Tag Archives: thriller

death without company

Death Without Company (Walt Longmire #2) by Craig Johnson

From Goodreads:

Walt investigates a death by poison in this gripping novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and Dry Bones, the second in the Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit Netflix original series

Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, who garnered both praise and an enthusiastic readership with his acclaimed debut novel featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire, The Cold Dish, the first in the Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, now on Netflix.

Now Johnson takes us back to the rugged landscape of Absaroka County, Wyoming, for Death Without Company. When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches fifty years into the mysterious woman’s dramatic Basque past.

Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, Sheriff Longmire must connect the specter of the past to the present to find the killer among them.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a cracking good read. It’s one of those books that was just so easy to read and I flew through it. After the first book I’ve now gotten over the differences between the book and TV show and just enjoying this new version of the same characters. I still picture the actors faces though when reading.

The standout from this book is the humour. Walt is very self-deprecating and has a very wry attitude to everything that happens to him – the bad and good equally! Vic also adds to this considerably. I’m definitely looking forward to the 3rd installment.

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the black ice

The Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2) by Michael Connelly

From Goodreads:

Narcotics office Cal Moore’s orders were to look into the city’s latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.

Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: don’t look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together.

Soon Harry’s making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the centre of a complex and deadly game – one in which he may be the next and likeliest victim.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Loved this, it’s Bosch at his best, fighting hard to get to the truth and giving the finger to the brass on the way. The author really builds Harry here as the lone wolf but also betrays his lonely side through his attraction to two different women. His back story is filled in quite significantly and we get to know the man behind the man.

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the cold dish

The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1) by Craig Johnson

From Goodreads:

Walt Longmire, sheriff of Wyoming’s Absaroka County, knows he’s got trouble when Cody Pritchard is found dead. Two years earlier, Cody and three accomplices had been given suspended sentences for raping a Northern Cheyenne girl. Is someone seeking vengeance? Longmire faces one of the more volatile and challenging cases in his twenty-four years as sheriff and means to see that revenge, a dish that is best served cold, is never served at all.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve been watching the TV series (Longmire) based on these books over the last few months and having totally finished the series I decided to give the original books a try. Overall I’m very impressed and think they will get even better as they go.

It’s obvious to see the influences of the book on the TV show but there are many differences between the characters in terms of personality, description and even their back story. It took me a little while to get used to this especially with the TV characters so visible in my mind but the quality of the writing and the great story building soon swept me along.

The ending really caught me out, I was worried that I would guess from the TV show but it’s definitely very different. If you watched the TV show then I’d definitely recommend the books. If you haven’t then I’d still recommend them and the show both!

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borderlands

Borderlands (Inspector Devlin #1) by Brian McGilloway

From Goodreads:

The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyrone-Donegal border, between the North and South of Ireland, in an area known as the Borderlands. Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin heads the investigation: the only clues are a gold ring placed on the girl’s finger and an old photograph, left where she died.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the author’s debut novel and is a great read. It’s set very close to me. Lifford and Strabane are 15-20min from home and it was a little bit creepy reading a murder story set like this. Some of the locations and names have been changed slightly which created a slight discomfort when reading but nothing to detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

The storyline is very good and very well structured. I enjoyed the descriptions of complexity of how the police work right on the border and sometimes across the border. It’s nice to see a book using Northern Ireland as a location without dwelling on politics or The Troubles.

The characters were good. Inspector Devlin is the main character and I look forward to seeing how he develops. I found the female characters very badly developed (Devlin’s wife Debbie in particular was frustratingly weak) so I hope that improves as the author’s writing skills mature through the rest of the series.

The author taught in St. Columbs College, Derry for 18 years. He wrote this book in 2007. I worked there in 2001/2002 as a Science teacher and he does look familiar. I’m not sure if I’m just trying to find a connection but there’s a good chance we worked there at the same time and may even have spoken in the staff room. I’ll take it as a celebrity interaction regardless!

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the searcher

The Searcher by Tana French

From Goodreads:

Retired detective Cal Hooper moves to a remote village in rural Ireland. His plans are to fix up the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, to walk the mountains, to put his old police instincts to bed forever.

Then a local boy appeals to him for help. His brother is missing, and no one in the village, least of all the police, seems to care. And once again, Cal feels that restless itch.

