Tag: #mystery

“Too Close to Breathe” by Olivia Kiernan

“Too Close to Breathe” by Olivia Kiernan

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan has just returned to duty after nearly being killed in pursuit of a case. Assistant Commissioner Jack Clancy has assigned her team to investigate a presumed suicide. The coroner has an “uneasy feeling” about this case, hence it being assigned to Frankie’s team, but Clancy is still not sure that Frankie is ready to be back on the job. With Detective Baz Harwood as her partner they quickly determine that this is in fact a murder but that’s when the hard part starts. As they delve into the lives of the victim and her husband they quickly uncover multiple affairs, Dark Web activity, and the underbelly of Dublin. But the circumstances of this case are also triggering flashbacks for Frankie and the danger may be all too real.

So let’s start with the plot. These people’s lives are more twisty than a snake but it really makes for a great story. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you trip over another clue and end up going in a different direction. Characters: Frankie Sheehan is a great character. She’s tough and persistent, as you would expect a detective to be, but she’s much more than that. I think the author did an especially good job with the flashback scenes because they gave you a sense of Frankie as a vulnerable person. I really enjoyed Detective Harwood also. He knows how to push Frankie’s button but he also takes it very seriously when he says he’s got her back. This is the author’s first novel and I think it’s a great debut, definitely worth the read.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

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“Lonelyheart 4122” by Colin Watson

“Lonelyheart 4122” by Colin Watson

The Flaxborough Mysteries series Book 4

Miss Teatime has arrived in Flaxborough and any eligible men of means had better be on guard. DI Purbright has the case of two missing middle-aged women on his hands and thinks that Miss Teatime may be the next victim. Sergeant Love is being walked off his feet tracking down clues. And who is breaking into the offices of the Handclasp House, a matrimonial agency? All this and more awaits the eager visitor to Flaxborough.

I just continue to be delighted with this series and with Detective Inspector Purbright, but I have to say that Miss Teatime really takes the show in this one. She appears to be just another tourist but the longer you know her the more complicated she becomes. Sergeant Love has a larger role in this book than in the previous ones which I really enjoyed. He and Purbright play off of each other perfectly. I also really enjoyed the story itself, it starts off seeming pretty straightforward but it’s definitely not. I was questioning motives and suspects right up until the end. Colin Watson really knows how to put together an engaging, make-you-think twice, kind of story.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Amazon CA

“The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George

“The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George

The Inspector Lynley Series Book 20

Lynley and Havers are still on the job and the residents of Ludlow had better get their stories straight. A deacon of the local church, who is highly regarded for his work in the community, has been arrested and found dead while in local police custody. The death was ruled a suicide but the deacon’s father says that’s not possible and begins to make a stink and threaten lawsuits. Barbara Havers and Isabelle Ardery are initially sent out to Ludlow to make sure that the investigation into the death was according to procedure. But Isabelle’s demons have joined them on this trip and her dislike of Havers causes her to disregard her concerns about the investigation. When they get back to London, Ardery tells Havers to falsify the report and when Lynley finds out it all blows up. Lynley and Havers are sent back to Ludlow to get uncover the truth behind the unanswered questions. Not an easy task but these two don’t give up until they have all the answers.

It has been way too long since I read anything from this series and when I saw it come up on First to Read I knew I had to get a copy. Reading this book was like visiting with friends you haven’t seen for years. Lynley is still the charming British gentleman and Havers continues to be her frumpy self, only this time she’s added tap dancing to her repertoire of skills. As usual with Elizabeth George, this is a complicated story but told it way that allows the pieces to gradually be put in their proper places till the whole picture is revealed. I love the way the author tells a story. There is a lot of descriptive detail which just draws me in as a reader and adds depth to the story itself but in such a way that it doesn’t feel weighted down. All of the characters are individuals, some quirkier then others. There are a whole host of motives floating around, but which motives led to which crimes, that is the mystery. I can honestly say that I completely lost track of the world around me every time I picked up this book. Excellent read!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

John Malkin is an overworked social worker. His girlfriend has just become pregnant with their first child but the job stress is starting to come between them. One of John’s cases is Nathan, a young man who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Just as Nathan has landed himself in jail, again, John is asked to investigate two girls who have just reported having been raped by a local police officer. Both Nathan and one of the girls warn him that he is in danger and that a prophecy has named him as the “chosen” one. John knows nothing about this prophecy but strange things are happening and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, Shaf, a Pakistani police officer in the local force, has rescued the two girls after they were attacked by strange men, but the girls lied and blamed him. His boss has suspended him pending an investigation, but later asks him to conduct a secret investigation for him. There are rumors of local gangs “grooming” girls, and race riots are breaking out all over the region. The police force is stretched to the breaking point and DC Ali thinks someone in the force is involved. All roads seem to lead to the “Hobbledy Man”, but who is he and what does he want?

