The day the Nazis march into Paris. It made headlines around the globe.
Paris police detective Eddie Giral – a survivor of the last World War – watches helplessly on as his world changes forever.
But there is something he still has control over. Finding whoever is responsible for the murder of four refugees. The unwanted dead, who no one wants to claim.
To do so, he must tread carefully between the Occupation and the Resistance, between truth and lies, between the man he is and the man he was.
All the while becoming whoever he must be to survive in this new and terrible order descending on his home.
My followers should know by now that I am a huge fan of WW2 historical crime fiction, I was kindly given a copy of Paris requiem by Orion Books, and before I read it, I wanted to read the first in the Eddie Giral novels by Chris Lloyd, The Unwanted Dead.
The Unwanted Dead is an absolute tour de force of a historical fiction novel. The opening chapter lets us meet our protagonist, Paris Police Detective Eddie Giral. It’s June 1940 and the Nazis have just waltzed into Paris and have taken over everything. For Eddie as a Detective in the French Police, this now means that he is working for the Nazis… however this does not sit well with him!
In The Unwanted Dead the reader is taken back in time into an immersive novel that is extraordinary in how it depicts life during the occupation of Paris. Eddie Giral is a fantastic character who I instantly grew to like – his use of sarcastic humour and comments to Nazi Officers had me laughing out loud! Chris Lloyd has managed to write with such realism that I really felt I was actually there by Eddies side during this complex but unputdownable thriller. The plot and storyline are exquisite and I can quite see why The Unwanted Dead won the HWA Gold Crown Award for Historical Fiction. To be able to transport the reader to another time is a real feat and to make it during the WW2 occupation in France is just brilliant.
I loved The Unwanted Dead and raced through it, it’s a great storyline and the plot is tense and vividly written! I especially liked how we got inside Eddie Girals mind and found out how he really felt trying to do his Detective job under increasing interference from his Nazi oppressors.
If you like WW2 fictional thrillers then I urge you to buy The Unwanted Dead, Im looking forward to reading the next in the series – Paris Requiem.
A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night.
Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes.
A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family.
Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems.
As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears.
Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth. . .
An outstanding novel, a brilliant mystery and a heart-pounding read from the author of The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man and The Survivors.
As a huge fan of Jane Harper’s work, I couldn’t wait to get into the latest Aaron Falk novel, Exiles.
This one is slightly different to all the others, it is a slower burn but that’s because we are following the events of Aaron Falk’s life much more closely. There are also running in the background two monumental events that rock the community that Aaron finds himself drawn to. The skill that Jane Harper writes about small-town life in the outback of Australia is so sublime, it makes you feel like you are really there, with the huge views and sights and smells of the bushland.
The story is really very good and I must say it’s actually quite nice to find a book concentrating on the effects of mysterious deaths on the relatives that are left behind. Jane Harper has managed to convey this extremely well in Exiles. The plot is medium paced but all along you can feel that something is bubbling along and when we do get the climactic ending, it’s a mindblower and I did not guess until the very last minute what the outcome would be!
So my rating overall for Exiles will be a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, I am a committed Jane Harper fan, and I adore these outback novels. If you want a gripping read that is deep with emotion and with an undercurrent of an edgy thriller then Exiles will be the novel for you.
A severed head is displayed on a stake. A crime so dark only one man is capable of solving it: Police Inspector William Wisting.
Before long, more bodies are found. Media frenzy sweeps the locals into a panic. And when Wisting’s investigation leads him to a deadly underground crime ring, he fears the whole town may be in danger.
But at the heart of it is just one man: The Night Man.
Their elusive leader. The man Wisting must find if he wants to stop the murders.
That is if The Night Man doesn’t get to him first . . .
As all my followers know, Jorn Lier Horst and Wisting are on the top of my favorite author and character list, so as always I was looking forward to reading The Night Man.
I have all the Wisting books that have been published in English and have read them all in the order that they have originally been published in Norway, However, The Night Man is actually book 5 in the series, so therefore it does read a little out of sync. This is my only minus point and I think that it should be made clear before readers dive in.
