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Gone (FBI Profiler 5)
Gone (FBI Profiler 5)
Price: £3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars If you like novels that come in a series, 29 July 2014
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If you like novels that come in a series, Gardner won’t disappoint. Of the two Quincys, I preferred Pierce; I felt he had more depth and life experience to him. His dark silences, a product of his childhood and horrifying work probing sick minds, not surprisingly make relationships difficult. His dealings with his estranged wife, the long silences between him and Kimberley, and the evolution of his relationship with Rainie are all elements easy to empathise with and give him a depth of character that Kimberley’s novels are missing.

As ever with Gardner, her psychopaths will draw you in and her novels are page-turners. Never afraid to have the killer close to home, whether in law enforcement or murdering family members, Gardner plumbs the depths of humanity and, yet, we keep reading.

Do I have a favourite novel? Probably The Next Accident because it merges Quincy’s family and profiling job right on his own door step. Say Goodbye is a very strong novel in terms of showing how children, abused physically, verbally and emotionally by their abductor, become dehumanised by their treatment. And The Next Accident shows how a community – and individual families – are torn apart by that all-too familiar phenomenon, the school shooting. Suspicion doesn’t have to be rooted in fact to do its job, it just needs to be persistent.

Overall, I’d have preferred more novels featuring Quincy and Rainie, with occasional input from Kimberley, as there was definitely more room for character development there. Despite the traumas in Kimberley’s back story, she never became more than one-dimensional for me. Preferred the oldies!


The Next Accident (FBI Profiler 3)
The Next Accident (FBI Profiler 3)
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Overall review of FBI profiler series, 21 July 2014
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If you like novels that come in a series, Gardner won’t disappoint. Of the two Quincys, I preferred Pierce; I felt he had more depth and life experience to him. His dark silences, a product of his childhood and horrifying work probing sick minds, not surprisingly make relationships difficult. His dealings with his estranged wife, the long silences between him and Kimberley, and the evolution of his relationship with Rainie are all elements easy to empathise with and give him a depth of character that Kimberley’s novels are missing.

As ever with Gardner, her psychopaths will draw you in and her novels are page-turners. Never afraid to have the killer close to home, whether in law enforcement or murdering family members, Gardner plumbs the depths of humanity and, yet, we keep reading.

Do I have a favourite novel? Probably The Next Accident because it merges Quincy’s family and profiling job right on his own door step. Say Goodbye is a very strong novel in terms of showing how children, abused physically, verbally and emotionally by their abductor, become dehumanised by their treatment. And The Next Accident shows how a community – and individual families – are torn apart by that all-too familiar phenomenon, the school shooting. Suspicion doesn’t have to be rooted in fact to do its job, it just needs to be persistent.

Overall, I’d have preferred more novels featuring Quincy and Rainie, with occasional input from Kimberley, as there was definitely more room for character development there. Despite the traumas in Kimberley’s back story, she never became more than one-dimensional for me. Preferred the oldies!


Killing Hope: A gripping thriller with a killer twist (Gabe Quinn Thriller Series Book 1)
Killing Hope: A gripping thriller with a killer twist (Gabe Quinn Thriller Series Book 1)
Price: £3.40

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, 13 Jun. 2014
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Honestly, tried to like it but just couldn't finish it. Thought the main character had potential, but there were too many secrets, dead ends, and not enough character development all round.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 13, 2014 11:42 AM BST


The Target (Will Robie Book 3)
The Target (Will Robie Book 3)
Price: £4.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, but hang on to the seat of your pants!, 5 Jun. 2014
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This is Baldacci’s third Robie and Reel novel and, as they say, it’s good but not great. I liked it but found it a little disjointed – there are so many thrills and spills packed in here that it’s a little head-spinning. And it’s helpful to have read the previous novel in the series, The Hit.

There’s Reel and her father, the US president and North Korea, the CIA and Reel, Neo-Nazis, Robie and Reel …

However, there are some interesting themes: the increasing age of the main characters and the physicality of the job is becoming an issue for both of them; the paranoia in North Korea and the strains of blind loyalty to the Supreme Leader; the strains of loyalty in a ‘free’ society such as America where, however, the CIA agents must do as they are told …

Essentially the three plots resolve Reel and her father, her connections to Neo-Nazis, the president and CIA mucking around in North Korean politics, the CIA trying to break Reel and Robie, internal North Korean politics and society, and the very human cost of loyalty in North Korea.

And we meet someone even better at killing than Robie and Reel: Chung-Cha, a survivor of North Korea’s concentration camps who is a Ninja-style assassin par excellence. And, quite likeable, for her quiet internal revolution …

I liked the book… but the amount of action is along the lines of Mission Impossible…


Thursday's Child: A Frieda Klein Novel (4) (Frieda Klein Series)
Thursday's Child: A Frieda Klein Novel (4) (Frieda Klein Series)
Price: £3.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 29 May 2014
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In this novel, Frieda goes back to her home town of Braxton, which she left suddenly 23 years ago when she was 16. She hasn’t been back. She hasn’t seen her mother since then or her school friends.

