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Book Review: Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Book Review: Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

Genre:

International Mystery and Crime Thriller

Synopsis:

The fourth investigation in the nationaly bestselling Swedish detective series

Irene Huss is a former jujitsu champion, a mother of twin teenage girls, the wife of a successful chef, and a Detective Inspector in the Violent Crimes Unit in Göteborg, Sweden. And now she’s back in the gripping follow-up to Detective Inspector Huss. One nurse lies dead and another vanishes after a local hospital is hit by a blackout. The only witness claims to have seen Nurse Tekla doing her rounds, but Nurse Tekla died sixty years ago. Irene Huss has the challenge of disentangling wandering ghosts and complex human relationships to get to the bottom of this intriguing case.

Heidi’s Hot Take:

I absolutely love international detective thrillers. They have a different flow than most USA based detective thrillers. There is a lot of fun details about the culture that bleed through. That is all the case for Night Rounds as well. I can’t say that I adore Irene Huss. I actually kind of struggled with liking most of the detectives in the book, TBH. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but it was interesting to see that women in Sweden seem to run into similar struggles of how their roles are being shifted in culture and that there is kickback there just as we experience here. I will say that Helene Tursten’s red herrings were really quite good. Right until the end, I wasn’t sure who the killer was and she clearly set it up to mislead the average reader into falling into the same trap that most of the male detectives in the book kept falling into, underestimating what women can and will do and why.

While I wasn’t super won over by the detectives, I absolutely loved Tursten’s writing. How she mixes the mundane struggles of balancing life with being a detective, how we get as much of a look into Huss’s family life as her policework, and the ever-relatable feeling of struggling to balance personal and self-care around all the responsibilities of being a woman in modern society. I also felt like one of the reasons the red herrings really stood out is that Tursten makes a very solid effort to show how real police work is not getting a suspect early on and then digging into all of it to prove that they were guilty, but looking at the whole of the evidence and following up a lot of potential leads that would never quite resolve enough evidence to completely dismiss them but also ran cold on being able to follow up further. Like life, the police work wasn’t as linear as we often get in US-based detective thrillers and I really enjoyed that aspect to it.

Want to learn more about Night Rounds? Check it out on Amazon.

Until next time,

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Dark Omens

Book Review Dark Omens

Hello Lovelies,

Man, my reading passion has been reignited! It was such a delight to so thoroughly enjoy Charmed and Lethal. I took a day to embrace the shock of how it ended and then dove right into Dark Omens by Rosemary Rowe, which my eldest asked me to read eight months ago.

Genre:

Historical mystery

Synopsis:

A perplexing new mystery for Libertus set against the backdrop of a Roman Britain in turmoil after the death of the Emperor…

Libertus accepts a contract to install a pavement for Genialis, a self-important citizen from a nearby town, in the Glevum house of the customer’s intended but unwilling and young bride, Silvia. However, the weather is exceptionally severe, and although the pavement is laid in time to receive the promised bonus, Genialis goes missing in the snow before payment can be made.

Meanwhile, at an important feast, the sacrifice is spoiled as an aged priest lets go of the sacrificial ram- and when news arrives that the emperor is dead, it seems that these dark omens are being realised. The subsequent discovery of not one, but two local mutilated corpses only adds to this. Who holds the answer to these mysteries? Libertus attempts to solve the puzzle of the deaths against the backdrop of a superstitious fear of auguries, and public riots following the confirmation of the Emperor’s death.

My Take

I am not sure what to make of my feelings of this novel, published in 2013. The first I must say is that I appreciated the foreward greatly. I have a hard time with historical fiction of late, especially when often they are not so historical. However, in this case a lot of the story elements have been very well researched and the author clearly made a great effort for accuracy.

I also didn’t realize until a bit further into the story that this was not the first book in the series, and the author obviously made a fine effort to make them independently readable. I appreciated the story, enjoyed it even, though I have really struggled with mysteries since I was a teenager because I always figure it out beforehand. When the mystery is gone, one is left with an annoyance that it takes the main character so long to see the answer, despite them having the same information before them.

Despite that, I did enjoy the world-building and the historically accurate portrayal of life in the Roman-held outposts of Britain at that time.

Would I read more of Libertus’s stories? Probably not. I found it exceedingly frustrating that there were repeated errors in the story that had nothing to do with the differences between American and British grammar rules. No, there were blatant spelling errors.

Also, the story was quite drawn out and doddered along, much like the main character. But if you enjoy cozy mysteries and/ or Roman-era settings then you may find Libertus and his Patron Marcus quite enjoyable. Take a look inside and see if Dark Omens is for you.  

Until Next Time,

Keep Reading!

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Book Review- The Ambassador’s Wife by Jake Needham

Book Review- The Ambassador's Wife by Jake Needham

Hello Lovelies,

Man, it has been a busy week. But I got some time in to read and I am delighted to share with you my thoughts on The Ambassador’s Wife, the first book in the Inspector Samuel Tay series.

Genre

International suspense (IDK if that’s a genre. We can just go with awesome detective story!)

