crime fiction

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  There are some cracking crime-fiction novels being published this year and Russ Thomas’ debut Firewatching sits snugly among them. A smartly plotted, tightly written book set over seven days, it introduces DS Adam Tyler to audiences. Working for South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit (or Sea-Crew as it’s also known), Tyler is a late … Continue readings

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  Nora Roberts is one of my Old Familiars, a writer whose work I go back to again and again, especially when I need comfort. And each time I do, her books don’t disappoint: they’re like catching up with old friends. In Sanctuary, one of Roberts’ older, longer form novels, the author does what she … Continue readings

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Where is the love? Sarah Stovell’s The Home

  Set in a remote part of the Lake District, Sarah Stovell’s remarkable The Home is a stark, beautiful and emotive novel that takes no prisoners. Focusing on three troubled young women in care, Annie, Hope and Lara all have traumatic pasts. While they have been let down by those meant to protect them, at … Continue readings

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  There are a lot of very good New Zealand writers around, particularly in crime fiction, and Nathan Blackwell is one of the newest kids on the block. The Sound of her Voice, published in paperback by Orion this month, is a very good, albeit dark read. No surprises then that it was shortlisted for … Continue readings

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  Become a private investigator. One day taster course for anyone considering a career change but who doesn’t know what being a private investigator might entail. Why not find out if you have what it takes.”   As Death by Indulgence opens, AB Morgan’s protagonist, Ella, is struggling, juggling jobs that seem to be going … Continue readings

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  Erin Kinsley’s Found centres on every parent’s nightmare, the abduction of an eleven-year-old boy from a bus stop on his way back home from school. The book details the devastating impact on Evan’s immediate family and the best friend who had just been with him and the reality of an over-subscribed police force, crying … Continue readings

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  ‘Let him be an example. My Frank. Of how to live best, and to stop all this death. Let them put down their knives, stop being ruled by fear. They are all so fearful, that’s why my boy died. Not because another kid was showing off, as the papers said, not muscles being flexed. … Continue readings

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  ‘Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age …”   There’s nothing better than a good opener and, in this, debut novelist Catherine Steadman doesn’t disappoint, drawing us in from the very first line of the highly acclaimed Something in the Water. (Who … Continue readings

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    Crime-fiction writers love seaside settings – the myriad ways to kill people perhaps – so, it’s surely not that surprising that Hastings should have its moment in the sun in the Dr Jocasta Hughes’ series. The Literary Shed catches up with writer Candy Denman at one of her protagonist’s favourite bars. ‘This is … Continue readings

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  For some reason, and please don’t ask me why, Queen’s ‘Another one bites the dust’ was going through my head as I read Overkill. On repeat. This was slightly off-putting, but strangely quite fitting given that the opening – probably one of the best, attention-grabbing first scenes of any book I’ve read recently – … Continue readings

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  She sulked over her eggs. Even bacon lost some appeal with the prospect of wrangling with Summerset. ‘Isn’t it bad enough I have to face hours of swarming decorators, then end that small nightmare by having Trina pour gunk all over me? Now I have to face the smirking disapproval of our resident corpse?’ … Continue readings

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  ‘Oh,’ she brushed tears away. ‘I just killed off a sympathetic character. It had to be done, but I feel really bad about it. I’m going to miss him.’ ‘Human or werewolf.’” –The Collector, page 387     Nora Roberts’ new book The Collector, along with Concealed in Death (the latest JD Robb, her … Continue readings

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