Review: Man at the Window – Robert Jeffreys

Man at the Window

Man at the Window

A Detective Cardilini Novel

Robert Jeffreys

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760683306

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

An atmospheric crime novel with a burning moral dilemma at its heart.

 

When a boarding master at an exclusive boys’ school is shot dead, it is deemed accidental. A lazy and usually drunk detective is sent to write up the report. Cardilini unexpectedly does not cooperate, as he becomes riled by the privileged arrogance of those at the school. He used to have instincts. Perhaps he should follow them now…

 

With no real evidence he declares the shooting a murder and puts himself on a collision course with the powerful and elite of Perth. As he peels back layers, the school’s dark secrets being to emerge. But is his dogged pursuit of justice helpful or harmful to those most affected by the man’s death?

 

Man at the Window is the first in the Detective Cardilini series, set in 1960s Western Australia.

 

 

My View:

Superb! I have discovered a new author to add to my must read list.

 

Should I assume Robert Jeffreys lives in Perth Western Australia? Maybe he is an amazing researcher? Jeffreys writes 60’s Perth like he has lived there, like he is walking through my distant memories of when we first arrived in Perth (1966). I can see the houses, the street scapes, the city, not the privilege of private schools but even in the  public schools I attended teachers were top of the hierarchy and not to be questioned, as a child in those times you did everything you were told by an adult. And so it begins.

 

What a fabulous read! Jeffreys crates empathetic main characters based upon grief and isolation. The protagonist and his son are grieving the loss of a wife and mother, many of the boys in the private school are isolated (by distance) and some grieving the loss of their family during term time. Both groups are vulnerable, both groups elicit empathy. The reader genuinely cares about the main characters here.

 

This is a narrative of contemporary social commentary in a fast paced mystery studded with many ethical dilemmas.  “There’s the law and then there is justice. Who gets to decide?”  A fantastic read that will make it onto my top reads of 2018 list.

 

**I expect to see a film/tv series of this sometime soon.**

 

 

 

 

Review: In A House of Lies – Ian Rankin

In a House of Lies

In A House of Lies

(Inspector Rebus #22)

Ian Rankin

Hachette Australia

Orion

ISBN: 9781409176893

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

Everyone has something to hide. A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still – both for his family and the police – is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets. Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now – after a decade without answers – it’s time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent. Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus

 

My View:

By the twenty second book in a series I would have expected my engagement to have waned, I have read a few series over the past many years and rarely does an author still manage to capture my attention, still keep me up late reading, still make me question “can this writer get any better?” at this stage of the series.  Ian Rankin and his Rebus series shines on.

 

This is stand out crime fiction with the characters you know and love.

 

Personally I think this series is getting better and better.  I can’t wait for next year’s instalment.

Review: Broken Ground -Val McDermid

Broken Ground

Broken Ground

Karen Pirie #5

Val McDermid

Little, Brown

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781408709368

 

Description:

Number one bestseller and queen of crime Val McDermid returns with her most breathtakingly atmospheric and exhilarating novel yet.

 

‘Somebody has been here before us. And he’s still here . . .’

 

When a body is discovered in the remote depths of the Highlands, DCI Karen Pirie finds herself in the right place at the right time. Unearthed with someone’s long-buried inheritance, the victim seems to belong to the distant past – until new evidence suggests otherwise, and Karen is called in to unravel a case where nothing is as it seems.

 

It’s not long before an overheard conversation draws Karen into the heart of a different case, however – a shocking crime she thought she’d already prevented. As she inches closer to the twisted truths at the centre of these murders, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with a version of justice terrifyingly different to her own . . .

 

‘Another stellar read from McDermid, and further evidence that her “Queen of Crime” status will not be challenged’ Scotsman

 

‘There is nothing more gratifying than watching a master craftswoman at work, and she is on fine form here’ Observer

 

‘A compulsively readable tale’ Irish Times

 

 

My View:

Markie wondered how Pirie had survived in the job as long as she had. The woman seemed to have no understanding of how relationships with colleagues were built. How had she been allowed to spiral so far out of control? Closing cases was all well and good, but in the modern police service, being a team player involved more than a team of two. Clearly Pirie couldn’t be brought to heel. She had to be replaced…” (p. 117)

 

Another great episode in DCI Karen Pirie series that weaves a peat bog murder, a serial rapist cold case, domestic violence, a new love interest and a boss who is actively trying to find the grounds to remove Karen Pirie from her job and you have an engaging, exciting and satisfying read.

