November on AustCrimeFiction

A big November, with a welcome back to Andrea Thompson who is posting reviews and blogs now around her busy day job(s), kids, fostering animals, coffee drinking day to day activities :)

Reviewed This Month:

Inside the Black Horse, Ray Berard

Inside the Black Horse is a fast-moving thriller, a story of fate, and unlikely love story for our time. Pio Morgan is waiting outside a pub on a cold winter night. There is a debt he must pay and no options left. What he does next drags a group of strangers into a web of confusion that over the course of a few days changes all their lives. The young Maori widow just trying to raise her children, the corporate executive hiding his mistake, the gang of criminals that will do what ever it takes to recover what they've lost - and the outsider sent to town to try and figure out who did what. Time is running out for all of them as events take an increasingly dark turn.

The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

Deadly Diplomacy, Jean Harrod

Diplomat Jess Turner is the British Consul in Canberra. When a British businesswoman is brutally murdered in a Queensland resort, Jess travels to Brisbane to liaise with the police, and help the victim’s next of kin, her journalist sister, Susan.

Birthdays for the Dead, Stuart MacBride

The tabloids call him the Birthday Boy. He snatches girls just before their 13th birthdays. One year later the family get a homemade card in the post - 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!' scrawled in blood-red ink above a Polaroid photograph of the missing girl. Detective Constable Ash Henderson is seconded to the investigation.

For the Dignified Dead, Michael Genelin

A woman’s body is pulled from the frozen Danube in Bratislava. Police Commander Jana Matinova recognizes the killer’s calling card. She had him in her grasp once before …and he slipped away. But not this time. Determined to end the bloody killing spree, Matinova’s investigation plunges her into the center of an international conspiracy involving hundreds of millions of dollars and turns the hunter into the hunted. Pursued by vicious assassins, Matinova charges across Europe in a relentless quest for the truth…and dignity for the dead.

Breathe and Release, Katherine Hayton

Elisabet wakes with amnesia. The care offered to her by a husband she doesn’t remember descends within weeks into aggression and violence. Lillian lies hogtied in an underground cell. Forget about escape; unless she can manage the necessities of life she’ll be dead within days. Kristen lost her house, her friends, and her confidence when her parents separated. Now her injured stepmother has moved back in. Has she lost her memory, or lost her mind? Will the secrets hidden in Elisabet's locked memory be enough to set them all free?

Snowblind, Ragnar Jónasson

Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind. When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life. An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose.

Three Lives Down, Rachel Amphlett

Dan Taylor has survived two attempts on his life. The rest of his team are missing, and now a terrorist group has stolen a radioactive isotope from a top secret government project. Can Dan survive long enough to prevent a nuclear disaster on British soil?

The Heat, Garry Disher

Wyatt needs a job. A bank job would be nice, or a security van hold-up. As long as he doesn’t have to work with cocky idiots and strung-out meth-heads like the Pepper brothers. That’s the sort of miscalculation that buys you the wrong kind of time.

Olmec Obituary, L.J.M. Owen

Yearning for her former life as an archaeologist, Australian librarian Dr. Elizabeth Pimms is struggling with a job she doesn’t want, a family she both loves and resents, and enforced separation from her boyfriend. A royal Olmec cemetery is discovered deep in the Mexican jungle, containing the earliest writing in all the Americas. Dr. Pimms is elated to join the team investigating these Aztec ancestors. Triumph is short-lived, however, as Elizabeth’s position on the team is threatened by a volatile excavation director, contradictory evidence, and hostile colleagues. With everything working against her, will Dr Pimms find the cause of death for a 3,000-year-old athlete and those buried with her?

Vertigo, Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac

This is the story of a desperate man. A man who ended up compromising his own morality beyond all measure, while the Second World War raged outside his front door. A man tormented by his search for the truth, and ultimately destroyed by a dark, terrible secret.

Murder on the 18th Green, Frederico Maria Rivalta

The Euganean Hills golf community in northern Italy is a golfer’s paradise. With a perpetual smell of freshly cut grass, rolling green plains, and bright blue skies, it seems nothing could go wrong for the tight-knit group that lives there. But the normally laid-back residents are shaken to their cores when one of their own turns up at the club brutally murdered. After discovering his friend’s body, investigative journalist Riccardo Ranieri makes it his mission to track down the perpetrator of the heinous crime, and before long, he finds himself a target. As more bodies turn up, no one is safe from suspicion. When Riccardo begins to unravel the mystery, he sets in motion a series of unforeseen events—and it’s clear his quiet community will never be the same.

