Saturday, May 28, 2011

2011 books, #46-50

Deed to death, by D B Henson. Kindle edition.

One of the interesting things about choosing the "under £1" option for Kindle books is that you get a real mixture - first novels by established author to get you to pay more for the others in the series, books which are only available electronically, and so on. This one appears to have gone out as a Kindle edition to test the waters for a print-run and is currently unavailable on Kindle but the paperback is in preparation.

Scott Chadwick falls to his death from the top of the hotel he's constructing, three days before his wedding. His fiancée is determined to prove that Scott has been murdered rather than having committed suicide, and her need for this increases when Scott's estranged brother Brian contests his will. It's a workmanlike sort of book - the plot's well thought-out and resolves satisfactorily, and while the writing style is a bit plodding, it's a nice fast read.

Street dreams, by Faye Kellerman [audiobook]. Read by Liza Ross. Oxford: Isis, 2004.

A Rina and Peter Decker novel but with the concentration on Cindy Decker. Thankfully, Cindy seems to be growing up a little since the last book she starred, in which she was extremely irritating. The story starts with Cindy finding a newborn baby buried under a rubbish heap, and tracking down her mother, a learning disabled girl almost as vulnerable as the baby. Further investigation uncovers a violent crime, and introduces Cindy to personal danger. Meanwhile she meets a handsome paediatric nurse who turns out both to be an observant Jew, which makes her stepfamily very happy, and also Ethiopian, which causes slight surprise at the Sabbath dinner table. Peter Decker is at his irascible best in this one, and with any luck Cindy's more recalcitrant days are behind her.

Unholy angels, by Karen Fenech. Kindle edition.

Liz Jansson's marriage was over well before she left her husband and filed for divorce; but Peter Jansson's suicide, a month after she moves out of their house, looks like a moment of despair at her betrayal; that's certainly what their son, Will, believes. Will is adopted by the adherents of a Satanic group which contains some of the most prominent members of the community, while Liz starts a liaison with the new sheriff, Doug McBride. As she begins to discover more about her husband's involvement in the cult, Liz realises there is nobody in the community she can trust. The writing style is quite basic, but it does have a tautly-written plot with a couple of good twists in the tail.

Gone, by Karen Fenech. Kindle edition.

This book starts with the execution of FBI agent Clare Marshall's mother for killing one of her children, and wounding Clare, twenty-four years before. After a chance meeting with a social worker during a shoot-out, Clare hears news of her younger sister and follows her trail to Farley, South Carolina. When she gets there she finds that her sister has disappeared again, and that the head of the FBI in the area is her former lover Jake. Clare tracks her sister Beth, but someone is tracking Clare...

Winterkill, by C J Box. London: Penguin Puttnam, 2010. Kindle edition.

Game warden Joe Pickett thinks his life is bad enough when he meets a colleague from the Parks Service who has gone insane and started shooting elk indiscriminately, to the extent that he's trying to fill his rifle with cigarettes. However, when the man escapes after Joe arrests him, he's found with two arrows through him and his throat cut. The case is taken over by a female bureaucrat who is truly scary, and meanwhile Joe's foster-daughter April is taken from school by her birth-mother who has come back to town in an encampment of anti-government survivors from Waco and other sieges. Joe is a good man, as is pointed out by one of the slightly more ambiguous characters in the book. The plot's good and it's a riveting read. I'm slightly amazed, given the number of basic errors in it, that this is one with a genuine publisher, but the plot does carry you over that to an extent.

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