runner

runner

I live in Bristol UK horror dark fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

Review
2 Stars
Absurd plot and hollow characters
By M. J. Arlidge Eeny Meeny: Di Helen Grace 1 [Paperback] - M.J. Arlidge

DI Helen Grace is, in my opinion, not mentally fit to hold a senior rank in any police force. Due to a difficult childhood (which unfolds as the story progresses) she needs to punish herself, to feel hurt, to cleanse herself and wipe out painful memories. With this in mind she is a client to Jake the local S & M guru, but not only is this a regular past time (not passing judgement here) she wants, needs begs him to really hurt her...is this someone fit to carry the duties of a Detective Inspector?... has some incident in the past created this lonely woman?  This is one lady living on the edge and deserves instant suspension....."Helen cried out in pain and looked down to see her fingernails dug into her palm. She had drawn blood in her frustration and anger"...."she fought the urge, digging her nails into her wounded hand. The pain flowed through her calming her"....

 

The plot in this crime story is frankly absurd. A serial killer is kidnapping two helpless individuals and hiding/locking them in a safe and impossible to find location. A gun is the only other item present and the incarcerated are faced with an impossible conundrum...kill or be killed. The person who remains is permitted to go free, and one such example is the second kidnapping...... Ben and Peter are attending a meeting in Bournemouth and returning home the car apparently develops a mechanical fault somewhere in the New Forest. With no mobile phone reception, and therefore little hope of rescue, they are surprised and but relieved when a van approaches...is this rescue or something more sinister? So how did the killer know that the car would break down at this particular desolate junction? Apparently he had hammered a large nail into the petrol tank and calculated exactly where the vehicle would come to rest and he could then resume his dastardly deed. Ben had ensured that the car was full of fuel before departing Bournemouth and the author assures us that once the car is fueled the driver or indeed any driver would fail to look at the display directly in front of him and therefore not notice the plummeting fuel gauge. What a ridiculous assumption, indeed if we accept that this could quite easily happen surely the killer must have known that there was a great possibility that Ben would see the plummeting fuel gauge and therefore stop immediately.

 

There is a point in the story where DI Helen Grace is convinced there is someone within her group who is feeding and leaking information to the press. So without proper evidence she accuses Charlie and Mark, both experience detectives, (although Mark is on the verge of becoming an alcoholic.. another clichéd policeman) of being the source of that leak. This is an atrocious way for a senior officer to treat her staff...accusations based on assumptions. By carrying out such a callous act Grace is splitting the team apart and lowering morale....would a senior boss really do this? I think not....

 

So with a questionable plot and a dysfunctional cast of characters....are there any redeeming features? The last quarter of the book does contain a few surprises and rather than abandon the story it kept me reading until the end, with a conclusion that leads the reader quite naturally forward to the next story in the series....but I for one shall not partake and can only hope that DI Helen Grace receives the medical help she so obviously needs!

Review
2 Stars
A slow burn does not work for me.....
The Birdwatcher - William Shaw

William South is a policeman in the flatlands around Kent. He is a loner by nature and this is reflected in his past time of bird watching: a hobby that requires stealth, patience and a love of being by oneself. However, when his neighbour Bob Rayner is murdered the responsibility falls to him and his immediate superior DS Cupidi to bring the perpetrators of this vile crime to justice. South spent his childhood in the troubled streets of a 70's Belfast and is no stranger to death and suffering his father having been supposedly  murdered by paramilitaries present in the province at that time.

 

This story has a certain slow tempo and style, South is not a man to be hurried and he approaches his job in the same meticulous manner is his bird watching. He forms a connection with Cupidi whose daughter Zoe it would appear is keen to learn the principles of bird watching and South is almost forced to allow her to accompany him on "twitcher" expeditions. There is a presumption by the reader that South and Cupidi have a mutual romantic interest in each other but the author fails to explore this and their feelings never develop beyond their working environment. The author uses South's troubled childhood to introduce an element of intrigue as past and present collide in a bloody conclusion.

 

I found the whole story to be somewhat boring and lacking in any real warmth towards the characters. It is told in a present and past time line and indeed William's childhood was the most exciting and dangerous part, in contrast to his laborious and humdrum Kent existence.

