My Picks for Best Crime Fiction Reads of 2018

What a fantastic year it has been for readers of all genres. I cannot believe how many 5 star reads I have have had the pleasure to review. Let me start this arduous task of reducing my list to a reasonable number by listing my pick of  the best crime fiction reads of 2018. I hope some of these make it onto your shelves.

 

In no particular order:

The Sunday Girl – Pip Drysdale

The Sunday Girl

All the Hidden Truths – Claire Askew

All The Hidden Truths

Second Sight – Aoife Clifford

Second Site Aoife Clifford

GreenLight – Benjamin Stevenson 

Greenlight

Scrublands  – Chris Hammer

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

The CraftsMan – Sharon Bolton

The Craftsman

Man at The Window – Robert Jeffreys 

Retribution – Richard Anderson

I, Witness – Niki Mackay

I Witness

Since We Fell – Denis Lehane

Since we Fell

The Wanted – Robert Crais

The Wanted

In The Mail This Week 30th October 2016

in-the-mail-3010016

Some great reads received in the mail this week -The Barry Maitland’s Slaughter Park is a win from Text Publishers- thank you very much – I am a big fan of the Harry Belltree series.  What would you read next? One of these or is their something else that demands to be read next? What’s on the top of your TBR today?

Post Script: Camille – Pierre Lemaitre

Cover Page Camille - Pierre Lemaitre

Camille

Pierre Lemaitre

Quercus Books

MacLehose Press

ISBN: 9780857052766

 

Description:

Anne Forestier finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when she blunders into a raid on a jewellers on the Champs-Élysées. Shot three times, beaten almost beyond recognition, she is lucky to survive, but her ordeal has only just begun.

Lying helpless in her hospital bed, with her assailant still at large, Anne is in grave danger. Just one thing stands in her favour – a partner who will break all the rules to protect the woman he loves: Commandant Camille Verhœven.

For Verhœven it’s a case of history repeating. He cannot lose Anne as he lost his wife Irène. But his serious breach of protocol – leading a case in which he is intimately involved – leaves him out on a limb, unable to confide in even his most trusted lieutenants.

And this time he is facing an adversary whose greatest strength appears to be Verhœven’s own matchless powers of intuition.

 

My View:

The third book in the Verhœven Trilogy – and what a masterpiece this is I have almost forgiven Lemaitre for the bloodthirsty nature of the first book in the series (which you may recall I read the first book after #2 Alex, not before). This book has a few savage moments but the wonderful narrative full of twists, turns and manipulations saves the book from a focus purely on brutality. Commandant Verhoeven is brilliant in this episode – we are touched and sadden by his situation, we understand his decisions, his re –actions, his dilemmas, we are worried about history repeating itself. Verhoeven is a very empathetic character and we are indeed disappointed at how the final chapters play out for him; Verhoeven is more than this. He deserves better.

 

But fear not Verhoeven fans I have determined that there is already a 4th book in this series – Rosy and John released in French last year. We await the English translation with anticipation.

 

 

 

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.

Coming Soon….

I will soon be reading and reviewing Hummer Boy B  by Ruth Dugdall – this is the third novel by this author that I will  have read – I am a keen follower of her work, she writes powerful, insightful crime fiction narratives informed by her  work as a probation officer in prisons for serious offenders.   This is guaranteed to be a thought provoking read. I cant wait to start it.  The book is due for release in April 2015 by Legend Press – pre order now.

Hummer Boy B

Description:

A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity. Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B’s reintegration into society. But the general public’s anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate’s loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script: The 7th Woman – Frederique Molay

The 7th Woman

A Paris Homicide Mystery

Frédérique Molay

Le French Book

ISBN: 9781939474032

 

 

Description:

There’s no rest for Paris’s top criminal investigation division, La Crim’. Who is preying on women in the French capital? How can he kill again and again without leaving any clues? A serial killer is taking pleasure in a macabre ritual that leaves the police on tenterhooks. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky–a super cop with a modern-day real life, including an ex-wife, a teenage son and a budding love story–races against the clock to solve the murders as they get closer and closer to his inner circle. Will he resist the pressure? The story goes behind the scenes with the French police and into the coroner’s office, with the suspense of Seven, with CSI-like details. Winner of France’s most prestigious crime fiction award; named Best Crime Fiction Novel of the Year; and already an international bestseller with over 150,000 copies sold.

 

My View:

This narrative really went overboard on the detail – in the autopsy room and in the details of the crimes being committed and the crime scene investigation; whilst the descriptions were authentic and accurate (I believe) there was just too much detail and horror for my reading pleasure. Further I could not tell if the book wanted to be a cozy crime fiction, the instant- falling- in- love- at- first- sight by the dashingly handsome super cop Nico Sirsky alluded to this genre but the level of intense sadistic violence took the book on a different journey.

 

I am sorry to say I found the characterisation flat and unimaginative – maybe something got lost in the translation or maybe it was lacking in the writing –maybe it would have flowed better if read in its original language? Who knows but I was expecting so much more from the creative side and less of the forensic violent details.  The bones of the plot were quite compelling but I would have liked to have seen the narrative handled in a different way, more psychological tension than actual sadistic detail.   Sometimes less is more.

 

 

 

Post Script: Through The Cracks – Honey Brown

Through the Cracks, Honey Brown

Honey Brown

Through The Cracks

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9781921901546

 

Description:

Four-year-old Nathan Fisher disappears from the bank of a rocky creek. Did he drown or was he taken? The search for the missing boy grips the nation.

A decade later, young teen Adam Vander has grown tall enough, strong enough, to escape his abusive father. Emerging from behind the locked door of their rambling suburban home, Adam steps into a world he knows little of.

In the days that follow, with the charismatic and streetwise Billy as his guide, Adam begins to experience all that he’s missed out on. And he begins to understand that he has survived something extraordinary.

As the bond between the boys grows, questions begin to surface. Who is Adam really? Why was he kept so hidden? Was it just luck that Billy found him, or an unsettling kind of fate?

Unearthing the shocking truth of Adam’s identity will change the lives of many and put at risk a cast of flawed, desperate people. It’s a treacherous climb from the darkness. For one boy to make it, the other might have to fall through the cracks.

 

My View:

This was a very hard read- the subject matter is very very distressing yet somehow captivating at the same time, it is so well written. This narrative will eat away at your very core, demanding you pay attention to those you value and love, demanding you pay more attention to those who are vulnerable in your community. This novel shouts – pay attention, open your eyes, question and engage; life around you is your business and you do have a social responsibility that extends further than your garden fence.

Is it a coincidence that the subject of this novel, abuse of children, is currently making headlines, is newsworthy – though already   the media seems to be moving on to other things…This subject requires our undivided attention. It requires our compassion and the children involved our full support and love.

This extremely well written and engaging novel will not be for everyone. Bravo Honey Brown for being brave enough to tackle such a disquieting subject and presenting it such an engaging way that it will get the attention it deserves. This novel is a well-crafted, complex and powerful snap shot of the ugly side of modern society. This novel kept me awake long after I finished reading it- it was disturbing and sad and yet still managed to garner some hope for the future.

This is my first read of a Honey Brown novel – it will not be my last.