On a Dublin city street, packed with afternoon shoppers, a young woman appears, naked, traumatised and bearing burn marks.
Tom Reynolds, now Chief Superintendent, is no longer head of the murder squad. But when it transpires the woman escaped from a house fire started deliberately and that there are more victims, Tom is sucked in. What begins as a straightforward case of arson, soon becomes something much more sinister.
After having a quick catch up with his daughter Maria, a junior doctor, Chief Superintendent Tom Reynolds was about the leave the hospital where Maria worked, when he overheard snippets of a conversation between two porters. A naked and distressed young woman covered with burn marks and signs of smoke inhalation, was seen walking through the city centre and had been brought to the hospital.
The murder squad soon discover that the woman escaped from a house fire where there were no other survivors and it was apparent the fire was no accident. Although Tom is no longer heading the murder squad, he is drawn in to the investigation. Initially it seems like a clear case of arson, but as more is uncovered the investigation takes on much darker implications with murder, a missing baby and people trafficking.
It seems the house, in an up and coming area near to the Dublin International Financial Services Centre, was hiding a dark secret and the girl in the hospital was too scared to talk. Another girl connected to the incident was hiding out at her parents’ house.
In the bathroom, Nina sat in the tub, knees tucked up to her chest, her arms wrapped round them. She’d poured half a bottle of L’Occitane Cherry Blossom bath gel in and the white, scented bubbles covered her body as the water level rose.
Nina breathed deep, letting the steam clear the acrid taste in her mouth and the burning sensation in her lungs. Letting the water wash away the filth.
She knew her parents would want answers and she didn’t know how long she could hold them off.
What I enjoy most about this series, apart from Jo Spain’s wonderful storytelling, are the characters. Tom Reynolds is a regular, happy family man with no hang ups. Characters continue to develop and the rest of the cast are very well portrayed and likeable. Except for the one bad penny that turns up again.
The plot is intriguing, well thought through with twists and drama threaded through the police procedural aspect. Unraveling the mystery of the house fire survivor, who is scared and traumatised, and connecting her to other incidents, the murder squad open the door to a dark and dangerous world. As with the rest of the stories in the Tom Reynolds series, Jo Spain’s writing is assured and easy to read with relevant issues at the forefront.
Aoife McMahon has narrated the whole series and done a brilliant job of bring the characters to life, giving them all distinct voices and personalities.
Jo Spain is the author of the bestselling Inspector Tom Reynolds series and several international No. 1 bestselling standalone novels. Her first book, With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. Jo, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, writes TV screenplays full-time. Her first crime series was broadcast on RTE in 2018 and she’s currently involved in a number of TV developments including adaptations of her own novels. Jo is working with Dynamic L.A., True North & Mystery Productions Iceland, Yellow Films Finland, West Road Pictures England and NDF Germany. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Jodi Picoult. She also watches TV obsessively. Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open.
Imagine receiving a letter from your son’s murderer. Imagine starting to trust him.
What if the only person who can help you find your son is the man in prison for killing him?
A child taken. A mother on the hunt for the truth.
Twenty five years ago Diane Marshall’s son Zachery disappeared. No trace of him had ever been found. Thought to have been a victim of serial killer Jonathan Egan Walsh, who was convicted of killing the thirteen boys whose remains were discovered, Diane has held on to the hope that Jonathan would disclose where he buried Zachery.
Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.
He thought he’d left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can’t-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver’s seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.
Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland…or die trying.
Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.
Fresh from a high-profile case in the Paris fashion world, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the New York State Homicide Squad. The wife of a notorious criminal has been admitted to a private psychiatric hospital and can no longer testify in his upcoming trial. Without her, their case will collapse, but amid reports that the staff are as unpredictable as their patients, who can the police trust?
Dr Alexander Gregory and his friend and mentor, Professor Bill Douglas are visiting Quantico, Virginia. They have been invited to deliver a presentation on criminal profiling at one of the regular international conferences held there. They were met by Special Agent Hawk and Agent Johnson, who later asked for their assistance with a highly classified case involving the Romano crime family.
While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone.
There’s plenty going on in this third outing for Cormac Reilly. He is still having problems at the Galway Garda station. When a young girl is abducted, Superintendent Brian Murphy deliberately makes life difficult by refusing extra manpower on the pretext that the officers are out on much needed surveillance for drugs, although after all that time there was nothing to show for it.
Published: August 2019 by British Library Publishing
Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review
Jim Teasdale has been drowned in the Dumb River, near Ely, miles from his Yorkshire home. His body, clearly dumped in the usually silent (‘dumb’) waterway, has been discovered before the killer intended — disturbed by a torrential flood.
With critical urgency it’s up to Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard to trace the mystery of the unassuming victim’s murder to its source, leaving waves of scandal and sensation in his wake as the hidden, salacious dealings of Jim Teasdale begin to surface.
First published in 1961, The Body in The Dumb River has been reissued by the British Library Crime Classics. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of these classic crime novels, this is the first by George Bellairs. I didn’t realise the Littlejohn books were such a long running series but this book quite easily reads as a stand alone.
Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review
One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?
Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.
Having veered more towards the books featuring Hercule Poirot, I don’t think I read this one. Although I did see and enjoy the film adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson the outcome escaped me, and I enjoyed the book more even more.
The opportunity of a lifetime might get her killed.
When her boss comes down with a bout of food poisoning, lowly corporate accountant Lauren gets an offer she can’t refuse: Take his place at an exclusive team-building retreat with senior management.
The retreat is held at a remote lodge, and the rules are strict: No cell phones, no computers, and no contact with the outside world. Events take a sinister turn when a freak snowstorm leaves them trapped far from civilization…and Lauren discovers they aren’t alone in the wilderness.
An unavoidable last minute change of plan means Lauren Alexander joins a corporate team building retreat at a remote lodge in the middle of a national forest. It’s the chance to further her career if she can ingratiate herself into the tight circle of senior management. The four founders—Adam, Melissa, Yasmine and Rick—had built Agonarch Herbal Supplements into a successful company and were long standing friends since their college days. In charge of activities, catering, allocating the individual cabins for sleeping and basically anything else that was needed is Tiffany.
This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .
When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.
Fourteen years ago the community of Sweetbay was rocked when sixteen year old Angela Wong went missing, never to be seen again. Now all these years later her remains have been discovered near her best friend, Georgina (Geo) Shaw’s childhood home where Geo’s father still lives. Geo and Angela, along with Kaiser Brody, now a Detective with the Seattle PD, were as close as friends could be in high school. Until Calvin James came on the scene. His presence changed, not only the dynamics of the trio but also their lives. What Geo carries with her from then on will affect her for years to come with devastating consequences.
There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst.
And then, after 48 hours, she came back.
But she couldn’t – or wouldn’t – say what had happened to her.
Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what.
I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same.
She wasn’t my Annie.
I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.
Life hasn’t been particularly kind to Joe Thorne. He was a loner as a youth, content to spend time with his young sister, until he became involved in the local gang lead by a cruel bully, Stephen Hurst, which was really when things began to go wrong for Joe. A schoolfriend’s tragic death, his sister’s disappearance and then the traffic accident that left him with a shattered leg, and that wasn’t the worst of it.