I have had a quiet couple of days catching up on all things domestic but in between have managed to read three books. All crime thrillers and each one excellent in their different ways. On scrolling through my reading list this year I note that the majority are all crime novels of one kind or another. I started off with Agatha Christie when I was eleven and my love of the detective genre has never disappeared.
Stagestruck - Peter Lovesey. I have now galloped through all the Inspector Diamond books since I discovered them a couple of months ago and have loved them all. Set in Bath so that I have a good idea of location and where things are and this helps enormously when reading. I am a Camera by Christopher Isherwood is being staged at the Royal Theatre and in order to bring in the punters, a fading pop star, Clarion Calhoun, is playing Sally Bowles. It is clear that she is a bad actress and it is going to be a disaster and so it is, but not for the reason you might think. Within five minutes of her entrance she is screaming and clawing at her face which is burning and on fire. Rushed off to hospital it is discovered that she is suffering from acid burns. The make up artist who looked after her then vanishes and bodies start turning up all over the theatre. Inspector Diamond has to investigate, but he has an overpowering fear of theatres and part of this story deals with this and his tracking down of the origin of this phobia. Just when he thinks he has cracked it and we all agree, there is a twist.
Star Fall - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. The lastest in the Bill Slider series which I have been impatiently waiting for . Oh I love these stories. Full of wit and humour and great characters I hate to call them 'cosy' but they are. We have the contrasting Bill Slider and his sidekick Atherton (difficult to rid myself of the pictures in my mind of Lewis and Hathaway) and their relationship, based on friendship and respect.
An antiques expert, Rowland Egerton, darling of day time TV is murdered. I have to say that from the description of the victim I immediately thought of David Dickinson but sincerely trust that it is only a facial similarity as Rowland turns out to be nasty and duplicitious and a bit of a fraud. A Faberge box and a painting were missing from the house but nothing else and it is the tracking down of these two items that lead us to the culprit who, quite frankly, I only began to suspect about ten pages from the end when it all fell into place.
As always, so well written and characterised and a joy to read.
Die Again - Tess Gerritsen. The latest Rizzoli and Isles book and totally different from the above titles. Tess Gerritsen's books always have a darker edge and can be quite scary at time. Her last two or three have been particularly creepy with shades of Christie's Ten Little Indians or whatever the correct title is now, with protagonists gradually disappearing and being murdered one by one. Die Again opens with a group of tourists on safari in Botswana. They have paid for the 'real bush experience' and boy do they find it. One by one they are being picked off and, while at first they think they are being attacked by animals, it soon becomes clear that they are being stalked by a human hunter. One of the group manages to flee the carnage and takes to the bush.
Years later, back in Boston, a grisly murder takes place which may have links with the happenings in Botswana and the disappearance of other groups who have gone on holidays in the wild. Rizzoli flies to South Africa to try and persuade the survivor from Botswana to return with her to the US to identify the murderer, a move which nearly proves fatal.
Started reading this last night but had to give up and go to sleep, but the first thing I did this morning was to pick it up and finish it off as it was so darn gripping. Well up to her usual standard. Great stuff.
And then while I was at the hairdressers today I read Watch you Die by Katie Lieff. I have read a few of hers and though I would not say they set the world on fire, they are well plotted and enjoyable. This one concerns a widow and her young son who have moved to New York to start a new life but find a stalker who has been watching them for some time follows them to the city. I enjoyed it.