Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Trespasser – Tana French

Crime Fiction 5*s
Crime Fiction
5*s

Oh my!! I really don’t know how this author does it but once again Tana French has come up with yet another book with an authentic feel, that bears no resemblance to those that came before it. The Dublin Murder Squad, of which this is the sixth, is not a traditional series rather one or more characters from a previous book appears in a later one, and the crimes they tackle are as varied as the characters that populate the pages.

In The Trespasser Antoinette Conway, one of the detectives who appeared in the previous novel, The Secret Place, is the lead detective on a slam-dunk domestic killing of a young woman. Antoinette’s partner on the force is another detective we met in the previous book, Steve Moran, who has now found his way onto the Murder Squad. The partnership isn’t the easiest, Antoinette still being brusque and feisty and by now thoroughly fed-up with not being accepted by the rest of the team. Both are pleased to have a case of their own to run and will even put up with the arrogant Detective Bresslin overseeing their work to get away from the relentless night-shift and the unrelenting stupid crimes that occur on it.

Having never been in a Murder Squad any more than I’ve attended a girl’s boarding school, the author has created what feels like an authentic recreation of the world that Conway and Moran inhabit. The atmosphere, the décor and the smells are all served up along with the language, by which I refer to the dialogue and the jargon that surely really exist? The book is set fairly and squarely in Dublin and as in the previous novels modern Ireland is gently explored without overpowering the main plot.

The centre of the plot is all about the murder of Aislinn Murray a young woman, identikit to the numerous other women with straight blonde hair and a pout to match, who has had her head bashed in. There is no forced entry to the house and the table is set for two so all the junior detectives need to do is find the dinner date – it’s so easy that Antoinette is frustrated, she really wants a big case, one where she can do some real detective work. When they meet Aislinn’s friend Lucy the pair get a hint that there could be more to the tale, but with Bresslin looking for a quick win with such an obvious suspect, is Antoinette’s reputation for being feisty going to work irreparably against her?

This is a long book, one packed full of details which you really don’t want to miss. As good as the plot is, and it’s fantastic, the most spellbinding part is the unveiling of the characters. The victim is not quite the thick, look-obsessed and no taste girl that the detectives had her pegged at. Nor is the boyfriend quite as boring as he first seemed and with Antoinette herself the biggest mystery of the entire plot there is plenty to absorb and wonder at as the layers of their characters are peeled back to show the reality behind the façade. But be warned this isn’t a straightforward ride with Tana French not adverse to some manipulation of her reader’s feelings; I found my sympathy and concern for a number of characters waxed and waned as different interpretations to the facts seemed certain, and then slid away to the ‘I’m just not sure pile’ all of which meant that I suspected everyone and trusted no-one until pretty much the very last page.

I really can’t express quite how amazing this series is; I’ve loved all the books and each time a new one comes out it becomes my latest ‘favourite’ I’m not going there this time, but if you want a different kind of crime fiction, this series is a definite place to visit.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book for review purposes from the publishers Hodder & Stoughton ahead of UK publication on 22 September 2016. This is my unbiased opinion of the book.

The Dublin Murder Squad books:

In The Woods

The Likeness

Faithful Place

Broken Harbour

The Secret Place

First Published UK: 22 September 2016
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
No of Pages: 480
Genre: Crime Fiction Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (September 7)

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

At the moment I am reading (ok well just about to start) The Trespasser by Tana French, the fifth in the Dublin Murder Squad series. This has to be one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year so I’m hoping for great things. The Trespasser will be published on 22 September 2016.

The Trespasser

Blurb

Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She’s partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that’s going well – but the rest of her working life isn’t. Antoinette doesn’t play well with others, and there’s a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers’ tiff, but gradually they realise there’s more going on: someone on their own squad is trying to push them towards the obvious solution, away from nagging questions. They have to work out whether this is just an escalation in the drive to get rid of her – or whether there’s something deeper and darker going on. NetGalley

I have just finished the epic tale which follows Juliet Winterton in The Jeweller’s Wife by Judith Lennox

The Jeweller's Wife

Blurb

1938. As England awaits the outbreak of war, Juliet Winterton journeys from the Mediterranean to the Essex countryside to begin her life as the beautiful young wife of a London jeweller.
But beneath her husband’s intelligence and ambition, lies a cruel and ruthless man. And when dashing politician Gillis Sinclair comes to stay at Marsh Court, Juliet is drawn to his irresistible charm.
So begins a passionate affair that will have consequences far beyond anything Juliet imagines. For Gillis Sinclair is hiding a dark secret and, as the next generation of Wintertons grows up, Juliet fears that they, too, will be tainted by the past… NetGalley

Next I am going to be reading The Murder at the Vicarage for the Agatha Christie Blogathon organised by Christina Wehner for 16 to 18 September 2016.

The Murder at the Vicarage

Blurb

’Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a service!’
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later. From seven potential murderers, Miss Marple must seek out the suspect who has both motive and opportunity. Amazon

Have you read any of these beauties? Do you want to?

Let me know what you are reading this week by adding your comments or leaving your link below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 31)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well there was no wrap up post last week because I was in Copenhagen meeting Hans Christian Anderson as part of a trip with my daughter and her two bridesmaids.

