I was initially disappointed that Glenrock by Lee Christine wasn’t going to feature some of the characters from her earlier work but very much enjoyed those she introduced here and now hope to see / meet them again. She introduces a few plot lines – something that sometimes frustrates me if they ultimately connect in a very nebulous way, but that’s not the case here. She offers two or three distinct storylines that are all connected and merge in a way that isn’t contrived or coincidental. Rather there’s an obvious causal relationship that effortlessly (and tragically) plays out.
It has to be said that soccer (aka football) fans are gonna love Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh. I’m very much enjoying this series headed up by the charismatic Jack Hawksworth, appreciating that, even though it’s set in England, McIntosh imbues Aussie flavour into each book in the series. Here via an Aussie-raised soccer player doing great things in his fictional UK club, supported by the club’s Australian (mining magnate) owner.
The Glasgow Smile by Chris Stuart is the second in the series featuring Detective Roberta (Robbie) Gray. Chris gave me a copy of this when I met her at the Theakston Crime Writing Festival in July and when I opened it to start a few months ago I discovered it had an older sibling so I read that first and very much enjoyed For Reasons of Their Own which introduced Robbie, along with her boss and team, as well as newcomer ‘Mac’.
The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland is an atmospheric read as he’s able to imbue a real sense of its moody, storm-drenched setting. I don’t know Victoria (or the area) at all but – even though I’m not particularly visual – I could imagine its damp bleakness.
Of course, I hadn’t realised when I requested this that it’s the second in a series. It didn’t really matter however, and I enjoyed it so will now need to go and read the first to learn more about somewhat-maverick cop, Jesse Redpath.
I was very excited to see Judgement Prey by John Sandford pop up for review that I let it leap-frog over a heap of other books. And I’m even blessing it with a review on my much-esteemed website 😉 rather than just on Goodreads even though I only had an electronic copy. Because I freakin’ loved this book. I’m almost tempted to give it 4.5 stars except I was a smidge disappointed by the actual ‘who’ part of the whodunnit. It wasn’t left-field but let’s just say we weren’t given some of the clues we needed earlier and I do prefer an even playing field when it comes to the big reveal / finger-pointing thing.
I met New Zealand author Chris Stuart at the Theakston Crime Writing Festival. We were introduced by crime fiction guru (and big promotor of antipodean crime fiction) Craig Sisterson (pic of we three below).
Chris, he told me, had won New Zealand’s Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel for her debut, For Reasons of their Own in 2021. We hung out while at the festival and she handed me a copy of her second book, The Glasgow Smile. Very weirdly we had similar backgrounds, as we’d both worked in international aid and development overseas and – at different times – worked with the same Australian project management company in the Pacific. Small world. We also both seemed to be wearing bright clothing, so we stood out in the dull England drizzle.
The Detective Up Late by Adrian McKinty is the seventh in the Sean Duffy series. McKinty has been busy with some excellent standalones so the last time we met Duffy was in the spectacularly named Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, released in 2017.
I was thinking there’d be a very long gap between books, but on further investigation (ie. looking at Goodreads) I noticed that this book was in fact originally released in 2018 and I missed it at the time. Unfortunately in my review of book six, I cagily comment on changes being afoot for Duffy though don’t offer any spoilers. It meant I started this with absolutely no idea what had happened in the previous outing. I soon discovered however that he’s moving to Scotland with his girlfriend and their three year old daughter and transitioning to a part-time role with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
I think I’ve mentioned in my last couple of reviews of this young Jane Tennison series, that we must almost be at a point where we first met DCI Jane Tennison in the Prime Suspect series. Here it felt were getting closer as A Taste of Blood features an ‘early’ mobile phone… albeit one that acted more like a pager; and Jane and her colleagues get briefed on this FABULOUS new forensic tool – DNA!
I discovered my posits were correct (as they always are of course! 🙄 ) as I saw the author herself mentioned on Twitter that there will be ONE more in this series!