Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Rat Run – Caro Ramsay

Crime Thriller 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

In an insular community just seven miles from Glasgow the shadow of the murder of Sue Melrose and her two young sons back in 1992, still casts darkness over a row of houses. Up on the hill above the street Jock Aird sits and surveys all that he owned, watching the current inhabitants of the street. The man convicted of the young mother’s murder and that of the two boys and the family dog sits in prison protesting his innocence.

Meanwhile DCI Colin Anderson is waiting to hear if he is to be allowed back to work after a year on sick leave since his last case which saw him lose his lover and nearly his life. DI Costello is anxious, not sure whether he is fit to come back to work or not, but also longing to get away from her desk bound job and back to action.

Fortunately a new discovery means that action is about to come DI Costello’s way, and against a brooding backdrop of relentless rain which only serves to increase the claustrophobic atmosphere we meet the characters who live in the street in August 2015. The old case is reviewed with an aim to shore up the conviction against the man sat in prison, Andrew Gyle, reviewing those horrific images from twenty-three years before, combing the files and carrying out the necessary traces on those who were connected to the case.

Caro Ramsay executes this dark tale with a deft pen. The plot is fairly complex with many characters from the past and the present all seemingly with something to hide or infected by dark minds makes this far from a cheery read, but one that digs deep into the souls of all those involved. This is an author that doesn’t depend on left-field revelations, the clues are there for the denouement and I’m proud to say that I used these to work out the whodunit although I wasn’t quite there with the why. Not an easy task when there are many suspicious events, lots of people with nefarious intent but also some shining examples of the better side of human nature to keep this story from becoming so bleak that it seemed impossible to finish.

This is the seventh in the Anderson and Costello series and none of the books I have read, and no I didn’t start from the beginning (just for a change) read like the more traditional police procedural. Aside from Anderson’s return to work interviews and the brief that as much information about the new discovery was to be kept from the media, this story doesn’t concern itself with police politics. The members of the team are all individuals borrowing little from the stereotypical police cardboard cut-outs that are commonly used in such tales. We do hear a little about the protagonists private lives, mainly about Anderson’s struggle to overcome the psychological damage inflicted on him, and his family, but refreshingly the core of the story is kept to the forefront at all times.

If you like your crime thrillers to be full of thrills, you can’t go far wrong with this one but be warned, there are fairly graphic descriptions and if rats freak you out, this is not a bedtime story for you!!

Published UK eBook: 1 August 2016
Publisher: Severn House
No of Pages: 256
Genre: Crime Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 3)

This Week In Books

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

I am currently reading Rat Run by Caro Ramsay which was published for kindle on 1 August 2016. This is the latest Anderson and Costello series.

Rat Run

Blurb

A macabre discovery throws disturbing new light on a 20-year-old murder case in the latest tense and twisting Anderson and Costello mystery.

In August 1992, a young mother and her two small sons were brutally murdered in the woods behind their home. Her neighbour Andrew Gyle was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment. Now, twenty-three years later, a macabre discovery throws new light on the case. Could there have been a shocking miscarriage of justice?

Having only just returned to work following an enforced leave of absence, DCI Colin Anderson knows he must make a success of his comeback case. But, as he and his partner, DI Costello, uncover serious discrepancies in the original investigation, it becomes clear that not everyone is telling them the truth. Meanwhile, Costello worries that Anderson is struggling to cope – and his increasingly odd behaviour causes her to begin to think the unthinkable: can she trust her own partner? NetGalley

I have just finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, a very fine mystery indeed!

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

See yesterday’s post for an excerpt and synopsis

Next up is The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton a choice from my 20 Books of Summer, a challenge that I hope to finish at least 15 books from having realigned my expectations!

The Rehearsal

Blurb

A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve … The Rehearsal is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd expose of emotional compromise. Amazon

I think I’ve managed quite a good mix this week! What are you reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (April 9)

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.

Spring is here and it has sprung a crop of marvellous books – here’s what’s been added to my shelf in the last week!

Aimee Alexander contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reading her book The Accidental Life of Greg Millar and kindly arranged for me to receive a copy before publication on 26 April 2016.

The Accidental Life of Greg Millar

Blurb

Lucy Arigho’s first encounter with Greg Millar is far from promising, but she soon realises he possesses a charm that is impossible to resist. Just eight whirlwind weeks after their first meeting, level-headed career girl Lucy is seriously considering his pleas to marry him and asking herself if she could really be stepmother material.
But before Lucy can make a final decision about becoming part of Greg’s world, events plunge her right into it. On holiday in the South of France, things start to unravel. Her future stepchildren won’t accept her, the interfering nanny resents her, and they’re stuck in a heat wave that won’t let up. And then there’s Greg. His behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre and Lucy begins to wonder whether his larger-than-life personality hides something darker—and whether she knows him at all. NetGalley

I was thrilled beyond measure to be approved by Random House UK to read Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

Daisy in Chains

Blurb

Famous killers have fan clubs.
Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He’s handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he’s innocent, and that he’s the man of their dreams.
Who would join such a club?
Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win.
Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she’s immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . .
Would you?

