BOOKS READ BETWEEN NOVEMBER 2019 TO JANUARY 2020

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Books read between the months of November 2019 and January of 2020. 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.

November

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Jack Morgan is having a bad week. His twin brother is up on a murder charge and determined to frame him for the crime, and one of Jack’s clients has just called to report the burnt bodies of four surfers on his beach. But what seems like a random mugging gone wrong soon reveals something far worse, a killer calling themselves No Prisoners is holding the city to ransom. And there’s more bad news: Hollywood’s golden couple, Thom and Jennifer Harlow, have been kidnapped, along with their adopted children. It looks like the whole world is about to discover whether Private are really as good as they say they are. Just what to get all of these books read before the end of the year.

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This came through the library quickly. 22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial. The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison. Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next. But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought. This was good. I do like John Grisham stories and there is still a lot of them that I still need to catch on. I will only read them, if the story interests me.

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Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD’s Homicide Special Section receives an anonymous call asking him to go to a specific web address – a private broadcast. Hunter logs on and a horrific show devised for his eyes only immediately begins. The LAPD, together with the FBI, use everything at their disposal to electronically trace the transmission down, but this killer is no amateur, and he has covered his tracks from start to finish. And before Hunter and his partner Garcia are even able to get their investigation going, Hunter receives a new phone call. A new website address. A new victim. But this time the killer has upgraded his game so that anyone can take part. Another brilliant story. Nasty but then I do enjoy this type of story.

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A freak accident in rural Wyoming leads the Sheriff’s Department to arrest a man for a possible double homicide, but further investigations suggest a much more horrifying discovery, a serial killer who has been kidnapping, torturing and mutilating victims all over the United States for at least twenty-five years. The suspect claims he is a pawn in a huge labyrinth of lies and deception. The case is immediately handed over to the FBI, but this time they’re forced to ask for outside help. Ex-criminal behavior psychologist and lead detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD Robert Hunter is asked to run a series of interviews with the apprehended man. These interviews begin to reveal terrifying secrets that no one could’ve foreseen, including the real identity of a killer so elusive that no one, not even the FBI, had any idea he existed, until now. Another good story. I really enjoy this author, as disturbing as this stories are !

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The next one in the Robert Hunter series. Seven days after being abducted, the body of a 20 year old woman is found on a grassy area by the Los Angeles International Airport. She has been left with her limbs stretched out and spread apart, placing her in a five-point human star.
The autopsy reveals that she has been tortured and murdered in a bizarre way, but the surprises don’t end there. The killer likes to play, and he left something behind for the cops to find. Detective Robert Hunter is assigned to the case, but almost immediately a second body turns up. Detective Hunter quickly realizes that he is chasing a monster, a predator whose past hides a terrible secret, whose desire to hurt people and thirst for murder can never be quenched, for he is death. This one was okay, not as good as the last one.

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After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring. The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward. Tanya takes the call, and the nightmare begins. Karen is gagged and bound to a chair in her own living room. If Tanya disconnects from the call, if she looks away from the camera, he will come after her next, the deep, raspy, demonic voice at the other end of the line promises her. As Detectives Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia investigate the threats, they are thrown into a roller coaster of evil, chasing a predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear. This was good, and made me think about social media, that I have now made my Instagram private. I had already moved this from my blog.

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This has finally come through the library system. Maia D’Aplièse and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva. Having been told that their beloved adoptive father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage, a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Eighty years earlier, in the Belle Époque of Rio, 1927, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. But Izabela longs for adventure, and convinces him to allow her to accompany the family of a renowned architect on a trip to Paris. In the heady, vibrant streets of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again. This was so good, reminded me of my time in Paris. Will be buying this series for my kindle as I know I will want to re read this series in the correct order one day.

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Another Robert Hunter book. ‘Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what’s inside that room would be it.’ That’s what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended. In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders, a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing, it’s an art form. This was okay, not as good as the others that I had read.

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The last current book of this series. But I am still waiting for one of the series from the library. As roommates, they met for the first time in college. Two of the brightest minds ever to graduate from Stamford Psychology University. As adversaries, they met again in Quantico, Virginia. Robert Hunter had become the head of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. Lucien Folter had become the most prolific and dangerous serial killer the FBI had ever encountered. Now, after spending three and a half years locked in solitary confinement, Lucien has finally managed to break free. And he’s angry. For the past three and a half years, Lucien has thought of nothing else but vengeance. The person responsible for locking him away has to pay, he has to suffer. That person is Robert Hunter. And now it is finally time to execute the plan. This was so good. I just loved the character of Lucien Folter. This book series had hits and misses but I am so glad that I finally read them. Something of them have been outstanding which I have added to my kindle shopping list.

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Then I thought as I enjoyed the new John Grisham book, that I would read the ones that interested me. This was the first one. The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University. Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace. Dealing in stolen books is a dark business, and few are initiated to its arts, which puts Bruce Kable right on the FBI’s Rare Asset Recovery Unit’s watch list. A struggling writer burdened by debts, Mercer Mann spent summers on Florida’s idyllic Camino Island as a kid, in her grandmother’s beach cottage. Now she is being made an offer she can’t refuse: to return to the peace of the island, to write her novel and get close to a certain infamous bookseller, and his interesting collection of manuscripts. This was only eight chapters and I read this in a few hours. It was okay, nothing special, but glad I got this one off my reading list.

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A judge murdered in a city park, Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, defends the man accused. A homeless person burned alive. Detective Renée Ballard catches the case on the LAPD’s notorious graveyard shift. A unsolved homicide from a lifetime ago. Harry Bosch is left a missing case file by his mentor who passed away. He was the man who taught Bosch that everybody counts, or nobody counts. Why did he keep the case all these years? To find the truth or bury it? In Los Angeles, crime never sleeps. But in Ballard, Bosch and Haller: the fire always burns. Will it light the way or leave their lives in ashes? This was so good, and I will definitely be buying this as kindle when the price drops. So good, and just a shame that we only get one book a year.

