Post Script: Insidious Intent – Val McDermid

Insidious Intent

Insidious Intent

Val McDermid

Hachette Australia

Little, Brown

ISBN: 9781408709337

 

Description:

In Insidious Intent, Tony and Carol are on the hunt for a serial killer who victimizes women at weddings without a date–and forces the duo to confront their most haunting moral dilemma so far.

 

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away–only to leave the victims’ bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate–but this may be the toughest case they’ve ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

 

 

My View:

This a very, very surprising read! There are the usual main characters that you have come to know and love, the horrendous crimes you expect to find in a Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series but what you won’t expect is the ending. I could not believe my eyes when I read the last few chapters! Incredible! What an impact!!! And then there is a personal note form Val McDermid.

 

 

letter

YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!

 

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Post Script: Y Is For Yesterday – Sue Grafton

Y is for Yesterday

Y is for Yesterday

A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

Sue Grafton

ISBN: 9781447260233

 

Description:

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

 

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

 

 

My View:

This episode is the standout in the series- PI fiction doesn’t get much better than this. I wonder what Z will offer?

This episode in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator series is action packed, tension filled and takes us on a different journey with Kinsey – a journey where she is apprehensive (and rightly so we soon discover) and not in control of events surrounding her.

The narrative is told from a dual time frame perspective – and the events of the past are harrowing and cast a shadow that eventually reaches Kinsey in the current time, in her current job.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode – the action is intense and the crimes of the past are horrific yet told with a subtleness that actually reinforces the darkness of the crime, the perpetrator vile in his manipulative behaviours – the perfect picture of a sociopath.  The revenge crimes in the present – are not so subtle, worrying and will keep you turning pages. A great read!

I can’t wait for Z – unless that means an end to the series?

 

 

Post Script: The Accordionist – Fred Vargas

The Accordionist

The Accordionist

Three Evangelists Trilogy

Fred Vargas

Random House UK, Vintage Publishing

Harvill Secker

ISBN: 9781846559983

 

Description:

When two Parisian women are shockingly murdered in their homes, the police suspect young accordionist Clément Vauquer, who was seen outside both of the apartments in question. It seems on the surface like an open-and-shut case.

 

But now Clément has disappeared from public view. His likeness has appeared in the papers and detectives from Paris to Nevers are on his tail. To have a chance of proving his innocence, he seeks refuge with old Marthe, a former prostitute and the only mother figure he has known.

 

Marthe calls ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler to help Clément. But what Louis uncovers is anything but straightforward, and he must call on some unconventional friends to help him solve his most complex case yet. Not only must Louis try to prove Clément’s innocence, he must solve a fiendish riddle to lead him to the killer…

 

 

My View:

This is a great series – I love the quirky characters – Vargas characters are unique, interesting and empathetic, unlike any I have come across in the many many mystery/thrillers/crime fiction genres I have read – refreshing, a joy to read!

 

If you are feeling a little fatigued, a little less engaged, a little disenchanted with the crime fiction books you had read recently re-ignite that joy of reading by reading the Three Evangelists Trilogy – you will not be disappointed.

Post Script: I Know A Secret. A Rizzoli and Isles Thriller – Tess Gerritsen

I Know A Secret

I Know A Secret

A Rizzoli and Isles Thriller

Rizzoli & Isles #12

Tess Gerritsen

ISBN: 9780593072462

 

Description:

In the twelfth gripping novel featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, the crime-solving duo—featured in the smash-hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles—are faced with the gruesomely staged murder of a horror film producer.

 

The crime scene is unlike any that Detective Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have ever before encountered. The woman lies in apparently peaceful repose on her bed, and Maura finds no apparent cause of death, but there is no doubt the woman is indeed dead. The victim’s eyes have been removed and placed in the palm of her hand, a gesture that echoes the terrifying films she produces. Is a crazed movie fan reenacting scenes from those disturbing films?

 

When another victim is found, again with no apparent cause of death, again with a grotesquely staged crime scene, Jane and Maura realize the killer has widened his circle of targets. He’s chosen one particular woman for his next victim, and she knows he’s coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Jane and Maura catch the killer.

 

But she knows a secret. And it’s a secret she’ll never tell.

 

 

My View:

Let me tell you a secret; it was a few days after Christmas, the busyness was over, the fridge was full of leftovers and all the visitors had returned home, the house was quiet. Over the course of a few days I sat and read eight or nine Tess Gerrritsen novels – a standalone or two and most of the Rizzoli and Isles books that had been released at that point in time. This was the start of my love of reading a series one book after the other – what a fantastic way to get to know the characters, the setting, and the writing. I was hooked.