That said, the story and plot is excellent as always, the way Jorn Lier Horst writes the police procedural side is always so true to life ( something to do with him being a Detective with the Norweigian Police before becoming a novelist ), and I love that we get so deep into Wisting’s psyche with every book in the series. I don’t know why but I just really feel so much warmth for William Wisting as a character, he is such a lovely thoughtful Detective, who always goes to the ends of the earth for the victims of crime. He isn’t perfect, his relationship with his son, Thomas isn’t the best, but he is close to his daughter, Line who I also love… she is a journalist and has her father’s curious and analytical mind. From reading the first book in the Wisting series I totally fell in love with William, that is definitely down to the skilful writing of Jorn Lier Horst, and as an added bonus being set in my favourite Country, Norway, makes these one of my favourite reads.
Line features quite heavily in The Night Man, and as I’ve said it’s strange reading about what’s happening to her as this book is in the last compared to the last read of A Question Of Guilt. But her character is so well written by Jorn, I always find it amazing how male authors can portray female protagonists so well.I love Line to as she is an inquisitive and kick ass journalist, who won’t let things go….however sometimes this can mean trouble can find her!
The storyline follows the discovery of a child’s severed head on a post in the middle of Larvik, Norway. There are some quite gory descriptions of this that made my skin crawl haha, but that’s one of the reasons I adore Crime Fiction. We follow Wisting and his team on a journey through drugs and child exploitation from Europe to Afghanistan, on a quest to find the killer or killers.
The detail Jorn Lier Horst writes in his books is what always stays with me, the descriptions of the settings, the food being eaten, the insides of Norweigian homes, all are exquisite and totally make The Night Man sing with realism.
The ending leaves the reader wanting, but as I’ve said if you were to read the Wisting series in order – the next book being Dregs – it actually makes more sense. But as I love Wisting and also Jorn Lier Horst, it didn’t matter to me. It was a great read and another added to my collection. To help new readers I will list the Wisting series in order for you –
Key Witness (Org. Nøkkelvitnet, 2004)
Disappearance of Felicia (Org. Felicia forsvant, 2005)
When the Sea Calms (Org. Når havet stilner, 2006)
The Only One (Org. Den eneste ene, 2007)
The Night Man (Org. Nattmannen, 2009) – translated into English July 2022
Dregs (Org. Bunnfall, 2010) – translated into English by Anne Bruce, 2011
Closed for Winter (Org. Vinterstengt, 2011) – translated into English 2013
The Hunting Dogs (Org. Jakthundene, 2012) – translated into English 2014
The Caveman (Org. Hulemannen, 2013) – translated into English 2015
Ordeal (Org. Blindgang, 2015) – translated into English 2016
When It Grows Dark (Org. Når Det Mørkner, 2016) – translated into English 2016 (A prequel to the series.)
The Katharina Code (Org. Katharina-koden, 2017) – translated into English 2018
The Cabin (Org. Det innerste rommet, 2018) – translated into English 2019
The Inner Darkness (Org. Illvilje, 2019)- translated into English 2020
A Question of Guilt (Org. Sak 1569, 2020)- translated into English 2021
Boundless (Org. Grenseløs, 2021)
The traitor (Org. Forræderen, 2022)
I hope that this helps those readers who haven’t yet ventured into the Wisting series by Jorn Lier Horst, if you want to read gripping, tense, exceptionally well written police procedurals and thrillers, then I urge you to start collecting and reading this series.
I will also add that all the Wisting novels are written in Norwegian first, then translated into English, this is done so well, that one really doesn’t know they were not written in English first!
So my score is a sound 4 stars, and as always I wait for the next Wisting book to be translated into English!
Amongst the scholars, secrets and soporifics of Victorian Oxford, the truth can be a bitter pill to swallow…
Jesus College, Oxford, 1881. An undergraduate is found dead at his lodgings and the medical examination reveals some shocking findings. When the young man’s guardian blames the college for his death and threatens a scandal, Basil Rice, a Jesus college fellow with a secret to hide, is forced to act and finds himself drawn into Sidney Parker’s sad life.
The mystery soon attracts the attention of Rhiannon ‘Non’ Vaughan, a young Welsh polymath and one of the young women newly admitted to university lectures. But when neither the college principal nor the powerful ladies behind Oxford’s new female halls will allow her to become involved, Non’s fierce intelligence and determination to prove herself drive her on.
