Siren of the Waters

Michael Genelin’s Siren of the Waters takes the reader across Europe to try to find the murdered of a van full of prostitutes. Commander Jana Matinova investigates with the help of friends around Europe to catch a major criminal. It was an interesting look into how the remnants of communism still linger in the political systems in Slovakia and the story is well told.

While investigating the human trafficking and murders, Matinova is also struggling to reunite with her daughter. In vignettes of the past,we get to witness her relationship with her husband who slowly becomes an enemy of the state. A lie Matinova told to save her daughter pain, is what drove them apart. An incredible sad back story for any person, but especially one who will never have any chance of reconciliation.

Good police novel with many social elements, including a love story brought down by a communist regime.

Read July 2016.

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A Voice from the Field

Neil Griffin’s main character, Tia Suarez, is one of the most interesting detectives I’ve read in a long time. First, she’s a woman and most of the interesting characters in crime novels are men. She’s also a Mexican-American who in the past year was shot on the job and had a public mental breakdown in a courtroom.

At the beginning go A Voice from the Field Suarez is working undercover as a prostitute who is the only only who sees a hispanic girl tied up in the back of the guy that gets away. With her past, no one believes that the girl was really there and Suarez starts spiraling into a drunken stupor. There are many other complications to her investigation, including a white supremacist organization, a drug operation, and the multiple other government agencies vying for the score.

Great read! I’ll look out for another Neil Griffin.

Read April 2016.

The Boy in the Snow

M.J. McGrath’s The Boy in the Snow combines the murder of a child with a lot that is wrong with Alaskan culture. The isolation may be good for a someone wanting quiet but its also the perfect hiding place to traffic women to satisfy the needs of those recluses.

I found the story interesting but the character Edie Kiglatuk an unlikely crime solver. She is a half-Inuit from the remoteness of northern Canada who is in Anchorage only to help support her ex in his attempt to complete the famous Iditarod race across Alaska. She uses many instincts that a traditional crime solver wouldn’t, like her ability to navigate in remote, snowy areas on foot and hide her path.

Overall, I can’t say that this was a particularly great book and its been several weeks now since I read it so I’m foggy on why I felt that way. I read it quickly and I liked that she dealt with things that were wrong with Alaskan society, like trafficing woman, illegal adoptions, political corruptness, while still showing the beauty of the land. Maybe it was a little over the top for me. Edie is from a small village and comes to the big city and solves a huge crime just by using a lot of her intuition. I can’t really put my finger on what my problem with this book is, but it just felt a little unreal. In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of crime novels is that they have to be believable. Something about this novel felt forced.

Read November 2014