Foul Trade – BKDuncan #blogtour

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It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.

The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.

May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.

As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.

In which our feisty heroine takes on chinese gangs, deals with drugs and more….

Hot on the heels of introductory novella The Last Post, comes Foul Trade the first of the May Keaps series.

It’s a highly atmospheric novel that uses all of your senses  to  envelope you in the richness and diversity of London in the ’20s,  and the attitudes of the day.  Attitudes which are often unacceptable to May, who will not let anyone talk down to her.

There is a lot going on in the book to keep you keen to turn pages with plenty interesting characters along the way.  It can be confusing at times to keep track, but that ensures that Foul Trade is action packed and thoroughly engrossing.

It’s another recommended book from me that you won’t want to put down.

 

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#Blogtour White Out – Ragnar Jonasson

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Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers

This is by far my favourite of Ragnar’s Dark Iceland series to date. If you thought Siglufjordur was isolated and claustrophobic you haven’t read everything yet.  In the previously populated small village of Kálfshamarvík, that is now just a tiny hamlet of two houses, on the eve of Christmas Eve, Ari, with his heavily pregnant partner Kristin, and his old boss Tomas (now a Reykjavik murder team officer) are trying to discover the mystery of Asta’s demise, over the cliffs of her childhood home, where both her mother and 7yr old sister met their deaths.

With such a small cast of characters, this is an intense read.  You know it has to be someone, but Jonasson expertly manages to keep you guessing all  the way to the end.  I’m usually someone who can pin a guilty party out by halfway through a book, but with Whiteout I just couldn’t.  I had ideas, but never saw the ending.  The rarity of catching me out is fabulous, and just ensures this book is doubly amazing.

 

 

Siglufjordur © Sigurður Ægisson

If you’ve never been to Iceland but enjoy a fully immersive experience in a novel, then I recommend you google some images of Sigulfjordur and Kálfshamarvík before you start. There is no better way of getting a quick grasp of the dark, yet beautiful isolation of these places, and as we all know imagery will only enhance your reading.

Enjoy…

The Dead Whisper – Emma Clapperton

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D.S Preston and D.C Lang are sent to investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow. But who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? When they believe their questions have been answered the case is closed.

Meanwhile, Sam Leonard could not be happier – he has a great acting career and a fantastic girlfriend. After being in a previously turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?

For Patrick McLaughlin life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.

But the house that Patrick moves into is not what it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased, and a recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

In order to lay the ghosts to rest questions will be asked but can the house ever let go of its past? 

If you like your thrillers with a supernatural twist then this is the book for you. I’d never read anything by Emma Clapperton before this, and whilst I know she has other books featuring DS Preston, DS Lang, and Patrick McLaughlin, I never felt the need to have read any of them first, as TDW works great as a standalone novel.

There are great characters, well written to the point I took an instant dislike to one of them, and I always recommend any book that makes me react emotionally to it in that way.

Skilfully plotted, with plenty to keep you involved, it’s easily a one sitting read, but I think it’s better read in chunks to allow you to absorb everything, and see if you can figure out whodunit, (but I bet you won’t)




Blurb is the word – The Bone Field – Simon Kernick

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“If you go down to The Bone Field today, you’re in for a big surprise…”
“If you go down to The Bone Field today, you really should close your eyes”

A NEW TWIST TO A DECADES OLD MYSTERY

1990
A young woman goes missing while backpacking in Thailand.

She is never seen again.

2016
Her bones are discovered 6000 miles away in an English field and, within hours, the boyfriend who reported her disappearance all those years ago is dead.

So begins a hunt to solve her murder that will take DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd into a dark and terrifying world of corruption and deadly secrets, where murder is commonplace, and nothing and nobody is safe…

 

Grab yourself a stiff drink, settle yourself down, and prepare for a dark and twisty read that is one hell of a journey….

#BlogTour The Man Who Died – Antti Tuomainen

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A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists. 



Darkly comic, The Man Who Died is a cracking one sitting read that will have you falling over yourself to decide what emotion you want to feel next…..

Pop Culture Critiques 1.0 – The Store – James Patterson & Richard Dilallo

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If Amazon and Skynet were to have a love child, call him 1984 and then move to Stepford….

Welcome to “The Store”


The Store doesn’t just want your money – it wants your soul.

Imagine a future of unparalleled convenience. A powerful retailer, The Store, can deliver anything to your door, anticipating the needs and desires you didn’t even know you had.

Most people are fine with that, but not Jacob and Megan Brandeis. New York writers whose livelihood is on the brink of extinction, Jacob and Megan are going undercover to dig up The Store’s secrets in a book that could change the entire American way of life. But after a series of unsettling discoveries, Jacob and Megan’s worst fears about The Store seem like just the beginning.

Harbouring a secret that could get him killed, Jacob has to find a way to escape The Store’s watchful eye and publish his expose – before the truth dies with him.

#Blogtour Death In The Stars – Frances Brody

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Yorkshire, 1927. Eclipse fever grips the nation, and when beloved theatre star Selina Fellini approaches trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton to accompany her to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel, Kate suspects an ulterior motive.

During the eclipse, Selina’s friend and co-star Billy Moffatt disappears and is later found dead in the chapel grounds. Kate can’t help but dig deeper and soon learns that two other members of the theatre troupe died in similarly mysterious circumstances in the past year. With the help of Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, Kate sets about investigating the deaths – and whether there is a murderer in the company.

When Selina’s elusive husband Jarrod, injured in the war and subject to violent mood swings, comes back on the scene, Kate begins to imagine something far deadlier at play, and wonders just who will be next to pay the ultimate price for fame . . .

This may well be the ninth book in Francis Brody’s series featuring Kate Shackleton, but as I have discovered with both Death In The Stars and indeed with each of the previously delightfully written Shackleton mysteries I have read, this is no barrier to picking up this book to read as someone new to the series.

Suspenseful, and living every bit up to the description of ‘mystery’, it keeps you guessing all the way between clues, red herrings, characters complicit in the story and those included to misguide you along the way.

With a background that clearly creates the atmosphere of this twenties tale, this charming read is a great way to while away a pleasant few hours.