Both misfits at the university, Non and Basil form an unlikely partnership, and it soon falls to them to investigate the mysterious circumstances of Parker’s death. But between the corporate malfeasance and the medical quacks, they soon find the dreaming spires of Oxford are not quite what they seem…
An intriguing first installment of The Oxford Mysteries series by master crime writer, Alis Hawkins. Perfect for fans of Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Sarah Waters and Kaite Welsh.
Firstly thank you to Kate at Canelo Crime for very kindly sending me a proof copy of A Bitter Remedy.
When I saw the cover of A Bitter Remedy, I absolutely knew I needed to read it, especially as the colors match my brand!!
A Bitter Remedy is a historical crime novel, the first in a series, set in 1881 in Oxford at the birth of the women’s college movement. We follow our two main protagonists, Rhiannon “Non” Vaughan who is one of the first women to be allowed to study and go to lectures at Jesus College, Oxford, and Basil Rice, a Jesus College fellow who has a secret that he must keep hidden. Both are amazing characters, but they are far from the norm in Victorian society and find themselves investigating a strange death of an undergraduate.
The plot is superb in A Bitter remedy, and I adored Non, her fiesty, Intelligent, and gound-breaking character is amazing and I very easily loved her. Both Non and Basil are thrown into a world of propriety in the death of Sidney Parker and are drawn together to try to find out how and why he died and to get justice for him in a University that will do anything to keep things from the press and general public, in case it tarnishes their reputation.
Having never been to University, apart from a week’s Sales course over 30 years ago strangely at Oxford University, it didn’t mean that I couldn’t understand how University life was in 1881, especially for women. Alis Hawkins has obviously researched her history of women and how the female college movement started, and the setting is perfect for this novel.
I loved the intrigue, and the historical facts ( some had me scooting over to Google!) and I really felt I was actually there in the 1880s with Non and fighting her battles with her. I don’t want to give any of the plot away, but if you like historical crime fiction that is factual and also gripping, then A Bitter Remedy is going to be one to add to your reading list for 2023.
A brilliant 5 Stars from me, and I look forward to the second installment of The Oxford Mysteries.
Alis grew up on a dairy farm in Ceredigion. Her inner introvert thought it would be a good idea to become a shepherd and, frankly, if she had she might have been published sooner.
As it was, three years reading English at Oxford revealed an extrovert streak and a social conscience and she has spent the subsequent three decades variously working in a burger restaurant, bringing up two sons, working with homeless people, and – having trained as a speech and langauge therapist – helping teachers and families to understand their autistic children. And writing. Always. Nonfiction (autism related), plays (commissioned for production in heritage locations) and, of course, novels.
Initially fascinated by the medieval period, Alis began her crime and mystery career at Pan Macmillan with Testament, a novel set in a fictitious medieval university city. Part of Testament’s narrative takes place in the fourteenth century and part in the twenty-first which taught Alis that she is far more passionate about writing historical fiction than contemporary.
So she fast-forwarded four centuries from fourteenth South East England to nineteenth century West Wales to write a book based on Wales’s best kept historical secret: the Rebecca Riots. And then she fell in love – both with nineteenth century west Wales and her characters – and the result is the Teifi Valley Coroner crime series featuring visually impaired investigator, Harry Probert-Lloyd, and his chippy assistant, John Davies.
As a side-effect of setting her series in Ceredigion, instead of making research trips to sunny climes like more foresighted writers, she just drives across Wales to see her family.
Burnt out from policework, Detective Sergeant George Manolis flies from Australia to Greece for a holiday. Recently divorced and mourning the death of his father, who emigrated from the turbulent Prespes region which straddles the borders of Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, Manolis hopes to reconnect with his roots and heritage.
On arrival, Manolis learns of the disappearance of an ‘invisible’ – a local man who lives without a scrap of paperwork. The police and some locals believe the man’s disappearance was pre-planned, while others suspect foul play. Reluctantly, Manolis agrees to work undercover to find the invisible and must navigate the complicated relationships of a tiny village where grudges run deep.
It soon becomes clear to Manolis that he may never locate a man who, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist. And with the clock ticking, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the events of today as Manolis’s investigation leads him to uncover a dark and long-forgotten practice.
After reading The Stoning recently (see my other reviews) I wanted to read The Invisible as I love the way Peter Papathansiou writes, gritty outback noir.
