Adi Tantimedh: Her Beautiful Monster
Published by Mulholland 25th January 2018
When Ravi's colleagues at Golden Sentinels discover that he sees gods in moments of heightened anxiety and stress, they are surprisingly fine with it. They even encourage him to incorporate his visions into his work, especially now that the cases have become more intense, with many hidden risks at play. But their latest case - a search for a dead Russian oligarch's last will and testament - leads to more than anyone expected: a missing heir, murderous relatives, and geopolitical implications. So, when Ravi's boss sends him to Los Angeles to wait out the heat, it's almost a relief...until Ravi's past catches up to him. In this thrilling and complex sequel to Her Nightly Embrace, nothing is what it seems, as Ravi stumbles upon a dangerous scheme that involves the CIA, MI5, and a wanted man with a $20 million price on his head.
I really enjoyed HER NIGHTLY EMBRACE, and it's nice to get to grips with a first rate thriller that doesn't focus entirely on people from your own culture. Excellent.
Helen Fields: Perfect Death
Published by Avon 25th January 2018
‘Relentless pace, devilish cleverness and a laser-sharp focus on plot.’ Chris Brookmyre... ‘Without doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read.’ Woman’s Way Magazine... Your new addiction starts here: get hooked on the #1 bestselling series. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge. There’s no easy way to die… Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late. But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…
This is billed on the front cover as a D I Callanach thriller, but for me, the prime character has to be DCI Ava Turner... Once again Helen turns in a tour de force of crime writing, so completely different from Rebus and Logan MacRae, yet still having a Police Scotland background. This one's a real page turner, the chemistry between the two leads is superlative, and the plot is faultless!
R J Bailey: Nobody Gets Hurt
Published by Simon and Schuster 11th January 2018
Bodyguard Sam Wylde has had her British licence revoked. She is now operating in Europe, running security on a swanky motor yacht during the Historic Grand Prix race. And at the same time she trawls for news of her ex-husband and daughter. In fact, the owner of the boat is bankrupt and the bank wants the multi-million-dollar vessel back. Sam is in the middle of a very dangerous situation that is rapidly escalating out of control. Alongside her partner Konrad, Sam has to fight enemies on all fronts. But will they even find themselves on opposite sides when it comes to the final showdown?
This reminded me of one of Peter O'Donnell's excellent Modesty Blaise adventures from the 1960s, only brought bang up to date!
Paul C W Beatty: Children of Fire
Published by Matador 28th November 2017
Children of Fire is set in 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West England. The story is told through the eyes of Josiah Ainscough, who returns from travels on the continent, and he surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father's footsteps into the Methodist Ministry. While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident, or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it? As a policeman Josiah must uncover the truths behind the Children of Fire, and Josiah is forced to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale, before more people die. Josiah is torn between his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland. With more crimes unfolding rapidly, Josiah struggles to prevent a large illicit shipment of military grade gunpowder from getting to Ireland for use in terrorist attacks, and it becomes clear that he is out of his depth.
Janet evanovich: Hardcore 24
Published by H Review 24th November 2017
Janet Evanovich's sleuth Stephanie Plum is back in action as mutilated corpses litter the streets of New Jersey. Raves for Evanovich's novels: 'Smart and sassy' (Time Out); 'Witty and fast-paced' (Sunday Times); 'Romantic and gripping' (Good Housekeeping).
Headless bodies have started appearing across town in Trenton, New Jersey. At first, it's just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. Then a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church. Stephanie Plum knows that she's the only one with a prayer of catching this killer. If that's not enough, Diesel's back in town. The six-foot-tall, blond-haired hunk accepts no limits - that includes locked doors, closed windows and underwear. Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, isn't pleased at his arrival, nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant with his own plans for Stephanie. Jersey's favourite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle with more questions than answers. Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel's sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events?
The terrific mix of comedy and thrills has been Janet Evanovich's trademark for several years, and Stephanie Plum remains my favourite of all her characters. Each fresh outing of Stephanie provides endless joy and thrills without ever becoming stale. Hardcore 24 is a superb read.
Stephen Leather: The Shout
Published by Hodder and Stoughton 25th January 2018
Vicky Lewis is a force to be reckoned with: not yet thirty and already crew manager in the London Fire Brigade, she's destined for great things. But when she enters a burning building to save a man's life and leaves it with catastrophic injuries, all that changes. She's shunted over to the Fire Investigation Unit, where she's forced to team up with cantankerous veteran Des Farmer, aka the Grouch. When Vicky stumbles across the Grouch's off-the-books investigation into the fiery deaths of a series of young, blonde women, she decides to join him in his search for the truth. The answer is close - perhaps too close. Vicky's already been burnt once, and now she's playing with fire . . .
Stephen Leather is rapidly turning into the number one thriller writer in the UK, and The Shout confirms that's where he should be, right at the top of his game. I can't find anything wrong with it...
Chris Carter: Gallery Of The Dead
Published by Simon & Schuster 6th February 2018
‘Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what’s inside that room would be it.’
That’s what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended.
In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders; a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing – it’s an art form.
Welcome to The Gallery of the Dead.
I have to say that the publicity material that arrived with my review copy of this book was a little disturbing - a cardboard frame with the words "Gallery of the Dead" which you are supposed to use to compose a selfie. Pretty grim in my opinion. It actually put me off reading the book, which is a shame, really...
Sara Paretsky: Fallout
Published by Hodder & Stoughton 11th January 2018
V.I. Warshawski's impossible god-daughter Bernie convinces her to look for August, a young film-maker who has disappeared. The evidence indicates that he has gone to Kansas in the company of Emerald, an older black movie actress who wants to film the story of her life. Her search takes V.I. from the military base Emerald was born on, to the farm where she grew up outside a university town, ploughing up past and present-day secrets as she goes. What is happening at the former nuclear missile site next door to the farm? What happened at the site in 1983, when students tried to stage their own version of Greenham Common? Everywhere V.I. turns she seems to be finding more trouble - with not a sign of August and Emerald. And then trouble turns to death...
This is the latest episode in Sara Paretsky's impossibly perfect thriller series about V I Warshawski. An entirely perfect and thoroughly enjoyable thriller - the perfect bedtime read...
The small print: Books Monthly, now well into its twenty-first year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email and I'll let you know where to send it.