Saturday 3 September 2022


Another half dozen into the collection ...

Jason Bovberg - Tessa Goes Down (2022) - purchased copy

Another author whose work I like the sound of but haven't got around to reading yet. The Naked Dame and Loser Baby also need to be read.

Tessa Rae Jayne is gunnin’ for the border. Ain’t nothin’ gonna stop her, not after what she did for her brother Terrell, back home in Decatur, Illinois. A half hour from Mexico, though, she slams into good ol’ boy Floyd Tillman Weathers, a man with his own criminal secrets—not to mention a duffel bag full of stolen cash. Before long, the unlikely mismatched duo have embarked on a wild, reckless trek across the southwest in search of a shared fever dream. But forces from each of their immediate pasts are in hot pursuit, and Tessa and Floyd will face a series of brutal challenges before they can find redemption and freedom.

Tessa Goes Down begins as a breakneck border noir and becomes a sweaty, sexy, chaotic road trip through Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico—a ferocious ride punctuated by kidnappings, close calls, cliffhangers, and hell-for-leather sleuthing. So sit back as Tessa and Floyd tell their respective tales—and hurtle toward a soul-shattering shock ending.

“Jason Bovberg knows how to write a go-for-broke crime novel! Tessa Goes Down is brutal, breathless, and black as night. Doomed lovers on the run, racing headlong from the bleached white Texas heat to the dark alley of true noir. Grungy as a truck stop bathroom and darker than midnight.”
—Eric Beetner, author of All the Way Down

Ian W. Sainsbury - An Inside Job (2022) - purchased copy

Amazon FREEBIE - the prequel to the author's Jimmy Blue series. Worth a look IMO.

Tom Lewis has a monster in his head. You’d better pray it doesn’t see you.

The plan is perfect. Almost perfect.
Stealing Carlson Lloyd’s fortune will set the gang up for life.
At first, the robbery goes ahead with flawless precision. The insider sees to that.
Then it all goes horribly, tragically, wrong.
The survivors scatter, leaving the police no clues. The perpetrators won’t face justice.
There’s one loose end, but it’s probably nothing.
The quiet gardener. A gentle giant.
A man with no home, no history, and nothing to say for himself.

But he’s just a gardener. Right?

From Kindle Storyteller Award Winner, Ian W. Sainsbury, a gripping novella.

Shawn Wilson - Duplicity (2022) - review copy from Net Galley

The second book in Wilson's Brick Kavanagh series, after Relentless, which I enjoyed a year or two back.

This was not the homecoming Brick envisioned

After the trauma of his last case, and after three months spent recovering in Ireland, life is looking up for newly retired homicide detective Brian (Brick) Kavanagh. Back home in Washington, D.C., a new job shows promise when he’s asked to train criminology students in cold case techniques.

Then he’s off to a whirlwind weekend in Chicago with Nora, an Aer Lingus flight attendant he’d met in Ireland. There he receives shocking news that his former partner’s wife and twin infants have been kidnapped. Brick rushes to D.C. to support Ron, the man who’s always had his back—but as days pass, Brick questions how well he really knows this man.

Brick’s cold case—the unsolved hit-and-run death of a college student—is heating up. Brick finds gaping holes in the original investigation. Is it possible diplomatic immunity granted someone a “get-out-of-jail-free card”?

Meanwhile, Ron’s family tragedy unfolds in a most bizarre manner, and the escalating cold case points to D.C. corruption at the highest level. Things are getting complicated . . . very complicated . . . and dangerous.

Duplicity is perfect for fans of Michael Connelly and Robert Crais

R. G. Belsky - It's News to Me (2022) - review copy from Net Galley

Another series book. Beyond the Headlines was read earlier this year. I like an investigative reporter as a main character in a book.

Dashed dreams: she wanted to run for president one day, now she's dead at 20

When Riley Hunt—a beautiful, smart, popular student at Easton College in Manhattan—is brutally murdered, it becomes a big story for TV newswoman Clare Carlson.

