Mark Gimenez – The Colour of Law
‘…one of the best legal thrillers I have
read for some time.’
This is the story of a poor-boy college football hero turned
successful partner at a prominent Dallas law firm, who has
long ago checked his conscience at the door. He catches a
case that forces him to choose between his enviable lifestyle
and doing ‘the right thing’ in this masterful
debut legal thriller.
Clark McCall, ne’er-do-well son of Texas millionaire
senator and presidential hopeful Mack McCall, puts a major
break on his father’s election plans when he winds up
murdered - apparently by Shawanda Jones, a heroin-addicted
hooker - after a tawdry night of booze, drugs, and rough sex.
Scott Fenney, who’s worked his way to being a partner
at an elite Dallas law firm, is assigned to provide Shawanda’s
pro bono defence after the federal judge on the case hears
him deliver an inspiring, altruistic and completely insincere
speech to the local bar association. Scott plans to farm the
case out to an old law school buddy, do-good attorney, Bobby
Herrin. But his plans go awry when Shawanda puts her foot
down in court and refuses to be passed off to the guy she
considers the lesser attorney.
As the case unfolds, pressure is exerted on Scott to deter
him from being too aggressive in his defence of Shawanda.
That pressure becomes palpable as Scott is slowly stripped
of the things he’s come to care for most. Will he do
the right thing - at a terrible cost - or the easy thing,
and keep his hard-earned, fabulous life?
This book has a lead character who has been transformed by
his lifestyle into a selfish, arrogant and cunning lawyer,
but who, by the end of the book, manages to elicit sympathy
from the reader.
This debut novel takes the best from Grisham, Meltzer et
al - and adds yet more to make this one of the best legal
thrillers I have read for some time. The fast-paced storyline
is enhanced with comic one liners and dialogue, especially
from Scott’s daughter Boo, and Shawanda’s daughter.
This book comes highly recommended and is a definite must
for Grisham fans. It’s a sure-fire hit!
Reviewed by: H. A.
Raymond Khoury – The Last Templar
“It’s fast-paced, and you can really imagine
the story making a great movie!”
This story certainly starts with a bang… An ancient
decoding device on loan from the Vatican is one of a number
of objects stolen in a robbery at the Metropolitan Museum
in New York, during which one of four horsemen dressed in
mediaeval knight’s armour decapitates a police officer
on live TV!
Archaeologist, Tess Chaykin, witnesses the daring raid and
soon becomes involved with FBI agent, Sean Reilly in a global
chase to recover the decoder and help to unlock the long-lost
secrets of the Templars. This story traces the demise of the
Templars through flashbacks to the thirteenth century that
lead to a complex trail of intrigue and deceit that spans
centuries and spreads across the globe.
As Tess and Reilly get ever closer to the truth, the net
closes in on them. Mysterious and deadly forces are trying
to stop them in their tracks. Who can they trust? Finally,
having discovered the long-hidden secrets of the Templars,
they must decide if they are ready (or willing) to disclose
information that will affect millions of lives forever…
How I wish I hadn’t read The Da Vinci Code… Every
story in this genre is now always going to suffer by comparison,
and in many ways this is a better book. Raymond Khoury is
an experienced scriptwriter and it really shows in the brilliant
plotting of this book. It’s fast-paced, and you can
really imagine the story making a great movie! The characters
are drawn with gusto, though sometimes the distinction between
the “good guys” and the “bad guys”
is just a little clichéd.
The ultimate secret contained in the Templar manuscripts
(yes, it is revealed…!) is both fascinating and thought
provoking, and the journey, both physical and emotional, undertaken
by the main protagonists in discovering it is truly page-turning
stuff. My only real problem is with the ending of the book.
It’s literally a cliffhanger (no, I won’t spoil
it…), and personally I’d rather have seen things
getting a bit less “wet”. I do seriously urge
you to read the book though - and you’ll know what I
Reviewed by: A.C.
Laura Wilson – A Thousand Lies
‘This is a good psychological thriller that fans
of Nicci French and Barbara Vine will enjoy.’