The start of The Invisible sees Detective George Manolis working in the inner city, he’s also got Constable Andrew Sparrow with him however they are involved in a tragic shooting of a homeless kid, which leads to Manolis being ordered to take leave after suffering PTSD. He decides to head off to Greece, in search of inner calm and a break…… however things don’t work out that way!
When he arrives in the mountainous region of Perpes, he’s drawn into an off-duty undercover search for his friend Lefty, which will take him into the furthest reaches of the deserted and harsh landscape and put him in danger.
Now as always, I’m not going to give the plot away, but I must say that The Invisible is a stunning novel, it’s a love story of Greece from an author who loves his heritage and has clearly done a lot of research in this region of Greece. I learned an awful lot about Greek culture and history, in fact, it made me wish that Peter Papathansiou was around when I was at school as he explains the conflicts affecting Greece and its neighboring Countries really well. There is so much to take away from The invisible that it had me hitting up Google to find out more about the customs and culture of Greece, a place I’ve never visited but that I felt I had whilst reading Peters’s novel. It’s written in the same gritty, noir style as The Stoning but it leaves you feeling like you’ve just visited Greece as the prose is absolutely magical and so visceral.
And as for the climactic ending of The Invisible, well let’s just say, I did not see that coming and was super surprised! I’m so looking forward to the next book in the Detective George Manolis series.
If you like to travel the world from your armchair whilst reading then look no further than The Invisible, it will also teach you some Greek history on the way, A compelling and lush novel. A 5-star read from me!
Peter Papathanasiou was born in northern Greece in 1974 and adopted as a baby to an Australian family. His debut book, a memoir, was published in 2019 as “Son of Mine” by Salt Publishing (UK) and “Little One” by Allen & Unwin (Australia). His debut novel, a work of crime fiction, was published in 2021 as “The Stoning” by MacLehose Press (UK) and Transit Lounge (Australia), and in 2022 by Polar Verlag (Germany). Peter’s writing has otherwise been published by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Guardian UK, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Good Weekend, ABC and SBS. He holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from City, University of London; a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from The Australian National University (ANU); and a Bachelor of Laws from ANU specializing in criminal law.
Erin McCabe is a New Jersey criminal defense attorney doing her best to live quietly in the wake of a profound personal change – until a newsworthy case puts her whole life at risk…
Erin McCabe has been referred the biggest case of her career. Four months ago, the son of a New Jersey state senator was found fatally stabbed in a rundown motel near Atlantic City. Sharise Barnes, a nineteen-year-old transgender sex worker, is in custody, and, based on the evidence against her, there seems little doubt of a guilty verdict.
As a transgender woman herself, Erin knows that defending Sharise will blow her own private life wide open and doubtless deepen her estrangement from her family. Yet she feels uniquely qualified to help Sharise and duty-bound to protect her from the possibility of a death sentence.
While Erin works with her law partner, former-FBI-agent Duane Swisher, to show Sharise acted in self-defense, the senator begins using the full force of his influence to publicly discredit them and their efforts to mount a defense for Sharise. And behind the scenes, his tactics are even more dangerous. For his son had secrets that could destroy the senator’s own political aspirations – secrets worth killing for…
Firstly I must thank Sarah at Verve Books for gifting me a proof of By Way Of Sorrow.
This is an absolutely bloody brilliant book! I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t this!! It’s an immensely well-written, groundbreaker of a book!
I’ve not read any American novels that are set in their criminal justice system, but it is written with what feels like a totally realistic and authentic edge. Our heroine is Erin McCabe and she is a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey. Working with her partner, Duane Swisher who is a former FBI agent, they get referred to a case that will be the biggest of both their careers.
Now I really do not want to give any of the plotlines or story away so I’m going to try not to! The case involves Sharise Barnes a teenage transgender sex worker who was arrested and seems guilty, based on the evidence, of murdering the son of a prominent New Jersey senator. And that’s where things start, this novel is so gritty and dark yet also laced with humor and compassion.
The narration of each of the characters is brilliantly written, and so emotionally charged and intense in parts, but so authentic! I really was amazed at the quality of the writing by Robyn Gigl, the handling of several sensitive scenes was thrilling and also emotive! And had me on the edge of my seat and anxious which is always the sign of a good writer!