 

Review
5 Stars
Murder in the scorched Australian landscape
The Dry - Jane Harper

In a parched, dry community, a few hours travelling distance from Melbourne, the bloody killing of Luke, Karen and Billy Hadler has occurred. Attending the funeral is childhood friend and serving policeman Aaron Falk, who becomes involved in the criminal investigation thus resurrecting some painful 20 year old memories. As the investigation proceeds and the list of suspects mounts some long forgotten events tear the heart and soul from the good inhabitants of Kiewarra as they struggle for answers in this rain starved oven.

 

From the moment I received a gratis copy of this book from the publisher I knew I was about to read something extra special. The very texture and feel of the dust jacket with its depiction of red burning heat and rawness immediately set the tone for the harshness of the landscape and the brutality of the content. The author expertly portrays a suspicious people attempting to come to terms with a hidden killer in their midst as they dig out a living on a landscape starved of rain for two years...."They gazed around and were always taken aback by the crushing vastness of the open land. The space was the thing that hit them first. There was so much of it. There was enough to drown in. To look out and see not another soul between you and the horizon could be a strange and disturbing sight." Falk is unwelcome as there are suspicions over the death of Ellie Deacon many years ago, and he is viewed as having a pivotal role with his then childhood friend Luke...so where does the truth lie?

 

This book succeeds with me on so many levels. It is a first class crime story full of deception and subterfuge making it almost impossible for the reader to identify the killer, who when exposed is totally unexpected. It is a story of heartache and greed and ultimately survival as to exist here means coming to terms with the effects of drought and the harsh day to day hand to mouth existence. It is a story of suspicion and mistrust all played out under the unrelenting heat of an endless sun sucking the last ounce of energy from anything that moves...."Soon, they'd discover that the vegies didn't grow as willingly as they had in the city window box. That every single green shoot had to be coaxed and prised from the reluctant soil, and the neighbours  were too busy doing the same on an industrial scale to muster much cheer in their greetings."...

 

Many thanks to Little Brown the publishers for sending me a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written. I cannot recommend highly enough!

 

Review
2 Stars
Fast and furious but lacking soul....
Sirens - Joseph B. Knox

Joseph Knox is one of a new breed of crime writers creating gritty stories based around the northern industrial gang ridden Manchester belt. What he does he does extremely well exposing vice and corruption in the underbelly of inner city life. Aidan Waits is a detective living on the edge quite happy to accept the odd little gift, enjoy a crafty snifter, or test the strength of his septum by sniffing copious amounts of cocaine. When his boss Superintendant Parrs confronts Waits, outlining his numerous misdemeanours, he suggests a solution that will benefit both parties. Aidan must agree to infiltrate and feedback intelligence on the activities of gang supremo Zain Carver and the only way to achieve this is to go deep undercover......

 

Although this is a well written story and there are many and varied characters on show in a city overflowing with illegal late night activity, it was not a novel I particularly enjoyed. I realize that this is probably the first in a new series, by a writer who some may well view as a new Lee Child or Simon Kernick, but for me as a standalone work it failed to inspire. I need my crime to be riddled with characters who appear to be strong on the surface but are consumed by doubt and indecision. I want to explore their weaknesses and to be shown how this impacts on their daily existence not only for them but for the immediate family and loved ones. I read this story in two sittings and found the content more akin to a script for a well made tv series, enough to keep me entertained but little to entice me to return. Many thanks to the publishers who in return for an honest review supplied me with a gratis copy, and that is what I have written.

Review
3 Stars
Spooky and atmospheric tale
Eltonsbrody (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Visiting Professor John Thieme, Edgar Mittelholzer

Eltonsbrody an eerie Gothic mansion in the Caribbean under the patronage and possible  madness of Mrs Scaife. Into this tropical paradise enters Mr Woodsley seeking accommodation close to Bridgetown in Barbados.

 

The story written in 1960 is typical of the horror writing of that period. The author does a wonderful job of portraying Mrs Scaife as a kindly yet possible dotty keeper of the inn! As the story gathers momentum the fear element increases and the reader begins to understand that all is not well in the house of Eltonsbrody and in particular its owner Mrs Scaife. There is some beautiful and elegant prose that greatly adds to the overall atmosphere in this Gothic tale of intrigue and growing uneasiness...."The soft swishing rustle of the casuarinas might have been a spirit-voice warning me of danger."......."And it was human hair. Human hair which must have been forcibly uprooted from the head which had once borne it."...."The wind. Just the wind whooping now, moaning now, whining in under the eaves, shaking the windows downstairs."....

