Finished the last two books in the Dangerous Davies, The Last Detective, series upon which the TV show is based. Dangerous in Love and Dangerous by Moonlight are both fun shortish reads featuring Dangerous, his sidekick Mod, an interesting love interest in the form of Jemma, and his large personality challenged dog, Kitty. Dangerous is an almost beaten down every man character whose intelligence is hidden underneath his clumsiness and lack of ability to climb the career ladder with the police force. One case involves mistaken identity and spotlights the lack of concern shown for the homeless, even when they are veterans. The other involves the unofficial case of a missing person as a widow asks for Dangerous’s help finding out what happened to her husband. Both books highlight Dangerous Davies common decency and his dogged determination to solve crimes and do right by everyone involved.
I expected these books to perhaps feel a little dated, but I didn’t find that at all. They feel representative of their times and the concerns raised, racism, homelessness, elder fraud, are still issues today. I enjoyed this set of books and read them after watching the TV series. I do think that fans of the TV show will find the books a little darker.
Rapid Falls is told in varying times, we flash back to the original crime and forward to current day, in a clearly delineated manner. The main theme is deception, as in hiding your true self (your nature), hiding the truth, and covering up painful facts in a desperate attempt at normality. Cara and Anna are sisters whose painfully interwoven lives spill out on the pages here, damaging everyone in their path. Perhaps the most damaged, in such a heartbreaking manner, is their father. Intense psychological thriller that peels back the layers slowly to reveal what lies beneath the events of Cara and Anna’s youth. Good read!
The Puppet Show was an excellent read for this month’s book at the English Kindle Mystery Club on Goodreads. Washington Poe has been off duty pending an investigation. He is brought back in to investigate a gruesome serial killer, who is burning his victim’s alive, after torturing them. Tilly is brought in to work on the case as well and the pairing of Washington and Tilly is extraordinary. Exciting story from beginning to end, well written with great great characters. I really enjoyed this and look forward to more from M.W. Craven.
White Out is book 4 in the Dark Iceland Series. Ari Thor is back with his girlfriend and about to be a father as it closes in on Christmas. His old boss Tomas recruits him to investigate a suspicious death in a family and at a home with a tragic history. Slightly lighter feeling than some of the other books in the series, perhaps due to the holiday setting. Ari Thor finds himself working against public opinion to time the current case to the ones from the past. Great read in this series.
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie is the 14th installment in the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid Series. Gemma and Duncan are finally married and have a new foster daughter added to their little family. The case involves a prospective Olympic rower murdered on the river. The case has very timely aspects with connections to cover ups of sexual misconduct and assaults. Great character in the form of a search and rescue team member with PTSD and a connection to the victim. Thoroughly enjoyable read in a great series.
Dangerous Davies is one of the books that the The Last Detective TV series was based on. I really enjoyed the show and when I found out it was based on books by Leslie Thomas I decided to pick them up. The book is definitely darker in some aspects than the TV series. The main mystery here involves an unsolved missing person case which is basically a cold case. One of the original men questioned is now currently being looked at and Davies takes this opportunity to re-examine the original case. Really cleverly done as there are small hints and clues dripped throughout that lead to the resolution.
Career of Evil is the 3rd in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith AKA JK Rowling. This series is amazingly getting better and better. I enjoyed the first two but this even better than either of them. Strike and Robin are being threatened by someone from Strike’s past, but he is not sure who. Robin is the target of this madman’s threats and she and Strike dance around their professional relationship as he strives to keep her safe and she wants to continue working above all else.
Strike and Robin, particularly Robin, also have issues in their personal lives that weave in and out of the cases that they are working on. The relationship between them is so well-developed and has real sense of tension in the push-pull between them. The villain has no redeeming qualities and reading his thoughts as he goes about the business of stalking women and brutally killing (and dismembering) some of them is chilling. Great read, I can’t wait to read more in the series.
