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review 2020-04-27 16:05
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Broken Ground - Val McDermid,Cathleen McCarron
Broken Ground - Val McDermid

So what happened at the end there, Val?  Why that infernal rush?  Did you suddenly become aware that you were on your way towards producing a minor brick, or did your publisher tell you to cut it short?  There we were, sailing nicely along in the usual 4-stars-or-higher bracket into which this series typically falls for me, and then you first give us an arrest that couldn't be a greater possible anticlimax, taking into account all that's at stake there, and, literally as an aside, almost everything else that had been threatening to come crashing down on Karen's head is tied up super-squeaky-clean in no more than a few puny words as well??  Fie.

 

Also -- and I do realize this one is down to me, but nevertheless it does add to my aggravation -- can we please be done with Karen's new superior officer sooner rather than later?  I've had my own share of run-ins with this type of person way beyond anything I'm willing to take anymore (it also doesn't help that I've recently seen -- and am currently seeing again -- shenanigans of a different, but equally infuriating kind); so the prospect that of all Karen's problems that were still unresolved in the next-to-last chapter, this of all things is the one issue remaining unresolved, makes me not particularly rush to get the next book, whenever it's going to be published.  I seriously do NOT want to meet this person again.  And unlike poor Karen, I have the freedom to opt out here; which I may very well end up doing, unless someone tells me that the supervisor in question is getting her long-overdue comeuppance and Karen is rid of her by the end of the next book at the very latest.

 

Finally, just curious: What's your fascination with dead bodies surfacing from the depth of a peat bog?  This has to be at least the second, if not third book where that sort of thing is happening ...

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review 2016-06-21 05:11
Review: Missing
Missing - Ed James

Thrilling, compelling and gritty, Missing delves into the difficult subject of of child sexual abuse and its impact; not only for the victim, but also the family and the police officers assigned to investigate the case.

 

This will definitely be high on my favorite books of the year list, the finely woven plot unwound bit by bit, with lots of plot twists and red herrings that kept me guessing as the book raced towards the shocking finale.

 

The main character, Craig Hunter is a likeable guy. I mean, who wouldn't love a copper that would jump out a window into a tree to rescue a cat? I really enjoyed that scene, it made for a great start to the book. I also liked how well the characters from the Scott Cullen series were integrated into the story, adding more dimension to the characters I already knew (and loved.)

 

Overall, Missing is a dark, riveting, and memorable book with a strong plot that will draw you into the middle of the action. I defiintely recommend to anyone who enjoys police procedurals or just a good, old-fashioned hard-boiled mystery.

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review 2016-06-05 04:08
Divining Murder by G.M. Cameron
Divining Murder: Andromeda Book 1 - Allan G. Cameron

A woman is found murdered in a ritualistic way, and the police have very information to go on.  The victim, a middle aged woman who left her husband to start a mysterious new life is found in an alley in Glasgow with multiple stab wounds.   Shortly after the murder, Andromeda (Annie to her friends)  spies a man at a Glasgow train station whose aura is clearly evil.  After leaving an anonymous tip for the police, they trace the tip back to her, and with no other information to go on, begin to investigate what she saw.   It soon becomes apparent that Annie is the key to unraveling the mystery and stopping a man bent on evil.

 

I'm a sucker for paranormal mysteries, and I'm a sucker for Scottish mysteries, so I had pretty high expectations just from reading the blurb.  And it was (for the most part) an excellent mystery, with a taut plot, great characters and lots of magic.  

 

(Continue reading my review on my blog)

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review 2016-01-03 17:19
Review - Where the Bodies are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre
Where the Bodies Are Buried - Christopher Brookmyre

I started Where the Bodies are Buried last year (that feels weird to say since it's only been a few days) and it is my first finish of 2016.  I had heard lots of good things about Christopher Brookmyre so a few months ago I picked up Quite Ugly One Morning which is the first of the Jack Parlabane series and I can see why he's so popular, I loved it.  Tartan Noir with liberal doses of black humour and I bought several more of his books on the strength of it. 

 

Where the Bodies are Buried is the first in another of his series, Sharpe Investigations.  It was slow to start and I was a bit disappointed because the humour is missing from this one.  I had heard that the series was a bit light on laughs compared to his earlier work so it wasn't unexpected but still felt lacking, a bit.  I plowed on though and it was actually a great read by the end.  The ending though, gah!  I was seriously vexed by the last sentence which went something like, "She took a deep breath and found the courage to say the four words."  I was like, "Wait!  What?!  What four words?!!  What did she say????"  I brooded on it all last night and most of this morning too until suddenly it came to me!  I get it!  I know what she said and the four words make me even more keen to get to the next one now.  I won't spoil it for anyone by spilling the four words though.  You're welcome :D

 

The guy can definitely write.  Slick story, plenty of surprises, great characters and Glasgow is a brilliant setting.  The Glaswegian gallows humour is like music to my ears and although not as full on as in his earlier book it was still very well done. 

 

He has a way to go until he overtakes the king of Scottish black humour (Jay Stringer - Ways to Die in Glasgow) but he's close and I'll definitely keep working through his books.

 

This first finish allows me to cross off the first letter in my AtoZ challenge and I'm calling this one:  D - A book with lots of DEATHS

 

Also, it adds another 304 pages to my 1 Million pages challenge.

107,983/1,000,000

 

 

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review 2015-08-29 04:31
Cowboys and Indians
Cowboys and Indians (Detective Scott Cullen Mysteries Book 7) - Ed James

Cowboys and Indians is book 7 of the excellent Detective Scott Cullen series. I've been looking forward to diving into this book; I've been a fan of the series since the beginning. I wouldn't say you need to read the other book in the series first; there are references to past events, but not so many that a new reader would be lost. But as it's such an enjoyable series, I very much recommend reading the other books.

Cullen is easing into his new rank as Detective Sergeant, and managing a small group of detectives on the latest case of a man found dead under a bridge wearing only his underpants. They plunge into the sordid, corrupt field of banking, where everyone lies and power corrupts. Meanwhile, Cullen's girlfriend, DI Sharon McNeil is trying to solve a series of rapes on men after they visited a local gay bar, The Liquid Lounge.

There was lots to like in this book; strong characters and a riveting plot sucks you in from the start and the solid pace kept the plot moving without getting bogged down. I was afraid at first that Bain would not make an appearance; who doesn't love a character you love to hate? His antagonism provides not only a little comedy relief but also adds to the tension one needs while reading a thriller. Similarly, the relationship between Cullen and Sharon, and their sorrow is something that nearly everyone can relate to and gives one a more personal connection to the story.

Have to say, though: Cullen needs a refresher course on apprehending suspects without someone getting their balls kicked in. At least he can take a punch and keep on going.

Overall, a fantastic book by one of my favorite authors. Many thanks to Ed James for the advanced copy of what is easily the best book I've read so far this year.

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