Mackintosh, Clare. I Let You Go.

NY: Berkley, 2014.

This is a new author for me, though she’s written a large number of thrillers and detective stories. This one begins when a young mother in Bristol is walking her five-year-old son home from school. He breaks away from her and runs across the street toward their small house but is struck and killed by a car — which then drives away. DI Ray Stevens of Homicide gets the call and he and a young female Detective Constable (only in CID for a few months, but she’s smart and eager) start their investigation. Ray’s whole team puts in great effort, but it all goes nowhere.

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Morgan, Richard K. Thin Air.

NY: Del Rey, 2018.

I got hooked on Morgan with his first book, Altered Carbon, and its two sequels. He blazed all sorts of new trails in hard-edged noir science fiction and I happily went along for the ride. Then, unfortunately, he sort of wandered off in different directions that didn’t resonate with me and I sort of lost interest. Well, now Morgan is back with a new series of cutting-edge SF and I’m happy to be climbing back aboard.

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Pelecanos, George. The Man Who Came Uptown.

NY: Little, Brown, 2018.

Pelecanos is, generally, a better-than-average writer of crime novels and over the course of twenty books he has also become the best-known chronicler of the darker side of everday modern Washington. Like all his protagonists and the Bad Guys with which they have to deal, the author is a native of the District and has lived there or nearby all his life. He knows the city’s history and geography and he understands the cadences of DC’s people. He can be very funny, too, but at heart his books have serious things to say.

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Published in: on 20 January 2019 at 9:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Connelly, Michael. Dark Sacred Night.

NY: Little, Brown, 2018.

Harry Bosch retired from the LAPD several books ago, but that doesn’t mean he will ever stop being who he is. He’s a born investigator and a visceral seeker after justice, and it’s just not something he can let go of. Since leaving his old job, he’s been working mostly on cold cases as a reserve officer for the tiny San Fernando PD out in the Valley, which supplies the professional challenge he needs in his life.

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Aird, Catherine. Henrietta Who?

London: Macdonald, 1968.

I don’t know how I never heard of this author, since she’s been writing English murder mysteries of the semi-cozy variety since the late 1960s. In fact, she has produced some two dozen novels in the past half-century, the most recent only two years ago, which is quite a long career.

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Published in: on 11 January 2019 at 8:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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French, Tana. The Witch Elm.

NY: Viking, 2018.

French has been writing highly-regarded fiction for a decade, and each of her six previous novels has been better than the one before. True to form, this seventh book is her best yet — but it’s also different, in that it’s a standalone and not part of her “Dublin Murder Squad” series, though it’s still set in Dublin.

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Wells, Martha. Exit Strategy.

NY: Tor, 2018.

When I first began the series of four “Murderbot” novellas, I sort of thought they would be separate little adventures. Turns out it’s all a single story arc, so you can really think of them as a single 600-page novel published in four parts. And it’s definitely worth reading.

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Published in: on 2 January 2019 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Galbraith, Robert. Lethal White.

NY: Little Brown, 2018.

The very entertaining “Cormoran Strike” mystery series has put paid to any question that J. K. Rowling couldn’t write anything but fantasy for children. This fourth entry may be the best yet. The sheer complexity of the plot and the interaction of the characters also gives it a Dickensian flavor.

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Griffiths, Elly. The Outcast Dead.

NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.

This is the sixth in the series about Dr. Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist in the wilds of Norfolk, and the overarching theme this time is the peculiar social status of full-time childminders (what we call “day care” in the U.S.). Do parents who park their kids with a sitter all day harm them by doing so? Is a woman wrong to not be a full-time at-home mother?

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Griffiths, Elly. A Dying Fall.

NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

This is the fifth book in the very entertaining mystery series featuring Ruth Galloway of Norfolk — an overweight and middle-aged forensic archaeologist, underpaid college professor, and single mother. She and her daughter, now almost two, live in an isolated cottage on the saltmarsh in Norfolk, but the story this time is set mostly in Lancashire, in and around the resort town of Blackpool, which is also the hometown of DCI Harry Nelson

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Published in: on 18 December 2018 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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