A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee – Review.

About The Book

India, 1919. Desperate for a fresh start, Captain Sam Wyndham arrives to take up an important post in Calcutta’s police force.

He is soon called to the scene of a horrifying murder. The victim was a senior official, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to leave India – or else.

With the stability of the Empire under threat, Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee must solve the case quickly. But there are some who will do anything to stop them…

My Review

I have had all of this series sat on my bookshelves for a few years. There is part of me that is kicking myself for waiting so long but I also have a feeling of relief. I have another three books to read whilst I wait for book five that is due to be published next year.

I enjoy historical crime but the majority of what I read is set in England. This is the first that I have read that takes place in India and I was fascinated by the culture and the people but horrified by the attitude of some of the British. Some of it made me cringe a little but I accept that it is a true description of what life was like when you know what the British were capable of in other countries. 

Sam Wyndham was definitely a damaged character. Bad memories of the war and widowed after his wife died from flu he also has an addiction that could destroy his career. His colleague, Sargent Banerjee, known throughout as Surrender-not, is one I adored. I loved the author’s description of him. His acceptance of his nickname, because of a superior officers inability to pronounce his proper name, his humour and loyalty was everything I like in a character. .

This is definitely a book I would like to read again, armed with a little more knowledge about what it was like in India at this time. My knowledge all comes from a TV shows that I watched years ago. It’s a fantastic crime novel and a valuable history lesson

Hermit by S. R. White – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

After a puzzling death in the wild bushlands of Australia, detective Dana Russo has just hours to interrogate the prime suspect – a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who disappeared without trace 15 years earlier.

But where has he been? Why won’t he talk? And exactly how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence to prove his guilt, Dana faces a desperate race against time to persuade him to speak. But as each interview spirals with fevered intensity, Dana must reckon with her own traumatic past to reveal the shocking truth . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I read a lot of crime fiction, most of it fast paced some of it slow. Hermit is probably one of the more slower paced novels that I have read, but it is the only way it could be. It works perfectly. 

It concerns one murder investigation and apart from a few memories that the chief suspect, Nathan, is encouraged to reveal takes place across one day. For the chief investigator Dana it is a very long day. It is the day which she started contemplating suicide until she got the call about the murder at the local store. It is a day that she never usually works, you only find out some of the reasons why very late in the novel. 

As you would expect with a police procedural novel much of the book shows the attempts to find out why the store owner was murdered but it differs because of Dana’s method of gaining Nathan’s trust. She wants to know why he has spent living the last 15 years as a hermit and how he survived without any human contact. I felt at times she envied him for his way of life. Over a series of interviews between just the two of them everything is revealed. I felt sadness and horror over what happened to him, as well as awe over how he coped until the moment it all went wrong. 

There were times when they seemed similar. Both struggling with events from the last, both struggling to explain why, both coping in different ways. It could have been depressing but for Dana’s colleagues, in particular Lucy who made me smile quite a lot. I wouldn’t like to be a lawyer who had to deal with her! 

The ending left me near howling with frustration, this is one book I am absolutely desperate for a follow up. 

Gathering Dark by Candice Fox – Review.

About The Book

The gripping new thriller from the No. 1 bestselling author.

Blair Harbour’s life as Hollywood’s top paediatric surgeon was perfect, until the night she was jailed for a murder she says she didn’t commit. 

With ten years of freedom lost, her medical licence cancelled and her son being raised by foster parents, she’s ready to start again from scratch.

But when a former cellmate begs for help finding her missing daughter, Blair must risk it all to save a young life. Her only allies are a thief, a ganglord and the cop who put her away.

To do the right thing, Blair must mix with all the wrong people. 

Will it put her new-found freedom on the line

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read a couple of books by Candice Fox before, Hades and Crimson Lake both of which were book one in a series. To my regret I have fallen behind with reading the others but after reading this book, which I suspect could be another series, I know I need to catch up. 

