The novella – Social Engineer – introducing us to Brody Taylor was excellent, and this full-length novel has done its prequel justice. What an exciting story, I couldn’t put it down! It highlights computer hacking at its best and worst. Murders are being committed and the police are searching for connections. Meanwhile Brody has risen to the challenge to hack into a webcam web site. It is an ego trip for him; he is the best and has to prove it. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of the murder investigation and offers his assistance to DI Jenny Price. He is drawn both to her and to helping her solve the crimes and realises that it isn’t all about his ego. It is a complicated story with lots of technical detail, but explained in such a way that even I could follow the plot. Ian Sutherland obviously has a great deal of knowledge of the cyber world and uses it very successfully. The characters are great and I look forward to more Brody Taylor novels in the future. If I have learnt one thing from this story, it is to never install a webcam in my home!
Tag Archives: Murder
The first book by Mark Billingham that I read was ‘Sleepyhead’, a Tom Thorne novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. For my next read by this author, I deliberately didn’t choose another Tom Thorne but instead chose ‘In the Dark.’ I wish I hadn’t. It wasn’t up to the same standard. The story was hard going, I didn’t like the characters and a heavily pregnant police officer didn’t quite cut it with me. I will read more Mark Billingham books, but will stick to the ones featuring Tom Thorne in future.
I don’t usually enjoy books which jump from one character’s story to another and stories which jump backwards and forwards in time, but this time I did, it gave the whole book extra depth. The two main characters, Lillian and David tell in real time what life on a deserted island is like after a plane crash in which they are presumed dead, and then, after they are rescued, tell the story they have fabricated to an unpleasant, pushy TV presenter, who keeps digging to discover what she thinks is the truth. I did guess who the mysterious Paul was, but I didn’t guess the ending. It’s well worth reading.
Amazon offered this novel as one of a selection of free books. I knew nothing about the author and chose Sleepyhead just because it seemed the best one on offer. I made a good choice, the story was excellent, I didn’t want to put it down. Sleepyhead is the author’s debut novel featuring DI Tom Thorne. A psychopath has murdered several women. One woman, Allison, survives but has locked-in syndrome, so she is mentally aware, but unable to move or speak. What is the killer’s real motive? Tom Thorne believes he knows who has committed these crimes, but is unable to prove it. He clashes with his superiors and colleagues over his fixation with the suspect. It interferes with a budding relationship with the doctor caring for Allison. I particularly liked how the author dealt with locked-in syndrome, very sad, but also amusing in parts. All the way through, you think that Thorne is gradually getting nearer to proving his case and then! A totally unexpected ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more of Mark Billingham’s books.
I read all John Grisham’s books and most of them are excellent reads, but I found this particular book a bit hard going in places. It is a hard-hitting story of the death penalty and the killing of an innocent man, mainly because the people involved in law enforcement and courts were too eager to pin the crime on a black man and too wrapped up in their own positions to care about the truth. It makes you examine your own thoughts on the death penalty, death row, and what it means for the men held there for years. I can appreciate all the research and hard work that has gone in to writing this novel, but I must admit to skipping paragraphs and I felt the story lost its way a bit towards the end.
Gillian, as a child, loses her sight in a tragic accident, in which she also loses her father. In time she manages to escape from the clutches of her over-protective mother and now leads a successful and independent life, watched over by her seeing-eye dog, Garrett, who accompanies her everywhere.
Alex, a child traumatised and bullied, brought up by an abusive father, grows into a man who hates ‘defects’ as he calls anyone with a disability. He wants to rid the world of them. Gillian becomes his latest target and the story follows his stalking of Gillian and his attacks on her.
Detective Ryesam (Rye)Bryant is already investigating several similar cases and is attached to Gillian’s case. Gillian manages to escape the clutches of Alex who becomes increasingly agitated as he hears his father’s voice. He thinks his father is there, but the voice is in his head, goading him. He washes his hands compulsively and smashes up his apartment.
The book is a psychological thriller with romance thrown in, as Gillian and Rye fall in love. The impetus of the thriller becomes a bit lost in places due to all the kissing and cuddling by the loved up pair. I understand what the author was trying to convey, but for me, it wasn’t as thrilling as it could have been.
I am embarrassed to say that this book has been sitting on my Kindle for almost eighteen months! Every time I went to read it, my attention was drawn to something better (not always so as it happens!) and it got pushed to the back of the queue. I have finally got around to reading it and although it is not brilliant, it is funny, entertaining and easy to read.
