Review: None the Wiser- Rachel Amphlett

None the Wiser
Detective Mark Turpin #1
Rachel Amphlett
Saxon Publishing
ISBN: 9781913498191

Description:
What if some secrets were never meant to stay buried?

When a parish priest is brutally murdered in cold blood, a rural community is left in shock – and fear.

New to the Vale of the White Horse, Detective Sergeant Mark Turpin discovers the murder bears the hallmark of a vicious killer who shows no remorse for his victim, and leaves no trace behind.

After a second priest is killed, his broken body bearing similar ritualistic abuse, the police are confronted by a horrifying truth – there is a serial killer at large with a disturbing vendetta.

As fear grips the once tranquil countryside, Mark and his team race to uncover a tangle of dark secrets and lies before the killer strikes again.

In doing so, Mark finds out that the truth is more twisted than he could ever have imagined…

None the Wiser is the first book in a new murder mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett.

‘Fast paced with vivid characterisation and clever twists – this is another winner’
– Adrian McKinty, The Chain

‘A terrific start to a new series’
– Jo Spain, With Our Blessing and The Confession

My View:
I have read a few of Rachel’s previous books – all have been outstanding and this introduction to her new series does not disappoint!

Fast paced with a gruesome and complexing murder, this read will have you considering, pondering and debating the who and why of what at first seems a senseless murder. The “why” really is the key to unravelling this read but if you are anything like me, you will not be able to join the dots; red herrings, twists and more deaths, the plotting is exquisite!

Adding to the engaging and complexing narrative is a cast of very personable protagonists – Rachel Amphlett has succeeded in creating another very “followable” lead investigator in Detective Sergeant Mark Turpin, who is supported by a great cast, including Detective Jan West – together this couple make for great reading and I look forward to reading the next in this series.

Rachel Amphlett never disappoints!

Review: The Good Turn – Dervla McTiernan

The Good Turn
Cormac Reilly #3
Dervla McTiernan
HarperCollins Australia
ISBN: 9781460756799

Description:
The unputdownable new novel from the bestselling author of The Ruin and The Scholar. Police corruption, an investigation that ends in tragedy and the mystery of a little girl’s silence – three unconnected events that will prove to be linked by one small town.

While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone.

For some, like Anna and her young daughter Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from the shadows of evil men.

 

My View:
Faultless, brilliant, tense, complex…this book lives up to all the hype!

This, the third book in the Cormac Reilly series, is an outstanding, read in one sitting type of read!

I don’t know what else I can add to this review that you wouldn’t have already seen/read/heard somewhere else before. This is intricate story of corruption, of love and of vice and fortitude.

This book has definitely secured a place on my “Best reads of 2020” list. Do yourself a favour and immerse yourself in this series, you won’t regret it.

Best Reads of 2019 – Crime Fiction/Mystery/Thrillers

These are my favourite genres to read and review. In this category a couple of reads really stand out – can you guess which I loved so much? Ill share then next and then add a few other great ones for you to consider adding to your TBR.

 

THE BEST crime fiction reads of 2019 are:

 

Darkness for Light

A Caleb Zelic Thriller

Emma Viskic

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760685812

 

Shoot Through

J M Green

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925713848

These reads were both outstanding –  as were the series they belong to.

 

More great crime fiction/thriller reads that I recommend you add to your TBR:

 

 

 

 

The Chain

 

 

Review: The Great Divide – L J M Owen

The Great Divide

L M J Owen

Echo Publishing $29.99

ISBN: 9781760685829

 

Description:

In the rural Tasmanian town of Dunton, the body of a former headmistress of a children’s home is discovered, revealing a tortured life and death.

 

Detective Jake Hunter, newly-arrived, searches for her killer among past residents of the home. He unearths pain, secrets and broken adults. Pushing aside memories of his own treacherous past, Jake focuses all his energy on the investigation.

 

Why are some of the children untraceable? What caused such damage among the survivors?

 

The identity of the murderer seems hidden from Jake by Dunton’s fog of prejudice and lies, until he is forced to confront not only the town’s history but his own nature…

 

 

My View:

The start of an interesting series perhaps?

 

The beginning was a little slow for me, it took me a while to enter into this quiet secret filled landscape but then BOOM! L JM Owen does not hold back – there are deaths and mayhem and a twist that may surprise you.  The item in the office (no spoilers here) must be the most sinister, gruesome trophy I have come across in all my reading of crime fiction.

 

Detective Jake Hunter is an interesting character and I feel there is more to him than has so far been revealed.

