We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time it’s author Muhammad Khan in the Countdown hot seat:
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This week’s reviews are:
PAST TENSE by Lee Child, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Jack Reacher happens upon the home town of his long-deceased father. Patty and Shorty’s car breaks down near an isolated motel in the same area. After a long, eventful time for all concerned they separately arrive at the same place – a dark, isolated forest.
THE BODY IN THE CASTLE WELL by Martin Walker, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When the body of a rich and well-connected American art student is found down a well in the grounds of a castle, Bruno, Chief of Police, must work out whether she fell or was pushed.
THE ELEPHANT OF SURPRISE by Joe R Lansdale, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Crime-fighters Hap and Leonard rescue a girl targeted by the Dixie Mafia and battle to protect her in the middle of one of the worst storms seen in East Texas for years.
THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, reviewed by John Cleal
The part-fictionalised story of Czech-Jewish schoolgirl Dita Polachova who spent years in the horror of Auschwitz-Birkenau where she administered a small library of smuggled books in the world’s strangest school.
ELEVATION by Stephen King, reviewed by Madeleine Marsh
A man in the small town of Castle Rock is losing weight but not mass.
WOLF PACK by CJ Box, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Joe Pickett is re-installed as game warden for Wyoming’s Twelve Sleep County, and takes action against a drone operator, which brings him into conflict with the FBI and a team of killers known as the Wolf Pack.
THE SCANDAL by Mari Hannah, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A stabbing in Newcastle city centre comes as a shock to DS Frankie Oliver when the victim turns out to be someone she knows.
THE TRUTH WAITS by Susanna Beard, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
When Anna discovers the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania, her perfect life begins to unravel.
MURDER IN BELGRAVIA by Lynn Britney, reviewed by John Cleal
A dissolute Irish aristocrat is stabbed in his own bedroom. His wife refuses to talk to a male officer. Chief Inspector Peter Beech and his specially-formed team must sift the criminal underworld of World War 1 London to find the truth.
TWISTED PREY by John Sandford, reviewed by Chris Roberts
When US Congressman Porter Smalls’ car is forced off the road, local law enforcement are not persuaded it was intentional. But Smalls knows Lucas Davenport, who he trusts to find the truth.
A GIRL CALLED JUSTICE by Elly Griffiths, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When Justice Jones arrives at her new boarding school, she fully expects to hate it, but then she discovers there’s a murder to get her teeth into, and suddenly things don’t seem quite so grim.
FOR THE MISSING by Lina Bengtsdotter, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Detective Inspector Charlie Lager is sent from Stockholm to investigate the disappearance of teenager Annabelle in Gullspång. She dreads being back in her small home town, full of quiet despondence and ghosts from the dark past but must deal with the case and her own anxiety.
THE BLUE by Nancy Bilyeau, reviewed by John Cleal
Huguenot-descended Genevieve Planché longs to be an artist but is sent to become a porcelain decorator and becomes involved with industrial espionage that may aid England’s enemy.
THE RHYTHM SECTION by Mark Burnell, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Stephanie Patrick loses almost all her family – father, mother, brother and sister – to a terrorist bomb on an aircraft. Her entire life disintegrates and she becomes a prostitute. When she is presented with an opportunity to get her revenge on the bomber, she is quick to grasp it.
GOLDEN STATE by Ben H Winters, reviewed by John Barnbrook
In Golden State the most serious offence is to lie – punishable by exile. Specially-skilled Speculators are sensitive to lies and seek out liars. Such talents make it difficult for a Speculator who suspects that the State is lying.
RATHER TO BE PITIED by Jan Newton, reviewed by John Cleal
DS Julie Kite, settling into her new job in rural Wales, is faced with a murder mystery which will test her abilities to the full.
BETTY CHURCH AND THE SUFFOLK VAMPIRE (audiobook) by MRC Kasasian, reviewed
by Linda Wilson
Inspector Betty Church is not pleased to be posted to the sleepy backwater town in Suffolk where she grew up, but when a murder enlivens Sackwater, Betty is promptly in her element again.
AMONG THE RUINS by Ausma Zehenat Khan, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Canadian policeman Esa Khattak is on holiday in Iran when he receives an unofficial request to investigate the murder of a political filmmaker.
GIVE UP THE DEAD by CB Hanley, reviewed by John Cleal
Edwin Weaver joins the contingent of William de Warenne, earl of Surrey, as it marches for the Kent coast to prevent the reinforcement of Prince Louis’ invading French army. When a series of suspicious ‘accidents’ puts the earl’s life in danger, he soon realises the enemy is closer at hand.
THE COLOUR OF THE SUN by David Almond, reviewed by Linda Wilson
It’s not every day of the summer holidays that you get to see a dead body. And it’s not every day that you think you know the killer.