The story revolves around Lexi, a bored temp working in an Insurance Company. Bored that is until she discovers the vice president of the company – Martin Dean – shot dead in his office. Before she has chance to recover from the shock, she is recruited by a police task force, and asked to spy on her work colleagues. The task force are working undercover to solve a huge fraud scam, which her boss was somehow involved in. As people around her are killed off, Lexi realises that she has become the murderer’s next target. I guessed about three quarters of the way through who the murderer was, but it was still a good story with lots of twists and turns.
This story was first sold in several episodes – 16 in all – but this one, which I have just read is the collection of all 16 episodes in one book. It is not the sort of book I would normally select, but as it was offered for free, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did, it was a really great read. It is a story of a post-apocalyptical world, where the chosen survivors in the US are tricked into a utopian life in an enormous purpose built tower, constructed by NextGen. The wealthy residents live a life of luxury, their every wish catered for by a workforce called Dentures, who are treated as slaves. One of the Dentures, Leo, who the story revolves around, joins a secret organisation whose plan is to overthrow the evil and corrupt people running NextGen. There are twists and turns galore, leading the reader from one episode to another with mounting excitement. Will they, won’t they overthrow NextGen? It is a long story, but I won’t make this a long review. All I can say is that if you are into apocalyptic stories (or even if you are not!), then this is one story I would certainly recommend.
I recently reviewed ‘Kelly Blue’ by Allan Danahay and he has kindly agreed to being a guest on my blog. I hope you will enjoy reading Allan’s background story and join me in wishing him every success for the future.
‘I was a professional musician for many years from aged 16 and played drums originally in the UK, where I was born, and I travelled the world as a freelance player and then settled in Sydney Australia where I was active in the jazz scene and recording studios.
Eventually, I opened a music store, which went well for 13 years, but a nasty disease got me and put me and the business out of action for a while (all ok now). I then tried a few new ways to earn a living….real estate, mortgage broker etc, but eventually decided that I needed a simple uncomplicated life, and started a service for florists delivering their orders, which I did until last year when my wife, Lesley, decided that we should retire to the lovely Central Coast region of NSW about 80ks north of Sydney.
I have two grown up kids from my first marriage and six grandchildren – the two oldest recently married (no not to each other) and I’m now looking forward to being a great granddad very soon, in fact in September. As it turned out, I was the only one retiring as Lesley decided to keep working for a while! But that’s ok as I love living here in Woy Woy ( a town so nice they named it twice)….I do an hour or so practice on the drums every day so my chops are the best they have ever been…. all I need now is for someone to offer me a gig! (Never gonna happen).
I have always been interested in writing, having devoured many of the great crime writers’ books over the years, including Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, Ian Rankin, Sue Grafton, Ruth Rendell etc, etc, and the great spy masters John Le Carre` Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth etc, but my starting point was Agatha Christie, when as a teenager I discovered ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,’ which although published in 1926, is still readable today. (Voted in 2013 the best crime novel ever by 600 fellow writers of The Crime Writers’ Association)
I decided to try my hand at writing….in fact I began ‘Kelly Blue’ about 14 years ago, but work obligations saw it grind to halt and lie half forgotten in the depths of my laptop until suddenly I had retirement time on my hands, and I hauled it out and gave it a complete update and turnaround (female characters became men and vice versa!).
My original half finished manuscript was about 25,000 words and when I finished hacking it about, it was about 10,000 and I set about finishing the story ending up with just over 40,000 words.
It’s an absorbing business getting my day dreams down in print and I’m basically lazy, but I found that once I start writing it’s hard to stop as I’m prone to forgetfulness unless I write it down. While writing ‘Kelly Blue’ for example, I had a really good idea just before going to bed one night and then the next morning could not for the life of me remember what it was! Four days later it came back to me, fortunately, and so now I write everything down as it occurs to me.
As I write, ‘Kelly Blue’ is coming to the end of a five day free period, which has propelled it into the top 20 free crime books and I’m amazed and delighted that the effort I put into it has not been for nothing and that someone has read it and hopefully enjoyed it.’
The story begins with a successful cat burglar nicknamed Spiderman by the press, who has scaled an apartment block and becomes an unfortunate witness to a murder. Enter Kelly Wynton, an ex policeman turned private investigator with Busby Investigations, who has been asked to investigate the disappearance of a schoolgirl. Because of the speed at which Kelly wraps up the case, he is assigned to a surveillance job for a businessman, suspicious of his wife’s behaviour. He wants Busby Investigations to keep tabs on her whilst he is away on business. Another murder takes place. Are they linked? Is Spiderman the murderer? Kelly gets more and more involved and much to his surprise finds love along the way. It is a short but interesting thriller, with far-reaching consequences.