The Museum of Desire
(Alex Delaware #35)
Penguin Random House
ONE NIGHT OF HEDONISM. FOUR MURDER VICTIMS.
A run-down mansion nestled between Beverley Hills and the San Fernando Valley is leased out for one night to house a party big enough to herald the end of days.
When a limo is discovered in the grounds of the house the morning after with four dead bodies inside, a mind-bending case begins.
With no link between the four people in the car, and each of the victims murdered in a different way, psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis are about to begin their grisliest and most baffling case yet.
And as they struggle to make sense of the vicious mass slaying, they will be forced to confront a level of lust and evil for which their combined wisdom can provide no preparation.
This was an engaging, weird, quirky, dark murder mystery but the strangest things about this read are; it is the 35th book in the series and I have never read anything by the author before (my bad) he is a talented writer who writes with sharpness, intention and skill. This is the 35th book in the Alex Delaware series yet I easily read it as a standalone – more kudos to the writer. The protagonists – quirky, likable, authentic. The crimes – gruesome, diabolical and twisted.
A great read.
The Dark Room
The heart-pounding follow-up to the “electrifying”* Poison Artist shows what happens when our deepest secrets are unburied.
Gavin Cain, an SFPD homicide inspector, is in the middle of an exhumation when his phone rings. San Francisco’s mayor is being blackmailed and has ordered Cain back to the city; a helicopter is on its way. The casket, and Cain’s cold-case investigation, must wait. At City Hall, the mayor shows Cain four photographs he’s received: the first, an unforgettable blonde; the second, pills and handcuffs on a nightstand; the third, the woman drinking from a flask; and last, the woman naked, unconscious, and shackled to a bed. The accompanying letter is straightforward: worse revelations are on the way unless the mayor takes his own life first. An intricately plotted, deeply affecting thriller that keeps readers guessing until the final pages, The Dark Room tracks Cain as he hunts for the blackmailer, pitching him into the web of destruction and devotion the mayor casts in his shadow.
Dark, dark and darker- this fantastic police procedural will keep you up all night until the crime has been solved and the villains dealt with.
This is a multilayered narrative – narratives of the past (cold cases) and present (new case) colliding providing depth to the narrative and then there is the back story – every bit as engaging – the story of Cain, what happened at his precinct – something shocking that is referred to but not fully disclosed and the incident involving Cain’s now girlfriend, Lucy – a virtual recluse since the incident (in which she was a victim/hero). Moore drip feeds us information about the various stories throughout the read but it is not enough, I want to know more about this situation and how the relationship between Cain and Lucy began…there is so much happening in this narrative.
Dark, evocative, complex and engaging – this police procedural has it all – and I do hope there is a book 2 to come soon.
I can see this psychological drama unfolding on the big screen!
The Crooked House
Alison is as close to anonymous as she can get: with no ties, no home, a backroom job, hers is a life lived under the radar. She’s a nobody; she has no-one and that’s how she wants it.
But once Alison was someone else: once she was Esme Grace, a teenager whose bedroom sat at the top of a remote and dilapidated house on the edge of a bleak estuary. A girl whose family, if not happy, exactly, was no unhappier than anyone else’s – or so she thought.
Then one night a terrible thing happened in the crooked house, a nightmare of violence out of which Alison emerged the only witness and sole survivor and from which she has been running ever since. Only when she meets academic Paul Bartlett does Alison realise that if she’s to have any chance of happiness, she has to return to her old life and confront the darkness that worked its way inside her family and has pursued her ever since.
This is a great read – atmospheric, moody, and loaded with tension and anticipation of events to come or to be revealed. The setting is perfect – isolated, remote, rural…a village where life is suffocating and the locals take care things their way –they are judge and jury and don’t take very well to “outsiders “ or police. You can almost hear the Duelling Banjo theme being played in the background – very creepy.
In this narrative you are never quite sure what is truth, what is fiction. The conclusion will astound you, you will not have expected this twist. This read is perfectly sinister. This narrative is made for the big screen.
Teach Her is a fast moving, darkly humorous novel. A who did what to who and why. The most bizarre book you’ll read this year.
A teacher is in for the chop. An ex pupil with psychotic tendencies wants answers. A one legged soldier home from war has revenge in his heart.
Tension is rising as a diverse set of people struggle to live side-by-side in a small town.
A sparky and quirky tale that will leave you questioning the influence of teachers and the value of a fake leg.
Definitely quirky and full of anger and revenge. This book is strange and had me fooled for a moment – there are some very poetic passages and insightful glimpses, “He’s at an age when he forgets things, goes back to his larder of memory and there’s nothing but empty space where preserve jars of past events were once stored. Jim hates that, the dark emptiness of his larder.” Some observations such as this charmed and were brilliant but the rest…sorry just seemed to be sad, angry and very very dark. I didn’t see the humour and I didn’t enjoy this read.
If you are looking for something that makes you feel uncomfortable – this book is for you.