and the killer. Add in the request to investigate poison pen letters and Danny is almost a modern day Poirot, except taller and has more hair.

The evolution of Danny Bird is fantastic, Farrell seems to have brought this character fully out of his shell and he really shines like a peacock resplendent in the morning sun. Danny has honed his detective skills, so making deductions based on clever observations like scratches on the wrist push him towards a Sherlock Holmes-esque detective for this reader and really shows the attention to detail in the writing.

I particularly liked the development of Caz. She really seemed come into her own in this book, and far from being Danny’s sidekick, she became more than just a main character, it was nice to see more sides to her. Snippets of her younger life (school days), her dabbling with a love life and attempting to dress down made her even more scandalous and riotous but still as delightful.

The clever plot is well crafted, once Danny reveals all you really see just how fiendishly masterful Farrell is as a writer. Being a fan of crime fiction, thrillers and mysteries, I sometimes find that I can guess who the killer is or the eventual motive for murder in a book, but here I was clutching at straws. Each time I thought I had sussed the killer I was shown the error of my ways and was left bewildered until Farrell was ready to expose the killer and their motives.

Subtly, behind the murder mystery is the idea that friendships and relationships and their value to us. Reminding us that failure and rejection are bearable when we have friends there to buoy us up.

A wonderful continuation of the Danny Bird series, and I personally cannot wait to see what Derek Farrell has on the cards for Danny next!! 

You can buy a copy of Death of a Nobody here.  
 

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The Bitter Season

Author: Tami Hoag
Published: 10 March 2016
Reviewed: 18 March 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Orion Publishing Group in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 


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Painkiller

Author: N.J. Fountain
Published: 18 February 2016
Reviewed: 24 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

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Medusa

 

Author: Torkil Damhaug
Published: 08 October 2015
Reviewed: 12 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Headline in return for an honest review.

  4 out of 5 stars  

 

A woman vanishes from a forest near Oslo. Days later her body is found, seemingly mauled and maimed by a bear. When another woman is reported missing and then found dead with the same scratches and bites, police find the link between them is local doctor, Axel Glenne. 

Forensics reveal the women were murdered and a net of suspicion tightens around Axel, who is convinced his twin brother Brede is responsible. But no one has seen him for years and if Axel is to prove his innocence, he needs to find Brede. And fast. But there isn’t a single photograph of the brothers together and neither Axel’s wife nor his children has ever met a man called Brede ..

The premise of this book intrigued me, GP Axel Glenne is implicated as a suspect in the disappearance and subsequent murder of a woman because of some link.  Axel is convinced it’s the doing of his long lost twin brother Brede, a man that no one knows about, no one has met and there is no proof that Brede even exists.  Is it Brede?  Does Brede exist?  Is it Axel acting subconsciously?  

Axel Glenne on the face of things is a happily married GP, beautiful wife, 3 interesting children, and seems dedicated to his job,  but all of that is about to be rocked to the very core.  When the body of a woman is discovered the Police are immediately convinced she was attacked by a bear and this is not a case for the Violent Crime team, but as the investigation unfolds, it soon becomes clear this is no act of nature and was murder.  When another body turns up with the scratches as before they begin to question whether a bear could have done this, and wonder what else might have caused it.  One name seems to stand out between the victims, that of local GP Axel Glenne.  He knew the victims, he’s had recent contact with them, but just how deep is the link?  

This was a compelling read, the plot moves along well and very briskly towards the end as you would expect, the writing gives a great sense of atmosphere and intensity.  You feel drawn to read on, find out whether it is Brede carrying out these murders, whether it’s someone else, what Axel’s link to it all is.  Interestingly, the narration is broken up with passages of the murderer speaking to the final victim, or more what they intend to say to the victim (both physically as well as what has been recorded via Dictaphone).  This adds an even more sinister edge to the story, the killer making sure the victim knows why this is being done and what their fate will be.  
This was very well written as far as I am concerned, Damhaug shows great skill with building intensity and layering the suspense.  I particularly enjoyed the story telling moments Axel shared with his young daughter, it’s always good to learn something from a book, so finding out about the stories of Cassiopeia and Medusa etc was an added bonus.

The characters on the whole were good, the bumbling Police were well written, showing that you can write a novel involving a police investigation without making them the heroes of the day.  This was a refreshing change, seeing that the officers involved in the case were so blinkered in their investigation that it led to the wrong conclusions entirely.  That said, however, the individual characters from the Police did seem a little hollow, there was no real substance to them which was a little disappointing.  Axel Glenne was an interesting character, well written but he seemed to act a little “out of character” at the end, but whether this was the intention of the author, showing that Axel was reacting to the stimulus around him, or whether the character was evolving into something more, I cannot decide.

Sadly, the angle of the reappearing twin brother seemed to taper away.  Once the killer was identified it was clear that there would be little to no more mention to Brede Glenne, unless as a moment of reminiscence by Axel.  This was a shame as I really would have liked to see some part played by this mysterious phantom figure, the detail given about his character added to the suspense and intrigue earlier in the story, so for him to just drop out of things felt a little dissatisfying.

I would definitely look out for the following books from this author, I would be intrigued to see what Torkil Damhaug does next, the writing is solid and enjoyable to read, just not 100% ticking all the boxes for me at the moment.  

