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» Listings for June 2016

  1. Synopsis: The first gripping book in The Organised Crime Team series by NY Times bestselling author of the Justice series, M A Comley and co-author Tara Lyons, author of In The Shadows. 

    When The Caller rings... what would you do? 

    The Organised Crime Team is a newly-formed unit with one of the toughest tasks in London. Led by DI Angie North, their first investigation is a cold case that has foxed several officers in the Met for months.After Angie holds a TV appeal regarding the case, a number of similar aggressive attacks are brought to her attention. The team call on their contacts on the street for help. Their interest is sparked when several local names surface. 

    To bring the criminals to justice a member of the Organised Crime Team is asked to risk their life in a dangerous covert operation.

    Kat's Rating: 3.5/5

    Kat's Review: Okay so I have read books by both Tara Lyons and Mel Comley and was looking forward to seeing what they produced as a team. The Organised Crime Team (OCT) is run by a really likeable character DI Angie North, her team are pretty likeable too. They are tasked with findng the people responsible for a cold case of robberies and attacks. We get a glimpse of the people behind it from early on in the book and I actually liked this element as there was something of a cat and mouse play going on between them and the OCT.

    The pace is okay although in all honesty not the fastest pace but certainly enough to keep me hooked on reading it. What I really like in this book is the fact that as a reader you feel like you are really getting to know the team. Each member is explained and it gives you a fantastic base for the follow on books.The storyline makes it clear that the basis for these robberies is a very simple thing, which in real life wouldn't be that difficult to imagine (scary). As the book continues Angie and the team have to find enough evidence to nail the people responsible but that means putting a member of the team deep in the heart of it all and potentially at great risk.

    There were certain things in the book I felt were too easy for the team and I though weren't plausible enough (hence the drop from a 4 star read). That said, the characters were really likeable and the writing flowed well and was so easy to become immersed in.Overall I think this a brilliant base to a series, and I could see myself quickly becoming attached to the characters and wanting to see where it goes. 

  2. Synopsis: The first gripping book in The Organised Crime Team series by NY Times bestselling author of the Justice series, M A Comley and co-author Tara Lyons, author of In The Shadows. 

    When The Caller rings... what would you do? 

    The Organised Crime Team is a newly-formed unit with one of the toughest tasks in London. Led by DI Angie North, their first investigation is a cold case that has foxed several officers in the Met for months.After Angie holds a TV appeal regarding the case, a number of similar aggressive attacks are brought to her attention. The team call on their contacts on the street for help. Their interest is sparked when several local names surface. 

    To bring the criminals to justice a member of the Organised Crime Team is asked to risk their life in a dangerous covert operation.

    Kat's Rating: 3.5/5

  3. Synopsis: On New Year’s Day, a wealthy family is found slaughtered inside their exclusive gated community in north London, their youngest child stolen away. 

    The murder weapon – a gun for stunning cattle before they are butchered – leads Detective Max Wolfe to a dusty corner of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum devoted to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man.

    But the Slaughter Man has done his time, and is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game? 

    And was the murder of a happy family a mindless killing spree, a grotesque homage by a copycat killer – or a contract hit designed to frame a dying man?

    All Max knows is that he needs to find the missing child and stop the killer before he destroys another innocent family – or finds his way to his own front door …

    Even the happiest of families have black, twisted secrets that someone is ready to kill for…

    Kat's Rating: 3/5

    Kat's Review: I really wanted to like this, and there were certainly elements I enjoyed but...yes there's a but. There are major things missing in this book and it almost feels like a puzzle with some key pieces missing. I read the first book in this series and felt rather middle of the road about it. This time around the story was certainly engaging but I couldn't gel with Detective Max Wolfe. There is a large lack of description for the characters which irritates me as I like to build up a picture in my mind. I have reads numerous books between the last one and this one so I still have no idea what he should look like in me head which is never a good sign.

    The story line in this one seemed a lot more engaging and kept me more entertained than the last, but again there seemed to be some rather key elements to the story line either missed or overlooked. I really feel like there is potentially a really great series lurking behind these pages, but certainly things need to improve for me to continue on with the series. Even the supporting characters such as Max daughter Scout and his colleagues did little to leave an impression on me. This book was readable, but not memorable and these reasons can certainly be changed with future books. 

  4. Format: Kindle Edition

    File Size: 949 KB

    Print Length: 347 pages

    Publisher: Matador (21 April 2016)

    Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

    Language: English

    ASIN: B01EMF4G1W

    Synopsis: At a European Union summit in Brussels, a shadowy conspiracy forms to steal secret technology from the Catholic Church; in a hotel bedroom in Krakow, Poland, a woman steals semen from a rich footballer; in Bautzen, Germany, a butcher takes delivery of human meat from a Polish murderer of prostitutes; and in Rome and Krakow, a scientist and a priest plot to use a drug which can manipulate the beliefs of millions of people. Inspector Tom Zalucki of the Krakow Police is faced with the hardest puzzle of his career. Why has a professional assassin expertly murdered a young Italian priest and a Ukrainian cleaner in the male toilets of Balice International Airport? Why has the Italian’s body been stolen from Krakow City Morgue and then butchered in a cave in the heart of the Indestructible Forest? What is the connection with the fifty cannibal murders by the German Franz Tham in war-torn Krakow in 1943? Why is the powerful American head of the Catholic Order of the Galatians actively obstructing the police investigation? What is the link with a secret Krakow fertility clinic and a Roman biological research laboratory? How does the science of ‘epigenetics’ fit into all this? What is the relevance of the blackmail plot affecting a famous English footballer, being investigated by his influential PI, a gay Moslem Tatar, with whom Zalucki has clashed in the past? 