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Another series, I am aiming to get finished this year. This is book eight of the Private series. I have them all reserved at the library with a mixture of hardback and ebooks. There is fourteen up to the end of 2019. When Santosh Wagh isn’t struggling out of a bottle of whisky he’s head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest PI agency. In a city of over thirteen million he has his work cut out at the best of times. But now someone is killing women – seemingly unconnected women are being murdered in a chilling ritual, with strange objects placed carefully at their death scenes. As Santosh and his team race to find the killer, an even greater danger faces Private India, a danger that could threaten the lives of thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens. Not bad, interesting to read about Mumbai, I already knew about the corruption and the way that women are treated. I do and I do not want to visit India. But who knows ?

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Book nine of the Private series, this one set in Las Vegas. A place that holds a special place in my heart. Jack Morgan, head of Private Investigations, the global PI agency of the rich and famous, is being pushed to the limit. His car has been firebombed, his ex is dating someone else, and his twin brother is still out to destroy him. But Private doesn’t rest, and nor do its clients. Not the LAPD who need Private’s help catching two scumbags with diplomatic immunity, and not the client who has just confessed to murdering his wife. Add to that Jack’s best friend being held on a trumped-up charge that could see him locked away for a very long time, and it seems like all bets are off. This was nothing special. Glad I read this and will never buy these books as kindles.

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Even for Private Investigations, the world’s top detective agency, it’s tough to find a man who doesn’t exist. Craig Gisto has promised Eliza Moss that his elite team at Private Sydney will investigate the disappearance of her father. After all, as CEO of a high-profile research company, Eric Moss shouldn’t be difficult to find. Except it’s not just the man who’s gone missing. Despite the most advanced technology at their disposal, they find every trace of him has vanished too. And they aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Powerful figures want Moss to stay ‘lost’, while others just as ruthlessly want him found. Meanwhile, a routine background check becomes a frantic race to find a stolen baby and catch a brutal killer, a killer Private may well have sent straight to the victim’s door. The co author of this one, Kathryn Fox, is an author that I have enjoyed with her own series from 2012-2014. This was quite an espionage story that I enjoyed.

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When Jack Morgan stops by Private’s Paris office, he envisions a quick hello during an otherwise relaxing trip filled with fine food and sightseeing. But Jack is quickly pressed into duty after a call from one of his most important clients asking Private to track down his young granddaughter who is on the run from a brutal drug dealer. As Jack scours the city, several members of Paris’s cultural elite are found dead – murdered in shocking, symbolic fashion and the French police need Private’s help. Again, okay, nothing special.

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Two years ago, Jack Morgan was in Rio consulting on security for the World Cup. The tournament went without a hitch. Until a man died in one of the executive hospitality suites during the final, and the autopsy showed the cause to be a rare and deadly virus. The story was kept from the media to avoid causing panic, but Jack feared that the death was no freak occurrence. Now the eyes of the world are once again turned towards Rio for the Olympic Games, and Jack is back in Brazil’s beautiful capital. It’s not long before he uncovers terrifying evidence that someone has set in motion a catastrophic plan. The death at the World Cup was just a warning. The Olympic Games could be the setting for the worst atrocity the world has ever seen. This took me a while to get into. I loved this was set in Rio. Reminded me of my trip back there in 2018. Not somewhere due to the corruption that I would ever return too.

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Santosh Wagh quit his job as head of Private India after harrowing events in Mumbai almost got him killed. But Jack Morgan, global head of the world’s finest investigation agency, needs him back. Jack is setting up a new office in Delhi, and Santosh is the only person he can trust. Still battling his demons, Santosh accepts, and it’s not long before the agency takes on a case that could make or break them. Plastic barrels containing dissolved human remains have been found in the basement of a house in an upmarket area of South Delhi. But this isn’t just any house, this property belongs to the state government. With the crime scene in lockdown and information suppressed by the authorities, delving too deep could make Santosh a target to be eliminated. Not bad, still makes me think that India is not going to be visited by me.

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They dreamed of changing the world. Instead they’re facing a mountain of debt and no hope of a future. Mark, Todd and Zola are starting to realise it’s not even worth graduating from law school. They’re better off hanging out at The Rooster Bar, plotting how to dodge the loan sharks. But maybe there’s another way. Maybe they know enough about the law to pass as lawyers. Because it turns out the crooked hedge fund billionaire who owns their law school also runs the bank that arranged their student loans. And it’s time justice was served. Even if it means taking on the FBI to do it. This was ok, nothing special and I will not be buying this one.

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Another one of John Grisham’s books. I find these very easy to read and get them finished in a couple of days. Sebastian Rudd takes the cases no one else wants to take: the drug-addled punk accused of murdering two little girls; a crime lord on death row; a homeowner accused of shooting at a SWAT team. Rudd believes that every person accused of a crime is entitled to a fair trial, even if he has to cheat to get one. He antagonises people from both sides of the law: his last office was firebombed, either by drug dealers or cops. He doesn’t know or care which. But things are about to get even more complicated for Sebastian. Arch Swanger is the prime suspect in the abduction and presumed murder of 21-year-old Jiliana Kemp, the daughter of the assistant chief of police. When Swanger asks Sebastian to represent him, he lets Sebastian in on a terrible secret, one that will threaten everything Sebastian holds dear. This I was not a fan of either but glad I have read them.

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Another John Grisham library book. Lacy Stoltz never expected to be in the firing line. Investigating judicial misconduct by Florida’s one thousand judges, her cases so far have been relatively unexciting. That’s until she meets Greg Myers, an indicted lawyer with an assumed name, who has an extraordinary tale to tell. Myers is representing a whistle blower who knows of a judge involved in organised crime. Along with her gangster associates this judge has facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation. At least two people who opposed the scheme are dead. Since the casino was built, the judge has made several fortunes off undeclared winnings. She owns property around the world, hires private jets to take her where she wishes, and her secret vaults are overflowing with rare books, art and jewels. No one has a clue what she’s been doing – until now. Under Florida law, those who help the state recover illegally acquired assets stand to gain a large percentage of them. Myers and his whistle blower friend could make millions. But first they need Lacy to start an investigation. Is she ready to pit herself against the most corrupt judge in American history, a judge whose associates think nothing of murder? Really enjoyed this one.

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Jack Morgan receives an offer he cannot refuse. When the head of the world’s foremost investigation agency is invited to meet Princess Caroline, third in line to the British throne, he boards his Gulfstream jet and flies straight to London. The Princess needs Morgan’s skills, and his discretion. Sophie Edwards, a close friend of the royal, has gone missing. She must be found before the media become aware of it. Morgan knows there is more to this case than he is being told. But what is the Princess hiding? Pleased that I have finally finished these books. I know that Private Moscow is coming September 2020.

