The Third Rule

Third rule

This book was hard to read, not because of the author’s writing, but because it shows how quickly power in the wrong hands, can become so badly used.

In this novel, we are introduced to a Britain, ruled by a government with omnipresent surveillance and a despot with great power in his hands. Who was it that said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

We are introduced to Eddie Collins a CSI, his estranged wife Jilly, his journalist, drinking buddy, Mick Lyndon, Ros Banford a workmate and friend of Eddie, a Secretary of Justice, and his son.

Around this group the author weaves his story.

Eddie and his wife are grieving the loss of their son who is killed by a careless driver and Eddie is sliding rapidly into alcoholism. Mick is helping Eddie along this road.

And at this time, new government policy is introduced – The Third Rule. This sets out clearly that offenders will be given a chance to reform and rehabilitate.  If, after they complete their sentence and are released, they re-offend then they will be given a longer prison sentence, and in the event that they then re-offend, the Third Rule comes into play and they will be put to death. Murderers will be put to death immediately.

When a colleague is shot to death Eddie finds himself the main suspect and is now marked with Rule Three status. We follow Eddie and Mick as they try to unravel the secrets surrounding the deaths, the murders and the machinations of the Secretary of Justice, the man who seemingly holds all the power.

I said it is hard to read, but I recommend this book to all who enjoy a complicated story with an almost hero, and many twists and turns.

I was given an advance copy of the book to read by the author and I choose to make this review and recommendation.






Harbour Street

Harbor Street

I have recently started reading books by Ann Cleeves and having seen several episodes of Vera on television, I decided to see what titles were available at our local library. No room for any more books in my small apartment.

I settled on Harbour Street. In this book, Vera’s offsider Joe Ashworth is on the metro with his daughter, Jessica going home after a school concert.  It’s just before Christmas and the train is, of course, crowded with shoppers, people coming from office parties, and kids with nothing better to do,  going into town.

The train is stopped at a station and the train is cleared of passengers who are told there is a problem on the line; the problem is that an elderly woman has been stabbed while sitting in the train.

Vera and Joe are called on to investigate and we are introduced to Harbour Street where the murdered woman lived. As Vera and her team begin to investigate the life of the murdered woman and the residents in and around Harbour Street,  it becomes clear that nearly everyone connected to the case is hiding something.

There are many secrets in the past in this intriguing book and the murderer is not easy to identify; but as always Vera Stanhope, the quirky DI whose scruffy appearance (note her father’s hat which she wears almost all the time), her age (close to retirement) and her solitary personal life, shines through the book. And the twist at the end was completely unexpected.

Anne ‘s characters are well written and because I knew them from the television series they were absolutely believable. Her descriptions of the fictional town, Mardle and Harbour Street were so vivid that I could picture both very clearly as I was reading.

This is a book I strongly recommend. It is, of course, more detailed than a one or two-hour television episode can be, and I think it better for that.

Watch this space for others in this series and some in the Shetland Series by AnneCleeves



A Narrow Victory


Ex-DI Hilary Greene has just spent a week of her holiday cruising around the Gloucestershire canals on her narrowboat, with her new man, her boss. the dashing Steven Hilary is now a consultant, working on cold cases. Her next case concerns the murder of Society interior designer, Felix Oliphant, but she can find no reason for anyone to want Oliphant dead. He seems to be an all-round good guy, one of the few really decent human beings and one who appears to have been universally loved.

On her return to work, Hilary finds there are two new recruits to the cold case squad. One a dot-com millionaire who claims to want to give back to society, and the other a young woman who gives no reason for wanting to be in the police. These two characters add a clever mix to the plot.

The ending is s a little abrupt, but as usual with Faith Martin,  the murderer comes as a surprise; I certainly didn’t expect this story to end as it did.

The characters are well developed and believable, the plot is well thought out and I recommend this book along with all the others in the series.

Vow of Silence

Vow of Silence


This was a book that once I started reading, I could not put down.  Having read the first book in the series I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this, the next one.

Once again, we are with Jill Shannon in her new home in Phoenix. Now Jill has met up with the charismatic Conner Manning, the only son of former Arizona Governor, Pierce Manning.

All is going well for Jill.  She has a small daughter born after the murder of her former husband, policeman, Alex Shannon, with whom she lived in Seattle.  Now she has reinvented herself and is planning marriage to Conner when links to her very secret past begin to creep into her present.

