Post Script: Shallow End: Brenda Chapman

The Shallow End

Shallow End

A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery

Brenda Chapman

Dundurn

ISBN: 9781459735101

 

Description:

Still waters run deep.

 

English teacher, mother, wife, and convicted child predator Jane Thompson has made parole and she has a plan. Moving into student housing, she takes a minimum wage job and begins her life in the shadows while she bides her time. One month later, the bludgeoned body of the student she was found guilty of corrupting four years earlier is found on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Rouleau assigns Officers Stonechild and Gundersund to head up the murder investigation and Jane Thompson quickly becomes the prime suspect. But knowing guilt and proving it are two entirely different things, and as the early days of the case close, the team is coming up empty.

The near-constant autumn rain and wind are a dreary backdrop for the troubles ahead: Stonechild learns that her niece in foster care is skipping school, Gundersund can’t seem to extricate himself from a bad marriage, and Rouleau is trying to come to terms with the death of his ex-wife. All take a back seat as the investigation picks up steam, and with it, the unsettling suspicion that a killer is getting desperate.

The murder investigation is about to turn into a beast unleashed — wading through deeply buried secrets to the truth will take Stonechild and the team on a twisted journey into the heart of evil.

The question is: who will come out the other side?

 

 

My View:

This is another remarkable read in the Stonechild and Rouleau mystery series – and believe me this author just gets better and better!

Our favourite characters are back tackling a murder that some have already decided is an open and shut case – and nothing could be further from the truth.  This author spins a sticky tale – there are so many twists and turns, false starts and misdirection’s you will likely end up dizzy, caught in a web of intrigue..

 

Central to the plot are a few very contemporary scenarios of abuse and manipulations that are becoming headline stories in our newspapers, but the full depth of this tragedy will leave you gobsmacked.  What a fantastic read!   You will not see this ending coming.

 

Encore! Encore! More please Brenda Chapman.

 

Post Script: Right Behind You – Lisa Gardner

right-behind-you

Right Behind You

Quincy & Rainie #7

Lisa Gardner

Penguin Group

Dutton

ISBN: 9780525954583

 

Description:

Lisa Gardner’s next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

 

My View:

Psst….psst….let me tell you a secret: a good writer, no, a great writer, makes reading effortless. Time is suspended whilst you read.  The prose is not laboured, or convoluted, or verbose. When you read a great writers narrative, it flows, the pages turn almost by themselves as you hunger to read more, the characters are well drawn and mostly likeable (not the antagonists of course), and the plot is complex not complicated. Lisa Gardner is a GREAT WRITER!

This is another great read from this talented author!

 

Post Script: Blood Lines – Angela Marsons

blood-lines

Blood Lines (D.I. Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 5)

Angela Marsons

Bookouture

ISBN: 9781786810984

 

Description:

How do you catch a killer who leaves no trace?

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

 

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

 

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

 

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

 

A totally gripping thriller that will have you hooked from the very first page to the final, dramatic twist.

 

 

My View:

A superbly satisfying read!  

Yet again Angela Marsons has written an extremely taut, fast paced and exciting episode in the D.I Kim Stone series. Kim’s nemesis is back in play and lives are manipulated again, mere pawns in Dr Alex Thorne’s bigger plan. Connect the dots…see if you can work out the mysteries here.

 

There are some fantastic plot twists here – you will be surprised!

 

My only question is – where to now DI Kim Stone? This kind of felt like a wrap up to me, but I will be happy to be proved wrong if another episode is written Angela Marsons.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Walking The Line – Mandy Magro – Guest Reviewer

Brenda gives this a five star review!

walking-the-line

 Walking the Line

Mandy Magro

Harlequin MIRA AU

ISBN: 9781489210609

 

Description:

For how long can secrets stay buried?

Country-loving Dallas Armstrong is a hard-as-nails bull rider, who dreams of becoming Australian champion, just like his father, Mick, was. But when he discovers a shocking secret about his father on the same day Mick dies in a car accident, Dallas’s world is turned upside down. Now it’s up to him to protect his mother from the truth, and to keep the family farm Rollingstone Ridge afloat. And he will do everything in his power to do so.

