BOOKS READ JULY TO SEPTEMBER 2020

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Books I have read since July 2020. I have periods where I go off reading, this year it happened between May to June 2020. It was the very last day off June when I noticed a book I wanted to read through my kindle subscription. I had previously in mid June decided to cancel as there was not anything I was interested in. So I download and knew I would read it before midnight.

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Fresh from a high-profile case in the Paris fashion world, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the FBI. The wife of a notorious criminal has been admitted to a private psychiatric hospital and can no longer testify in his upcoming trial. Without her, their case will collapse but, amidst reports that the staff are as unpredictable as their patients, who can the police trust? In desperation, they turn to an outsider and now Gregory must find the courage to step inside the fortified walls of Buchanan Hospital to uncover the truth. The question is, will he ever be the same again? Murder and mystery are peppered with dark humour in this fast-paced thriller set amidst the spectacular Catskill Forest. This was very easy to read and I did enjoy this one better than the others in the series.

July

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Then I remembered that with everything going on, I had a couple of DCI Ryan series to catch up on. The first was Ryan’s Christmas. Christmas can be murder… After a busy year fighting crime, DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine and, in the case of DS Phillips, a stottie cake or two—that is, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland. Their Christmas spirit is soon tested when they’re forced to find shelter inside England’s most haunted castle, where they’re the uninvited guests at a ‘Candlelit Ghost Hunt’. It’s all fun and games—until one of the guests is murdered. It seems no mortal hand could have committed the crime, so Ryan and Co. must face the spectres living inside the castle walls to uncover the grisly truth, before another ghost joins their number… Again, I really enjoyed this, and it reminded me of an Agatha Christie book.

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Then number sixteen in the book series. But there has not been a bad one, that are such good stories. After a long and eventful winter, DCI Ryan and his team are looking forward to the joys of spring. But, when one of their colleagues is shot dead on her own doorstep and the brass think it’s an inside job, Ryan finds himself drafted in to investigate. He’s barely scratched the surface when reports flood in of a terror explosion at Durham Cathedral. Chaos descends on the sleepy, historic city and, when the smoke clears, they find a priceless artefact that once belonged to Saint Cuthbert is missing. With tensions running at an all-time high, unable to trust the local police, can Ryan and his team bring a killer to justice and restore Cuthbert’s cross to its natural resting place? And I can not wait to happens next in the this book series.

Another favourite book series is Angela Marsons DI Kim Stone series. When Detective Kim Stone is called to the home of Samantha Brown, she finds the young woman lying in bed with her throat cut and a knife in her hand. With no sign of forced entry or struggle, Kim rules her death a tragic suicide. But a visit to Samantha’s parents rings alarm bells for Kim – there’s something they’re not telling her. And, when she spots a clue in a photograph, Kim realises she’s made a huge mistake. Samantha didn’t take her own life, she was murdered. Then a young man’s body is found in a local lake with his throat cut and Kim makes a link between the victim and Samantha. They both spent time at Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life. Beneath the retreat’s cosy façade, Kim and her team uncover a sinister community preying on the emotionally vulnerable. Sending one of her own undercover into Unity Farm is high risk but it’s Kim’s only hope if she is to catch a killer, someone Kim is convinced the victims knew and trusted. With Bryant distracted by the emergence of a harrowing case close to his heart, and an undercover officer in way over her head, Kim’s neck is on the line like never before. Can she protect those closest to her before another life is taken?

Back to the Harry Bosch books, I still have ten books to read. Former FBI agent Rachel Walling is working a dead-end stint in South Dakota when she gets the call she’s been dreading for four years. The Poet is back. And he has not forgotten Rachel. He has a special present for her. Harry Bosch is adjusting to life in Las Vegas as a private investigator and a new father. He gets a call, too, from the widow of a friend who died recently. Previously in his FBI career, the friend worked on the famous case tracking the killer known as The Poet. This fact alone makes some of the elements of his death doubly suspicious. And Harry Bosch is heading straight into the path of the most ruthless and inventive murderer he has ever encountered. This was good, I do enjoy this series.

Book 20 of the women’s murder club series. I struggled with this book, took me a long time to read and finish this. THREE CITIES. THREE BULLETS. THREE VICTIMS. Simultaneous murders hit LA, Chicago and San Francisco. SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer is tasked with uncovering what links these precise and calculated killings. Lindsay discovers that the victims all excel in lucrative, criminal activity. As the casualty list expands, fear and fascination with this shocking spree provoke debate across the country. Are the killers villains or heroes? And who will be next? I just did not like this book, I was so bored reading and finishing them. Will not be buying them at all. Just continue to get them out of the library and save my money.