 

When you have finished reading this pay attention to the final pages. For me the most powerful part of this narrative is in the acknowledgements (p295); “This work is, in many ways, an acknowledgment of the experiences of children deemed by their adults as unworthy – of respect, of nurturing, of protection.

To you, I say: I see you.  Hear you. You matter. And I am sorry; you deserved better.”

 

Thank you L J M Owen.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Night Fire – Michael Connelly

The Night Fire

A Ballard and Bosch Thriller

Renee Ballard #3

Michael Connelly

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760876012

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Renee Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch’s mentor, the man who trained him—new from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly

 

Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, J.J. Thompson, is dead, but after his funeral his widow hands Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before — the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals.

 

Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

 

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigation team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

 

 

My View:

Could this possibly be the best Bosch book yet? I think I am calling it.

 

This is a fantastic read, with several plot lines that intersect allowing the characters of Ballard and Bosch to shine as they go about solving crimes with their personal credo “everybody counts or nobody counts”.  You can’t beat a Michael Connelly novel for character driven plots, complex cases and mysteries that will always keep you guessing.

 

Can’t wait to read what next years book may reveal!

 

 

 

 

Guest Review: Cradle to Grave – Rachel Amphlett

Cradle to Grave

Detective Kay Hunter #8

Rachel Amphlett

Saxon Publishing

ISBN: 9781916098817

 

Description:

When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.

The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.

Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.

Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?

Brenda’s Review:

The discovery of a body floating in the river was only the beginning of the case. When the team located an abandoned, blood stained boat which had children’s toys in the cabin, the immediate concern that a child had been kidnapped was foremost in the minds of the investigators. Detective Kay Hunter along with her senior officer, Detective Ian Barnes kept the team moving with their different tasks, but their frustration was mounting. Working around the clock, Kay wondered if they would get a break in the case soon; and whether Alice was still alive…

Cradle to Grave is the 8th in the Kay Hunter series by Aussie author Rachel Amphlett and it was brilliant once again! This series is going from strength to strength, and it’s always great to catch up with Kay and her team. The author makes me feel fully involved in the story; the different emotions come across well and the descriptions are such that I can visualize it all. Cradle to Grave is one I highly recommend, but I strongly suggest reading the series from the beginning. 5 stars.

With thanks to the author for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

#FridayFreebie The Long Call – Ann Cleves

The Long Call

(Two Rivers #1)

Ann Cleeves

Macmillan

ISBN: 9781509889570

RRP $29.99

 

Thanks to the lovely people at Pan Macmillan Australia I have one copy of The Long Call to giveaway; its easy, in the comments  tell me the name of the two rivers that are the location of this series **hint see my review **  

 

This giveaway will be randomly drawn on the 14th of September and is open to Australian residents only. Good luck.

Review: The Long Call – Ann Cleeves

The Long Call

(Two Rivers #1)

Ann Cleeves

Macmillan

ISBN: 9781509889570

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in a brand new series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves.

 

In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

 

Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose.

 

A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

 

Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

 

 

My View:

Ann Cleeves introduces to a new set of characters and protagonists in this the beginning of a new series set in North Devon. Cleeves takes her time to provide backgrounds of her characters and very visual descriptions of the settings, you will be transported to the locations; the various significant workplaces, the beaches, the lonely villages, the Woodyard.

 

This is a very contemporary telling of a murder/mystery; the protagonist (Matthew) is an openly gay man – but this is just a fact not a significance, some of the pivotal characters have disabilities and have an important role in the narrative; modern communities are represented on these pages, this is very refreshing to read.

 

Whilst the pace slowly builds you will soon find yourself immersed in the lives of the main characters; Matthew and Jen (a detective/single mum) – I wonder who will play them in the TV series, the works have just been optioned for TV). Someone gutsy, intelligent, sensitive but fun.

 

All in all a good read, some interesting new charters and a resolution that is poignant – this is one instance where I actually felt incredibly sorry for both the victim and the perpetrator. There is much to consider in the narrative, I hope you enjoy it too.

 

**Stay tuned for a fabulous #Friday Freebie for your chance to win a copy of this title. Read it before it hits the screens.  **Offer open to Australian residents.**

 

 

 

 

The Gemma Woodstock Trilogy – Sarah Bailey

                                    

Sarah Bailey has written three novels in the Gemma Woodstock Series and I would highly recommend reading this trilogy, one book after the other; it is simply the best way to understand your protagonist, their dilemmas, and their growth and to appreciate the talent of this award winning writer as her writing goes from strength to strength on this journey.

 

The Dark Lake: Book #1

In a suspense thriller to rival Paula Hawkins and Tana French, a detective with secrets of her own hunts the killer of a woman who was the glamorous star of their high school.