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Every cop wants to be part of NYPD Red. It is the elite team in New York’s police department, handling the cases involving the most important and high-profile individuals in the city. It’s Detective Zach Jordan’s dream job, but he’s about to step into a nightmare. In the middle of a New York film festival, a maniac begins a very public and very brutal killing spree targeting Hollywood’s biggest stars. Zach is assigned a new partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, who is also his ex-girlfriend. But they’ll need to put their history aside to have a chance of stopping this homicidal psychopath before he brings New York City to its knees. This was okay, not buying this series.

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This book, number 5 in the series came through the library quickly. I picked this up, the day after release day. When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger’s car, never to be seen again. Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm’s length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them. But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined. As more bodies start to appear it’s clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way. Another good story but they always are from this author. I have all her UK releases in hardback, and just enjoy seeing old characters back in future stories.

A vigilante serial killer is on the loose in New York City, tracking down and murdering people whose crimes have not been punished. The number of victims grows, and many New Yorkers secretly applaud the idea of justice won at any price. NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie MacDonald are put on the case when a woman of vast wealth and even greater connections disappears. Zach and Kylie have to find what’s really behind this murderer’s rampage while political and personal secrets of the highest order hang in the balance. But Kylie has been acting strange recently and Zach knows whatever she’s hiding could threaten the biggest case of their careers. This was alright, nothing special. Not buying this series.

Hunter Alden Jr.has it all: a beautiful wife, a brilliant son and billions in the bank. But when his son goes missing and he discovers the severed head of his chauffeur, it’s clear he’s in danger of losing it all. The kidnapper knows a horrific secret that could change the world as we know it. A secret worth killing for. A secret worth dying for. New York’s best detectives, Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald, are on the case. But by getting closer to the truth, Zach and Kylie are edging ever closer to the firing line. Again nothing special.

In a city where crime never sleeps, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in when a case involves the rich, famous and connected. Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are the best of the best, brilliant and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to catch a criminal, even if it means antagonising the same powerful people they’re supposed to be helping. When a glitzy movie premiere is the scene of a shocking murder and high-stakes robbery, NYPD Red gets the call. In a hunt that takes Zach and Kylie from celebrity penthouses to the depths of Manhattan’s criminal underworld, they have to find the cold-blooded killer, before he strikes again. Not enjoying this series much, just glad that I have not brought these as kindles.

The richest of New York’s rich gather at The Pierre’s Cotillion Room to raise money for those less fortunate. The mayor is present, along with Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald of the elite NYPD Red task force providing security. The night is shattered as a fatal blast rocks the room, stirring up horrifying memories of 9/11. Is the explosion an act of terrorism or a homicide? A big-name female filmmaker is the next to die, in a desolate corner of New York City. The crimes keep escalating, and the perpetrators may be among the A-list New Yorkers NYPD Red was formed to protect. Zach and Kylie track a shadowy killer as he masterfully plays out his vendetta and threatens to take down NYPD Red in the bargain. The last one so far of the NYPD Red series. Glad I got to the end.

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Another John Grisham story. I am enjoying these. David Zinc has it all: Big firm, big salary, life in the lawyer’s fast lane.  Until the day he snaps and throws it all away. Leaving the world of corporate law far behind, he talks himself into a new job with Finley & Figg. A self-styled ’boutique’ firm with only two partners, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg are ambulance-chasing street lawyers who hustle nickel-and-dime cases, dreaming of landing the big win. For all his Harvard Law Degree and five years with Chicago’s top firm, Zinc has never entered a courtroom, never helped a client who really needed a lawyer, never handled a gun. All that is about to change. This I did not enjoy either.

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I found the rest of Mike Lawson Joe De Marco books. The ninth installment in Washington, DC, political thriller series takes readers back into Joe DeMarco’s past, to the murder of his father, which was never investigated, let alone solved. DeMarco always knew that his father, Gino, had a shady job for a local mafioso, but he didn’t understand that Gino had been a hit man until he was murdered. Now, nearly 20 years later, one of Gino’s former mob associates is dying of lung cancer, and he wants to get something off his chest before retiring to his grave: the truth about Gino’s killer. The shocking information, and the powerful position the killer now occupies, sends DeMarco on a mission of revenge with terrible consequences. Now that the secret has been kept for so long, DeMarco has to rush to do something about it because the killer is on the brink of taking a job in Washington, DC, that will leave him untouchable. With his job, his morals, and his very life on the line, DeMarco must ask himself: How far will he go for revenge? Big fan of this author, another great story from him.

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As a fixer for influential congressman John Mahoney in Washington, DC, Joe DeMarco has found himself in plenty of unexpected and dangerous situations. In House Rivals, DeMarco is taken further out of his element than ever before, sent to North Dakota to protect a passionate but naive 22-year-old blogger who has put herself in harm’s way. The young woman is Sarah Johnson, whose grandfather saved Mahoney’s life in Vietnam. For the past two years, Sarah has been on a relentless crusade against a billionaire oil tycoon who has profited handsomely from the natural gas boom in the Dakotas and who she believes has been bribing small-time politicians and judges to keep things in his favor. Though she has no hard evidence against the man, Sarah has been assaulted and received death threats for her meddling. DeMarco, given his years of experience bending the rules in DC, suspects that a middleman like himself is pulling strings for the tycoon. But as DeMarco tries to identify his adversaries, the situation turns unexpectedly violent, and DeMarco finds himself in a battle of wits against two ruthless problem solvers who will stop at nothing to win. Just enjoy this stories so much. Will be buying these as kindles, the quality is still good after ten books.

Congressional fixer Joe DeMarco is dispatched to his boss Congressman John Mahoney’s hometown of Boston. Mahoney wants him to help Elinore Dobbs, an elderly woman fighting against a real estate developer intent on tearing down her apartment building for a massive new development. Mahoney is just in it for the free press until Sean Callahan, the developer, disrespects him and even worse, Elinore suffers a horrible “accident,” likely at the hands of two thugs on Callahan’s payroll. Now Mahoney and DeMarco are out for revenge. DeMarco tries to dig up dirt through Callahan’s former mentor, and one of his ex-wives. But it’s only when DeMarco gets a tip on the likely illegal source of some of Callahan’s financing that things get deadly. Another good story.