 

My thanks to the good people at Valancourt Books for supplying me with a gratis copy of this spooky little tale, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Review
4 Stars
First class crime thriller
Revolver - Duane Swierczynski

Revolver is a story about a family stretching over three separate time periods. It's 1965 and Officer Stan Walczak together with his partner George Wildey is patrolling an area of Philadelphia known locally as the Jungle. This is not a good chapter in American History and events attributable to racism are an everyday occurrence. The police officers have arranged to meet local snitch ,Terrill Lee Stanton, at a nearby taproom where in unexpected incident has devastating and far reaching consequences.

 

It's 1995 and homicide detective Jim Walczak is made aware that Terrill Lee Stanton is about to be released. Jim suspects that Stanton was to blame for the death of his father but he was never actually incarcerated for this offence. Jim is determined to find the truth whatever the cost.

 

2015 and Jim Walczak's  daughter, as part of her dissertation, is reinvestigating the death of her grandfather Stan. What she discovers will question everything that went before and lead to surprising and shocking revelations.

 

The author of this story has embarked on a difficult balancing act. In attempting to rediscover the truth, he needs to hold the reader's attention as the storyline flits between the harsh and difficult reality of policing a racially divided 60's Philadelphia and the modern world as seen through the eyes of granddaughter Audrey. Duane Swierczynski performs this task with ultimate ease creating a thoughtful story that challenges the reader as he expertly brings all the separate threads together in a surprising yet very fitting conclusion.

Review
2 Stars
Too much dialogue and not enough character exploration
Quieter Than Killing - Sarah Hilary

I'm probably best described as an old fashioned reader of crime and I love character driven stories where the protagonist is a 24 hour meticulous cop with a deeply flawed self. I can think of no better examples of this than John Rebus; Ian Rankin's truer than life drink sodden Scottish detective. Another fine example is Michael Connelly's creation Hieronymus Bosch, the son of a prostitute brutally murdered, secluded in his penthouse overlooking the city of Angels, a city portrayed by the author in prosaic and very realistic manner. He is a driven loner separated from his wife, rebuilding his relationship with his daughter. The point here is that I, as a lover of crime, need to understand the foibles and eccentricities of the main character for the story to have any heart or sincerity. This just does not happen in Quieter than Killing.

 

DI Marnie Rome and her assistant DS Noah Jake are investigating a series of random attacks on the streets of a very wintry and cold London. Those who are the subject of the attacks all have one thing in common, they have just been released following a period of imprisonment for similar acts of violence. So who is carrying out these new attacks, is it some sort of vigilante seeking revenge and retribution? In addition  Marnie's family home has been ransacked, is there a connection between the two events? Is her foster brother Stephen involved? even though he is incarcerated for the murder of her parents.

 

I have real problems with the plotline here finding it very odd and very confusing in the telling. The action is certainly fast and the characters, situations and events as they occur full of exuberance and vigour, but lacking any real credibility. I think it is vital in all good detective stories to really try to understand the main characters, what makes them the people they are. What drives them to this 24 hour obsession they have with their job. Dedication on this level must undoubtedly lead to the unravelling of close partner relations and possibly the introduction of alcohol dependency. Yet we never get to see the other side of Marnie she has a very dedicated partner Ed but the author never explores this relationship in any real detail. I need Marnie to be more human I want her  to display character flaws that each and every one of us is genetically predisposed to....unless of course she is a robot! We therefore have a story without any real soul or heart ( possibly excluding the character of Zoe Marshall social worker with a good and emerging part) that is full of constant action but never seems to take the time to explore the personalities on display in any great depth.

 

Yes I am old fashioned in my choice of detective story but I am open to change, sadly however Sarah Hilary's DI Marnie Rome will not be the instigator of that change. A special thank you to the publisher Headline who supplied me with a gratis copy to read and review which unfortunately was flawed with typing errors. It does not make for easy reading when the name of the author and the book title are displayed randomly throughout the story in large print. This is not an  uncommon occurrence and more time care and patience should be spent by publishers in the marketing and presentation of the kindle/mobi edition.

Review
2 Stars
Not his best
Dead Girl Walking by Chris Brookmyre (2015-07-02) - Chris Brookmyre

Having recently read and enjoyed Want you Gone and Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre I was hoping for more of the same fast prose, good characters and enticing story line in Dead Girl Walking. Jack Parlabane, ace investigative reporter, is asked to help find the beautiful and talented Heike Gunn the mesmerizing band leader of the rock band Savage Earth Heart. What I did enjoy about this story was learning a little about Savage Earth Heart and travelling with them as they performed all over Europe in anticipation of the big American Tour. The author shows, in a colourful way, how the band lived and worked with each other on a day to day basis and the petty arguments and jealousies that frequently occurred as band members fought for self recognition. Monica Halcrow, classically trained violinist and the latest recruit, becomes besotted with Gunn at the expense of the relationship with her boyfriend Keith. This however could not sustain a story that was rather devoid of ideas as we waited to see if the charismatic Gunn could be found safe and well by our hero Parlabane.

