Category Archives: Mystery

A Review of Good as Dead by Mark Billingham


Good As Dead (Tom Thorne, #10)
Review by: John H Glen
Date; 28 May 2012
Format: Paperback
ASIN: 0751544973 (ISBN13: 9780751544978
My rating: 4  stars
Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

The Hostage Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent’s on her way to work. Little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever? It’s the last place she expects to be met with violence, but as she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman. The Demand The crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in youth custody. By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force the one man who knows more about the case than any other to re-investigate his son’s death. That man is DI Tom Thorne. The Twist While Helen fights to stay alive and the body-count rises, Thorne must race against time if he is to bring a killer to justice and save a young mother’s life.

What Do I Think?

Once more Mark Billingham is to be commended for the absolute readability of this finely woven story for me he has steered clear of falsely pushing Thorne into an atypical behaviour, and has faith in the readers that we will understand the dialect and speech used which is as usual delivered powerfully

This is a masterful story a real page turner and yes I found myself unable to put it down until I had finished, I just can’t wait for the next outing from the masterful story-weaver.

At the start though, “Good As Dead” look as if like it’s planning a somewhat standard state of affairs, when the Indian owner of a corner shop, apparently sick and tired with the day after day aggravation and aggression from a gang of youths.

I found the story captivating the description of all the characters is simply outstanding and Mark makes sure that Tom Thorne is not a hero, but a man attempting to do a demanding job.

“ Good as Dead” has a couple of things that facilitates its ascent to being one of the best woven crime thrillers I have read.

This is the 10th Tom Thorne book and the progression shows no slowing down or tiredness the growth of the Tom Thorne character over the last few books is great and to keep to this intensity of superbly woven stories is a demonstration of the gift that this master story weaver mark Billingham has.

To finish I cannot recommend Mark Billingham’s books enough and I await the next instalment with great excitement.

A Review of Midnight Reflections by Katrina Michaels


Midnight Reflections, Katrina Michaels

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Details:

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 481 KB

Publisher: StoneGarden.net Publishing (9 Nov 2010)

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Language English

ASIN: B004BLJABO

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

All Tara Daston wanted was a fun night out dancing with her boyfriend. Getting killed was certainly the last thing she ever expected and waking back up three days later as a vampire was the last thing she ever wanted. And just when she finally begins adjusting to her new life, a friend is killed by a creature nobody can identify. At first, she tries to move on because, after all, she’s just a newly risen vampire who was still trying to learn about existing as the Undead. But despite it all, she can’t stop thinking about her friend. As more killings happen, she realizes that she can’t ignore it any longer. Deciding to investigate a little, she meets Tom Duncan, the lead agent of the Preternatural Investigation Agency, who is not amused at her interference. Whether it’s because they are both vampires or because he keeps treating her as if she’s five years old, but Tara really enjoys riling the agent. Also, now that she’s gotten involved, she doesn’t want to stop. And when the killer notices her and is intrigued, she no longer has any choice, forcing her to work together with Tom and the rest of the agency to stop the murders.

What Do I Think?

This new weaver of the vampire story (new to me anyway) Katrina Michaels has an innovative way in writing about the Undead and the conflict of the human and paranormal worlds that is both revitalizing and electrifying.
Her cast of characters has its eccentricities to provide the comedy that I think all books of this genre needs; the story has several distinctly scary occurrences, which only goes to prove that this story weaver is not afraid to get her hands dirty with all the unpleasant aspects related with genre.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone keen to try new authors, believe me you will enjoy the event.

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A Review of The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes


The Sacred Bones
The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

Fast-paced and intelligent, blending historical fact with persuasive fiction, The Sacred Bones is an addictively compelling thriller that calls into question many of modern religion’s most deeply held beliefs. Jerusalem is a ticking time bomb …An ancient artefact is stolen from beneath Temple Mount. With thirteen Israeli soldiers dead, and the Palestinians outraged over the desecration of the sacred ground, tensions are running high. Detectives must work against the clock to identify the stolen relic and the thieves, before civil unrest escalates to deadly proportions. Meanwhile, in Vatican city, American scientist Charlotte Hennesey and Italian anthropologist Giovanni Bersei have been secretly summoned to analyse a mysterious artefact, that could prove to be history’s darkest secret: a human skeleton, approximately 2,000 years old, and bearing the unmistakable marks of crucifixion …With the malevolent eye of Vatican security expert Salvatore Conte watching her every move, Charlotte must work against the clock to uncover an astonishing truth that threatens the very foundations of belief. And there’s a more immediate question to face: whether the Vatican will allow this information – and Charlotte – to see the light of day
Michael Byrnes is the founder and C.E.O. of a highly successful multi-million dollar insurance brokerage firm. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. The Sacred Bones is his first novel

What Do I Think?

