Post Script: Dead End Fix , A Justice Novel – T E Woods

Dead End Fix

Dead End Fix

A Justice Novel ( #6)

T E Woods

Random House Publishing Group – Alibi

Alibi

ISBN:  9780425284551

 

Description:

Fear and violence come home to roost in this exhilarating Justice thriller featuring The Fixer—a roller-coaster ride for readers of Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, and Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels.

 

I’ll bring Hadley home. Whatever it takes. Whatever it costs. Whoever has to die.

 

There’s a gang war unfolding on the streets of Seattle. A young boy has been killed in a drive-by shooting, and the ensuing chaos threatens to engulf the city. Normally, chief of detectives Mort Grant would be dealing with the fallout—but right now, his mind is elsewhere. . . .

 

In one gut-wrenching phone call, Mort’s worst fears are realized. His granddaughter Hadley has been kidnapped, and the culprit is his own flesh and blood: Allie, his daughter and Hadley’s aunt. Now, desperate for any sign of the missing six-year-old girl, Mort turns once again to the relentless vigilante called The Fixer for help.

 

After rising to the top of one of the largest criminal enterprises in the world, Allie Grant has turned her focus back on her family. But since they’ve rebuffed all her attempts at contact, she’s punishing them the only way she knows how. With an endless stream of cash and connections that span the globe, Allie makes a formidable target. But The Fixer boasts the deadliest weapon of all: her razor-sharp mind.

 

 

 

My View:

This novel, part 6 in the Justice/Mort Grant series and is another solid read from this talented author. I enjoyed the psychological battles and the solving of a major plot line in this episode by using psychology alone – this is what “the Fixer” does best – uses her mind. This is the element that I loved in the earlier books.

And now reflecting on the practice of psychology as I write my review I have realised the significance of the gang storyline (whilst interesting to read I was at a loss as to how this melded with The Fixer’s plot line) now I get it – it is about the power plays and psychology at work behind the behaviour of gangs – a tenuous link but a link there is.  Gang wars, drug lords/wars, one police division working in another’s territory… the psychology that binds and divides is interesting.

 

A solid read; one major story line ends – I have to wonder where this series is now heading…surprise me Dr Woods.  (A little bird has told me Dr Woods is developing a new series set in Madison, Wisconsin, now that should be interesting.)

 

Post Script: Second Chance Town – Karly Lane

Second Chance Town

Second Chance Town

Karly Lane

Allen &Unwin

Arena

ISBN: 9781760291815

 

Description:

The town of Bundah is dying, with many of its young people fleeing for jobs in the city. A desperate plan to revive Bundah’s fortunes—with generous incentives to attract new businesses—results in a flood of people coming to the town to set up shop.

 

As Bundah begins to come to life with the new arrivals a spate of teenage drug overdoses starts to divide the locals. Many are convinced the narcotics trade has been brought to town by one of the newcomers. It doesn’t help that the mysterious new owner of one of the local pubs has a dark past.

 

Lucy Parker is a single mother doing her best to support her teenage daughter, Belle, through her last year of high school. It’s long been Belle’s dream to go to university, so when she starts to turn wayward, hanging out with the wrong kids and experimenting with alcohol and possibly drugs, her mother is deeply troubled.

 

The very last thing Lucy needs is for a man like Hugh Thompson to mess with her heart and disrupt her life. However it seems fate has other ideas.

 

Suspenseful and packed with romance, Second Chance Town is sure to grow the fan base Karly Lane has established with her bestselling novels Poppy’s Dilemma and Gemma’s Bluff.

 

 

My View:

Australian women writers are awesome! This is another excellent example of a contemporary rural Australian novel/romantic suspense – emphasis on the suspense.  It will entertain, engage, thrill you and ultimately make you smile.  Along the way Ms Lane weaves in some very contemporary issues regarding drugs – effecting all parts of society, and the demise of small Australian rural towns and the efforts some communities make to breathe life back into the towns.