Review
5 Stars
A magnificent achievement
A History of Loneliness: A Novel - John Boyne

The events unfolding over the last five years concerning sexual abuse has seen the emergence of a bitter and enraged public calling for justice to be seen to be done and to be done with immediate effect. What has made this all the more shocking is the naming of celebrities who were to many of us cherished and household names, and whose downfall was all the more dramatic. It is impossible to believe that the signs of such abuse were not present or noticed at an earlier time, the fact is it was always there and out of fear or misguided loyalties was simply ignored. In this mishmash of deceit and lies the church (and in particular the catholic church) presented itself as the face of salvation and hope when in reality it's clergy were some of the greatest perpetrators

 

Odran Yates is a priest and had always wanted to be a priest since he received "the calling" at an early age. He accepts the ceremony, the conformity, the celibacy and dedicates his life to a greater being knowing whatever the pain, whatever the trial it is god's will. We travel with him back and forth from days of his youth, his intern at college, his administering to the holy pontiff during his time in Rome. We learn of the tragedy in his life; the death of his younger brother Cathal at the hands of his father William, and the demise of his beloved sister Hannah cruelly stricken with dementia from a relatively early age. He accepts with fortitude his vocation basking in the knowledge that he has the love of his young nephews Janus (now a successful author) and young Aidan. He has always been close with this childhood friend Tom Cardie but has pondered and wondered why it is that he is constantly on the move from parish to parish.

 

I was aware that A History of Loneliness concerned the sexual abuse of young boys when under the guardianship of those they always felt they could trust, the priests and elders of the church. John Boyne does a wonderful job of telling a difficult story and gradually introducing doubt into the mind of the reader. This must be akin to the reality of what actually occurred, the refusal to confront those in power and the inability to accept what the eyes saw but the mind did not question. In this respect and indeed in this story no one is blameless for that moment of hesitation, that moment of questioning what you refused to believe resulted in the destroyed and decimated lives of many young people. Father Yates was to make one such mistake that had devastating and far reaching consequences.

 

This is a wonderful story, told with such depth of feeling and a true understanding of the subject matter being explored. I cannot say how glad I was that I read, even though at times the outcome was heart breaking. Boyne successfully portrays the catholic church as an institution more concerned with its own reputation and place in the community rather than protecting the vulnerable and young, the very people who looked to God as love and his workers the priests his guardians. Highly Recommended.

 

Review
4 Stars
Karin Slaughter writes to a very high standard
Pretty Girls - Karin Slaughter

It's always nice to dip back into the writings of an author who demands your respect and grabs your attention from the first page. What Karin Slaughter is the master off is telling stories around small communities, the people that live therein and the cruel and often dysfunctional lives they lead. The central theme in Pretty Girls is do we really know or understand the family/husband/wife that we live with? Everyone it would appear has secrets that they strive to keep hidden and this is true of the lone family man stretching right up to the top decision makers in our community.

 

Claire Scott's sister Julia went missing some 20 years ago and such a devastating incident ripped her family apart resulting in the suicide of her father Sam and the drug addicted hell of her other sister Lydia. Throughout all the years of this heartbreak Claire has always been able to rely on the solid unmoveable influence of her husband Paul. She is deeply in love with him, and he with her, as he controls and organises her life on a daily basis. One night tragedy strikes and Paul is brutally murdered when the happy couple are returning from a downtown Atlanta restaurant. What follows is an exploration and an undermining of all the values that we hold true as Claire attempts to discover why her husband was murdered. This will lead her on a journey into the heart of her family and when the shocking truth about her dead sister becomes clear she will question her very sanity as she begins to realize the truth was staring her in the face all the time.

 

The pace  and the characterization is of the highest standard. There is an edgy and macabre feeling of doom as the strands of the story unfold and a very satisfying conclusion and possibly the saddest final 5 pages I have ever read.

