Tag Archive | crime

Review: ‘After The Fire’, by Henning Mankell

Published By: Random House

Publication Date: 5th October 2017

Format: Hardback

I.S.B.N: 9781910701768

Price: £17.99

 

Blurb

Fredrik Welin is a seventy-year-old retired doctor. Years ago he retreated to the Swedish archipelago, where he lives alone on an island. He swims in the sea every day, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. He lives a quiet life. Until he wakes up one night to find his house on fire.

Fredrik escapes just in time, wearing two left-footed wellies, as neighbouring islanders arrive to help douse the flames. All that remains in the morning is a stinking ruin and evidence of arson. The house that has been in his family for generations and all his worldly belongings are gone. He cannot think who would do such a thing, or why. Without a suspect, the police begin to think he started the fire himself.

Tackling love, loss and loneliness, After the Fire is Henning Mankell’s compelling last novel.

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Review: ‘The One That Got Away’, by Annabel Kantaria

Published By: HQ

Publication Date: 21st September 2017

I.S.B.N.: 9781848455122

Format: Paperback (also available as an ebook)

Price: £7.99

Blurb

First comes the invitation…

Something makes Stella click ‘yes’ to attending her school reunion.

Followed by the affair…

It’s been fifteen years since Stella and George last saw each other. Their relationship may have ended badly, but there’s still an undeniable spark between them.

Then

the consequences…

But, once someone gets you back, what if they never let you go again?

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Review: ‘The Watcher’, by Ross Armstrong

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Published by: HQ

Publication Date: 21st September 2017

Format: Paperback

I.S.B.N.: 9780008181178

Price: £7.99

Blurb

She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

Lily Gullick lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build flat opposite an estate which has been marked for demolition. A keen birdwatcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.

Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.

But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

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Novel Extract: ‘Addicted To Death’, by Matthew Redford

Addicted to DeathFor your reading pleasure, an extract from ‘Addicted To Death’ by Matthew Redford, today’s guest in the Author Spotlight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs, have been brutally murdered, bludgeoned to death by an assailant with a large metal spoon. Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading Food Sapiens detective, is talking things through with his Homo Sapiens colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox.

Dorothy smiled at her boss knowing he meant no harm. Their career paths had collided just over five years earlier when the Food Related Crime Division was established. They forged an excellent working relationship, despite Wortel being a carrot and Dorothy being a fully formed human. Dorothy Knox was an experienced policewoman who was approaching the latter stages of her career when Chief Superintendent Archibald summoned her to his office one cold November afternoon. Thinking that she may find herself forced into an earlier than planned retirement, Dorothy was pleasantly surprised when he asked if she would be prepared to work alongside an up and coming young detective who had a tricky case of the crabs.

 

When a number of victims started to fall foul to infected crab meat the case soon became high profile as the public demanded answers as to how the contagion was going to be prevented. Wortel found Dorothy’s experience invaluable and together they unmasked Sammy the Shrimp, a small time psychopath hell bent on destroying the hard earned reputation of the crab. It was the week before Christmas when Wortel and Dorothy tracked down Sammy the Shrimp to a squalid flat on the high street above the local betting shop.

 

Sammy, seeing the two officers arrive with an arrest warrant, attempted to flee by pushing a small child to the floor, grabbing his scooter and using his long narrow muscular tail to pick up speed on the improvised getaway vehicle. Wortel and Dorothy gave chase but just when it seemed Sammy the Shrimp had managed to evade capture, his getaway scooter skidded on a patch of black ice sending him dangerously out of control of the child’s toy, jack-knifing the vehicle and flying through the air towards the shop window of ‘Bamboo-can-do’, the number one store for all bamboo related objet d’art. The unfortunate impaling of Sammy the Shrimp saw the end of the great crab meat infection, with most victims recovering following a dose of salts and the application of soothing cream.

 

Wortel was not comfortable being thrust into the spotlight, but the media latched onto the first food sapien detective and he soon found himself a somewhat unwilling celebrity. The successful resolution of the great crab infection saw the resources offered to the division soar, from diddly-squat to austere. However, being the new media darling was of no help to Wortel and Dorothy during their confrontation with their nemesis, MadCow McBeef. A confrontation  that very nearly cost them their lives.

 

The ‘Pow-wow with MadCow’, as nicknamed by the press, was a titanic bloodbath of a struggle with multiple victims strewn across the food and homo sapien population. The eventual capture of MadCow McBeef on a farm grazing happily next to the bloodied body of his former owner, Old McDonald, made front page news, with the trial at the Old Bailey covered daily by the rolling television news channels. Despite Wortel’s best endeavours, the jury accepted MadCow McBeef’s insanity plea and he was sentenced to life detention at the Farmer Giles Mental Institution.

 

“Have you tried these new flavoured crisps, they’re seriously nice.”

 

The question bought Wortel back into the room from his thoughts. He looked across at Dorothy. “What flavour?”

 

“Ham and honey mustard with a pickle twist.”

 

“No, you’re okay thanks,” he said, somewhat suspicious of the flavour combination.

