October Reading Round-Up

October has been a busy month for me reading wise and there are a couple of reviews coming shortly of books by Cal Moriarty, Rod Reynolds and Bill Rogers. I’ve been travelling which has also given me the opportunity to catch up with some crime novels that I’ve been dying to read for ages all of which I’d recommend to readers of this blog.

Louise Welsh is an excellent writer whom I’ve admired for a long time.  I’ve an enduring5136Rq2kAmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ fascination with end-of-the-world scenarios ever since I read Nevil Shute’s On the Beach as a teenager. Death is Welcome Guest is the story of Magnus Fall who flees London trying to reach is family on a remote Scottish island as the plague sickness descends on the country. He reaches a commune governed by a rigid set of rules where the primary aim is to survive. Welsh is excellent at plotting and the novel is a gripping read about desperation and religious doubt.

519Tudi97+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Another author who is a ongoing favourite of mine is Sharon Bolton. Little Black Lies is set in the Falkland Islands and this is the first time I’ve read a murder story set in this part of the world. It’s an agonising tale of lost children – Caitlin’s two son’s were accidentally killed while in the care of her best friend, Rachel. Now children have started to go missing on the island. It’s a page-turning read and brings to life the tensions of a small isolated community.

diamondI met Romanian author and publisher Bogdan Hrib at last year’s Iceland Noir. One of his novels, The Greek Connection, has recently been published by Mosaic Press. It’s a short but dynamic novel full of menace and set in a country I know well, Greece. The plot is dialogue driven and I was impressed how well the writer moves the narrative forward using sharp exchanges between the characters.

25708878Stasi Child by David Young is his debut novel set in 1975 East Berlin featuring the charismatic head of the murder squad. Karin Muller. She’s investigating the killing of a teenage girl but her own personal life comes under scrutiny when her husband is arrested and her enquiries impinge on the machinations of East Berlin’s elite. It’s an excellent read with a strong sense of place and I’m sure the start of an exciting career for the author.

 

 

 

Sharon Bolton – A Dark and Twisted Tide

Sharon Bolton Sometimes you read a book that you wish you’d written yourself. I’ve enjoyed Sharon Bolton’s books ever since I discovered them a few years ago. The fact that I’ve not read her novels in any particular order, and the early ones are still unread, goes to show that if a series is well written, it doesn’t really matter in what order you read the books. A Dark and Twisted Tide is the latest thriller to feature to Lacey Flint. Flint is an intriguing character with an interesting back story. As a reader you get glimpses into the character’s past but never the whole picture. Every reveal make you want to discover more and yet the character never seems contrived. It’s a delicate balance for a writer and Bolton knows how to achieve it.

In this latest book, Lacey is is no longer a detective and is living on a house boat while working for the river police. She finds a body floating in the river, wrapped in a white shroud, and it seems that the corpse was placed deliberately for her to find. She manages to connect the killing to that of other missing women and places her own life in danger when it becomes clear that the murderer is trying to entice Lacey into becoming the next victim.

Setting the narrative in the heart of the Capital’s houseboat community gives the book an unreal quality as this is a London that we don’t normally see. Lacey swims every day in the river and the swell of the tide mirrors the relentlessness of the killings which are, at times, overwhelming in their frequency. As usual, the other characters are as well drawn as the main protagonist. In particular, DI Dana Tulloch, in her longing to have a baby with her partner, makes an interesting sub-plot.

I find Bolton’s books so compelling that often the last few chapters pass by in a blur. It was exactly the same with A Dark and Twisted Tide. and I’m looking forward to the next installment and more revelations about Lacey’s past.

Thanks to Transworld for the review copy.