The Collector of Lost Things

collectorlostThe sea was a notable but occasional location in British author Jeremy Page’s first two novels. In THE COLLECTOR OF LOST THINGS, Page’s third and latest work, the sea is practically a secondary player in this character-driven, highly literary story of suspense and betrayal.
 
The year is 1845. Elliot Saxby, a British naturalist researcher, is hired to undertake an expedition to the Artic to search for the remains of the Great Auk, a large flightless bird believed to be extinct. He books passage aboard the Amethyst, an aging but dependable hunting ship equipped to travel through the icy Artic waters.

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Proof of Guilt

proofguiltPROOF OF GUILT is the 15th book in the series featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard. Written by Charles Todd (a pen name for the mother and son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd), the series is set in early post-World War I England. Rutledge served in the war with distinction but he has come back from the front with a very unwelcome guest. His conscience is forever haunted by a fellow soldier named Hamish, a man that Rutledge had executed in the war for disobeying an order.

Hamish occasionally talks to Rutledge and even helps with the investigation at times. Thankfully, the authors know how to tone this down and approach it realistically. If overdone, the conceit could come off as campy, but it never does. Instead, the reader reacts with appropriate surprise when Hamish intervenes, and it’s a stark reminder of the prevalence of shell shock (or PTSD, if you prefer) in the populace after a war.

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Free Fall

freefallFREE FALL is the eighth title in Chris Grabenstein’s series of John Creepak mysteries. Like its forerunners, this newest entry not only takes its title from an amusement park ride and its setting on the New Jersey Shore, but also skillfully uses humor to portray an otherwise serious story.
 
Danny Boyle, police detective in the fictional town of Sea Haven on the Jersey Shore, is called to a domestic assault at a house in the swankier part of town. He arrives just in time to break up what looks like an attack on Christine Lemonopolus, a former girlfriend who works as a home-care nurse, and the woman who owns the house and is the mother of Christine’s wheelchair-bound patient.

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Flying Blind

flyingblindIn FLYING BLIND, its a new adventure for PI Crag Banyon. A detective barely scrapping by whose cast includes one of Santa’s former elves as an assistant. And a secretary whose picture is part of the definition of incompetence. This entry James Mullaney sets his sights on the world of superheroes.

Well actually one hero a new one by the name of Minus. Who in his short time in the job already has an arch nemesis. The problem being he only seen fleeting glimpses of him and that of mainly white hair. So whats a hero to do. Well hire a PI to do all the leg work of course.

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I Can See in the Dark

icanseeThe great thing about Karin Fossum, the queen of Nordic noir, is that she’s willing to try new things. She experiments, but never sacrifices story for form. In I CAN SEE IN THE DARK, she explores from a first-person view the damaged world of Riktor, who works in a nursing home. In the first eleven pages, in five incredibly short chapters, she shows us that Riktor has some capacity for evil, knows what he’s capable of, and sets the suspense and creep level at a remarkably high point.

Riktor enjoys tormenting the patients, many of whom are unable to complain to higher authority, and he revels in their powerlessness and the mastery of his domain. He is a sociopath, seemingly unable to connect empathically with anyone. When he forms a stunted relationship with an alcoholic man he meets on a park bench, even this “friendship” ends in utter disaster.

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Watcher of the Dark

watcherdarkWATCHER OF THE DARK is the third entry in horror author Joseph Nassise’s urban fantasy series featuring Jeremiah Hunt, the former Harvard professor who, over the course of events in the series debut, becomes immersed in the unseen world of ghosts and other supernatural entities and earns a reputation as the “blind exorcist.” It’s a genuinely entertaining and often suspenseful story that suffers slightly from occasional predictability and forced prose styling.
 
Taking up immediately after the conclusion of the previous novel (KING OF THE DEAD), Hunt ends up on Los Angeles and hides out in a cheap motel in a nondescript corner of town. A loud knock on his room door jolts him awake one morning. Hunt fears it might be the FBI – who is among several on his tail since his hasty departure out of New Orleans.

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Treasure Coast

treasurecoastComing from new imprint Brash Books comes TREASURE COAST, a new title from Tom Kakonis. As much as I enjoyed reading this book. There was just a little thing nagging at me through it all. Just a sense of that I’ve read this type of story. Where a group of people are pretty much thrust together from various backgrounds to pull off a score.

The story mainly focuses on Jim Merriman. A former gambler who hit a run of bad luck. That he ends up working in a book store. But now he is in Florida to see his sister who is losing a battle with health. Then add to the fact she asks him one favor. That to look after her son who is in deep with the local bookie.

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Supreme Justice

supremejusticeA political thriller from the vivid mind of Max Allan Collins, SUPREME JUSTICE is a nice welcome. Joseph Reeder a former Secret Service agent who took a bullet to protect the president. But would lose that position because of his criticism of that said President. Something no agent is supposed to do. But he just could not stand still as the President was packing the Supreme Court with an hard right type of judge. Reeder who is nicknamed Peep for his power of observations will be called upon to help out the current President on a task force.

The reason for the task force has to deal with what seems like a robbery gone horribly wrong. How wrong you might say. Well the robbery had a body count of one. That of a current Supreme Court Judge. What looks like just being in the wrong place at the wrong time looks vastly different to Reeder. That is what an elaborate set up assassination. But who and why is leaving everyone scratching their head.

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The Wolf

wolfCrime author Lorenzo Carcattera has used the history and traditions of his Italian background, as well its links to organized crime, as the basis of many of his novels. In THE WOLF, his latest, he kicks things up to a more contemporary and global orientation. It’s a daunting task and proves, as the old saying goes, that the more things change the more they stay the same.
 
Vincent Marelli, better known to friends and foes alike as The Wolf, oversees a massive empire that unites crime bosses across the globe. As a result there isn’t a business or industry that isn’t either controlled or mainly influenced by this vast network of organized crime. But all this power means Marelli must also control every waking hour of his life in order to protect his family and himself.

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City of Saints

citysaintsAndrew Hunt’s crime novel CITY OF SAINTS won the Tony Hillerman Prize in 2011 for best debut novel set in the Southwest. The setting, timeframe and gritty, realistic police procedures all combine to form a debut novel worthy of a series. Hunt makes the territory around Salt Lake City sing with its epic scenery, and strange mix of population with both rough-and-tumble characters and a huge more staid Mormon population. His descriptive prowess is strong, really putting the reader into the center of the action. Setting the police procedural in 1930 also adds a piquant and welcome film noir touch.

Our protagonist is Deputy Art Oveson, a fairly straitlaced Mormon lad who comes from a long line of policemen. He’s confronted head-on by two difficulties: finding the murderer of a woman who was run over multiple times by her own car, and avoiding all the political machinations of his clueless and corrupt Sheriff Fred Cannon.

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