 

Now I must read every “next” book that Tess Gerritsen writes! I love the characters; Jane, Maura, Jane’s mum… feel like old friends.  This new “next book” had that same wonderful familiarity that I enjoy so much, that allows me to easily slip into this “other world” of crime and autopsies. The narrative is complex and interesting, the back stories are very satisfying and as always the writing is excellent.

 

I can’t wait for the new “next book.”

 

 

Post Script: The Other Girl – Erica Spindler

This is just my type of read!The Other GirlThe Other Girl

Erica Spindler

St Martin’s Press

ISBN: 9781250083654

 

Description:

From the NYT bestselling author comes a chilling new thriller about a ritualistic murder of a college professor that sends a small town cop back into the trauma she thought she’d put behind her.

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 14 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.

 

My View:

 This is just my type of read! This novel has:

  • A great opening hook – where the reader just knows no good is going to happen and wants to shout at the protagonists to beware, but they don’t listen, ever.
  • Likeable protagonists that are flawed and credible.
  • A shocking crime or two to be solved.
  • Moral conflicts.
  • Compelling writing and storyline that kept me reading until I turned the last page.
  • And importantly, the author has managed to create a crime fiction narrative that has depth with many social issues being raised in the telling.
  • A new for me author who already has a catalogue of books I can seek out and read at my leisure. This is an author I have added to my musts read list.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: The Seagull – Ann Cleeves

A superbly written police procedural with a very human protagonist and contemporary narrative.The Seagull

The Seagull

A Vera Stanhope Novel 8

Ann Cleeves

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781447278351

 

Description:

The Seagull is Ann Cleeves’ searing eighth novel in the bestselling Vera Stanhope series, about corruption deep in the heart of a community, and about fragile, and fracturing, family relationships.

 

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a part in his downfall.

 

Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that Marshall is dead, his body buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay. However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two.

 

This cold case takes Vera back in time, and very close to home, as Brace and Marshall, along with a mysterious stranger known only as ‘the Prof’, were close friends of Hector, her father. Together, they were ‘the Gang of Four’, and Hector had been one of the last people to see Marshall alive. Vera must confront her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth, as the past begins to collide dangerously with the present . . .

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

 

Ann Cleeves is the author behind ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Her books have now sold millions of copies worldwide.

 

 

My View:

A superbly written police procedural with a very human protagonist and contemporary narrative.

 

Is it because I have watched an episode or two of Vera (the Detective series based on the novels in this series) or merely the fantastic way that Cleeves writes location, character and  intrigue that I am enamoured with this novel? I don’t know – maybe it is a combination of the two and that I can clearly picture and hear Brenda Blethyn as I turn the pages. I read this in one sitting.

 

Start reading this novel and enter a captivating world where sins of the past juxtapose and intersect a current investigation. Cold cases are reviewed and personal memories are awakened in this thrilling narrative where corruption is served as the main course, redemption is a too sweet dessert.

 

A five star read.

 

Post Script: Too Easy – J.M.Green

#TooEasy

Too Easy

J M Green

Scribe

ISBN: 9781925322026

 

Description:

Wisecracking social worker Stella Hardy returns, and this time she’s battling outlaw bikie gangs, corrupt cops, and a powerful hunger for pani puri.

 

On a stormy Halloween night, Stella gets a call from her best friend, Detective Phuong Nguyen. Phuong has a problem. Or rather her lover, Bruce Copeland, does.

 

Copeland has been implicated in a police-corruption scandal, and the only person who can help prove his innocence has disappeared. The missing man is Isaac Mortimer, a drug dealer associated with the notorious motorcycle gang The Corpse Flowers. Reluctantly, Stella offers to help track him down — and it isn’t long before she is way in over her head: evading bikies, drinking tea with drug dealers, and, worst of all, hanging out in the Macca’s carpark with a bunch of smart-alec teenagers.

 

Then, when Stella discovers that local street kids are being groomed for some sinister purpose — and that a psychopath with bust face tattooed across his knuckles is pursuing her — she realises she has her work cut out for her.

 

Sounds easy? Too easy.

 

 

My View:

What an outstanding read! This is my favourite Australian work of crime fiction this year – the dark humour, the flawed, complex, relatable characters are a joy to read, the Australian landscapes – political, physical and social are so relevant and the narrative is compulsive reading – EXCELLENT!!!

 

Stella is the social conscience of contemporary Australians. This is astute and wickedly funny writing, deliciously enthralling. Five stars does not do this book justice!

 

 

 “I pulled over to use the GPS on my phone trying to figure out where I’d gone wrong. If only I could do the same with my life.”

 

Darkness and I split the bills, had a roster for the dishes. It seemed to work. I didn’t pretend to be a good person.”