Charlize Dawson is a successful city journalist whose marriage is in tatters. Begrudgingly sent to the country to write about Dallas, she is surprised to find that he isn’t the arrogant cowboy she’d assumed he’d be. Instead she and Dallas and share an intense chemistry and deep connection that lead to a stolen kiss at the Rodeo Ball.

But when Charlize’s research for her article puts her on the path of uncovering Dallas’s secret, he demands she stop or lose him forever. Dallas or her career, which should she choose? How can she turn her back on the people who have welcomed her into their lives with open arms, all in the name of her job? Her career is all she has left, and she has worked so very hard to be where she is. But how can she reveal what she knows, if it means losing the love of her life?

 

Brenda’s View:

Journalist from a top Sydney newspaper, Charlize Dawson was going through many stages of grief after finding her beloved husband had been cheating; their marriage a sham. But then her boss who was also a good friend, decided to send Charlize to Grenfell, deep in the country near Parkes in New South Wales. His idea was for Charlize to have some time to clear her mind and think about her future, plus combine it with an assignment to interview Dallas Armstrong, champion bull rider keen to become the Australian champion. Reluctant though she was, Charlize knew the break away would help; and her career wouldn’t suffer either.

Dallas lived on Rollingstone Ridge, the family farm which had been his home from birth. His father had been killed several months before in a terrible car accident, only a matter of hours after Dallas had discovered a secret he had been hiding; his determination to protect his mother Katherine and Gramps Reg from learning the truth had him struggling with a combination of grief and guilt.

On learning of the imminent arrival of the journalist, Dallas was angry. He didn’t want this – the risk of secrets being uncovered had him concerned. But helping the family farm survive was a priority – he was sure he could handle it and send the journalist on her way. As Charlize settled quickly into country life, loving it which surprised her immensely, she found Dallas’ family friendly and welcoming. The townsfolk of Grenfell were the same – all except for one person. Who was this bitter, nasty piece of work who seemed to want to do nothing more than cause trouble? And what would Charlize do when she discovered something she really didn’t want to know?

Walking the Line is another excellent rural romantic suspense novel by Aussie author Mandy Magro. Set in the vast depths of country Australia, the descriptions of the bush and rural life, along with the struggles of the farmers are authentic. The mystery and intrigue are high; the pages, especially toward the end, just raced by while I kept reading until late to discover what had happened. This 5 star read is highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

 

Post Script: The Beauty Of The End – Debbie Howells

The Beauty of the End

The Beauty of the End

Debbie Howells

Kensington Press

ISBN: 9781496705983

 

Description:

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover’s past.

 

“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”

 

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

 

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

 

Or so everyone believes. . .

 

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.

 

 

My View:

This is a book that successfully merges many genres- romance, contemporary fiction, crime fiction and thriller.

 

The early chapters succinctly capture the dizziness, the neediness, the all-consuming power of adolescent first love; and beautifully captured it is. The emotions and the passion, the hopefulness, the desire for that love to be recognised, to be loved back with equal passion… this author has successfully taken me back to being a teenager, such profound prose, emotions exposed.

 

This narrative is complex, it is more than a love story, though that element has as much presence as the characters themselves, love is influential and ambitious, making its power felt as the story develops. Complex, twisted and surprising…a story of abuse, hope, manipulation and more love…and abuse of power and position.

 

Willingly we follow the crumbs that lead us deeper into the woods – the path back muddy and confusing. The unreliable narrator serves his purpose well – only the last pages will reveal the truth and provide justice.

 

A great read.

 

 

Post Script: Bryant & May – Strange Tide (Bryant & May Book 13) – Christopher Fowler

Strange Tide

Bryant & May – Strange Tide

(Bryant & May Book 13)

 Christopher Fowler

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Doubleday

ISBN: 9780857523426

 

Description:

The river Thames is London’s most important yet neglected artery. When a young woman is found chained to a post in the tide, no-one can understand how she came to be drowned there. At the Peculiar Crimes Unit, Arthur Bryant and John May find themselves dealing with an impossible crime committed in a very public place.