Daisy in Chains sounds absolutely brilliant and will be published on 2 June 2016.

I also have a copy of the latest Caro Ramsay book featuring Costello and Anderson, I came late to this series and knowing I’m never ever going to catch up from the beginning now I can’t wait to read the latest, Rat Run, which will be published on 1 August 2016 by Severn House Publishers.

Rat Run

Blurb

A macabre discovery throws disturbing new light on a 20-year-old murder case in the latest tense and twisting Anderson and Costello mystery.
In August 1992, a young mother and her two small sons were brutally murdered in the woods behind their home. Her neighbour Andrew Gyle was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment. Now, twenty-three years later, a macabre discovery throws new light on the case. Could there have been a shocking miscarriage of justice?
Having only just returned to work following an enforced leave of absence, DCI Colin Anderson knows he must make a success of his comeback case. But, as he and his partner, DI Costello, uncover serious discrepancies in the original investigation, it becomes clear that not everyone is telling them the truth. Meanwhile, Costello worries that Anderson is struggling to cope – and his increasingly odd behaviour causes her to begin to think the unthinkable: can she trust her own partner? NetGalley

I also couldn’t possibly resist requesting a copy of Die of Shame by Mark Billingham, a truly talented and original writer. Grove Atlantic kindly approved my request for this book which will be published on 7 June 2016.

Die of Shame

Blurb

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. A respected doctor, a well-heeled housewife, a young male prostitute . . . they could not be more different. All they have in common is a history of addiction. But when one of the group is murdered, it quickly becomes apparent that someone else in that circle is responsible.
The investigation is hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these individuals and their therapist together, which makes things difficult for Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner, a woman who can appreciate the desire to keep personal matters private. If she is to find the killer, she will need to use less obvious means. The question is: What could be shameful enough to cost someone their life? And how do you find the truth when secrets, lies, and denial are second nature to all of your suspects? NetGalley

Unsolicited through the post I have a copy of Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris which was sent to me by Doubleday, this book will be published on 21 April 2016.

Fiver Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

Blurb

‘There exists in all of us a song waiting to be sung which is as heart-stopping and vertiginous as the peak of the cathedral. That is the meaning of this quiet city, where the spire soars into the blue, where rivers and stories weave into one another, where lives intertwine.’

One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – all facing their own personal disasters. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life. Amazon

Penguin Books UK thought I’d like a copy of The Last Days of Summer by debut novelist Vanessa Ronan, which will be published on 5 May 2016.

The Last Days of Summer

Blurb

She can forgive. They can’t forget.
After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.
Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.
Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door … Amazon

I also have a copy of The Butcher Bird by S.D. Sykes despite not having read my Christmas gift of the first in the series Plague Land

The Butcher Bird

Blurb

Oswald de Lacy is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more – something the King himself has forbidden.
Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear.
Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumour, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters.
From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald’s journey is full of danger, dark intrigue and shocking revelations. Amazon

… and if that lot wasn’t enough, I also have bought myself a copy of The Poison Principle by Gail Bell recommended by Hayley from Rather Too Fond of Books following my review of The Secret Poisoner

The Poison Principle

Blurb

When Dr William Macbeth poisoned two of his sons in 1927, his wife and sister hid the murders in the intensely private realm of family secrets. Like the famous poisoner Dr Crippen, Macbeth behaved as if he were immune to consequences; unlike Crippen, he avoided detection and punishment. Or did he? Secrets can be as corrosive as poison and, as time passed, the story of Dr William Macbeth, well-dressed poisoner, haunted and divided his descendants. Macbeth’s granddaughter Gail Bell, who grew up with the story, spent ten years reading the literature of poisoning in order to understand Macbeth’s life. A chemist herself, she listened for echoes in the great cases of the 19th and 20th centuries, in myths, fiction and poison lore. This intricate story, with a moving twist at the end, is a book about family guilt and secrets, and also an exploration of the nature of death itself – as Bell turns to her grandfather’s poisonous predecessors, from Cleopatra, Madame Bovary and Napoleon, as well as looking at Harold Shipman. Amazon

So after that massive selection my poor TBR watch has gone somewhat awry, but they all do look so good!!

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last count I have read 3 books, and gained, 8 so the total has shot up to 177 books!
91 physical books
68 e-books
18 books on NetGalley

 

What have you found to read this week? Please don’t tempt me too much!