Review
2 Stars
Fails to deliver
Life After Dane - Edward Lorn

I suppose the real problem I had with this story is that I read it immediately after the amazing "The Heart's Invisible Furies" by John Boyne which was a literary tour de force. To step down from that high and to read what is no more than an average tale is a bit of a disappointment. Serial Killer Dane Peters known as the Rest Stop Dentist has just been executed and his mother Ella May, who deeply loved her son, is trying to understand why his ghost will not leave her in peace. She starts on a journey which leads her to discover her own shortcomings, and realizes that she failed miserably in her duties as a mother by allowing her evil husband Phil to brutalize and destroy their son. What starts with great promise becomes nothing more than a road trip journey when Ella, joined by journalist Sven Godel, (and directed by the ghostly presence of the executed Dane) attempts to find Dane's true love Melissa. An unexpected surprise transpires that ultimately offers Ella some serenity in a story that for me failed miserably to deliver.

Review
3 Stars
Fun educational read for the young and young at heart!
Doctor Who: I Am A Dalek - Gareth Roberts

Doctor Who reinvented itself in the early 2000's being centred in the City of Cardiff and using the locality for many of it's location shots. "I am a Dalek" is a young adult short story that sees the Doctor and his trusty assistant Rose once again fighting his nemesis the evil Dalek with that familiar cry "exterminate" The tardis has landed in a village in the south of England where an archaeologist dig has just uncovered, along with some ancient relics, a rusty old Dalek. There is the usual standoff with our flamboyant hero (in this instant played by the excellent David Tennat) rushing around before emerging victorious and exiting into netherspace presumably to fight his arch enemy at another time and in another dimension. This is classed as a short read and not only is it a great introduction to Doctor Who but a good teaching tool to improve and encourage reading amongst the young in a time and a world dominated by facebook and twitter....that's the real enemy Doctor not the Daleks! 

A masterclass in storytelling
The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne
My first and only previous encounter with John Boyne was the excellent young adult story "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas". So when the opportunity arose and I was gifted early review status on "The Heart's Invisible Furies" I was happy to accept, read and review....and I am so glad I did!. This is a work of great literary intent with bawdy undertones, an easy assimilated tale about the life of Cyril Avery, born out of wedlock and immediately given up for adoption. The story spans a period from the mid 1940's and moves at a ferocious pace up until the present and relayed to the reader in bite size 7 year chunks. Even though the novel stretches to some 600 pages once Boyne grabs your attention from the opening paragraph his colourful and descriptive prose holds you in awe until the final and very fitting conclusion. Adoptive wealthy parents Charles and Maud guide the young Cyril in his early infant years. A childhood friend Julian Woodbead allows Cyril to discover and question his own sexuality. This soon leads to a realization that will form part of his decision making throughout his life. From Dublin to the waterways of Amsterdam, the streets of New York and finally returning to Dublin we travel with Cyril experiencing the good times the bad, the sad, the funny and the indifferent. Boyne explores successfully and with great humour and gusto attitudes of bigotry and tolerance against the background of a god fearing catholic population, an aids frightened society, and a world in panic immediately following the events of 9/11. At times you will want to laugh out loud or perhaps shed a tear. I can honestly say that I have rarely been so moved by a story, the eloquent use of language, and the unveiling and interpretation of the issues raised and debated. Let's enjoy a few moments of the John Boyne magic...... "Cork City itself, a place she had never visited but that her father had always said was filled with gamblers, Protestants and drunkards"........"one man had been accused of exposing himself on the Milltown Road but the charges had been dismissed as the girl had been a Protestant"........"It was 1959, after all. I knew almost nothing of homosexuality, except for the fact that to act on such urges was a criminal act in Ireland that could result in a jail sentence, unless of course you were a priest, in which case it was a perk of the job.".........."Christ alive, said the sergeant, shaking his head in disbelief. I never heard of such a thing. What type of a woman would do something like that?.......The very best type , said Charles." This book to me celebrates the sheer joy of the printed word. Life, love and loss it is all here in a 600 page extraordinary extravaganza! If you love to read and you love books then "The Heart's Invisible Furies" is sheer magic...so buy, cherish and appreciate as you are unlikely to read anything better this year, or possibly any year. A great big thanks to the good people at netgalley for this early opportunity to read and review this masterpiece in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.
Review
5 Stars
Simply Sublime
Fellside - M.R. Carey

This story is part fantasy, part ghost story, part crime, part legal procedure, part relationships, part love....in essence an amazing mixture that cuts across various genres to create a work of spell bounding beauty. At its heart is the struggle of one young lady, Jess Moulson heroin addict, and her attempt to find answers following a terrible incident that has led to her being incarcerated in the woman's correctional facility known as Fellside deep in the Yorkshire countryside.

