Category Archives: Police Procedurals

A Review of Invisible (Audiobook) By James Patterson and David Ellis

Invisible – Audiobook

By James Patterson and David Ellis

The audiobook version of Invisible adds a lot to the story. The two readers, January LaVoy and Kevin T. Collins, add so much to the narrative that I had to raise the rating of the book, just because of their ability. Mr. Collins plays the part of Graham to perfection, and the sound effects are perfect. Ms. LaVoy performs the rest of the book and is spot on. If I had been reading this book, I don’t know if I could have finished it, but listening in the car as we were driving up to our cottage worked perfectly.

This is a typical book from the James Patterson book factory. The characters feel like a rehash of the last installment, and the storyline is quite similar to any of many of his books. This is light entertainment, with quite a bit of gore and creepiness. There are some plot twists, but if you are like me, you will have everything figured out before the final chapter. The performances from the fine readers made it entertaining, so I recommend that you don’t read Invisible, listen to the audiobook in the car, while you are working out at the gym, cleaning your house, or pulling weeds. You don’t have to get every word, just the gist of the story will be fine.

I give the book, Invisible, 2 1/2 Stars out of 5, but due to the production, I give the audiobook 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. If you have 9 hours and 16 minutes to kill, listen to the audiobook.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local public library.

Book Description

Release date: June 23, 2014

Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.

Not even Emmy’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day–and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

INVISIBLE is James Patterson’s scariest, most chilling stand-alone thriller yet.

Product Details

Audiobook
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; Unabridged edition (June 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1478900342
ISBN-13: 978-1478900344
Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson’s books have sold more than 280 million copies worldwide. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women’s Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
The book description is from Amazon.  Invisible – Audiobook

A Review of The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver

The Skin Collector
by Jeffery Deaver

I always look forward to the next Jeffery Deaver book. This time I was somewhat disappointed. Yes, The Skin Collector is still written in the same style, with chapter ending cliff-hangers and plot twists and surprises galore. Lincoln Rhyme is still the same ornery, insightful, forensic detective, trapped in his electric wheelchair.  But I felt that this book wasn’t quite as intense. The cliff-hangers seemed a little forced. You weren’t drawn in, and then slammed to the floor, like in most of Mr. Deaver’s books. If I wasn’t expecting so much, I wouldn’t have been as let down.

Another thing that bothered me about The Skin Collector was the last few chapters were there only as a lead into the next book in the series. I don’t need to have that sort of enticement. I’m going read the next Lincoln Rhyme book, and I won’t remember this little section when I do. Mr. Deaver will have to repeat most of it in the next volume anyway. So what’s the point? I just don’t get it.

Anyway, back to the review. Overall the book was OK. There were enough plot twists and unexpected events, and everything felt logical and possible, just not up to the high level of most of Mr. Deaver’s books. I give The Skin Collector 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. If you like suspense, and thrillers without too much gore, and mysteries with many surprises and unexpected twists, and haven’t read any of the Lincoln Rhyme series, then you will probably like this book. If you are new to the series, there will be a lot of references to events from the previous books, but they really won’t get in the way of your enjoyment of the story. But if you love this series, like I do, you will come away feeling somewhat disappointed, like I did, but you will read it anyway, like I did. And you will wait, hoping that the next one is as good as we know it can be.

 

Book Description
Release date: May 13, 2014

In his classic thriller The Bone Collector, Jeffery Deaver introduced readers to Lincoln Rhyme-the nation’s most renowned investigator and forensic detective.
Now, a new killer is on the loose: a criminal inspired by the Bone Collector. And Rhyme must untangle the twisted web of clues before the killer targets more victims-or Rhyme himself.
THE SKIN COLLECTOR
The killer’s methods are terrifying. He stalks the basements and underground passageways of New York City. He tattoos his victims’ flesh with cryptic messages, using a tattoo gun loaded with poison, resulting in an agonizing, painful death.
When a connection is made to the Bone Collector-the serial killer who terrorized New York more than a decade ago-Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are immediately drawn into the case.
Rhyme, Sachs, and the NYPD must race against time to answer the many questions the investigation uncovers: Whom will the killer attack next? What is the message behind the victims’ tattoos? Does the killer’s own inking–a fanged centipede sporting a woman’s face–hold any significance? And what is his ultimate mission?
As time runs out, Rhyme discovers that the past has returned to haunt him in the most troubling way imaginable…

