Monday 23 June 2014

Rollover: A Dan Mahoney Mystery by Susan Slater

Rollover: A Dan Mahoney MysteryRollover: A Dan Mahoney Mystery by Susan Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Getting a lift after a breakdown was never expected to turn into a can of worms. Dan Mahoney an insurance investigator is sent to resolve a claim for a necklace insured for half a million dollars, following a robbery at the Wagon Mound bank. Prior to his arrival in the remote town things start to go wrong when his car unexpectedly breaks down, a nice old man in his beat up truck offers a lift and before you know it he is in hospital. To follow on the author adds suicide / murder and all sorts of deception and lies mixed in with a tiny bit of romance. This book has been very cleverly crafted to keep feeding you excitement and information to retain your interest whilst keeping the climax for the end. Sometimes you find authors struggling to fill the pages, resorting to giving lectures or adding an irrelevant second storyline, not here Susan Slater sticks to the plot faithfully. The view is always from the investigators perspective, you are privy to all his meetings and also hearing his thoughts, so can you work it out, I couldn't.

This is the first book I have read from this established author, her second Dan Mahoney mystery, but is now into double figures as a whole. I now plan to read the first Dan Mahoney mystery and thoroughly recommend Rollover to any crime, mystery and thriller reader.

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Thursday 19 June 2014

The Spartan by Charles Purcell

The SpartanThe Spartan by Charles Purcell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fans of Spartacus on the TV you're book is here, modernised into the 21st century. The only thing missing is the gratuitous sex which is probably a relief. Spartan is at the top of his profession above Tier 1 of US special forces only doing black ops. A specialist at hand to hand combat always resulting in lots of blood and extremely high body count. Partnered with an ex Mexian policewoman with some interesting high tech equipment, Spartan is assigned to retrieve biowarfare canisters spread around the US by a mad Chinese General. Only one mad General is not enough as Spartan is pursued by another.

If you are not into bloody, needless killing, action thrillers then please do not read. The book is overflowing with it, however it is a very real terrorist scenario cleverly thought out by the author, who does not waste any lines of the book with padding or irrelevant information. From start to finish you are kept on your toes with action. If you thought John Rambo was tough wait till you read about this guy.

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Wednesday 11 June 2014

The Good Suicides by Antonio Hill

The Good Suicides: A ThrillerThe Good Suicides: A Thriller by Antonio Hill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What could happen on a team / motivation week away for employees of Alemany Cosmetics at a remote country house? This is what Inspector Salgado of Barcelona has to unravel whilst trying to control his emotions stirred up by the disappearance of his wife Ruth. The suicide of an employee and his killing of his wife and child may be connected, or is it? This is a good story but you have to be patient, it is a very slow burner. Partly necessary, the early chapters are filled with background to the characters including that of Inspector Salgado.You are always wondering what has actually happened and why the picture of strangled dogs hanging from a tree is so important. The author Antonio Hill refuses to give any real clues other than a few crumbs, which doesn't give you any chance of understanding what happened until it is revealed. Is it to do with the cosmetics industry and vivisection protest groups, is a the company a depressing place to work - sorry but you have to wait.

This is the second book in the series and I have rated it with 3 stars, but if it had been a little faster paced it would certainly deserve 4 stars.

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Thursday 5 June 2014

Scotch Rising by SJ Garland

Scotch Rising (Markinch Series, Volume 1)Scotch Rising by SJ Garland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With Scottish independence vote due in September, this novel set in 1707 when Scottish and English parliaments agreed to Union is very topical. Just returned from the new world Captain Clyde-Dalton is assigned a post as an excise collector in the highlands of Scotland. This post is punishment for his misdemeanors in the New World but turns quickly into a murder investigation. Battling against the local culture and weather the Captain starts to learn the murder of his predecessor is more complicated than the locals believe. His experience in the New World, as he finds out does not always translate to the village environment he is now in.

SJ Garland has tackled the Scottish language issue by using a set list of old Scottish words and a list of normal English words misspelt to portray the accent. It does not really work that well but it does convey the atmosphere of the setting very well. Markinch today is village in Fife and not the highlands however it does not really affect the story. It is a good story in a historical setting but with the thrills and twists of a good murder mystery.

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