Unlike both of of those books this is set in LA and not in Australia. But there are similarities. There are some thoroughly unlikeable characters, mainly members of the police force and also some scenes that feature very dry humour. Especially when they featured Blair and Sneak.  

One of the reasons I enjoy reading books by Candice Fox so much is because you really get to know the characters. You see how their lives fell apart. Blair because she tried to help somebody, Sneak, an injury and Jessica for doing her job. Even the  terrifying Ada is given an excuse even though it isn’t proven. And you see some slightly strange methods of coping with their lives from both Blair and Jessica.

You wouldn’t expect an ex convict to be willing to talk to the police officer who put her in jail for murder and force her to be apart from her young son. And then for the police officer to become a friend of the son. But it happens, and it works quite well. It isn’t the easiest relationship between Blair and Jessica but the friendship between Jessica and Jamie is lovely to read. 

V For Victory by Lissa Evans – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It’s late 1944. Hitler’s rockets are slamming down on London with vicious regularity and it’s the coldest winter in living memory. Allied victory is on its way, but it’s bloody well dragging its feet.

In a large house next to Hampstead Heath, Vee Sedge is just about scraping by, with a herd of lodgers to feed, and her young charge Noel ( almost fifteen ) to clothe and educate. When she witnesses a road accident and finds herself in court, the repercussions are both unexpectedly marvellous and potentially disastrous – disastrous because Vee is not actually the person she’s pretending to be, and neither is Noel.

The end of the war won’t just mean peace, but discovery…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Having enjoyed the previous books in this series, Crooked Heart and Old Baggage, I was looking forward to catching up with Noel, Vee, Winnie and also meeting up with some new characters. Many fascinating people feature in this novel and all try their hardest to cope with living in a war battered London.

It takes place during the last year of the war. Noel is fifteen, is doing well in his studies and is starting to develop feelings for a friend, Genevieve. Winnie is a warden,  brave, funny, patient with her twin sister despite feeling hurt and frustration and uncertain how to feel about the husband she barely knew who was a POW. Vee is battling on, trying to feed a house full of people, maintain a sense of humour and look after Noel. Her friendship with Mario was good for her, and seeing how the house benefited from that friendship was lovely to read. I loved seeing the enjoyment that peanut butter and Florida orange juice brought.

The hardships, the rations, the bombings are all described perfectly and show how Londoners suffered. But this isn’t a depressing novel. Yes, there is sadness, especially towards the end, but there is also plenty of humour. Especially from Noel and Winnie, my two favourite characters in the book.

Whilst I feel this will probably be the last book in the series I would love to see it continue. With the strength of the characters, even the minor ones, there is definitely potential for this series to carry on into the 50s and 60s.

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

TWO BOYS LOVED HER.
BUT WHICH ONE KILLED HER?

On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupants, then left, taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige, and hiding a lifetime of secrets from her heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I read many books, mostly crime fiction, but The Ruined Girl was the first that I have read that concerns a children’s home and the probation services. I was both fascinated and heartbroken. It was a crime novel that really pulled on the heartstrings.

There are two narrators, Wren in the ‘now’ and Luke in ‘before’. It switches back and forth repeatedly and each worked perfectly. But it was Luke who I wanted to read about more. His story portrayed the frustration and hurt he felt perfectly. the loyalty he felt towards his mother, brother and Paige had me reading in silence, unable to put the book down. It was the type of narrative that made me think about the type of society we live in during the times I couldn’t read. How many children are there in this country who experience what the ones in this novel did. And how do they cope with adult life when they are left on their own. 

There are plenty of twists, some I saw, many I didn’t but this novel wasn’t about the eventual outcome for me. Instead it was the determination of the younger characters to do the right thing, even if it wasn’t necessarily the better way. Rob wanting to protect Luke, Luke wanting to protect Paige.

It is a long time since I have felt touched by so many. Not just Luke, Rob and Paige. But also the minor characters, some who were determined to put their childhood behind them and those who couldn’t. 

A Ruined Girl was the perfect book for me, it made me thing about other events outside of strange world we currently live in.