Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Book Purchases June 2016

It's a sunny day, in fact, it's been really nice out the past few days. As it's also near the end of the month, I'm starting to update my Reading Group Challenges. But I'm still hoping to finish one more book before end June so I'll update my monthly book purchases instead. I know I won't be buying anymore books this month.. Promise..
Ahem! Feed us first!!
OK, Clyde!! Calm down!!

The dogs have been fed and Jeopardy is over so now I can settle down for a bit and update my purchases. I bought 20 books in June, mostly from the local book stores but I also ordered a few from Abe Books. Luckily my last order arrived today as we're being threatened with either a postal lockout or a postal strike. Fingers crossed that neither happens. Let's get right into this entry.

You bought all those books?? Mommy will be very mad!
Yes I did, Bonnie, and no she won't. There is a place for them all and I'm even reading one right now. So there! And let's start with that one as a matter of interest.

1. Istanbul Crossing by Joseph Kanon (Spy/ Thriller). Last month I bought another of Kanon's books. This month one of my Goodreads groups had chosen Spy as the genre. I did read another Spy book but I thought this one looked interesting as well. And, I was correct, it's a real page turner. I hope to finish it by end of day tomorrow. We'll see. This is the synopsis

"Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even expatriate American Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs in support of the Allied war effort. Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong - an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, and a potential war criminal on his hands - Leon is trapped in a tangle of shifting loyalties and moral uncertainty."

Indeed, it's fast paced and exciting so far. I can't wait to see how it finishes.

Canadian Thrillers

2. Ice Lake by John Farrow. This is the second book in the detective Emile Cinq-Mars series. I previously purchased the first, City of Ice, and I'm looking forward to reading it. This is the synopsis of Ice Lake.

"When a corpse is found floating in a fishing hole cut into a frozen lake, it appears at first to be straightforward murder, but then it is revealed that the victim had shadowy connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Delving deeper into Montreal's underworld, unorthodox detective Emile Cinq-Mars uncovers a web of intrigue that extends beyond ruthless scientists to the heart of the mob.

Meanwhile, Indian activist Lucy Gabriel discovers she has been the unwitting accomplice in illegal experiments on AIDS patients and in fear of her life takes refuge with the native Indians. Cinq-Mars must find her before it's too late - but time is running out. And can he solve the riddle of the death cocktails before more vulnerable and innocent men are sacrificed?"

3. The Accident by Linwood Barclay. In June I tried my first Linwood Barclay thriller and enjoyed it very much. I liked the characters, the story and the pacing. I'll provide my review for Never Saw It Coming in my next entry. So having enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd try another of his thrillers. This is the synopsis of The Accident.

"Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himself - and begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of his Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbours he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child."


I'm starting to read more horror. I enjoyed Rosemary's Baby last month and have been checking out horror authors a bit more of late. The books below are a mix of older and newer books.

4. The Fog by James Herbert. I read Herbert's The Secret of Critchley Hall a couple of years ago and the missus and I also enjoyed the British mini-series based on the book very much. Herbert is one of Britain's bestselling chiller novelists and I've been looking for The Fog for awhile now. I finally ordered it online. This is the synopsis for The Fog.

"The peaceful life of a village in Wiltshire is suddenly shattered by a disaster which strikes without reason or explanation, leaving behind it a trail of misery and horror. A yawning, bottomless crack spreads through the earth out of which creeps a fog that resembles no other. Whatever it is, it must be controlled; for wherever it goes it leaves behind a trail of disaster as hideous as the tragedy that marked its entry into the world. The fog, quite simply, drives people insane."

5. The Bad Seed by William March. This book was originally published in 1954 and was also turned into a Broadway play and a movie. I think I saw its synopsis in another book so I've been looking for it ever since. This is the synopsis.

"With dimpled cheeks and braids in bows, eight-year-old Rhoda Penmark is the new darling at the exclusive Fern Grammar in lazy small-town Alabama. Impeccably turned out, she is a model pupil in every way and, perhaps, a serial-killer. William March's brooding tale of unfettered evil is gravely comic and a genuinely unnerving masterpiece of suspense."

6. Forever Odd by Dean Koontz. This is the third book in the Odd Thomas series. I will read at least the first book this year.

"I see dead people. But then, by God, I do something about it. Odd Thomas never asked for his special ability. He's just an ordinary guy trying to live a quiet life in the small desert town of Pico Mundo. Yet he feels an obligation to do right by his otherworldly confidants, and that's why he's won hearts on both sides of the divide between life and death. But when a childhood friend disappears, Odd discovers something worse than a dead body and embarks on a heart-stopping battle of will and wits with an enemy of exceptional cunning. In the hours to come there can be no innocent bystanders, and every sacrifice can tip the balance between despair and hope."

Eric Rickstad

Rickstad is another author I've been looking for. Until just the other day, I've seen none of his books in any of my local book stores. But, lo and behold, there were two at Nearly New Books just this past week. So now I've got them on my shelves awaiting my perusal. They do sound interesting.

7. Lie In Wait. (2014)

"In the remote pastoral hamlet of Canaan, Vermont, a high-profile legal case shatters the town's sense of peace and community. Anger simmers. Fear and prejudice awaken. Old friends turn on each other. Violence threatens.

So when a young teenage girl is savagely murdered while babysitting at the house of the lead attorney in the case, Detective Sonja Test believes the girl's murder and the divisive case must be linked.

However, as the young detective digs deeper into her first murder case, she discovers sordid acts hidden for decades, and learns that behind the town's idyllic façade of pristine snow lurks a capacity in some for great darkness and the betrayal of innocents. And Sonja Test, mother of two, will do anything to protect the innocent."

8. The Silent Girls. (2014)

"Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective's badge to become a private investigator and raise his daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an '89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owned the car seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Soon Rath's investigation brings him face-to-face with the darkest abominations of the human soul.

With the consequences of his violent and painful past plaguing him, and young women with secrets vanishing one by one, he discovers once again that even in the smallest towns on the map, evil lurks everywhere - and no one is safe."

American Cops and Spies

The next two are authors I've already tried and they present entertaining thrillers. Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series has been made into a successful TV Series.

9. The Black Ice by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #2).

"Narcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket. Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Soon Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the center of a complex and deadly game - one in which he may be the next and likeliest victim."

10. The Third Option by Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp #2).

"CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp falls prey to government forces with an agenda of their own after Dr. Irene Kennedy is named the successor to dying CIA Director Thomas Stansfield - a choice that enrages many inside the world's most powerful intelligence agency. Her detractors will resort to extreme measures to prevent her from taking the reins - which makes Rapp an expendable asset. But Mitch Rapp is on one's pawn, and he will stop at nothing to find out who has set him up."

The Classics... sort of

The next books are from a couple of old spy/ thriller authors who have been oh so successful in the genre. Hence the classic label.

11. Bomber by Len Deighton. Deighton has written so many excellent spy and war thrillers. I've enjoyed The Ipcress File, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Spy and Funeral in Berlin. This book looked very interesting, along the line of Alistair MacLean's HMS Ulysses and C.S. Forester's The Ship, books that feature specific units during WWII and a specific snapshot in time of their missions.

"Bomber is a novel of war. There are no victors, no vanquished. There are simply those who remain alive, and those who die. Bomber recounts, in cool, merciless detail which denies the reader the protection of distance or ignorance, the horror unleashed by RAF bombers on a town in Germany during the summer of 1943."

12. Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré. John le Carré has been one of my favourite spy novelists for ages. His George Smiley books are true classics. He's been a bit hit and miss with some of his later books but overall, I've enjoyed everything I have read by him.

"At a time when Britain is in the depths of a recession, a left-leaning Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a charismatic Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis. What else he wants propels the young lovers on a perilous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, leading them into the murky cloisters of the City of London and its dark dealings with rogue elements of Britain's Intelligence Establishment and the Russian mafia."

European Police Capers

The next two are books by new authors for me. The missus and I have seen the Inspector Zen mystery series and enjoyed them very much. I hope the books are as interesting.

13. Ratking by Michael Dibdin (Inspector Zen #1).

"A powerful industrialist, Ruggiero Miletti, is kidnapped. Inspector Zen is transferred to Perugia to take over the case - but finds that there are many obstacles in his way. The local authorities see him as an interloper, and the victim's family, one of the most powerful in Italy, seem content to let Miletti languish in the hands of his abductors. Zen has crossed swords with the establishment before - and lost. Can he succeed this time?"

14. Cop to Corpse by Peter Lovesey (Peter Diamond #12).

"Hero to zero. Cop to corpse. One minute PC Harry Tasker is strolling up Walcot Street, Bath, on foot patrol. The next he is shot through the head. He is picked off, felled, dead.