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Minority Leader of the House and DeMarco’s long-time employer John Mahoney has kept more than one secret from his wife over the years, but none so explosive as this: He has a son, and that son has just been shot dead in a bar in Manhattan. Mahoney immediately dispatches DeMarco to New York to assist prosecutor Justine Porter, but with five bystanders willing to testify against the killer, rich-boy Toby Rosenthal, the case seems like a slam-dunk. That is, until Porter begins to suspect that someone is interfering with those witnesses, and that this may be connected to a pattern of cases across the country. Is there someone who is getting witnesses out of the way when the fate of a wealthy defendant is on the line? With the help of Porter’s intern, as outrageously smart as she is young, DeMarco becomes determined to follow that question through to its violent resolution in what turns out to be this series’ most unexpected plot yet. I did enjoy this. But then I am a fan of this book series.

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Donovan Gray is ruthless and fearless. Just the kind of lawyer you need, deep in small-town Appalachia. Samantha Kofer is a world away from her former life at New York’s biggest law firm. If she is going to survive in coal country, she needs to start learning fast. Because as Donovan knows only too well, the mountains have their own laws. And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line. This I really enjoyed. John Grisham’s novels have been hit and miss for me. Some good some bad, but not enough to buy them as kindles. I hope the ones I already own are as good as this one.

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This is number eighteen in the Mitch Rapp books series. This was an e book for the library system. The head of ISIS, Sayid Halabi, survived Mitch Rapp’s attack on him, but while he convalesced, he plotted. Once healed, Halabi kidnaps a brilliant Yemeni microbiologist and forces him to produce anthrax. ISIS releases videos of his progress and uses them to stir up hysteria in the States in the midst of an extremely divisive presidential election. ISIS contracts with a Mexican drug cartel to smuggle the anthrax into the US, but the anthrax is really just a feint. Unknown to anyone but Halabi’s team, he also kidnapped people infected with the virus with the plan to use the drug cartels’ human trafficking capability to smuggle these infected people into the US. If he succeeds, it would trigger a pandemic that would kill untold millions. Mitch and Irene Kennedy are, of course, on the case. But their ability to act is weakened by the fact that the man who is likely to be the next president despises them. When the DEA stumbles upon a shipment of anthrax coming into California, though, the current president has no choice but to give Mitch carte blanche to go after both the smugglers and ISIS. Mitch must infiltrate the drug cartel that has partnered with Halabi in a black ops mission compromised by political maneuvers and threatened by an unprecedented bio terrorism attack. I did enjoy this. And will be buying this as a reduced kindle, one day.

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This is book one of a thirty book series that was recommended to me via the library ebook system. I can not get the second book until late February 2020. Which is fine by me. Louis “Maddog” Vullion is a young attorney and a murderer. He kills for the sheer contest, playing an elaborate game for which he has written terrifying rules. Police Lt. Lucas Davenport, a brilliant games inventor, is going to have to outmaneuver the killer’s clever plan to beat the mad dog at his own deadly craft. This book came out in 1989, so it was interesting to read how this worked in law back then. I really enjoyed this, and will continue to get these books from the ebook system.

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This hardback came from the library. Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers. And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted! But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?  With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas? This made me laugh out loud a lot. Then I realised that I am bit behind this series. So went and added to my library reservation list.

December

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Another brand new library book. When investigative journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a ‘CRyan’ describing her ‘terrible experience’ while working at REL, a high-profile television news network, including the comment ‘and I’m not the only one,’ Gina knows she has to pursue the story. But when Ryan goes silent, Gina is shocked to discover the young woman has died tragically in a Jet Ski accident while on holiday. Meanwhile, REL counsel Michael Carter finds himself in a tricky spot. Several female employees have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Carter approaches the CEO, offering to persuade the victims to accept settlements in exchange for their silence. It’s a risky endeavor, but it could well make him rich. As more allegations emerge and the company’s IPO draws near, Carter’s attempts to keep the story from making headlines are matched only by Gina Kane’s determination to uncover the truth. Was Ryan’s death truly an accident? And when another accuser turns up dead, Gina realizes someone or some people will go to depraved lengths to keep the story from seeing the light. This reminded on the #Metoo movement. Not buying this, did not enjoy this at all.

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Book two of this thirty book series came through late November, which surprised me. I downloaded and started to read at 12.30am the first night. A slumlord and a welfare supervisor butchered in Minneapolis. A rising political star executed in Manhattan. An influential judge taken in Oklahoma City. All of the homicides share the same grisly method — the victim’s throat is slashed with an Indian ceremonial knife. And in every case the twisted trail leads back through the Minnesota Native American community to a man known as Shadow Love. Once unleashed, Shadow Love’s need to kill cannot be checked, even by those who think they control him. Enlisted to find him are Minneapolis police lieutenant Lucas Davenport and New York City police officer Lily Rothenburg. But despite the countrywide carnage they needn’t look far. Because Shadow Love is right behind them. This book was released in 1990, so it was nice to read something set in the days before social media and all the technology that we are used too now. I did enjoy this too. Just have to wait for the next one again.

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This I read on my flight out to Spain. By chapter thirteen, I hated the main character. I did not want to finish this. But I had forgot to add any TV shows or films for my flight. I finished it and still did not like her. I will not be buying this at all. Fixie Farr can not help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend, she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop ask her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU  but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour. That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb; big time. Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOU’s, from small favours to life-changing debts and Fixie is torn between the past she is used too and the future she deserves. Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?

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Another terrible story. I do not know why I am reading these. At least, I am only wasting time and not money of these books from the library. Nervous flyer Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. She really thinks that this could be her last moment. So, naturally enough, she starts telling the man sitting next to her – quite a dishy American, but she’s too frightened to notice – all her secrets. How she scans the backs of intellectual books and pretends she’s read them. How she’s not sure if she has a G-spot, and whether her boyfriend could find it anyway. How she feels like a fraud at work – everyone uses the word ‘operational’ all the time but she hasn’t a clue what it means. How she once threw a troublesome client file in the bin. If ever there was a bare soul, it’s hers. Will never being buying these books from Sophie Kinsella. Have a couple more to get through.

