The second crime novel by internationally bestselling writer Eoin Colfer is a gritty and utterly compelling follow-up to the critically acclaimed Plugged. In Screwed, Colfer adds an entirely new chapter to the adventures and misadventures of Daniel McEvoy, the down-on-his-luck Irish bouncer at a seedy New Jersey bar who, with the help of a motley crew of unlikely characters, solved a bizarre string of murders–including the one of the girl he loved. But people around him continue to die mysteriously, and Daniel is called into action once again. Colfer, beloved by millions for his Artemis Fowl series, has written a riveting and relentlessly paced sequel that is sure to garner international praise. With wildly inventive imagination and head-spinning plot twists, Screwed is a tour de force that rivals Carl Hiaasen at his very best. Ridley Pearson called Plugged “a brilliant, madcap mystery” and “genius at work.” With Screwed, Colfer delivers that signature brilliance once again.
On a bright Saturday morning, a Wall Street investment banker is shot dead while jogging in Central Park. Later that same night, one of the savviest hedge-fund managers in the city is gunned down outside a restaurant. Are these killings a coordinated terrorist attack, or just a coincidence? Investigative journalist Ellen Dorsey has a hunch they’re neither, and her obsessive attention to detail leads her to an unexpected conclusion. Days later, when an attempt is made on the life of another CEO, the story blows wide open—and Ellen’s theory is confirmed. Racing to stay ahead of the curve, she soon encounters Frank Bishop, a recession-hit architect, whose daughter’s disappearance is tied to the murders.
Set deep in a shadow world of crooked business deals and radical politics, Alan Glynn’s Graveland is a mind-blowing thriller. He is also the author of Winterland and Bloodland.
The inspiration for A&E’s Longmire finds himself in the crosshairs in the ninth book of the New York Times bestselling series
The success of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series that began with The Cold Dish continues to grow after A&E’s hit show Longmire introduced new fans to the Wyoming sheriff. As the Crow Flies marked the series’ highest debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, in his ninth Western mystery, Longmire stares down his most dangerous foes yet.
It’s homecoming in Absaroka County, but the football and festivities are interrupted when a homeless boy wanders into town. A Mormon “lost boy,” Cord Lynear is searching for his missing mother but clues are scarce. Longmire and his companions, feisty deputy Victoria Moretti and longtime friend Henry Standing Bear, embark on a high plains scavenger hunt in hopes of reuniting mother and son. The trail leads them to an interstate polygamy group that’s presiding over a stockpile of weapons and harboring a vicious vendetta.
A holiday tale from the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery series, the inspiration for A&E’s hit show Longmire
“It’s a question of what you have to do, what you have to live with if you don’t.”
Sheriff Walt Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office on December 24th when he’s interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar across her forehead and more than a few questions about Walt’s predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt doesn’t recognize the mystery woman, but she seems to know him and claims to have something she must return to Connally. With his daughter, Cady, and his undersheriff Vic Moretti in Philadelphia for the holidays, Walt is at loose ends, and despite the woman’s reticence to reveal her identity, he agrees to help her.
At the Durant Home for Assisted Living Lucian Connally is several tumblers into his Pappy Van Winkle’s and swears he’s never clapped eyes on the woman before. Disappointed, she whispers “Steamboat” and begins a story that takes them all back to Christmas Eve 1988, when three people died in a terrible crash and a young girl had the slimmest chance of survival . . . back to a record– breaking blizzard, to Walt’s first year as sheriff, with a young daughter at home and a wife praying for his safety . . . back to a whiskey-soaked World War II vet ready to fly a decommissioned plane and risk it all to save a life.
Back to the Spirit of Steamboat.
When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood’s most popular and powerful talent managers–and best friend to the victim’s father. With the director vouching for the manager’s innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case. KILLER AMBITION is at once a thrilling ride through the darker side of Tinseltown and a stunning courtroom drama with the brilliant insider’s perspective that Marcia Clark is uniquely qualified to give.
Silas Cade takes his atypical brand of “auditing” from Wall Street to Main Street. Cade, the tough-guy auditor antihero introduced in Clawback, employs a brand of financial reform that comes with plenty of firepower. Needing a respite from Wall Street, Cade jumps at a job opportunity in western Pennsylvania—but finds that Main Street is just as dirty.
The job seems easy enough—check out a Pittsburgh manufacturer and file a report—but Cade quickly discovers corruption at every level. His revelations catch the attentions of hair-trigger Russian mobsters and a blonde assassin named Harmony. Cade’s estranged brother is dragged into the fray as the tension builds to bullet-riddled showdowns across defunct steel mills, forests, and Appalachian fracking fields.
