Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Crime Fiction favourites 2015

I have posted the following reviews on US & UK Amazon and Goodreads.
In no particular order:

By far, one of my favourite newly discovered Crime Fiction series has been the DI Ted Darling Series, written by L M Krier

Baby's Got Blue Eyes: Introducing DI Ted L.M. Krier
My rating 5 of 5 stars *****

I enjoyed reading this crime cracker. At last, a normal copper who isn't constantly in trouble with his superiors. DI Ted Darling lives with his very understanding and talented partner Trev. There are grisly murders in the locality. The storyline, the DI's likeability and approach to solving the crimes had me gripped from the start and left me wanting to return to reading the book if I had to put it down.I've been a fan of crime fiction from an early age and have read a fair bit of it, so I think I can recognise good crime writing when I see it and this book definitely ticks all the boxes for me.
Very few crime fiction novels hold my interest these days because I'm a little tired of reading books that appear to follow the newer trend in crime fiction with go it alone heavy drinking detectives who somehow manage to hunt down the killer single-handedly, while barely holding onto their jobs. DI Darling follows procedure, works with his team of detectives and has earned their respect and that of his superiors. This doesn't make him boring by any means because there is a real warmth and depth to his character.
The book reminded me of some of the old classic crime writing. I'm looking forward to reading more in the series. DI Ted Darling has restored my faith that good crime fiction can still be written. Hallelujah!

Two Little Boys: DI Ted Darling Book II L M Krier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars *****

Crime fiction fanatics - there's a new crime writer on the block and a new detective series to follow!
L M Krier is an experienced writer, former journalist and copy editor with a series of successful books about her move and life in France.

This is the second book in the DI Ted Darling series and although I enjoyed the first book, I liked this one even better. Once more we have the endearing cop with a warm heart and martial arts skills, who follows procedure and actually gets on with his superiors.

The subject is a difficult one and topical at the moment, with high profile people coming under investigation and serving sentences for the most heinous of crimes.

Murder is always nasty but one involving the vulnerable young even more so. The author L M Krier covers the subject of child abuse and murder with great sensitivity. The book focuses on the procedural and background side of the investigation, without inflicting on the reader gratuitous violence, or gruesome details.
There is more about the warm and loving relationship between Ted Darling and his partner Trev, although the investigation brings to the surface one of the DI's own personal demons putting a strain on the relationship.
The introduction of the new female Detective Superintendent known as 'The Ice Queen' is a good addition to the team.
I liked the format of the book, with evenly spaced shorter paragraphs, making it easier to read. The twist at the end of the book was a good 'un and stopped me in my tracks!
As a fan of crime fiction I love finding a new detective series to follow.Looking forward to the next one in the series!

When I'm Old and Grey: DI Ted Darling Book III L M Krier
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars *****

I couldn't wait to read this book because after reading the first two in the series, I'm now a huge fan of DI Ted Darling and his partner Trev. It certainly didn't disappoint. I think this one is my favourite book of the series. There are so many twists and turns that I ended up suspecting about five different people of the murders.

Any of the books in the DI Ted Darling series could be read as a stand alone, so if you see this book, or any of the others in the series on offer, then grab it quick but I can guarantee that you'll be hooked and will then need to read the whole series, because in each book, as the story unfolds, we learn more and more about the two central characters, DI Ted Darling and his partner Trev. Different layers of their individual backgrounds are revealed and in this book we meet two important characters from both of their pasts. Also we are introduced to the new and intriguing character of the female officer DC Vine.

L M Krier is a gifted storyteller, who reveals the plot in such a way that holds the attention of the reader right through to the end. I couldn't put the book down. Wanted to savour it but found myself racing through to the final denouement. Now I can't wait for the next one!

Another huge favourite from this year is: In Bitter Chill Sarah Ward. Can't wait to read more from this author!
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars *****

I found this book to be a thoroughly absorbing book from start to finish, with quite a few clever plot twists throughout. The reader never quite knows which way the plot will unfold and exactly what happened to two abducted young schoolgirls in a historic 30 year old case and the story is revealed in cleverly crafted, sometimes hazy layers bit by bit.

