Subtitled - A Birder Murder Mystery - how could I resist? A high-profile Canadian police chief inspector relocates to the Norfolk saltmarshes, primariSubtitled - A Birder Murder Mystery - how could I resist? A high-profile Canadian police chief inspector relocates to the Norfolk saltmarshes, primarily because he's an avid birder. Then a murder occurs that intimately connects those marshes, the birds on them, and the people that live in the area - and Inspector Domenic Jejeune must investigate, using his knowledge of human nature, criminal procedure - and birds. Very enjoyable! ...more
What a tremendously entertaining series, and what an inspired decision, to write a homage to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express! I love thWhat a tremendously entertaining series, and what an inspired decision, to write a homage to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express! I love the descriptions of the marquetry on the train, the lavish afternoon teas, the beautifully turned out attendants - but also the hints of darker things to come in Europe in the 1930s - anti-semitism, anarchists, spying, betrayal. And Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are slap bang in the middle of it all, solving a murder, hunting an enemy spy, trying to outwit Hazel's father who has forbidden them from detecting anymore, and demands that Hazel behave like a proper young lady... It all sounds perfectly preposterous, but the Daisy and Hazel are so real, you accept the whole thing.
Like the perfect blend of Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton that you didn't know you needed, these are a joy to read!...more
It's been many years since Tessa came to, surrounded by dank soil and the bodies of four other women dumped in the mass grave with her...left for deadIt's been many years since Tessa came to, surrounded by dank soil and the bodies of four other women dumped in the mass grave with her...left for dead by a serial killer. The dump site had a bank of black eyed susans in bloom beside it - so she and the other victims were dubbed the Susans. She was sixteen then, suffering from memory loss - when a man was convicted of the heinous crime on flimsy forensic evidence, she and everyone could breathe a sigh of relief. But now twenty years later, there are strong doubts about the evidence used to convict this man - but he is on death row, appeals have run out, and the clock is ticking... A tense, psychological thriller; smartly structured as it flips between past and present, taut with a compulsive need to know that propels the story onwards like a runaway train. Tessa is scared - if ? in jail isn't her would-be killer, then he is still out there - and is he the one planting black eyed Susans beneath her window?...more
This may be the book that breaks John D MacDonald for me - I haven't read him in years, so when I came across this in my local s/h bookshop, a TravisThis may be the book that breaks John D MacDonald for me - I haven't read him in years, so when I came across this in my local s/h bookshop, a Travis McGee I had yet to read, I was excited. Travis has always treated women as disposable in the qua male hero qua tradition. This book feels much, much worse - deep breath...porno movies where women are actually raped...vicious beating of female spouse...then the rape/murder rape/murder of two significant female characters in the book and then rape/torture/murder of a woman who has featured strongly in more than this book. It felt like I was reading an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show that commodifies sexual violence to such an extent that I go out of my way to avoid it. Male characters die and are killed and brutalised, but not like this, and with such wholesale abandon. Maybe the older I get, the less able I am for bullshit excuses for this kind of stuff....more
What a killer title! That alone drew me in, and tempted me to pick up this book...I could hear the rhyme whispering in my ears:
In a dark, dark wood tWhat a killer title! That alone drew me in, and tempted me to pick up this book...I could hear the rhyme whispering in my ears:
In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house and in the dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark room, and in the dark, dark room, there was a dark, dark cupboard, and in the dark, dark cupboad, there was...
unspeakable horror...or at least that's how I would spin the rhyme to terrify my sisters and myself, thinking up the most awful, lurid things that could be in that cupboard.
Similarly, a simmering sense of unease buds and blooms and grows into a cankered fruit in this compelling story. Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years, not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back. These days, she's a writer, and lives a calm, ordered, solitary existence. So when Nora receives an email out of the blue, inviting her to Clare's hen, it disrupts her peaceful life – they had once been best friends, but she can't help wondering why her, and why now? Still, she feels compelled to go: compelled by curiosity, by politeness and by a strange sense of obligation to the friendship they once shared.
When she arrives at the modernist glass box in the woods that is the house they will stay in for the hen weekend, the sense of dread intensifies, but there's no way to back out now......more
We all remember seeing the horrific images of the LAPD officers beating the unarmed Rodney King, guilty of driving whilst being black. When the officeWe all remember seeing the horrific images of the LAPD officers beating the unarmed Rodney King, guilty of driving whilst being black. When the officers were acquitted of assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force, it triggered six destructive days of rioting in Los Angeles.
This narrative spans that time using multiple voices in an effective daisy-chain structure, with each character taking up a chunk of time and sometimes overlapping with the other characters, sometimes not. All are interconnected, but often only in ways that you, the reader with oversight, can see, not the character themselves.
Like The Wire meets Visit from the Goon Squad, written by James Ellroy; this is a fast paced rush of a read with the city of Los Angeles at its heart....more