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The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley

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This is the debut crime novel by Lucy Foley and it was excellent.  I was privileged to receive this from the publisher, HarperCollins UK as a ‘wish’ and was totally enthralled from start to finish.

Nine friends decide to go away for New Year to a remote place in the Scottish Highlands. Emma and Mark, Giles and Samira with their baby Priya, Miranda and Julian, Bo and Nick, and Katie who is the only one without a partner.  The trip, organised by Emma who is the newest to the group, isn’t quite where some of the individuals wanted to end up but the party begins on the train journey.

The friendships are from Oxford University days and continued to their current London and New York jobs.  As with any group of people there are relationships and inter-relationships and it doesn’t take long for the cracks to show.  There are hidden jealousies, resentments and secrets and as the story develops the twists and turns keep coming with utter precision.

The story is narrated by Katie, Miranda and Emma along with the two hosts of ‘The Lodge’ Doug and Heather and goes from before and after the ‘murder’ as the snow hits the highlands so that nobody can leave or even fly in to assist.

The author keeps even the person murdered hidden throughout and the finale is delivered with precision and brilliance so that I found I should have seen it coming, but didn’t.

Many thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction and Lucy Foley for granting my wish for my honest review.

Brilliant read and highly recommended.

Westwind – Ian Rankin

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I have read several of Ian Rankin’s novels before, mainly the ‘Rebus’ stories which I always find so compelling.  This was certainly a different read for this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reading the forward, I was intrigued that this was originally published some years ago and had been slightly revised for a second publication.

The story centres a Martin Hepton, who works at a central monitoring unit.  Something strange happens when the satellite is down for a few minutes.  Martin is immediately suspicious and when his friend goes on long-term sick leave immediately afterwards, he begins to ask questions.

Strange things start to happen and Martin soon realises that his life is at risk.   He seeks out a previous girlfriend, who is an investigative journalist to help get to the bottom.

The web is deep and dark and soon they are out of their depth as the twists and turns keep coming right until the end.

Thanks to NetGalley, Orion Publishing and Ian Rankin ARC in return for my honest review.

Thoroughly entertaining read and highly recommended.

 

Six Wicked Reasons – Jo Spain

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I have read a previous book by Jo Spain and it was brilliant.  This was no different.  Highly enjoyable.

‘Six Wicked Reasons’ centres around a dysfunctional family, the Lattimer family.  Although this is something we can all relate to there are six siblings involved here: Adam, James, Ryan, Kate Ellen and Clio.  This makes it more complicated than usual.

Adam had disappeared and while he was missing the mother died, leaving the father, Frazer, who keeps a tight rein on trust fund monies, investments and the family house as the central family character.

When Adam returns, some ten years later, it coincides with Frazer announcing he is to marry again, and will be taking all the money from the sale of the house and investments and traveling the world with his new wife.  He calls a party on a yacht to celebrate.  This is to be skippered by a close friend of the family, Danny.  The siblings arrive from around the world and Frazer makes it clear he is still in control.

There is tension between all of the siblings and Frazer as secrets start to unfold. Gradually the story reveals the complicated nature of all the relationships over the years.

Thanks to NetGalley, Quercus Books and Jo Spain for my ARC of Six Wicked Reasons in return for an honest review.

Great read.  Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

Perfect Kill – Helen Fields

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I am a big fan of Helen Fields and this is the next instalment of the DI Luc Callaghan and DCI Ava Turner series and was just as brilliant as the others, if not more so.

Although Luc and Ava have worked together before and managed to totally screw up a budding romantic relationship, they are in different locations for this one.  Luc is in France, on secondment to Interpol and Ava is still in Edinburgh as a DCI in the MIT team.  All of the characters in the novels continue to develop and it is so easy to pick up where the last storyline finished, although it can be read as a stand-alone.

The hard-hitting nature of this story revolves around human trafficking in different ways. Young, fit individuals are being used for organ harvesting, taken across the channel one way and the same container is used to transport women in the other direction to become sex workers.

I was completely enthralled, despite the fact that some of it made for difficult, heart-rendering reading. The whole novel is packed with clever, sometimes witty, sometimes upsetting scenes and the human side to everything is covered with suck care including the friendship between Ava and her best friend, Natasha.

Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books, UK and Helen Fields for this ARC of Perfect Kill in return for my honest review.

Another brilliant read.  Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

The Guardians – John Grisham

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I have read numerous novels by John Grisham and they do not let me down.  His writing is fluid and keeps the reader engrossed even with difficult and complex legal issues.

‘The Guardians’ centres on ‘Post’.  He is one of the individuals who make it their vocation to free those who have been convicted of crimes and are serving long sentences with one on death row.  The business is non-profit making and those involved are larger than life.

As usual there are points of law, which the author manages to explain succinctly in language I could relate to.  Following the cases as they progress I became desperate for the release of those incarcerated.  It became clear that the legal system in the US had ben twisted in favour of law enforcement during the time theses individuals were found guilty.

There was one particular scene where I was laughing out loud and it doesn’t cease to amaze me how John Grisham can bring a scene to life so easily.

Thank you to NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughton and John Grisham for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Another amazing read from John Grisham, highly recommended.