BOOKS READ – FEBRUARY TO APRIL 2020

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Books I have read while grieving and while ill and during the British lockdown from March 2020.

February

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Book twenty five of the Lucas Davenport series. They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes, they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them. Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do. Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen. A trip that will not only put the two of them in danger, but just may change the course of his life. This was really good.

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After the events in Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport finds himself in a very unusual situation, no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA. His friend the governor is just cranking up a presidential campaign, though, and he invites Lucas to come along as part of his campaign staff. “Should be fun!” he says, and it kind of is, until they find they have a shadow; an armed man intent on killing the governor and anyone who gets in the way. I liked this too, a different way of life for Lucas, it will be interesting to see where this character goes now.

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Lucas Davenport has a job with the U.S. Marshals Service – an unusual one. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, and follow wherever they lead him. And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A house at the center of a drug-smuggling ring is attacked and briefcases full of cash are stolen. But whoever took the money left something behind: five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport vows to track down the cash and find the killers. But he’s not the only one on the hunt. The drug smugglers want their money back, and they’ve sent two assassins, including an infamous torturer known for her creative use of home-improvement tools, after Davenport. It’ll take every ounce of Davenport’s predatory instinct to track down the killers and money before he becomes the prey. This was okay.

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Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before. A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she’d fit right in. He was also convinced that she’d been responsible for three murders, though he’d never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again. He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he’s heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she’s made from it, to be very useful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous. But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end. Really enjoyed this and return of characters.

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At first, Clayton Deese seems like your run-of-the-mill criminal, a gun for hire that keeps the boss from the cops. But after he skips bail following a job gone wrong, the U.S. Marshals see that he could be the key to the whole operation’s undoing. As marshals begin the search of Deese’s place, they find something far darker than they ever expected. There are countless graves lining the back of the house, trophies from a score of killings. Deese may have seemed small-time but the evidence says otherwise, they are dealing with a frenzied and prolific serial killer. This was really good. I have enjoyed this book series. I can not wait to read the next one coming out this year.

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It’s a random universe, but once in a blue moon things turn out just right. In a nameless city, two rival criminal gangs are competing for control. But they hadn’t counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch. Reacher is trained to notice things. He’s on a Greyhound bus, watching an elderly man sleeping in his seat, with a fat envelope of cash hanging out of his pocket. Another passenger is watching too, hoping to get rich quick. As the mugger makes his move, Reacher steps in. The old man is grateful, yet he turns down Reacher’s offer to help him home. He’s vulnerable, scared, and clearly in big, big trouble. What hold could the gangs have on the old guy? Will Reacher be in time to stop bad things happening? The odds are better with Reacher involved. That’s for damn sure. Another good story, but then this is one of my favourite authors. Pity this was hes last novel. He has passed Reacher along to his brother. I have pre ordered to see if the quality is as good. Time will tell.

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Detective Superintendent Roy Grace’s first major case is one he’ll ever forget. It was meant to be a harmless stag-night prank. But a few hours later, the groom has disappeared and his friends are dead. With only three days to the wedding, Grace is contacted by the man’s distraught fiance to unearth what happened on that fateful night. Grace discovers that the one man who ought to know of the groom’s whereabouts is saying nothing. But then he has a lot more to gain than anyone realizes, for one man’s disaster is another man’s fortune. Started another book series, this is thirteen books. Nod bad with lots of twists and the ending is unexpected.

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Book two of the Roy Grace series. I am getting these from the library electronic book. So not in a rush and just will read what is available. I own a couple of this series too. When a young woman’s body is found butchered in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace cannot help but think of his own missing wife and her unsolved fate. Elsewhere in the city, when Tom Bryce finds a disc left on a train, he simply tries to do the right thing, return it to its owner. But this attempted act of kindness makes him the sole witness to that same vicious murder. Learning that Tom has made a statement to Grace’s team, the killers have to act. But when they plan the murder of the Bryce family, it’s not just revenge, it’s entertainment.

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Book fifty of the Eve Dallas series. This came through the library and I do love a brand new hardback book. When Kent Abner – baby doctor, model husband and father, good neighbour – is found dead in his town house in the West Village, Detective Eve Dallas and her team have a real mystery on their hands. Who would want to kill such a good man? They know how, where and when he was killed but why did someone want him dead? Then a second victim is discovered and as Spring arrives in New York City, Eve finds herself in a race against time to track down a serial killer with a motive she can’t fathom and a weapon of choice which could wipe out half of Manhattan. I struggled with this, got to chapter five and gave up. I may return to get it from the library, but not in any rush.

March

With more personal problems, I just went off reading books for about three weeks. This new book came through and I got this soon after release day. This is book twelve of the Ruth Galloway mysteries. Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging. Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over? Another very good story, I just enjoy a lot of this author’s work.

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Detective Superintendent Roy Grace has found the killer – hasn’t he? A beautiful socialite is dead. Grace’s leading suspect, her husband, was sixty miles away when she died, but all other evidence points to him. Has someone stolen his identity or is he simply a very clever liar?  Grace’s investigation and his budding new relationship are derailed after a reported sighting of his wife, Sandy, who has been missing for nine years. Grace desperately tries to cast light on the truth in both cases as his emotional turmoil and the body count grows.

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April

Amid the tragic unfolding mayhem of the morning of 9/11, failed Brighton businessman and ne’er-do-well Ronnie Wilson sees the chance of a lifeline: to shed his debts, disappear and reinvent himself in another country. Six years later the discovery of the skeletal remains of a woman’s body in a storm drain in Brighton leads Detective Superintendent Roy Grace on an enquiry spanning the globe, and into a desperate race against time to save the life of a woman being hunted down like an animal in the streets and alleys of Brighton.

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The Sun Sister is the sixth instalment in the multi-million selling epic series, The Seven Sisters. This was a e-book through the library during the lockdown. I have been waiting for this since November 2019. To the outside world, Electra D’Aplièse seems to be the woman with everything: as one of the world’s top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous. Yet beneath the veneer, Electra’s already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother. In 1939, Cecily Huntley-Morgan arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her godmother, a member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, she meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai tribe. But after a shocking discovery and with war looming, Cecily has few options. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, she is isolated and alone. Until she meets a young woman in the woods and makes her a promise that will change the course of her life for ever.

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I did not read much this month. I have just gone off reading books thanks to the British lockdown. I really miss my local library. But I do have a lot at home I could read if I was in the right frame of mind.

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