Another crimfic blogger mentioned on Twitter that 'BrooksideElaine (yes that is my twitname) wrote about C&T. Well, senior moment, mind went blank and I was reduced to Tweeting back Er what is C&T? Back came the reply 'Crime and Thrillers'
OK so slunk into a TweetCorner for a few mins 'sigh'
So it is fitting that today's post is called C&T round up 'cos that is what it is.
The Unwanted - Kristina Ohlsson. Another Scandinavian crimcon writer and this is a debut novel and very accomplished it is too and setting the scene nicely and introducing characters who are obviously going to feature in future titles. Not my favourite theme - a missing child, later found dead and a murdered baby which I found rather upsetting and put the book to one side for a week or two before going back to it. If it had not been so well written and well characterised I might have left it there but by the time I abandoned it I was hooked and wanted to find out the identity of the murderer.
Little girl taken from a train while her mother had nipped off during a stop to make a phone call. WHAT a stupid thing to do and this was one of the plot lines I take issue with, cannot imagine any woman doing that, I really can't. The train pulls out and leaves the mother behind at the station and by the time it reaches its destination, the child has vanished. At first it looks as if the father has snatched the daughter in a custody row but this proves not to be the case and we soon learn that somebody rather nasty is lurking in the corner. The missing child is then found dead with the word Unwanted scribbled on her forehead and we know that this is only the beginning.
Inspector Alex Recht of the Stockholm police is the Man in Charge in this book and there are plenty of other instantly recognisable characters in the station; Woman detective who is the butt of sarcastic remarks and sexual innuendo; a young detective playing around while his wife is suffering from depression after childbirth; loyal and reliable PA involved with somebody who may or may not be linked with the murders - in other words The Usual Suspects, but all dealt with very well and a pacy narrative and, though the killer is really rather nasty and so are some of the aspects of this investigation, I was engaged fully until the final page.
However, it was only after thinking about this book that I realised there were two Red Herrings thrown into the mix, designed specifically to throw us off the scent and suspect somebody else and once the problem was solved these two unanswered questions stuck out like a sore thumb and the author did not explain them. I am left wondering whether to write to the author at her website and ask her but I don't want her to think I am a Smart Alec so we shall see. But a good debut.
Hot Blooded and Running Scared - Lisa Jackson. Those nice people at Hodder sent me these two and I know absolutely nothing about the author at all but it appears she has already written about twelve other titles and they are all number one bestsellers. I have been reading all about Charles Dickens, Victoria and Albert and also enjoying the Palliser novels of Anthony Trollope over the last few weeks and am steeped in all things Victorian and felt I needed a rest before I embark on another Anthony. So when these arrived I thought I would give them a whirl.
They are stand alone books, at least I assume they are, I may be wrong. In Hot Blooded (due to be published early 2012) we have a serial killer (gosh there have been a lot around this year) killing prostitutes with a particularly needle sharp rosary and the murderer turns his attention to radio host Dr Samantha Leeds who has a popular late night show in New Orleans. The mysterious 'John' calls her threatening to kill her as she has to be punished for her sins though Samantha has no idea what sin it is she has committed. The police are trying to discover the link between the murders and the threats when a new neighbour, rather dashing and sexy moves in next door to her and appears to be more interested in her than she likes. Is he the good guy or the bad guy?
Running Scared (published in Dec 2011) - Kate Summers, a young widow who has lost her husband and child in a hit and run accident is leaving Boston to start afresh when she is made a startling offer - to adopt a beautiful newborn baby who is the son of a member of a prominent family who wishes to hide a potential scandal. She is told she has to leave and never speak of the adoption to anyone.
Fifteen years later she is living in a small town with her son Jon, who appears to have a gift of seeing into the future and is labelled a freak by his schoolmates. He sense danger coming and warns his mother who dismisses his fears but then Daegan O'Rourke arrives in town and strikes up a friendship with her. As in Hot Blooded the mysterious man has his own agenda and though Jon trusts and likes him, she is not so sure...
Both these books are rattling yarns. Positively bounce along, lots of dangerous situations, thrills and sex and fun reads. The internalisation and thoughts of the protagonists are signalled to us all by them being printed in italics so that we know what they are thinking and pondering and this can get a tad wearying after a while, but on the whole I found them zippy and they whiled away the afternoon well. I took the paperback one in with me to the hairdressers today and while I was sitting there with the colour on my hair and a cup of tea to hand, spent a happy half hour or so getting stuck in to it.
I like them enough that on the way home I popped into my local library and came away with four others. I am pretty sure that I will probably forget them as soon as I have read them, but that does not stop me from thoroughly enjoying them. Curl up on sofa with cup of tea reads.
And nothing wrong in that...