Reviewed by Rod McLary ‘Headcase’ is defined by the Urban Dictionary as ‘a crazy, nutty, eccentric person’. Readers of the Hangman series by Jack Heath and are familiar with the series’ protagonist Timothy Blake would immediately agree that word perfectly describes him. However, the single use of ‘headcase’ in the novel appears almost at the
Reviewed by Rod McLary Surprisingly – at least to this reviewer – there are dozens of female detectives in literature. Some who come immediately to mind include Jane Marple, Nancy Drew, Lisbeth Salander [the girl with the dragon tattoo] and Precious Ramotswe from The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but there are many others. And
Reviewed by Rod McLary In 1990, Patricia Cornwell in her first book Postmortem introduced the world to Dr Kay Scarpetta – a forensic pathologist. Thirty-two years later, Dr Scarpetta appears in the 26th book featuring her along with her [now] husband Benton Wesley, her investigator Pete Marino, her niece Lucy and her sister Dorothy with
Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a racehorse-centred crime novel by Felix Francis, younger son of Dick Francis, the late great exponent of horse-racing mysteries. The central character is Sid Halley, retired champion jockey and investigator of racecourse intrigues. He was a character in four of Dick’s novels, starting with Odds Against (1965) and the
Reviewed by Ian Lipke John Grisham cannot help himself. No sooner has one legal thriller been dispensed with than he is into another. His latest, The Boys from Biloxi, is not to be taken too seriously but is a story of good versus villainous in the context of something called justice. Biloxi is pitched as
Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a cracking crime novel from Ann Cleeves featuring her sharp but down-to-earth Inspector Vera Stanhope. It is the tenth Vera novel that Cleeves has written. This story involves a group of friends, who bonded over a weekend retreat on an island, near the end of their secondary school days.
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The author of this novel, Annie Seaton, is a prolific writer having produced well over fifty books in ten years. She has been classed as a hybrid author, with a foot in different publishing areas. She has also written over several genres from contemporary historic romance to eco-adventure fiction set in
Reviewed by Rod McLary ‘Hazing’ is a peculiarly American phenomenon intended to be a ceremony for initiating new members into a college fraternity by subjecting them to humiliating or difficult tasks. It may be thought that hazing is a relatively new phenomenon but it dates back many hundreds of years. Its longevity goes some way
Reviewed by Gerard Healy Robert Ludlum created the Jason Bourne character and wrote three books featuring him before his death in 2001. Other authors, including Brian Freeman, have taken up the task of extending Bourne’s fictional life. This book is Freeman’s third Jason Bourne story (and numbers 15,16 and 17 in the whole series). And
Reviewed by Ian Lipke Ian Rankin is at it again. His stalwart, now-retired detective John Rebus holds sway over all the cunning he has learnt over many years as one of Scotland’s finest in producing a gripping story that strikes all the high spots. Fine entertainment, I say! Was I shocked that Rebus would take
Reviewed by Ian Lipke One of the less successful of David Baldacci’s characters is FBI agent Amos Decker who, faced by difficult plots, manages to solve the murders that always eventuate. Baldacci invokes the condition of hypermythesia, which grants Decker ‘superpowers’ particularly of vision. Invoking these superpowers gives Decker a step ahead of his colleagues.
Reviewed by Rod McLary Chris Hammer’s latest novel The Tilt begins with two incidents each described in some detail and creating suspense from the opening sentence. But are these incidents occurring at the same time in the same place; are they connected in some way; and are they harbingers of what is yet to come?
Reviewed by Ian Lipke The C.J. Box series of books consists of rambling episodes disguised as books in series. The only things they have in common are characters who appear time and time again. The best known of these is Cassie Dewell, a private investigator. The first book is Back of Beyond featuring Cody Hoyt.
Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The mountains of mystery and thriller books continues to grow at a steady pace, with new titles constantly appearing. Authors’ determination to write a book that is different, even outstanding, must present a tough challenge. Often, there is the disillusioned detective, with a partner who can be a means of underlining
Reviewed by Ian Lipke If you’ve taken the trouble to order Robert Galbraith’s latest novel The Ink Black Heart, keep up the exercises, as you’ll need to be fully fit to cope with this 1000-page blockbuster. The novel is written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym. This is a long tale that has its strengths