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A new series from one of my favourite authors. There’s a killer inside all of us. After an elite criminal profiling unit is shut down amidst a storm of scandal and mismanagement, only one person emerges unscathed. Forensic psychologist Doctor Alexander Gregory has a reputation for being able to step inside the darkest minds to uncover whatever secrets lie hidden there and, soon enough, he finds himself drawn into the murky world of murder investigation. In the beautiful hills of County Mayo, Ireland, a killer is on the loose. Panic has a stranglehold on its rural community and the Garda are running out of time. Gregory has sworn to follow a quiet life but, when the call comes, can he refuse to help their desperate search for justice? This was okay, not as good as the DCI Ryan series of books that I just loved.

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Book two of this new series from LJ Ross. Recently returned from his last case in Ireland, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the French police that he can’t ignore. It’s Paris fashion week and some of the world’s most beautiful women are turning up dead, their faces slashed in a series of frenzied attacks while the world’s press looks on. Amidst the carnage, one victim has survived but she’s too traumatised to talk. Without her help, the police are powerless to stop the killer before he strikes again – can Gregory unlock the secrets of her mind, before it’s too late? I liked how this continued on from the first book. But I am still unsure of this book series. I may revert to see if I can get them from the library first. But they are only £1.99 for the kindle. Time will tell I continue with this books.

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It’s all gone wrong with the man Lottie thought was Mr Right. Then out of the blue she gets a call from her first love. She decides it must be Fate, and rushes off to marry him and rekindle their sizzling Greek island romance. Lottie’s older sister can’t believe she’s doing something so crazy. No more Ms Nice Sister, she’s stopping this marriage. Right away! And she’ll go to any lengths to do so. Another terrible story. Glad that I will not be buying these.

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Another new series. I am enjoying the Lucas Davenport series, and came across another series by the same author. Lucky for me, this books there is only twelve of them. A good chance I will finish this before even half way through the other one. In the small town of Bluestem, Minnesota, where everybody knows everybody, a house way up on a ridge explodes into flames. Its owner, a man named Judd, is trapped inside and dies. But Judd’s death wasn’t a tragic accident, someone set his house on fire. Lots of people hated Judd, Flowers discovers. Years ago, Judd had perpetrated a scam that’d driven a lot of local farmers out of business, some even to suicide. There are also rumors swirling around: of some very dicey activities with other men’s wives; of involvement with some nutcase religious guy; of an out-of-wedlock daughter. In fact, Flowers concludes, you’d probably have to look hard to find a person who had actually liked the man. But the thing is, Judd’s death isn’t the first in this small town in recent weeks. Three weeks earlier there’d been another murder. Two, in fact,  a doctor and his wife. The doctor was found propped up in his backyard, both eyes shot out. Before this, there hadn’t been a murder in Bluestem in years and now, suddenly, three? Flowers knows two things: This wasn’t a coincidence, and this had to be personal. But just  personal is something even he doesn’t realize, and may not find out until too late. Because the next victim may be himself. This I enjoyed but realised that Lucas Davenport featured in this, and I need to read up to when Virgil Flowers shows up. So I have gone back to read this rest of the books series to get up to speed.

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Book three of this thirty books series. It wasn’t quite human, the thing that pulled itself across the kitchen floor. Not quite human, eyes gone, brain damaged, bleeding, but it was alive and it had a purpose. Lucas Davenport is battling with depression, barely able to get through each day. When a woman is brutally murdered in her home, it looks like the case might be exactly what he needs to pull him out of his funk. But it won’t be easy. Because this time there are two killers. And they know just how to make a murder untraceable. This I really enjoyed. Onto the next one.

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This next book in the series followed straight on from the last one. Nestled in a cabin in the woods, Lucas Davenport’s life is free from conflict and it’s making him restless. Until, that is, former flame Lily Rothenberg summons him to New York to help track down a murderer who has escaped from custody, a murderer Lucas knows only too well: the unhinged serial killer Mike Bekker. Lucas knows he should have killed Bekker when he had the chance. Now he has a second opportunity and he won’t hesitate again. I did enjoy this too. I am so enjoying this books series.

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Called in to assist the sheriff from a remote, rural area of Wisconsin in his investigation into a brutal triple homicide, Lucas Davenport begins to uncover a shocking series of vicious crimes that stun even Davenport with their evil intent. This was really good. I am really enjoying this series.

Twisted 26, came through the library system very quickly. This isn’t just another case. This is family. Grandma Mazur has decided to get married again – this time to a local gangster named Jimmy Rosolli. If Stephanie has her doubts about this marriage, she doesn’t have to worry for long, because the groom drops dead of a heart attack 45 minutes after saying, “I do.” A sad day for Grandma Mazur turns into something far more dangerous when Jimmy’s former “business partners” are convinced that his new widow is keeping the keys to a financial windfall all to herself. But the one thing these wise guys didn’t count on was the widow’s bounty hunter granddaughter, who’ll do anything to save her. This was not bad. Not enough to buy even at a reduced price of 99p. But I did enjoy this. And will be getting the next book from the library, next year.

January

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Book six of this series came electronically in early January. He was the best at what he did. A chameleon, invisible, uncatchable. For how could you catch an invisible man? After a two-year break, Lucas Davenport is back on the force and his first job is dealing with state investigator Meagan Connell. Determined to prove a link between a series of particularly brutal attacks on women, Meagan is struggling to be taken seriously. The cops are wary of her, the public thinks she’s too political, the feminists thinks she’s sold out. But the more Lucas looks into it, the more he suspects that Meagan is right to fear the worst. Somewhere out there, spying on his unknowing victims at their most intimate moments, lurks a killer of unusual skill and savagery and he’s only just getting warmed up. This was good, I am enjoying these stories.

It’s raining when Andi leaves the parent-teacher meeting with her two daughters. She doesn’t notice the red van parked beside her, or the van door slide open. The last thing she does notice is the hand reaching out for her and her girls. This time, Lucas Davenport has truly met his match; a nemesis more intelligent, and more depraved, than any he has tracked before. A pure, wanton killer who knows more about mind games than even Davenport himself.  Meanwhile, Andi summons all her skills to battle against an obsessed kidnapper and protect her children. Another good story. This one was written in 1995 and they just were talking about flip phones. Which I remember from when I was a teenager.

