|"You need to put these books away, Mister!"|
|Now that sounds interesting, Daddy. Read some more!|
"Undone is the 3rd book in Karin Slaughter's Will Trent suspense series. I had greatly enjoyed her first series, the Grant County books, featuring coroner Sara Linton as the central character. I'd read the first two books in the Will Trent series and enjoyed them but not as much as the Grant County books. Probably one of my difficulties with total enjoyment was wrapping my head around the main character, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) detective, Will Trent. Trent has so many issues, the main one being dyslexic, meaning he has great difficulty even reading, figuring out his left from his right (meaning it's difficult just getting from A to B), etc. But even so the stories themselves were highly interesting mysteries.
The 3rd book, Undone, was excellent. It's only problem was maybe being somewhat too long, but even with that minor complaint, it was easy to get into, an interesting, creepy, unsettling mystery, and the story just flowed. The other nice thing was that Sara Linton, one of my favorite characters in a mystery series, was in this story. She had just started working in the ER at Grady County and is immediately involved with the mystery.
So what is the basic story? A naked woman is hit by a car driven by two elderly people. It turns out she's near death, appears to have been tortured cruelly for a long time and by the time she is brought to Grady County, she's in a coma and the doctors are struggling to bring her back. Even though it appears to be a local police department case, Rockford County, Will Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell, GBI detectives, get involved, causing interdepartmental headaches and friction. While Faith is at the hospital, Will discovers where the body has been kept (in a hole in the ground - not just a hole... but a scary place as you'll discover) and also discovers she wasn't the only victim.
So there you go. This starts a frustrating, intense investigation, with Will and Faith treading on the toes of other jurisdictions, with the help of their fantastic boss, Amanda Wagner (I love her. She's grumpy, smart, down to earth, strong - willed and scares the pants off people when she needs to.. including her own detectives). The case involves one of the creepiest serial killers I've yet to read about. The descriptions of his / her actions are just intense enough to give you the shivers. Will and Faith deal with their own problems and each other. Sara has her own issues, which I won't get into if you haven't read the Grant County series because they relate to incidents that take place there. (By the way, you should read Grant County before you dive into this series)
It's a long story, as I've mentioned, but it doesn't really seem to be as you move through the investigation, the character interactions and the final, exciting finish. It's been so nice to get back into Karin Slaughter's stories again. You'll love the characters and curl into a ball as you move into the story.. *shudder*... Great stuff (4 stars)"
"Just days after marrying Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon moves to Colorado to assume her new post as district ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. When two of three children who'd gone missing from a religious retreat reappear, Anna's investigation brings her face-to-face with a paranoid sect--and with a villain so evil, he'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end."
My Ongoing Look at the Mystery Genre - English Detectives Part 11
In my last entry I featured authors, Anthony Horowitz (Sherlock Holmes), Val McDermid (Kate Brannigan) and John Mortimer (Rumpole).
a. Death at Dawn / also A Foreign Affair (#1 / 2007).
"The year is 1837. Queen Victoria, barely eighteen, has just ascended to the throne of England, and a young woman named Liberty Lane has just had her first taste of true sorrow. Refusing to accept that her gentle, peace-loving father has been killed fighting a duel, she vows to see justice done. . . .
The trail she follows is a twisting and dangerous one, leading the spirited young Englishwoman into an intricate weave of conspiracy. Contacted by secret agents, she is asked to pose as a governess in order to infiltrate cold, rambling Mandeville Hall and spy on its master, Sir Herbert Mandeville, who is at the center of a treasonous plan.
Nothing at the hall is what it seems, and every turn reveals another deceit, another surprise, another peril, leaving Libby to wonder who to trust and embroiling her in a deadly affair that could destroy the young queen and place Libby herself in mortal peril. . . ."
The remaining books in the series are -
- Death of a Dancer (2008)
- A Corpse in Shining Armour (2009)
- When the Devil Drives (20011)
- Keeping Bad Company (2012)
- The Path of the Wicked (2013)
- Friends in High Places (2105)
- Fool's Gold (2017)
- The Killing Site (2018)
"Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood.
Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation gradually peels away the proper veneer of the elite world, exposing secrets and desires until suspicion becomes more frightening than truth. Outspoken Charlotte Ellison, struggling to remain within the confining boundaries of Victorian manners, has no trouble expressing herself to the irritating policeman. As their relationship shifts from antagonistic sparring to a romantic connection, the socially mismatched pair must solve the mystery before the hangman strikes again." (4 stars)
"When a group of powerful Irish Protestants and Catholics gather at a country house to discuss Irish home rule, contention is to be expected. But when the meeting's moderator, government bigwig Ainsley Greville, is found murdered in his bath, negotiations seem doomed. To make matters worse, it appears the late Greville may have led a less than savory personal life.
Unless Thomas Pitt and his wife, Charlotte, can root out the truth, simmering hatreds and passions may again explode in murder, the home rule movement may collapse, and civil war may destroy all of Ireland. . . ." (3 stars)
c. Long Spoon Lane (#24 / 2005).
"Early one morning, Thomas Pitt, dauntless mainstay of the Special Branch, is summoned to Long Spoon Lane, where anarchists are plotting an attack. Bombs explode, destroying the homes of many poor people. After a chase, two of the culprits are captured and the leader is shot . . . but by whom?
As Pitt delves into the case, he finds that there is more to the terrorism than the destructive gestures of misguided idealists. The police are running a lucrative protection racket, and clues suggest that Inspector Wetron of Bow Street is the mastermind. As the shadowy leader of the Inner Circle, Wetron is using his influence with the press to whip up fears of more attacks–and to rush a bill through Parliament that would severely curtail civil liberties. This would make him the most powerful man in the country.
To defeat Wetron, Pitt finds that he must run in harness with his old enemy, Sir Charles Voisey, and the unlikely allies are joined by Pitt’s clever wife, Charlotte, and her great aunt, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould. Can they prevail? As they strive to prevent future destruction, nothing less than the fate of the British Empire hangs in precarious balance." (2 stars)
The other books by Anne Perry, including both series and her other books can be found here.
a. Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (#1 / 2012).
"A nice collection of short story mysteries that became the Grantchester TV series. Sidney Chambers is the new vicar of Grantchester and finds himself helping the local police inspector, Geordie Keating, solve a variety of mysteries, and, at the same time, trying to keep up with parish work and also trying to find himself. The mysteries are interesting, from the murder of a local lord at a play, the theft of a ring, and the forgery of art treasure. Often against his will, Sidney becomes involved in these mysteries and uses his intellect and inspiration to help solve the crimes. The stories have a nice feel to them and the characters are always interesting. Excellent introduction to Sidney Chambers. The books are as interesting as the TV series." (4 stars)
b. Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (#2 / 2013).
"The loveable full time priest and part time detective Canon Sidney Chambers continues his sleuthing adventures in late 1950's Cambridge. Accompanied by his faithful Labrador Dickens, and working in tandem with the increasingly exasperated Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is called on to investigate the unexpected fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King's College Chapel; a case of arson at a glamor photographer's studio; and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester's finest spin bowler, in the middle of a crucial game of cricket. As he pursues his quietly probing inquiries, Sidney also has to decide on the vexed question of marriage. Can he choose between the rich, glamorous socialite Amanda Kendall and Hildegard Staunton, a beguiling German widow three years his junior? To help him make up his mind Sidney takes a trip abroad, only to find himself trapped in a complex web of international espionage just as the Berlin Wall is going up.
Here are six interlocking adventures that combine mystery with morality, and criminality with charm."
c. Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins (#4 / 2015).
"The loveable full-time priest and part-time detective, Canon Sidney Chambers, continues his sleuthing adventures in 1960's Cambridge. On a snowy Thursday morning in Lent 1964, a stranger seeks sanctuary in Grantchester's church, convinced he has murdered his wife. Sidney and his wife Hildegard go for a shooting weekend in the country and find their hostess has a sinister burn on her neck. Sidney's friend Amanda receives poison pen letters when at last she appears to be approaching matrimony. A firm of removal men 'accidentally' drop a Steinway piano on a musician's head outside a Cambridge college. During a cricket match, a group of schoolboys blow up their school Science Block. On a family holiday in Florence, Sidney is accused of the theft of a priceless painting.
Meanwhile, on the home front, Sidney's new curate Malcolm seems set to become rather irritatingly popular with the parish; his baby girl Anna learns to walk and talk; Hildegard longs to get an au pair and Sidney is offered a promotion."
The remaining 3 books in the series are -
- Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil (2014)
- Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation (2016)
- Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love (2017)
There you go. I hope one or two of the above books / series interest you. Have a great week.