Cooper again delivers a timely plot involving Wall Street greed, financial corruption, and the plight of blue-collar workers.
The newest novel in the acclaimed Alex McKnight series by two-time Edgar award-winner and New York Times bestselling author Steve Hamilton. Alex McKnight doesn’t leave Michigan’s Upper Peninsula if he can help it. He steers clear of Detroit in particular, where he once worked as a cop. The city will forever remind him of his partner’s death and of the bullet still lodged in his own chest. But a woman he can’t shake has drawn him back to finally see what’s there between them.
While he’s in the city, he can’t help but stop by his old precinct. It’s now closed, like the countless abandoned buildings that surround it. His visit has reminded him of a case he was working on during that last summer. After his partner was killed and Alex left the force, the case was solved, and a man was sentenced to life in prison for the crime. Alex remembers something, a seemingly small piece of the puzzle that he never got to share. But all these years later, when he looks up the now-retired lead detective, this new piece of information doesn’t exactly get a warm reception. The detective solved the case, after all, and justice was served.
Until Alex does a little more digging and finds out that the real culprit might have gotten away. And might still be out there, preying on more victims…
The third in William Ryan’s atmospheric historical series follows Police Captain Alexei Korolev as he fights for justice in a paranoid and uncertain Stalinist Soviet Union. Captain Alexei Korolev has nothing to complain about. He has his own room in an apartment shared with only one other tenant, a job in the police force that puts food on the table, and his good health. In Moscow in 1937, that’s a lot more than most people have to be grateful for. But for the first time in a long time, Korolev is about to be truly happy: his son Yuri is coming to visit for an entire week.
Shortly after Yuri’s arrival, however, Korolev receives an urgent call from his boss—it seems an important man has been murdered, and Korolev is the only detective they’re willing to assign to this sensitive case. In fact, Korolev realizes almost immediately that the layers of sensitivity and secrecy surrounding this case far exceed his paygrade. And the consequences of interfering with a case tied to State Security or the NKVD can be severe—you might lose your job, if you’re lucky. Your whole family might die if you’re not. Korolev is suddenly faced with much more than just discovering a murderer’s identity; he must decide how far he’ll go to see justice served . . . and what he’s willing to do to protect his family.
Every man has his dark side…Spero Lucas confronts his own in the most explosive thriller yet from one of America’s best-loved crime writers.
The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting–”The Double”–Grace Kinkaid’s ex-boyfriend stole from her. It’s the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what’s missing, and doing it quietly. But Grace wants more. She wants Lucas to find the man who humiliated her–a violent career criminal with a small gang of brutal thugs at his beck and call.
Lucas is a man who knows how to get what he wants, whether it’s a thief on the run–or a married woman. In the midst of a steamy, passionate love affair that he knows can’t last, in pursuit of a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, Lucas is forced to decide what kind of man he is–and how far he’ll go to get what he wants.
For fans of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor and Inspector Brant series, L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy and Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, comes a noir crime story set in New York City about a rogue ex-cop from the Irish Gardai (police force) who manipulates a transfer to work for the NYPD in an exchange program. However, it turns out that the Irish cop is really a serial killer wanted for murder in Ireland and now NYC.
In the third stunning Crissa Stone novel in Wallace Stroby’s acclaimed crime series, a professional thief desperately tries to help the family of her slain partner—even if it costs her her life. A half million dollars in drug proceeds, guarded by five men with automatic weapons. For Wallace Stroby’s determined heroine, professional thief Crissa Stone, and her team, stealing it was the easy part. But when the split goes awry in a blaze of gunfire, Crissa finds herself on the run with a duffel bag of stolen cash, bound by a promise to deliver part of the take to the needy family of one of her slain partners.
In pursuit are the drug kingpin’s lethal lieutenant, and a rogue Detroit cop with his own deadly agenda. They think the money’s there for the taking, for whoever finds her first. But Crissa doesn’t plan to give it up without a fight, even as her mission of mercy puts her and a young child in mortal danger, with forces on both sides of the law closing in. After all, a debt is a debt . . . even if it has to be paid in blood.
Wallace Stroby delivers another powerful, lyrical novel, his third featuring one of the most original female characters in hardboiled fiction.
The Ways of Evil Men Mario Silva #7
As Chief Inspector Mario Silva has learned, justice is hard to come by in Brazil, so when his niece tells him about a possible genocide deep in the jungle, he agrees to round up his team and charter a plane to Pará to check it out.