Lucas Davenport knows why people kill. Some do it for thrills. Some do it for profit. Some do it because they must. But when his team guns down two bank robbers in the middle of a heist, Davenport falls prey to the purest, simplest criminal motivation of all; revenge.
Dick LaChaise is the husband of one of the dead bank robbers and brother to the other. He wants Davenport to suffer as he has. So he’s not going after Davenport himself, he is going after his family. This was one was good aswell. This was published in 1996.

Book nine of this thirty book series. I just really enjoy stories. Five men go hunting. Only four come back alive. It’s up to Lucas Davenport to untangle the secrets that bind these men together and uncover his prey. The company chairman lay on the cold ground of the woods, his eyes unseeing, his orange hunting jacket punctured by a rifle bullet at close range. Around him stood the four executives with whom he had been hunting, each with his or her own complicated agenda, each with a reason not to be sorrowful about the man’s death. If he read it in a book, Lucas Davenport thought, it would seem like one of those classic murder mysteries, the kind where the detective gathers everyone together at the end and solves the case with a little speech. But it wasn’t going to be that easy, he knew. There were currents running through this group, hints and whispers of something much greater than the murder of a single man. He had felt this way not long before, sensed the curling of an indefinable evil, and not only had it nearly gotten him killed, it had lost him the woman he loves. Sometime soon, unless he could stop it, there would be another death, and then still another, and Davenport couldn’t help but wonder if maybe this time, the final death might not be his own. This was really good. I never saw this killer coming. Normally I do. Such a good thriller.

Book 2 of the Virgil Flowers thriller series. Another character that I enjoy. On a hot, humid summer night in Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A body has been found near a veterans’ memorial in Stillwater, Minnesota, with two shots to the head and a lemon in his mouth. That’s strange. What’s stranger still, however, is this: two weeks ago, a body was discovered  with two shots to the head and a lemon in the victim’s mouth. Davenport needs a man he can trust on this case, and there’s no one he trusts more than Virgil Flowers. Flowers becomes convinced that someone is keeping a list with many more names on it. And when he discovers what connects them all, he’s almost sorry. Because if it’s true, then this whole thing leads down a lot more trails than he thought it did and every one of them is booby-trapped. But even Flowers has no idea how strange things are going to get. This was good.

On a cold late autumn Sunday in Southern Minnesota, a farmer bringing in his harvest is bludgeoned around the head by a young man wielding a bat. Leaving the unconscious farmer to drown in the grain bin, the young man calls the sheriff’s office to report the ‘accident’. Suspicious about the nature of the incident, Sheriff Lee Coakley quickly breaks the teenager down. But when she finds him hanging in his cell the next morning, she doubts it was remorse or guilt that led him to take his own life. In fact, she’s not convinced it was suicide at all. Worried that she is up against a far more complicated case than she first thought, Coakley calls in Virgil Flowers. For an investigator with his expertise, it doesn’t take long for Flowers to uncover a conspiracy that has bubbled away under the surface of this sleepy community for generations and a series of crimes so monstrous that the small town can never be the same again. This was book four of the Virgil Flowers series. I had a longer wait for the third book but you can read these in any order. They were released annually from 2007. This was a good story but made me think that this actually happened. Because where do these stories come from.

Number five in the Virgil Flowers series. The superstore chain PyeMart has its sights set on a Minnesota river town, but two very angry groups want to stop it: local merchants, fearing for their businesses, and environmentalists, predicting ecological disaster. The protests don’t seem to be slowing the project, though, until someone decides to take matters into his own hands. The first bomb goes off on the top floor of PyeMart’s headquarters. The second one explodes at the construction site itself. The blasts are meant to inflict maximum damage and they do. Who’s behind the bombs, and how far will they go? It’s Virgil Flowers’s job to find out before more people get killed.

I have nearly all the Virgil Flowers books from the library, so this is book number six. Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns. The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next. Another good story.

Number seven of the Virgil Flowers book series. In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You’re about to get a visitor. It’s an Israeli cop, and she’s tailing a man who’s smuggled out an extraordinary relic-a copper scroll revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon. Wait a minute, laughs Virgil. Is this one of those Da Vinci Code deals? The secret scroll, the blockbuster revelation, the teams of murderous bad guys? Should I be boning up on my Bible verses? He looks at the cop. She’s not laughing. As it turns out, there are very bad men chasing the relic, and they don’t care who’s in the way or what they have to do to get it. Maybe Virgil should start praying. This was good too.

Book eight, a good chance I will finish the series before I get book three from the e book library system. In southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues. “Issues” is correct. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter. There are no votes against. Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is helping out a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier A team of dognappers supplying medical labs when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A murdered body has been found and the victim is a local reporter. This was okay.

I found this on amazon on a daily deal for 99p. But I thought I would get it from the library. Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago. When she shot her husband in the head five times. Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word. It’s time to find out why. This was very enjoyable, I do like a good thriller. I also did not see the ending coming. That is something that I love. When a book or film shocking me for a minute. I will not be buying this though.

I read this in three hours. But with most of James Patterson books, I just get through them quickly. Detective Tom Moon and his multi-talented team face off against an international crime ring looking to seize control over America’s most exciting city, Miami. This is Detective Tom Moon’s home and heartland. When he’s asked to lead a new FBI task force tackling international crime, he’s proud to represent his beloved city. But his arrest of a man trafficking children from Amsterdam into Miami International airport opens an investigation that will lead Moon into the depths of a vast crime syndicate. An underground network that is bigger and more powerful than he could possibly imagine. Moon is devoted to his city and its citizens, but will that be enough to save them? Again this was okay but not buying even as a reduced kindle.

Book nine of the Virgil Flowers series. The first storm comes from, of all places, the Minnesota zoo. Two large, and very rare, Amur tigers have vanished from their cage, and authorities are worried sick that they’ve been stolen for their body parts. Traditional Chinese medicine prizes those parts for home remedies, and people will do extreme things to get what they need. Some of them are a great deal more extreme than others as Virgil is about to find out. Then there’s the homefront. Virgil’s relationship with his girlfriend Frankie has been getting kind of serious, but when Frankie’s sister moves in for the summer, the situation gets a lot more complicated. Forget a storm, this one’s a tornado. This was ok. I do not like to read about big cats and what was done to them in this story.