When Amy Vaughan clears out her late mother’s flat she
discovers cuttings relating to the case of Sheila Shand who
was given a suspended sentence for murdering her father in
1987. As she investigates further Amy finds that not only
is she somehow related to the Shand family, but the case holds
disturbing parallels with her own childhood and her difficult
relationship with her parents.
This is an unusual book, which defies any attempts to compare
it with other novels. The case of the Shand family is very
disturbing and the father is effectively portrayed as a brutal
and sadistic tyrant. Laura Wilson is excellent at developing
the character of the narrator, Amy Vaughan, who is trying
to come to terms with her abusive mother and continuing difficulties
with her father.
For much of the book I couldn’t see how the plot would
develop and found it a “page turner” in this respect.
This is a good psychological thriller that fans of Nicci French
and Barbara Vine will enjoy.
Reviewed by: S. W.
Richard Montanari - The Rosary Girls
‘…the climatic end will be no disappointment.’
Only a killer hears their prayers... In the most brutal killing
crusade Philadelphia has seen in years, a series of young
Catholic women are found dead, their bodies mutilated and
their hands bolted together. Each one clutches a rosary in
her lifeless grasp.
Veteran cop Kevin Byrne and his rookie partner, Jessica Balzano,
set out to hunt down the elusive killer who leads them deeper
and deeper into the abyss of a madman's depravity. Suspects
appear before them like bad dreams - and vanish just as quickly.
While the body count rises, Easter is fast approaching. The
day of resurrection and for the last rosary to be counted...
Jessica Balzano's first case in the Philadelphia Homicide
Department is to try and track down the ruthless murderer
of the city's teenage girls. Unable to find any evidence and
baffled by the seemingly random selection of the girls, Jessica
and her new partner remain puzzled as to who is committing
This is a definite winner for those readers who enjoy good
‘meaty’ crime thrillers. The Rosary Girl's fast
pace and the climatic end will be no disappointment.
Reviewed by: H. A.
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro – The 5th
‘…keeps you guessing right up to the last
page… and I do mean the last page!’
Yuki Castellano, the newest member of the Women’s Murder
Club, is devastated when her mother has a severe stroke. She
is rushed to the San Francisco Medical Centre, which is currently
embroiled in a huge legal case. The hospital is being sued
for malpractice. There have been many instances where patients
have died for no apparent reason and with all the bad press
flying around, Yuki wants her mother transferred to another
hospital. However, her mother appears to be making a good
recovery. The next thing Yuki knows, her mother is dead.
Yuki is positive it is murder and Lindsay begins to investigate
the deaths at the centre while Yuki becomes obsessed with
the doctor who is at the centre of all the controversy surrounding
the hospital. He was also the doctor who was treating Yuki’s
mother. As Lindsay delves deeper into the suppressed dark
rumours about the hospital she finds out that someone is despatching
patients and leaving buttons on their eyes. All the patients
are linked to this same doctor… Does he believe he is
an avenging angel with the divine right to take away a life?
Or, is someone hell bent on incriminating him?
This is the fifth outing for the Women’s Murder Club
and is, to my mind, by far the best. I really enjoyed Fourth
of July, but The 5th Horseman really gets your pulse racing!
The story starts with a patient being put to rest. The killer
watches as the patient dies before their very eyes. Who is
killing off the patients at what was once a great medical
Like Fourth of July, there is a court case in progress. This
one is brought against the hospital regarding the large number
of people who have inexplicably died in their care. The reader
may feel that this court case has nothing to do with the facts
that Lindsay is unearthing, but it is all integral to the
main plot - and the denouement is simply breathtaking. As
with all Patterson novels, we have the usual short chapters
adding to the page-turning pace and this story keeps you guessing
right up to the last page… and I do mean the last page!
Reviewed by: C. S.
Dean Koontz - Forever Odd
‘…Koontz’s unique, larger than life
characters will enthral you from the start…’
We're all a little odd beneath the surface. Odd Thomas is
the most unlikely hero you'll ever meet - an ordinary guy
with a modest job. You might never look at him twice. But
there's so much more to any of us than meets the eye - and
that goes triple for Odd Thomas! Odd lives between two worlds
in the small desert town of Pico Mundo, where the heroic and
the harrowing are everyday events. Odd never asked to communicate
with the dead. It's something that just happened. As the unofficial
ambassador between our world and theirs, however, he's got
a duty to do the right thing. That's the way Odd sees it,
and that's why he's won hearts on both sides of the divide
between life and death.
Odd's childhood friend has disappeared. The worst is feared.
As he applies his unique talents to the task of finding the
missing person, Odd discovers something worse than a dead
body, encounters an enemy of exceptional cunning and rapidly
spirals into a vortex of terror. Once again, Odd will stand
against our worst fears. Around him will gather new allies
and old, some living and some not. For, in the battle to come,
there can be no innocent bystanders and every sacrifice can
tip the balance between despair and hope. Whether you're meeting
Odd Thomas for the first time or he's already an old friend,
you'll be led on an unforgettable journey through a world
of terror, wonder and delight to a revelation that could change
your life. You can have no better guide than Odd Thomas!
Forever Odd is the continuation in the life of Odd Thomas,
whose name effectively sums up his character. Odd has a special
talent of being able to ‘see the dead’ and uses
this skill to assist the local Sheriff, and on this occasion
to track down an old friend who has been kidnapped.
Whilst not strictly speaking a ‘crime thriller’,
Koontz manages to create in Forever Odd, a crime novel, with
a hint of the supernatural thrown in. But whether a believer
in ‘the dark side’ or not, Koontz’s unique,
larger than life characters will enthral you from the start
and make you want to read this book from cover to cover in
Reviewed by: H. A.
Margaret Murphy – Now You See Me
'…this novel is an excellent introduction to this
When Megan Ward goes missing from her lodgings in Liverpool,
her friend and landlady is convinced that something untoward
has happened to her. However, when her landlady is killed
Megan’s disappearance becomes something other than a
simple “missing persons” case. Meanwhile, in another
part of the city, the computers of Patrick Doran’s security
firm have been hacked and money is missing from his personal
account. He is determined to get back the money at any cost
and the mysterious Megan seems to hold the answer to its location.
I had not read any Margaret Murphy before and this novel is
an excellent introduction to this exciting writer. She writes
in the vein of Nicci French, but the plot and evocation of
the streets of Liverpool were very much her own. She seems
to have an excellent grasp of the intricacies of cyber-crime
and I was completely convincing by the story of money being
moved around in cyberspace - while its owner desperately tries
to retrieve it.
The police working on the case are obviously part of a series
and DCI Jeff Rickman appeared to be a detective with a troubled
past detailed in previous books. However, the character was
well developed and it was easy to enter the world of the Liverpool
police force in this story. This is a brilliant book from
an exciting writer. I’ll be reading some more.
Reviewed by S. W.
Martin O'Brien – Jacquot and the Angel
‘…Jacquot is a charismatic investigator…’
A wealthy German family is killed in the Cavaillon region
of France. The brutal killing, followed by the arrest of a
young gardener, shocks the local community but DCI Daniel
Jacquot remains unconvinced about the motive for the killings.
Soon the mysterious Marie-Ange appears in the village, a psychic
convinced that the story behind the killings lies in the German
occupation of the area during World War II.
Martin O’Brien has captured the French countryside perfectly
in this interesting mystery. The dope-smoking detective Jacquot
is a charismatic investigator. At odds with the authorities
yet well liked by his contemporaries. His doubts over the
chief suspect for the killings are augmented by letters he
has received from Marie-Ange, convinced that the gardener
is innocent. Indeed, it is Marie-Ange who is the most interesting
character in the book. Stunningly beautiful, she captivates
all the men she meets - with the possible exception of Jacquot.
I would love to see her reappear in another novel. This is
an excellent read.
Reviewed by S. W.