Soon they discover that the river is giving up other victims, but as the investigation extends from the coast of Libya to the nightclubs of North London, it proves as murkily sinister as the Thames itself. That’s only part of the problem; Bryant’s rapidly deteriorating condition prevents him from handling the case, and he is confined to home. To make matters worse, May makes a fatal error of judgement that knocks him out of action and places everyone at risk.

With the PCU staff baffled as much by their own detectives as the case, the only people who can help now are the battery of eccentrics Bryant keeps listed in his diary, but will their arcane knowledge save the day or make matters even worse? Soon there’s a clear suspect in everyone’s sights – the only thing that’s missing is any scrap of evidence.

As the detectives’ disastrous investigation comes unstuck, the whole team gets involved in some serious messing about on the river. In an adventure that’s as twisting as the river upon which its set, will there be anything left of the Peculiar Crimes Unit when it’s over?

 

 

 

My View:

Wacky and bizarre, this episode is full of eccentricities and over the top behaviours by our beloved Arthur Bryant and for a short while Bryant is convinced that he is developing a type of dementia or the like ) read the clues scattered like crumbs and you will draw your own conclusion.

 

This is another enjoyable episode in the life of The Peculiar Crimes Unit – I love the trip down memory lane and the weaving of past and present stories to create this new mystery.  Fun, whacky, the images of false teeth, funky smelling sandwiches in coat pockets, etc. slightly gross, there is an almost slapstick comedic manner about the writing … mixed with a serious mystery, an entertaining read.

 

** I have an image in my head of an actor who I think would play this part well…wish I could remember his name…it will come to me.

 

 

Post Script: Journeys End – Jennifer Scoullar

Journey's End

Journey’s End

Jennifer Scoullar

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143797005

 

Description:

From the author of Currawong Creek and Turtle Reef comes a beautiful story of family, friendship and the healing power of love.

When Sydney botanist Kim Sullivan and her husband inherit Journey’s End, a rundown farm high on the Great Eastern Escarpment, they dream of one day restoring it to its natural state. Ten years later, however, Kim is tragically widowed. Selling up is the only practical option, so she and her children head to the mountains to organise the sale. The last thing Kim expects is for Journey’s End to cast its wild spell on them all.

The family decide to stay, and Kim forges on with plans to rewild the property, propagating plants and acquiring a menagerie of native animals. But wayward wildlife, hostile farmers and her own lingering grief make the task seem hopeless. That is, until she meets the mysterious Taj, a man who has a way with animals. Kim begins to feel that she might find love again. But Taj has his own tragic past – one that could drive a wedge between them that can not be overcome . . .

 

My View:

If you are a fan of crime fiction (as I am) then this read will convert you to the genre of Australian Rural Fiction! Or maybe just to Jennifer Scoullar’s work 🙂

I loved this read – for so many reasons:

This is a well written narrative of rewilding/restoration – and the simile is not reserved just for the flora and fauna in the narrative, it also reflects the emotional restorations happening in so many of the characters’ lives in the book.

It made me reflect on another perspective on the war in Afghanistan that I hadn’t really given much thought to, (that of the innocent victims of the war) and I saw Afghanistan, the country as a more diverse  landscape than that often cited in media grabs ; more than  a flat, dusty, almost people less,  barren land of a remote villages.

It made me consider and reflect on more natural ways of conserving /preserving nature than baiting and trapping. I looked at dingoes and their role in the environment in a new light. Thanks for opening my eyes Jennifer.

Jennifer Scoullar’s writing has a rich complexity  – it can be read as simply a story of renewal from a place of grief,  a story of friendships, a romance, or you can absorb the depth of issues gently  raised here – of racism, environmental management, wild life rescue, the effects of dwindling numbers in small towns on education etc. the illegal logging of protected stands of trees etc. etc.

However you read this you will enjoy it!