|Hello to all you wonderful Crimesquad readers. Apologies for the radio silence for the past few months. Having been on the crime case since 2005 bringing you the best in crime fiction, I needed a little down time. I feel I had earned a little time off! With the addition of a few things that needed to be sorted, I felt the time was necessary to step aside for a while to get the fire back in my belly. Mind you, having said that, I feel I have been catapulted into August! The time flies by when youíre busy. Despite this, I and the team have still been reading and reviewing books. So we have a mighty bumper issue for you with twenty reviews for you to pour over, besides our usual Author of the Month, Fresh Blood and Classic choices for August. It is good to be back and thank you for supporting Crimesquad.
Author of the Month is Nadine Matheson with her second novel, The Binding Room. Matheson burst on to the crime scene with her debut, ĎThe Jigsaw Maní, introducing DI Anjelica Henley who had been Ďbenchedí since bringing Peter Olivier aka The Jigsaw Man to justice. Now Henley and the CSU team face another horrific case. A black pastor has been found at his altar with numerous stab wounds. Checking the church, Henley finds an emaciated man tied to a bed. Henley is shocked to find the man is still alive, if barely. So begins a sadistic and convoluted case that will test Henley as not only a police officer, but as a black woman. Tackling social issues, Matheson leads her reader down dark corridors of a sick mind and delivers a thrilling case that only cements her place in crime fiction.
Fresh Blood is London In Black by Jack Lutz. The year is 2029. Two years previously there were a serious of attacks on the populace. A nerve gas called London Black was used. Not everyone was affected. Those that were are classed as ĎVulnerablesí. Not everyone survived. A serum was found to stabilise those affected. Now the man who founded this serum that has become a lifeline to many, including DI Lucy Stone, has been found murdered just before he was to make an announcement. There were rumours of a cure, but Stone has to find out if that was true. But someone is determined to stop her before finding the truth. Lutz wonderfully invokes a futuristic London that is dark and on its guard as attacks of the gas still continue. ĎLondon in Blackí is a race against time thriller which is totally nail-bitingly good.
Reviews this month includes a bumper load of reviews including Mark Edwards, Rosemary Shrager, Brian McGilloway, Sharon Bolton, Donna Leon plus many, many others including a few oldies from Patricia Highsmith and Colin Dexter.
On Classic Crime is another author added to the great British Library Crime Classics. This time it is Christianna Brand and her famous Cockrill case, Green For Danger. Brandís novel written during WWII, describes the mysterious death of a patient on the operating table. Despite Cockrillís presence, Brand focusses on the dynamic of the suspects after the murder. This novel is suffused with the atmosphere of Britain under siege from German bombers. Brand is wonderful at transporting one to those uncertain days when people didnít know if they would survive the day from a German attack. Brandís solution is sublime and the clues are all there. This is definitely another gold standard title added to this already wonderful series of crime classics.
Events stays with Agatha Christie as the new Miss Marple collection is due out in September 2022. Written by established female crime writers of the present, this will be an interesting addition to the Marple canon.
Top Ten will be online soon to show our summer tips for a hot crime read!
To check out all our past reviews use the Review Archive. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you canít recall the surname. And for good measure you can also search under the title of the book. Simply click on the box at the top of the page and then click on to the letter of the author/title you would like to find. As you will see, we have reviewed a huge number of books during Crimesquad.com's thirteen years. Have a wander round our archives and I hope you will find something you might have missed first time around!