BOOKS READ AUGUST TO OCTOBER 2019

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Books read between the months of August and October of 2019. I have a backlog of books to read but I found myself ordering books from the library and I will always order brand new books. I like to try before I buy them.

August

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Nora Roberts, Under Currents came through the library quickly. Every town has its ugly little secrets. From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looks perfect and the Bigelows seem like the perfect family: the respected surgeon father, the glamorous, devoted mother and two beautiful children. A perfect family, in a perfect house living their perfect lives. But perfect surfaces can hide dark undercurrents and behind closed doors lies a very different story. Teenager Zane and his younger sister, Britt, are terrorised by their violent father and dysfunctional mother. Too afraid to speak out, Zane does his best to protect his sister and counts the days until they can finally be free. One dark, brutal night when their father’s temper takes a horrifying turn for the worse, the perfect facade is exposed for the lie it is and Zane and Britt manage to escape. With the help of their beloved aunt, they rebuild their lives a day at a time, creating new families and putting their past behind them. But a childhood like that can cast a shadow the length of a lifetime. Can Zane and Britt ever be free of their past? Or will those dark undercurrents rise to the surface, forcing them to fight for their lives once again. This was very powerful, glad that I had read this but will not be buying this.

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Book nine of the Rhona MacLeod series that I am enjoying them a lot. This I learned patience. All the others I got with my kindle unlimited deal but this one and all the others after are not available so I have had to order them from the library. This one took the longest and yet it came from a library that if I had known it would take that long. I would have got someone to drive me and find it myself. This took over two weeks to come through. When Amy MacKenzie agrees to attend a meeting at a local spiritualist church, the last person she expects to hear calling to her from beyond the grave is her son. The son whom she’d only spoken to an hour before. Then the body of a young man is found inside a Neolithic stone circle high above the city of Glasgow and forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is soon on the case. The hands have been severed and there is a stone in the victim’s mouth with the number five scratched on it. DI Michael McNab is certain it’s a gangland murder, but Rhona isn’t convinced. When a second body is found in similar circumstances, a pattern begins to emerge, of a killer intent on masterminding a gruesome Druidic game that everyone will be forced to play. Another good story and more of them to read.

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Book ten of this series. When Mark is invited back to Leila’s flat and ordered to strip, he thinks he’s about to have the experience of his life. Waking later he finds Leila gone from his side. Keen to leave, he opens the wrong door and finds he’s entered a nightmare; behind the swaying Barbie dolls that hang from the ceiling is the body of the girl he just had sex with. Rhona MacLeod’s forensic investigation of the scene reveals the red plaited silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artefact used in sex magick. Sketches of sexual partners hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine powerful men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks increasingly likely that other witches will be targeted too. Working the investigation is the newly demoted DS Michael McNab, who is keen to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but an encounter with Leila’s colleague and fellow Wiccan Freya Devine threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realizes Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls, but the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret. Another good book. I am really enjoying this series.

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Sanday, one of Britain’s northernmost islands, inaccessible when the wind prevents the ferry crossing from the mainland, or fog grounds the tiny, island-hopping plane. When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. Approaching midwinter, they find daylight in short supply, the weather inhospitable and some of the island’s inhabitants less than co-operative. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. Desperately uncomfortable in such surroundings, he finds that none of the tools of detective work are there. No internet, no CCTV, and no police station. As the weather closes in, the team, including criminal profiler and Orkney native Professor Magnus Pirie are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die? And why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation? As a major storm approaches, bringing gale-force winds and high seas, the islanders turn on one another, as past and present evil deeds collide, and long buried secrets break the surface, along with the exposed bones. I really enjoyed this and can not recommend enough !

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On holiday in the Scottish Highlands, forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod joins a mountain rescue team on Cairngorm summit, where a mysterious plane has crash-landed on the frozen Loch A’an. Added to that, a nearby climbing expedition has left three young people dead, with a fourth still missing. Meanwhile in Glasgow, DS McNab’s raid on the Delta Club produces far more than just a massive haul of cocaine. Questioning one of the underage girls found partying with the city’s elite reveals she was smuggled into Scotland via Norway, and it seems the crashed plane in the Cairngorms may be linked to the club. But before McNab can discover more, the girl is abducted.
Joined by Norwegian detective Alvis Olsen, who harbours disturbing theories about how the two cases are connected with his homeland, Rhona searches for the missing link. What she uncovers is a dark underworld populated by ruthless people willing to do anything to ensure the investigation dies in the frozen wasteland of the Cairngorms. Another good read.

