Monday, October 31, 2011

The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill

Someone is murdering prostitutes around Lafferton, and the police, including DCS Simon Serrailler (just back from a sabbatical), are at a loss for suspects, even though good samaritan Leslie Blade and one prostitute's abusive boyfriend are being looked at. Meanwhile, Simon's sister, Cat, is still in mourning for her husband, Chris, who recently passed away. Cat is worried about how Chris' death is affecting their three children and wonders how she'll cope without the strong support system of her father and stepmother, Judith (who plan on spending a year in the U.S.). In The Shadows in the Street, Susan Hill has written another police procedural that will appeal to fans of Deborah Crombie, Ruth Rendell, and Elizabeth George.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bad Moon by Todd Ritter

In 1969, on the evening of the moon landing, ten year old Charlie Olmstead disappeared. Now, forty years later, Nick Donnelly, a former police investigator, is looking into the case. Charlie's younger brother, Eric, a best-selling novelist, has moved back to town and discovers that his recently deceased mother believed that Charlie was kidnapped and not killed when he fell into Sunset Falls (as the police assumed). Kat Campbell, the Chief of Police --and involved with Eric when they were teenagers--also aids in the search. The group finds that the Olmstead's neighbors on their cul de sac at the time all had secrets and that other boys also disappeared in the years around 1969. In Bad Moon, Ritter continues the series that he began with Death Notice, I thoroughly enjoyed both the characters and the engaging storyline. I look forward to going back and reading the first book.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

As the Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton

Policeman Gary Beech has been making enemies, giving tickets for questionable offenses. When private detective Agatha Raisin and her friends attend a festival in the small village of Winter Parva, Agatha notices that the pig on the spit is sporting a tattoo with the word "Amy" which leads to the discovery that it's not a pig, but the body of Gary Beech. Agatha is then hired by Beech's ex-wife, Amy, to find out who's responsible for his death. But when Amy is found murdered, Agatha and her employees (Toni, Patrick, and Phil) and her friends, Roy, Charles, and even ex-husband, James band together to find out the truth even if it means putting their own lives in danger. As the Pig Turns is the latest mystery in the long-running Agatha Raisin series, which is always a treat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott

It's 1956 and the memory of World War II still looms large for residents of the Highlands. Married Joanne Ross has taken a job as a typist at the local weekly newspaper, the Highland Gazette. She works alongside editor-in-chief McAllister, subeditor Don McLeod, and young reporter Rob McLean. When a young boy, Jamie, is murdered and the last people to see him alive are Joanne's two girls, Joanne finds herself immersed in the crime and investigation. Joanne's colleagues are determined to find justice for Jamie, especially when the police botch the case by arresting a recent Polish immigrant. Joanne is also struggling to make the best of a bad marriage for her children's sake. While a little long, A Small Death in the Great Glen's strength lies in the portrayals of the relationships between Joanne and her co-workers and the sense of place in 1950s Scotland.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Hand that Trembles by Kjell Eriksson

Sven-Arne Persson disappeared from Uppsala, Sweden twelve years ago and has been living under a false name in Bangalore ever since. His secret existence is about to come to an end when someone from his hometown comes into contact with him. Sven-Arne, however, has no desire to be found and has been declared dead by his wife back home. What was he running away from? Meanwhile, police detective Ann Lindell is in charge of finding out why a foot has washed ashore in a small community outside of Uppsala and who it belongs to. The Hand that Trembles is the fourth book in the Ann Lindell series and is leisurely-paced. It reminded me of the mysteries of Helene Tursten and Yrsa Sigurdardottir.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Drop by Michael Connelly

Detective Harry Bosch and his partner, David Chu, are given the case of the 1989 murder of college student, Lily Price. They work as part of the Los Angeles police department's Open-Unsolved Unit and are asked to delve into this case again because there's been a recent DNA hit from the lab. The problem is that the DNA is from a man named Clayton Pell, who was eight years old at the time of Lily Price's death. Knowing that Pell can't be the killer, they wonder if the lab messed up the results. If so, it could cast a pall over cases decided by DNA in Los Angeles County. Bosch is then surprised when his former department nemesis (and now L.A. councilman) Irvin Irving requests that he head the investigation into Irving's son's death at the Chateau Marmont. It first looks like suicide, but Bosch isn't too sure. By featuring two interesting cases, having Bosch battle the bureaucracy and politics of the LAPD and giving insight into his personal life, Connelly has made this one of the best books of the series. It will be published next month.