Life or death by Michael Robotham

Cynthia Life of DeathAudie escapes from jail a day before he is scheduled for release – why? Audie’s story is revealed to us over the next couple of days after his escape and find out there is so much more to his story. I began to cheer him on and could not wait to find out how the story would end. This is a well-paced story that grabbed me from the beginning, right to the end.

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Scrublands by Chris Hammer

amy-scrublands.jpgScrublands is Australian rural noir, set in a fictional town in the Riverina. A year ago, a priest shot a number of men dead, and was then shot himself by the local policeman. A journalist, with his own demons, arrives to write a piece about how the town is coping, only to uncover, and become entangled, in layers of secrets. There is a great sense of place; the oppressive heat and bleak landscape mirroring the tension between the townspeople, the police and the news people. The mystery is deep and complex, the characters compelling, and the plight of the small country town in drought, utterly believable.

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Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander

Cynthia Half Moon LakeThe reader knows the truth of the story, but it is how each of the characters deal with and treat this truth, that makes the story interesting. I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the 1910s and crime investigation worked so differently then. Kristen adds layers to the story, dealing with race and wealth, and how each is regarded and treated. The story is based on a real case and I was glad I read about it after reading Half Moon Lake – it would of ruined the building tension throughout the story – everything had to turn out right, didn’t it?

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Still midnight by Denise Mina

cynthia-till-midnight.jpgFirst in a series that introduces DS Alex Morrow. Alex is not on the best of terms with her work colleagues and we discover the many factors contributing to this throughout the story. Alex investigates a hostage situation that is not clear cut to solve. I found it hard to warm to the story at the beginning and found the author assumed you knew about British crime and police enforcement – having to go and find explanations to some terms.
It will be interesting to see how Alex develops through the series and how her relationships develop.

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The thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield

Amy The Thirteenth taleI thought I would like this much more than I did. There are lots of bookish elements, and many references to Jane Eyre, and I really enjoyed the beginning, but at times I found the characters painfully unpleasant, which made those sections drag. A young woman who works in her father’s bookshop is contacted by a reclusive author, who asks her to write her biography. What follows is an over the top mystery, with a satisfying ending.

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Unforgotten. Series 2

Amy Unforgotten2This is a brilliant British crime show, set in London and surrounds. It starts with the discovery of a body, long dead, and introduces a series of seemingly unconnected characters and the police. As the series goes on, connections become clear, and finally the murder is solved. Like most British crime shows, I spend a lot of it identifying actors from other shows (It’s Ruth from Spooks! It’s Mrs Plornish from Little Dorrit!). The detectives are very endearing, and the mystery is clever and compelling; it’s a great show.

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The likeness by Tana French

Amy The LikenessDetective Cassie Maddox was the partner of the main character in the first book of the series, and now she has transferred out of the Murder Squad, and is dealing with the fallout of their last case. She has an opportunity to go undercover in a household of post-grad students from Trinity College, to help solve the murder of a girl who was using her old undercover identity. It’s a beguiling life she falls into, and it makes her question so much about her life. The mystery is compelling, the characters enchanting and frightening, and the resolution packs an emotional punch.

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