Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Tears of Angels – Caro Ramsay

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

I read and enjoyed The Night Hunter which was the last in the Anderson & Costello series, but as it didn’t really feature the two detectives at length I was unsure about this duo and had the usual question, is it possible to enjoy part way through the series? The answer is yes, this read perfectly well as a standalone and I didn’t really feel that I had missed anything pertinent to the complex mystery that unfolded.

In short there at the time of the solstice an elderly woman burnt in her bed, clearly not an accident but who would want to kill a defenceless old woman? There is no time to dwell on this at all though as a man has been found dead in a field in a particularly nasty killing. When the detectives find his ID they realise that he has links to crimes committed around the solstice a year previously. On this occasion two young boys were the victims but it appears that there is more to this tale than meets the eye.

This is not a book for the squeamish; there is a lot of violence and a high body count but there is also a solid and intricate mystery at the heart of the book.  With a mixture of tales from the past and a wide range of characters the reader needs their wits about them to follow the storyline, particularly in the beginning where I began to despair especially since my concentration is well below par at the moment, but the perseverance paid off. This was one hell of a tale, impeccably plotted with all the sub-plots working out to perfection.

Despite the darkness of the story, the descriptive writing made me want to visit the location. In this case the setting by Loch Lomond was beautifully depicted, I was quite tempted to join one of the cast swimming in the clear blue water off the island as she examined the scene, imagining the night that three young boys played together on the island while their parents partied on the shore keeping themselves warm next to a bonfire. The other scenes are set in Glasgow and surrounding countryside which is equally vivid as Anderson and Costello work hard to find the culprit and clear up a few other mysteries along the way.

I have to admit, and maybe this is where the previous books in the series would have made a difference, that I found both these detectives a little hard to warm to.  Anderson has been having an affair and there are complications caused by that but at the heart he seems to be a decent sort of man. Costello is a woman with a nice line in caustic wit and adept at moving things along having a healthy disregard for police politics. These two don’t spend all their time together and seem to be able to work independently and with others which gives the reader a chance to see them as individuals and not just a partnership.  As this novel has a large cast, there are plenty of secondary characters ranging in age from youngsters to a man in his eighties and all appear to be credible and well-rounded. It isn’t always to spot the bad guy (or gal) that’s for sure.

I will be continuing to read this series, and I may well be tempted to take my library card and see if I can start at the beginning of this series with its intelligent and engaging writing.

I’d like to thank the publishers Severn House for providing a copy of this book ahead of publication on 1 September 2015 in return for this honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (August 26)

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

I have just started reading The Game Changer by Louise Phillips which only arrived on Monday courtesy of Hatchette Ireland. This is the fourth in the series that feature criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson and DI O’Connor. The Game Changer will be published on 3 September 2015.

The Game Changer

Blurb

Haunted by a past she can’t remember …
When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was twelve years old she was abducted, but she has no memory of the time she was held.
Over twenty years later, an anonymous note is pushed under her door …
I REMEMBER YOU, KATE.
And suddenly Kate’s distant past becomes her present.
When Kate discovers that her parents lied to her about the length of time she was missing, she is forced to question everything about her childhood.
Could the suspected suicide of an ex-headmaster in Dublin and a brutal murder in New York be connected to her abduction all those years ago? And was her father involved?
While Kate delves deeper into the recesses of her memory to uncover the truth, a murderous cult leader is bearing down on her.
THE GAME CHANGER is out for revenge. Someone has to pay for the sins of the past. Goodreads

I have just finished reading The Tears of Angels by Caro Ramsay, a police procedural set in Scotland and the latest in the Anderson & Costello Mystery series.

The Tears of Angels

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book
My review will follow soon

Next I plan on reading Preserve The Dead by Brian McGilloway which was published on 6 August 2015.

