Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Dead Pretty – David Mark

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

So having read the first and the third in this series and even those two in the wrong order I was interested to see what DS Aector McAvoy had to offer in this, his fifth outing. I wasn’t disappointed.

The book opens with Aector on a family picnic, although he’s not fooling his wife Roisin who knows that he is trying to find the body of a girl who has been missing for nine months, an unsolved case that preoccupies him. But, life as a policeman never allows him to relax for long and no sooner have they eaten their sandwiches when a call comes in about a murdered girl.

What I particularly enjoyed with this novel was the multiple strands. A missing persons investigation and a murder would be enough for most crime writers to handle, but no we also have Reuben Hollow who has been released from prison, put away by Aector’s boss, Trish Pharaoh, on what appears to be false evidence, and who is now political dynamite as a result. With Pharaoh looking as if she is going to be hung out to dry Aector’s natural protective instinct goes into overdrive, but his boss seems to be changing; still feisty but drinking far too much and behaving secretively, he’s not quite sure what she wants from him anymore.

As in many police procedurals there are plenty of politics and rivalry between the teams as to who gets the ‘best’ cases although within the Special Investigation team things are relatively settled, just as well because the investigation into the murder is complex with leads taking them all in many different directions, none of them particularly good!

This was an engaging read and although Aector still comes across as a little too good to be true,, it makes a nice change from the gruff surly policemen that often inhabit this genre. I warmed far more to Trish Pharaoh in this book perhaps because we got to view her home life in a bit more detail and so I appreciated more of what made the core of the woman, and which aspects of her character she has capitalised to get on, both in her career and life in general. It was interesting to see some rivalry between her and Roisin, both women adore Aector and with one his wife and the other his boss, you have to wonder quite what is going to happen next.

One thing is for certain is that this is not a gentle read, the complexities of the plot coupled with the smart pace alone keeps the tension high from page to page and there are some fairly gruesome scenes. I thought I was fairly shock-proof but this book made me wince more than once along the way! I’m also not sure what whoever is in charge of Hull’s tourism thinks, as the descriptions of the city are less than flattering but there is nothing like a grim backdrop to set the scene for a disturbing crime!

I’d like to thank the publishers Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read a review copy of this book ahead of publication on 28 January 2016. I’m now well and truly motivated to read the missing episodes before book six gets published (sorry for those of you who think this is completely the wrong way to manage a series!)

DS Aector McAvoy series

Dark Winter
Original Skin
Sorrow Bound
Taking Pity
Dead Pretty

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 20)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

At the moment I am reading My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, a story of mothers and daughters.

My Name is Lucy Barton

Blurb

An exquisite story of mothers and daughters from the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Her unexpected visit forces Lucy to confront the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of her life: her impoverished childhood in Amgash, Illinois, her escape to New York and her desire to become a writer, her faltering marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable. In My Name Is Lucy Barton, one of America’s finest writers shows how a simple hospital visit illuminates the most tender relationship of all-the one between mother and daughter. NetGalley

Having just finished Dead Pretty by David Mark, the fifth in the DI McAvoy series

Dead Pretty

Blurb

Hannah Kelly has been missing for nine months. Ava Delaney has been dead for five days.
One girl to find. One girl to avenge. And DS Aector McAvoy won’t let either of them go until justice can be done.
But some people have their own ideas of what justice means… NetGalley

And next up is Without Trace by Simon Booker which sounds like it’s got all the makings of an excellent novel

Simon Booker

Blurb

Her daughter missing, her childhood sweetheart the only suspect: a gripping and suspenseful debut thriller
For four long years, journalist Morgan Vine has campaigned for the release of her childhood sweetheart Danny Kilcannon – convicted, on dubious evidence, of murdering his 14 year-old stepdaughter.
When a key witness recants, Danny is released from prison. With nowhere else to go, he relies on single mum Morgan and her teenage daughter, Lissa.
But then Lissa goes missing.
With her own child now at risk, Morgan must re-think all she knows about her old flame – ‘the one that got away’. As the media storm around the mysterious disappearance intensifies and shocking revelations emerge, she is forced to confront the ultimate question: who can we trust…? Amazon

So that’s my week nicely sorted, what do you all have to read at the moment? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (November 1)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

A day late, but as (surprisingly) I have a few books that have been added to my shelves, I thought I’d share them with you.

