The second book in the Mac Faraday mystery series, Old Loves Die Hard is just as enjoyable as the first. It is another satisfying murder mystery chockThe second book in the Mac Faraday mystery series, Old Loves Die Hard is just as enjoyable as the first. It is another satisfying murder mystery chock full of fascinating characters.
This time around, Mac Faraday’s ex-wife comes calling, bringing a lot of old baggage and some dead bodies, including hers. Mac becomes a suspect in his ex-wife’s murder, but ends up investigating the killing. He delves into his past, both personal and professional, to find answers and the killer.
The charm of the first book remains consistent in Old Loves Die Hard, with its compelling main character the strongest asset of the novel. The author provides a nice bit of character development as well, in both the ongoing relationship between Mac and Archie and insight into his previous marriage. The well-rounded characterization is astutely managed.
The plot is solid as well, spinning several threads and then pulling them into a nice tight conclusion. Several suspects are juggled nicely until the final reveal, which provides an interesting, and fateful denouement.
Overall, I can recommend Old Loves Die Hard, as a gratifying murder mystery and a great read. ...more
It’s Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr is an entertaining mystery romp. It’s perfect for a rainy day read or a relaxing weekend.
The first book in the MacIt’s Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr is an entertaining mystery romp. It’s perfect for a rainy day read or a relaxing weekend.
The first book in the Mac Faraday mystery series, It’s Murder, My Son, begins with a new chapter in former homicide detective Mac Faraday’s life. Recently divorced, he finds himself the heir to a multimillion dollar fortune of a late mystery author, a woman who was the birth mother he never knew. And along with the money and property, he inherits a couple of murders and a whole lot of trouble.
I enjoyed reading this novel. It had a nice pace, charming and believable characters and reasonably good conflict, while never losing its sense of fun. The main character of Mac Faraday was especially likable and I was pleased with the way the author had him interact with his new world. There was no smooth transition to the world of money; he behaved like an uncomfortable fish out of water. I also liked the main female character/love interest of Archie; she’s smart funny and there’s a nice chemistry with Mac.
I did have a few slight problems with the storyline in that I found some of the plot points a bit easy to figure out, although the author does give the reader plausible reasons as to why the characters haven’t come to the same conclusions. Also, there were one or two twists that I didn’t see coming, so the plotline considerations are minor quibbles. Overall I can give this book a recommend. ...more
I enjoyed Grave Situation by Alex MacLean on two levels, as a first rate, tense crime novel and more personally because of its Nova Scotia setting. ThI enjoyed Grave Situation by Alex MacLean on two levels, as a first rate, tense crime novel and more personally because of its Nova Scotia setting. The book is a fabulous psychological suspense ride and police procedural.
The book focuses on Allan Stanton, a Halifax homicide detective with a personal life in ruins who finds himself on the trail of a possible serial killer. While he investigates the murders in the city of Halifax, the killer strikes again outside the city, bringing Stanton directly into his path for a showdown.
What I loved best about this book (beside the fact it’s well-written) was the excellent and realistic depiction of the police force. Forensics, autopsies, investigative methods come across very genuine. Evidence results take time, leads are hard to come by, and the main detective is professional, if world-weary and a bit burned out. Another wonderful aspect was the scenes shown from the point of view of the killer. He is not evil personified, but warped and we, as readers, are slowly shown why and how. This lends a sympathetic edge to the character and makes him a three dimensional person. In fact, all the characters in this book are marvellously defined and engaging.
I found the plot to be an above standard murder/crime story, and while it did head in the direction I deduced, an interesting twist was thrown in to keep the concluding events fresh. Now, while some of the scenes (especially in the beginning of the book) are a bit graphic, they are not gratuitous and paint the horror of the crimes and their aftermath skilfully. (But if you don’t like that sort of thing, be forewarned).
I loved Grave Situation immensely and recommend it highly. ...more
Madness and Murder is a taut crime mystery, with a terrific underlying narrative of character interaction and a theme of second chances. There is a spMadness and Murder is a taut crime mystery, with a terrific underlying narrative of character interaction and a theme of second chances. There is a splendid interweaving of subplots, overlaid with a chilling murder spree.