While illegally street racing in the underground tunnels of Glasgow, four Harley-Davidson riders make a horrifying discovery: a dead man left in the darkness, hands together on his chest as if peacefully laid to rest. The cause of death is unclear, the only clues being a half glass of red wine and a partially eaten chunk of bread by his side that echo the ancient religious practice of sin-eating. Called to the scene, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is perplexed by the lack of evidence. But when another body is found near her own flat, laid out in a similar manner, she fears a forensically aware killer stalks the city and is marking the victims with their unique signature. Even more worryingly, the killer appears to be using skills they may have learned while attending her forensic science lectures at Glasgow University. There are signs that Rhona is being targeted, that the killer is playing with her and the police, drawing them into a deadly race against time, before the sin-eater’s next victim is chosen. Was not expecting this story line and it was so so good !

When forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod returns to her roots on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, a chance encounter in the woods behind a nearby activities centre leads her to what seems to be a crime scene, but without a victim. Could this be linked to a group of army medics, who visited the centre while on leave from Afghanistan and can no longer be located on the island? Enlisting the help of local tracker dog Blaze, Rhona starts searching for a connection. Two days later a body is found at the base of the famous cliff known as Kilt Rock, face and identity obliterated by the fall, which leads Rhona to suspect the missing medics may be on the island for reasons other than relaxation. Furthermore, elements of the case suggests a link with an ongoing operation in Glasgow, which draws DS Michael McNab into the investigation. As the island’s unforgiving conditions close in, Rhona must find out what really happened to the group in Afghanistan, as the consequences may be being played out in brutal killings on Skye. The war on drugs will never truly be over and for what. Another great story !

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The final in the Jane Hawk series. This came out in early July. And then late August, the kindle was reduced to £1.99. I was still in the queue in the library, so I brought this straight away. Rogue FBI agent Jane Hawk is living in a world of danger. Her battle to expose a global conspiracy risks her own life and that of her five-year-old son, whom she has sent into hiding. But more than just their lives are at stake: this is a war for the free will of millions. Jane is meticulously gathering evidence to bring a terrifying organization to justice – one that threatens humanity with technologically imposed slavery. The closer she gets to her goal, the harder it is to turn back. Until she is left with no choice but to expose the unimaginable truth, even if it changes her life and the lives of everybody around the world forever.

I wanted to read this, and while waiting for my hospital appointment, I read this. Half of this was recipes and the first half was about sugar. Sugar is addictive and bad for us. We eat 2 pounds of added sugar a week – to counter-balance this keep the weight off you need to run 4.5 miles a day. When David Gillespie cut sugar from his diet he lost 6 stone and it kept it off. His secret was discovering that we’re not designed to consume sugar and that unless we cut it out, any exercising or dieting we do is, ultimately, doomed to failure. His approach is plain and simple: eat what you like, when you like, but don’t eat sugar. The Sweet Poison Quit Plan teaches you;· How food manufacturers feed our addiction by adding sugar to non-sweet products, how to remove sugar from your diet and eliminate its lifestyle habits, how to interpret confusing labelling as you shop sugar-free and how to make delicious sugar-free treats, from ice cream to brownies. A interesting read and it is shocking how bad sugar is. And I have a very bad sweet tooth !

September

I had a bit of a break with reading and did not start this until mid September. This is book six and this series, is one of the reasons that I want to visit Stockholm and Sweden. The girl with the dragon tattoo is finally ready to confront her nemesis, the only woman who is evidently and in many ways her match. Salander will not wait to be hunted. When she strikes it will be a double blow: vengeance for recent atrocities, and the settling of lifelong scores. For months now Salander has been closing in on her target. She has moved from Stockholm, her hair is newly styled, her piercings are gone. She could pass for any other businesswoman. But not all businesswomen have a Beretta Cheetah beneath their jacket. They do not wield the lethal power of a hacker’s genius. They do not carry scars and tattoos to remind them that they have survived the unsurvivable. Another great story, that I will be buying when the kindle is reduced.

