I was very excited when Michael Connelly started pairing long-time fan favourite Harry Bosch with newcomer Renee Ballard. It is interesting though as I think Ballard’s character is sufficiently strong and charismatic enough to carry a series on her own. Having said that the pair are perfect foils for each other. Partners but not partners. Officially, anyway. And I like there’s a recognition of what it is the other does well (or not) and a mutual respect continuing to grow between the pair.
I participated in some Q&A thingy on Twitter the other day. Someone asked a range of questions for followers to answer. One was: which author’s books do we own the most of. (And I’m sure that sentence isn’t grammatically correct, but #whatevs!)
Mine was pretty easy. Thirty-two (32) JD Robb books from the In Death series, I said. And number 33 arrived the day after.
Of course, her latest Vendetta in Death, is in fact the 49th in the futuristic cop series and I’m fairly sure I just requested the next for review – the aptly named Golden In Death – out in February 2020.
I try hard not to write reviews with spoilers. Or ones that give away too much of the plot. Of course it also means I sometimes re-read a review of a book before starting the next book of the series and – unless it’s ingrained into my mind for some reason – I rarely remember the detail.
So, given two years has passed since Val McDermid’s last Tony Hill / Carol Jordan novel Insidious Intent was published (and I can’t believe it’s that long!), I’d completely forgotten Tony had gone to jail. I can’t remember any of the specifics, but that’s kind-of a good thing as newcomers to the series won’t be lost, suddenly introduced to characters – many of whom have been around now for 11 novels (and 24 years).
It wasn’t until after I read this book (that) it occurred to me we can’t be that far from the Jane Tennison we eventually meet in the Prime Suspect series. Though I guess a decade is a lifetime in Jane’s world.
In the last book in this series Murder Mile, I commented that there seemed to be less sexist crap (misogynist bullshit I think I said) than in previous novels, but sadly her entry into the all-male Flying Squad, sees Jane yet again struggling with prejudice despite ‘integration’ seven years earlier.
I’ve really been enjoying Sarah Bailey’s crime fiction series featuring Gemma Woodstock. The first novel, The Dark Lake was set in Gemma’s rural hometown of Smithson. The second (which I enjoyed more), Into The Night leapt forward a few years and was set in Melbourne.
And in this latest novel Gemma is on leave when she takes a case in Fairhaven, near Byron Bay. It’s another small Australian town but one characterised by beaches, tourists and caravan parks – offering up a quintessential Aussie coastal town, that’s a little different.
I think this is officially Tom Thorne number 16 but I only joined the Detective Inspector’s exploits four books ago and since then author Mark Billingham has introduced DI Nicola Tanner into the mix and though this mostly unfolds from Tom’s point of view, both feature strongly.
I commented in my last review that I was happy that Tom’s relationship was in trouble as I wasn’t a fan of his partner (and fellow cop) Helen and here they’ve recently separated.
Queensland’s capital Brisbane is well known for the river that ‘divides’ the city. It provides some lovely vantage points and scenery, but is also a bit of a nightmare for those having to commute ‘across’ one of the few bridges from the south to the city centre / north each day. And then of course there are the ‘once in a one hundred year’ floods. Which… in recent times have been proved statisticians and weather-predicting peeps quite wrong!
I really enjoyed meeting Detective Max Wolfe (and his daughter Scout) in the first book of this series, The Murder Bag. I read the first three, but it’s only now I discover this is number six, that I realise I’ve missed some.
I’ve made no secret of my love for Amos Decker, a character created by David Baldacci four years ago via the first novel in the series, Memory Man. It was the perfect opener because that’s exactly who and what Decker is thanks to a football injury he sustained when younger.
It left him with hyperthymesia – the inability to forget anything, as well as seeing ‘colours’ around people. The first book opened 16mths after his wife and daughter had been murdered, when former cop Decker had hit rock bottom.
Vengeance, ahem, justice awakened him however and he’s been working with the FBI since, as part of a small task force – though generally given a bit of a free rein.