I couldn’t wait to read this book because I had so enjoyed the author’s first book. I was not disappointed. The story is very intense with a lot of different things happening that seemingly have no connection except for the legend of the “Hobbledy Man”. The narration goes back and forth between John, who’s trying to help the kids, and Shaf, who is trying to clear his name. I really liked both of these characters. John is so well-intentioned but as his paranoia grows his actions become more and more erratic. Shaf is trying to be the kind of person that his father was, but soon finds his principles being tested at every turn. The plot line is many-layered but it all works together really well. There are some very graphic scenes of sex and violence which some readers may not like but they do work within the story. This book has elements of the supernatural, the presence of a very active cult, violent gangs, and issues of race relations. Some of the content is disturbing but overall I found this to be another excellent story from Paul Southern.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   4 stars!!

Happy Reading!4-star-rating

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Pendle Fire Blog Blitz

“Hopjoy Was Here” by Colin Watson

“Hopjoy Was Here” by Colin Watson

The Flaxborough Mysteries – Book 3

All the neighbors are watching as the Flaxborough police remove a bathtub from a local home. The home is occupied by two bachelors, but neither has been seen for a few days. The police received an anonymous letter indicating that something may have happened in the bathroom. Inspector Purbright is on the case and his loyal sergeant, Sid Love, is right by his side. But just as they are getting started a couple of Secret Service guys show up claiming that one of the men, Hopjoy, is a spy working in the area. Periam, the second bachelor is the owner of the house and by all accounts the two men lived together harmoniously. But Purbright suspects that Hopjoy has not gone off on some mission but has in fact been murdered.

This is my favorite book in the series so far. This story takes us back to Flaxborough proper where Purbright is really in his element. I love how Colin Watson starts his books because he just drops you into the drama without preamble and the first mystery the reader has to solve is what the heck happened, in this case, to cause an entire tub to be removed as police evidence. In this story, I enjoyed Purbright even more; he seems to have a firmer personality this time around. There are also some great new characters. The two Secret Service guys were very intriguing, I found their way of working together to be a bit slapstick in nature but still enjoyable reading. The investigation goes back and forth between what Purbright and Love and learning and what the SS guys are learning. It all comes together in the end for a somewhat shocking conclusion.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“The White Road” by John Connolly – Audiobook

“The White Road” by John Connolly – Audiobook

Narrated by Paul Birchard

Book 4 of the Charlie Parker series

Another installment in the Charlie Parker series and my love for these books just continues to grow. Charlie has been contacted by his old friend Elliot Norton and asked to come to South Carolina to help clear a young man of a murder charge. After he arrives, he helps to transport the young man to a safe house, but just as Charlie starts to investigate the young man is murdered. Parker knows there is more to this than meets the eye. His investigation will take him back into the past of two families, one black and one white and uncover a horrifying crime. Meanwhile, back in Maine, Rev. Faulkner is trying to orchestrate his release from prison but Lewis and Angel have other plans.

This is another hit for me and bonus points because there are no spiders. I continue to love the whole cast of characters and I like that the characters’ stories carry over from one book to the next. Angel is still struggling to overcome the trauma Rev. Faulkner inflicted on him. We get to learn a little more about Lewis’s history, and the relationship between Charlie and Rachel continues to develop. As usual, John Connolly delivers a story that is twisty, filled with action, and full of surprises. The narration was top-notch and one of the best I’ve heard. Paul Birchard did an excellent job of differentiating the characters with subtle changes of accent and delivery, and his narration style really heightened the drama. I highly recommend this audiobook for both the story and the expert narration.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Bump in the Night” by Colin Watson

“Bump in the Night” by Colin Watson

Time for another visit to Flaxborough County! This is book 2 in the series and this time around we have a serial bomber in the village of Chalmesbury. After 3 bomb attacks the local council requests the help of Inspector Purbright in tracking down the perpetrator. But just as he’s getting started a 4th bomb results in a murder. Turns out not many people liked the victim and the list of suspects includes just about everybody. Purbright must use all his cunning to sort out the facts from the rumors if he’s going to get his man.

