Time of Death by Mark Billingham

Time of Death (Tom Thorne Novels)Time of Death by Mark Billingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another cruise read and starting at the end of the series because that what was on offer. I was vaguely aware of the Inspector Thorne TV series starring David Morrissey but had never read any of the books by Mark Billingham. Time of Death was very enjoyable and convoluted enough to keep me turning the pages.
Tom Thorne and his girlfriend Helen Weeks also a police officer are on a short holiday’ Whilst away they see a new story about an abducted girl in the village where Helen grew up. After seeing the mother of the abducted girl Helen Weeks is moved to go to the village to support her. Reluctantly Tom agrees to go along  thus ending their holiday.
The story set in the village is almost claustrophobic, police all over the place and the intrusive tabloid press. This along with Helen Weeks trying reconnect with the village that she left a long time ago.
I won’t focus on the crime itself for that you will need to read Time of Death for yourself. I did enjoy the read and may never have looked at if I hadn’t been on holiday.

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The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I must confess that it was the title of this book that attracted me the in the first place “The Keeper of Lost Causes”. This is the first in a series by  Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen about a fictional cold case department called Department Q. . Readers of this blog will know that Scandinavian crime fiction is my favourite.
The Keeper of Lost Causes focuses on Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck. He he’s been sidelined  from homicide after a case that went horribly wrong for him and his colleagues. Carl Mørck is irascible and difficult to get along with as we have come to expect from fictional detectives. The new gig is to run the newly created Department Q for cold cases. His first case concerns Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years ago. Everyone says she’s dead and that it’s a waste of time. He thinks they’re right.
The interactions between Carl Mørck and the other member of Department Q provides some humorous relief to the tense story. I’m looking forward to the next instalments because if the first is anything to go by it will be a great series.

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Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík by Arnaldur Indriðason

Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík (Inspector Erlendur, #1)Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík by Arnaldur Indriðason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reykjavik Nights is the first of the Inspector Erlendur series by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason. The story lays the foundation for what is to come in subsequent stories. A young Erlendur is still on the beat and as the name of the story implies he’s working the night shift. Along with his fellow officers they are dealing with fights, drunks ,homeless people and thieves.
Erlendur’s fascination with missing persons drives him to look over cases where there is no resolution and person is not found. His obsession with the missing is almost at the core of his being and once on the case he is unshakeable. This obsessive nature sets him apart from his colleagues and makes personal relationships difficult.
Reykjavik Nights focusses on the apparent suicide of a homelessness man. Erlendur’s pursuit of the circumstances of his death and the reasons for his homelessness uncovers a tragic life. This is an interesting exploration of the plight of homeless people and how their life has evolved or perhaps devolved.
Having read most of the subsequent Inspector Erlendur novels and this is a fine beginning.

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Sail of Stone by Åke Edwardson (Eric Winter #6)

Sail of Stone (Inspector Winter, #6)Sail of Stone by Åke Edwardson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Eric Winter story is set across Sweden and Scotland. Involving Eric Winters long time English collaborator. The origins of the lie in the past and hark back to the dark days of World War 2. An interesting take on wartime activities.

Not sure if I enjoyed this as much as the others in the series. I could see the ultimate end from quite a distance which hasn’t always been the case with the Eric Winter series.

However on the bright side there are more in the series. I have written this sometime after I finished reading the book. I finished in July 2015 and it is now the end October. I have managed to read the 7th in the series one since then.

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The Twelfth Department by William Ryan (Captain Korolev)

The Twelfth Department (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #3)The Twelfth Department by William Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third Captain Korolev series by William Ryan. This continues the series but could be read as a standalone novel.. There is enough background explained so that a reader new to the series so you don’t have to read them is order. I have read all in order and enjoyed all three enormously. I have a fascination for the interwar period in Europe. All the plots including the current volume are engaging with enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

What really stands out is the way  creates a sense of the paranoid state of 1930’s Moscow. Who do you trust? This theme pervades the narrative. I really feel that the author had captured the atmosphere of those times.

Our hero Captain Korolev is a determined character whose flaw is having a strong moral compass in a world where political dogma is everything. For fans of the inter war period this will be an enjoyable read.

I look forward to the return of Captain Korolev.

