Saturday, December 31, 2011

BOOKED TO DIE - John Dunning

Books fairs, I love them, fifty cents got me this little gem concerning book collector / detective Cliff Janaway. The main story has Janaway trying to solve the murder of a down and out book dealer and a sub story of Janaway trying to end the reign of the local crime boss.

So, great plot, great characters and as the author is a book dealer , it is packed with trivia regarding the second hand book trade. Stephen King is worth thousands, who would have thought.

You won't be as lucky as me and score this for fifty cents but the series is available in the USA , all secondhand through Abe Books
(Published 1992)

Friday, December 30, 2011


During a fire in Los Angeles a corpse is located in a house when the Fire department are trying evacuate the residents. In the hands of the corpse is a photo album showing the bodies of seven murder victims.

Of those victims one person has been charged but on evidence supplied by PI Elvis Cole this suspect walked free.

So now Cole has to find the killer or live with the fact that he may have contributed to the deaths of further victims.

A good Elvis Cole novel, together with his partner Joe Pike they set out to solve the problem.

This is darker and more gruesome, not as flippant and humorous as earlier books in the series but good value for money.

Crais is probably the best American writing in this genre at the moment (apologies to James Lee Burke though while brilliant has gone off the boil a bit) and he never disappoints . (Published 2008)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE DROP - Michael Connelly

The latest offering from Connelly in the 'Harry Bosch' series and it is excellent.

Harry is attached to the Open Unsolved Unit, investigating old homicides when he is called in to investigate the apparent suicide of a L. A. City Councillors son. The councillor is an ex- detective who loathes Bosch.

While doing this he is trying to solve an old murder where DNA was located on the victim but the suspect was only 8 years old at the time.

This is brilliant crime writing, the last 'Bosch' I read ( Nine Dragons) was poor, but the author has nailed this. Genuinely excellent. (Published 2011)

Monday, December 26, 2011

A DEATH IN SUMMER - Benjamin Black

The fourth 'Quirke' mystery with the shambling drunken Dublin pathologist. Newspaper tycoon Richard Jewel is found with his head blown off, suicide/ murder?

There are plenty of suspects if it is a murder. Quirke managers to piece it all together as well as maintaining his shambolic relationship with a young actress and an infatuation with the dead mans wife.

This is the best of the four Quirke novels written by Black, the pen name of John Banville. Its another good atmospheric tale set in 1950's Ireland where connections and money rule.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

NINE DRAGONS - Michael Connelly

A 'Harry Bosch' story and its a poor one, which is unusual because Connelly really is the business in this genre. The problem for me was that the story is just too far fetched or probably our hero's actions are too ludicrous even for a fictional detective.

It starts off with a murder in L.A and then to Hong Kong for 24 hours where his daughter is kidnapped and then back to L.A where the murder is solved .

It would be a major plot spoiler if anymore was said about this tale, suffice to say that its sillier than it sounds.

Michael Connelly is productive and generally excellent, especially the 'Bosch' books but this doesn't have much to redeem it at all.4/10
(Published 2009)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ELEGY FOR APRIL - Benjamin Black

Number three of the Quirke Dublin mysteries.

Quirke's daughter's friend April goes missing.   April,a member of the powerful and wealthy Latimer family , a family from which she is estranged.

The cone of silence from the family due to their fear of scandal regarding the disappearance causes much hindrance to the police's and Quirke's investigation. An investigation that eventually finds much more than risk of scandal.

Quirke manages to unravel the secrets and lies that have been concocted over the disappearance as well as getting himself involved with a young actress, an affair that does nothing to assist in his attempts to stay sober.

Wonderful writing, as in the previous two novels, again, very dark but that's what the author is wanting to portray and he's does it very well.

Read the stories in order or it will get a wee bit confusing. (Published 2010)