Now, she’s been drawn back by the story of a young girl who was raped during the night in her own home in Braxton.

If you’re at all familiar with small town life, you’ll recognise the tensions between those who left to make a life elsewhere and those who made their lives locally. Here, Frieda’s meetings with her old school friends, many of whom tell her she should never have returned, throw up all the old dynamics – who married who, who’s aged well or not, who turned out exactly as expected.

Pretence plays a large part in the novel – school teenage friends who pretend to like each other, who pretend to be more experienced than others in the group. Frieda pretends to be in Braxton because her mother is dying but is actually conducting an investigation. Becky, the young girl who was raped, is accused of pretending that it all happened in the first place and isn’t believed by her mother. In fact, the only one who doesn’t pretend at all is Frieda’s mother, who is painfully honest and narky to the end.

Along with the storyline is a revelation of who Frieda was as a teenager, how others saw her, and who she is now. Her two selves are represented by Braxton with its familiarity, interconnections due to lack of choice or imagination, and the lack of anonymity that lies in each small town. Today’s Frieda is represented by London, where friendships evolve through choice, and she is free to walk her worries away with perfect anonymity, and hid out in her house, taking the occasional dip in the bath installed by her newest friend, Josef.

Through it all, rivers, as ever, provide the geographical backdrop and key moments happen on the river banks.

I thoroughly enjoyed the latest in Nicci French’s (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) novel and am glad that, for me, Thursday’s Children built on the promise I found in Waiting for Wednesday.


Wolf: Jack Caffery series 7
Wolf: Jack Caffery series 7
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 9 May 2014
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When a vagrant—the Walking Man—finds a dog wandering alone with a scrap of paper with the words “HELP US” attached to its collar, he’s sure it’s a desperate plea from someone in trouble and calls on Detective Inspector Jack Caffery to investigate. Caffery is reluctant to get involved—until the Walking Man promises new information regarding the childhood abduction of Caffery’s brother in exchange for the detective’s help tracking down the dog’s owners. Caffery has no idea who or what he is searching for, but one thing he is sure of: it’s a race against time.
Meanwhile a wealthy local family is fighting for their lives, held hostage in their remote home. As their ordeal becomes increasingly bizarre and humiliating, the family begins to wonder: Is this really a random crime?
If you’ve been following the Jack Caffery series, this is a worthy addition. If you haven’t, this will make you want to go right back to the start and read them in order.
This is a solo Jack journey – no Flea for those of you interested in that storyline – and it all makes sense at the end of the book. The Walking Man appears and, in order to get information from him about his brother’s death, Jack has to find the dog’s owner.
As ever, Hayder gives all the characters great depth: the wealthy family, the men holding them hostage, and Jack. The dynamics at play in The Turrets, where the family is being held hostage, are fascinating. No family is ever as it seems, secrets abound, and this one is no different.
Equally, the author has the capacity to evoke sympathy for one of the kidnappers through his childlike faith in his wife’s lipstick to transport him back to the US where she lives. The lipstick becomes a barometer as to how he measures himself and it is interesting to see where that tiny detail takes him. And, again, things are never as they seem and the way the kidnappers’ relationship plays out as the tension increases, is frighteningly real.
The house itself has a personality and it’s amazing how Hayder can paint so much drama into the mundane – a bra wire, a rusty scissors, a footstep on the stairs. You can hear the silence in the house as the family try to visualise the movements and predict the actions of their new residents.
As ever, there are twists and turns as the two storylines draw inexorably closer – missing dog, family hostages – with Jack as the lynchpin between both stories. The story’s ending is an extraordinary twist which underpins the old adage: be careful what you wish for.
Read it, you’ll really enjoy this one.


Unseen (The Will Trent Series Book 7)
Unseen (The Will Trent Series Book 7)
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another goodie from Slaughter, 19 Feb. 2014
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Agent Will Trent is working undercover in Macon, Georgia, current location of police officer Lena Adams. Lena is chasing Sid Waller, who runs a ‘shooting gallery’, a place where drugs are bought, sold and used. Will is trying to collar Tony Dell, who is running a pharmacunseen karin slaughtereutical pill-running operation. When the two cases collide, they do so bloodily and graphically. How pleased will Sara Linton, Will’s girlfriend, and Lena’s old partner’s widow, feel about this?

If you’ve been following Karin Slaughter’s novels, you’ll enjoy this latest instalment. It shows greater insight into Will and Sara’s relationship and casts Lena in a new light. Equally, the crimes at the heart of the novel – a new sophisticated drug player in town along with missing children – is pacy and tightly drawn.

Big Whitey is the Scarlet Pimpernel at the heart of the novel – the focus of an obsessed police officer (not Lena, for a change), his identity is so well hidden that no one is entirely sure he even exists. But as the number of dead police officers starts to rise, which is part of the legend of Big Whitey from other parts of the state and Florida, people start to change their minds.

