Friday 30 November 2012

Ghost in the Machine

A very well written police procedural novel set in and around Edinburgh that may well lead to comparisons with the likes of Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin and in my opinion those comparisons would be well deserved.

What starts out as a missing person case quickly becomes a hunt for a serial murderer. The trail leads to several dead ends and red herrings. The chief has his eye on a possible promotion and is wanting to close the case quickly, convinced he knows who the guilty party is but DC Scott Cullen isn't as certain. Can he find the killer before the wrong man is arrested and charged? Or is the chief right all along?

Cullen, the star of this story is no high flying detective, just a lowly DC which makes for a refreshing change and as a character he comes across well.

The killer is picking his victims via Schoolbook, a Facebook like online site for meeting people you knew at school, which asks the question "how well do you really know the people you meet on the 'net".

As a first novel this was a highly enjoyable and accomplished effort. The next of the Scott Cullen novels "Devil in the Detail" is high on my 'to read pile

Price of Justice by Alan Brenham (a review)

This book begins in a really dark place with the lead character, Detective Jason Scarsdale alone, in his car, contemplating blowing his brains out.
It is only five weeks since his wife was killed in an automobile accident and he blames himself. All that really saves him is his five year old daughter Shannon. She needs her daddy to help her get through these troubling times and he needs her too.Some of the conversations they have, early on in the story really tug at the heartstrings.
The main bulk of the story revolves around Scarsdale and his partner Sean Harris trying to convict a pedophile and break the ring he is a part of. Someone in the police department seems to be leaking information to the suspect so he always seems one step ahead. Can they crack the case before Scarsdale is removed from duty?
Helping them is Dani Mueller, a police crime analyst but she has a secret that could threaten the case and lose Dani her job.
The characters of Jason and Dani are really well written. They both have a sadness in their life - Jason, the loss of his wife and Dani the brutal abuse and murder of her young daughter. They meet through work and although Shannon instantly falls for Dani (as only a young child can) it is to the authors credit that Jason and Dani are not thrown together as a romantic sidebar to the story. The attraction is there but both are wary, for their own reasons and attraction is really as far as it goes.
Towards the end of the story things really hot up with threats to all and a race to save lives and break the case.
The story ends in a much better place than where it started and, I must say, I cared about the characters enough for that to please me immensely.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Book Links - a request to authors

This is just a request to authors so if any of you reading this agree with me please put the message out there.

Thing is, I get a heck of a lot of posts on my facebook and twitter pages saying books are available as special offers, freebies or just 'there' but the only link is the one to

This leaves me with two options - to stop what I'm doing and go looking for the book myself on amazon or leave it until I've finished and hope I remember.

The U.K. has a large market for ebooks and by not putting a link to I feel authors are missing out on sales.

This is only my opinion, obviously, but I feel it is a valid point that needed to be made.