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This came through the library quite quickly. Book 49 in the bestselling In Death series, Eve Dallas takes on a serial killer dispensing their own form of justice. When a family man is tortured, killed and left in front of his family home for all the world to see, Eve Dallas knows she is on the hunt for a particularly dangerous killer. But death uncovers secrets and the killer leaves a note revealing the victim to be far from the family man he appears. As Eve scrambles to find out what she can to link victim and killer, another body is found. Another man with a dark and murky past. The race is on before the killer strikes again but Eve must wrestle with her demons and her conscience as she decides whether she really wants to protect men who probably deserve everything they get. This again, was nothing special. Will only play 99p for this.

October

Another book from the library. Not buying them at full price, will only buy if its a story that wows me and its reduced ! When an Ivy League professor is murdered, Reinhart reunites with his old partner Detective Elizabeth Needham. With his unrivalled mind for criminal psychology and Needham’s investigative experience, Reinhart is confident that together they can find the killer, and close the case. But as the investigation proceeds, a terrifying attack on New York sends the city into chaos. In the aftermath, a name from Reinhart’s past emerges on the list of victims, a name he thought he’d left behind. As long-buried secrets threaten to derail everything he’s worked for, can he keep his life together long enough to outsmart the killer?

This I was saving for my pool holiday, I brought this in July. When an old man is burned alive in a sleepy ex-mining village, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that, beneath the facade of a close-knit community, the burn from decades-old betrayal still smoulders. When everyone had a motive, can he unravel the secrets of the past before the killer strikes again? Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, trouble is brewing with rumours of a mole in Ryan’s department. With everyone under suspicion, can he count on anybody but himself? Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. This was another good read.

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Lucky that I had another one of this brilliant series for my holiday. Book 14 from LJ Ross. After uncovering a fresh wave of corruption within the ranks of Northumbria CID, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan was looking forward to an uneventful summer. But, when a young woman is shot dead on the remote army ranges of the Northumberland National Park, Ryan is called in to investigate. Meanwhile, violent crimes are being committed across sites of historic importance in the North East, the perpetrator leaving only a graffitied symbol as their calling card. As the body count rises, Ryan and his team must unravel the mystery behind its meaning, before it’s too late.  This I read on holiday straight after book 13. I am a big fan of this author and can not recommend enough.

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Another favourite author is Simon Beckett. Once a busy hospital, St Jude’s now stands derelict, awaiting demolition. When a partially mummified corpse is found in the building’s cavernous loft, forensics expert Dr David Hunter is called in to take a look. He can’t say how long the body’s been there, but he is certain it’s that of a young woman. And that she was pregnant. Then part of the attic floor collapses, revealing another of the hospital’s secrets: a bricked-up chamber with beds inside. And some of them are still occupied. For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare. And it soon becomes clear that St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim.

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This I brought at full price. I was flaring and just wanted to read this while my husband was in Spain. If this upset me, he would not understand. He does not get why sometimes I cry reading a book or watching something. It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died, six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life. She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey, one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever. This was disappointing. I wished I had waited and got this from the library. When I tried to reserve it I was 137 in the list. So I probably would not have got it until next year. Oh well, I need to wait for these books and not make this mistake again.

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This I read on my flight back from Turkey. I have had this on my kindle since May 2019. Jane is fed up of being the odd one out in her adoptive family. So in a very un-Jane-like move she books a last-minute ticket to find her birth father and the real Jane. Armed with the knowledge that he was a tour guide called Dimitri, and multiple boxes of condoms from her mother, she sets off. It turns out that everyone in Greece is called Dimitri, including her very own sexy tour guide, who strikes her a deal. He’ll help if she goes on an adventure with him. The old Jane would have never have risked a holiday romance, but the new Jane has other ideas. As the search for her father commences, she might just find something else entirely. A very easy read and these stories from Jo Watson just make me smile. I will always buy these books.

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This came through the library quickly. I just love a brand new hardback book. When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget. But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind. The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely? This was good and did like this. Will be buying this as a kindle when the price is reduced.

This book was the 2016 winner of CWA Dagger In the Library award. Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, spends a lot of time looking at death. But now death has found her, with the news that her long time friend and ex-colleague Dan Golding has been killed in a house fire. Ruth’s grief soon turns to suspicion of arson when she receives a desperate letter from Dan, sent the day before he died. He had made a ground-breaking discovery that he was sure would change archaeology forever and was petrified of the consequences. Ruth feels compelled to travel north to investigate further, alongside DCI Harry Nelson who is also drawn into the case. But where Ruth goes, so does her young daughter, Kate. This time, the risks are even higher. Another favourite series, will read this all the time and still have about seven more to catch up.

