Left for Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview

The detective stared at the young woman lying on the bed. She almost looked peaceful, her face like porcelain. Despite everything she had been through, she was still beautiful.

When DI Bernie Noel hurries to Keira Howard’s hospital bedside, she knows that Keira has been lucky. Barely conscious and badly injured, at least she is alive. Convinced that Keira’s attack is the latest in a string of increasingly violent assaults on young women in the area, the next victim might not be so fortunate. So she vows to find the man who did this, and to stop him before anyone else gets hurt.

Spurring her team into action, she quickly hones in on a prime suspect. But then he suddenly dies while on police watch, and Bernie’s investigation goes into freefall. When Bernie’s superiors won’t let her take the case any further, her gut instinct tells her there’s much more to his death than meets the eye. If it was murder, who would want him dead, and why? So she determines to set out on her own to find out what happened.

But the closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her own life in danger. And with Keira finally strong enough to talk her about her attack, Bernie worries she may be at risk yet again. There’s someone out there who has killed to stay safe in the shadows; can Bernie stop another senseless death, and save Keira, before it’s too late?

My thoughts on Left for Dead…

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Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar Lisa BallantyneNick Dean loves his family.  He has gorgeous wife and two beautiful young children.  Life couldn’t be better – until it couldn’t get any worse.  An acting coach who specialises in working with teenagers, one of his students has accused him of abuse.  And everyone believes her, even – eventually – his wife.  Nick swears he’s innocent but it seems that, despite there being no evidence, he is considered guilty until proved innocent.

Angela, Nick’s accuser, loves her family too, they just don’t make her happy.  Her parents are divorced and she is struggling to cope with the break up.  She’s eating too much and unhappy with how she looks.  Kids at school pick on her and she reacts by striking out.  The police look at her and see a vulnerable child very much at risk of being abused.  She is believed immediately, as she should be, but then – after her first statement – refused to say more.Read More »

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey

Whistle in the Dark Emma HealeyElizabeth is Missing was one of my favourite books of recent years.  I thought it was a clever story with an interesting protagonist.  Something I hadn’t read before.  I had hoped for the same with Whistle In The Dark and, in many ways, I got that.

This is the story of Jen, mother to Lana, a fifteen year old who goes missing for four days only to turn up battered and bruised and refusing to tell anyone what happened to her.  Or at least Jen think’s Lana is refusing.  Lana herself says that she can’t remember anything.Read More »

The Feather Thief by Kirk W. Johnson

The Feather ThiefNon-fiction books are a wonderful way to learn more about the world and the people who live in it.  In The Feather Thief, I learnt more than I thought was possible about the world of fly-fishing, or more specifically fly-tiers who have a passion for Victorian fly tying designs and a commitment to recreating them.

It’s a passion that led to one man, Edwin Rist, breaking into the British Natural History Museum and steal over 200 rare birds specimens.  Scientists consider the specimens priceless.  And, while Rist said that the theft had nothing to do with money and was all about his art, he ended up making thousands of pounds from the brightly coloured feathers he harvested and sold on.Read More »

The Burgas Affair by Ellis Shuman

The Burgas Affair In 2012 a suicide bomber got on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing not only themselves but five Israeli citizens and the Bulgarian bus driver.  A further 32 people were injured in the blast.

The attack was almost immediately linked to Hezbollah, with Israeli security services (Mossad and Shin Bet) arriving in Bulgaria and working with their Bulgarian counterparts to find those responsible.

This is the background to The Burgas Affair a fictionalised account of what might have happened if two officers, one male, one female, one Bulgarian, one Israeli are thrown together to track down the terrorists. Read More »

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo

Macbeth Jo NesboIn a town rife with corruption, it’s hard to know who is good and who is bad.  Or, at least that is the case in Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth, which seems to sit permanently in the grey.

The city, somewhere in Scotland in the 1970’s is grey, overhung by smoke and smog. The settings seem to be mainly grey, with a lot of the action taking place at night or in the evening.  And the characters are grey, so many walking a fine line between what is right and wrong, it’s no wonder some of them start to fall.

In a way, it’s perfect Nesbo territory and why I love his books – there is a darkness there that draws you in and, even with characters that tend to chose the moral right versus the legal one, I can’t help but want them to succeed.  Read More »

The Half Sister by Catherine Chanter

The Half-Sister by Catherine ChanterCatherine Chanter’s The Well was one of those books I picked up at the library based purely on the cover and ended up really enjoying. Years later, the story and the characters have stayed with me – something that isn’t easy given the number of books I read.

Seeing Chanter’s new book on Net Galley then, it was an obvious choice to request it. I have to say, I expected great things. Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe it’s my current reading mood, but unfortunately, The Half Sister hasn’t had the same impact on me.Read More »

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

The Dark Lake

When the body of a young and popular teacher turns up in the waters of Sonny Lake, the first detective called to the scene is Sergeant Gemma Woodstock, a local who not only knows the area but also the victim – Rosalind Ryan, at least in passing (they went to school together).

The connection, Gem insists, is slight.  The relationship between the two women non-existent.  So she stays on the case, along with her partner Felix. Unfortunately, Gem isn’t quite telling the truth; she has a history with Rosalind (Rose), holding a secret that might put the case in jeopardy.Read More »

The Killer is Dying by James Sallis

the killer is dying James Sallis is one of my favourite authors.  I came to his work late and, over the last few years, have been slowly working my way through his back catalogue.  He is also the most-reviewed author on my blog – with nine reviews where I basically tell you he is brilliant.

It probably had to happen, then, at some point, that I would come across a book that wasn’t and – unfortunately – that day has come.  I’ve just finished The Killer Is Dying and – very much like my last review (The Last of the Greenwoods by Clare Morrall), I’ve been left more than a little flat.

I am not sure why – the writing style is the same – sparse and to the point in that noir way I love.  The characters are just as damaged as in other books, unsure how to live their lives without messing them up but doing the best they can. And the dark setting is there too – this time Pheonix, with the harsh, hot weather almost becoming a character in and off itself at times.  Yet, for me – this time – it just didn’t work.Read More »

The Last of the Greenwoods by Clare Morrall

last of the greenwoodsWhen Zohra, a postwoman with a past that has derailed her life, is asked to deliver a letter to two brothers who time seems to have forgotten, she can’t help but be intrigued – especially when she finds out they live in a railway carriage (also lost in time).

Zohra has an interest in trains, is helping to restore a local station and train line, and an interest – it seems – in people who, just like her, have secrets.  And the Greenwoods, Johnny and Nick, have secrets, a whole lifetime of them.

Johnny and Nick bury everything in a shield of anger at each other, they always have, but it got worse when – forty odd years ago – their sister died and their mom fell apart.  Still only young, they were left to their own devices and to pick up the pieces.  They didn’t pick them up very well.   Read More »