Finally I got this book. This came out as a kindle in March 2020. I have been trying to get the paperback version from the library since December 2019. And got this borrowed from the library as an ebook. Clara Rinker is a pleasant, softly spoken, low-key Southerner. She’s also the best hit woman in the business. Lucas Davenport should know – she almost killed him. Clara is now retired and living in Mexico with her boyfriend, the son of a local drug lord. When a sniper’s bullet narrowly misses her and kills her boyfriend, the boy’s father vows vengeance, but Rinker knows something he doesn’t: the boy wasn’t the target – she was. Now she is going to have to disappear to find the killer herself. Davenport is drafted to help track down the missing assassin and, with his fiance deep in wedding preparations, he’s happy to go. But he has no idea what he’s getting into. Rinker is as unpredictable as ever, and between her, her old bosses in the St. Louis mob, the Mexican drug lord, and the combined, sometimes warring, arms of U.S. law enforcement, this is one case that is only going to get more dangerous. It would have been nice to read in the order of this books series. But as I am not buying them, I do not mind waiting. I am just so pleased to have finally read this ! And it was bloody good. He is such a talented author.

The latest Lucas Davenport came out in May 2020, and I got it from the library in July 2020. Thankfully as a e book. The daughter of a US Senator is monitoring her social media presence when she finds a picture of herself on a strange blog. And there are other pictures . . . children of other influential Washington politicians, walking or standing outside their schools, each identified by name. Surrounding the photos are vicious political rants from a variety of radical groups. It’s obviously alarming – is there an unstable extremist tracking the loved ones of powerful politicians with deadly intent? But when the FBI is called in, there isn’t much they can do. The anonymous photographer can’t be pinned down to one location or IP address and, more importantly, no crime has actually been committed. Yet. There’s only one person who has a hope of finding the person behind this, one person who can operate outside the FBI’s constraints: Lucas Davenport. And he’ll have to act first before someone gets hurt. Another good story, I do like this book series a lot.

One of the very few authors, I will still buy as a hardback book. The latest from Daniel Silva. Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon has slipped into Venice for a much-needed holiday with his wife and two young children. But when Pope Paul VII dies suddenly, Gabriel is summoned to Rome by the Holy Father’s loyal private secretary, Archbishop Luigi Donati. A billion Catholic faithful have been told that the pope died of a heart attack. Donati, however, has two good reasons to suspect his master was murdered. The Swiss Guard who was standing watch the night of the pope’s death is missing. So, too, is the letter the Holy Father was writing during the final hours of his life. A letter that was addressed to an old friend: Gabriel.

While researching in the Vatican Secret Archives, I came upon a most remarkable book …

The book is a long-suppressed gospel that calls into question the accuracy of the New Testament’s depiction of one of the most portentous events in human history. For that reason alone, the Order of St. Helena will stop at nothing to keep it out of Gabriel’s hands. A shadowy Catholic society with ties to the European far right, the Order is plotting to seize control of the papacy. And it is only the beginning. I loved this, I read it as soon as it arrived. A big fan of this authors work and would recommend. This is one of the few authors I still buy as a hardback as soon as it is published.

The second book in this series came from the library. Eve is the last girl on earth. For the last sixteen years, Eve has been a prisoner. Guarded by the Mothers. Trapped by her fate. Watched by the world. Until she took her chance, and escaped. Eve finally has the freedom she has wanted for so long, and with Bram she has the love. But both come at a price. In this dangerous new world beyond the Tower, the regime is only ever one step behind. And, together with the desperate rebel group fighting against them, Eve has found herself in more danger than she ever could have imagined. With everything stacked against them, can Eve and Bram survive? This again was so so. Glad I did not buy this and just got this out of the library.

Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right. When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets. Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider, is there ever a proper defence for murder? Not bad, would read another from this author.

Meet Juliette. She’s intelligent, driven, committed and in love. Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him. They are meant to be. The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants. True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain. This was okay, nothing special.

Book 19 from the Temperance Brennan series. I have all her books and just love them. It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. Such another great story, I will be buying once the kindle is at the right price.

This is book two of the  Jack Mcevoy series. I had brought this for 99p in March 2020 and not read it. I had to read it as Michael Connelly 2020 book release which I got out of the library, the week it was out is Jack Mcevoy number 3. Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the Los Angeles Times, he’s got 30 days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of J-school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang: a final story that will win the newspaper journalism’s highest honour – a Pulitzer Prize. Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a sixteen-year-old drug dealer from the projects who has confessed to police that he brutally raped and strangled one of his crack clients. But as Jack delves into the story he soon realises that Alonzo’s so-called confession is bogus. The investigation leads him to a serial killer known as The Scarecrow, who has worked completely below the police and FBI radar. Jack is soon off on the crime beat and running on the biggest story he’s had since The Poet crossed his path twelve years before – but The Scarecrow knows he’s coming.

Jack McEvoy is a reporter with a track record in finding killers. But he’s never been accused of being one himself. Jack went on one date with Tina Portrero. The next thing he knows, the police are at his house telling Jack he’s a suspect in her murder. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t like being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Or maybe it’s because the method of her murder is so chilling that he can’t get it out of his head. But as he uses his journalistic skills to open doors closed to the police, Jack walks a thin line between suspect and detective – between investigation and obsession – on the trail of a killer who knows his victims better than they know themselves. Not bad, but glad I got this out of the library.