In Madness and Murder the plot unfolds on twins recovering from childhood tragedy, a homicide detective, and a girl who met the wrong guy. Their lives intertwine on the streets of San Francisco headed straight for a collision course with a serial killer.
The novel is well-plotted with some nice twists and turns, red herrings and multiple possible suspects that keep you guessing and in suspense. The characters are realistic and human, plus the female characters do not come off as helpless victims even when targeted by less than scrupulous people. The flow of the book engages and keeps the pages turning effortlessly.
The plot does hinge on a couple of coincidences of fate, but nothing that stretches the bounds of credibility and the author’s style makes it believable. Also, there were a couple of minor plot points that left me wondering a bit, but they don’t distract from the overall quality.
Madness and Murder is a great mystery novel and recommended.
Healey’s Cave by Aaron Paul Lazar is a wonderful, mellow mystery, gently wrapped in a mist of paranormal phenomenon. This is not your typical whodunitHealey’s Cave by Aaron Paul Lazar is a wonderful, mellow mystery, gently wrapped in a mist of paranormal phenomenon. This is not your typical whodunit with detectives, amateur or professional; it is more of an absorbing unravelling of secrets, heartbreak and murder.
Healey’s Cave centers on Sam Moore, his family, friends and the unsolved childhood disappearance of his brother Billy. When a grisly discovery reopens Billy’s case and links it to a serial killer, long kept secrets and fresh danger start spilling into Sam’s life. If that wasn’t bad enough, the unearthing of a strange green marble is pulling Sam back into the past to his and Billy’s childhood. Is Sam time-travelling, going crazy or is Billy’s spirit trying to tell him the awful truth? That a killer might be closer than he thinks.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from its engaging plot, to the realistic setting and characterization. Even the haunting paranormal aspects of the book meld seamlessly and add an extra depth to the story; the supernatural side of the plotline is not overplayed. The reader may wonder at the how of the strange happenings caused by a small green marble, but there is never a feeling of being cheated. The author is very skilled at convincing you of the urgency and the need of these inexplicable events. The rest of the book satisfies as well, with the mystery elements pulling just enough twists and turns (plus one or two red herrings) to keep you guessing. There are ample suspects, a demented killer, motives, tragedies, and a bittersweet conclusion to gratify the average mystery lover. However, the best part of the novel is contained in the rich depiction of the characters and their interaction. These characters are three-dimensional, well portrayed people, be they strong and family oriented, flawed with secrets or the puzzling dark villain. And they live in a world just as fully realised; you can almost smell the fragrant flowers on a wafting country breeze as you read the words.
Healey’s Cave is a superb book that anyone should take pleasure in reading....more
I was impressed by Marta Stephens’ first novel Silenced Cry, and was looking forward to her next book. I was not disappointed, finding The Devil Can WI was impressed by Marta Stephens’ first novel Silenced Cry, and was looking forward to her next book. I was not disappointed, finding The Devil Can Wait even more enjoyable. Again, as with her first book, I was drawn in by the realistic character interplay, especially the portrayal of the often frustrating work of a homicide detective.
The book begins in the middle of a messy crime spree, with the discovery of the latest teenage body in a string of possibly related murders. Short-handed and overworked, Sam Harper and his partner have no leads and a workload of aggravation. Throw in several more strange murders, a homicidal Colombian, a cursed ring that could bring the apocalypse, an attractive, vibrant reporter slated to become a damsel in distress, and Sam Harper is up against the clock to save lives by solving the case.
Marta Stephens does an admirable job of blending a solid crime mystery with an exotic supernatural touch and the undertone of religious beliefs. She never veers into the outrageous or unbelievable, but still manages to keep that small air of “what if”, integrating it all into a fabulous whole.
I am fast becoming a rabid fan of Ms Stephens, appreciating her reliable plot work and her memorable characters. Her superb protagonist, Sam Harper, is a genuine, somewhat imperfect, thoroughly human personality. From his dedication to the job to his rather messy personal life, it is this character that breathes vivid life into the pages of her books.