It's the third killing of an officer in Somerset in a matter of weeks. Ambitious to arrest the Somerset Sniper, the duty inspector seals the crime scene - but is himself attacked and left for dead. Enter Peter Diamond, Bath's CID chief. Throwing himself and his team into the most dangerous assignment of his career, he must outwit a twisted killer with a lust for police blood."

Historical Mysteries

This selection contains one author I've read previously, E.C. Bentley and a new one, Tom Bradby. I hope I enjoy the Bradby as much as I previously enjoyed the first book by Bentley. The locale and setting of The Master of Rain reminds me of a non-fiction book I read last month about a murder in Peking during the same time period. It makes it seem that much more interesting.

15. The Master of Rain by Tom Bradby (2002).

"Shanghai 1926: A sultry city lousy with opium, warlords, and corruption at the highest levels. Into this steamy morass walks Richard Field, an idealistic Brit haunted by his past and recently appointed to the international police. He's not there long before being called to that of a Russian prostitute, former daughter of privilege found sadistically murdered, handcuffed to her bed. When he discovers among her possessions a cryptic shipping log, he senses that this murder is more than a random crime of perverse passion. What unfolds is a searing story that propels Field into a confrontation with the city's most ruthless and powerful gangster; and a dangerous attraction to another salacious Russian whose sordid connections seem destined to make her the next victim."

16. Trent Intervenes by E.C. Bentley (1938).

"Philip Trent - artist, journalist and urbane man-about-town - is one of the most engaging amateur sleuths in crime fiction. Well-dressed, well-read and well-connected, he is the person to summon to your Mayfair flat, country house or Italian villa if you are faced with a little problem of fraud, theft or even murder. Here he intervenes in the tangled affairs of a host of varied characters, from an opera singer to a couple of gullible American tourists, solving each problem with formidable ingenuity and flair."


17. Darkside by Belinda Bauer. I read Belinda Bauer's first book, Blacklands last month and enjoyed her writing style and story - telling very much. Darkside is her second book set in the community of Exmoor.

"It is freezing mid-winter on Exmoor, and in a close-knit village where no stranger goes unnoticed, a local woman has been murdered in her bed.

This is local policeman Jonas Holly's first murder investigation. But he is distracted by an anonymous letter, accusing him of failing to do his job.

Taunted by the killer and sidelined by his abrasive senior detective, Jonas has no choice but to strike out alone on a terrifying hunt... The question is, who is hunting who?"

Archaeological Mystery

18. Jade Woman by Jonathan Gash. I used to watch the Lovejoy mystery series whenever I visited England. Lovejoy is an antique dealer always looking for a good deal and not caring too much if he can do a bit of a shifty. It was only recently that I realized that the series was also a book series. I hope it's as entertaining. This book finds Lovejoy in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong - one of the world's most exciting and colourful cities.
The Triads - violent, secretive and totally ruthless, their Hong Kong is a city no tourist dare visit.

The Jade Women - famed for their beauty, they posses charms few men can resist...

Which proves to be a highly combustible mix for Lovejoy - East Anglia's hottest antique dealer - on the run from some sticky problems back home. But for someone with no money and no passport, Hong Kong can be an alarmingly dangerous place. Especially when the Triads get involved and Lovejoy finds himself up against murder - oriental style."

Final Mish Mash

19. The Colour of Law by Mark Gimenez (2005)

"A. Scott Fenney is a Dallas corporate lawyer in the prime of his life. Raking in $750,000 a year, with a beautiful house, a beautiful wife and an adored daughter, life could not be better. But when a rich senator's son dies in mysterious circumstances, Fenney is asked by the federal judge to put his air-conditioned lifestyle on hold to defend the accused: a black, heroin-addicted prostitute.

Scott believes in justice - but is his belief strong enough to withstand the loss of everything he holds dear - his salary, his lifestyle, his wife, his child?"

20. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (2013)

"When a troubled supermodel falls to her death from the balcony of her London home, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate.

Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's world, the darker things get and the closer he comes to terrible danger."

So there you go, my June purchases. Do any tweak your interest or do you have any top ratings to give any? I'm always interested. Enjoy if you try them.


  1. How nice to see you're listing second-hand books! As bloggers, we get the "freedom" of early access to new books and then we tend to forget about the jewels already out there. Thanks for reminding me! Happy reading!

  2. I spend lots of time in my local used books stores, Mareli. I do like to buy from the local store that has new books as well. I like to do my bit to try and help them keep in business. But I totally agree with you about all of the jewels out there that need to be attempted. So many excellent authors. Thanks for your comments.


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