After days of intense media coverage, a suspect is caught: a troubled Afghanistan war veteran with a history of violent and unstable behavior. The suspect's mother, however, comes to Clare with new evidence that might prove her son's innocence.

As Clare digs deeper into the puzzling case, she learns new information: Riley had complained about being stalked in the days before her murder, she was romantically involved with two different men—the son of a top police official and the son of a prominent underworld boss—and she had posted her picture on an escort service's website offering paid dates with wealthy men.

Soon, Clare becomes convinced that Riley Hunt's death is more than just a simple murder case—and that more lives, including her own, are now in danger until she uncovers the true story.

It's News to Me is perfect for fans of J. D. Robb and Karin Slaughter

While all of the novels in the Clare Carlson Mystery series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:

Yesterday's News
Below the Fold
The Last Scoop
Beyond the Headlines
It's News to Me
Broadcast Blues (coming 2024)

Shelley Burr - Wake (2022) - purchased copy

I love a bit of Australian rural crime fiction. A debut novel.

"Politically savvy, cleverly plotted...the kind of book that invites the ravenous language of binge reading: compulsive, propulsive, addictive."--New York Times Book Review

For fans of Jane Harper’s The Dry or Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects, a searing debut crime novel set in the Australian outback, where the grief and guilt surrounding an unsolved disappearance still haunt a small farming community…and will ultimately lead to a reckoning.

The tiny outback town of Nannine lies in the harsh red interior of Australia. Once a thriving center of stockyards and sheep stations, years of punishing drought have petrified the land and Nannine has been whittled down to no more than a stoplight, a couple bars, and a police station. And it has another, more sinister claim to fame: the still-unsolved disappearance of young Evelyn McCreery nineteen years ago.

Mina McCreery’s life has been defined by the intense public interest in her sister’s case—which is still a hot topic in true-crime chat rooms and on social media. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family’s sunbaked destocked sheep farm.

Enter Lane Holland, a young private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Before she died, Mina’s mother funded a million-dollar reward for anyone who could explain how Evelyn vanished from her bed in the family’s farmhouse. The lure of cash has only increased public obsession with Evelyn and Mina—but yielded no answers.

Lane wins Mina’s trust when some of his more unconventional methods show promise. But Lane also has darker motivations, and his obsession with the search will ultimately risk both their lives—and yield shocking results.

Compulsively readable, with an unforgettable setting and cast of characters, WAKE is a powerful, unsparing story of how trauma ripples outward when people’s private tragedies become public property, and how it’s never too late for the truth to come out.

Kelly J. Ford - Real Bad Things (2022) - purchased copy

I have the author's debut, Cottonmouths on the TBR pile, but haven't got to it yet. A 99p Billy Bargain, this one.

From the author of Cottonmouths, a Los Angeles Review Best Book of 2017, comes an evocative suspense about the cost of keeping secrets and the dangers of coming home.

Beneath the roiling waters of the Arkansas River lie dead men and buried secrets.

When Jane Mooney’s violent stepfather, Warren, disappeared, most folks in Maud Bottoms, Arkansas, assumed he got drunk and drowned. After all, the river had claimed its share over the years.

When Jane confessed to his murder, she should have gone to jail. That’s what she wanted. But without a body, the police didn’t charge her with the crime. So Jane left for Boston—and took her secrets with her.

Twenty-five years later, the river floods and a body surfaces. Talk of Warren’s murder grips the town. Now in her forties, Jane returns to Maud Bottoms to reckon with her past: to do jail time, to face her revenge-bent mother, to make things right.

But though Jane’s homecoming may enlighten some, it could threaten others. Because in this desolate river valley, some secrets are better left undisturbed.


  1. You've got some good choices there, Col. The Burr is especially interesting to me. Like you, I like Aussie rural crime fiction, and hunt for a missing person (or the truth about that person's death) can be a really effective plot point.

    1. Margot, there been so much great stuff coming out of Australia in the past few years hasn't there? I only get to scratch at it, unfortunately.