Right Behind You

Lisa Gardner’s Right Behind You captivated me from the beginning. The current story of a murdered wanted for the killing of his foster parents and two random people at the convenience story, is intermingled with the story of the tragic upbringing of the shooter and his sister, now being fostered by former criminal investigators helping on this case. The relationships between all the parties can be complicated, but the desire to find the shooter alive is critical to all involved in the investigation. This novel shows the importance of how your past can always catch up with you.

Read December 2017

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Death on the Riviera

John Bude’s Death on the Riviera was definitely written in a different time. Where crime didn’t seem to hurt anyone who wasn’t already breaking the rules. Usually I like a quaint crime story from another era for its simplicity, but this one was a bit too much. CID Inspector Meredith and his sidekick travel to the south of France looking for a British counterfeiter selling his bills to unsuspecting British tourists looking to skirt the law. The crimes were convoluted but not in a good way. More in a ridiculous way.

Read December 2017

You’ll Never Know, Dear

Hallie Ephron’s You’ll Never Know, Dear is a strange story about a family who’s daughter was kidnapped forty years ago with no trace. Janey was only four when she went missing along with her porcelain doll that was made to look like her by her mother. Her sister Lissie was only seven and her whole world changed after that. Her mother, whom everyone called Miss Sorrel, never gave up hope and kept the search alive for her beloved Janey.

Miss Sorrel was known for her dollmaking and fixing skills and ran a business out of her home. After offering a reward every year for 40 years, it seems like Janey’s doll made its way home. The police along with the family investigate to see if it truly is Janey’s doll and how it ended up with its current owner and whether is it related to the explosion and gas leak that injured Miss Sorrel and Lissie.

To find the truth, secrets from 40 years ago must come to light, along with current crimes and secrets.

Interesting read and a lot more information about doll making than I ever knew.

Read October 2017

Hour of the Wolf

Hakan Nesser allows us insight into the murderer’s mind in the Hour of the Wolf when we see the first accidental murder and the following cover-ups to hide the crime. Alongside the murderer, we follow the investigation led by Chief Inspector Reinhart, Van Veeteren’s successor. When Van Veeteren’s son turns up murdered and left in a ditch, the whole team must work tirelessly to find their mentor’s son’s killer.

The murdered confounds the police since the crimes are not decisively connected. The first murder seems completely unrelated but is the key to understanding what happened and what will happen. Van Veeteren must also come to terms with his son’s past and how it connected to his murder. The key to understanding the crime comes from him with his ability to look into a criminal’s thought process to deduce the reasoning behind the crimes.

Good read.

Read October 2017

 

Magpie Murders

Anthony Horowitz set up Magpie Murders in a unusual way. The first chapter seems to be set outside the book with someone sitting down to read Magpie Murders: An Atticus Pund Mystery, by Alan Conway. Then we jump the the text of the novel within the novel until it suddenly ends with the last few chapters missing. We find ourselves back with the original character, Susan Ryeland, who now must find the remaining chapters of the novel in order to publish it after the sudden suicide of Alan Conway (our novelist within the novel).

Susan starts to believe that Conway didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. But why? The list of potential suspects grows longer the more Susan digs into Conway’s life. When she finds the remaining chapters it helps solve one crime, but another almost ends her life.

This was a creative murder mystery set in peaceful English villages. I really enjoyed the concept and execution of the stories.

Recommended.

Read October 2017

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

Terry Shame’s An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock starts off with the grisly murder of a black family in the part of town where black families live. Several victims were shot and the the whole house was burned, leaving some of the victims bones fused together. Samuel Craddock in the new Chief of Police and this crime, while occurring in his town, falls outside of his dominion. Taking over the case is a racist Patrolman who seems to arrest the first black man that he finds any connection the the house.

Craddock has to break the silence of the justifiably stand-offish black community to try to save an innocent man from prison or an accident that often befall black men while in custody before any trial. Its an interesting look into how racism forces black communities to remain insulated even if an outsider is trying help.

Overall I really enjoyed the different layers of this novel. A lot about racism and how it can affect the criminal justice system. Also some about a reluctant police chief who cannot sit by and watch while crimes are brushed aside.

Read September 2017