Preserve The Dead

Blurb

Detective Sergeant Lucy Black is visiting her father, a patient in a secure unit in Gransha Hospital on the banks of the River Foyle. He’s been hurt badly in an altercation with another patient, and Lucy is shocked to discover him chained to the bed for safety. But she barely has time to take it all in, before an orderly raises the alarm – a body has been spotted floating in the river below…
The body of an elderly man in a grey suit is hauled ashore: he is cold dead. He has been dead for several days. In fact a closer examination reveals that he has already been embalmed. A full scale investigation is launched – could this really be the suicide they at first assumed, or is this some kind of sick joke?
Troubled and exhausted, Lucy goes back to her father’s shell of a house to get some sleep; but there’ll be no rest for her tonight. She’s barely in the front door when a neighbour knocks, in total distress – his wife’s sister has turned up badly beaten. Can she help? NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (August 25)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My opening comes from The Tears of Angels written by Caro Ramsay. This is the sixth book in the Anderson & Costello Mystery Series and it is due to be published on 1 September 2015.

The Tears of Angels

Blurb

A few days before the summer solstice a 92-year-old woman is found burned to death in her home. On the same day, a man’s mutilated corpse is discovered in a field, his arms ripped from their sockets, a Tarot card depicting The Fool inserted in his mouth.
When the victim is identified as someone for whom the police have been looking for almost a year, detectives Anderson and Costello find themselves caught up in a case where nothing is as it seems. Was the dead man really responsible for three child murders? And what is the connection with the death of the elderly woman?
The investigation leads to the tranquil shores of Loch Lomond where Anderson and Costello will finally uncover the shocking truth. NetGalley

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Prologue

Looking across the loch the old man thought back to summers past. Golden memories of tartan rugs and sticky fingered picnics, of skinned knees and savage midges. A day spent hauling haversacks on to trams, running for trains, pulling on his mum’s hand, desperate to get to the farm.
Now, eighty years later, in the glow of the mid-summer moon, he could still make out the old farmhouse and the glimmer of a bonfire with its plume of milky smoke. It seemed closer now, but as a child the dark water between had seemed to stretch to eternity, untroubled and unbroken.

Please note that this was taken from a proof copy

Do you want to know more?
Please leave your thoughts and links in the comments box below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (May 23)

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!

Well after no new books last week I have one addition from NetGalley this week with The Tears of Angels by Caro Ramsay chosen because I enjoyed The Night Hunter by the same author.

The Tears of Angels

The Tears of Angels is due to be published 1 September 2015

Blurb

Past crimes cause new murder in this tense and twisting psychological thriller.
A few days before the summer solstice a 92-year-old woman is found burned to death in her home. On the same day, a man’s mutilated corpse is discovered in a field, his arms ripped from their sockets, a Tarot card depicting The Fool inserted in his mouth.
When the victim is identified as someone for whom the police have been looking for almost a year, detectives Anderson and Costello find themselves caught up in a case where nothing is as it seems. Was the dead man really responsible for three child murders? And what is the connection with the death of the elderly woman?
The investigation leads to the tranquil shores of Loch Lomond where Anderson and Costello will finally uncover the shocking truth. NetGalley

I also have a copy of Fates and Furies by Lauren Goff courtesy of Amazon Vine.

Fates and Furies

Blurb

Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation.
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart. Amazon

Lastly I have one purchase; The Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth

They Did it with Love

Blurb

Secrets lurk under the smooth surface of a wealthy Connecticut neighborhood, until a murder reveals all
Sofie and her husband have left Manhattan in search of a more tranquil life in the suburbs. But when a member of Sofie?s new neighborhood book club turns up dead, things get messy. She discovers that everybody has something to hide, including her own husband. Her neighbor Priscilla has been married to Gordon for fifteen years, but the love left their marriage a long time ago. Susan is Priscilla?s biggest supporter until she has to choose between loyalty to her friend and telling the truth. Ashley is eager to fit in, but her youth and status as a second wife keep her on the outside. She may know more than they think she does, though. Julia seems to have it all?the perfect house, job and husband. But her untimely death has people questioning how perfect her life really was. Through this swamp of suburban secrets, Sofie must wade to find the truth behind Julia?s murder and the state of her own marriage. They Did It with Love is a delightful, twisty, and twisted exploration of the things we?ll do for love. Goodreads

Any of these take your fancy or perhaps you’ve already read them?
What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below