Four More Mysteries…

These are my latest four library reads. I really love Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series and A Bitter Feast was an excellent addition to the series. Duncan, Gemma and their children are invited to a co-workers family estate for a community event. Duncan is involved in a car accident and the occupants of the other car both die. Duncan and Gemma become involved as it is soon apparent that this was no ordinary car accident. The usual supporting characters of Doug and Melody are also seen here and have a strong side plot involving Melody’s hidden relationship with a musician. The plot has some fun twists and turns as another murder occurs while the investigation is in full swing. Great installment taking the detectives out of their usual, more urban environment.

Snow Angels is the first in a new series by James Thompson. The Inspector Vaara is a wounded officer, married to an American ex ski champion, living and policing in a ski resort town. The darkness and bleakness is an ever present character in this novel as Finland is seen through Vaara’s American wife’s eyes and through Vaara’s explanations to her. Vaara is drawn into a brutal murder investigation of a celebrity, who is a young female Somali immigrant. The murder has brutal sexual and racist components and Vaara is in a race to solve the case before a media frenzy takes hold. This was a completely immersive experience with many tragic elements to the crime and the people attached to it. Very good start to a new series. Themes of racism, female genital mutilation, brutal violence.

Slough House is the 7th book in the Slough House series. In this outing, Ex- Slough house agents are being picked off in retaliation to an action in Russia. Lamb, River and the rest of the current staff must move quickly to save themselves. There is a surprise reappearance of a familiar face along with other recurring characters like Tavener and Molly. Lamb and his operatives find themselves up against everyone, the Russians, Tavener and multi-millionaire corrupt businessmen. Given that Slough House operatives are the rejects of the service no one expects much of them. Excellent book, however I would strongly suggest reading the series in order as the relationships develop over time and the characters all have histories.

Tana French’s Broken Harbor is a dark investigation into the murders of an entire family. This is a devastatingly sad mystery. From the back story of Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy the investigating officer, to the love story of the victims, to the horrible effects of the recession on an entire generation, sadness abounds. I did suspect the outcome relatively early on, however I believe that was by design. There are several red herrings that seem to be there to build tension and accent just how tragic the entire story actually is. Excellent psychological mystery. Themes of mental illness.