This new book series caught my eyes and I found this on the ebooks of my library website. This will eventually be a series of seven books. I started on book 2, as I could not read the first one until late November unless it comes through the library reservation system quicker. Ally D’Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world’s most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father’s sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father – an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt – has left each of them a tantalizing clue to their true heritage. Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway. There, Ally begins to discover her roots and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over a hundred years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg’s iconic music set to Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing? I really enjoyed this and have added all the books to my library reservation list.

The latest in the Brighton Series that I really enjoy, Now You See Them. Three girls have left. None have come back. Brighton, 1963. Edgar Stephens has been promoted to Superintendent and is married to his former sergeant, Emma Holmes. Edgar’s wartime partner in arms, magician Max Mephisto, is a movie star in Hollywood, while his daughter Ruby has her own TV show. The funeral of an old friend highlights just how much the gang’s lives have changed in the last nine years. Edgar is struggling with fresh responsibilities and the new swinging Brighton of rioting mods and rockers; Emma is chafing against the restrictions of life as a housewife. Bob Willis, meanwhile, is tackling his biggest case since his promotion to DI: a schoolgirl missing from high-class boarding school Roedean. It looks like she’s run away; but there are disturbing similarities to the disappearances of a young local nurse and a tearaway Modette, neither of whom have been seen or heard from since. A new world is dawning in Brighton, but the city’s dark side is as dangerous as ever. Such a good story, now I probably have to wait a couple of years for the next one. But I just enjoy these stories set in the 1950’s/1960’s so much.

Then I read book 4 of the seven sisters set. I brought this as a kindle for 99p. CeCe D’Aplièse has never felt she fitted in anywhere. Following the death of her father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt, so-called by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe and named after the Seven Sisters star cluster – she finds herself at breaking point. Dropping out of art college, CeCe watches as Star, her beloved sister, distances herself to follow her new love, leaving her completely alone. In desperation, she decides to flee England and discover her past; the only clues she has are a black-and-white photograph and the name of a woman pioneer who lived in Australia over one hundred years ago. En-route to Sydney, CeCe heads to the one place she has ever felt close to being herself: the stunning beaches of Krabi, Thailand. There amongst the backpackers, she meets the mysterious Ace, a man as lonely as she is and whom she subsequently realizes has a secret to hide. A hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, daughter of an Edinburgh clergyman, is given the opportunity to travel to Australia as the companion of the wealthy Mrs McCrombie. In Adelaide, her fate becomes entwined with Mrs McCrombie’s family, including the identical, yet very different, twin brothers: impetuous Drummond, and ambitious Andrew, the heir to a pearling fortune. When CeCe finally reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, she begins the search for her past. As something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people, her creativity reawakens once more. With help from those she meets on her journey, CeCe begins to believe that this wild, vast continent could offer her something she never thought possible: a sense of belonging, and a home. This again, I really enjoyed. I would recommend this author and will continue to read these books.

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Another favourite author and book series is the Gabriel Allon one. This is the latest, a birthday present that I have put of reading and I do not know why ? At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the beautiful raven-haired girl who arrives each morning in a motorcade fit for a head of state. She is said to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. In truth, her father is Khalid bin Mohammed, the much-maligned crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Once celebrated for his daring social and religious reforms, he is now reviled for his role in the murder of a dissident journalist. And when his only child is brutally kidnapped, he turns to the one man he can trust to find her before it is too late. What’s done cannot be undone. Gabriel Allon, the legendary chief of Israeli intelligence, has spent most of his life fighting terrorists, including the murderous jihadists financed by Saudi Arabia. Prince Khalid or KBM, as he is known has pledged to finally break the bond between the Kingdom and radical Islam. For that reason alone, Gabriel regards him as a valuable if flawed partner. Together they will become unlikely allies in a deadly secret war for control of the Middle East. The life of a child, and the throne of Saudi Arabia, hang in the balance. Both men have made their share of enemies. And both have everything to lose. This was again so good and so topical. I just love this stories.

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A magical house. A momentous summer. It has been twenty four years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now crumbling house, ‘Pandora’, is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of thirteen, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father. When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed. This was another ebook from the library. This was ok not like the seven sisters books, not buying this one.