Thirty-nine natives have recently dropped dead of mysterious causes. Given the tense relationship between the Awana tribe and the white townsfolk nearby, Jade Calmon, Pará’s sole government-sponsored advocate for the native population, immediately suspects foul play and takes the two remaining Awana-a father and his eight-year-old son-into her custody. But when the father is discovered holding a bloody machete next to the body of a village big-shot just before Silva’s arrival, the plot thickens. Why would a peaceful man who doesn’t believe in alcohol turn into a drunken killer?
Chief Inspector Mario Silva is a good cop in a bad system-Brazil’s police force is rife with corruption, and constantly a beat behind criminal elements. But Silva and his team of colorful sidekicks-baby-faced Goncalves, who is irresistible to lady witnesses; chubby, crass Nunes; Mara Carta, the chief of intelligence with a soft spot for Mario-crack their difficult and sometimes ugly cases with pizazz.
Thought I would compare two books that I’ve recently finished if for no other reason than they are both the first books in their respective series, will be published in the USA soon, I borrowed them from the library on the same day and they are written by continental European authors which is not my usual stomping ground, in fact I can’t recall reading anything from France or Spain previously.
What other similarities do they have? Well, the lead detective in Alex is Camille Verhoeven who is a widower following the death of his pregnant wife in a kidnapping case that has sidelined him from serious cases. Inspector Hector Salgado, the main character in The Summer of Dead Toys, is a divorcee returning from a suspension imposed for assaulting a suspect. So they are both alone and struggling to maintain their chosen career in the police force. I found Alex more taut and entertaining to read though without ever developing any particular fondness for Monsieur Verhoeven. The author skilfully sets up the initial kidnapping of Alex, the girl from whom the book takes its title, and places her at the centre of the piece where you expect a Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs scenario to play out while simultaneously developing the backstory of Verhoeven who has suffered the loss of his wife in similar circumstances and who consequently identifies strongly with the victim and can also be a conduit for ensuring that the pace of the investigation never relents as he has personal experience of the consequences. To avoid giving away too much, there are some wonderful twists and turns en route to a superlative denouement that will encompass role reversal between victim and predator as well as giving consideration to one of the frequent questions posed in crime fiction – if justice and the law are at odds which one would you rather prevail? At the end you can marvel at how far ahead one of the characters was in their thinking and execution in order to achieve what they wanted.
Turning to The Summer of Dead Toys, what we get here is arguably a more literary style book that favours characters more than plot which is not to say that the plot is weak or anything like that but simply that a greater amount of time is spent exploring the relationships of both Salgado and his associates and while this can be savoured as the writing is at times quite beautiful it isn’t directly related to driving the story forward. For me this ultimately proved to be the crux of the matter as the things I enjoyed most – the characters, the words, the writing style – were the very things that impeded / intruded upon the progression of the story and probably explains why it took me much longer to finish this one even though it is a shorter book (at least in terms of pages, don’t know about word count). I actually probably preferred Salgado as a character to Verhoeven in that he feels more rounded and his relationships and concern for those around him feature strongly. Featuring two separate cases, one which Salgado is investigating and one in which he is the suspect as a result of his previous assault, it is a race against time to uncover whether an apparent suicide is indeed that before he himself is potentially arrested for his role in the disappearance of the man he assaulted. Before he can uncover the truth though he will have to venture into another case long since forgotten and identify who Iris was and how she is affecting events many years after her death.
So if you’re looking for something to help you meet one of your reading challenges which one should you choose? I’m going to award this one to Alex on a score of 9 to 7 (out of 10) as it was much more fun to read and was one of those books that you would seek out at the end of the day in order to find out a little bit more of what was going to happen. If you are of a more sensitive disposition though you might want to give consideration to bypassing both books.
It’s been awhile both since I posted a review and since I read Gun Machine but it is a great book so better late than never. Just listen to a couple of minutes worth of the trailer to be found here and I’m pretty sure you’ll want to get this one. Now just beware some spoilers below and you’re good to go.
Sharing a comic book background with other Mulholland Books luminaries such as Greg Rucka and Duane Swierczynski, this book features Det John Tallow whose partner is killed on entering an apartment building by a tenant that is unhappy (to say the least!) about the eviction notice that he and the other residents have been served with to allow for the redevelopment of the site. He is a character you can’t help but like even though he is not so popular with his fellow cops. The depiction of his “morning Tourette’s” captures him perfectly early in the book. The Tourette’s is eminently understandable in light of the fact that as well a dead partner and a dead perpetrator, Tallow managed to uncover an apartment loaded with guns from floor to ceiling courtesy of a shotgun hole in the wall and when forensics tie every gun in their random sample to an unsolved homicide he becomes suddenly the detective responsible for 200+ unsolved homicides – way to make your superiors happy!