Is Will’s target, the vicious Tony Dell, Big Whitey? Has Will underestimated Dell as he stands at death’s door more than once in this novel? That proximity to death clarifies his relationship with Sara – for him. But is he too late? When Sara discovers Will’s been working around Lena and has kept it from her, she is wounded and breaks it off with him. As she says, she can take the strong, but not the silent any more.

Equally, Lena’s relationship with Jared, Sara’s dead husband’s son (but not hers…. keep up!) is also at the heart of the novel. Lena’s pregnancy complicates her feelings about pretty much everything and the development of that story and her ongoing ability to do the wrong things for the right reasons humanises her in a way we haven’t fully seen before. I’d actually be curious if we see her again as a character …

The title of the book, Unseen, makes sense on a number of levels – referring to the fact that so many missing children in the US (and elsewhere) are often living in other communities with their plights going ‘unseen’. Equally, Will’s work as an undercover agent means his ulterior motives are unseen by those he is forced to fraternise with. And, unseen is pretty much how he has felt for much of his life, considering his background growing up in a state home and his life since then. Until ….

I enjoyed the book, with its dual focus on how, very often, all the cops aren’t exactly the best in town and even the worst character can surprise you with a humane move. It’s also an interesting look at how sophisticated the (legal and illegal) drug-selling scene is and, in this case, how it has become mixed up with the underground child porn world.

All in all, an interesting addition to the series. I read elsewhere that Slaughter’s next novel is a return to policing in the 1970s, so who knows when we will see Will and Sara fighting the good fight again…


Poppet: Jack Caffery series 6
Poppet: Jack Caffery series 6
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Poppet OK, Gone better, 19 Feb. 2014
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Let me preface my remarks by saying that I really like Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffery novels. I did try to read ‘Tokyo’, but couldn’t take to it and left it unfinished. Here, I read these Gone and Poppet back to back and it was only my positive experiences of Hayder’s previous novels, including ‘Gone’, that kept me reading Poppet.

In ‘Gone’, we see quite a lot of one missing child’s mother, a strong female character, who pushes the boundaries when it comes to trying to find her daughter. In ‘Poppet’, we spend a lot of time with AJ – a fine character, but no Jack Caffery.

And, isn’t that why we read serial novels, to get to know a character more and delve deeper into their 360-degree lives, as they, and we, bring more of them to each novel, each crime, each entanglement with other people. Here, however, we are one-fifth of the way into Poppet before any sign of Sgt. Flea Marley, who, Caffery believes, holds the key to solving a previous case of a missing celebrity. As before, they dance around each other, inching ever closer to … something.

So, I’ll be curious, when ‘Wolf’ comes out, if this trend towards sharing the Caffery novels with other characters to such a large extent continues.

If one thing binds the two novels, it is that badness – evil? – is never as obvious as we’d like, no neon arrow pointing towards the bad guy. Evil can live with us, look like us, talk like us, seduce us and we never see it for who it is. Rather, we look at those who don’t look comfortable in our landscape and try to make the person fit the crime, rather than be led by the actual crime itself.


Billie Jo
Billie Jo
Price: £3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it, couldn't finish it, 19 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Billie Jo (Kindle Edition)
I rarely don't finish a book, but I really didn't like this one. Couldn't get into it, didn't like the tone, and put it down about one-fifth of the way in. I'm not a great fan of British crime novels, so maybe that didn't help...


Gone: Jack Caffery series 5
Gone: Jack Caffery series 5
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 'Gone' very good, 'Poppet' not as good, 10 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me preface my remarks by saying that I really like Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffery novels. I did try to read ‘Tokyo’, but couldn’t take to it and left it unfinished. Here, I read these two novels back to back and it was only my positive experiences of Hayder’s previous novels, including ‘Gone’, that kept me reading Poppet.

In ‘Gone’, we see quite a lot of one missing child’s mother, a strong female character, who pushes the boundaries when it comes to trying to find her daughter. In ‘Poppet’, we spend a lot of time with AJ – a fine character, but no Jack Caffery.

And, isn’t that why we read serial novels, to get to know a character more and delve deeper into their 360-degree lives, as they, and we, bring more of them to each novel, each crime, each entanglement with other people. Here, however, we are one-fifth of the way into Poppet before any sign of Sgt. Flea Marley, who, Caffery believes, holds the key to solving a previous case of a missing celebrity. As before, they dance around each other, inching ever closer to … something.

So, I’ll be curious, when ‘Wolf’ comes out, if this trend towards sharing the Caffery novels with other characters to such a large extent continues.

If one thing binds the two novels, it is that badness – evil? – is never as obvious as we’d like, no neon arrow pointing towards the bad guy. Evil can live with us, look like us, talk like us, seduce us and we never see it for who it is. Rather, we look at those who don’t look comfortable in our landscape and try to make the person fit the crime, rather than be led by the actual crime itself.


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