Published by: Urbane Publications (30 March 2017)
Imperfection is a new crime series featuring D.I. Stewart Gardener and D. S. Sean Reilly, and set in the West Yorkshire city of Leeds.
A haunting message scrawled on the dressing room wall of a theatre: the scene of a murder. It had been written using the blood from the victim, previously drained in a separate location. At the autopsy, D.I. Gardener and D.S. Reilly are shown a riddle carved into the chest of the corpse, informing them there would be more. Their efforts to find out why are continually blocked by a wall of contradiction, with little in the way of evidence to support their cause. Steered back to the scene of the crime and a disused prop room, Gardener and his trusted sergeant find another puzzle. The murderer, it seems, is playing games.
It soon becomes clear to Gardener and Reilly that to find the killer they need to solve the clues, and to do that, they must tunnel their way into the past, where the streets were paved with gold, and to a man who had terrified people before either of them had even been born...
Imperfection is a different kind of crime novel, as we are introduced to the killer early on; we just don't know his identity at first. From the outset, he leads Gardener and Reilly in a game of cat and mouse, leaving seemingly unsolvable clues for them at the scenes of his crimes. Although it doesn't give a specific time period in the book, it seems as though it is set in the past, as there is no reference made to googling the clues! That would have been the first thing I would have done, so I found it rather frustrating that Gardener and Reilly weren't doing so! I felt there was a Sherlock Holmes-type vibe to the story on the whole, which would also fit with being set in the past, but it's just my theory.
I really enjoyed the parts with the killer and all his different guises, but I found some parts rather slow and quite hard going. Usually it takes me a few days to read a book, but I kept losing interest, so it took me much longer to read this one. It didn't surprise me to learn that Ray Clark writes fantasy novels; I'll have to read some.
If you like lots of detail, prefer a train journey over a rollercoaster ride, and have a thing for Sherlock, I recommend Imperfection.
Special thanks to Matthew at Urbane Publications for providing me with an ARC via Netgalley in return for my unbiased review.
How can you tell the truth... if all you've ever known is a lie?
Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.
Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera?
The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?
To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…
A dark, compulsive psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Louise Jensen.
Lie to Me is a tale told from three different perspectives, with the narrator of each chapter named to avoid any possible confusion. As Meredith tries to uncover more about her mother Becca, following her discovery of the video tape in the present time; we also hear from Cara, the Darkwater Pool murder victim from thirty years ago. We also hear from Christopher Jay, who was Cara's boyfriend at the time of her murder. All this information throws up threads linking the characters together and twists here and there. It was unusual to have the perspective of a murder victim, and I found it interesting getting to know her and find out more about her life and what happened leading up to her death.
There are more than a couple of red herrings here and there and a few twists, but among all the death and lies, Meredith's relationship with her lovely father Graeme shines through. It's a welcome relief! The appearance of the fabulous Isobel is great too. I enjoyed the second half of the book much more and it became much harder to put down. For a debut, this is a very readable novel and one I'd recommend to my fellow crime readers. I'm looking forward to seeing what Jess Ryder comes up with next!
Special thanks to Bookouture, Jess Ryder and Netgalley for providing an ARC in return for my unbiased review.
Lie To Me - Buy it here:-
Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Theatre-Of-The-Mind-Stories
Scotland on the brink of independence: the government is planning its own Scottish monarchy. But when a member of the close-knit planning group reveals the identity of the candidate for the throne, suddenly people appear who want to prevent this royal ascension at all costs - including murder. When CHASE is called in to assist, Jérome and Chen Lu travel to Glasgow. Together with the Scotsman James Campbell, they hunt for his father’s murderer. A secretive wax seal leads them into a maze of ancient legends and lost manuscripts. Can they solve the mystery and save the king - or will old ruins become their grave?
This is the second book in an exciting new crime thriller series which has been translated from German into English. I really enjoyed it!
Enrique "Rique" Allmers is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot when I first met him in Hunt for a Mute Poetess. He runs a security firm called CHASE, which investigates mostly business related espionage and crimes. When his team is called in to investigate a potential murder in Scotland, he sends Jérome and Chen Lu. However, danger is not far behind and as the two delve deeper into the suspicious death, secrets are revealed that could shake the foundations of the United Kingdom.
When I heard that this book was available, I quickly downloaded a copy and began reading it as soon as I could. Set in Scotland this time, this book takes the reader on a thrilling adventure of danger, suspense and mystery. It is mostly told through Chen Lu's and Jérome's point of view (although some scenes are through other characters' eyes as well), it is a pulse pounding ride, with chases, gun fights and several twists that keep a reader hooked. There are several interesting characters in this story too. James Campbell is the oldest son of Ronald Campbell and brother to Peter, and is Jérome's friend from his Legionnaire days. However, he finds himself embroiled in a secret that has been kept by his family for centuries, and which could affect the monarchy of Scotland at a time when there is huge political upheaval from a referendum that could split the UK apart.
As the story unfolded, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it, but also found myself thinking that this story was not as strong as it could have been. The author has incorporated a medieval legend in with his story and has woven it in such a way that it sounds entirely plausible, which I liked. However, I was a little confused at the actions of one of the characters. This character was in a position of authority but acted like a greedy thug and bully. What he hoped to achieve with his tactics didn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm being too critical of this character, as he was no evil villain but a man controlled by fear and greed. Personally, I think I would have liked a stronger villain than Peacock to love to hate. Nevertheless, having said that, he certainly made me dislike him a lot.
I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings, sad that it had ended but happy at the way it concluded. I am not sure if I would call this a movie-length story though, as it felt too short. Having said that though, the amount of descriptive writing made me picture this book in my mind's eye with ease and it played out like a movie in my head.
Thomas Dellenbusch has written an intriguing crime thriller. I love his fast paced writing style, which had me turning the pages, and the flow was a lot smoother than the first book. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.
Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to some violence and some mention of torture. However, I highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers/mystery/suspense genres. - Lynn Worton