Tag Archives: Police Procedurals

A Review of What You See by Hank Phillippi Ryan

What You See (Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan #4)

by Hank Phillippi Ryan

4,0

Sometimes people think they know what you are going to say before you finish telling them something. They may jump in and finish your sentence for you, or even worse they may just assume that they understand what you are trying to tell them, and then not really listen to you. They may be on their phone or watching something on TV, or thinking about their hot date for Saturday night. Communication seems to be suffering in these fast paced days that we are living.

Ms. Ryan highlights this phenomena in What You See. Everyone cuts off each other. They are trying to multitask and therefore can barely single-task. Too much is going on, and too many worries and problems get in the way, so everyone thinks that they are getting the whole picture, but really they are missing crucial facts.

All of this churning around frustrated me. I wanted to yell at Detective Jake Brogan. He needed to follow-up. He had to do one thing at a time, but of course he couldn’t. He was pulled every which way and didn’t even have time to sleep, which just made everything worse. Laid-off Reporter Jane Ryland wanted to find a new job. She had her sister’s wedding to deal with at the same time. Then her sister’s future step-daughter goes missing. She is offered a temporary job with a local TV station. Everything happens at once. I wanted to yell at Jane too. Everyone just needs to calm down and complete what they are doing!

This book is very fast paced. It’s hard to feel comfortable while reading it, but that’s what the author wanted to convey. She wanted to make you feel what all of the characters were feeling, the hectic pace and the confusion. The feeling like you were being pulled in multiple directions, never able to compete anything before having to switch tasks and work on something else. The struggles of dealing with other family members. Trying to keep feeling from being hurt. She did a very effective job.

I give What You See 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up! If you are ready to put up with the fast-paced challenge of modern multitasking along with the struggles that dealing with the secrets that families keep, then this book will keep you up all night.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

What You See by Hank Phillippi RyanWhat You See: another thrilling installment in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s award-winning Jane Ryland mystery series.

Why would a father abduct his own child? A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland’s family, but there’s a disaster instead. Nine-year-old Gracie-supposed to be the flower girl-has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there’s a limit to the bonds of family-and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far.

Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan’s got a doozy of a case. At Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead him to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives.

Jane and Jake must explore where their loyalties lie-to each other? To their families? To their careers? If they make the wrong decision, the consequences could be fatal.

Book Details

Series: Jane Ryland (Book 4)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (October 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765374951
ISBN-13: 978-0765374950
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

hank-ryan-crop-pressHANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. A television journalist since 1975, she has won 33 Emmys and thirteen Edward R. Murrow awards for her work. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution.

A best-selling author of seven bestselling novels of suspense, Hank’s first Jane Ryland novel,THE OTHER WOMAN won the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award! It was nominated for the Anthony, Agatha, Daphne, Shamus and Macavity Awards. THE WRONG GIRL won the Agatha for Best Mystery, the Daphne for best suspense. It spent seven weeks on the Boston Globe Bestseller list.

Her current book TRUTH BE TOLD also won the AGATHA for Best Novel of 2014. it is also a Library Journal Best of 2014.

WHAT YOU SEE (Oct Forge 2015) is already an RTBR TOP PICK! Reviewers say “Ryan is master of her craft” and say the book offers “exceptional suspense!”

Reviewers have called her “a superb and gifted storyteller” (Booklist), ” a master of crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “Stellar!” (Library Journal.)

Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards for her short stories.

Hank is on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America (and a founding instructor at MWA-U) and is 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.

She’s been a radio reporter, a political campaign staffer, a legislative aide in the United States Senate, and in a two-year stint in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Washington Bureau, worked on the political column “Capitol Chatter” and organized presidential campaign coverage for Hunter S. Thompson. She began her TV career anchoring and reporting the news for TV stations in her home town of Indianapolis and then Atlanta.

She and her husband, a nationally renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, live just outside Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.HankPhillippiRyan.com

 

A Review of Icarus by Deon Meyer

Icarus (Benny Griessel #5)

by Deon Meyer

4,0

I really like this series. All of the detectives are quirky. They each have their traits that define them. The only problem you may have with this series is the sprinkling of South African words and phrases. Most of them are just what they sound like, but every once in a while you may be stumped. Thankfully, Mr. Meyer does include a glossary at the end of the book, so you don’t have to search the web.

In Icarus, Captain Benny Griessel, who is an alcoholic, falls off the wagon after nearly two years of sobriety. Mr. Meyers handles the struggles that he is going though very realistically. I could really identify with Benny. I could relate to the messed up thinking that is what an alcoholic has to fight against every day. Hopefully he will be able find his way.

This is a Police Procedural. There is a murder to be solved. The victim was the head of a software company that wrote an app that facilitated marital cheating. It produced alibis for its subscribers. At the same time as the investigation is proceeding, you are sitting in on a meeting between a lawyer and her client. This series of interviews gives you the history behind the South African wine industry, which then ties back into the murder.

Icarus is a serious book, with humor sprinkled in, not a cozy mystery. Even though everyone in the book has their funny side, it doesn’t get in the way of the story, but it does allow for a bit of comic relief.

