Tuesday 1 August 2017


I bought a few books this month as a present to myself when out and about with my wife on our wedding anniversary, and why not, because you can never have too many books, now can you?

Second hand book store -  new-to-me author

Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the potential to change the boys' lives for ever. As the trio set off on a frenetic escape from the law through California and Texas, the two brothers must come to terms with the ever-growing tide of violence that follows in their wake - something that forces them to make a choice about their lives, and their relationship to one another.

Set in the 1960s, BAD SIGNS is a tale of the darkness within all of us, the inherent hope for salvation, and the ultimate consequences of evil. It returns to the haunting ground covered in the award-winning, international bestseller, A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS.

Ditto above!

Turkish detective Kemal Kayankaya might not know when it's recycling day, but now he has to help four eco-terrorists beat a murder rap...

Wisecracking PI Kemal Kayankaya cares more about sausage and beer than politics, but when he's hired to defend four eco-terrorists charged with murdering a chemical plant owner he finds himself stuck in the middle of Germany's culture wars. It doesn't take long for Kayankaya to realize that the whole situation stinks and that both the Left and the Right have blood on their hands. And is the fiery journalist Carla Reedermann dogging his steps because she smells a story, or is she after something more?

A hardboiled noir in the Chandler tradition that also provides a wry critique of contemporary racial and environmental politics, More Beer shows why Jakob Arjouni's series of Kayankaya novels has become a bestselling international sensation.

Same again - I'm reminded a bit of Jack Ketchum's Red with this plot.

Living alone with his dog in the remote cabin in the woods, Julius Winsome is not unlike the barren winter lands that he inhabits: remote, vacant, inscrutable. But when his dog Hobbes is killed by hunters, their carelessness--or is it cruelty?--sets Julius's precarious mindset on end.

He is at once more alone than he has ever been; he was at first with his father, until he died; then with Claire, until she disappeared with another man into a more normal life in town; and then with Hobbes, who eased the sorrow of Claire's departure. Now Hobbes is gone.

Julius is left with what his father left behind: the cabin that he was raised in; a lifetime of books, lining every wall of his home, which have been Julius's lifelong friends and confidantes; and his great-grandfather's rifle from World War I, which Julius had been trained to shoot with uncanny skill and with the utmost reluctance. But with the death of his dog, Julius's reluctance has reached its end. More and more, simply and furtively, it is revenge that is creeping into his mind.

Fresh snow is on the ground as the hunters lumber into his sights. They're well within the old gun's range. They pause, and they're locked into the crosshairs. Julius's finger traces the trigger. Will he pull it? And what will that accomplish? What if he simply has nothing left to lose?

Net Galley book
'An extremely impressive debut' Peter Swanson, author of Sunday Times bestseller The Kind Worth Killing

A gritty, propulsive debut about a father, a daughter, and the hardest lessons in life...

‘If nowhere was safe for her, then the only place he could let her be was with him’

Meet Polly: eleven years old and smart beyond her years. But she’s a loner, always on the outside, until she is unexpectedly reunited with her father.

Meet Nate: fresh out of jail and driving a stolen car, Nate takes Polly from the safety of her quiet existence into a world of robbery, violence and the constant threat of death.

And he does it to save her life.

A Lesson in Violence is a gripping and emotionally wrenching novel that upends even our most long-held expectations about heroes, villains and victims. Nate takes Polly to save her life, but in the end it may very well be Polly who saves him.

Net Galley again
The first time the bank gets robbed, it's by two separate, unrelated parties—at the same freaking time. But when a robber has a stroke on the job, everyone comes together to help. Bank teller/Vietnam veteran major Chin volunteers to take the poor fellow to the ER, and while he’s at it, assist the other criminals in their escape. On the way to the hospital, while Chin and the criminals share a moment of bonding, the stroke patient recovers and hijacks the take.

The second time the bank gets robbed, one of the robbers is major Chin, for he has planned a perfect heist.

Net Galley book
"Clea Simon writes with authority and affection about a lost world. Highly recommended"
Cationa McPherson

This intriguing, hardhitting, intricately-plotted mystery set in Boston's clubland marks an exciting new departure for cozy author Clea Simon.

The Boston club scene may be home to a cast of outsiders and misfits, but it's where Tara Winton belongs; the world she's been part of for the past twenty years. Now, one of the old gang is dead, having fallen down the basement stairs at his home.

With her journalist's instincts, Tara senses there's something not quite right about Frank's supposedly accidental death. When she asks questions, she begins to uncover some disturbing truths about the club scene in its heyday. Beneath the heady, sexually charged atmosphere lurked something darker. Twenty years ago, there was another death. Could there be a connection? Is there a killer still at large ... and could Tara herself be at risk?

Never read any of these six before, though I have a book already on the shelves by each of Donovan, Ellory and Arjouni!


  1. You've got some interesting reads there, Col. The Arjouni and the Simon look especially intriguing. When you get to them, I'll be interested in what you think.

    1. I don't recall reading anything set in Boston apart from a load of Robert B. Parker books years ago. Similarly I'm not saturated by reading loads with a German setting, so I'm looking forward to the two you mentioned (and the others)!

  2. These all sound very interesting and I will wait and see what you think about them. No more netgalley for me. I don't do ebooks very well, and I don't need more books via that avenue.

    1. I am trying to avoid the site myself, but it's really hard. I'm liking e-books more and more, but physical is still my preferred choice.

  3. I read & enjoyed the first Kemal book by Arjouni, which was in the local library, but never got round to the rest of the series which wasn't in the library. Must put that right as he is a wryly written character in a difficult job & social situation.
    E-books are so convenient & the options make tricky text formats so much easier on the eyes, but the feel & smell of a paper book is irresistible.

    1. Blimey, the Kemal books are over 20 years old, though I suppose they have been re-issued over a period of time. My other one from him isn't part of this series. It does seem fairly short which is a big plus for me.
      Agreed on both fronts - Kindle text options helps, especially when my eyes are tired and I can enlarge the text, but I do love a physical book!

  4. Col – MORE BEER sounds good. All these writers are new to me. Thanks for this post. – And I am with you on the adjustable Kindle text. But I still prefer to toss a paperback in my bag when I am on the road.

    1. An added bonus is that MORE BEER is quite short. I suppose I'm learning to love the Kindle more, but I still struggle with longer books on it for some reason. I suppose the % button at the bottom hypnotises me with it's slow progress.

  5. I've read a different book by Ellory, not rushing for more. But liking the sound of Clea Simon and the Boston clubland.

    1. A few online book friends swear by him. I'll have to make my own mind up. Clea Simon does look good though.