In the past 15 years I have read a number of books which includes something historical and are bursting with conspiracy theories, it follows that a hero enters who discovers the truth.
I must say that I have grown quite fond of the better written books and have taken to the genre, regardless of some book lovers doubts.
Yet, out of the many books of this type I have read, I would rate “Sacred Bones” 4 stars on equal footing with Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons“.
The plot is a more involved than is customary in this genre this may discourage some readers, but believe me it is well worth reading as the storyline presents an intriguing (if a little fictional) glance into the contradictory cultures of Christianity and Islam in Jerusalem.

I found the plot to be suspenseful, fast-moving, and Michael Byrne’s approach story-weaving is superb, his characters are lifelike and I can see this story being made into a fantastic Hollywood blockbuster
The book’s ending is not definite, the question of the uniqueness of the occupier of the Vatican’s ossuary is not decisively revealed, even if strongly hinted at and questions linger as to what to do with a sample of the bones DNA, which has strong healing powers.
Here the plot for a sequel is mapped out and I can’t wait to read the next book in the sequence

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Review: From The Dead


From The Dead
From The Dead by Mark Billingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Review of From the Dead by Mark Billingham

SUNDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2011

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

A man is burnt to death in a car in Epping Forest, the victim of professional hit men. The evidence suggest that the dead man’s wife, Donna Langford, hired the killers, and she is found guilty of conspiracy to murder. A decade passes, and just before her release from prison, Donna is sent a photo: it is that of her supposedly murdered spouse. Is he, in fact, dead? And if not, whose was the charred body in the burnt-out Jaguar? Shortly after, DI Tom Thorne is contacted by a woman, Anna Carpenter. Anna is making a living (and hating it) by working for a detective agency that cynically uses her as a ‘pretend prostitute’ to trap men into sexually compromising set-ups in divorce cases. Anna is on the side of the worried Donna Langford, and asks a reluctant Thorne for help. The detective is not to be persuaded – until he realises that the supposedly late Alan Langford is very much alive, and wants payback – in the worst way.

What Do I Think?

Mark Billingham is to be commended for the absolute readability of this finely woven story for me he has steered clear of falsely pushing Thorne into an atypical behaviour, and has faith in the readers that we will understand the dialect and speech used which is as usual delivered powerfully
I don’t know the plot could seem a little passé, a gangster believed dead who isn’t really, but there is some maturity of the usual characters, The creation of Anna Carpenter is wonderful as she brings a vulnerable character to the story.
I found the story absorbing the portrayal of all the characters is superb and Mark makes sure that Tom Thorne is not a hero, but a man attempting to do a demanding job as well as trying to continue a relationship that he is not convinced is going anywhere, nevertheless he is still hanging in there.
What is pleasant on the subject of Thorne as a fundamental character is that he is imperfect I really do not like central characters to be flawless and Mark Billingham has got Thorne just right
This is a masterful story a real page turner and yes I found myself unable to put it down until I had finished, I just can’t wait for the next outing from the masterful story-weaver.

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A Review of Edge by Jeffery Deaver


Edge
Edge by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

When Washington D.C. police detective Ryan Kessler is targeted by Henry Loving, he and his family are immediately put under government protection. Loving is a ruthless ‘lifter’, hired to extract information from his victims, and he will use whatever means necessary including kidnapping, torturing or killing their family.
Assigned to the Kessler’s is protection officer Corte: uncompromising, relentlessly devoted to protecting those in his care and a brilliant game strategist. He also knows just how brutal the lifter can be – six years earlier, Loving killed someone close to him.
As tension increases between the families, the situation escalates into a deadly contest between protector and lifter as each tries to outwit the other. And as the lifter closes in on his prey, Corte must decide whether to protect his charges, or expose them to a killer in the name of personal revenge . . .

What Do I Think?

In this book from Jeffery Deaver you will find twists and turns which will have you burning the candle at both ends until you finish this wonderfully woven story.
This faultless tale will fill you with delight as well as welcoming you to see in your mind’s eye the fantastic imagery from this story-weaver as his hero Corte and the baddy Henry Loving play cat and mouse games with each other
The plot is fascinating as the two central characters are as two chess grand-masters moving their pieces in a world-class match, some of the twists and moves are easy to spot but others are nigh on impossible to see.
This is a fast paced story with an intenseness that gets your heart racing and as the plot slowly unfolds you find yourself turning each page to find that there is yet another gripping page and this continues to the very end.
This is my first outing with this story-weaver and I can’t recommend this book highly enough and can’t wait to read more from him.

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