 

Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.

 

The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.

 

As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?

 

Rosalind’s enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.

 

Into the Night: Book #2

After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim’s friends and family can be trusted–and who may be the killer.

 

Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, broken hearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence.

 

Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can’t imagine a pair of victims with less in common–and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths.

 

With riveting suspense, razor-sharp writing, and a fascinating cast of characters, INTO THE NIGHT proves Sarah Bailey is a major new talent to watch in the world of literary crime fiction.

 

Where the Dead Go: Book #3

Four years after the events of Into the Night, DS Gemma Woodstock is on the trail of a missing girl in a small coastal town.

 

‘Every bit as addictive and suspenseful as The Dark Lake . . . Sarah Bailey’s writing is both keenly insightful and wholly engrossing, weaving intriguing and multi-layered plots combined with complicated and compelling characters.’ The Booktopian

 

A fifteen-year-old girl has gone missing after a party in the middle of the night. The following morning her boyfriend is found brutally murdered in his home. Was the girl responsible for the murder, or is she also a victim of the killer? But who would want two teenagers dead?

 

The aftermath of a personal tragedy finds police detective Gemma Woodstock in the coastal town of Fairhaven with her son Ben in tow. She has begged to be part of a murder investigation so she can bury herself in work rather than taking the time to grieve and figure out how to handle the next stage of her life – she now has serious family responsibilities she can no longer avoid. But Gemma also has ghosts she must lay to rest.

 

Gemma searches for answers, while navigating her son’s grief and trying to overcome the hostility of her new colleagues. As the mystery deepens and old tensions and secrets come to light, Gemma is increasingly haunted by a similar missing person’s case she worked on not long before. A case that ended in tragedy and made her question her instincts as a cop. Can she trust herself again?

 

A riveting thriller by the author of the international bestseller The Dark Lake, winner of both the Ned Kelly Award and the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for a debut crime novel.

 

 

My View:

This is an award winning series and I am saddened to have reached the end of the trilogy.  Gemma Woodstock is a character that fights injustices and crimes and her personal demons whilst co – parenting and I love this character’s development and am pleased that her journey is one of growth and relative success. I like the ‘warts and all’ depiction of Gemma’s life; a flawed protagonist she certainly is but not a hopeless one, she does grow, mature and accepts responsibility for her actions. It is unusual to see a woman portrayed as honestly as this – with her risk taking behaviour, her fragile state of mental health, her relationship issues, her strength; she is the most unorthodox  female protagonist I think I have come across. The honesty is refreshing.

 

I highly recommend this series.

 

 

 

Review: Their Little Secret – Mark Billingham

Their Little Secret

Tom Thorne #16

Mark Billingham

Little Brown

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780751566987

 

Description:

When DI Tom Thorne is called to conduct a routine assessment at the site of a suicide, he expects to be in and out in no time. But when he arrives at the metro station, where a woman named Philippa Goodwin threw herself in front of an underground train, Thorne inexplicably senses something awry and feels compelled to dig deeper. He soon discovers that she was the victim of a callous con-man whose deception plunged Philippa to her end. Enraged that one man’s trickery caused an innocent death, Thorne enlists DI Nicola Tanner to help him track down the swindler and bring him to justice. But the detective duo gets more than they bargained for when a young man’s lifeless, bludgeoned body turns up on the shore of a nearby seaside town: it appears that very con artist they’re searching for is connected to the murder. Brilliantly plotted with a shocking psychological bent, Their Little Secret is another masterful thriller from one of Britain’s most beloved crime writers. With twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the final page, this is Mark Billingham’s most chilling novel yet.

 

My View:

Brilliant!

 

If you love a good police procedural with empathetic protagonists, twists and more twists and crime that will shock with its audacity, then this book is for you!  So many secrets, so many lies…

 

I think what I loved most about this book (and there is a lot to love) is the reveal that I did not see coming, the secrets that are being kept on both sides of the law, the reference to Elvis Costello’s lyrics for “I Want You”:

I want you,

The truth can’t hurt you, it’s just like the dark,

It scares you witless,

But in time you see thing clear and stark.

I want you,

Go on and hurt me, then we’ll let it drop,

I want you,

I’m afraid I won’t know where to stop….

Perfect pairing for this read!

 

And then there is Jamie… (You will have to read to learn about Jamie) this character adds a real psychological punch to the narrative and almost has you feeling sorry for his mother, almost.

 

And the perpetrators – just like the crimes, not what you expect, surprise and after surprise.

 

And if you scan the code on the inside cover flap you can hear Mark Billingham reading chapter one of “Their Little secret” audio book.

 

So much to love!