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Crime always soars in a heatwave …

The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill translated from the Spanish by Laura McGloughlin Inspector Héctor Salgado is a hot-blooded Argentine working in Barcelona. As the book opens, he has recently returned from enforced leave after he beat up a suspect in a Voodoo/paedophile trafficking ring. Investigation 1231-R Salgado Resolution Pending Three short lines Read More

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A body’s life, a life’s memories

Winter Journal by Paul Auster I’ve been an Auster-fan ever since I first read The New York Trilogy in the late 1980s, which I re-read and reviewed here a couple of years ago. Between writing his novels, Auster also writes essays and volumes of memoir. Winter Journal is a memoir largely told through the things that Read More

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Illustrated books and crossover editions

I bought a signed first edition of the hardback of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which I wrote about here. After looking at some of the illustrations, I sat it in my bookcase as being almost too nice/collectible to read. The initial paperback edition is just like a slightly smaller version of the hardback Read More

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An exceptional story for all ages…

A Monster Callsby Patrick Ness The British writer Siobhan Dowd won the Carnegie Medal posthumously in 2009 for her last book, Bog Child.  She’d started working on another, but died of breast cancer before she had started writing. Her outline was handed to Patrick Ness, author of the acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy and he wrote the Read More

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The remote effects of war …

The Coveby Ron Rash. The fighting of WWI may be happening on the battlefields of Europe, but that doesn’t mean that remote communities in America don’t feel a ripple of its effects too… Young men who volunteered are returning home maimed – Hank Shelton lost a hand, and he’s doing his best to renovate the Read More

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A short, sharp German legal thriller…

The Collini Caseby Ferdinand Von Schirach, translated from the German by Anthea Bell The author of The Collini Case, a prominent German defence lawyer himself, honed his writing on short stories – case histories of gruesome and shocking crimes, of people who get away with murder and the like. His first novel, a courtroom drama, Read More

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Q&A with Sophie McKenzie and a giveaway of her latest teen book…

This week the final part of author Sophie McKenzie’s hard hitting ‘Missing‘ trilogy for teens is published. Missing Me completes the story started in Girl, Missing, and continued in Sister, Missing. The books follow the story of Lauren, who is adopted and has always known that. In Girl, Missing, Lauren is fourteen. One day she Read More

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A fascinating setting for a crime novel…

City Of Veilsby Zoë Ferraris This is the first novel I’ve read set in modern day Arabia. It gives a tantalising glimpse of life in Jeddah, particularly how men and women live, and combines that with a complex crime story. The mutilated body of a woman is found on a beach.  Detective Osama Ibrahim initially Read More

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The Food of Love …

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk (republished into its original place in the time-line from my lost post archive) I’ve taken my time reading John Saturnall’s feast, the latest novel by Lawrence Norfolk. He’s a man that takes his time to write his novels, having published just four in twenty one years, and so I’ve Read More