A mix of different crime fiction sub-genres feature in our latest reading recommendations.
A Lie for a Lie by Julie Corbin
The story takes place at a large public school in Scotland. The school’s highly respected senior nurse and head of department is suddenly accused by a senior student of having hit her. Anna, the nurse, denies this, but is suspended nonetheless. The police become involved and things take a bad turn when her accuser is found dead a few days later. Anna is questioned by the police but there’s no evidence against her. It later turns out that the dead girl was a compulsive liar and although Anna finds the killers she nearly loses her life. Freyja says this is a good read with an interesting setting, well-described characters and a twisty plot – but it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Lucifer Falls by Colin Falconer
The first book in a new series, set in London, which tells the story of some very gruesome and strange murders. DI Charlie George and his team lead the investigation but the killings are unlike their usual fare of stabbings and domestic violence. It ends up with a race to solve them before another takes place, not least because they don’t want to find another vicar who’s been crucified in a derelict church! Norfolk Gal says this story crackles along at pace, and she’d felt empathy with the police team, willing them to solve the case.
Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek
The book takes its title from statistics that each year, on average, 23 people (crew and passengers) disappear from cruise ships. Martin Schwartz is an emotionally scarred Berlin undercover detective who takes on the most dangerous cases, mainly because he cares little for his own life. Five years previously, whilst holidaying with his wife and child on a cruise liner, they disappeared in an apparent murder/suicide, leaving him an emotional wreck. Schwartz receives a cryptic message from an old lady who lives aboard that ship (Sultan of the Seas) telling him there’s a serial killer on board. He investigates. This is a dark and gruesome tale, reminiscent of an early Jo Nesbø. Although at times it seems far-fetched it’s still a page-turner.
The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
The Ruth Galloway series is usually set in Norfolk, but this finds Ruth in Italy where she is enjoying a working holiday, helping on an archaeological dig in a picturesque town. There are secrets from WW2 and a modern-day murder to solve. Mo says it isn’t the best story in this series (which most of us enjoy) because it isn’t a very meaty mystery and the plot is rather tangled. Nonetheless she still enjoyed it and recommends the series.
Man on Fire by Humphrey Hawksley
The latest Rake Ozenna thriller, which starts in the Bering Strait in Alaska and moves seamlessly through Washington and London to the Czech Republic. Ozenna is once again involved in a hunt for the Russian villain, Ruslan Yemotov. It’s exciting stuff. Guns, explosions, car chases etc. If you enjoy thrillers and haven’t come across these before, Cornish Eskimo says to start with Book 1 – Man on Ice – because there’s more to Ozenna than meets the eye in this story.
Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson
Book 27 in the DCI Alan Banks series begins with a gruesome double murder at the home of a local property developer. Then the police discover hidden cameras in one of the bedrooms and a film of the rape of a young, unknown girl. The investigation uncovers murky links to the Albanian mafia, drugs and people trafficking. Alongside this, Banks’s friend, Zelda, is taking the law into her own hands to hunt down the men who trafficked her from Moldova. Of course everything is loosely connected, but Cornish Eskimo says this is another enjoyably knotty plot from Peter Robinson.
The Cellist by Daniel Silva
Thank goodness! A return to form by Silva whose last novel in the Gabriel Allon series totally missed the mark. These are espionage thrillers with a difference, because they have an Israeli protagonist and give an alternative view on Middle Eastern conflicts, which makes the stories interesting and thought-provoking. The Cellist begins with the assassination of a Russian oligarch-in-exile and the discovery that an investigative reporter has penetrated a global Russian money laundering operation. Various security forces around the world work together to bring it down. An enjoyable international thriller, with a clever and methodical plot and lots of tension.
Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse
DCI Robin Lyons’ job isn’t easy because her new boss is the man who broke her heart 20-years earlier, and she’s leading an investigation into the murder of a woman whose identity is unknown. Another killing ramps up the pressure from the media as well as from far-right nationalists, and rumours of a serial killer are beginning to spread. Norfolk Gal said she was quickly drawn into this story (which is set in Birmingham) and the different plot strands add depth to the narration. This is Book 2 in a new series, and she’s going to search out Book 1.
P.S. If you’d like to come along to a meeting of the Oundle Crime book group, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the details.