 

“You don’t know what you’re missing, they’re really moreish.”

 

Wortel hesitated, decided against trying the new flavoured crisps, and sat himself down at his desk. “No news about a murder weapon?”

 

“No boss, whoever has done this seems to have been pretty clean in their dealings and we’re assuming at this stage that the murder weapon was taken away from the scene.”

 

“Fine. Look Dorothy, finish up what you’re doing and then call it a night. I know this is a new murder case but we’ve nothing to get going on just yet and I need you firing on all cylinders tomorrow. When you get home give my best to Graham and the kids.”

 

“And are you making a move for home any time soon?”

 

“I will. I just want to go over the notes from the crime scene to make sure I have my paperwork up to date. And I’m sure the Super will want an update about this case as well as the Cookie trial before I leave.”

 

Another half an hour slipped by before Dorothy pulled on her jacket, picked up her handbag and wished Wortel goodnight. As she reached for the office door it flew open, and Chief Superintendent Archibald strode purposefully into the room, his false leg working overtime to keep up with his real one.

 

“Ah, glad I’ve caught you Wortel. I’m due to for a late night tee-off in under an hour so you’ll have to be brief, but I want an update on this murder. Eggs isn’t it? Hmm, messy business. And we also need to talk about the Cookie biscuit sentence. I’ve arranged a press conference for the morning. We need to make sure we’re both on the same page. After all, we know the press love their Willie.”

And here’s the blurb:

Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation

Following the murder of Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs savagely beaten to death outside their home by an unknown, fedora wearing assailant brandishing a large metal spoon, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading food detective in the police force, is called in to investigate. When the only food sapiens minister in the Government, Professor Perry Partridge, is murdered at the Strawberry Strip Club, run by the young damson Victoria Plum, DI Wortel suspects that the two cases may somehow be linked. As the Head of the Food Related Crime Division, DI Wortel is ably assisted by his human colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox. But as their investigation begins, four celebrity chefs are sent death threats. It’s a recipe for disaster as the incarcerated evil genius MadCow McBeef is seeking parole; someone appears to have crumbled Mr Bramley’s apples; and there is an anti-GM food protestor on the prowl. And why do Oranges and Lemons think they owe someone five farthings? DI Wortel and his team must find out who is seemingly addicted to death. It will take all efforts – human, fruit and vegetable – to figure this one out.
Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Addicted-Death-Related-Crime-Investigation-ebook/dp/B010545FEQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1490869221&sr=1-1&keywords=matthew+redford

 

About Matthew Redford

Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council

estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.

 

Website – http://www.matthewredford.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/matthew_redford

Review: ‘Addicted to Death’, by Matthew Redford

Addicted to DeathPublished By: Clink Street

Publication Date: 2015

I.S.B.N.: 9781910782071

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Review

Pros:

  • Amusing, I enjoyed the homour ans storytelling
  • Well-developed characters
  • Good plot
  • Unexpected villain
  • Entertaining twits (and I do mean twits, not twists)
  • The plot twists were good too
  • Timely social satire

Cons

  • A little heavy on the puns. One after another after another got a bit repetitive at times
  • Some of them just weren’t funny

Overall

A very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. I picked the book up to get it read, expecting that it might take me a few days as some of my review books do, and couldn’t put it down for several hours. It put me in mind of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books, the humour and absurdity is on a similar level. I recommend it if you enjoy those books.

4/5

Review: ‘Thin Ice’, by Quentin Bates

 

If you read my blog post from last week, you’ll know we had the pleasure of a visit from journalist, translator and crime writer Quentin Bates. Quentin has written four novels (in paperback and ebook format) and three novellas (available as ebooks only) featuring the character Officer Gunnhildur. Details are available on his website: http://graskeggur.com/

I have, and recommend the novella Winterlude. Last week Quentin kindly gave out copies of his books, and of books by Ragnar Jonasson that he had translated; I got my hands on a copy of his most recent book, Thin Ice, published by Constable (an imprit of Little, Brown Book Group) in March 2016.

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Review: ‘Body in The Box’, by E.R. Fallon

Published By: Joffe Books

Publication Date: 19th December 2017

I.S.B.N.: 9781912106004

BLURB

The frail body of a young boy is found discarded in an old cardboard box. Even in a hard-edged town used to deadly crimes, this touches a nerve.

BODY IN THE BOX is the first book in the Stygian Town mystery series featuring three very different homicide detectives.

Detectives Dino Copper and Terry Jackson have been partners and friends for years. Now a new detective is drafted in to join them: Rebecca Everhart. They must quickly learn to work together on the biggest case of their careers, the disturbing discovery of the ‘Body in the Box’, as it’s known by the captivated media and the city’s worried citizens.

The case takes the three detectives deep inside the lives of the insular Eastern European immigrant community and the world of unlawful medical practices. The case also evokes an eerie childhood memory of Dino’s, where a boy from his neighborhood vanished and was never seen again.

What appears to be a straightforward, modern-day murder case has more to do with the past than the present, and the detectives come to a genuinely unnerving — and life-threatening — conclusion.

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