 

Had a trying day? Feeling weary, need to re charge your batteries?  Then this is the perfect read for you!

 

 

 

Post Script: All These Perfect Strangers -Aoife Clifford

Things don’t go wrong in an instant. There isn’t one single moment when the world suddenly splits in two. Rather, it begins with a minute crack, and then another and another, until they join together, getting bigger and wider and all the time you keep fooling yourself that this can still be fixed. That you can fill them in and everything will return to normal.” p.130

All These Perfect Strangers

All These Perfect Strangers
Aoife Clifford
Simon & Schuster Australia
ISBN: 9781925310726

 

Description:
You don’t have to believe in ghosts for the dead to haunt you.

You don’t have to be a murderer to be guilty.

Within six months of Pen Sheppard starting university, three of her new friends are dead. Only Pen knows the reason why.

College life had seemed like a wonderland of sex, drugs and maybe even love. The perfect place to run away from your past and reinvent yourself. But Pen never can run far enough and when friendships are betrayed, her secrets are revealed. The consequences are deadly.

‘This is about three deaths. Actually more, if you go back far enough. I say deaths, but perhaps all of them were murders. It’s a grey area. Murder, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. So let’s just call them deaths and say I was involved. This story could be told a hundred different ways.’

 

‘This is a novel of disquieting intimacy and controlled suspense, Aoife Clifford deftly tightening the screws until we share the narrator’s sense of emotional and physical confinement and the unremitting grip of the past.’ – Garry Disher, author of Bitter Wash Road.

 

My View:
Things don’t go wrong in an instant. There isn’t one single moment when the world suddenly splits in two. Rather, it begins with a minute crack, and then another and another, until they join together, getting bigger and wider and all the time you keep fooling yourself that this can still be fixed. That you can fill them in and everything will return to normal.” p.130

These statements sum up this book perfectly; as tiny cracks make themselves known flaws appear in personalities, in personal histories, in retelling of events. I really like the device of the diary to tell parts of the dual timeline stories. The trouble is Pen Sheppard is such an unreliable narrator that we never quite know if we are being shown the truth or a version of the truth, Aoife Clifford has baited her hook well, as a reader we just want to know what the mystery is in Pen’s home town, we are hooked.

The narrative rolls on, more dead bodies are found, the plot twists and turns and we understand a little more about why Pen acts the way she does, how trust is an issue, why she thinks her truth is dangerous. And dangerous it is! There were a few surprises that I didn’t see coming.

However I felt the ending let me and Aoife Clifford down. I won’t share any spoilers but will say that the ending left so much unsaid, so many loose ends, and so much history that needed righting (and writing). Maybe it is a sign of my investment in the book but I wanted more from this ending – justice was not served, so many details needed revealing to the police, so much information the reader had needed to be shared. I don’t like being left hanging. Maybe a novella is in the pipeline that will tidy the ending up?

Regardless of my dissatisfaction with the ending of this book it is a good debut, Aoife Clifford is an author to look out for.

 

****Interview with writer here: https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgwE7PN3d6?play=true

Post Script: Good Money – J M Green

What a wonderful discovery  – JM Green I cant wait for your next book!

Cover Good Money J M Green

Good Money

J M Green

Scribe

ISBN: 9781925106923

Description:

Introducing Stella Hardy, a wisecracking social worker with a thirst for social justice, good laksa, and alcohol.

Stella’s phone rings. A young African boy, the son of one of her clients, has been murdered in a dingy back alley. Stella, in her forties and running low on empathy, heads into the night to comfort the grieving mother. But when she gets there, she makes a discovery that has the potential to uncover something terrible from her past — something she thought she’d gotten away with.

Then Stella’s neighbour Tania mysteriously vanishes. When Stella learns that Tania is the heir to a billion-dollar mining empire, Stella realises her glamorous young friend might have had more up her sleeve than just a perfectly toned arm. Who is behind her disappearance?