I am still delighted with Inspector Purbright. The author doesn’t offer anything in the way of background, at least not yet, but I just can’t help but be charmed. I especially enjoy reading his interrogation scenes, almost none of which take place in a police station. He’s very clever and casual with his question and always pull more out of his suspect than you would expect. The village of Chalmesbury is a hotbed of intrigue as it turns out and I got completely sucked in by the red herrings in this one. The ending was a complete surprise. I’m so glad this series is being re-released because it’s just such a pleasure to read.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads     |   Amazon CA

Thank you to NetGalley and Farrago for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“The Sandman” by Lars Kepler

“The Sandman” by Lars Kepler

OMG! This book just blew me away! In “The Sandman”, the 4th installment in the Joona Linna series, a young man has appeared walking across a train bridge one night. But this young man disappeared as a 13 years ago along with his sister, and has been declared dead. Detective Inspector Joona Linna was on the original case and even though a suspect was arrested, prosecuted, and is still incarcerated, Joona had always believed there was an accomplice. Now he’s sure of it, and the hunt is on. Jurek Walter is securely imprisoned with no contact with the outside world, so why was Mikael released? And who released him? He claims his sister is still alive, but where is she being kept? Can Joona and his team unravel the clues before the girl’s time runs out?

This was my first time with DI Joona Linna but I don’t think it will be my last. The suspense is unbelievable. The storyline has lots of twists but it all comes together brilliantly for a totally unexpected ending. I thought the characters were great with a depth to them that made them feel real and relatable. The scenes in the mental hospital took my breath away. This book takes place in Sweden which was new for me and some of the names were a bit challenging but I got to learn about a different country so it balances out. Everything about this book is 5 star.

Alinefromabook’s rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble

Thank you to First to Read for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Coffin, Scarcely Used” by Colin Watson

“Coffin, Scarcely Used” by Colin Watson

Prepare to be delighted! Inspector Purbright is on the job in Flaxborough, so murderers beware. A local businessman dies and 6 months later his next-door neighbor is also dead. When Purbright discovers that the two men were friends and involved in a not-so-legal business with other local businessmen, he suspects the deaths are more than coincidence. And where does the not-so-unhappy widow fit in? There are many questions, but Purbright is on the job, and he and his men will find the answers.

The Flaxborough Mysteries were published in the 1950’s and are being re-released. This is the first in the series and should not be missed. While the story is more along the lines of a cozy mystery than a thriller, I found to be a joy to read. The author writes with imagination and wit and creates a story that is both full of mystery and fun at the same time. Inspector Purbright is very intelligent and clever, knowing exactly how to get the information he needs from his suspects. This is classic British crime and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

A family massacred, one daughter and two dogs missing. Is this 9th installment in the series D.D. Warren once again has her hands full. And while she’s tracking down a killer, her husband and son are out adopting a dog of their own, which she’s not quite sure will be a welcome addition. Meanwhile, kidnapping survivor Flora Dane, has a connection to the missing girl and begins an investigation of her own, using her very secretive survivor support group to aid in the search. Roxanna is just trying to find a place to feel safe for a while. Unraveling this mystery will take them all into the dark side of the foster care system and reveal just how twisted a motive can be.

I loved this story, and while I’m usually a cat person, the dogs really add something special to the story. D.D. Warren is a very complicated police detective, but great at her job. She has some great leadership skills and I was very impressed by the way she kept the investigation organized when practically the entire Boston police force was involved in the search for the missing girl. She also has great people skills when she needs them. I felt sorry for Flora and the trauma she had been through, but at the same time I admired her resiliency and the way she was working to re-create her life into something that was meaningful to her. There’s also a whole host of supporting characters that are unique and add depth to the story. The plot here has a lot of twists and clues that don’t seem to fit together until the very end. I think mystery/thriller lovers will really enjoy this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA