Closer than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek

5 Stars from me!

I can’t recommend this book enough. I felt a genuine excitement while reading Closer than Blood as it dawned on me that this book wasn’t just good, it was bloody brilliant! It is likened in the blurb to a Peter James style book but I would suggest it is more a hybrid of Peter James and Simon Kernick – it is clever, it is FAST, it has a subtle dry wit, it is exciting – honestly I was very rapidly utterly engrossed and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

PC Gareth Bell is a great character, he is charismatic and the scenes with his dad are, simply, beautiful. It is quite obvious when reading these little snippets that they are written from a deeply personal place and it makes them touch just the right chord.

Brighton makes for the prefect backdrop and it is fab to hear landmarks and visual descriptions of properties and areas as the characters make their way around the town.

I liked the friendships, I liked the bad guys (and gals), I liked the edginess, the fear, the fight scenes (usually skip them so they must have been good!), the sentiment and the general air of peril throughout the whole thing.

As the eagle-eyed among you may have gathered, I really enjoyed this book and heartily recommend it. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

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Synopsis: You would do anything for your family. Wouldn’t you?

The real nightmare begins when the missing person returns…

PC Gareth Bell is about to arrest a cocaine dealer on Brighton Marina, when he makes a shocking discovery that turns his world upside down: the dealer is his long-lost brother, Jake, someone he thought had died years ago.

But their reunion is short lived. For Jake is on the run from a cold-blooded killer, whose network reaches all the way into the police force itself. Now that his brother’s life is on the line, Bell has only two choices. Family, or duty?

A gripping crime thriller, perfect for fans of Peter James.

‘Writes with raw, engaging, authenticity’ Peter James

The Hanged Man by Simon Kernick

3 stars from me

I have to pinch myself as I write that – 3 stars from me for a Simon Kernick novel – I never thought I’d see the day.

It genuinely pains me to say that I didn’t love it. I found the beginning too ‘explainy’, I know that it is useful to have a bit of a catch up but if you have to essentially rehash most of the previous book then something is not quite right – or was it just padding?

Don’t get me wrong, Kernick’s fabulous, engaging, clever writing style is still there – it just isn’t there for the whole book. I found myself really struggling to stay engaged which is so not typical of a Simon Kernick thriller – they are normally lightening fast, unputdownable pieces of mastery.

I hate leaving reviews like this but honesty is all I can offer and this simply isn’t up to his usual standard.

Synopsis: A house deep in the countryside where the remains of seven unidentified women have just been discovered.

A cop ready to risk everything in the hunt for their killers.

A man who has seen the murders and is now on the run in fear of his life.

So begins the race to track down this witness before the killers do.

For Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd, the road ahead is a dangerous one, with bodies and betrayal at every turn…

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick

5 stars!

I can see lots of people have opted to give this book 4 stars, however, for the sheer pace of it and the fact that I couldn’t put it down, I have to go with 5 stars.

The Bone Field offers some brilliant new characters alongside the much loved DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd; these two are literally made for each other.

I really enjoyed the storyline surrounding the character Ramon, without dropping any spoilers, I would have enjoyed reading more about him and his life.

As you would expect from Kernick, this book moves at breakneck speed, flitting across countries and timelines with careless abandon – all the while tightening the screw of suspense with each and every page.

To be fair, it’s a bit of a no brainer isn’t it, if you liked his previous books then you will love this!

 

Synopsis: From the best-selling author of Stay Alive, The Final Minute and The Witness.

When the bones of a 21-year old woman who went missing without trace in Thailand in 1990, are discovered in the grounds of an old Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist. Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, Henry Forbes, now a middle-aged university lecturer, comes forward with his lawyer and tells DI Ray Mason of the Met’s Homicide Command that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.

So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich, dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost…

Stay Alive by Simon Kernick

Stay Alive

4 Stars from me.

I do love the books of Simon Kernick. In particular the sheer pace of them which,  from the very first paragraph, is always 100 miles per hour and immediately draws you into the lives of the characters.

I think he is especially skilled at writing about the moment, his detailed accounts of the minutiae of a situation mean that you get utterly engrossed in the story and live every second word by word.

His telling of chase scenes and fight scenes is genius in my opinion, with most authors I find myself skim reading those bits and often losing track of the finer details but with Simon Kernick the entire scene is brought to life in captivating clarity.

Great story, nice little twists and turns, enjoyable characters and an exceptionally fast pace. If you like his others then you’ll love this!

‘Only’ 4 out of 5 – because the ending wasn’t as kaboom-pow as the rest of the book.