The Cold Blue Blood, The Wine of Angels, & The Hypnotist

 

 

These are three books that have lingering on my TBR and I found that they were available at my library so I checked them all out.  I am three for three with these reads.  I enjoyed all three of them.

The Cold Blue Blood is the first in The Berger & Mitry Mystery series.  The sleuths make a great team with their differences really complimenting each other.  Berger is a grieving 30 something widower, whose favorite habitat is a darkened theater.  Mitry is a legacy police officer, picking up where her famous father picked up.  The pair of them meet up on Big sister, a small exclusive community where Berger is staying for the summer and Mitry is investigating a murder.  The case ends up being connected to more bodies and there are plenty of suspects to consider before it is resolved.  Very good first in a series.  I already requested the second from the library.

The Wine of Angels is my first Phil Rickman and I didn’t know what to expect.  What I found was a fascinating blend of supernatural elements and mystery in one novel.  Merrily Watkins has moved to a new parish with her teen daughter Jane, to take over eventually as the vicar.  Expecting a quiet village that is a break from her city postings, she instead finds political backstabbing, suicides, pagan rituals, a perhaps haunted vicarage, and much more.  I loved the setting and the depiction of the village, the vicarage, and the orchard.  The characters were well developed and interesting people.  There were multiple references to the poet Thomas Traherne and the musician Nick Drake which added to the color of the book.  I don’t read a great deal of supernatural but this is the kind that I like, very much, “Wickerman-esque” or a British Folk Horror feeling.  The mystery was well plotted and kept the reader guessing.  I really enjoyed this.

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler is a Nordic Noir novel.  DI Joona Linna, who always has to be right, is leading a team investigating what he believes to be a family annihilation, even when others see it as a debt collection gone wrong.  The murders lead him to the hypnotist, or rather the reluctant hypnotist, a man who has swore never to hypnotize anyone again after a traumatic event involving one of his patients.   There was some awkwardness it seemed in places in the writing, but I chalk that up to translation.  The story as told in time shifts and through different characters was well done and completely captivating.  The villain(s) are particularly creepy.   Explores dark themes surrounding child abuse, child murder, mental illness, and revenge.   Very good Nordic Noir read.

 

 

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