Archive for the ‘mystery’ Category

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

Century

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Napoleon “Nap” Dumas is a detective in a small New Jersey town.  He’s been searching for answers for the last fifteen years, since his senior year in high school.  Nap’s twin brother Leo and his girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks in their hometown and the exact cause of death was never determined.  At the same time, Nap’s high school girlfriend, Maura, disappeared.  He never got over losing all three of them at once and has never been the same.

Fifteen years later, Maura’s finger prints are found at the scene of a crime in a nearby town.  Nap is sure this is linked to what happened to his brother and is determined to uncover the truth.  The journey is dangerous, twisted and full of surprises.

Based on true events, the story is a wild rollercoaster ride that leaves you breathless and is unputdownable.  The story is full of intrigue and suspense with some humour and romance added in, not formulatic in any way, and the writing flows well.  An excellent stand-alone thriller; if you’/’re a Coben fan, you’ll love this.  If you haven’t read his books before, you’ll become a huge fan. Highly recommended.

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cross my heart

Alex Cross will do anything to protect his family.

Thierry Mulch is a psychopathic serial killer who committed murders he got away with and now thinks he is “the perfect criminal”.

Marcus Sunday is a writer who theorizes the philosophical world-view of a perfect killer in his book The Perfect Criminal.

Alex, Bree, and the FBI have been involved in an investigation of a recent spate of murders. Alex writes about the murders in a publication, drawing the wrath of the killer who decides to tear his family apart and make him suffer.

His conviction and his love is about to be put to the test. With a madman fanatical with being the perfect criminal on the stalk, can Alex Cross crack the most important case of his career and protect his family?

I liked the start; we see Alex in a desperate situation and then we go back several days and see the events leading up to that moment. The plot has several stories cleverly interweaved; a psycho is after Alex and his family, a killer that attacks massage parlours is on the loose, someone is kidnapping babies, Alex and Bree’s missing foster daughter Ava; and moves along quickly.

The ending was abrupt and had no resolution, it was a cliff-hanger and you’ll have to read the next book in the series to resolve it. Very annoying when you’ve invested time in a story and it feels a bit moneygrabberish to me. I doubt I’d buy the next if this book was one I’d bought, not sent to review.

Century

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

A Treacherous Paradise

Hanna Lundmark escapes the terrible poverty of her life in rural Sweden by marrying a sailor and joining the crew of his Australia-bound steamship as a cook. Unfortunately he dies soon after and is buried at sea, leaving Hanna with the freedom to start her life afresh. When the steamer docks at the African port of Lourenco Marques she jumps ship.

Hanna reserves a room in a run-down hotel and settles back to observe the intrigues of a small African town and the dynamics between the white settler and the native population. Embroiled in a series of events which lead to her inheriting the most successful brothel in town, Hanna is determined to befriend the prostitutes working for her and change life in the town for the better but the distrust between blacks and whites, and the shadow of colonialism, lead to tragedy and murder.

Based on the true story of a Swedish woman who ran the most famous brothel in Mozambique, this is an interesting historical fiction that has a crime angle to it. It didn’t grip me, though the true story it’s based on sounds interesting. Try it for yourself.

Harvill Secker

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

nypd red 2

Detective Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie MacDonald are part of the elite NYPD Red squad that solves crimes committed against the elite citizens of New York. A vigilante serial killer is on the loose, tracking down and murdering people whose crimes have not been punished. After taping a confession of past crimes, victims are murdered and left in a HAZMAT suit in a public place. When his latest victim is a woman of vast wealth who had many influential connections, Zach and Kylie are assigned the task of tracking down HAZMAT killer.

With four seemingly unconnected victims they are stumped, recruiting more help from a pair of beat cops. After a potential fifth victim is identified, they are in a race against time to find her and stop the killer.

Zach is worried about more than the case though – Kylie has been acting strange recently and her secrets might implode on the case. Will they catch the bad guy in time to save the victim?

A very well plotted mystery with a lot of action, there are many ‘a-ha!” moments occurring with titbits of info I hadn’t seen coming. This can be read as a standalone book; I hadn’t read the first but quickly figured out who as who without being flooded with back-story. I was caught up in this book and eagerly await the next.

Century

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

the paris mysteries

Tandoori Angel and her siblings are living in Paris, recovering from the hectic events after her parents murders and reeling from the contents of their grandmother’s will. Though reunited with James in Paris when they arrive, he leaves to protect Tandy from his father. The Angel’s are further rocked when Harry is accused of murder and the media descend on them again. Tandy is discovering more about the death of her sister Katherine, and discovers a shocking truth she must keep secret.

A fast paced plot full of twists and mysteries, where nothing is as it seems. I was hooked by this book and quickly finished it. The Angel family is so close and weather any blows while coming back stronger than ever. I’m dying to read the next and find out more about the immense secret Tandy uncovered and the message she received as the book finished. Will the Angel’s uncle be exposed as the repulsive creature he is?

Young Arrow

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

See #2 review here

the forever watch

On a generation ship, hundreds of years into a thousand year voyage, people are dying, in a very messy fashion. And Hana Dempsey, office worker in City Planning, wants to find the killer… That’s how it starts. But that’s by no means the only mystery aboard the Noah, and as Hana delves deeper, there are more and more secrets.

This book has a plot layered like an onion with enigma upon enigma… There is plenty of action, a healthy dose of noir, and a frisson of horror, but this is primarily science fiction, and would count as hard SF if it wasn’t for the heavy dose of psi. Unusually, it is written in the first person present tense, which did take a bit of getting used to. Ramirez writes skilfully and in the main, believably. A few times he pushes the psi powers a bit too far, and I’m not entirely sure about his biology, but I’m not that much of an expert in the field so I’ll let it go.

I suspect that most readers will find “The Forever Watch” an engaging, but disturbing read… the questions it asks about the balance between freedom and survival will stay with me for quite a while.

Hodder & Stoughton

Supplied by Hatchette New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

cradleto grave coverWho can you trust?

Accused of murdering the baby in her care, seemingly cold and measured nanny Lisa Stewart maintains her innocence. But when she changes her name and tries to flee, terrifying threats continue to follow her. Is she an innocent victim of public anger–or a calculating murderer on the run? Can Detective Marjory Fleming, dogged by her own past, uncover the truth?

This psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Tana French and Susan Hill.

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 About the Author

AlineAuthor Picture


Aline Templeton grew up in the fishing village of Anstruther, in the East Neuk of Fife. She has worked in education and broadcasting and was a Justice of the Peace for ten years. Married, with two grown-up children and three grandchildren, she now lives in a house with a view of Edinburgh Castle. When not writing, she enjoys cooking, choral singing, and traveling the back roads of France.

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