Book six of the Doctor Ruth Galloway Mysteries. Ruth has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, which was once a prison. The body may be that of Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged for the murder of five children. DCI Harry Nelson has no time for long-ago killers. Investigating the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King’s Lynn home, he’s convinced that their mother is responsible. Then a child goes missing. Could the abduction be linked to the long dead Mother Hook? Ruth is pulled into the case, and back towards Nelson. Another good story. Onwards to the next one !

Another one of the seven sisters, still waiting for the first one to come through the library whether the ebooks either. Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father – the elusive billionaire, named Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted by him from the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to their true heritage, but Star – the most enigmatic of the sisters – is hesitant to step out of the safety of the close relationship she shares with her sister CeCe. In desperation, she decides to follow the first clue she has been left, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world. A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in the Lake District, living close to her idol, Beatrix Potter, when machinations outside of her control lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious players, Alice Keppel. Flora is pulled between passionate love and duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a game – the rules of which are only known to others, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life.  As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love. Glad that I got to read this one.

Nook seven of the Doctor Ruth Galloway mysteries. When DCI Harry Nelson calls Ruth Galloway in to investigate a body found inside a buried fighter plane, she quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot. DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger remaining Blackstocks. Then human bones are found on the farm and, as the greatest storm Norfolk has seen for decades brews in the distance, another Blackstock is attacked. Can the team outrace the rising flood to find the killer? No bad, but not as good as the others.

Book eight of this series. When Ruth’s friend Cathbad sees a vision of the Virgin Mary, in a white gown and blue cloak, in Walsingham’s graveyard, he takes it in his stride. Walsingham has strong connections to Mary, and Cathbad is a druid after all; visions come with the job. But when the body of a woman in a blue dressing-gown is found dead the next day in a nearby ditch, it is clear that a horrible crime has been committed, and DCI Nelson and his team are called in for what is now a murder investigation. Ruth, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham during her seventeen years in Norfolk. But then an old university friend asks to meet her in the village, and Ruth is amazed to discover that she is now a priest. She has been receiving vitriolic anonymous letters targeting women priests – letters containing references to local archaeology and a striking phrase about a woman ‘clad in blue, weeping for the world’. Then another woman is murdered – a priest. As Walsingham prepares for its annual Easter re-enactment of the Crucifixion, the race is on to unmask the killer before they strike again. This was okay. Not as good as the other stories.

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway discovers the bones aren’t historical, DCI Nelson launches a murder inquiry. What was initially just a medieval curiosity has a much more sinister nature. Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the stories both Ruth and the police have heard of a vast community of rough sleepers living in the old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history, but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true? As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart, before it claims another victim. This was really good, much better story than the last two. So enjoying this series. Only two more to go, then up to speed with this series.

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He’s discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village near Rome but doesn’t know what to make of them. It’s years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome. So Ruth travels to Castello degli Angeli, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a baffling Roman mystery and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also soon finds Harry Nelson, with Cathbad in tow. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock, the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Castello degli Angeli that someone would kill to protect. Another good story, and nice to be set somewhere other than Norfolk.

The last one of the series, until next year. Pleased that I got to this book and I would recommend this series. They are good stories. DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to ‘go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there’. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle’s baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they? Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh, another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle,trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve year old girl who disappeared thirty years ago. As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn’t save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.

After the death of her father, Pa Salt, an elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from around the globe – Tiggy D’Aplièse , trusting her instincts, moves to the remote wilds of Scotland. There she takes a job doing what she loves; caring for animals on the vast and isolated Kinnaird estate, employed by the enigmatic and troubled Laird, Charlie Kinnaird. Her decision alters her future irrevocably when Chilly, an ancient gypsy who has lived for years on the estate, tells her that not only does she possess a sixth sense, passed down from her ancestors, but it was foretold long ago that he would be the one to send her back home to Granada in Spain. In the shadow of the magnificent Alhambra, Tiggy discovers her connection to the fabled gypsy community of Sacromonte, who were forced to flee their homes during the civil war, and to ‘La Candela’ the greatest flamenco dancer of her generation. From the Scottish Highlands and Spain, to South America and New York, Tiggy follows the trail back to her own exotic but complex past. And under the watchful eye of a gifted gypsy bruja she begins to embrace her own talent for healing. But when fate takes a hand, Tiggy must decide whether to stay with her new-found family or return to Kinnaird, and Charlie. Another good story that I enjoyed a lot. Still waiting for the first one from the library.