 

Jess and her partner in drug taking, John Street, live the life of addicts, injecting when they can and stealing to feed that addiction....."turning household objects into cash, and then into smack. Junkie alchemy." A fire occurs which results in the death of a child Alex Beech suspicion immediately falls on Jess Moulson who now seems destined for a life without hope and a future with no love. In Fellside Jess is visited by the ghost of the dead child (or is she?) who appears to have a message to deliver and a story to tell. M R Carey's style of prose is sublime and his descriptions of life within a prison environment really bring the horror to life..."The prison's main buildings were tall and graceful, each painted in a different colour of the rainbow.  Knowing what these blocks of concrete and glass really represented, Jess felt a weird sense of dislocation."...."She saw what they saw on the inside of their closed eyelids, except that each of them only saw their own dreams"......Jess has the ability to leave her body and travel into the netherworld with Alex, a place of dreams and darkness, a place to discover and resolve..."She felt an immediate and dizzying sense of relief. Nobody could pursue her here and bring her back. Nobody would even realize she was gone. It was like the scene you saw in old movies sometimes where someone left a pillow or a wadded coat stuffed down under their blankets so it looked like they were in bed asleep while they slipped away unsuspected for some crazy adventure."

 

Paul Levine, a young solicitor, is certain there has been a miscarriage of justice and is determined to return to the courts, with what he hopes is new evidence, and fight for the freedom of his client......he is also just a little bit in love with her. I thought the relationship between Levine and a physically and emotionally scarred Jess sprung to life in the hands of the author. When her past lover John Street is forced to give evidence the scene is set for some amazing revelations and charged emotions, that will bring a tear to all but the most hardened of readers!.

 

All her life had been a struggle; mother Paula and her useless partner Barry, a world addicted to heroin and finally the harsh and brutal regime of Fellside. Not often does a story affect or move me in such a way with a conclusion difficult to read but so right in the overall context of this tour de force! I will certainly be reading Carey's bestseller "The Girl with all the Gifts" as it is such a pleasure to be in the company of a writer so in control of his craft and his ability to create and weave a magical story. Highly Recommended!

Review
5 Stars
Harry's back still fresh and still out there!
The Wrong Side of Goodbye - Michael Connelly
If my favourite English crime author is Ian Rankin then Michael Connelly is surely no 1 for the mantle of America's greatest living crime writer. Even the hardback cover of his latest book "The wrong side of Goodbye" has a certain dark underbelly feeling mixed in with a dash of noir. The crime writing genre is bursting at the seams with talent and wannabe Connelly imitators but nothing really comes close to the man himself and The Wrong Side of Goodbye is yet another brilliant piece of crime fiction. It is quite amazing how Harry Bosch is still as fresh and keen from, when we first met him, in The Black Echo to this his 23rd outing. The fact that Harry was a "tunnel rat" during the Vietnam war means he is now aged mid 60's and yet we as readers truly believe in him and that fact alone must be attributed to his creator, Michael Connelly Harry has been asked to find a missing heiress by aviation billionaire Whitney Vance. This job will involve him revisiting his past war history as he searches out Vibiana Duarte who became pregnant after a short relationship with Vance and subsequently deserted by him. Before he dies he wants to put things right. Is she still alive? If not where is the child? In addition he is working with the San Fernando police department trying to find the sexual rapist known as the Screen Cutter. Amidst all this drama he still has almost daily contact with his daughter Maddie, now a student, but very close to her ever worried and fearful dad. During the two investigations a mistake by Harry results in a dramatic and almost tragic situation with an unusual outcome. As always the writing is tight, the characters believable and well-drawn, with an excellent story, never over complicated, always enjoyable. There is certainly much life left in a maturing Harry Bosch and I look forward to his return in what will be his 24th outing.
Didn't work for me
The Nightly Disease - Max Booth III
The story of Issac, a night auditor, at the Goddam Hotel somewhere in Texas, the people he meets, the troubles he endures, and the somewhat full on life he leads. The way of the author, the somewhat in your face prose, and the rather bizarre storyline is either something you will love or hate. In the beginning I enjoyed but by the midway point I felt the whole thing somewhat bizarre and wished for the party to be over. Not an author I would choose to read in the future......

currently reading

Progress: 61%