The Hanging Valley and Kill the Father

 

I’ve had Kill the Father on my Kindle for quite a while, but just got around to reading it.  The case surrounds a missing child, a murdered mother, and a father as the chief suspect.  The case seems too open and shut and the child has not appeared,  so a somewhat extraordinary expert is called on, a man who was himself an abducted child and  despite his obvious PTSD and various mental health issues now works on cases as a private investigator.  His partner in this endeavor is an officer on  leave herself after a case that went terribly wrong resulting in multiple deaths.  She is suffering physically and mentally from the effects of the bombing.  These two damaged individuals have to negotiate a treacherous case without being sure who they can trust.  This was well written and quite engaging.  I would just say that it needed some editing because it ran a little too long, over 500 pages is a bit long for a thriller, and about the last 100 I just wanted  to get to the resolution.

The Hanging Valley is book 4 in the Inspector Banks series.  In this book in the series, Banks travels to a picturesque community where a fells walker has found a faceless corpse on his hike. Obviously a murder, Banks soon uncovers links to a past murder that was never solved and a community member who disappeared without a trace.  There are  wealthy brother landowners, displaced farmers, newly landed recently divorced gentry, an unhappy wife and bully boy husband rounding out the cast in the community.  Very well written mystery, richly developed characters with a sense of despair that comes through, and an engaging story line.  I have many more to read in this long running series.

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A Dark Redemption & The Blood Detective

These are both February reads for the English Kindle Mystery Club.  They are also both new to me authors.  A Dark Redemption, while set in London, has connections to Africa and the atrocities committed there under various uprisings and coups.    Jack Carrigan has his own history with Africa, which he’d rather forget, and now that he has to take charge of a case with an African victim it is bringing it all back for him.  The novel gives you glimpses in to the horror from Jack’s trip with his friends to Africa as a young man, interspersed with the current investigation.  Finally, connections and the killer are revealed.  A good first in a new series, I enjoyed this London based mystery with international connections.

The Blood Detective is a genealogy based mystery with the killer re-enacting an old crime.  DCI Foster recruits Nigel Barnes, a genealogist researcher to trace elements of the crime.  The crimes escalate as Barnes and Foster uncover more connections to the past and try to prevent more murders in the present.   This was well written and paced.  I have read other genealogy based mystery but did not enjoy them as much as this one.  Nigel is a great character and the story line was very compelling.   Would definitely read more by this author.

Cross & To Dwell in Darkness

Cross is book 6 in the Jack Taylor series and Jack is in a particularly dark place dealing still with repercussions of the earlier books and the effects of trying to remain sober.  The crimes are particularly brutal and somewhat senseless which make them seem even worse.  The book is just steeped in hopelessness even right to the ending where it seems like things should be looking up for Jack with a new start.  There is also a side plot here that involves animal cruelty, which I had to sort of skim through as I have a difficult time reading anything like that.  This was not my favorite book in the series but certainly in keeping with with the darkness that surrounds Jack Taylor.

To Dwell in Darkness is book 16 in the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid series.  In this book Gemma and Duncan are still finding their feet after the adoption of their new daughter and returning to work.  Duncan in particular returned to find he had been transferred to a new department and has a new partner.  The case involves a protest demonstration that appears to have gone horribly wrong ending with a young man burnt to death.  As Duncan investigates, things and people are not all as they appear.  Gemma has her own case which is going well as she makes a long awaited arrest.  Another good installment in this long running series.

 

Tooth and Nail by Ian Rankin

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This is book 3 in the Rebus series, originally called The Wolf Man when released.  Rebus is out of his element, brought down to London to work on a violent serial killer case.  Rebus is miserable and isolated.  The killer’s voice is mad and disjointed showing a disconnection from reality and escalating violence as the book progresses.  It was interesting to see Rebus interacting with his estranged wife and daughter, who live in London, as the idea of Rebus as a husband and father is not how I usually think of him.  The killer was who you would least expect.  I enjoyed this and will read more in the series.

Spook Street by Mick Herron

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This is book 4 in the Slough House series.  Once again Jackson Lamb and his crew of “slow horses” find themselves embroiled in international intrigue and terrorism.  The case is personal for River as it begins with an attempt on the OB’s life, leading to connections to the long ago past, which at this point is almost lost to OB.   Really well written with a plot that intricately twists and turns involving an engaging cast of both recurring and some new characters.  This is a great series and I am really enjoying it.

The Crocodile & The Slaughter Man

The Crocodile is the first in a series for me.  It is Italian Noir and certainly lives up to the darkness of the noir genre.  There is a sense of hopelessness that permeates the book and the detective, Inspector Lojacono’s, life.  The crimes seemed senseless as they went on until they were finally tied together at the end.   I found the sense of place really well done but I was not as pulled in by the detective.  The writing and the story line were both good, I am on the fence as to whether I will read another or not.

The Slaughter Man is the second in Tony Parson’s series after The Murder Bag, which I did enjoy.  This was well done and kept me guessing pretty far along in the book.    Quite a few red herrings and assumptions made with connections to a prior case.  Well written and thrillingly paced with great tension.  This is a series I am really enjoying.  Just a quick warning, the case does involve child abuse/trafficking and might be disturbing for some readers.

 

My Continuing Hiatus…

Unfortunately due to a nasty case of the flu, despite having the flu shot, I am still not getting much reading done.  It has left me with lingering vertigo, lightheadedness and dizziness.  I have worked my way through one Wallender book:  Sidetracked

39796  which I enjoyed even in the state I am in.  Another read was short Kindle purchase I will Never Leave You.  An okay mystery read.  38717453

Finally, I have worked through the The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat & Other Stories from the North, which was well written, just not what I was expecting and as such I didn’t really enjoy it. 36417302