Reading Highlights – March 2016

Well, I think I have set a new record for reading last month. I surprised myself by getting through no less than 11 books. As only three were audiobooks, this was an even greater surprise.  Not sure how I managed this, and fear it will be sometime before it gets repeated, never mind bettered. Anyway all were good reads. Eight were crime novels, not altogether surprising. All the books were written by authors I have previously read. Here is the full list.

The third sin, by Aline Templeton – This is the 9th in the DI Marjorie Fleming series. I have read two or three of the earlier novels in the series. Like the other novels The third sin is  set in Galloway, in south west Scotland. Another murder mystery for Marjorie to solve. This series is a nice change from the more gritty, city set Scottish crime novels.

End games in Bordeaux, by Allan Massie – this is the concluding part of Massie’s quartet of novels set in Bordeaux during the German occupation in the 2nd World War. As the title suggests, this one tidies up all the loose ends from the previous novels.

Hostage, by Kristina Ohlsson – another challenge for Fredrika Bergman and Alex Recht. Frederika is now working for the Swedish Justice department, while Alex is still with the police. A flight from Sweden to New York has been hijacked and the duo are part of the team charged with avoiding a catastrophe.

Flesh Wounds, by Christopher Broomier – this is the third novel to feature private investigator Jasmine Sharp and Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod, along with the enigmatic former villain Glen Fallon. Is this to be the end for the trio? Let’s hope not.

El enredo de la bolso y la vida, by Eduardo Mendoza – I did manage to include a spanish language novel last mont and this was it. Another intriguing tale from Mendoza, this time very much on the comic side with a cast of outrageous characters.

Random Violence, by Jassy Mackenzie – this is the first of Mackenzie’s novels set in modern post apartheid South Africa. Here we meet private investigator Jade de Jong for the firs time as she returns to South Africa after a long absence. She has to come to terms with her father’s murder and try to solve what seems to be a series of random murders.

Death of the Demon, by Anne Holt – the third novel in the Hanne Wilhemsen series. Here the Oslo police detective has to investigate the murder of the director of a foster home. The prime suspect seems to be a very strange 12 year old boy, who has gone missing. However not all is as it should be at the home.

Dead Joker, by Anne Holt – this is the fifth novel in the Hanne Wilhemsen series.  I had already read the first, second, fourth and ninth in the series and was now catching up with them all. Hence Death of the Demon above. Dead Joker is a more complex tale, which begins with the murder of the wife of Chief Public Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud. She is found decapitated in the family home. Halvorsrud is covered in blood and his fingerprints are on the weapon. An open and shut case? Far from it.

Sweet Caress, by William Boyd – this is the author’s latest novel and another cracking read too. A bit like The New Confessions and Any Human Heart, Sweet Caress is the life story of one person, covering most of the last century. Only this time the central character is a woman – Amory Clay, who is one of the first woman photographers.

Blood Safari, by Deon Meyer – this is one of Deon Meyer’s stand alone novels. The main character is Lemmer, a former soldier, who now works as a bodyguard. His current job is to protect Emma le Roux, who thinks she has just seen on television her long presumed dead brother. Emma is determined to investigate this sighting, and is about to embark on a potentially dangerous expedition to the area by the Kruger national park. As the pair investigate, some rather unsavoury skeletons emerge and Lemmer has to call on all his resources to protect Emma.

Shooting Star, by Peter Temple – this is an early novel by Peter Temple, published in Australia in 1999. I have now read all of his novels and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Shooting Star, like most of his work is set in Victoria and in this case involves the kidnapping of teenager Anne Carson. The Carson family is very, very wealthy. 10 years earlier another young girl from the family was similarly kidnapped. The police were brought in, but the girl was killed. This time the family want to keep the police out and instead seek the help of Frank Calder, a former cop and soldier, now mediator. To try and safe the life of Anne, Frank has to delve into and negotiate the murky secrets of the Carson clan.

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