Cleo Beth and Hans

We chose a very hot weekend, with the temperature tipping 30 degrees centigrade, not the best weather for a bride-to-be whose mission was to see as many of the sights of Copenhagen as possible including of course The Little Mermaid! The commentator on our boat tour informed us she was disappointingly small and insignificant!! We all had a fantastic trip, this is one city I definitely want to revisit and especially as unsurprisingly they make the most fantastic Danish pastries!!

It’s been a sad week too with us marking the first anniversary of Owen’s passing which we spent together remembering happier times of a darling son and brother.Multi-coloured house

 

 

 

Last Week on the Blog

In amongst the highs and lows I managed to post a bumper crop of five reviews on the blog this week:

Monday I posted my review of the true Victorian crime book featuring the murder of a young maid-of-all work in Greenwich, London in Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane by Paul Thomas Murphy.

This was followed by my review of Blind Side which was part of Jennie Ensor’s blog tour. This book takes in the terrorist activities in London in 2005 as well as examining the effects of war on soldiers in a well-written and engaging style.
In my weekly mid-week post I highlighted my current and upcoming reads including Claire Mackintosh’s, I See You which I am sad to be separated from having been called on to socialise with real people (again!)

My review of The Beauty at the End by Debbie Howells was posted on Thursday swiftly followed by my eighth read in the 20 Books of Summer on Thursday, the classic The Shrimp and the Anemone by L.P. Hartley.

Yesterday had me posting my fifth review of a book by Liane Moriarty, her latest offering Truly Madly Guilty.

I’m now completely up to date with my reviews for what seems like the first time in an age!

Stacking the Shelves

I’ve got five NetGalley finds since my last post starting with another Victorian True Crime with a poisoner to boot!

Mary Ann Cotton – Dark Angel by Michael Connolly will be published by Pen and Sword on 1 September 2016. There is a note that states that this book will tie in with a ITV drama Dark Angel which is due for airing in the autumn.

Mary Ann Cotton

Blurb

A female thief, with four husbands, a lover and, reportedly, over twelve children, is arrested and tried for the murder of her step-son in 1872, turning the small village of West Auckland in County Durham upside down. Other bodies are exhumed and when they are found to contain arsenic, she is suspected of their murder as well.
The perpetrator, Mary Ann Cotton, was tried and found guilty and later hanged on 24 March 1873 in Durham Goal. It is claimed she murdered over twenty people and was the first female serial killer in England.
With location photographs and a blow by blow account of the trial, this book challenges the claim that Mary Ann Cotton was the ‘The West Auckland Borgia’, a title given to her at the time. It sets out her life, trial, death and the aftermath and also questions the legal system used to convict her by looking at contemporary evidence from the time and offering another explanation for the deaths. The book also covers the lives of those left behind, including the daughter born to Mary Ann Cotton in Durham Goal. NetGalley

I’m absolutely delighted to have received a copy of The Trespasser by Tana French, the sixth in the Dublin Murder Squad series, books that are loosely connected with each other but that are also readable as stand-alones. The Trespasser will be published on 22 September 2016.

The Trespasser

Blurb

Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She’s partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that’s going well – but the rest of her working life isn’t. Antoinette doesn’t play well with others, and there’s a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers’ tiff, but gradually they realise there’s more going on: someone on their own squad is trying to push them towards the obvious solution, away from nagging questions. They have to work out whether this is just an escalation in the drive to get rid of her – or whether there’s something deeper and darker going on. NetGalley

Lastly I have a copy of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult which promises a look at prejudice. It’s a while since I binge read everything this author had published and now feel that it is time to pick up another.
Small Great Things

Blurb

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.
What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.
Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.
It is about opening your eyes. NetGalley

Small Great Things is to be published on 22 November 2016

I also have a copy of The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola which was published on 14 July 2016.

The unseeing

Blurb

It is 1837 and the city streets teem with life, atmosphere and the stench of London. Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, has been sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding.
Edmund Fleetwood, an idealistic lawyer, is appointed to investigate Sarah’s petition for mercy and consider whether justice has been done. Struggling with his own demons, he is determined to seek out the truth, yet Sarah refuses to help him. Edmund knows she’s hiding something, but needs to discover just why she’s maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone with a child would go willingly to their own death?
THE UNSEEING is a vividly written novel of human frailty, fear and manipulation, and of the terrible consequences of jealousy and misunderstanding. NetGalley

Lastly I have a copy of Pierre Lemaitre’s Blood Wedding which was chosen because of all the fabulous reviews floating around the blogosphere. Blood Wedding was published on 7 July 2016.

Blood Wedding

Blurb

A gripping standalone psychological thriller about marriage, manipulation and murder by the internationally bestselling author of Alex
Sophie is haunted by the things she can’t remember – and visions from the past she will never forget.
One morning, she wakes to find that the little boy in her care is dead. She has no memory of what happened. And whatever the truth, her side of the story is no match for the evidence piled against her.
Her only hiding place is in a new identity. A new life, with a man she has met online.
But Sophie is not the only one keeping secrets . . . NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last post I have read just 4 books and gained 5 so the total this week is now standing at 176 books!
89 physical books
67 e-books
20 books on NetGalley