Something is wrong in this community, and he must find out what, even if it brings trouble to his door.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The author has written a few books before this one but this is a standalone book. It’s my first time reading her stuff and over all I enjoyed it. The relationship between Cal and Trey is well done and they are excellent focal characters for the story. The supporting characters of Mart, Noleen and Lena are also good although Mart’s country shtick gets a bit irritating at times.

The storyline was a good concept with Cal being reluctantly dragged into investigating the disappearance of Trey’s brother. However, the lack of material being based in a small rural village meant that it became a bit repetitive and dragged on occasion as the author seemed to struggle to move the story forward.

This was good enough to make me want to read more by this author. She has a series based around a murder squad based in Dublin that sounds interesting.

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the lincoln highway

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

From Goodreads:

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles’s third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved this book! It’s completely different from anything I normally read and written in a very formal, old fashioned manner of speech. Once I got used to that (pretty quickly to be honest) it added to the read.

The four main boys plus Sally are brilliant characters, each one so different yet work so well together. The array of supporting characters are also well rounded and easy to keep in your head. I hate when too many characters lead to confusion but not in this case.

Great story, great characters, great book.

Shout out to Rootchopper for bringing it to my attention.

raven black

Raven Black (Shetland #1) by Ann Cleeves

From Goodreads:

Raven Black begins on New Year’s Eve with a lonely outcast named Magnus Tait, who stays home waiting for visitors who never come. But the next morning the body of a murdered teenage girl is discovered nearby, and suspicion falls on Magnus. Inspector Jimmy Perez enters an investigative maze that leads deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

We watched the TV show based on these books a few years ago and while it was difficult to separate the two I did find this book very enjoyable. There were interesting differences in Inspector Perez and his friend Duncan between the TV and book but I think I can see why from this first story.

The author writes in a very relaxed way, probably suited to island life and also manages to give what appears to be an authentic view of life on the Shetlands even if it is in the unusual turmoil of a murder enquiry. I’m looking forward to reading more of these.

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gallows view

Gallows View (Inspector Banks #1) by Peter Robinson

From Goodreads:

A Peeping Tom is frightening the women of Eastvale; two glue-sniffing young thugs are breaking into homes and robbing people; an old woman may or may not have been murdered. Investigating these cases is Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, a perceptive, curious and compassionate policeman recently moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London to escape the stress of city life. In addition to all this, Banks has to deal with the local feminists and his attraction to a young psychologist, Jenny Fuller. As the tension mounts, both Jenny and Banks’s wife, Sandra, are drawn deeper into the events. The cases weave together as the story reaches a tense and surprising climax

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Enjoyable story and a very good first book from this author. It reminded me very much of Peter James’s Roy Grace character although his home life is very different. This book came from a recommendation. I can’t remember who but thank you for doing so as I have a feeling this series and character will develop further and get better as they grow.

I did find the first half a bit slow going but once the strands of the cases began to come together the story really picked up and I found it hard to put down. Don’t give up if the same happens to you, it’s worth sticking it out.

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the late show

The Late Show (Renée Ballard #1) by Michael Connelly

From Goodreads:

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is just superb! Michael Connelly is best known for his books about LA detective Harry Bosch set in the 80s and 90s. This is a brand new character for him and is set in the much more modern mid 2010s. For an author that spent so much time writing about men this is a female character and from a totally male perspective I think he’s done a fantastic job of creating a strong female character working in a male dominated culture that is tough enough to get the job done but doesn’t simply become a man with a woman’s name*. Contrast that with David Baldacci’s Atlee Pine character.

If you haven’t read any of Connelly’s books before then it’s possible to start here as it’s a completely different storyline from anything else he’s written although there does seem to be some crossover in later books.

I don’t want to spoil the story so I won’t give much detail and to be honest I don’t really know how to add to the summary above. Simply put Ballard is a brilliantly constructed character and Connelly’s writing is so good that I struggled to put this one down and read it through in just a couple of days.

*so difficult to write that without sounding patronising and sexist!

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devil in a blue dress

Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins #1) by Walter Mosley

From Goodreads :

In Los Angeles of the late 1940s, Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend’s bar, wondering how he’ll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

My Rating: ⭐⭐

I really struggled to get into this book. The storyline didn’t make any sense, the characters were superficial and hard to relate to and it jumped from scene to scene without much coherence. The author and the character get high praise from readers and reviewers so I’ll give leeway for a first book and probably try the next instalment rather than just giving up.

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