To read in November, I have The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas. Last year I enjoyed Your Beautiful Lies by this author and have my fingers crossed that this one will be equally good.

The Secret by the Lake

Blurb

A FAMILY TRAGEDY
Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.
A SISTER’S SECRET
But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.
A WEB OF LIES
Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves? NetGalley

December reading includes The Thirteenth Coffin by Nigel McCrery, the creator of Silent Witness. I haven’t read the earlier books in this series but I did enjoy Silent Witnesses his non-fiction book the history of forensic science.

The Thirteenth Coffin

Blurb

Stretching along the shelf, standing upright, were twelve wooden coffins. Nine were closed, and three open . . . with little dolls standing inside them . . .
It was supposed to be the most special day of her life – until the unthinkable happened. Leslie Petersen is shot dead on her wedding day. With the bride’s killer vanished without a trace, the investigation into the murder grinds to a halt before it’s even begun. But then, the decomposing body of an unidentified homeless man is found in an old Cold War bunker, and DCI Mark Lapslie makes a bizarre discovery. Hidden near the body is a shrine full of miniature wooden coffins. Each coffin contains a little doll, all dressed differently. One of the dolls is dressed as a bride – could this be a link to Leslie’s murder? And if so, who do the other dolls represent? Can Lapslie and his team stop the countdown of the ‘dying dolls’ before it’s too late? NetGalley

And for January I have a copy of Dead Pretty by David Mark, the fifth in the Aector McAvoy series.

Dead Pretty

Blurb

Hannah Kelly has been missing for nine months. Ava Delaney has been dead for five days.
One girl to find. One girl to avenge. And DS Aector McAvoy won’t let either of them go until justice can be done.
But some people have their own ideas of what justice means… NetGalley

I also have a copy of the Murder on the Common by Keith Pedder which my brother has been urging me to read for quite some time, this is the true story of the murder trial where the chief suspect Colin Stagg was found not guilty. Written before he was acquitted and the real murderer discovered, this is Keith Pedder’s justification of the methods used to put Colin Stagg on trial.

Murder on the Common

Blurb

No one could have imagined that when beautiful young Rachel Nickell went for a walk on Wimbledon Common with her little son, it would have resulted in a wicked, sickening crime that appalled a nation; or that the police investigation that followed would cost millions of dollars. This is the inside story of that operation by the police detective that headed it up. It reveals information that has hitherto been withheld, and spectacularly prints letters from the police involved in the operation to the chief suspect that will astonish the reader and bring the details of this terrible case right back into the public eye. Goodreads

I have a copy of The House of Memories by Monica McInerney, author of Hello from the Gillespies

The House of Memories

Blurb

Sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are those that matter most.
Following a tragic accident, Ella O’Hanlon flees to the other side of the world in an attempt to escape her grief, leaving behind the two people she blames for her loss: Aidan, the love of her life, and Jess, her spoilt half-sister.
In London Ella is taken in by her beloved uncle Lucas, whose extraordinary house holds many wonderful memories for her. Along with other members of the very colourful Fox family, Lucas helps Ella to see that she is not the only one still hurting, and that forgiveness can be the greatest healer in a family and in a marriage.
For anyone who has ever loved and lost, this is an exquisitely moving and life-affirming novel by the internationally bestselling author of Lola’s Secret. Goodreads

Lastly, my pre-order of The Lake House by Kate Morton finally arrived!

The Lake House

Blurb

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read. Goodreads

What have you found to read this week?