Crime Fiction


November Part 1

In November 2018 we decided to read at least one book that didn’t feature a detective. It proved to be a tougher challenge than we’d thought...
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Some of us chose thrillers, others went to espionage, and there were also books where the protagonist was an 'ordinary' person who found themselves submerged in a mystery. And because of the variety of books we read and chatted about, this report is split into two parts.

Our rating system designates 5-Stars as ‘Beyond brilliant’ and there were five books which earned 5-Stars this month.

The Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers
This is a crime classic which Freyja decided to re-read, and she was bowled over by it all over again. It’s not just the cleverness of the plot which makes it hard to put down, but the way it is written. In fact, Freyja enjoyed it so much that she’s posted a blog about it, which you can read here.

The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler
This is the sixth book about the now ex-detective, Joona Linna. Linna is released from prison to help the police catch a killer known as The Rabbit Hunter. As the plot unfolds you realise that the murders relate to things that happened 30 years ago. Terrifying in places, this book hooks you in from the start and doesn’t let go. Definitely a 5-Star!

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
The heroine, Nicolette Farrell, returns home 10 years after leaving when her best friend disappeared. The story is written backwards, starting at Day 15 and working back to Day 1. This heightens the feeling that you (the reader) are doing the detective work, and you experience all the twists and turns as they happen. Freyja rated it 5-Stars for both story and construction.

Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Not part of a series. This is the story of a woman who one day just abandons her husband and child, and vanishes. She ends up in a new town with a new job and a new friend. Gradually, as the back-story is pieced together, the reader discovers she’s vanished like this before. But why? Although Freyja didn’t find the protagonist very likeable, she couldn’t put the book down. And she says that if you decide to read it, read carefully so you don’t miss the clues. The ending is a total surprise. Another book that rated 5-stars.

We Know by Gregg Hurwitz
This is an early book (2008) by Gregg Hurwitz, the author of the brilliant Orphan X series. Two of our group read it and rated it 5-Stars. It’s a fast-paced thriller, written with humour. The story opens with a SWAT team smashing through the window of Nick Horrigan’s Los Angeles apartment and from that point the pace never slows. Nick has done everything he can to hide from his past but soon he’s having to uncover secrets and reconnect with the people he’d left behind. A great read!

The lowest rated book read this month was

Real Tigers by Mick Herron
To avoid detectives, Cornish Eskimo opted to read spy stories. Having previously failed to finish the first book in the award-winning and highly acclaimed Slough House series (Slow Horses), the Eskimo decided to try the third book – Real Tigers – but was disappointed again. “If you believe the critics, the books all demonstrate brilliant plotting and characters. But I thought the characters were cardboard cut-outs and the plot was just silly.” 2-Stars only.

Oundle Library’s Crime Fiction Book Group meets on the third Friday of each month @ 2.30pm at Oundle Library, and for our meeting in January 2019 we’re each going to read a book by Ian Rankin.

We don’t consider ourselves a formal book group because we don’t work through a reading list. We just pick a reading ‘theme’ each month, which is entirely optional. At our meetings we chat about whatever we’ve read, and swap notes about the books and authors we enjoy. It’s been a great way for everyone to find new authors to try. If you think it sounds fun, why not join us? You’ll be very welcome.