Enlisting the help of her friend, Senior Constable Phuong Nguyen, Stella’s investigation draws her further and further into a dark world of drug dealers, sociopaths, and killers, such as the enigmatic Mr Funsail, whose name makes even hardened criminals run for cover.

One thing is clear: Stella needs to find answers fast — before the people she’s looking for find her instead.

Set in the bustling, multicultural innerwest of Melbourne, Good Money reveals a daring and exciting new voice in Australian crime fiction.

 

 

My View:

What a wonderful discovery – JM Green I can’t wait for your next book!

 

What a fantastic new voice in Australian crime fiction! I loved every word written on these pages – the self-deprecating and often dark humour that is characteristically Australian, the colloquial language, and the locations – recognisable city scapes – multicultural Australia

(But really could be almost anywhere these days), the honesty and the friendships and of course, the great engaging narrative.

 

This is crime fiction at its most human level – a narrative that clearly shows the effect of acts of crime on the victims, families of the victims, the cops and the social workers. Corruption, drug use, gangs, prejudice, structural misogyny…all are highlighted in this work – but please don’t misunderstand me – this book is a joy to read (aside from the murders which are naturally, sad), the characters are so natural, the language, discussions, conversations so fresh and real, the relationships credible; everyday lives exposed but this is not an “ordinary” life, nor an “ordinary” narrative, at times it is fun, at times sad, bleak and grim and even romantic, occasionally optimistic and always with a thread of tension that pulls the narrative together tautly.

 

I really loved the protagonist, Stella Hardy and can’t wait to hear more of her adventures.

 

 

Post Script: Crucifixion Creek – Barry Maitland

cover Crucifixion Creek Barry Maitland

Crucifixion Creek

Barry Maitland

St. Martin’s Press

Minotaur Books

ISBN: 9781250072146

 

Description:

A meth-addicted biker shoots a woman during a police siege. An elderly couple commit suicide on the terrace of their favorite café. An unidentified white male is stabbed to death in the street.

 

 

For Sydney homicide detective Harry Belltree, not long out of the military and a grueling tour of Afghanistan, these three deaths appear to be just another day at the office. Until, that is, he identifies the stabbing victim as his own brother-in-law Greg, and journalist Kelly Pool suggests there’s a link between the three incidents. It seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a corrupt money man with a murky past and friends in both high places and low.

 

 

Harry Belltree can’t get officially involved in Greg’s murder, but he’s not going to leave it in the hands of others. That’s when he goes off-grid to investigate the links between these deaths. That’s when things start to get dangerous.

 

 

My View:

 

I am very pleased to make the acquaintance of Barry Maitland. I want to read all of your books!

 

This is the first book written by Barry Maitland that I have read – and again I ask – why haven’t I come across your writing before Barry?

And when is the TV series/big screen movie being released?

 

This book – the first is the Harry Belltree series is written in contemporary Australia but could probably be sited almost anywhere in the modern world – issues relating to war/returned soldiers, human trafficking, drugs, gangs, bikies, methamphetamines, grief, love…crime, so much is encompassed in this read.

 

What I loved –  a very fast-moving, well written and engaging character based narrative. I loved the images of Harry dancing in the dark with his blind wife; so personal, humanity exposed.

 

I loved that the protagonist is written is all shades – grey, black, white and mixtures thereof. Harry’s day job involves working on one side of the law – however Harry is complicated; he works both sides…A great character, a relatable character. A great read!

 

 

Post Script: Please Don’t Leave Me Here – Tania Chandler

Please Dont Leave Me Here Tania Chandler Cover

Please Don’t Leave Me Here

Tania Chandler

Scribe

ISBN: 9781925106770

 

Description:

A riveting psychological thriller.

 

Kurt Cobain stands at the top of the stairs, wearing the brown sweater. ‘Please don’t leave me,’ she yells up at him. But it’s too late; he’s turning away as the tram slows for the stop out on the street.

 

Then she’s lying on the road. Car tyres are going past, slowly. Somebody is screaming. A siren howls.

