The PC Peter Grant series, of which Foxglove Summer is the fifth instalment, could be described as Harry Potter for grown ups. But it is more than this - part supernatural, part police procedural and part observational humour - at times the series is more Terry Pratchett than JK Rowling.
A New Zealand born, Australian and Northern Ireland dwelling, now Iceland based author has written a book set in his adopted city of Reykjavík, with a central female character whose life is turned upside down in a very short space of time, that really works.
Translated from the original German, UNTIL THE DEBT IS PAID is a combination police procedural and energiser bunny styled action thriller which starts out running when Detective Jan Tommen wakes up beside his beloved girlfriend one morning to find himself as the chief suspect in a vicious murder.
BENT leaves you considering the possible outcomes had the amount of effort, and the level of organisation that has been put into the crime side of the "policing" environments, had gone to actual crime solving.
When the blurb says "In Northern Ireland's darkest corner" it means it. It's winter, it's wet, dark, cold and black. A landscape full of old houses, swamps and fast running streams, there's an overwhelming sense of dark, deep, close-held, life-long, simmering secrets in the world that Inspector Celcius Daly now lives.
Quite a few crime fiction books use the life and crimes of a Gangster type as their central premise, with a sideline of the impact that has on family and friends. BAD BLOOD looks at this scenario with the affected firmly at the centre of the action.
The resolution is an interesting surprise which manages to throw more light on the politics of the time and the end implies that there may well be more Shardlake to come, which is by no means a bad thing.
The Dark is Valentina Gaimbanco's follow up to her debut novel The Gift of Darkness. The events of the new novel follow hard on the heels of the first and in some ways, this sequel fills in much of the backstory of key characters from her debut.
From the blurb, you can probably work out that this isn't a noir styled book. A lot of the attraction comes from the eccentricity of both Gerhard Self, and the style of storytelling, which is often slightly arch and funny.
As always, the real problem with this series is that it's impossible to read any of them and not be hungry. And somewhat disappointed that your fridge doesn't reveal the sorts of delicacies that Montalbano's does.
What holds the reader to this series is that sense of an entire world, and the bringing to life of history, combined with strong plots, and wonderful characters that you're given full permission to like.
Sherlock Holmes is the detective who cannot die. Arthur Conan Doyle tried, vainly to kill Holmes off in 1893. Wanting to concentrate on his historical novels, Conan Doyle famously killed Holmes and his arch nemesis Moriarty, sending them both plunging into Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls. But it couldn’t last.
Whatever I thought THE GIRL IN 6E was about, I can't begin to tell you how wrong I was. Having said that I'm also now considerably more educated about the world of paid Internet sex services than I ever thought I wanted to be.
The combination of cars and girls makes absolute sense to me. Include them in a series of noir styled, dark and pointed short stories, and CARS & GIRLS from the Pankhurst Collective was both unexpected and an absolute pleasure to read.
THE BOMB MAKERS by pseudonymous author Marcus Case is a terrorist thriller set in London, with the threat coming from a combination of ETA and the Real IRA. Which is a different combination for this reader.
This is going to have to be another one of those reviews that comes with a disclaimer. I love Adrian McKinty's books. Although I will admit that it's always been the dark side, his flawed and controversial characters, and his noir stylings that I'd thought appealed particularly.
From the moment that Billy Hotchkiss hits Hell Corner on the opening lap of the Bathurst 1000 you can tell he's a man on a mission. That's likely to end up pear-shaped as everyone knows that "The Mountain" is an unforgiving beast.
THE REAL CHOPPER actually has a lot to say about the making of celebrity, and myths and legends. It's a particularly salutary tale when you look at what passes for a lot of "popular culture" these days.
Loved the short story collection "Cars and Girls" so was very pleased to receive a copy of Riding in Cars with Girls. Could only be made better with Alpacas and chocolate worked in there somewhere ... although I'm still waiting for a ute story ;)
Went into work shutdown over Christmas / New Year to a) charge very spent batteries and b) stand and sniff the skyline for signs of smoke. It's going to be a long, hot, very trying summer in large parts of Southern Australia - so here's hoping we all get through the next few months.
I've had a week off work and did a spot of reading catchup - so now I'm doing a spot of posting catchup, which will be followed by a spot of reviewing catchup. But the best thing was a chance to read this departure from the expected from Adrian McKinty.
If ever there was a book that you'd want to be fiction, if there could have been a reason for even less respect for the Howard Government and the purposeful devaluation of the political process... well.
Right, so I'm a rev-head and a massive fan of the yearly Mount Panorama race. So the opening sequence of QUICK not only appealed, it works. It describes the action on one of those mad opening laps like you were there.
Have been lucky enough to read a few of the books from Le French Book - French crime fiction translated and they have all been different and really interesting - so looking forward to this police procedural styled story.
Belfast born, Australian resident, Adrian McKinty has won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction for his novel IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE, newcomer Candice Fox won the Best First Fiction for her horror/thriller HADES, documentary maker and journalist John Safran won the best True Crime Award for MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI and the Sandra Harvey Award goes to Emma Viskic for WEB DESIGN
Something Andrew Nette mentioned in Bendigo a few weekends ago reminded me that I had this book on my tablet, and I'd started to read it and then got distracted. So now I'm very pleased to be revisiting some of the earlier stories, and finishing off the few I'd missed.