Product Details

Series: Lincoln Rhyme (Book 11)
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1455559398
Product Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.0 x 1.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Important Notice

Amazon is pricing this book higher than other booksellers. If you want to read why, see this page. A Note From Jeff

About the Author

Jeffery Deaver is the #1 international bestselling author of more than thirty novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He’s received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world. A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University. You can visit his website at http://www.JefferyDeaver.com.

Born just outside Chicago in 1950 to an advertising copywriter father and stay-at-home mom, Jeffery Deaver was a writer from the start, penning his first book (a brief tome just two chapters in length) at age 11. He went on to edit his high school literary magazine and serve on the staff of the school newspaper, chasing the dream of becoming a crack reporter.
Upon earning his B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, Deaver realized that he lacked the necessary background to become a legal correspondent for the high-profile publications he aspired to, such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, so he enrolled at Fordham Law School. Being a legal eagle soon grew on Deaver, and rather than continue on as a reporter, he took a job as a corporate lawyer at a top Wall Street firm. Deaver’s detour from the writing life wasn’t to last, however; ironically, it was his substantial commute to the law office that touched off his third — and current — career. He’d fill the long hours on the train scribbling his own renditions of the kind of fiction he enjoyed reading most: suspense.
Voodoo, a supernatural thriller, and Always a Thief, an art-theft caper, were Deaver’s first published novels. Produced by the now-defunct Paperjacks paperback original house, the books are no longer in print, but they remain hot items on the collector circuit. His first major outing was the Rune series, which followed the adventures of an aspiring female filmmaker in the power trilogy Manhattan Is My Beat (1988), Death of a Blue Movie Star (1990), and Hard News (1991).
Deaver’s next series, this one featuring the adventures of ace movie location scout John Pellam, featured the thrillers Shallow Graves (1992), Bloody River Blues (1993), and Hell’s Kitchen (2001). Written under the pen name William Jefferies, the series stands out in Deaver’s body of work, primarily because it touched off his talent for focusing more on his vivid characters than on their perilous situations.
In fact, it is his series featuring the intrepid and beloved team of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs that showcases Deaver at the top of his game. Confronting enormous odds (and always under somewhat gruesome circumstances), the embittered detective and his feisty partner and love interest made their debut in 1991’s grisly caper The Bone Collector, and hooked fans for four more books: The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000), The Stone Monkey (2002), and The Vanishing Man(2003). Of the series, Kirkus Reviews observed, “Deaver marries forensic work that would do Patricia Cornwell proud to turbocharged plots that put Benzedrine to shame.”
On the creation of Rhyme, who happens to be a paraplegic, Deaver explained to Shots magazine, “I wanted to create a Sherlock Holmes-ian kind of character that uses his mind rather than his body. He solves crimes by thinking about the crimes, rather than someone who can shoot straight, run faster, or walk into the bar and trick people into giving away the clues.”
As for his reputation for conjuring up some of the most unsavory scenes in pop crime fiction, Deaver admits on his web site, “In general, I think, less is more, and that if a reader stops reading because a book is too icky then I’ve failed in my obligation to the readers.”

Good To Know
Deaver revises his manuscripts “at least 20 or 30 times” before his publishers get to even see a version.
Two of his books have been made into major feature films. The first was A Maiden’s Grave (the film adaptation was called Dead Silence), which starred James Garner and Marlee Matlin. The Bone Collector came next, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Deaver has also been a folksinger, songwriter, music researcher, and professional poet.
Deaver’s younger sister, Julie Reece Deaver, is a fellow author who writes novels for young adults.
In our interview with Deaver, he reveals, “My inspiration for writing is the reader. I want to give readers whatever will excite and please them. It’s absolutely vital in this business for authors to know their audience and to write with them in mind.”