Having stumbled upon the lair of a serial killer all that remains is to track him down which should be easy when you’ve got all the weapons used but things don’t ever pan out that easy especially when one gun is discovered to be a notorious weapon associated with a previous serial killer and was supposed to be securely held in a police evidence room. So that leaves you with evidence pointing to an inside man especially when someone higher up the chain is trying to shut down the investigation. So you’ve got guns (actually lots of guns a la Keanu Reeves in The Matrix), a serial killer, an insider within the police and a potential conspiracy to unravel all before the serial killer comes looking for you but at least you have two CSU’s nicknamed Scarly and Bat that you can count on.
Well worth picking up. My rating is 10 out of 10.
From the back cover:
This morning Detective John Tallow was bored with his job. Then there was this naked guy with a shotgun and his partner getting killed and now Tallow has a real problem: an apartment full of guns. Old guns. Modified guns. Arranged in rows and spirals on the floor and walls. Hundreds of them. Each weapon is tied to a single unsolved murder. Which means that Tallow has uncovered two decades’ worth of homicides that no one knew to connect and a killer unlike anything that came before.
There are a couple of upcoming books I thought I would draw attention to. Firstly, Michael Harvey who is one of my personal favourites with his Michael Kelly series even though I was slightly disappointed with his last book We All Fall Down.
Coming in May we have The Innocence Game (Kindle, Amazon UK), a standalone novel that promises something different: a leap forward into a dark world where the lines between innocence and guilt disappear altogether.
They’re young, brilliant, beautiful . . . and naïve enough to believe they can make a difference. For three graduate students, the exclusive innocence seminar at the nation’s most esteemed journalism school is supposed to teach them how to free the falsely accused from prison. Little do they know the most important lesson they’ll learn is how to stay alive.
The first day of class for Ian Joyce and Sarah Gold starts like any other, until a fellow student, Jake Havens, pulls a wrinkled envelope from his backpack. Inside is a bloodstained scrap of shirt from a boy murdered fourteen years ago and an anonymous note taking credit for the killing. The only problem is the alleged murderer is already dead.
Suddenly, the class has a new assignment: find the real killer. As the case unfolds, the bodies and questions begin to pile up.
Why are innocent men being framed?
Who’s been getting away with murder?
Drawn into a web of deceit and corruption, the students realize they, too, are being hunted. Ian, Sarah, and Jake are smart . . . but are they smart enough to stay alive?
From Northwestern’s idyllic campus, to the grittiest corners of Chicago, to the frigid depths of Lake Michigan, The Innocence Game is irresistible, harrowing suspense from a writer at the top of his form.
And having mentioned brilliant people that provides us with the perfect segue to the latest from Marcus Sakey (he of The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes and a couple more personal favourites in the form of At the City’s Edge and The Blade Itself) which is due in July, Brilliance (Kindle, Amazon UK) crosses over into vaguely sci-fi territory in a book published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint.
In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in—and betray his own kind.
Charlie Hardie finds himself in a steel box, tubes and wires attached to his body, trapped inside a satellite parked in orbit 500 miles above the Earth. He’s got a year’s supply of food, air, water, and no communication back to Earth, and must complete his 12 months’ duty or his wife and son will have an “accident.”
But when someone all-too-familiar docks on the satellite, informs Hardie he’s sitting in a veritable zero-G vault containing the world’s most dangerous secrets, and forces a crash-landing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hardie must decide whether he’s come face-to-face with the partner he needs to save his family–or with his nemesis. After years of exile, Hardie’s arming up….and heading home.
Peter Leonard has recently published a sequel to Voices of the Dead (Amazon UK, Amazon US, Kindle) which introduced us to Holocaust survivor Harry Levin and Nazi death angel Ernst Hess. Hands up, I haven’t read the first book so I may be at a disadvantage in assessing this but it is the third book in a year that I’ve read that has featured an ex-Nazi prominently but unfortunately it was the least satisfying. I gave high marks to both Ratlines by Stuart Neville and Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman but after a promising start this one failed to hold my interest.
