I have been spending most of my days watching Wimbledon in the last week or so, which you have probably gathered by now, hence the lack of posting. I have managed to read quite a lot in between hurling shrieks and abuse at the TV screen and am doing a round up of these else I shall rapidly fall behind.
The Heist - Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. Not sure how much of this is Janet and how much is Lee as the style and narrative and characters are more or less slight variations on the Stephanie Plum books. Don't know how she manages to churn out so many, perhaps she needed a bit of help, hence Lee Goldberg. Whatever. So this is a new series featuring Kate O'Hara, an FBI Special Agent who is obsessed with taking down an international crook Nicolas Fox. He is dashing, daredevil and, naturally, devestatingly handsome. Well she gets her man. Or does she? Double dealing with the FBI and deals made ensure that Nicolas Fox is now on undercover with the FBI and Kate, again naturally, is the agent assigned to work with him. Lots of fun, lots of daft adventures and lots of heavy breathing between the two of them which will obviously not end up with them in bed until at least book seven in the series, ensure that these are going to be as fun and as successful as the Plum books.
The Memory Key - Connor Fitzgerald. This is the latest in the series featuring Alec Blume, an American born detective who lives in Rome. These books are not your normal go get 'em detective thrillers. They are more cerebral than that and you need to sit and read and concentrate on them. They are elegantly written with great style and ensure that the reader uses those little grey cells (pace Poirot). Sofia Fontana is a witness to a killing. The victim is an ex-terrorist, Stefania Manfellotto, who has been involved in atrocities in the past. She does not die but the bullet has killed the memory lobes in her brain and she has no recollection of the past, and her memory span is minimal. It is assumed that she was the victim but when the witness Sofia is then killed herself Alec believes she was the original target all along though he has problems ensuring that the police feel the same way.
One of the suspects involved is Sofia's professor, a man obsessed with the Memory Key and how one remembers information and data. It is ironic that Stefanie met him regularly and they discussed her politics while she passed on information about her old colleagues and she then loses her memory.
As I said, beautifully written and, as always, a thread concerning Alec's personal life running through the book and we can chart the progress or lack of it, of his relationship with one of the detectives he works with, Caterina. Like most police officers in a series such as this, he is pretty poor in his dealings with those he loves. Due to be published on 1 August but you can pre-order.
A Killing of Angels - Kate Rhodes. I read this author's debut novel, Crossbones Yard, last year and really enjoyed it (see my review here). The heroine of this promising series is Alice Quentin a psychologist who has so many problems of her own I am surprised she is allowed to practice. After her first foray in assisting the police she decides she will not help them again, but of course she does and, in this case, she is asked to build up a profile of a killer who is targeting bankers in the City. You might think the only good banker is a dead banker and this murderer obviously feels that way as his calling card left by each body is a picture of an avenging angel.
Pacy, engaging and most enjoyable I sat and read this through in one sitting. And, once again, I did not see the end coming or the identity of the killer. Next time I read one of Kate Rhodes I shall look for the most unlikely, nicest, and seemingly innocent person and target them as the baddie. That way I might have a chance of guessing who did it.
OK that is it for today - more crime thrillers to review next week but for the rest of this Sunday I shall be watching the Men's Final at Wimbledon. Or I may not. It depends whether my nerves will take it or not. I have strawberries and cream to hand. And Valium.....