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Reviews

Jan 2006

Graham Hurley - Blood and Honey

“This novel is extremely realistic and is very convincing”

Synopsis:
A headless body, particularly distorted by months in the sea, is discovered by an enthusiastic bird watcher. Elsewhere an exotic and luxurious apartment where high quality sex is provided is raided by the police. These are the starting points for D/I Joe Faraday and D/C Winter’s latest crime investigations.

Joe Faraday investigates the apparent disappearance of a young deliveryman in connection with the headless body, and is drawn into a complicated tale involving ex-soldiers and asylum seekers from Bosnia.
Winter struggles with an increasing number of violent headaches. A beautiful and clever young prostitute takes him under her wing and provides him both with solace and with evidence to help him unravel the crimes which have been committed.

Review:
This novel is extremely realistic and is very convincing in portraying life in the investigation of a major crime. Details of police procedure appear to be absolutely true to life. The characters also are very believable, not all black or white but definitely many are shades of gray. I enjoyed this book.

Reviewed by: S. D.

CrimeSquad Rating


Fred Vargas – The Three Evangelists

“Fred Vargas has produced another unique novel!”

Synopsis:
Sophia Simeonidis, a once famous opera signer turns up at the home of three historians who have been dubbed by Vandoosler, the godfather of one of them, as the “three evangelists”. Someone has mysteriously planted a tree in Sophia's garden overnight and she wants them to dig under it to see if anything is hidden there. A few weeks later the singer disappears and her body is found in a burned out car. The historians join forces with Vandoosler, revealed as a disgraced ex-cop, to discover Sophia’s fate.

Review:
With “The Three Evangelists” Fred Vargas has produced another unique novel written in her inimitable style. The strength of the book lies in the unusual plot and the “otherworldliness” of the investigation. The houses where the action takes place have magical feel to them and it is only as the novel progresses that it becomes clear that it is a sordid tale of jealousy and revenge. The police are only minor figures in the investigation and it is left to Vandoosler and the historians to uncover the truth. These characters are well written and portray the academics as esoteric but essentially kind searchers of the truth. This book is an excellent introduction for those new to the work of Fred Vargas.

Reviewed by: S.W.

CrimeSquad Rating


Christopher Reich – The Patriots’ Club

“…I may have just found another favourite author!”

Synopsis:
The Patriots’ Club, a secret group of hardcore businessmen, has been in existence since George Washington set it up in the days of the American Revolution. By 2004 it has acquired Jefferson Partners, a large and secretive private equity firm raising money from financial funds and private wealth to buy companies concentrated in the defence industry. Thomas Bolden is mugged on his way home one evening and, after reporting the crime, he heads home. The mugging, though, is just the tip of the iceberg and his life is about to get worse… much worse. A group of people are after him for reasons unknown to him, and the mysterious Bobby Stillman is someone the group thinks he knows. But does he?

Tom’s needs to keep one step ahead of those chasing him, and once he finally learns of their plan, needs to stay alive to stop ‘Crown’.

Review:
Don’t let the synopsis of this book put you off! I was not enamoured after reading this synopsis but decided to give the book a chance. And despite my initial misgivings, I may have just found another favourite author!

The book was fast-paced, unravelling as an intricate thriller, which kept me intrigued and engrossed from the very first pages. Whilst sometimes Reich was sometimes, perhaps, too ‘political’, this did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and really brings meaning to the adage ‘never judge a book by its cover’.

Reviewed by H. A.

CrimeSquad Rating