The Body in the Dales introduced me to the potholes of Yorkshire caving and the lifestyle of the men and women who explore them for both a hobby and to work on the cave rescue teams. A new DS arrives fresh from London to take up his post in Yorkshire. DS Carter finds himself a fish out of water serving under DCI Oldroyd, who fancies himself somewhat of a Yorkshire Sherlock Holmes, and alongside, Steph, who is also a romantic interest. Oldroyd is really the star here as he works on the clues, sometimes withholding information to teach his staff how to think and approach crime solving.
The atmosphere and scenery of Yorkshire is well done here creating a good sense of place. The caving information is presented in a way that is not overdone or doesn’t feel like a lecture. As the first in a series I quite enjoyed this and will probably read another.
The Corpse on the Court is number 14 in the Fethering series by Simon Brett. This mystery series is also known for its incisive social commentary and is always fun to read. In this installment Jude and Carole are having somewhat of a separation, as Jude enters a new romance and Carole is left behind in Fethering. Still they manage to come together to solve a mystery or two. The main case involves Real Tennis (Court Tennis) and a death involving a group of people who have all known each other for many years and whose lives seemingly revolve around this “sport of kings”. A well written fun mystery with two great sleuth characters in Jude and Carole.
Death of an Honest Man is the latest in the Hamish MacBeth series by M.C. Beaton. An unlikable incomer is killed and Hamish has no shortage of suspects to contend with. At the same time he deals with Charlie wanting to leave the police, Blair going more than a bit mad, a disappointing love life and perhaps the return of Sonsie. A fast paced outing in the series with quite a bit going on and some superstitious magic thrown in for good measure. Fun fast read.
This was probably my favorite crime read of the year. So well written, seeing America and the American criminal justice system through the eyes of a European police officer, Sigrid. Sigrid has come to America to look for her missing brother at the request of her father. When she arrives, she discovers that her brother is a person of interest in the death of young black woman, his ex-girlfriend. Commentary about police in America versus Norway, gun issues, and race relations. I loved the first in this set of books, Norwegian by Day and there are references to the events in that book. I’d highly recommend both of these books to readers of Nordic Noir, especially with an interest in political issues.
Perfect Remains is this month’s read over that Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads. Very good mystery/thriller/police procedural with an engaging detective found in DI Callanach, a French-Scottish Detective. He is fresh from Interpol, now in Scotland leaving his old life in France behind due to a scandal. Women’s bodies are found, but are they who they seem to be? That is the driving plot point here. I did enjoy this even though it made me cringe at points as the killer/kidnapper commits his crimes.
I am liking Ian Rankin’s books in the Inspector Rebus series. I remember trying to watch the show years ago and not getting into it but the books are marvelous. In this installment, the second in the series, Hide and Seek, we have shades of witchcraft, drugs, murder and suicide all intertwined in an engaging mystery plot.
The indomitable Agatha Raisin is back again in Something Borrowed, Someone Dead. Here a rather unpleasant villager finds herself dead and Agatha and crew are called to investigate. The ending here was a surprise to me. This was not my favorite in the series but still a fun read and I will definitely read more. At this point I am more invested in the characters than the mysteries. Agatha Raisin season 2 will soon be out on Acorn, I can’t wait!
Necessary as Blood is an installment in the Duncan Kincaid series by Deborah Crombie. This is number 13 and having read all the previous books, Duncan and Gemma are old friends now. This particular book is more Gemma focused, as she seeks to unravel the deaths of two parents of a young girl, both dying under suspicious circumstances. Gemma reconnects with old friends and uncovers other crimes in the course of her investigation.
Sinister Summer is pretty much a cozy mystery. An older woman is murdered and her niece returns home to settle the estate. The murdered woman had an estate worth quite a bit and mysterious things are happening all around Diana as she tries to come to grips with the loss of her aunt. Ghosts, tarot cards, and a hunky neighbor make up the bulk of the story here. The killer was pretty obvious to me early on. An interesting start to a series.
This is the bargain book for this month at the English Kindle Mystery Club on Goodreads. There were some good ideas here, but it seemed like a lot of it wasn’t fully developed or completely explained. The story involves a disgraced former high flyer police officer, a suspect who dies in custody, a brutal serial killer, and much more. I would give this about 3 stars.