I loved Erin McCabe’s character, she is a bloody sassy lady, and when things get tough she does not cower in the corner she fights and gets results in the courtroom and in life, and against the daily prejudice that she faces. She is such a wonderful fictional character, and so memorable, I totally see this being a long-running series and indeed it so needs to be made into a film!
The legal terms are written in such a way that anyone can understand what they mean and in fact, it’s a good insight into the American Justice system. I’ve always thought that legal thrillers can be a bit too staid and boring, but not By Way Of Sorrow, there are no down chapters, or page fillers here this is just a thrilling gripping page-turner from the start, in fact, I was gutted when it finished!
I really want to tell you the storyline, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you want to read a legal thriller for the here and now, dealing with transgender issues, racism, misogyny, family issues, the American legal system, and corruption, then By Way Of Sorrow is the book for you.
If you are interested in transgender characters this is a must-read. I cannot wait for the next installment, if it’s as good as By Way Of Sorrow I will be so pleased! Thank you Robyn Gigl for your talented writing!
A super 5-star read and one that’s also important for today’s society, and has to be one of the thrillers of the year!.
Robyn Gigl (pronounced Guy-gull), the author of BY WAY OF SORROW and SURVIVOR’S GUILT, is an attorney, speaker, and activist who has been honored by the ACLU-NJ and the NJ Pride Network for her work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Robyn is a partner at Gluck Walrath, LLP in Freehold, NJ, where she handles complex commercial and employment litigation. She has been selected as an NJ Super Lawyer since 2010 and as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in NJ in 2020 & 2021. Robyn is a member of the Board of Directors of Garden State Equality, NJ’s largest LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Organization. She is a graduate of Stonehill College and Villanova University School of Law. A frequent lecturer on diversity issues, she lives in New Jersey where she continues to practice law by day, and work on her next novel by night. Fortunately, she has a very boring social life.
REVENGE DI Ben Kitto made many enemies in his time working as an undercover officer for the Met police, none more ruthless and calculating than gang leader Craig Travis. IS WORTH Travis has longed to make Kitto pay for his role in getting him convicted – and that day has finally arrived. Now, a dark and twisted killer is heading for the Scilly Isles, one who has waited a long time for revenge. WAITING FOR . . . With Kitto busy investigating the discovery of a body on the islands and distracted by the imminent arrival of his first child, his defences are down. He has so much to lose.
And Travis will stop at nothing to take it all from him.
I’m a huge fan of Kate Rhodes Isles of Scilly, DI Ben Kitto series and always wait eagerly for the next installment. So as soon as The brutal Tide was published it was in my basket!
Now if you’ve never read the Ben Kitto Locked Island Mysteries, then, where have you been!? Seriously they are simply tremendous. Kate Rhodes is an absolutely accomplished and fabulous writer. She has created a wonderful cast of characters that live on the small island of Bryher one of the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall, UK. You really need to read the series in order as there is a back story with Ben Kitto that’s been running throughout the series and it impacts on The Brutal Tide.
Kate Rhodes says that the Isles of Scilly are one of her favoriteplaces in the world, having spent many holidays there when she was a child. And the thing is that love comes out in the writing, the books are so visceral in their descriptions of the Islands and they come with a map! I’m a massive fan of maps in books, it always helps me to visualize where the story and action are taking place, please keep putting maps in your books authors!
I always find Kate’s books super easy to read, which means i whizz through them ( which is so annoying!) but having now read all 6 I can safely say that each one is different and each one has a brilliantly scripted plot. the brutal Tide kicks off with someone from the past and is told from two points of view, but it works extremely well, and with each page the tension starts to get bigger and bigger.
The plot is gripping, slick, and tense, and made me scream “Oh No” several times at the climactic ending sequences! But the ending of The Brutal Tide was fantastic and awesome but I’m not telling you why…Buy the book!!
As always another 5-star read from an author who seemingly cannot put a foot wrong!
Kate Rhodes is a crime novelist and award winning poet. Kate was born in south London but now lives in Cambridge with her family. She studied English at university and did a wide range of jobs including working in bars, being a theatre usherette, and teaching at a liberal arts college in Florida, before focusing on her writing.
Her latest crime novels are the acclaimed HELL BAY series set in the Isles of Scilly. Kate has been passionate about the islands since holidaying there as a child and still returns for regular visits. Books in the series include HELL BAY, RUIN BEACH, and BURNT ISLAND.