The book description is from Barnes & Noble.  The Skin Collector (Signed Book) (Lincoln Rhyme Series #11)

A Review of The Keeper by John Lescroart

The Keeper by John LescroatThe Keeper (Dismas Hardy)
by John Lescroart

This is the fifteenth book in the Dismas Hardy series, but most of the story is told from the point of view of former homicide detective Abe Glitsky. He has been retired for about 6 months and Hardy hires him as an investigator. He was bored reading books and watching TV, so he was quite willing to go out and do something useful, even though he felt like a turncoat, working for the defense. Hardy gives him a lot of freedom. He just wants him to find out who killed his client’s wife. Glitsky is a veteran detective, so he knows what to do. Before too long the DA needs a new investigator, when one of his people is killed, so he hires Glitsky, still with the imperative to find out the truth.

This book is a fairly run of the mill Police Procedural. It works well as a stand alone story, and you don’t feel like you jumped into the middle of a series. Abe Glitsky is a fairly fleshed out character, and you get a feel that he could have a future as an investigator for the DAs office. He is the only character that gets to be filled out. The rest of the players are more two-dimensional bit characters, you probably know them if you have followed this series.

I enjoyed The Keeper, but wasn’t glued to the page. The story plodded along without too much happening other than Glitsky’s detective work and home life. There wasn’t too much tension, it felt more like a Police Procedural from the UK than an American Police Procedural.

I give this book 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. I liked Glitsky, but the plot could have used a few more twists and surprises.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description

Release date: May 6, 2014

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting novel featuring Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky on the hunt for clues about a woman who has gone missing.

On the evening before Thanksgiving, Hal Chase, a guard in the San Francisco County Jail, drives to the airport to pick up his step-brother for the weekend. When they return, Hal’s wife, Katie, has disappeared without a clue.

By the time Dismas Hardy hears about this, Katie has been missing for five days. The case strikes close to home because Katie had been seeing Hardy’s wife, a marriage counselor. By this time, the original Missing Persons case has become a suspected homicide, and Hal is the prime suspect. And the lawyer he wants for his defense is none other than Hardy himself.

Hardy calls on his friend, former homicide detective Abe Glitsky, to look into the case. At first it seems like the police might have it right; the Chases’ marriage was fraught with problems; Hal’s alibi is suspect; the life insurance policy on Katie was huge. But Glitsky’s mission is to identify other possible suspects, and there proves to be no shortage of them: Patti Orosco—rich, beautiful, dangerous, and Hal’s former lover; the still unknown person who had a recent affair with Katie; even Hal’s own step-mother Ruth, resentful of Katie’s gatekeeping against her grandchildren. And as Glitsky probes further, he learns of an incident at the San Francisco jail, where Hal works—only one of many questionable inmate deaths that have taken place there. Then, when Katie’s body is found not three blocks from the Chase home, Homicide arrests Hal and he finds himself an inmate in the very jail where he used to work, a place full of secrets he knows all too well.

Against this backdrop of conspiracy and corruption, ambiguous motives and suspicious alibis, an obsessed Glitsky closes in on the elusive truth. As other deaths begin to pile up he realizes, perhaps too late, that the next victim might be himself.

Product Details

Series: Dismas Hardy Book 15
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (May 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476709181
ISBN-13: 978-1476709185
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

John Lescroart is the New York Times Bestselling author of twenty-four novels, including most recently THE OPHELIA CUT, available online and in bookstores now. He has written sixteen novels in the San Francisco based Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series. Libraries Unlimited has included him in its publication “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors,” his books have been translated into twenty languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies.

