Six books that we read and enjoyed in July.

At our last meeting these were six of the books we discussed which we’d read and enjoyed. If you want more information about any of them, just click on the links…

The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson
A well-preserved, child’s body is found in a peat bog outside Glasgow and identified as 11-year-old Mary McIntyre, who had gone missing forty-five years ago. Now scientific advances give the police a good chance to find out what happened, and find the killer – with the help of forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod. Mary’s best friend, Karen Marshall, will be central to the new investigation but the police can’t find her. This is book 15 in the Rhona MacLeod series and a very enjoyable whodunnit. It’s got a good plot, characters and atmosphere, and so it earned 4 Stars from Cornish Eskimo.

The Hunting Season by Tom Benjamin
An English author, writing about an English detective (Daniel Leicester) living and working in Bologna. It’s an undemanding mystery about the disappearance of an American truffle ‘supertaster’ – a young man who has the tasting ability to discern where truffles have originated from, which is a precious skill in a multi-million-Euro business. The plot and storytelling aren’t gripping but local Italian colour adds atmosphere to what is a gentle read. Cornish Eskimo gave it 3-Stars.

Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements
Book 4 in the series about the (American by birth) Cambridge history professor turned spy, Tom Wilde. It is set in Autumn 1941, a time when the war was going badly for Britain and its Allies. Tom is persuaded by an American intelligence officer to go to Germany to find and bring home a secret weapon, guaranteed to put an end to the war. Something so secret that not even Hitler knows about it. The action takes place first in Germany and later in Britain and is pretty exciting, full of action and tension and easy to read. In an Afterword Clements describes how he had immersed himself deeply in 1941 Germany to research this. Freyja says the quality of this research shows, and awards 4-Stars.

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
A family of parents and four children live in a pretty cottage in the Cotswolds. One Easter Sunday something terrible happens and they start to break apart. Twenty years later they are brought together by a shocking event and have to face what happened and get to the bottom of it. This is the story in a nutshell. It’s told in two timelines; the present day when the family begins to close the gaps between themselves, and another, linear narrative that starts before that Easter weekend and gradually brings us to the present. It’s a good, easy-to-read story with a lot of tension that builds slowly. But Freyja suspects that after a time it will prove rather forgettable. She gives it 3-Stars.

The Snowdonia Killings by Simon McCleave
This is the first book in a series. Ruth, a detective, moves to Snowdonia to rebuild her life. Her partner disappeared 4 years earlier and she feels she must move on. The first evening she arrives, the deputy head of the local senior school is killed in the car park after a parents evening. She then meets up with her sidekick Nick, who is a functioning alcoholic. They start to unravel the lives of the school members to solve this crime and other deaths which follow. The murderer came a surprise in the end and Norfolk Gal gives it 4-Stars.

Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
The first book by this author that Cornish Eskimo has read, but it won’t be the last! This is Book 4 in the Freyja and Huldar series. A wealthy man is found dead, hanging from the tourist attraction known as Gallows Rock. It’s thought to be a suicide until the police find an iron nail embedded in his chest. And when they visit his flat they find a four-year-old boy there, alone. The child has no known connection to the man, and no-one has reported a child missing. It’s an intriguing plot. It’s a steadily paced police procedural but gripping nonetheless. There are several twists – the last one completely unexpected. 4-Stars.
Review by: Oundle Crime

P.S. Oundle Crime is meeting again! Everyone is welcome, so if you’d like to join us for some lively chat about crime fiction books and authors send us an email and we’ll tell you where our next meeting will be. Email Join@friendsofoundlelibrary.org.uk