Archive for the ‘mystery’ Category

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

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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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“Margie Orford has nailed it…wonderfully crafted and fully engrossing.” – Michael Connelly


Walvis Bay is a depressed and isolated port on the edge of the Namib Desert. Corrupt and claustrophobic, its shifting population is made of transients and vagabonds-people with no future and no past. When it seems a methodical serial killer may be working undetected in this pit of darkness and desperation, police profiler Dr. Clare Hart is brought in to investigate. With her personal life in shambles, Clare is initially happy for the distraction, until it becomes clear that her own life – and the lives of others – are at stake.

This enthralling procedural is perfect for fans of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs.

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The gruesome murder of a homeless teenage boy suggests a methodical serial killer is at work in Walvis Bay, a depressed port, isolated in the vast sweep of the Namib Desert. It is a corrupt, claustrophobic place with a shifting population of people who came here only because they had to. Sent to profile the possible killer is police profiler and investigative journalist Dr Clare Hart. Working with Tamar Damases, the woman who heads up the town’s Murder Unit, Clare is glad for the distraction. Until a few days ago, her budding relationship with Captain Riedwaan Faizal seemed to be going very well indeed – but she knows she is not the only woman in his life – As the two women trace older crimes that may be related to the recent killings, they soon realise that nothing is as it seems. And as Riedwaan comes to join Clare, to help with the investigation and to try to salvage their relationship, it soon becomes clear that it is more than just their feelings that is in danger. In fact their lives – and the lives of others – are now at stake.

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About the Author

Margie Orford Author Pic

MARGIE ORFORD is an award-winning journalist who has been dubbed the Queen of South African Crime Fiction. Her novels have been translated into nine languages. She was born in London and grew up in Namibia. A Fulbright Scholar, she was educated in South Africa and the United States. She is Executive Vice-President of South African PEN, the patron of Rape Crisis and of the children’s book charity, the Little Hands Trust. She lives in Cape Town. The entire Clare Hart series is forthcoming from Witness.

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10 individual promo codes for a free download of the book for an entire tour. Winner must have access to Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe account to receive free download

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bad blood

Bad Blood is Arne Dahl’s second book about A Gruppen or, if you prefer the English the Intercrime Group and was originally released in Sweden in 1998. That small piece of data is important because until I had checked the fine print inside the fly leaf I was suffering not a small amount of confusion as to time and place for the action of the story – as so much has changed in the fifteen years that passed before this book was translated into English.

The novel is a police procedural about a serial killer newly landed in Sweden from the United States of America. But there is something very unusual about this killer, he went quiet for fifteen years before starting up again and no one knows why. The members of A Gruppen were assembled to solve a series of murders a year ago and have grown rusty and restless since the dust settled on that investigation. Now there is a new case to reinvigorate the team. And so it goes.

Besides the dislocation caused by reading something I hadn’t released was a bit dated I found this book difficult to warm to. It is written in a very tele-visual style that would lend itself to easy translation to the small screen (which has already happened to five of the books in the series) but can make for a disjointed reading experience. And because A Gruppen is a team of investigators each member has his or her chapter or three as lead character – not in itself a bad thing but just when I was warming to a character they would fade to the background as spotlight shifted to another team member. But around halfway the action and the interest picked up and Bad Blood developed into a real page turner.

In some not something I would whole heartedly recommend, but not an author I would shun either. And next time I shall check the original publication date so I don’t start wondering about the author’s use of anachronisms.

Harvill Secker

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Simon

Set Me Free Cover

Cover Reveal!

Release Day May 18th!

Hunted by a crooked FBI agent who killed her parents, Lucy has taken on one disguise after the next.

But Zach knows exactly who she is and in spite of mounting evidence indicating her guilt in her parents’ death, he knows she’s innocent.

Convinced that it’s time to put her years on the run behind her, Zach and Lucy vow to fight back, clear her name, and take down the real killer.

With support from Zach’s loyal friends and his uncle, an investigative reporter, they set out on a dangerous mission hoping that the truth…will set them free.

Set Me Free ( Pre Order )

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( Releases May 18th 2014 )

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Lucy Tate is on the run. After witnessing the brutal murder of her parents, she’s spent five years in hiding — taking on different personas and faking her way through life. The authorities can’t be trusted, so she remains in the shadows, always one beat ahead of the man who is forever hunting her. That is, until she meets Zach Schultz, a senior at Monte Vista High and the one guy she can’t bear to leave. Suddenly her natural instincts to lie, steal, and run are overshadowed by something else…the desire to stay. It’s her
one shot at a normal life.

Curious by nature, Zach is immediately drawn to the new girl at school. How can a person look both confident and vulnerable all in the same moment? Determined to learn more about her, he tries to get close, but is thrown into a world of lies and confusion. The only thing that becomes apparent is that discovering the truth may get him killed.

I Know Lucy

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About the Author

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Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”

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Review of The Son – Jo Nesbo

Posted: May 2, 2014 in mystery, Review
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the son

Jo Nesbo is such a successful author that his books are now promptly translated to English to ensure an almost simultaneous release with his native Norwegian. His latest work, The Son, is not a Harry Hole novel but it is another police detective, killer manhunt story and well worth the read.

Sonny Lofthus is fighting the demons caused by the inexplicable suicide 14 years ago of his policeman father. However, Sonny is also a heroin addict and model prisoner doing time for the murder of two people he didn’t kill. In return for confessing to these two crimes his “sponsors” supply him with heroin. Sonny is about to confess to another murder, committed when he was on day release, when someone lets slip that they may know who killed his father. This information gives Sonny the impetus to escape and seek revenge on his father’s killer; and do a little extra-judicial killing of his own.

Not only is Sonny being sought by the police, but he is also being sought by the criminals who convinced him to confess to the murders 14 years ago (and the one he is alleged to have committed now). Sonny is searching for the people behind these criminals, one of whom is a policeman. Not a good market to sell life insurance as the body count begins to climb.

I really enjoyed this book. Sonny burnt with righteous indignation – an indignation that kept him one step ahead of the next needle he so desperately wanted. The police investigators were both flawed and insightful and hampered by Sonny’s ability to be unpredictable. And the criminals were a couple of steps up from thuggish and stupid – and lead by a brain of the first order. Such was the quality of the story that in the epilogue Mr Nesbo left himself room for a return to these characters: well some of them at least.

This is a book to add to the immediate reading pile.

Harvill Secker

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Simon