Crime Fiction


March Part 2

This is the second part of our March reviews and covers authors H-Z … well, H-V actually!
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Looking through what we read in March you'll see we picked a good selection of books to discuss. And there was only one ‘turkey’ that was given 1-Star (our lowest grade). The rest of our reading list were 4-Stars or over.

P.S. HoganThe Intruder
Published in 2014 this is British author P.S. Hogan’s only book so far. The cover notes said it was ‘gripping and sinister’ and ‘almost unbearably tense at times’ but Bunny wouldn’t describe it as such. Having said that, she acknowledges the seed idea had potential – an estate agent who’s kept a copy of every key to every house he’s sold and visits when the owners are out – but felt the book didn’t quite live up to its promise. Yes, there are murders. And yes, it takes a while to find out what's going on. But the tension levels weren't that high and it didn’t grab Bunny’s imagination particularly. Nonetheless she awarded 4-Stars.

Faye KellermanPredator
Book 21 in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series. This was the first Faye Kellerman book that Bunny had read, and it will be the last! She says the plot was ridiculous, the characters formless and she could find nothing to recommend it. It was our single March ‘turkey’ and barely rated 1-Star.

Jonathan KellermanBilly Straight
Having enjoyed books in Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series, Freyja was interested to try the first of the Petra Connor series (only 2 books so far). It’s the story of the murdered wife of a TV star. When her body is discovered in a Los Angeles park it appears there are no witnesses to the crime but, in fact, the killing was seen by a homeless boy called Billy Straight. His reluctance to step forward means the police are following different leads, until circumstances force the issue, and then it’s a race against the clock. Freyja enjoyed this, saying it was a good read. She rates it 4-Stars.

Claire KendalThe Second Sister
Freyja enjoyed this book so much she gave it 5-Stars and wrote a standalone review which you can read here.

Barbara NadelBright Shiny Things
Published in 2017 this is the fifth book in Nadel’s Hakim and Arnold series (6 books so far). Private Investigator, Lee Arnold, is asked to look for a friend’s son who, having embraced Islam, is believed to have gone to Syria to fight the Assad regime. Now it seems as if he might want to come home and Hakim and Arnold are asked to make contact. Calendar Girl was still reading this when we had our meeting, but she said she was thoroughly enjoying it. Obviously it’s extremely topical, which has given it an extra edge. Calendar Girl rates it 4-Stars… so far!

Luca Veste The Bone Keeper
Veste is an Italian Liverpudlian, and this is the first novel about a new character, DC Louise Henderson. The case centres around missing children and the local legend of The Bone Keeper. In the face of police scepticism, Henderson has to convince her colleagues there may be truth in the stories. And there is. Feebs found it a bit formulaic but enjoyed it nonetheless, and particularly the Liverpool setting. Her verdict? It would make a good TV series because it’s atmospheric and tense, and the story proceeds at a good pace. Oh, and there’s a good twist at the end, too. 4-Stars.

Because of Easter, the next meeting of Oundle Library's Crime Fiction Book Group has been moved to Friday, 26 April @ 2.30pm. Do join us!