Kate’s bestselling ALICE QUENTIN series includes CROSSBONES YARD, A KILLING OF ANGELS, THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS, RIVER OF SOULS, BLOOD SYMMETRY, and FATAL HARMONY.
Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier – or are the bones much older?
DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for the missing girl. Since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows that Ruth’s expertise and experience could help him finally to put this case to rest.
But when a second child goes missing, Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she’s getting ever closer to the truth…
It amazes me how sometimes we, as readers, miss some amazingly good book series, and the Dr. Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths is one of those for me.
I had seen the books on social media and years ago when I used to use a library but had never read them, then finally at the beginning of the year I saw a set of the first 9 books and I thought I must buy them to read, well they’ve been sat looking lovey in my bookshelf ever since! (I’m sure we are all guilty of this!)
So I started the first book with an open mind, and The Crossing Places did not disappoint.
It’s a fabulous opener to the series which I now know is loved by fans all over the world. Dr. Ruth Galloway is a slightly overweight Forensic archaeologist who loves nothing more than to find bones and search out what happened to the person they were, she also loves Bruce Springsteen and her cottage on The Saltmarsh. In the first book, we follow her on a hunt to find out whether the bones discovered on the site of a pre-historic henge are those of a missing local girl.
We meet the excellent cast of characters that surround Ruth in the series, the huge and intense DCI Harry Nelson, the slightly odd but lovely Cathbad, a druid and laboratory assistant at The University of Norfolk, (Ruth works here as a Lecturer), and Shona, Ruth’s better looking, lover of married men girlfriend.
The story is brilliant with a huge input of historical fact, folklore, and suspense. I loved the way the story climbs to a climactic ending and was really gripped all the way thru.
As an opening book to a series, it’s fabulous and I suspect the series and stories surrounding Dr. Ruth Galloway will get even better as I binge-read the books in order!
A Great 4 star read.
Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.
The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.
When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death…
I was really ready to find out what would be happening in Dr. Ruth Galloway’s life after reading the first book.
In the Janus Stone, we find out lots more about Ruth and her life ( I’m not going to give anything away here!), enough that her storyline is keeping me gripped alongside the latest case of old bones that are found in an ex children’s home.
The usual cast of characters is here and they are now starting to evolve which I just adore!
The storyline and plot are gripping and I raced through The Janus Stone, the plot builds to a brilliant ending and I thought it was really well written.
I find Elly Griffith’s style of writing really easy to read and almost dare I say it cozy ( I’m not a great lover of cozy crime I prefer gritty), but I think the skill involved in writing the great cast of characters and involving a good Police procedural around Ruth’ life is really clever.
Again I was not at all disappointed, indeed it took me 2 days to read! A 5-star read.
Elly Griffiths is the author of the Dr. Ruth Galloway books and the Brighton Mysteries. Last year I also published a stand-alone, The Stranger Diaries, and a children’s book, A Girl Called Justice. I have previously written books under my real name, Domenica de Rosa (I know it sounds made up).
The Ruth books are set in Norfolk, a place I know well since childhood. It was a chance remark of my husband’s that gave me the idea for the first in the series, The Crossing Places. We were crossing Titchwell Marsh in North Norfolk when Andy (an archaeologist) mentioned that prehistoric people thought that marshland was sacred ground. Because it’s neither land nor sea, but something in-between, they saw it as a bridge to the afterlife; neither land nor sea, neither life nor death. In that moment, I saw Dr. Ruth Galloway walking towards me out of the mist…
I live near Brighton with Andy. We have two grown-up children. I write in a garden shed accompanied by my cat, Gus.
Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge . . .
The new atmospheric locked-room thriller from the author of The Sanatorium, the bestselling crime thriller debut of 2021. ___________________________________
This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.
A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.
We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.
A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.
As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.
Well after reading and loving The Sanatorium last year, I’ve been counting the days down to receive and read The Retreat.
And what a stinking bookbanger The Retreat is! From the outset we are taken on a spooky, locked island journey with out heroine DS Elin Warner on an Island called Reapers Island off the coast of Devon UK.