 

And as DCI Karen Pirie ponders at the end of this episode (p.412) “Like an arrest, this too was only the end of the beginning.”  And I can’t wait to discover what happens next…

 

   

Review: Careless Love – Peter Robinson

Careless Love

Careless Love

Peter Robinson

Hachette Australia

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN:  9781444786989

 

Description:

A young local student has apparently committed suicide. Her body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. She didn’t own a car. Didn’t even drive. How did she get there? Where did she die? Who moved her, and why?

 

Meanwhile a man in his sixties is found dead in a gully up on the wild moorland. He is wearing an expensive suit and carrying no identification. Post-mortem findings indicate he died from injuries sustained during the fall. But what was he doing up there? And why are there no signs of a car in the vicinity?

 

As the inconsistencies multiply and the mysteries proliferate, Annie’s father’s new partner, Zelda, comes up with a shocking piece of information that alerts Banks and Annie to the return of an old enemy in a new guise. This is someone who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants – and suddenly the stakes are raised and the hunt is on.

 

 

My View:

I am a little ambivalent about this particular DI Banks read. Contemporary themes and an intriguing crime were not enough to demand my complete attention to this read. I drifted, put the book down and read over several days.  I was annoyed by frequent musical references which seemed to stymie the flow of the narration and were a little pretentious. Why didn’t I feel this way about the last book? I don’t even recall there being such a heavy burden of musical references in pasts reads… maybe I felt uncomfortable with them in this episode because I wasn’t immersed in the narrative this time?

 

Despite these misgiving, by the end of the book I actually was keen to discover Zelda’s secrets/ news.  In the very last few lines of the book Zelda seeks out DI Banks, she obviously has an important story to share.  I was disappointed the book finished here, to be continued I do believe.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Dying Truth – Angela Marsons

 

Dying Truth

DI Kim Stone #8

Angela Marsons

 Bookouture

ISBN: 9781786814746

 

Description:

How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

 

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

 

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

 

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

 

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

 

The utterly addictive new crime thriller from the Number One bestselling author – you will be gripped until the final shocking twist.

 

 

My View:

 

Dear Angela

I don’t know why I am surprised that with each new book in this series I read I find myself shaking my head and muttering – “how on earth do I write this review/do this book justice. Last time (and the time before, and the time before…) I said I don’t know how your writing could get any better, how it could get any more emotive, engaging, explosive…etc.…how this story could climb to further heights. I guess the only superlative left to add is …ADDICTIVE…but then haven’t I said that or at least inferred that before?”

 

“Come on Angela, help me out here… how do I applaud you and your future installments in this series  without being repetitive?”

 

Best wishes

 

Carol

 

 

Friday Freebie: Call to Arms – Rachel Amphlett

Call to Arms

 

The talented and generous Rachel Amphlett has offered 3 readers of my blog a chance to win an ebook (Kindle or ePub) copy of her latest release  Call to Arms  – which is book five in her Kay Hunter series. Check out Brenda’s 5star review of Call to Arms here:   https://wp.me/p3aMo4-39H

To enter, simply pop over to Rachel’s website www.rachelamphlett.com   and check out the Kay Hunter Series page and in the comments section of this post identify another title in the Kay Hunter series. Easy isnt it?

 

This giveaway will be open until the 16th of April 2018. Good luck.

 

 

***Pam, Anne and Lesley – congratulations you are the lucky winners. I have emailed Rachel your  contact details. Let me know via a comment on this page how you enjoyed the book.  ***

 

My Best Crime/Thriller/Mystery Reads of 2017

This is always such a difficult decision to make but the best thing to do is just start, start listing… here goes; in no particular order my best Crime Fiction/Thriller/Mystery reads of 2017 are:

Flight Path – Ian Andrew

The Burden of Lies – Richard Beasley

Wimmera – Mark Brandi

The Child Finder –  Renee Denfield

Her – Garry Disher

The Girls in Kellers Way – Megan Goldin

Too Easy – J M Green

The Golden Child – Wendy James

Broken Bones – Angela Marsons

I See You – Clare Macintosh

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman (aka Everything You Want Me to Be) – Mindy Mejia

The Right Side – Spencer Quinn

Two Nights – Kathy Reichs

The Bird Watcher – William Shaw

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

Fatal Crossing (Nora Sand #1) – Lone Theils

And the Fire Came Down – Emma Viskic

 

Did any of these make it on to your reading shelves last year? There were so many great reads last year the list could have gone on an on.