#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Lies Within (DI Will Jackman #3) by Jane Isaac #CrimeFiction

The Lies Within was published in May 2017 and is the third book in the excellent Will Jackman series, set in Stratford upon Avon.

My Thoughts

Grace Daniels, mother and grandmother, is on trial for murder. The story begins on the first day with a forceful opening of the prosecution’s case. ‘Be under no illusions by her smart clothes, her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder…’  I was hooked immediately, and having read and enjoyed the first two books in the series I was sure this would be another gripping instalment.

Backtracking to ten months earlier we follow the events leading up to Grace’s arrest. Acting DCI, Will Jackman has been assigned to special projects, the regional lead on Adult Sexual Offences, with a view to improving procedures and reviewing any outstanding cases which could be connected. When the body of a young woman, with signs of sexual assault, is discovered in rural Leicestershire, Will is called to the scene. The victim is identified as Jo Lamborne, Grace Daniels’ daughter. Jo’s murder is similar to two other unsolved cases Will has been reviewing but, as yet, no link has been uncovered. 

Grace was unpacking the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. It was almost 7am and darkness still clung to the windows outside, holding onto the final moments of night. Her head felt wooly from the evening before, but nothing, it seemed, not even a hangover would prevent her habitual early rising. 

Phil was already at the door by the time Grace reached the hallway. His eyes met hers for long enough to pull a face. They weren’t expecting visitors. He opened the door to reveal a tall man with a mop of dark hair, a solid stance and striking green eyes. The black woman next to him was smaller, but almost as stocky. Her mouth formed a thin smile. She looked past Phil towards Grace. “Mrs Daniels?”

Thinking about that scenario – the knock on the door, the serious faced policemen, just knowing immediately something must be wrong – I can’t imagine how heart stopping it must be. And then to be told the worst possible news. The impact of Jo’s murder on her family is conveyed extremely realistically, the emotional turmoil, the feelings of grief and Grace’s consequent inability to function normally. Meeting Faye Campbell, an acquaintance from her past becomes a source of comfort and support, but Grace’s younger daughter is less than enamoured of her mother’s new friend. 

The story centres around Grace, which expands the narrative, but we still get to follow the ups and downs of the investigative process from Will’s point of view. Personal issues and a morally difficult situation continue to plague him but his character shines through, and it seems there may be a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. 

This series just keeps getting better. Jane Isaac has created a well constructed, compelling plot with a psychological thread; a likeable, well developed and believable, non-clichéd personality in Will Jackman and a storyline that’s part police procedural, part courtroom drama with a deeply emotional family trauma at its heart. The reveal was a complete surprise but looking back the clues were there amongst all the red herrings. I was too engrossed to catch them – that’s my excuse anyway. It’s an extremely well written story, the procedural, courtroom detailing and storytelling ability are all excellent.

About the Book

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss. DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.
 
When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before Grace is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?

(Having a change of scenery for a few days, and a short blogging break but will no doubt be dipping in and out of social media.)

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Homecoming by Alan Russell #Audiobook #Fantasy #Review

Another audiobook for this week’s Throwback Thursday. The Homecoming was released in June 2017 by Brilliance Audio and is performed by Luke Daniels.

My Thoughts

Set in California, Alan Russell opens the story with several couples and their children having a Valentine’s Day BBQ at the beach. A ghost story told by the fire, sworn to be true by the teller, fascinates Stella but makes the adults uncomfortable. Introducing Jason’s story lays the groundwork for what was to come.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Beyond the Carousel by Bette Lee Crosby ~ A family tragedy, a 25 year old murder, a detective determined to make things right #FamilySaga

I’ve read several books by Bette Lee Crosby and enjoyed them very much. Beyond the Carousel, published January 2017, was no exception.

My Thoughts

When Emory Hawthorne came into money bequeathed to him from his long absent father, he moved his family from their cold water flat into a dream house. For all her inherent frugality, Emory’s wife, Rose, and eleven year old Laura, loved the house. As the years passed and Emory’s salary increased, Rose learned to adapt and became more accustomed to being able to buy what she wanted. Laura secured a secretarial job at the bank working for the vice president. And it was there she met Franklin Wilkes.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Much Ado About Highlanders (Scottish Relic Trilogy #1) by May McGoldrick #HistFic #Audiobook

Much Ado About Highlanders is the first of a trilogy which I listened to back in March 2017 and enjoyed very much. 