Blood Salt Water, Denise Mina

DI Alex Morrow and her team have been shadowing a woman suspected of being involved in a large drug-smuggling and money-laundering operation. Roxanna Fuentecilla recently moved from London to Glasgow under suspicious circumstances, and Morrow's bosses want all the glory when she's finally arrested. But then Roxanna disappears. She's left her partner and her two children, and something about the situation, and the children's evasive attitude, leads Morrow to question what's really going on.

Surveillance, Bernard Keane

The government is spying on everyone. But who is spying on the government? A ruthless online activist group called Kittehsaurus Rox has hacked into top-secret Cabinet information and gone public with it, creating widespread panic and embarrassing a government that will stop at nothing to hunt down 'KSR'.

Dark As My Heart, Antti Tuomainen

Aleksi lost his mother on a rainy October day when he was thirteen years old. Twenty years later, he is certain that he knows who's responsible. Everything points to millionaire Henrik Saarinen. The police don't agree. Aleksi has only one option: to get close to Henrik Saarinen and find out the truth about his mother's fate on his own. But as Aleksi soon discovers, delving into Saarinen and his beautiful daughter’s family secrets is a confusing and dangerous enterprise.

On Track for Murder, Stephen Childs

Travelling from England to Australia in the late nineteenth century, Abigail Sergeant and her brother, Bertrand, are looking forward to their new life. Leaving behind the prejudices that would likely have seen Bertrand committed to an institution before he reached adulthood, Abigail hopes their new life will offer freedom and security.

Read this Month / To Be Reviewed:

Cambodia Noir, Nicholas Seeley

A high-octane thriller with a heart-stopping conclusion about a mysterious American woman who disappears into the Cambodian underworld, and the photojournalist who tracks her through the clues left in her diary.

Burial Rites, Hannah Kent

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible--and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. For review at Reviewing the Evidence

Dead Wood, s.j. brown

Tasmania is in trouble. While mainland Australia surges through the backwash of the GFC the island state is struggling. Political infighting, bureaucratic ineptitude and a lack of investment have curtailed progress. Too many people are lodging on ‘Struggle Street’. 

Blue Wicked, Alan Jones

Eddie Henderson finds himself as the unlikely investigator with information that there's a serial killer targeting the substance dependent underclass who inhabit the notorious Glasgow housing estates. The police force ignore his warnings but one young detective believes him and she helps him search for the truth, despite putting her own career at risk. Their desperate search for the truth on their own proves Eddie right and sparks off a massive manhunt, with Eddie and Catherine, the young detective, at the forefront of the investigation. The book contains a fair bit of strong language and Glasgow dialect, and has some very violent passages.

Robert Goodman's Reviews:

An Empty Coast, Tony Park

Sonja Kurtz - former soldier, supposedly retired mercenary - is in Vietnam carrying out a personal revenge mission when her daughter sends a call for help. Emma is on a dig at the edge of Namibia's Etosha National Park studying archaeology and she's discovered a body that dates back to the country's liberation war of the 1980s. The remains, identified as Hudson Brand, are a key piece of a puzzle that will reveal the location of a modern-day buried treasure. A find people will kill for.

Good Money, J.M. Green

Introducing Stella Hardy, a wisecracking social worker with a thirst for social justice, good laksa, and alcohol. Stella's phone rings. A young African boy, the son of one of her clients, has been murdered in a dingy back alley. Stella, in her forties and running low on empathy, heads into the night to comfort the grieving mother. But when she gets there, she makes a discovery that has the potential to uncover something terrible from her past -- something she thought she'd gotten away with.

Andrea Thompson's Reviews:

Andrea just posted that she's reading Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett

Black Eyed Susans, Julia Heaberlin

Seventeen-year-old Tessa, dubbed a 'Black-Eyed Susan' by the media, became famous for being the only victim to survive the vicious attack of a serial killer. Her testimony helped to put a dangerous criminal behind bars - or so she thought. Now, decades later, the case has been reopened and the black-eyed Susans planted outside Tessa's bedroom window seem to be a message from a killer who should be safely in prison. Tessa agrees to help with the investigation, but she is haunted by fragmented memories of the night she was attacked and terrified for her own teenage daughter's safety. Can she unlock the truth about the killer before it's too late?

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