I am continuing to work my way down my TBR pile, and the latest to reach the top was Ask Me No Questions by Louisa De Lange. Firstly I do have one issue, the title. You can imagine how annoying it is trying to read, when someone finds it hilarious to ask every thirty seconds, what are you reading? Ask Me No Questions… You can imagine the reaction.
Anyway, Ask Me No Questions opens with an article about a married couple who were murdered by their neighbour leaving behind their twin girls. As children twins Thea and Gabi were inseparable, however as adults they haven’t spoken in 15 years, until Gabi is viciously attacked and Thea reappears. DS Kate Munro is investigating the attack and believes that it is personal. However in order to find out why it happened she first needs to try and unpick the secrets that both the twins are keeping.
This was an interesting story that started off relatively simple but was soon twisting and turning as we slowly uncovered what happened on the night of the attack. Overall I enjoyed this story. It was an interesting premise, and there were lots of red herrings and plot changes that kept me guessing. I did find myself getting a little confused between the characters at times, as the story flicked back and forward between present day and past but it all came together in the end.
I liked the character of DS Munro. To start with she seemed rather clinical and cold yet I soon found her tenacious attitude quite refreshing. Yes she made some rather stupid decisions and clearly had an alcohol issue, but I actually enjoyed the way the story focused very much on the case in hand rather than there being lots of detective back story that is often the case in detective novels, it made a nice change.
Ask Me No Questions was a good read that I enjoyed and would definitely look out for the next in the series.
I have a bad habit of downloading books onto my kindle and then completely forgetting what they about, even if I’m on a blog tour. That is exactly what happened with The Good Samaritan by C.J Parsons, so I started reading with no idea of what the story was about but I was soon sucked in.
The Good Samaritan starts with Carrie’s 5 year old daughter Sophia going missing from their local play park. Carrie has a condition meaning that she cannot read facial expressions and finds social situations difficult, so struggles to cope with new people. Days after the abduction Sophia is found by a stranger but there is no sign of the abductor and the police have no clues. Carrie is therefore going to have to try and trust her own instincts to keep herself and her daughter safe.
I thought this was a great read that kept me absolutely engrossed. I found the story quite unusual, a crime has been committed but there seems to be no motive or clue as to the perpetrator and Sophia has been returned unharmed. There seems to be two potential suspects, yet neither of them stand out and as the story progresses I was constantly going backwards and forwards thinking one thing and then changing my mind.
I found the character of Carrie intriguing. Being unable to read emotions from facial expressions was not a condition I had heard of before. You soon realise how difficult it would make situations if you couldn’t tell the difference between a genuine smile or a sarcastic one. I felt real sympathy for Carrie as she tried to navigate her way through situations that to most of us would be relatively simple. Her reliance on others to interpret emotion put her at a real threat of those who might want to take advantage.
This novel really focuses on just six people despite an interesting cast of supplemental characters and I felt that gave it a strange sense of tension, almost like a locked room style mystery. The two detectives on the case Juliet and Alistair were good characters. They gave a different element to the story and complemented the more intense character of Carrie as they bounced off one another.
This was an excellent story that I thoroughly enjoyed, I would definitely read more from CJ Parsons!
Find out what others on the blog tour thought of The Good Samaritan
I have been lucky enough to be able to follow the Kay Hunter series from the beginning, and whilst I must admit to being a couple behind I was still very excited to be asked to join the blog tour for the latest ‘Turn to Dust’
Turn to Dust starts with the discovery of a naked body in a field, it looks like he may have fallen out of a plane. Yet the injuries soon point to a much more brutal cause of death. When Detective Hunter finds out that someone has been offering money in exchange for information about the dead body she begins to realise that this case is not going to have a simple ending. When a key witness goes missing Kay and her team have a race on, to stop more people ending up dead.
Turn to Dust by Rachel Amphlett is the 9th in the series featuring Detective Kay Hunter, and I have to say I think they keep getting better. I really like the character of Kay, she has a relatively normal marriage and just wants to focus on doing a good job. I like the relationship between the two and I think that Adam’s job as a vet and his love of saving stray animals adds a great comedic element to what is a pretty sad tale.
I always like the style of writing by Rachel, the chapters are relatively short and this makes it a pretty fast paced read. Although it is part of a series I think it works as a standalone too, there is enough back story of the characters to help you get to know them, but not so much that you feel like you are reading the same book again and again (which can be a tricky balance) As with her previous novels as well, she manages to make the murder line the main story throughout with the characters pushing the investigation along.
This is one of those stories that is difficult to review without giving away the plot, but it will certainly make you think about the way that people on the edge of ‘normal’ society are treated, and how any of us could one day end up having to ask for help.
I would highly recommend this series, in fact now I’ve finished Turn to Dust I intend to go and fill in the gaps of my Kay Hunter knowledge and read the couple that I’ve missed!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is gutted that we’ll be missing this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (TOPCWF) However if there is any small upside to it, it does mean that I am finally getting the time to catch up on all the books that have been gathering dust on my ‘to read’ pile since last year. One of which was The Nowhere Child by Christian White.
Last year the TOPCWF had a session called Antipodean Noir. This was one session where I didn’t actually have any of the books, although I was keen to purchase the new one by Jane Harper. Whilst stood perusing the session book stall I got chatting to a very nice chap about the authors in the session – long story short I walked away with all 4 books and realised when the session started that I had actually been talking to Craig Sisterson the chair of the panel, he should be a sales person not a journalist. Well I am very glad I was persuaded to buy this, as this was a superb debut novel.
The Nowhere Child tells the story of Kim an Australian photographer. One day a man turns up with a photo of her as a child. He says that Kim is actually called Sammy and that she was abducted from her home town of Kentucky, America twenty years ago. Kim can’t believe that her kind and caring mother who passed away could be an international child abductor, so she heads to America to try and discover the truth.
I found this story absolutely compelling. The story is set between past and present as Kim tries to find out what happened to her, and we also flip back to the lead up to Sammy’s abduction. The flipping between times was done expertly, and it almost felt like two different books (in a positive way) until the worlds finally collided. I especially liked the inclusion of the cult element and the rattle snake wielding preachers that I found fascinating.
Whilst the idea of missing children is one that has been done a lot, this felt like a completely new take on it. Although at its heart this is a family drama, the writing is superb and the element of suspense cuts across every page. I wanted to find out what had happened to Kim when a child, and the twist at the end was a complete surprise.
I would definitely recommend this superb debut novel to all mystery lovers.