John’s blog at JohnLescroart.com is updated regularly with writing tips, insights on his books, recipes, recommendations, book give-aways, and more!

The book description is from Amazon.  The Keeper (Dismas Hardy)

A Review of Like Clockwork: A Clare Hart Mystery by Margie Orford

Like-Clockwork-CoverLike Clockwork: A Clare Hart Mystery (Dr. Clare Hart)
by Margie Orford

This is not an easy book to read. There are a lot of disturbing passages describing violence upon women. It’s not that Ms. Orford is subjecting you to extremely graphic descriptions, it is more that the characters so easily slough off the events as though they are commonplace, everyday occurrences. This is what is so disturbing. The matter-of-fact way that violence to women is portrayed tended to upset me and then I had to put the book down for a bit. The whole gritty portrayal of South Africa was hard to take. It felt quite real, but not a reality that I wanted to have to live in.

I realize that South Africa is not the United States, and that there is a whole different cultural attitude towards the role of women in many areas of Africa, Ms. Orford exposes those abuses. She shows the casual attitude that some criminal elements have towards human trafficking and kidnapping. This book punches you in the face, and says “Wake Up”. There are a lot of abuses that need to be exposed, and changes that need to happen.

This was a well written book. Sometimes the South African words, or style of writing, or something mentioned confused me, but I usually was able to get the idea of what was meant. I would like to read more in this series, — just not right away. I give Like Clockwork 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. This is a dark story and may be disturbing, but it is worth reading.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description
Release date: April 22, 2014

When a beautiful young woman is found murdered on Cape Town’s Sea Point promenade, journalist and part-time police profiler Dr. Clare Hart is drawn into the web of a brutal serial killer. As more bodies are discovered, Clare is forced to revisit the brutal rape of her twin sister and the gang ties that bind Cape Town’s dark crime rings. Is her investigation into human trafficking linked to the murders, or is the killer just playing a sick game with her?

Like Clockwork is a dark and compelling crime story that will thrill fans of Deon Meyer and Tess Gerritsen.

Product Details

File Size: 417 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (April 22, 2014)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
ASIN: B00GLS4VRS
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled

About the Author

Crime novelist, who is already an award-winning journalist and film director, and author of children’s fiction, non-fiction and school text books. Born in London, she grew up in Namibia and South Africa. While at the University of Cape Town she wrote for Varsity and was detained during the State of Emergency in 1985. She wrote her final exams in prison. After traveling widely, she studied under J M Coetzee, and worked in publishing in the newly-independent Namibia, where she became involved in training through the African Publishers Network. In 1999 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and while in New York she worked on a groundbreaking archival retrieval project, WOMEN WRITING AFRICA: The Southern Volume.  Her latest non-fiction project Fabulously 40 and Beyond: Women Coming Into their Own (Spearhead/NAB, 2006).  She lives in Cape Town.

The book description is from Amazon.  Like Clockwork: A Clare Hart Mystery (Dr. Clare Hart)

A Review of Children of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson

Children of the RevolutionChildren of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel
by Peter Robinson

When I jump into a long running series with the current book, I always have a mixture of excitement and dread. I’m never sure if the lack of familiarity with the series will drag me down, but I really like to explore a popular series, to see what I have been missing. Mr. Robinson welcomed me with open arms. I never felt lost, and the characters came alive in very short order. Children of the Revolution is a great starting point to “The Inspector Banks Novels”, even though it is book 21 in the series. I will be keeping my eyes open for other books in this series.

I connected with Inspector Banks right away. Part of this connection may be that Banks and I have a very similar, eclectic musical taste. That music pops up quite often in the story and always drew me in. But even more than that, Banks feels very real, a well-fleshed out character, and this is just jumping into the middle of a long series. I imagine I would feel even closer to him after reading a few more books in the series. The other people that he works with, also feel quite realistic, though not quite as complete as Banks. I am looking forward to getting to know them better.