    Aided by the beautiful coroner Ewa Kwiatowska, Zalucki must piece together the appalling truth, in a dangerous race against time that will pit him against a powerful secret group of Brussels-based conspirators drawn from all parts of the European Union hierarchy. His investigations will have tentacles extending deep into the darkest parts of Polish history and politics, and into the heart of the Catholic Church. Overshadowing everything though will be the hunt for the ultimate drug to control us all…by the manipulation of The Belief Gene.

    Ash's Rating: 4/5

  5. Synopsis: The new novel by Luke Delaney, ex-Met detective and author of the terrifyingly authentic DI Sean Corrigan series. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Stuart MacBride.

    Sergeant Jack King is back on active duty after months off following a violent encounter. On the Met’s promotional fast-track scheme, King is headed straight for the top, but policing the streets is where his heart truly lies.

    Tasked with cleaning up the notorious Grove Wood estate, King is determined to rise to the challenge. But it’s not just drug dealers and petty thugs his team have to worry about. Someone on the estate is preying on children, and they need to find the culprit, fast.

    Soon King finds himself over his head: the local residents won’t play ball, his superiors want results yesterday, and he’s refusing to admit that he’s suffering from PTSD. As the pressures combine, the line between right and wrong starts to blur and King finds himself in a downward spiral. Only he can save himself – but is it already too late?

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  6. Synopsis: April Wilson is wondering what to do next – her life has been turned upside down after the loss of her husband so she’s hoping to piece herself together again with a visit to her elderly great aunt, Edith. Arriving in the rural idyll of Tindledale, she’s dismayed to find Edith’s cottage and the orchard behind it in a sorry state of disrepair. Edith seems to have lost interest completely, instead she’s become desperate to find out what happened to her sister, Winnie, who disappeared during WWII.

    April gets to work immediately, discovering that the orchard still delivers a bumper crop each year, and with the help of some of the villagers – including Matt, the enigmatic Farrier – begins to unravel the mystery of the missing Winnie. Slowly,

    April can feel things coming to life again – but can Orchard Cottage work its magic on her too?

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  7. Format: Kindle Edition

    File Size: 606 KB

    Print Length: 260 pages

    Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

    Publisher: Bloodhound Books (29 April 2016)

    Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. 

    Language: English

    Synopsis: What if you woke up in a strange place and didn’t know who you were?

    A woman wakes up in a Thai hospital unaware of how she got there or who she is. The doctor names her Kai, the Thai word for fever.

    Unable to recall what led her to end up at the bottom of a cliff, Kai’s only clue to her identity is a diary. Stuck in a foreign land with no memory, she begins to unpick the truth about her past. And she will discover who she is and why she is in danger… This is Kai’s story

    Ash's Rating: 5/5

  8. Synopsis: The second book in Michael Wood’s darkly compelling new crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

    When elderly George Rainsford goes to investigate a suspicious noise one night, the last thing he expects to find is a bloodbath. A man has been killed and a woman brutally beaten, left for dead.

    The victims are Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker – both married, but not to each other. Their spouses swear they knew nothing of the affair and, besides, they both have alibis for the attack. With nothing else to link the victims, the investigation hits a dead end.

    The pressure is on for investigating officer, DCI Matilda Darke: there’s a violent killer on the loose, and it looks like her team members are the new targets. With no leads and no suspects, it’s going to take all Matilda’s wits to catch him, before he strikes again.

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

    Kat's Review: I read the first in this series in February of this year so Matilda was very fresh in my mind. I was looking forward to reading the next instalment and seeing how things have gone for Matilda. Matilda is an extremely likeable character and one that I really enjoyed reading about in book 1. In book 2 she seems to have started to get herself together, however the reader has no time to dwell on that as you are thrown straight in with a gruesome murder scene. An elderly neighbour finds a horrific scene with one man dead and a woman brutally beaten and on deaths door. DCI Matilda Darke and her team are on hand to take the investigation to try and catch the killer.

    The two victims Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker are both married and this opens up the door to numerous suspects and as the story unfolds more characters emerge as potential suspects. On the side of Matilda, we are reminded about her history and can see she is still struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband a year previously. We see her personal battles both emotionally and professionally and I really felt that we are seeing more of the real her. This is always key to a series and I think Michael Wood has really stepped up to the plate and shown people how it should be done.

    The book itself has multiple layers and threads which kept me compellingly reading late into the night. Doubled up with recurring characters such as Matilda's colleagues DC Rory Fleming and DS Sian Mills and Darke herself you have the perfectly balanced book. The story is well paced and the chapters nice and short to keep the story moving. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, oh no...Mr Wood decides to mix things up again, even going as far as throwing extras into the Epilogue. All I can say is that it was a fantastic way to catch the reader right at the end and leaving them wanting more. I am massively impressed with this author and really do recommend him. Another brilliant book and I am so looking forward to the next one.