I would like to thank Headline for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 8th  October 2015, a copy can be purchased here Medusa (Oslo Crime Files 1) (UK Kindle Version)

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Alone with the Dead

 

Author: James Nally
Published: 08 October 2015
Reviewed: 02 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review.

  5 out of 5 stars  

 

*The first in an electrifying new British detective series starring PC Donal Lynch.*

Meet PC Donal Lynch.

Irish runaway. Insomniac. Functioning alcoholic.

Donal is new to working the beat in London, trying his
best to forget that night. After all, there aren’t many police
officers who can say they have a convicted murderer
for an ex-girlfriend.

So when a woman is murdered on his patch, Donal throws
himself into the case. As the first person on the scene,
Donal can’t forget the horrific sight that faced him – and
he knows this case can’t go unsolved. But how do you
solve a case with no lead suspect and no evidence?

As his past catches up with him, Donal is forced to confront
his demons and the girl he left behind. But what will crack
first, the case or Donal?

     

Donal Lynch has a past, he can’t let go of his ex-girlfriend, despite her being a murderer and try as he might, he can’t shake the feeling he’s being haunted by someone or something from his past..  

As a PC on the beat in London, Donal is called to a crime scene that affects him more than he could imagine.  A young woman has been found murdered, it’s a gory scene and the panicking witnesses make it all the more desperate and desolate.   
Knowing that as one of the first on the scene he will have to provide a witness statement once he’s back on duty the next day, Donal heads home to think over what he saw, the witnesses he spoke to and try to block out the scene of the body of murder victim Marion Ryan.  At least that was his plan until Marion appears to him in his sleep, determined to tell him something.  
Brushing off Marion’s appearance as a dream brought on by too much Shiraz, he gets back on duty, but is soon called to disturbance.  Donal is determined to protect this victim, doing anything he can think of to ensure her safety, he advises her to call for the Police if her threatening ex-boyfriend returns to menace her, gives her his number and mentions he lives not far away so could check in on her from time to time to make sure she’s ok.  
They eventually strike up a friendship, and Donal mentions about his insomnia and the feeling that he’s being haunted by Marion, feels she’s trying to tell him something, and is convinced to go see psychiatrist (who happens to be her friend).

Donal is promoted to acting DC and is brought in on the investigation into Marion’s murder, keen to impress is superiors he sets about working hard, but his efforts are somewhat hampered by his older brother being a crime journalist.  Fintan Lynch reporting on certain things throws into question Donal’s loyalty and integrity, but he can’t do anything about it, not until unless he has proof where the actual leak is.  

The appearance of Donal’s ex-girlfriend Eve further exacerbates the chaotic situation.  Does he want her back in his life?  Why has she come back after telling him not to wait for her?  Should he just tell her to leave as his career is more important?   

Donal needs to focus, he needs to work out what Marion is trying to tell him, he needs to solve her case, and he wants to know what the psychiatrist might be able to tell him about his insomnia/seeing “ghosts” is all about.  

This is a gripping first novel, Donal Lynch is fantastic character, a tortured soul that I really liked, his dry sense of humour appealed to me, the “paranormal” element to the story worked for me.  I was a little sceptical when I heard about it and wanted to see how it would be portrayed, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Nally uses it as a form of “old fashioned gut instinct” and it really does add something to the story – I certainly will admit I wondered what Marion was trying to get across with her antics.  

The writing is good, setting this in a time of hostility in Ireland and England, the political ties make this atmospheric as well as intriguing.  The characters making comments about stereotypes prevalent at the time give an authenticity to the book.  The characters are believable, incorporating many from the police procedural set – the overzealous detective, lazy constables, guns blazing superiors, and sneaky journalists but, in this book they all have a place and work so well.

Many reviews I’ve seen have commented that there’s too back story or mention of Donal’s past and sleep problems, but for me these really explain certain things.  They add to the story and make the back story come to life.  I think it’s vital for that level of detail to make this book work and I applaud James Nally for his attention to detail and excellent writing skills. 

This is definitely a series I will be following, I can’t wait to see what Donal gets up to next and really look forward to reading more by this author.


I would have no hesitation to recommend this to fans of Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense and Crime genres.  

I would like to thank HarperCollins UK, Avon for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 8th October 2015, a copy can be purchased here Alone with the Dead (UK Kindle Version)

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When a Scottish Knitwear and Toy Designer and a French Compulsive Knitter Meet...

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The Blog & Website of Anne Stormont Author: Writing, Reading, Reflecting

bibliobeth

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” - Cicero

Not Another Book Blogger

Reading, Writing, Drinking Tea

BookBum

A friendly space for all horror, mystery & thriller lovers

Broadbean's Books

Welcome to my blog where I share my thoughts on books.

Berit Talks Books

“I'm just a girl, standing in front of a book hoping I will love it.”

Yvonne - Me and My Books

Books, book reviews and bookish news.

The Beardy Book Blogger

Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB

Book lovers' booklist

Book news and reviews

Rosepoint Publishing

Blogger-Book Blogger–Book Reviews of Bestsellers & Indie Authors

Crime Thriller Fella

Crime reviews, news, mayhem, all the usual

juliapalooza.com

Books, bakes and bunnies

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

Letter Twenty

it's all about the tea

On The Shelf Books

A bookblog for readers

Gem's Quiet Corner

Welcome to my little corner. Grab a cup of tea (or hot drink of preference), find your happy place and join me to talk all things bookish...