The Retreat moves along at at fabulously fast pace, with punchy chapters and superb characters. The description of Reapers Island is amazing and really struck me as being so visceral! How writers are able to take the reader to a place and make you feel like you are there, always amazes me, and Sarah Pearse has done it again here! I was almost out of breath at the climatic ending and it’s situation!! ( Nope not giving that away! )
For Sarah’s second book it is an amazing gem of a well written cast, and I love the way we are able to get into DS Elin Warners mind, and her doubts and fears really add to this storyline. The plot is stunning and I didn’t guess the perp until the very end when they were revealed, there are twists and turns a plenty and it really is a gripping read! Sarah seems to have a absolute gift at writing “locked room” mysteries and I am in awe of her talent, a modern Agatha Christie!
I hope with The Retreat this will seal Sarah’s writing in the Suspense/Thriller genre. And I cannot wait for the DS Elin Warner book 3!
A superb and gripping book and a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ readi!
You can find out more about Sarah Pearse on her WEBSITE
The murder of a promising footballer, son of Brighton’s highest-ranking police officer, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.
Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife-edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.
“This is the real deal. A thoroughly absorbing crime novel with characters and events that will stay with you for a long time.” Elly Griffiths
“As an ex-cop, Graham Bartlett knows what he’s talking about and he certainly knows how to tell a good story. Bad For Good is a cracking debut.” Mark Billingham
“Bad For Good has everything you want in a crime novel: compelling protagonists, chilling villains and an engaging, well-constructed plot…One of the most confident debuts I’ve ever read” M. W. Craven
“A taut, visceral thriller that reveals the seamy underbelly of modern-day policing, rife with authentic detail. If you liked Line of Duty, you’ll love Bad for Good ” JP Delaney
Huge thanks to Allison & Busby for sending me a proof copy of Bad For Good.
For those that don’t know Graham Bartlett is an Ex-Police Chief Constable and had an illustrious career including being involved in the so-called Babes In The Wood Murders. I read his book on this subject (written with Peter James) and it was gripping and very well written…. then I saw that Graham was writing his Debut crime fiction novel, and I just knew i would need to read it!
With an absolutely chilling and realistic take on Police Procedures, Bad For Good did not disappoint. The plot is pretty unique and revolves around the consequences of what can happen when a family member is murdered (Harry) and the lengths to which his father – Brighton’s Chief Superintendant Phil Cooke is pushed to by a deathbed promise to his wife!
I’ve read a massive amount of crime fiction (it is my favourite genre) some written badly, some mediocre and some like Graham Bartletts, written with exquisite attention to detail and frightening reality (the lack of Police Officers on the ground!) This makes Bad For Good a simply stunning debut novel, and I hope one in the first of a seriesof many!
There is a huge cast of characters, but all are easy to follow and are full of authenticity… but our main focus is on DS Jo Howe and we follow her fight to solve the murder of Harry Cooke against all the odds and setbacks (I cannot say more as I really do not want to give anything away!). I loved Jo Howe’s character, she is a no-nonsense, tough, methodical and sassy heroine, in amongst a story littered with brutish vigilantes and gangland criminals who will kill anyone that gets in their way!
I couldn’t put Bad For Good down, it is a veritable feast of realism and such a cleverly written novel. In amongst such a huge genre of crime fiction, there are some that truly stand out from the crowd and Bad For Good is one of those! I commend Graham on taking his Police experience and knowledge and putting that into a brilliant debut novel! Take a bow, Sir!!
I urge any fans of police procedurals and crime fiction to get Bad For Good on order and set aside some time to binge read it when it arrives!
If Bad For Good doesnt scoop any awards in 2022, then I will eat my hat!!
A fantastic 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read.
About Graham Bartlett I am a best-selling author and crime and police procedural advisor to fiction and TV writers. I was a police officer for thirty years and mainly policed the city of Brighton and Hove, rising to become a Chief Superintendent and its police commander. I started writing when I left the police in 2013 and, almost by accident, became a police procedural and crime advisor, helping scores of authors and TV writers (including Peter James, Mark Billingham, Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz, Ruth Ware, Claire McGowan and Dorothy Koomson) achieve authenticity in their drama. I run online crime writing workshops and courses with the Professional Writing Academy and deliver inputs to Masters programmes at the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia as well as at the Crime Writing Certificate programme at West Dean College. I live in Sussex with my wife Julie and variously my 24yr old triplets! My debut crime novel, Bad for Good is now on pre-sale on Amazon. It asks the question: How far would you go