 

Sweet voices of little children are singing ‘Morningtown Ride’.

 

Is Brigitte a loving wife and mother, or a cold-blooded killer?

 

Nobody knows why she was in the east of the city so early on the morning she was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. It was the Friday before Christmas 1994 — the same day police discovered the body of a man beaten to death in her apartment.

 

Fourteen years later, Brigitte is married to the detective who investigated the murder, which she claims to have lost her memory of in the car accident. They have young twins, and seem to be a happy family. Until the reopening of the cold case.

 

Please Don’t Leave Me Here is about loss, love and lies. It is about pain, fear, and memory. And, above all, it is about letting go.

 

 

My View:

This has to be the scariest book cover I have come across in quite some time…that smoke blurred image that distorts the facial features of this photo, for some reason I find this very spooky- thankfully the book is not scary , it is …intriguing and very sad.

 

This is a narrative of many mysteries, survival, and memory and how low self-esteem can really shape a person’s life choices and boy has Brigitte mad some very poor choices… as we reach the conclusion of this book we catch a glimmer of hope that Brigitte is perhaps about to make a good decision – the past being acknowledged as the past and maybe accepting/owning her own feelings and a truth revealed.

 

Tania Chandler takes an addictive personality, low self-esteem, poor parenting and loss of memory and creates a very credible personality that is Brigitte. At each turn of the page you can understand why poor decision are made and empathise with the protagonist who is exploited and manipulated by even those who care for her. This is a grim, realistic story that ends with just a trace of optimism – or is that me looking for a positive outcome? Who knows…?

 

Tania Chandler has mastered the art of writing the unreliable narrator in this book.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Deadly Messengers – Susan May

Deadly Messengers Susan May cover

Deadly Messengers

Susan May

Digital Contact

ISBN: 9781517127060

 

Description:

3 massacres, 2 detectives, 1 writer, 0 answers

 

Freelancer Kendall Jennings writes fluff pieces for women’s magazines. When a horrific massacre occurs at Café Amaretto, she scores an exclusive interview with a survivor. Suddenly, she’s the go-to reporter for the crime.

 

Investigating veteran detective Lance O’Grady and his partner Trip are tasked with finalizing the open and shut case. Seven people are dead at the hands of an unprovoked killer wielding an axe. It seems simple.

 

Then another mass killing occurs. This time, arson, and ten eldercare facility residents die in the blaze. Both killers die at the scene. The crimes have no motive, and Lance O’Grady is left wondering how evil can strike twice.

 

Then it happens again. Even more shocking: a mother with a gun goes on a rampage at a family birthday party.

 

The killers share one odd detail: none have a murderer’s profile. No history of violence, no connection to terrorists, no vendettas. Ordinary citizens suddenly became killers.

Drawn deeper inside the crime investigation, Kendall finds herself not only clashing with O’Grady but also struggling with old demons. O’Grady resents Kendall’s involvement as her presence provokes memories of a personal tragedy.

 

O’Grady and Kendall are caught up in a plan greater reaching than the crimes. They just don’t know it. Someone is sending a message. And unless they can decipher the meaning, very soon, many more will die.

 

Deadly Messengers is a page-turning thriller taking readers into the minds of mass killers in all their disconcerting madness. It poses the question: Is there a killer lurking inside everyone? The answer could prove more frightening than the crimes.

 

My View:

Recipe for Compulsive Reading:

Mix together the following:

One cup horror (those opening scenes are pretty horrific).

One cup crime fiction.

One cup science fiction/science fact.

Add a dollop of incredibly well written, fast paced, action packed narrative.

Stir and imbibe.

Guaranteed to produce a satisfying outcome!

 

 

***Note from the author:

Are you looking for a page turning thriller read? I’m looking for early readers/reviewers!

If you would like a FREE copy of DEADLY MESSENGERS,  email me at  susanmay21@iinet.net.au and I will be happy to send an e-copy in any format to suit your reader or app.

This offer is open until the 30th September.