A new series that my friend recommend. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in Los Angeles, Robert Hunter is thrown into a nightmare case. The victim suffered a terrible death, and on the nape of her neck has been carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer. But that’s impossible. Because two years ago, the Crucifix Killer was caught and executed. Could this therefore be a copycat killer? Or could the unthinkable be true? Is the real killer still out there, ready to embark once again on a vicious and violent killing spree, selecting his victims seemingly at random, taunting Robert Hunter with his inability to catch him? Hunter and his rookie partner, Garcia, need to solve this case and fast. This was not bad, a good start to another series of which I have nine on order at the library.

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Another ebook from the library. The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley was next up. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, it could rock the English establishment to its core. Joanna Haslam, an up-and-coming reporter, is assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral, attended by glitzy celebrities of every background. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind – the contents of which many have been desperate to keep concealed for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that she’s close to uncovering something deadly serious – and the royal family may be implicated. Before long, someone is on her tracks, attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does. This was another good story. So pleased that I found this author.

This came from the library very quickly. 19th Christmas from James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Sergeant Lindsay Boxer is looking forward to spending time with her family over the holidays. But when she receives a tip-off that the biggest heist ever to hit San Francisco is being planned for Christmas Day, everything changes. The architect of the ambitious attack unleashes chaos across the city, laying traps and false alarms to distract Lindsay and the SFPD from his ultimate goal. As time runs out, will Lindsay be able to save the people of San Francisco from a Christmas they’d never forget? This was okay. I will be buying this as a kindle but only when it drops to 99p. That is my price point now.

Book two of the Robert Hunter series. Inside a Los Angeles church, on the altar steps, lies the blood-soaked, decapitated body of a priest. Carefully positioned, legs stretched out, arms crossed over the chest, the most horrifying thing of all is that the priest’s head has been replaced by that of a dog. Later, the forensic team discover that, on the victim’s chest, the figure 3 has been scrawled in blood. At first, Detective Robert Hunter believes that this is a ritualistic killing. But as more bodies surface, he is forced to reassess. All the victims died in the way they feared the most. Their worst nightmares have literally come true. But how could the killer have known? And what links these apparently random victims? Hunter finds himself on the trail of an elusive and sadistic killer, someone who apparently has the power to read his victims’ minds. Someone who can sense what scares his victims the most. Someone who will stop at nothing to achieve his twisted aim. This was so so good. I am really enjoying this series. Now have to wait for the next one from the library. Really just want to start it as soon as possible.

Book four of the Robert Hunter series. I am having to wait a long time for book 3 and I got a lot of them and just could not wait. A student nurse has the shock of her life when she discovers her patient, prosecutor Derek Nicholson, brutally murdered in his bed. The act seems senseless – Nicholson was terminally ill with only weeks to live. But what most shocks Detective Robert Hunter of the Los Angeles Robbery Homicide Division is the calling card the killer left behind. For Hunter, there is no doubt that the killer is trying to communicate with the police, but the method is unlike anything he’s ever seen before. And what could the hidden message be? Just as Hunter and his partner Garcia reckon they’ve found a lead, a new body is found – and a new calling card. But with no apparent link between the first and second victims, all the progress they’ve made so far goes out of the window. Pushed into an uncomfortable alliance with confident investigator Alice Beaumont, Hunter must race to put together the pieces of the puzzle, before the Death Sculptor puts the final touches to his masterpiece. Another good story onto the next ones. Such a good author.

I took this out of the library again. I had most of the series back in March in my home. But after my cat died. I just could not read anything for a while. So I have started again where I left off. This book is set in Sydney, Australia. P.I. Craig Gisto, head of the latest branch of Private, is enjoying the glamorous launch party with his new team when their celebrations are interrupted by the bloodied arrival of a boy with his eyes gouged out. The boy is the kidnapped son of one of Australia’s richest men, but investigating his death isn’t their only pressing case. The rock star Micky Stevens is convinced someone’s trying to kill him, and believes Private are the only ones who can help. As if that wasn’t enough, someone is murdering the wealthy wives of the Eastern Suburbs, in the most brutal way imaginable. And if they don’t catch the killer soon, the next victim could be someone close to Private. This book was very chaotic with all the different crimes that they were dealing with. Ok, glad I read onto the next one and will not be buying this.

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