I give Icarus 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up! If you are ready to explore a different culture, and don’t mind having to jump to the glossary once in a while, then you should give this unique South African mystery series a try. I think you will like it.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the Publisher.

Book Description

Icarus by Deon MeyerSouth Africa’s preeminent crime fiction writer, Deon Meyer is internationally acclaimed for his razor’s-edge thrillers, unforgettable characters, and nuanced portrayals of contemporary life in his native country. The fifth pulse-pounder starring Captain Benny Griessel, a lead detective in South Africa’s priority crimes unit, delves into the country’s burgeoning tech and wine industries.

A week before Christmas, a young photographer discovers a plastic-wrapped corpse amidst the sand dunes north of Cape Town. The only thing found on the corpse is a dead iPhone, but it doesn’t take long for the police to identify the body as that of Ernst Richter—the tech whiz behind MyAlibi, an internet service that provides unfaithful partners with sophisticated cover stories to hide an affair. Meanwhile, Benny Griessel is called to the scene of a multiple homicide involving a former colleague, and four years of sobriety are undone on the spot. He emerges from his drunken haze determined to quit the force, but the take-no-sass Major Mbali Kaleni, now his boss, wants Griessel on the Richter case. The high-profile murder has already been the subject of fierce media speculation, with questions swirling about the potential for motive: could the perpetrator be one of the countless jilted spouses? An aggrieved client?

Before the week is out, an unexpected connection to a storied family winery comes to light, and Griessel’s reputation is again on the line. Mounting towards a startling conclusion, Icarus is another exceptional novel from the “King of South African Crime.”

Book Details

 

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; Tra edition (October 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802124003
ISBN-13: 978-0802124005
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Deon MeyerDeon Meyer’s books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fanbase. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-eight languages. THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa – the first time in the prize’s 16 year history that a South African book has won. His novels have also won literary prizes in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and the film rights to seven of his novels have been optioned or sold. Deon has also written two television series, and several screenplays for movies. In 2013 he directed one of his original scripts for the feature film The Last Tango. Deon Meyer lives near Cape Town in South Africa. His big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author. Visit the author’s website at http://www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

 

A Review of Crossing the Line (Paris Homicide) by Frédérique Molay

Crossing the Line (Paris Homicide)

by Frédérique Molay

Crossing the Line 333x500I enjoyed Crossing the Line. It’s an English translation of a French mystery published in 2011. The translator did a very good job. Everything flows nice and smoothly. It doesn’t read like a translation, but it still has the feel of a French book. The description of life in Paris is very authentic, and it makes you want to visit and experience the streets, shops, sights, and everyday events.

The story also flows very smoothly. It starts with a message found buried inside an intentionally badly filled molar. This is discovered by dental students learning surgery. They were working on a head from a body that was recently donated to science. The body was an apparent suicide, but the message said “I was murdered”. Nico Sirsky and his team of detectives start with this puzzle and slowly follow a trail of evidence, information from interviews, and other clues. They discover murders that were ruled accidents and suicides. The closer they get, the more bodies they find. Everything is very logical and reasonable. There are plot twists and surprises, but nothing feels implausible.

The characters are interesting and believable. Ms. Molay is building a base of appealing characters. As this series continues, I expect that she will fill them out even more. Chief of Police, Nico Sirsky, is a multifaceted person. He is an injured policeman trying to return to his job, a divorced father with a son living with him, and a man who is in love with a woman. He has to combine his work and home-life. and keep everything moving forward.

I give Crossing the Line 4 Stars out of and a Thumbs Up. If you would like a glimpse of Parisian life, combined with a good, logical police procedural, this is the book for you. Everything works, nice and smooth.

I received this book for free from NetGalley and the publisher, Le French Book, in return for an honest review.

Book Description

It’s Christmas in Paris. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky returns to work after recovering from a gunshot wound. He’s in love and rearing to go. His first day back has him overseeing a jewel heist sting and taking on an odd investigation. Dental students discovered a message in the tooth of a severed head. Is it a sick joke? Sirsky and his team of crack homicide detectives follow the clues from an apparent suicide, to an apparent accident, to an all-out murder as an intricate machination starts breaking down. Just how far can despair push a man? How clear is the line between good and evil? More suspense and mystery with the Paris Homicide team from the prizewinning author Frédérique Molay, the “French Michael Connelly.” This is the second in the prize-winning Paris Homicide series.

 

Book Details

Series: Paris Homicide (Book 2)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Le French Book (September 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939474167
ISBN-13: 978-1939474162
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 13 ounces

 

About the Author

FrederiqueMolayWriting has always been a passion for Frédérique Molay, author of the international bestseller The 7th Woman. She graduated from France’s prestigious Science Po and began her career in politics and the French administration. She worked as Chief of Staff for the Deputy Mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and then was elected to the local government in Saône-et-Loire. Meanwhile, she spent her nights pursing a passion for writing she had nourished since she wrote her first novel at the age of eleven. After The 7th Woman took France by storm, Frédérique Molay dedicated her life to writing and raising her three children. She has five books to her name, with three in the Chief Inspector Nico Sirsky series.

About the translator

The translator, Anne Trager has lived in France for over 26 years, working in translation, publishing and communications. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, “I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction.

The Book Description and Details are from Amazon. Crossing the Line

 

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 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