Book ten of the Virgil Flowers series. Class reunions: a time for memories. Good, bad and as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly.
Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt and as it turned out, homicidal, local school board, and now the town’s back in view with more alarming news: A woman’s been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There’s a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years’ worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It’s true what they say: High school is murder. This I liked as we went back to characters that we have already meet and it was a good story.

Pinion, Minnesota, a huge city of all of seven hundred folks who define the phrase ‘small town’. Nothing has ever happened in Pinion and nothing ever will. Until the mayor of sorts (campaign promise: ‘I’ll Do What I Can’) comes up with a scheme to put Pinion on the map. He’s heard of a place where a floating image of the Virgin Mary turned the whole town into a shrine, attracting thousands of curious people and making the townsfolk rich overnight. Why not stage a prank in Pinion and do the same? No one gets hurt and everyone gets rich. What could go wrong? And then a dead body shows up. It turns out that lots can go wrong with a get rich quick scheme like this one and lots will. It’ll take everything Virgil Flowers has to put things to right, before someone else dies. Book eleven in this series and this was okay. Glad I have read this book series.

This came out in October 2019. This is the book twelve and the last in the series so far. At the local state university, two feuding departments have faced off on the battleground of PC culture. Each carries their views to extremes that may seem absurd, but highly educated people of sound mind and good intentions can reasonably disagree, right? Then someone winds up dead, and Virgil Flowers is brought in to investigate and he soon comes to realise he’s dealing with people who, on this one particular issue, are functionally crazy. Among this group of wildly impassioned, diametrically opposed zealots lurks a killer, and it will be up to Virgil to sort the murderer from the mere maniacs. This was okay.

Book ten of the Lucas Davenport series. I have another twenty to read. Attorney Carmel Loan is beautiful, intelligent, ambitious and used to getting what she wants. When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen, she isn’t going to let a little thing like his being married get in the way. Through the contacts of an ex-client, she hires professional killer Clara Rinker to get rid of Allen’s wife. Smart, attractive Rinker is the best hit woman in the business, but things go wrong. And the shooting of a witness, a cop, brings DI Lucas Davenport onto the case. Carmel Loan and Clara Rinker must team up to clean up the loose ends, which includes getting Davenport off their backs by any means necessary. This was good.

Book eleven of the Lucas Davenport series. In life she was a high-profile model. In death she is the focus of a media firestorm that’s demanding action from Lucas Davenport. Especially as one of his own men is a suspect in her murder. But when a series of bizarre, seemingly unrelated slayings rock the city, Davenport suspects a connection that runs deeper than anyone has imagined – one that leads to an ingenious killer more ruthless than anyone had feared. This was very good, very fast paced. Very enjoyable.

A shallow grave and a pornographic drawing draw Lucas Davenport into a deadly quest for a predator with a single-minded hunger for his chosen prey. In the mist and rain of a Minnesota spring, a shallow grave is found. It contains the body of a young woman, apparently strangled. When the murder is connected with a brilliantly-executed erotic drawing, where the victim’s face has been grafted onto a pornographic internet image, Lucas Davenport becomes involved. More of the drawings come to light and Davenport, with the help of a local sheriff’s deputy, makes a grisly discovery. The drawings may represent more murder victims, strangled with a starter rope from an antique outboard motor. As Lucas investigates further, he uncovers a web of deceit, related to a series of young women involved in the arts. All of them had some connection to the local university, and all of them had a new boyfriend who remained unseen by their friends. There the trail seems to end until further investigation of the grave site results in an horrific discovery. On the misty, oak-covered hillside south of Minneapolis, the case begins to come together in Lucas’ mind, but the mixture of ferocious intelligence and madness which he faces means that the deaths must continue, that the chosen prey must be stalked. This was very good too.

This finally came through the library system. I have been waiting for this for three weeks. This is book three of the Virgil Flowers series. I did not mind that I read this after I had finished all the others. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a call from his old friend Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort, where a woman has been shot while kayaking. The resort is for women only: a place to relax, get fit, recover from plastic surgery, commune with nature, and sometimes get to know each other a little better. As Flowers begins investigating, he finds a web of connections between the people at the resort, the victim, and some local women: notably a talented country singer. And the more he digs, the move he discovers a multitude of motivations for murder: jealousy, greed, anger, and blackmail. And then Flowers learns that this is not the first death at this particular resort. Someone else died there, a year ago. And that there’s about to be a third, definitely related death, any time now. And as for the fourth well, Virgil better hope he can catch the killer before that happens. This was very good. I have really enjoyed this series. I think I will continue to read what this author releases. But for how long, he is seventy five years old.

Book 14 came through as going to be a long wait for book thirteen. Two bodies are found hanging from a tree in the woods of Northern Minnesota. ‘Lynching’ is the word everybody is trying not to say. But when the bodies are those of a black man and white woman, it’s hard to see how it could be anything else. Lucas Davenport, now married and a new father, has moved up to state level. His new job is to work on those cases too complicated or politically touchy for others to handle. As he begins to investigate, he discovers that the murders are not, in fact, what they appear to be. Nor are they the end of it. There is worse to come, much, much worse. With the girl who discovered the bodies, feisty twelve-year-old Letty, acting as his unofficial guide, Lucas faces one of the most challenging cases of his career. Will he be able to protect the young girl who is proving far too observant for her own good. I really really enjoyed this story.

Theories abound when a Russian gets himself killed on the shore of Lake Superior, not just killed, but shot with fifty-year-old bullets. And his identity remains a secret: his personal papers say one thing; the FBI thinks something else entirely, ex-KGB. Whoever he is, the dead man had very high government connections, so Lucas Davenport gets the call to investigate. Well, Lucas and a mysterious Russian cop with secrets all her own. Together, they’ll follow a trail back to another place and another time, and battle the shadows they discover there. Shadows that turn out to be both very real and very deadly. Because someone with an unknowable agenda and a very old grudge has every reason to want the dead Russian to remain unidentified and will do whatever it takes to keep Lucas and his new partner from revealing the truth of their hidden prey. Another good story.

