I seem to be motoring through crim/fic at the moment with quite a few dropping through my letter box and all those publishers who have twigged I love this genre and keep me supplied - my thanks, as ever.
First up this week is Rock Creek Park by Simon Conway. Set in Washington DC, we have a black detective, ex-Afghanistan hero who now works in Homicide. 'It is a dark and stormy night' (sorry couldn't resist) when he receives a call that a body has been found in Rockcreek Park. The victim is a young woman whose face has been battered in so that she is unrecognisable. DC Michael Freeman, the detective in question, is handed the poisoned chalice of solving this one - and the reason for it being a really sensitive case is because the body has been discovered just yards from the home of Senator John Cannon, one of the most powerful and wealthy men in America.
Soon we have more victims all of whom were connected with the Senator and the dead girl and the pressure is on for Michael to clear this up as quickly as possible and avoid a political scandal. Of course, that is impossible to do, of course nasty things are going to happen to Michael, and as the book progresses and we find that human genetics and manipulation are involved, we know it is going to get increasingly complicated. And so it does. In fact by the time I reached the denoument in the snows of Russia with a task force bombing a secret hide out, fighting between local tribesman, the CIA, the FBI and heaven knows who else, I was getting serioulsy bogged down. There are double and triple twists and, I have to admit, a totally over the top plot which I found difficult to take seriously.
One good thing I thought when I started reading this was Ooh great, he is happily married. By the end of the book he is not. Plus ca change....
Then the latest Lee Childs - A Wanted Man dropped through my door and I spent most of Saturday afternoon curled up on the sofa reading it. I have read all of the Jack Reacher books now and have enjoyed them all but am beginning to feel that the author might want to try a new hero, or change the storyline a bit as it is all getting a bit samey. Reacher comes into a town somewhere off the beaten track, rights wrongs, fights corruption, kills dozens of baddies, beds a beautiful woman and then walks off into the night, alone, as ever.
In this one Jack is hitchhiking and is picked up by a car containing two men and a woman seemingly on their way back from a conference or meeting. They start hitting road blocks and it is clear that the police are looking for a car with one or two people and Jack and his companions are waived through. So Jack reckons he is being used as a cover and wonders what has happened.
Well there has been a murder and the CIA and the FBI are involved but as is usual, nobody is telling each other the truth, there is a lot of infighting, Jack saves the day and when the solution was explained in the final chapter I still did not understand what was going on. Only difference with this latest Childs is that Jack does not get to bed a beautiful woman, probably because she ends up getting her head blown off.
As you may know, the first Jack Reacher film is on release. Should be interesting "Reacher was huge...he was one of the largest men she had ever seen. He was extremely tall and extremely broad and long armed and long legged. The chair was regular size but it looked tiny under him. It was bent and crushed out of shape..."
Looking forward to seeing Tom Cruise in this role.....