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Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge

Die Again by Tess Gerritson

Bad Blood by Casey Kelleher

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

Hope to Die by James Patterson

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Buckingham Palace BluesFast Paced Action but Crass Ambience

Buckingham Palace Blues by James Craig

  This is the latest crime novel featuring Inspector Carlyle who has won many fans with his rough-hewn attitude to his job and his instinctive irreverence for authority.

  As he jogs through London one evening he comes across a young girl, alone and unhappy. Carlyle sees that she has been handled roughly and is physically bruised. Just then a man arrives to take the child away but she resists and runs off. Carlyle chases her and brings her back but meanwhile the stranger – a posh chap with the attitudes of his class – has vanished.

  This sets the scene for the inspector’s efforts to uncover a child trafficking sex ring. The girl proves to be Ukrainian and her knowledge of English appears to be limited to a description of the sex act, expressed in an upper class English accent. And then she claims to live in Buckingham Palace.

  This, of course, raises the stakes! New characters emerge—a Ukrainian gangster who runs homes for children back home while he pimps them in London, several unsavoury police attached to the special unit protecting Royalty, including a lesbian copper with a foul mouth and a propensity to violence. And of course a minor aristocrat who funds and enjoys sexual perversity.

The Vault by Ruth Rendell

Elegant Writing and Searing Insights

The Vault by Ruth Rendell

  Authors take one for a ride. Sometimes you’re on the pillion of a motor bike, sometimes in a Cadillac or an old skedonk. When I enter Rendell’s world, I feel that I am in a stately carriage. It proceeds with dignified assurance, and you encounter a caste of well defined characters who engage your attention with their interlinked adventures and dramas and deaths.

  Baroness Rendell, who has a Labour seat in the House of Lords, perceives the British landscape from an upper middle class vantage point, and her characters reflect the attitudes and prejudices of class and belief which are prevalent in contemporary English society. She shares this ability to display English society in its oddities and eccentricities and even cruelty, with her fellow Lord and friend, PD James, the distinguished crime writer who is a Tory peer, so they do make an odd couple.

  This book features one of her most popular creations, Chief Inspector Wexford, a policeman who is now retired but is finding it difficult to throw off the habitual patterns of official life. Then a colleague invites him to be an adviser on a difficult case – and Wexford become encoiled in a multiple murder mystery.

  Someone inadvertently discovers the hidden entrance to a coal hole and lo and behold, there are three corpses amouldering in its depths. Who are they, where did they come from, when were they killed and entombed in the depths of a grand old house?

Snake Skin by CJ Lyons

 Crime thrillers show the fraught face of American society

Snake Skin: A Lucy Guardino FBI thriller by CJ Lyons

  In Los Angeles one day a film maker told me: “The trouble with you non-Americans is that you don’t realise that most of our movies are documentaries at heart.”

  He was right, of course. Movies reflect American society in its vast sweep of ethnic, cultural and behavioural variety. They are not simply make believe.

  In contemporary literature, American crime thrillers do the same. They document society. And it is not a pretty picture which they unveil.

  Take Snake Skin, for example. Anxiety and its big brother, fear, stalk the pages of this taut and tightly written thriller.

  And it is not just the terror which grips the unhappy young girl who is abducted by a maniac, shackled to a post in pitch darkness and left to shriek as snakes crawl all over her.

  The heroine, Lucy Guardino, is a Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI’s Sexual Felony Assault Enforcement squad. She carries a loaded 40-calibre Glock, is a soccer Mom and bakes cakes.

Hunter: A Thriller by Robert Bidinotto

HUNTER: a Thriller (A Dylan Hunter thriller) by Robert Bidinotto

  A corrupt judge is startled awake in the early hours by a blinding light and the swish and thud of helicopter blades outside the bedroom of his palatial home. He goes to the window –and sees a Press helicopter with its searchlight trained on a corpse hanging from his flagpole. He recognises it as the body of a young criminal he wrongly released—to carry on his crime rampage.

  In the corpse’s mouth is a clipping from a newspaper article by a crusading journalist who campaigns against the early release of dangerous criminals by uncaring officials.

  That is the thrust of this stand-out crime thriller.

  The American justice system is seriously flawed. In order to avoid tedious trials which clog the courts and to speed things up, prosecutors and judges eagerly accept and encourage plea bargains. This means that a young man who rapes a girl and should get a long jail term is charged instead, for example, with indecent assault and gets an 18 months sentence. Because of the many ways in which crowded prisons manage to get rid of inmates, that rapist could serve only six months. He is out—to rape again.



Everything Burns by Vincent Zandri

Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner


A Wanted Man

Chasing The Ripper by Patrcia Cornwell

Gone Girl