Interlocking storylines spanning Germany, USA & the Bahamas start with Hess resurfacing in the Bahamas and his erstwhile associates in Germany retaining a former Stasi agent, Zeller, to track down his whereabouts presumably to relieve him of his Nazi art haul. He quickly tracks Hess to the USA and ultimately drags Harry Levin back into the equation. While I initially found the writing appealing it wasn’t enough to overcome what I found to be strangely disjointed and unsatisfying. On the flip side, it did prove educational in relation to aspects of the Holocaust in particular the role of sonderkommando and the fact that Auschwitz was the only camp where prisoners were tattooed plus I did like the references to real-life individuals such as Albert Speer which help to lend an air of authenticity but this was outweighed by the inclusion of characters that were near irrelevant and distracting (Zeller’s redneck assistants Dink and Squirrel) while Zeller himself seemed to be eliminated far too easily for an ex-Stasi man while Harry’s sidekick Cordell’s sideshow with some Colombian drug dealers could have been excised completely.
My rating is 6 out of 10 but probably best suited to those who are looking to re-engage with these characters having read the previous book, otherwise there are probably more interesting books out there.
Bahamas, 1971. Ernst Hess, missing and presumed dead, regains consciousness to find himself stuck in a hospital bed on a strange ward in a foreign country. He must do what he needs to do to get his life back and to finish the job he has been doing for decades.
Harry believes he has already stopped Hess. When he finds out that the war criminal has somehow survived, Harry must do the only thing he can do – kill Hess again – even if it means crossing continents and putting his life and the lives of those that matter to him on the line.
One of my reading goals for last year was to read more UK authors and belatedly I’ve picked up one from Zoe Sharp which qualifies and more importantly is actually absolutely excellent. Maybe my perspective on it owes more to its setting in post-Katrina New Orleans than its author’s nationality but when you find yourself gripping the book tighter as the tension ramps up you know the author has gotten you hooked (even if doing this on a Kindle doesn’t have quite the same effect as with a real paper book!).
At one point I took a breath and said to myself “this is like Die Hard on a freaking boat!” Remember the first Die Hard film, the best one – the first time you saw it on the big screen. And then while getting ready to write my review I jumped over to the author’s website here where she describes this as being her personal version of “Die Hard” – well, Ms. Sharp you nailed it!
Being the 10th book in a series there is the potential to have to know the characters’ backstory in order to fully appreciate the current work but, while the backstory is alluded to, it is always in just sufficient detail to give you what you need to know in order to move the current story along and never seems to become intrusive.
There’s a great opening, dropping the reader straight into a shootout where our heroine is unarmed and vulnerable but given a little misdirection all is not as it first appears. My one minor gripe would be the use of foreshadowing in the text which is a literary device I’m not terribly fond of but even that faded into the background as I became more immersed into the overall pull of the narrative. Aside from that the tension of the book is excellent and the action scenes jump off the page and Charlie Fox as a lead character is certainly appealing while the complications of her relationship with Sean both professional and personal are well laid out.
My rating is 10 out of 10. The only question is do I start at the beginning or do I work backwards? There are more advantages than usual to working forwards apart from the usual chronology in that there are two ebook collections available. A TRIPLE SHOT of Charlie Fox is a special e-boxed set of the first three novels in the Charlie Fox series ―KILLER INSTINCT, RIOT ACT, and HARD KNOCKS (Kindle, Kindle UK). While ANOTHER ROUND of Charlie Fox is a special e-boxed set of the second three novels in the Charlie Fox series ―FIRST DROP, ROAD KILL, and SECOND SHOT (Kindle).
Amazon Description for Die Easy:
In the sweltering heat of New Orleans, former Special Forces soldier-turned-bodyguard Charlie Fox faces her toughest challenge yet.
Professionally, she’s at the top of her game, but her personal life is in ruins. Her lover, bodyguard Sean Meyer, has woken from a gunshot-induced coma with his memory in tatters. It seems that piercing back together the relationship they shared is proving harder for him than relearning the intricacies of the bodyguard business. Working with Sean again was never going to be easy for Charlie, but a celebrity fundraising event in aid of still-ravaged areas of New Orleans should have been the ideal opportunity for them both to take things nice and slow. Until, that is, they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone.
When an ambitious robbery explodes into a deadly hostage situation, the motive may be far more complex than simple greed. Somebody has a major score to settle, and Sean is part of the reason. Only trouble is, he doesn’t remember why. And when Charlie finds herself facing a nightmare from her own past, she realizes she can’t rely on Sean to watch her back. This time, she’s got to fight it out on her own.One thing is for certain, though—no matter how overwhelming the odds stacked against her, or however hopeless the situation may appear—Charlie is never going to die easy.