This is a Police Procedural, but since it takes place in northern England, near Yorkshire, it has a different feel than an American PP. It is more thoughtful, slower-paced without any intense, thriller-type scenes that many PPs set in the U.S. have. There is a psychological and philosophical component to the story that raises it above most PPs.

I give Children of the Revolution 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I enjoyed the story very much. I recommend it to anyone that likes a slower-paced, more thoughtful mystery story, along the lines of the novels by Camilla Lackberg or Karin Fossum.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description
Release date: March 25, 2014

Multiple award-winning, New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Peter Robinson returns with Children of the Revolution, a superb tale of mystery and murder that takes acclaimed British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks back to the early 1970s—a turbulent time of politics, change, and radical student activism.
The body of a disgraced college lecturer is found on an abandoned railway line. In the four years since his dismissal for sexual misconduct, he’d been living like a hermit. So where did he get the 5,000 pounds found in his pocket?
Leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks begins to suspect that the victim’s past may be connected to his death. Forty years ago the dead man attended a university that was a hotbed of militant protest and divisive, bitter politics. And as the seasoned detective well knows, some grudges are never forgotten—or forgiven.
Just as he’s about to break the case open, his superior warns him to back off. Yet Banks isn’t about to stop, even if it means risking his career. He’s certain there’s more to the mystery than meets the eye . . . and more skeletons to uncover before the case can finally be closed.

Product Details

Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 21)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 25, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062240501
ISBN-13: 978-0062240507
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

Peter Robinson’s award-winning novels have been named a Best-Book-of-the-Year by Publishers Weekly, a Notable Book by the New York Times, and a Page-Turner-of-the-Week by People magazine. Robinson was born and raised in Yorkshire but has lived in North America for over twenty-five years. He now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

The book description is from Amazon.  Children of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel

A Review of Cut to the Bone: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass

Cut to the BoneThis is the perfect chance to start reading a new mystery series. Since this is a prequel, it takes place before any of the other books in the “Body Farm” series by Jefferson Bass. Once you have read Cut to the Bone, I’m sure you will want to read the other books in the series. I am going to have to leave some time open, so that I can go back and read more about this interesting “Farm” on the campus of The University of Tennessee.

This was a very exciting mystery. Dr. Bass (half of the writing team of Jefferson Bass) was the real life founder of the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility, so much of this novel is based on actual places and events.

I give this book 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I enjoyed going back in time to the beginning of The Body Farm. I recommend this book to anyone who likes police procedurals.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description

Release date: September 24, 2013 | Series: Body Farm

Jefferson Bass’s Cut to the Bone, the long-awaited prequel to his New York Times bestselling mystery series, turns the clock back to reveal the Body Farm’s creation—and Dr. Bill Brockton’s deadly duel with a serial killer.

In the summer of 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore begin their long-shot campaign to win the White House. In the sweltering hills of Knoxville at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bill Brockton, the bright, ambitious young head of the Anthropology Department, launches an unusual—some would call it macabre—research facility, unlike any other in existence.

Brockton is determined to revolutionize the study of forensics to help law enforcement better solve crime. But his plans are derailed by a chilling murder that leaves the scientist reeling from a sense of déjà vu. Followed by another. And then another: bodies that bear eerie resemblances to cases from Brockton’s past.

But as the body count rises, the victims’ fatal injuries grow more and more distinctive—a spiral of death that holds dark implications for Brockton…and everyone he holds dear.

Product Details

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: William Morrow (September 24, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0062262300

ISBN-13: 978-0062262301

Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, is the creator of the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility, widely known as the Body Farm. He is the author or coauthor of more than two hundred scientific publications, as well as a critically acclaimed memoir about his career at the Body Farm, Death’s Acre. Dr. Bass is also a dedicated teacher, honored as U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Popular Science and broadcast on National Public Radio. The coauthor of Death’s Acre, he is also the writer and producer of two highly rated National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm.

The book description is from Amazon Cut to the Bone: A Body Farm Novel