Another favourite author, Harlan Coben. Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods. He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde. Now a former soldier and security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community – until they need him. A child has gone missing. With her family suspecting she’s just playing a disappearing game, nobody seems concerned except for criminal attorney Hester Crimstein. She contacts Wilde, asking him to use his unique skills to find the girl. But even he can find no trace of her. One day passes, then a second, then a third. On the fourth, a human finger shows up in the mail. And now Wilde knows this is no game. It’s a race against time to save the girl’s life – and expose the town’s dark trove of secrets. This was so so good, I loved it and this new character is coming back !!!

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. Not bad, but I was right in who killed the teenagers. I have read nearly all of his books. I do enjoy this author a lot.

He watches. A woman runs alone in the woods. She convinces herself she has no reason to be afraid, but she’s wrong. A predator is stalking the women of Grant County. He lingers in the shadows, until the time is just right to snatch his victim. He waits. A decade later, the case has been closed. The killer is behind bars. But then another young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead, and the MO is identical. He takes. Although the original trail has gone cold – memories have faded, witnesses have disappeared – agent Will Trent and forensic pathologist Sara Linton must re-open the cold case. But the clock is ticking, and the killer is determined to find his perfect silent wife. This was so good, I have been reading this author books since 2001 and own them all.  I was not disappointed with this book, I loved the two time lines, going back to some characters from the past. I would recommend this author.

From my stash, I have from this series, one to fourteen in hardback form. I just want to get these read. After three years as a PI, Harry Bosch returns to the LAPD. Harry is back, assigned to the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit with his former cop ally and partner, Kizmin Rider. These detectives are the Closers. They are thrown into a politically sensitive and dangerous case when a white supremacist is connected to the 1988 murder of a mixed race girl. The police department has changed, but one thing hasn’t – Harry’s nemesis, Irving. The former Deputy Chief has been pushed from power and given a virtually meaningless new role. Full of vengeance, Irving calls Harry a ‘retread’. He watches from the sidelines like an injured bear, hoping Harry will make a mistake

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection but can you pay the price? Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession. This was good, and would recommend this.

From the electronic book section of my library. A prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price. It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmanoeuvre his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favour or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

August

I went off reading this month. Had other things on my mind

September

When Hannah meets Sonny, she’s irresistibly drawn to him: he’s sexy and confident, but only in town on holiday. That’s fine with Hannah – she doesn’t do long-term relationships. And luckily for her, neither does Sonny. But before they can even so much as kiss, Sonny receives some shocking news and commits to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance. With even a short fling now off the cards, Hannah and Sonny settle for being friends. But as summer hots up and their chemistry shows no signs of cooling, they start to question their reasons for shutting each other out. Are they both too broken to find love? And if they tear down the walls between them, will they still like what’s on the other side? This was nice story, that I enjoyed. Came out this summer and I was lucky to get for 99p. Another deal of the day.

When Hurricane Leo threatens Florida’s Camino Island, the Governor is quick to issue an evacuation order. Most residents flee but a small group of diehards decide to ride it out. Amongst them is Bruce Cable, proprietor of Bay Books in downtown Santa Rosa. The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are levelled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people are killed. One of the victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s who wrote timely political thrillers. But evidence suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of Nelson’s death – he had received several mysterious blows to the head. Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed with the aftermath of the storm and in no condition to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels were more fact than fiction. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel – could the key to the case be right there, in black and white? Bruce starts to look into it and what he finds between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists – and far more dangerous.

Book two of the Sacramento series. Mercy Callahan never thought she’d be able to talk about her past. When she arrives in Sacramento to make peace with her brother Gideon, and to help find the brutal cult that took away her childhood, she is finally ready to talk. But when Ephraim Burton – the man who made her life a living hell – follows her there, she realises she might never be safe. Rafe Sokolov would do anything to have Mercy back in his life and would go to any length to protect her. But when it becomes apparent that Ephraim is more determined than ever to get Mercy back, even Rafe might not be able to stop the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. As Ephraim draws near, it’s clear it’s not just Mercy who is in danger; those closest to her are firmly in his sights. A author that I have everyone of her books, I just like them. Will be buying this as a kindle one day.

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems.  Just one more night. Then I’ll end it. Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up. Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself. I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing. But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything.

A favourite author, so not missing this. A serial killer who will stop at nothing.

The Killer
His most valuable possession has been stolen.
Now he must retrieve it, at any cost.

The Girl
Angela Wood wanted to teach the man a lesson. It was a bag, just like any other.
But when she opens it, the worst nightmare of her life begins.

The Detective
A journal ends up at Robert Hunter’s desk. It soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose.
And if Hunter can’t stop him in time, more people will die.

This was so good, and I would recommend this author to anyone.

 

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