On the streets of Bucharest, a brutally efficient serial killer is at work. His targets: individuals from the Roma community with a criminal record. Each victim is killed with a single blow to the throat and tensions rise at the same rate as the body count. For not everyone disagrees with this vigilante killer.
With Presidential elections about to take place, and the police seemingly unable to track down the elusive assassin they’ve nicknamed Sword, the government struggles to keep control while other political figures try to stoke public resentment for their own ends.
The demons in Romania’s fractured society begin to resurface, as old distrust and prejudices grow with each new victim from the Roma community. The case is under the media’s relentless spotlight. Meanwhile, ruthless figures both inside and outside the government are manoeuvring to take advantage of the situation. But are they playing with political fire for their own purposes – are they in danger of sparking a vicious racial conflict?
A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home.
So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident, she thinks Louise’s perfect world is about to collapse around her.
But Louise doesn’t react in the way Becca would expect her to on hearing of her husband’s death. And there are only three plates set out for dinner as if Louise already knew Patrick wouldn’t be home that night…
The more Becca digs, the more secrets she uncovers in the Bridges’ marriage – and the more she wonders just how far Louise would go to get what she wants…
Is Louise a loving wife – or a cold-hearted killer?
I received a copy of this book from HQ Digital UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A curious mix of psychological suspense and family drama, this story will appeal to those who like psychological orientated suspense. This plot doesn’t have the impact common to most thrillers but does use the unreliable protagonist technique well. There are two, in this story, Louise, the perfect widow and Becca the policewoman who sets out to investigate her, based on one brief observation.
Primarily a story of obsession, emotional damage, resulting from poor nurturing in childhood and control The plot handles the psychological theme competently. The introduction of a crusading police constable, who sees beneath the image Louise portrays isn’t convincing. Becca, in many ways, is a superfluous character, except perhaps in her obsessive similarities to Louise?
The plot lacks real-time action, everything is retold either in the past or present by Louise or Becca. this slows the pace and leaves you in the characters heads for too long, making some the twists not as suspenseful as they could be, if written less passively.
A story for the psychological fiction devotees, who like to see how the mind works, given a certain set of stimuli, rather than those who like a combination of jaw-dropping twists and a twisted unexpected ending,
Angie Watts had the perfect ordinary family. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.
But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And when her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.
Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.
But Angie is a mother. And a mother does anything to protect her children – even when the world is falling apart…
I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins UK – Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
An intense family drama, with an authentically crafted contemporary plot.’ Home Truths’ is exactly what it says on the cover. A realistic and thought-provoking insight into people who are failed by the welfare system and wider society. The homeless, the young people recruited by crime gangs and abusers, and the millions of families drowning in debt.
I often read fiction for escapism, but this is not that. It gets your attention in a dramatic, tragic way, and then while you’re reeling from the horror, it explores the aftermath. Ordinary, people are drawn into lives of crime, debt and poverty, though, circumstances out of their control, poor decisions and unscrupulous individuals and organisations, who see a financial gain, and not the collateral damage their decisions leave behind.
Angie and her husband have what many people want, each other, children and somewhere to call home. When Liam as a child is corrupted by local gangs, it changes the course of their lives. This story follows Angie and her family, as she fights to keep her remaining family safe when everything is against her. Her situation is relatable, and her motivations to her imploding situation believable and disturbing.
The story manages to highlight the issues, whilst delivering a gripping family drama. ‘Home Truths’ is an excellent story, with a realistic, and positive conclusion. It makes you think, about contemporary issues and the society’s blame culture and lack of compassion.
I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
An intense legal drama that explores ethical and moral issues. When a young disabled girl accuses four young boys of rape. Contemporary issues of race, religion, prejudice and social divisiveness are all in evidence in this authentically plotted crime fiction novel.
The first half of the story begins with the rape accusation and the police procedural that follows on from this. Jodie makes her accusation at a rape crisis centre, which brings her into contact to Zara, an ex-barrister, now reinvented as a rape crisis caseworker. Jodie accuses four boys at her school, she is white and suffers from a disfiguring disability to her face, which has laid her open to bullying throughout her young life. The boys are all Muslim, Zara is also Muslim, and so from the outset, there is inevitable tension, between individuals, families and the community.
There is a strong element of family drama in this first part of the story, as we learn more about the victim, her advocate and the four accused boys. The family reactions and the power of social media are all well documented here. Trial by the press and social media are recurrent themes, and everyone is tainted by them.
The second part of the story is the trial. The courtroom drama is portrayed believably. The drama outside the courtroom is disturbing and powerful. The penultimate twist is harrowing, but don’t breathe out too soon, there is more, and this is what makes this story resonate.
Complex, contemporary characters, realistic social issues, and a good understanding of the communities and the issues that they face, make this story read like ‘true crime’ rather than fiction. It is worth reading, even though, sometimes, it’s painful to do so.
A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard.
It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all?
Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become.
Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…
I received a copy of this book from HQ DigitalUK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is the second Ryder and Loveday historical crime mystery I’ve read. Although the mysteries are standalone, the relationship between the two unusual detectives develops with each book. So, if you get the opportunity, start with book one.
Clement Ryder, former surgeon, now coroner, and Trudy Loveday, a probationary policewoman in the Oxford constabulary, in the early 1960s investigate cases referred to Ryder by various powerful sources. After their first meeting, Ryder sees the intelligence and potential detecting skill in Loveday, and always requests her assistance, despite the resistance of her misogynous bosses in the police force.
Loveday, is ambitious, intuitive and hard-working, the perfect police officer, yet in the 1960’s she is thwarted every time she seeks practical experience in police work, by jealous and bigoted colleagues and bosses. Their attitude to a working woman reflects the societal view of women in the workplace, and society. The idea of the 1950’s woman as a homemaker was challenged in the 1960s by women like Loveday and forward-thinking intelligent men like Ryder. The book showcases 1960s’ society and attitude well. I was a child in the 1960s, and recognise many of the attitudes and societal norms portrayed in this series, which is well- researched.
The plot is in the murder mystery style, nothing too graphic, although serious crime and issues are explored throughout the investigation. There are many suspects and numerous clues, many of which lead nowhere. The pacing is good, even though you follow Ryder and Loveday’s investigative pace. This is detective work in the 1960s, so forensics and technological help are minimal. Deduction and observation are key skills used here, and it makes interesting reading.
Perfect if you’re a fan of ‘Inspector Gently’, ‘Morse’ and ‘Prime Suspect. This series explores policing in the 1960s, with a unique partnership, astute observations of 1960’s society, and a well-plotted murder mystery.