Tag Archives: Crime

After Birth, Garnethill Trilogy

Elisa Albert’s After Birth blew me away. So much so that I just wrote the author an email to thank her for getting it right, and immediately after finishing my library copy I preordered the paperback so it can live in my permanent collection. Ari is coming on her son’s one year birthday, but her postpartum depression and inability to heal from her traumatic birth experience has her coming undone. When pregnant Mina, a former rock legend, moves to Ari’s small town up the Hudson,…

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Cormoran Strike, Dungeons and Dragons, and Creepy ‘Eileen’

I’m utterly enthralled by Cormoran Strike, the private detective at the center of JK Rowling’s pseudonymous crime series. The third book, Career of Evil, finds Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott the target of a psychopath with a penchant for dismemberment–and Robin seems to be his target. Rowling (as Robert Galbraith) understands that she can’t just deliver an intricately plotted crime story, she also has to take the characters further on their journey. At the end of the book, I was so heavily invested in…

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Last from Ruth Rendell, Fantasy Debut

I’m so sad to be writing a review of Dark Corners, because it’ll be the last book from one of my favorite authors of all time. Ruth Rendell died earlier this year and left behind a tremendous legacy. As her alter ego Barbara Vine she wrote beautifully complex psychological thrillers, and while her Rendell books were more procedural they still always had crazy amounts of depth. Dark Corners isn’t her greatest Rendell work (I reserve that praise for Judgment in Stone), but I was duly…

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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Synopsis: The corpse that kicks off this murder investigation is grosser than gross (think taxidermy and meat glue), and the whole thing goes to a supernaturally dark place for all concerned. Review: Lauren Beukes effortlessly melds the genres of crime and horror in Broken Monsters, to the point where I genuinely had no idea what to expect or how it was going to end. And the ending did blow me away–and haunted me with a nightmare. Eek! Share on Facebook

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The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

Synopsis: The residents of a London apartment building come together during a bizarre accident, but have no idea of the secrets they are all keeping (hint: one guy turns girls into mummies). Review: The Killer Next Door was so so so good and it reminded me a lot of Ruth Rendell, a writer I love. In fact, it had a very similar premise to Tigerlily’s Orchids, which I read recently but didn’t blog. I think I liked Alex Marwood’s version better. Share on Facebook

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Synopsis: A reporter heads back to her hometown to write about a serial killer, only to find her own past coming back to haunt her. Review: I didn’t love Sharp Objects, but I will admit it’s a good page-turner. I just couldn’t get past the central character conceit, that she’s carved her body full of words. I knew someone once who gave himself a home tattoo of the word “TRUST” after the Hal Hartley movie, and it took up like half his leg because it…

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The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Synopsis: A series of murders in a resort town lead to the unexpected reunion of two women who have been sentenced never to see each other again after they murdered a child when they were only 11. Review: Heavenly Creatures is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I was keen to read The Wicked Girls after reading it compared with Peter Jackson’s thriller about two preteen girls who commit an unspeakable murder. The structure of The Wicked Girls is quite cleverly executed.…

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The Secret Place by Tana French

Synopsis: When the daughter of a detective brings in an anonymous tip for an unsolved murder at her boarding school, a young officer sees his chance to escape Cold Cases and break into Dublin’s elite Murder Squad. Review: Oh, Tana French, I love you so much! The Secret Place is every bit as good as her first four books. And while I can’t imagine loving anyone the way I love Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, I thought French did a masterful job with the two new characters…

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A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

Synopsis: A man is dead, but it turns out he has not one grieving wife, but three–and the detective investigating his murder finds herself affected by his apparent passion for love, and how it shows the defects in her own relationship. Review: A Circle of Wives surprised me with its emotional complexity. If only I could say the same about the plotting. I really couldn’t believe the sloppiness of the ending in an otherwise well-written book. Share on Facebook

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Synopsis: A young boy steals an invaluable painting in the wake of a bombing, and it comes to dominate his life. Review: If anybody actually follows this blog, they probably think I am dead. I have never gone this long without posting a review! It’s been 3 weeks! What a way to start the new year. Basically, what happened was that I started a reread of Game of Thrones. Then my friend loaned me a copy of The Goldfinch, so I started reading that at…

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