An Unfamiliar Murder by Jane Isaac. Read April 2015.

Why did I leave this languishing on my Kindle for so long? I won’t make the same mistake with Book 2!

“Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But…becoming prime suspect in a murder enquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim… Leading her first murder enquiry, DCI Helen Lavery unravels a trail of deception, family secrets and betrayal.”

I read a lot of crime fiction and sometimes the crime dominates my attention, sometimes the detective’s own story is more intriguing. An Unfamiliar Murder gives the reader a 2-for-1 experience. The initial crime scene is presented early on and is shocking and original. Then we meet DCI Helen Lavery and her family who drew me in and made me a part of their domestic drama.

The author gives us a richly developed cast of characters as well as a clever and intelligent plot. I recommend this book to crime fiction fans who enjoy police procedurals but also want believable characters they can care about.

My copy was purchased from Amazon Kindle Store.

  

Only The Brave by Mel Sherratt. Read April 2015.

A tense and gripping third instalment in the DS Allie Shenton series.

“When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion.

DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but…as she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.”

This has quickly become one of my favourite crime series, and Mel Sherratt one of my favourite authors. A fabulous story with real down to earth characters is guaranteed with each of her books.

Only The Brave is set over 48 hours with the chapter headings tracking the time. I enjoyed this format and it gave a sense of what the police are up against in the first hours investigating a case.

Allie’s personal life came into focus throughout the book and especially towards the end, reminding me how well the author engages readers. I admit I shed a tear or two along the way.

Highly recommended for fans of gritty crime fiction, but I urge you to read the previous books in the series (Taunting The Dead & Follow The Leader) or you’ll be missing out – a lot of characters recur in Only The Brave.
Thank you to the author for the advance copy e-book.

April 24-hour Readathon

I’m taking part in another readathon (I love readathons!) This one is a 24 hour readathon that takes place twice a year. Check out http://www.24hourreadathon.com for details.

 From 1pm Saturday 25 April, I’ll be doing as much reading as I can fit in to the next 24 hours. 

Having checked my TBR pile I expect to read some or all of:

  • Only The Brave by Mel Sherratt (already started)
  • An Unfamiliar Murder by Jane Isaac
  • The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah 

All these are on Kindle so I’ll need to make sure it’s charged up! I’ll post pictures once I start reading.

Don’t Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell. Read April 2015.

I read this book in less than a day which is highly unusual for me (I’m a pretty slow reader). It’s shorter than average but even so it shows that I enjoyed the read and didn’t want to put it down.

“As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave…The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict. 

Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play?”

A great cast of characters make this an interesting and exciting plot. There is a fair bit of supernatural stuff going on which would sometimes put me off a book, but this author has a knack of making the paranormal seem normal.

As a whole the book reads like a pilot episode for a TV series and this is a good thing as the ground has been prepared for a fascinating book series.

Recommended – give it a try!

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advance copy ebook to review.

  

A Killing Of Angels by Kate Rhodes. Read April 2015.

Book 2 in the Alice Quentin series.
At the height of a summer heatwave, a killer stalks the City of London.
The avenging angel leaves behind a scattering of feathers with each body…Psychologist Alice Quentin…finds herself deep in the toxic heart of the Square Mile – a place where money means more than life, and no one can be counted innocent.”

Having enjoyed Crossbones Yard I was eagerly looking forward to book 2 in the series and it didn’t disappoint. Alice has already become one of my favourite crime series characters and her professional and personal intrigues are as interesting as the crime investigations she’s involved with. She really is a breath of fresh air amid the crowds of damaged detectives that populate much of the crime fiction world.

There are some brutal murders in this book and  the descriptions are memorable. The prologue especially conjured an image that will stay with me for some time.

As often happens I’m finding it hard to go into any further detail without slipping into spoiler territory so I’ll leave it there.

Highly recommended for crime fiction fans who enjoy someone other than the police as their main characters.
My copy was borrowed from Blackburn with Darwen libraries. 

 

My Reading Bench

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day here so, slightly earlier in the year than usual, it was time to uncover the garden benches. This makes me very happy as I now have access to my favourite place to read:

  

My “reading bench” got lots of use last summer and I’m crossing my fingers that this year will be as good.

I often have some beautiful, if distracting, company:

   

Where’s your favourite place to escape with a good book? 

Badges

Just found these two badges on my Netgalley profile. I used to display the “Professional Reader” badge on the blog, along with lots of other badges & buttons, but removed them when I recently renamed the blog. Now I just display my Goodreads Challenge info. What do people think? The more badges the merrier or keep it simple?

  

  

Paperback Month April 2015

I’m a bit of a late starter but I’m taking part in Paperback Month – see here for details: Paperback Month sign-up at Reviewed The Book

Lately most of my books have been on Kindle but this month I do have 3 paperbacks lined up:

  • A Killing of Angels by Kate Rhodes
  • The Skin Collector by Jeffery  Deaver
  • You Are Dead by Peter James

  

These are part of my 8-books-a-month Goodreads Challenge for the year and I have The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver on Kindle to finish before I can get to them.