Synopsis: 

The first body is in Singapore, on a bed in an empty suite in the Marriott Hotel. The second in Bangkok, in a seedy apartment close to the American embassy.Both women. Both Americans. Both beaten viciously and shot in the head. Both stripped naked and lewdly displayed.The FBI says it’s terrorism, but the whispers on the street tell a different story. A serial killer may be stalking American women all across Asia.
Inspector Samuel Tay of Singapore CID is something of a reluctant policeman. He’s a little overweight, a little lonely, a little cranky, and he smokes way too much. Thinking back, he can’t even remember why he became a police detective in the first place. He talks about quitting all the time, but he hasn’t. Because the thing is, he’s very, very good at what he does.
When bodies of American women start turning up, Singapore CID calls in Inspector Tay. It’s a high profile case, and he’s the best they have.
Then why is it, Tay soon begins to wonder, that nobody seems to want him to find the women’s killer? Not the FBI, not the American ambassador, not even his bosses at CID.When international politics takes over a murder case, the truth is the next victim.

My Take:

This is a very big book, but it is worth every second! I love Detective Samuel Tey. Absolutely adore his attitude, his backbone, and his loyalty. I was a bit confused at the reveal, but then I figured it out. I love when books treat people like they are smart and give all the nitty-gritty while leaving us to actually piece things together, not be paraded by the nose like a bull to the obvious conclusion. No, this has some lovely twists, turns, unexpected happenings, and a deliciously appropriate end. I truly look forward to more Samuel Tey adventures in the near future… once I’m allowed to buy books again. Darn book allowance! 
If you like an international man of mystery, this isn’t the book for you. But if you like hard-working cops with a need for the truth and justice, then you will love Samuel Tey as much as I do. Take a look inside


Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Quality of Mercy by G.L. McDorman

Book Review: Quality of Mercy by G.L. McDorman

Hello Lovelies,

Who else is ready for school to start back up? I cannot wait! I love my kids, but I miss quiet reading time. I did, however, get some time to get a quick read in and experienced a unique read this week.

Genre:

Hard-boiled detective meets Noir, meets magic.

Synopsis: 

When a ruthless gangster threatens his old military friend, hardboiled detective Paul Henslowe intervenes… only to find himself working for a client on the wrong side of the law. When a series of cryptic blackmail letters plunges Henslowe into a decades-old murder, he follows a trail that leads him from a mysterious cult leader in the South Seas to a decaying lunatic asylum nestled among the City’s most powerful banks. Henslowe knows that if he doesn’t solve the case, his friend will die… but if he does, many others will die in his place. The Quality of Mercy is an eldritch tale of madness and betrayal that asks whether kindness and mercy can survive in a world so corrupted by greed and violence.

My take:

This was a fun, nostalgic read. I loved Dick Tracy books as a kid and there was a certain element of that, but then the author weaves in this fascinating tale of a curse from a foreign land. Now the detective has to figure out who’s murdering people, why, and if it is really related to an event that occurred decades before. 
I was a little disappointed that we never truly found out why things happened the way that they did, but at the same time it wrapped up quite realistically. Sometimes we might know who the bad guy is without ever knowing why they did it. 
I am definitely a fan of Henslowe and hope to see him on another adventure soon. 

Until next time, 

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Book Review: Amongst the Killing by Joe Compton

Genre:

Suspense/Thriller


Synopsis

There are 2 sides to every story…For as long as he could remember Detective Charles Street wanted to be a police officer, moreover a Detective. He wanted to be knee deep in the action, working the biggest cases, and reaping the biggest rewards. He also didn’t think when his dream job came a calling that it would ever turn into his nightmare. For as long as he could remember Jack Casey just wanted to be free, his own man to do what he pleased when pleased. He too craved the action and when his dream life came a calling, he didn’t think he would meet anyone his equal and definitely didn’t think he could ever have difficulty leave the world he loathed and mocked behind. Amongst The Killing documents each of their stories, told in their own words, as the moments unfolded when their paths first crossed and their lives intersected. How two men, with two different philosophies, could be so different and yet so connected.As the ultimate cat and mouse game unfolds, each has to deal separately with the others decisions and the effects it has in turning their lives sideways and upside down. Will one of them crack? Will one of them even succeed? Ultimately the journey may mean more than the game and show both of them the outcome neither was ever expecting.


My Take:

Joe Compton does an amazing job catching the unique voices of Detective Charles Street and Jack Casey, serial killer at large. Unlike Girl on a Train, I had no problem telling which character was speaking at the start of each chapter, and admired how at certain points, the two voices were eerily similar (clearly intentionally done by the author!)  This story really sticks with you. I actually had to take a break from reading it at one point because it gave me nightmares! 
Why? Because Jack Casey seems relatively normal. Hearing his internal monologue is very reminiscent of listening to my teenage son talk. He is quite Machiavellian, but some of the brightest people I know score quite high on the Machiavellian tests. It gives credence to neighbors of serial killers who say “He was quiet, polite, seemed like a nice guy.”  And that, to me, is far scarier than the “crazy” versions of serial killers often portrayed in Hollywood. 
I loved that the ending was unpredictable, and (if you pay close attention) there is a unique little twist that was very unexpected for me. The wrap up felt a bit rushed and tied a little too neatly, but I love the teaser for the next book! 


You guys! Guess who just got a signed paperback copy of Amongst the Killing? Cannot wait for the next Detective Charles Street book. 
Interested in learning more? 


Until next time, 

Keep Reading!