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Room No. 10 by Åke Edwardson (Eric Winter)

Room No. 10 (Inspector Winter, #7)Room No. 10 by Åke Edwardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Inspector Eric Winter by Åke Edwardson Room No 10 is the seventh installment in this series. As far as I can see there are at least another 5 to come. Unfortunately at the time of writing  no more titles in the Eric Winter series are available in English.

Again another great yarn that weaves its way across time. Providing a reflection on he careers of Eric Winter and his colleagues.  The tale is as much about the relationship between the investigators as it is about the crime. It has elements of a cold case and a current investigation.

This particular installment was slow to start and had I not read the previous installments I may have stopped. Then I would have missed out on what turned out on a great whodunit.

If only the rest of the Inspector Winter mysteries would appear in English because I’m too impatient to learn Swedish.

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Frozen Tracks by Åke Edwardson (Inspector Winter #5)

Frozen Tracks (Inspector Winter, #5)Frozen Tracks by Åke Edwardson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This felt like the longest of the series so far. I don’t mean that as negative. The story has many angles which are cleverly resolved as the book goes along. The story is set against the backdrop of the Christmas season. The sting is the now familiar city of Gothenburg. This time around the author Åke Edwardson has explored the ongoing characters more. As with any workplace where people are working together there are entwined relationships which bring their own tensions.

I am not sure how the title Frozen Tracks link to the story other than perhaps the season in which it is set. No murders this time around but rather some situations that would put most on edge. Inspector Winter is as always the consummate workaholic with a strong touch of insomnia.

He or should I say his team do crack the case but tensions are fraught as there are competing demands. The end was for my part satisfying and I enjoyed the read. I am reluctant to describe the plot in any detail as this may spoil the enjoyment that others would get from the book.

As I write I have already started the next one Sail of Stone. It is good discovering an author and being able to read several in the series and not be waiting for the next one.

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The Shadow Woman by Åke Edwardson (Eric Winter #2)

The Shadow Woman (Inspector Winter #2)The Shadow Woman by Åke Edwardson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mysterious and unexplained death in this the second of the Eric Winter series. As enjoyable as the other two that I have read. I accidentally started with number 3. A cleverly crafted mystery that moves across time. There is also reference to racism in Swedish society and how those groups are marginalised. The main protagonist in some ways mirror this separateness from society.
There is very little to go on and as is often the case a lucky break starts to unravel the case. There are plenty of diversions and red herrings that certainly got in my way.
Not much else to say unless I start spilling the beans on the whole plot. Best get a copy and read it.

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Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter, #3)

Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter, #3)Sun and Shadow by Åke Edwardson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well this is first I have read of Åke Edwardson’s Inspector Winter series. I was rather annoyed when I discovered that this is the third in the series. I like to start at the beginning of a series. Enough rant, as the title suggests there us light and dark in this tale. The dark of a Swedish winter and the light of Spain. The light of a stable family and the dark of fractured families. The setting is Gothenburg on the eve of the twentieth century the millennium.
In amongst this is a cruel and sadistic killer who is stalking couples. I found it slow going at the beginning but the pace did pickup. In the end it was a satisfying read. As with many good stories a twist happened at the end. Although I thought that is was coming there were enough red herrings to steer me away.
I am now back tracking to the first in the series.

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The G File: Van Veeteren Mysteries Book 10

The G File: Van Veeteren Mysteries Book 10 (The Van Veeteren Series)The G File: Van Veeteren Mysteries Book 10 by Håkan Nesser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the last in the Van Veeteren series unless Håkon Nesser decides to resurrect him. It G file refers to the only case that Van Veetren hasn’t solved in his career. The G file has been hinted at in several previous instalments. The story is presented in two parts a retelling of the past and the story of the one who got away.
The G File does have a nice twist at the end which does tie the whole story up nicely. Also many of the characters that Van Veeteren has been associated with are found in this the last of his adventures. Definitely worth reading the series in order.
I enjoyed this one enormously it has in my opinion a most satisfying end. As with any series it’s like losing an old friend when the series comes to an end. Although there is a hint that it could come back. Van Veeteren is in a reflective mood pondering his mortality and he believes will be his last investigation. I will miss the “somewhere” in Northern Europe Maardam with its murderers and grumpy Chief Inspector.
A footnote
This is the third in this series that I have read on my Nexus 7 tablet. I complained in an earlier review that the punctuation was shot. The apostrophe falling foul of modern technology.  I can report that in is book punctuation makes a welcome return.

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