All posts filed under: Book Reviews

The Chalk Pit, by Elly Griffiths

DETAILS Title: THE CHALK PIT (DNF) Author: Elly Griffiths Publisher: Mariner ISBN: 9781328915351 Genre: Crime Fiction BACK COVER BLURB Far below Norwich is a maze of old mining tunnels. When Ruth Galloway is called to examine a set of human remains in one of them, she notices the bones are almost translucent, a sign they were boiled soon after death. Once more, she’s at the helm of a murder investigation. Meanwhile, DCI Nelson is looking for a homeless woman who he hears has gone “underground.” Could she have disappeared into the labyrinth? And if so, is she connected to the body Ruth found? As Ruth and Nelson investigate the tunnels, they hear rumours of secret societies, cannibalism, and ritual killings. And when a dead body is found with a map of what seems to be the full maze, they realize their hunt for the killer has only just begun-and that more bodies may be underfoot. WHAT I THOUGHT I made it to Chapter 8 and then, stopped. I just couldn’t be bothered to go on. …

The Locksmith’s Daughter, by Karen Brooks

DETAILS Title: THE LOCKSMITH’S DAUGHTER Author: Karen Brooks Publisher: William Morrow ISBN: 9780062686572 Genre: Historical Fiction BACK COVER BLURB Mallory Bright is the only daughter of London’s master locksmith. For her there is no lock too elaborate, no secret too well kept. Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster and protector of Queen Elizabeth—the last of the Tudor monarchs—and her realm, is quick to realise Mallory’s talent and draws her into his world of intrigue, danger and deception. With her by his side, no scheme in England or abroad is safe from discovery; no plot secure. But Mallory’s loyalty wavers when she witnesses the execution of three Jesuit priests, a punishment that doesn’t fit their crime. When Mallory discovers the identity of a Catholic spy and a conspiracy that threatens the kingdom, she has to make a choice – between her country and her heart. Mallory, however, carries her own dark secrets and is about to learn those being kept from her—secrets that could destroy those she loves. Once Sir Francis’s greatest asset, Mallory is fast becoming his …

Available Dark, by Elizabeth Hand

DETAILS Title: AVAILABLE DARK Author: Elizabeth Hand Publisher: Minotaur Books ISBN: 0312585942 Genre: Mystery | Suspense BACK COVER BLURB Photographer Cass Neary is already wanted by the police for questioning when she receives a mysterious job offer that sends her to Helsinki, where an iconic fashion photographer shows her a trove of gorgeous photos depicting ritual killings. After narrowly escaping death herself, Cass flees  to Iceland, where she finds a former lover and a legendary, exiled musician. Soon, unsolved murders are multiplying faster than Cass can run. WHAT I THOUGHT I love a good thriller and murder mystery as much as the next reader, however, Available Dark is neither. And I certainly don’t know about scaring the dickens out of you, as quoted by Tess Gerritsen on the back cover. Really? A good ghost story might scared me, late at night. Available Dark, however, does little in the way of scare unless you are scared by the great unwashed who populate the dark underbelly on the fringe of society, self-absorbed in their own bellybuttons, and obsessed by all things …

Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets

DETAILS: Title: TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-ONE BAKER STREETS Editor: David Thomas Moore Publisher: Abaddon Books ISBN: 978-1781082225 Genre: Speculative Fiction Anthology BACKCOVER BLURB “As a Victorian, Sherlock Holmes is more Wilde than Disraeli. He’s not the stuffy, pompous, superior gentleman of the public imagination, but a fey, brooding, dangerous Hob, a mad genius bent on his own destruction, whose passion for the hunt is as much a mark of his unsteady mind as his cocaine abuse. Taking him out of Doyle’s time – Doyle’s world – allows you to showcase the real Holmes, to audiences that might never find him otherwise. This was my chance to do that.” WHAT I THOUGHT This is Abaddon Books first anthology and features fourteen very assorted stories in which the invited authors were given carte blanche by editor, David Thomas Moore, to put Holmes, Watson, Mrs. Hudson and yes, even Inspector Lestrade, anytime and anywhere they want. And, as a result, we are presented with a varied and eclectic mix that include a female Holmes, a gay Holmes, a …

Hive Monkey, by Gareth L. Powell

DETAILS Title: HIVE MONKEY Author: Gareth L. Powell Publisher: Solaris Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-1781081662 Genre: SF | Steampunk BACKCOVER BLURB In order to hide from his unwanted fame as the spitfire-pilot-monkey who emerged from a computer game to defeat the nefarious corporation that engineered him, the charismatic and dangerous Ack-Ack Macaque is working as a pilot on a world-circling nuclear-powered Zeppelin.
But when the cabin of one of his passengers is invaded by the passenger’s own dying doppelgänger, our hirsute hero finds himself thrust into another race to save the world – this time from an aggressive hive mind, time-hopping saboteurs, and an army of homicidal Neanderthal assassins! WHAT I THOUGHT The Mayhem-Monkey does it again, blowing away the cobwebs in a rollicking roller coaster ride to save the world! Introducing the reader to a new character, writer William Cole—possibly the alter-ego to the actual author?—Powell opens up Hive Monkey with a dash of intrigue that is quickly followed by our first loud explosion worthy of the Mayhem Monkey himself. The author then drops us right …