The first corpse is found on the riverbank. The second in an isolated farmhouse. Both have been savagely beaten, the skin flayed from their bodies, their throats cut. For both victims, there’s a DNA match. Charlie Pope, a convicted sex offender, has cut himself free from his court imposed ankle bracelet and disappeared. Now all Davenport has to do is find him. But something doesn’t smell right. The killings were calculated and methodical. Pope is of low mental intelligence, incapable of careful forethought and planning.
All the evidence points to Pope – but Davenport has his doubts. To find the answers, he must track down his key suspect. And to do that, he’ll need the help of the Big Three: three vicious serial killers locked up in the state security hospital. Three killers as cunning as they are deranged. This was so good. Another great story. I am so pleased that all these stories are different but so well written.

In the richest neighbourhood of Minneapolis, two elderly women lie murdered in their home, beaten to death with a metal pipe, the rooms ransacked. It’s clearly a random break-in by someone looking for drug money: an open-and-shut homicide case. But as he looks more closely, Lucas Davenport begins to suspect that the handful of small items that were stolen from the crime scene might have more significance than anyone initially realised. Gradually, a pattern begins to emerge and it will lead Davenport somewhere he never expected. Another good story.

When a wealthy widow returns to her luxurious home in an exclusive Minneapolis suburb to find blood everywhere and her daughter gone, she instantly suspects the involvement of the weird Goth crowd her daughter was always hanging around with. Then, with no sign of the widow’s daughter, dead or alive, a second Goth is found slashed to death. It’s only when a third turns up dead that Lucas Davenport is reluctantly dragged into the case. But for all Davenport’s expertise, the clues don’t seem to add up. And then there’s the young Goth who keeps appearing and disappearing. Who is she? Where does she come from and, more importantly, where does she vanish to? Davenport suspects that there’s something else going on here. Something very, very bad. Did not expect this twist. Another good story.

Having spent the past two years in hiding following a daring and successful heist, a big-time robber is back in Minneapolis chasing the opportunity for an even greater steal. The big Republican party convention is in a couple of weeks: thousands of people spending cash, which is flowing into a relatively inadequate Brinks warehouse, protected by only three or four armed guards. And if the robber can distract the cops with an alert to a possible assassination, it is his for the taking. Meanwhile, Lucas Davenport has his own problems. He is being targeted by a psychopathic pimp, who blames Davenport for the fact he’s in a wheelchair. Only it’s not Davenport he’s going after; it’s his daughter, Letty. And I love the character of Letty. She is fourteen in this book and I actually enjoyed her story line more than Lucas Davenport. Can not wait to see what how she develops in future books. She is not your typical fourteen year old.

When a gang carries out a daring drugs raid on a hospital pharmacy, during which several staff are injured and one medical orderly brutally killed, the Minneapolis police department can only conclude that it must have been an inside job. For Lucas Davenport, this case is about to get personal. Weather Karkinnen, Lucas’s surgeon wife, was due to perform a high-profile operation on the day of the raid, and as an unwitting observer of the criminals’ desperate getaway, she is now in grave danger. As the culprits embark on a series of vicious murders in an attempt to silence any witnesses, it becomes apparent that a city gangster ring known as ‘The Seed’ is behind the attacks. With the body-count rising, Davenport knows that time is running out to identify the inside plant in the hospital before the gang catches up with Weather once and for all.

When a whole block is torn down in central Minneapolis to make way for a new housing development, an unpleasant surprise is unearthed – the bodies of two girls, wrapped in plastic, underneath an old house. It looks like they’ve been down there a long time. Lucas Davenport knows exactly how long. In 1985, Davenport was a young cop just about to be promoted out of uniform, despite a reputation for playing fast and loose with the rules. A superb undercover guy, he was part of the massive police effort that followed the kidnapping of two girls who were never found again, dead or alive. The searches turned up nothing, so when the suspected kidnapper was killed in a shoot-out, the case was closed. But not for Davenport. He’d gotten deep into the case, and while he was convinced the suspect knew something, he didn’t think he was the perpetrator – something just felt off. He argued hard about it to his bosses, but nobody wanted to hear. Until now. With the bodies discovered, the case is dusted off, just to tie a bow around it – but there’s something wrong with the evidence. There are indications of tampering. Police tampering. And as Davenport investigates, it becomes clear: it wasn’t just the bodies that were buried, but the truth – and there are a lot of people with a very strong stake in that truth never being uncovered. Another great story.

Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, an entire family has been killed, husband, wife, two daughters, dogs. There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts, it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit. Another great story. I loved the ending with Letty. If you ever read this, you would know what I meant.

Murder, scandal, political espionage and an extremely dangerous woman. Lucas Davenport’s going to be lucky to get out of this one alive. A Minnesota political fixer has hit the jackpot, or so he thinks. Hired to take down the incumbent U.S. senator with a vicious smear, to open the way for an ambitious, take-no-prisoners heiress who sees the Senate as merely a stepping-stone, he decides his payoff should be larger. The blackmail demand should yield some pretty large numbers, he thinks. Instead, he gets only a small one, 9 millimeters, to be exact. In the heart. Davenport is investigating the smear when the trail leads to the man’s disappearance, then very troublingly to the Minneapolis police department, then most troublingly of all to a woman who could give Machiavelli lessons. She has very definite ideas about the way the world should work, and the money, ruthlessness and sheer will to make it happen. Another great story. I really like this author.

Book twenty four of this series. ‘He knows where the bodies are buried.’ A familiar expression, often said with a laugh. But in Lucas Davenport’s line of work, it’s sometimes all too true.When a county deputy is called out to an abandoned farmhouse in the cornfields of Minnesota by a couple of terrified teenagers, he finds that a body has been stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another. By the time Lucas Davenport is called in, the police are up to fifteen bodies, and counting. And when Lucas begins to investigate, he makes some disturbing discoveries of his own. The victims have been killed over a great many years, one every summer, regular as clockwork. How could this have happened without anybody noticing? Because one thing was for sure: The killer has to live close by. He is probably even someone they see every day.

This I read on my my flight home from  Spain. This kindle I brought in November 2017 and just had not got around to reading it. This kindle cost me 99p. Fifteen years ago in New Jersey, a teenage boy and girl were found dead. Most people concluded it was a tragic suicide pact. The dead boy’s brother, Nap Dumas, did not. Now Nap is a cop, but he’s a cop who plays by his own rules, and who has never made peace with his past. And when the past comes back to haunt him, Nap discovers secrets can kill.

books read

Another

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. Book, book, book, book, book

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