My Rating 4 / 5
Regular readers of my blog and reviews will know that I have reviewed a couple of Matt Iden’s books before, under the KBR name (see here and here). When I saw that Matt had published the second of the Marty Singer novels I rushed straight to Amazon and downloaded the book….
It’s hard to read any book in a series without comparing it to what has gone before… I really enjoyed the first Marty Singer book, A Reason to Live, and was worried that I would be disappointed by the follow up.
Singer is still retired and fighting cancer (although this is much less of a feature than in the first book). He is brought back into the force to investigate a spate of murders – all cops and it’s Singer’s task to work out the links, and stop the murderer before they strike again. This book is shorter than A Reason to Live, and there is far less of the peripheral story in this one, by that I mean the story surrounding Singer, his relationships and his cancer battle.
I was glad that Iden tentatively explored Singer’s relationship with Amanda (read the first book to understand this relationship) but it did feel like it could have gone a little deeper. The beauty of the first book was that you gained an instant feel for Singer; you understand what makes him tick. I’m not sure this is as clear in Blueblood.
That said, Blueblood is a good, strong read. There are plenty of twists and turns and enough suspicious characters to keep you guessing until the end. You can come to your own judgements about some of the moral issues in the books (cops moonlighting etc) but Iden delivers the story well.
Iden has a strong future ahead of him in the Indie publishing world, and the follow up to Blueblood will be on my ‘to read list’ and Iden is sure to feature in my top 5 indie writers of 2012.
My Rating 4 / 5
This book was read for and on behalf of the Kindle Book Review.
A Fatal Verdict is the second in the Sarah Newby Trial trilogy. My reviews for Book 1 and Book 3 can be here and here.
The book follows the story of a family whose daughter dies at her boyfriend’s flat. He alleges suicide, they murder. What is clear is that David Kidd is a nasty piece of work. The story follows the police investigation, the trial and the fall out from the trial judgement.
A series of mistakes are made throughout the police investigations, and the story uncovers these. The first book in the trilogy, A Game of Proof, is focussed very much on Sarah as the lawyer and her story in how she managed to bring herself from a very difficult background into her role at the Bar. The third book also focuses quite heavily on Sarah Newby as she finds herself entwined within a case. A Fatal Verdict is slightly different, for me Vicary puts much more emphasis on the investigation and the processes of the investigation, the guilt that can reside for Officers when they get things wrong, and how there can be far greater fall out and far reaching consequences for everyone.
Vicary does an excellent job of describing the court room battles without making it dull or boring; he brings the drama of the court room to life, all set against the back drop of the beautiful city of York; a place Vicary clearly knows well when his descriptive writing.
The story is a sad one; you never really feel like justice has been served, more that you see the fallibility of investigating authorities, and the moral dilemmas all involved. DCI Bateson feels much guilt for his part in what happens, but what about Sevendra Bhose…. For me his guilt is just as strong, but Vicary doesn’t take this part of the story back full circle, which was a little disappointing for me.
All in all, a very satisfying trilogy of books.
My Rating 4 / 5
The Treatment has been my ‘bath book’ for the past few weeks and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve been a big fan of Mo Hayder’s work since I was introduced to it by a colleague. Be warned though, it’s not for the faint hearted!
The Treatment follows DCI Jack Caffrey as he finds himself embroiled in a disturbing case
That involves a kidnapped child and a family held hostage in their own home. Fans of Hayder’s previous books will be aware of the history or Caffrey and his brother Ewan and this element is explored in much detail in this book.
Hayder does a brilliant job of describing Caffrey and the complex relationships he has. He is both likeable and obnoxious and vulnerable yet strong. I’ve read a couple of Hayder’s books out of sequence and I would say that really, you need to start Caffrey’s story from the beginning to really understand what makes him tick, and why he behaves as he does.
Hayder’s books often explore quite dark elements of humanity human nature and the very dark side of the criminal underworld. The Treatment is no exception. It explores a topic that most people would do anything to avoid and I’ll admit that there were section I struggled to read and had to skim read, due to the graphic and disturbing nature of the story. However, Hayder does so as sensitively as can be done, given the subject matter.
Caffrey commits his own sins, and as a reader it’s hard to not cast judgement on his behaviour. However, you can’t help but feel some sensitivities towards him, and you wonder how many others would respond in the same way when the culprit is finally caught. Caffrey is a deeply flawed individual, but Hayder makes him likeable and you do find yourself empathising with him, despite his behaviours and flaws.
The Treatment is a complex story dealing with disturbing subject matter. My only complaint was that the element of the story with Stephen didn’t feel completed enough to me, but perhaps this is covered in a future DCI Caffrey story.