My Thoughts

After a prank backfired and years of father/daughter misunderstandings, independent and headstrong Kenna MacKay fled her marital home on the night of her wedding to Alexander Macpherson. Their marriage was arranged to unite the two clans. For the past six months she has been training in the skills of healing with the nuns at Glosters Priory. Kenna and her cousin, Emily, are attending a birth in the village when they are kidnapped by the Macpherson brothers in a determined attempt to bring Kenna and Alexander together again. Left alone, the attraction ignites.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford #ContemporaryFiction #ShortStories

Throwback Thursday this week looks back at a wonderful selection of short stories published in June 2016. Some serious, some raising a smile or a laugh, taking snippets from people’s lives.

My Thoughts

This collection of short stories is a little gem. It runs the spectrum of emotions from differing points of view and age ranges, from the most joyful high to the depths of sorrow – emotional, sensitive, moving and tender. The stories convey sentiments we can all relate to and appreciate. There are sketches from all sorts of situations and each gives pause for thought. I enjoyed them all. Here’s just a very small taste, there are lots more.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Poisoned Rock by @RobertDaws #CrimeFiction set on #Gibraltar

This is the second full length story in this series. There is also a novella, Echo Rock due to be released shortly. The Poisoned Rock was published in 2016 so it’s been a long wait for the next installment, which I’m happy to say is due next month. 

My Thoughts

The second instalment of the The Rock Murder Mysteries finds Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan and Chief Inspector Gus Broderick involved in a tangled investigation when a film crew arrive on Gibraltar. Queen of Diamonds is a movie being filmed in Gibraltar Town based on the exploits of an alleged female spy operating in Gibraltar during World War II. 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Abandon by Blake Crouch #Audiobook #Thriller #DualTimeline

This week I’m looking back at an audiobook I really enjoyed. Abandon by Blake Crouch, released in September 2016. Luke Daniels did an amazing job with the narration.

My Thoughts

The story begins in 1893 with a mule skinner arriving in Abandon to find a ghost town. He’d been there only two weeks ago delivering supplies and the town was thriving and full of activity. Now the streets were deserted with the snow laying in drifts. Then he sees a young girl with a revolver, and it’s the last thing he ever sees.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Devil You Know by @TerryTyler4 #Psychological Thriller #Drama #Suspense #BookReview

Throwback Thursday this week features The Devil You Know, reviewed in 2016. It’s free on Kindle Unlimited and also available in paperback.

My Thoughts

Dora had been promised a job in England but her brother knew better. He pleaded with Dora not to trust the man who made the promises but she laughed off his concerns, believing she was in control of the situation and not in any danger. Dora found out to her cost her brother had been right. She paid the ultimate price for her naiveté.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Dead Water: Shetland Book 5 by Ann Cleeves #Audiobook #CrimeFiction

Throwback Thursday this week is looking back at book five in one of my favourite series.

Despite my preference for starting a series from book one, I’m beginning with this one, which is actually book five. I’ve watched and enjoyed each season of the TV series, Shetland, and so I’m very familiar with the cast of characters. There are some differences between the two, mainly in Jimmy Perez’s looks and back story. Kenny Blyth, the narrator, is excellent and has a lovely Scottish lilt, which fits in well with the story and adds authenticity. Other accents are convincing too. The narrator of the four previous books has a middle to upper class English accent which I didn’t find engaging or appropriate for the setting. 

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Last Gatekeeper (The Crown of Fane Duology #1) by @katyhaye #YA #Fantasy

This week’s Throwback Thursday looks back at The Last Gatekeeper—not my usual genre but I did enjoy this one. Ticks all the boxes for a young adult fantasy novel.

My Thoughts

Up until the day of her 17th birthday, Zanzibar MacKenzie lead a very sheltered life. She always knew she was different, home schooled, no electrical appliances whatsoever in her life or environment and isolated by her EHS. Just how different, she was about to find out. While spending time with her only friend, Em, who lives nearby, and Em’s boyfriend at the beach, Zan thinks she spots a stranger on the cliff watching them. 

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