Fiction – July 2019

Here are the fiction books I read in July.

Mix of fantasy stories. KJ Parker’s stood out, but the overall quality wasn’t bad. On the other hand, none of the stories were so good that I felt the need to investigate other works by the author. So, a dip into the pool.

Amos Decker is one of Baldacci’s best creations. This time around, our hero is confronted by a killer he caught on his first murder case. But the killer, now released because he is dying from a terminal disease, claims he was innocent and Decker and the police made a mistake. So, Decker has to face up to his own fallibility and the possibility the real killer is still out there. Pretty good.

In this, the second (and better) outing of private investigator Zoe Boehm, she is persuaded to look at the case of Caroline Daniels, killed by falling in front of a train.  Daniels’ boss thinks there’s something suspicious, especially because the victim’s lover is nowhere to be found. Zoe investigates and soon finds out there are more lonely women like Daniels who have come to a tragic end. The hunt is on. But who is the hunter, and who is the hunted? Well worth reading, but best to start with the first of the series: Down Cemetery Road.

A few houses away from policeman William Wistig, a man is found dead. He has been there for several months. There are no signs of foul play. Wistig’s daughter, a journalist, sets out to write the story, highlighting how somebody could slip through the cracks of society and die like that. Her father’s investigation turns up some inconsistencies, and when another body is found with a clue that suggests an international perspective, it becomes apparent there is a killer out there. While some of the father daughter stuff felt a bit stilted, this is a decent crime novel with lots of nice touches, and a finely delivered stew of tense excitement. Recommended.

Thoughtful, interesting, and well written crime story. When some of London’s pets are taken and killed, DI Tom Thorne wonders if this is a killer filling in his spare time, or something else. His colleagues are less interested. Thorne turns to DI Nicola Tanner, to help him investigate. From there on, the usual chaos ensues.

Space opera that, for me, fails to take off. An old military hero is awakened from a 100 year cold storage hibernation to take command of the last Alliance fleet, stranded in enemy territory and with the odds stacked against its survival. Can the man match his own myth? It had its moments, but I couldn’t get into the characters or the situation. It fell flat. The writing was uninspiring.