Monday 17 November 2014

The Careless Word by Catriona King (a review)

The Careless Word is book #8 in the Marc Craig/Belfast Murder Squad series and is very much of the same excellent standard of story telling as the previous 7.

As is usual the story refers back to events in previous books but can be read as either a stand alone novel or as part of the series. The story revolves around an explosion in a small book store in the Smithfield area of Belfast, with only one survivor - is it a return to the old days of The Troubles or a more modern threat? Will they be able to get the survivor to speak? Marc Craig and his squad need to solve quickly as there is a wedding on the horizon. The clock is ticking....

As usual with Ms. King's books there is very much a sense of place. Belfast, it's people and places come to life on the page. What I really liked though was a change in some of the personel in the Squad. Jake, one of the regulars, is absent on medical grounds and two new faces are added Carmen McGregor, a snippy Scot from Edinburgh with a bit of an attitude (who I hope will become a regular) and Ken Smith, from the army's bomb disposal unit. Both these characters added something to the story for me, while I didn't really miss Jake (mainly because his behaviour towards another team member earlier in the series made me dislike him - that's how good the writing is here, you care about how the characters interact with each other, almost as if they were real)

So, another cracking book from Catriona King, which I have no hesitation in giving 5 stars to. As always I look forward to the next in the series

Monday 3 November 2014

Bad Moon Rising by Francis di Plino (a review)

I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Bad Moon Rising is the first book in a crime fiction series (4 so far)featuring Detective Inspector Paolo Storey and his team. It is, I do feel I must point out from the offset, at times a very violent book. The perpetrator of the crimes is not a nice person....not even close. The thing is though, for all the violence and nastiness what you have here is a very good story indeed.

In his own way D.I. Storey is very much what you would expect of a leading copper character - broken marriage, family issues, going off on his own hunches etc, but he doesn't come across too badly out of all that. He is a character that feels believable, not too much of the "woe is me" thing going on. His team all play their parts admirably and there is enough potential with this team to make me want to read more.

As for the main story itself - somebody is killing off the local prostitutes is the short version I guess. There are a few side stories as well - Storey's daughter doing her own investigation at school, the colleague who wants Storey to investigate the possible spousal abuse of a friend. All the little bits tie up nicely but it is a hell of a ride to get to the end. There are at least 4 possible culprits and quite a few red herrings along the way so it'll certainly keep you guessing.

As the first book in a series this is an admirable effort and I will certainly be reading the rest of the D.I. Paolo Storey books. I'd happily suggest you give them a try too.

4.5/5 stars