Beautifully written and without any scenes of sickening gratuitous violence, in a style reminiscent of some of the classic crime writers with the focus on inhabitants of a small town, in this case one in Derbyshire.

The only survivor of the abduction Rachel, who has very limited recollections of the fateful day, makes a living as a genealogist, unravelling the mysteries of the family history of her clients and it is through her research experience that she begins to unravel the details of the case and discovers exactly what happened and who was responsible. Rachel isn't the only one though who methodically works through the clues and background details, there are others, including the detectives working on the case particularly Connie Childs, the young DC.

The denouement towards the end is both clever and chilling as the perpetrators are revealed and one of the characters faces danger.

I hope to read more from this author. For a debut novel, this one is a cracker and was very hard to put down

Another favourite: Wicked Game  Matt Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars *****

I first heard about Matt Johnson's debut Crime Fiction novel when he followed me on Twitter. I followed back and noticed that his book had a lot of positive feedback. Downloaded the book and read it in a few sessions. An absorbing and well written read that had me staying up late to finish the book.

Matt's career as a soldier and then later as a police officer for twenty five years gave him valuable insight into the aspects of both services, add that to his ability as a writer who can craft a good story and it's a winner. He is up there with the top notch crime writers. A real cracker of a book and I have no hesitation to give it five stars.
I  look forward to reading more books from this gifted writer
Dance With The Enemy Rob Sinclair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars *****

I found this book to be a fast paced, well written thriller. The writer, Rob Sinclair is up there on the same level as other more successful and well known writers of thrillers. A cracker of a book, and I will be reading the other books in the series.

One of the most interesting books I've ever read is Signal Red Robert Ryan, so although a fictionalised account of a true crime, most definitely deserves a mention here.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars *****

Signal Red is one of the most interesting books I've ever read.
Robert Ryan really captures and recreates the atmosphere of 1960's and the essence of the key players in one of the most daring robberies this country has ever seen.

The characters involved in what became known as The Great Train Robbery, have rightly or wrongly become legends in their own lifetime and have been the subject of film, TV drama and countless other books. The robbery was planned in minute military detail by the mastermind behind it all, Bruce Reynolds, who according to varying accounts, was horrified by the violent attack on the guard during the robbery.

The behaviour before, during and after the robbery by some of the others in the gang, led them to being rounded up and arrested not very long after the event. But were they all caught?

Signal Red, with a mix of fiction and fact, delves right inside the lives of the characters behind the Great Train Robbery and their significant others and the author brings them to life in this account that draws from his extensive research into the subject and meetings with various faces and names from the past.
Bruce Reynolds himself approved of the book, it's authenticity and background and wrote an afterword for the book.
There was TV dramatisation of this book that was excellent but the book delves so much deeper and was an absolutely fascinating read. Highly recommended 5*

Hiding the Past: Nathan Dylan Goodwin

My rating 4 out of 5 stars *****

quite enjoyed this book and thought it was well written and researched. Genealogy was an interest of mine for a number of years and I obtained a certificate in the subject from the IHGS, who briefly feature in the book. 
It was an absorbing, interesting read and I loved the descriptions of the various characters working in local archives - I've met a few similar ones!
It was a little farcical at times, with some unbelievable plot twists, but I did read all three books in quick succession, one after the other. Found them completely addictive and look forward to more books from the author.

The America Ground Nathan Dylan Goodwin
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars *****

Although I enjoyed all three books in the Morton Farrier series, this is by far my favourite. Well written and researched. A REALLY cold murder mystery case for Morton Farrier, the forensic genealogist to investigate. A mystery and a historical novel all rolled into one. The plot goes backward and forward from the old to the present very smoothly.
It felt as if the author is getting more into his stride as a writer with this book. I look forward to reading more very addictive books from Nathan Dylan Goodwin


  1. Some great reads here, Caryl. I also loved the first L M Krier DI Darling book. I haven't read the others yet, but I'm definitely going to indulge in them on holiday this year!

  2. Thank you for posting Val. It's a great series and book 5 is out soon, which is a cracker - I've been allowed a peep :)