She is plagued/hunted/chased by a Phoenix Police Detective, David Shaw, who is convinced that Jill is somehow linked to the recent murder of reporter Joe Gaines.  According to CTV footage, Jill was the last person to speak to Joe and the next morning he was found dead in his hotel room.

We are introduced to Kat married to Luis who is somehow involved with the Mafia and because of this she and her daughter Ana are at risk.

So, another story told with a great plot, well developed and believable characters and all the attention to detail we have come to expect from Chris Patchell.

I strongly recommend this book to those who appreciate a well-told, well-conceived story.

Note – I was given a copy of the book to read by the author, and I choose to write this review.



The Nature of the Beast


Nature of the Beast

We are introduced to young Laurent Lepage who annoys the villagers of Three Pines with his daily cry of wolf. Walking trees, aliens invading, dinosaurs and other unlikely things mean nobody believes him when he tells of a huge gun in the woods. But people begin to wonder when the young boy is missing and when he eventually is found, dead what is considered at first to be an accident is quickly determined by Gamache to be a murder. Armand Gamache must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happened to him.

The search for the boy leads them deep into the forest, his favourite play area and the trail from his murder leads to suspicion of each other among the villagers,  long-held secrets, an old crime, an old betrayal and more.

What is discovered there comes as no surprise to a couple of villagers although they have kept their secret for so long they think it is safe. But it all comes to light following the search by Gamache and his team for the murderer.  Can the peace of the village ever be restored completely?


Read this book to find out.





Blood of Others

Blood of Others

A grisly site shocks passers-by.  A model in a wedding dress displayed in the window of a fancy wedding dress boutique.  But it’s no model.

This brings together, once again, Walt Sidowski , legendary homicide cop and Tom Reed, award-winning investigative journalist.

The victim is an introverted insurance clerk who is looking for love and friendship.  But this is not the killer’s only prey; others have been killed before her.

We meet Olivia Grant, a shy shop manager who is looking for friendship and maybe love.  During the course of the investigation she meets Ben Wyatt, a cop wrongly accused of causing the shooting of his partner.

As the killer moves freely around the globe, tempting shy young women to meet him, he is searching for the one perfect woman who will forgive him the unforgivable.  And because none of them is that perfect woman, all must die,

As usual, Rick Mofina draws us along with characters who are so believable.  But you must read this book to the bitter end, to get the whole story.  The story behind the killer’s search, Ben and Olivia’s burgeoning romance,  and the final outcome.


This is another book I read when in rehab last year following my misadventure.  I think this book was given to me to read and I choose to write this review.

Lost Girls



I have read other books by this author but this one disappointed. I could not begin to empathize with the main character. She appears to be completely self-centered and caring for no one else. Perhaps she didn’t have a good childhood in the family mansion but she does nothing to help herself. I quickly lost interest in Maudie and her story. I found the story confusing and none of the characters seemed real. I finished the book knowing no more about the story than I had at the beginning.

This book was and still is offered free on Amazon.  I think if I had paid for it I would have been upset.

Sorry Celina Grace, it’s a one-star read for me.

How the light gets in


I was introduced to Louise Penney by Chris at Bridges Burning.

This is book No 9 in the Inspector Gamache series and though most of the reviews on Amazon suggest starting at Book 1 and working your way through the books, I found I could absolutely understand these people and where they all fitted into life in the small village of Three Pines in Quebec.

Inspector Gamache is aware that the Department, through his adversary Fancour, is trying to get him to retire.  His Homicide squad is decimated, all having been transferred leaving only Detective Lacoste of his original team.  The people who have been transferred in in their place prove to be inept, rude to Gamache , and generally quite useless.

We learn that his son-in-law, along with several of Gamache’s team had been injured in a bomb blast in a warehouse in an operation led by the Inspector.  His son-in-law whom we understand was his right-hand man up until that time,  has also transferred out of Homicide blaming Gamache for his injuries.
While he is aware of the plot to get him out of the Surete, Gamache is investigating those at the top of the Police Department whom he feels are manipulating things for their own gain and is keen to find out their plan that he feels sure will be to the country’s disadvantage.  He is determined to put a stop to their manipulations.

Early in the story, we are introduced to Constance, the last surviving quintuplet.  One of five little girls born to poor farmers during the depression who are taken away from their parents and used by the Government as an inspiration tool for the general populace.  Gamache is called to Three Pines when Constance fails to turn up for Christmas as planned and her subsequent murder is given to Gamache and Lacoste to solve.

And through it all, he tries to reconcile with his son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir and bring him back to mental as well as physical health.

The story is fast paced,  well written and will keep you turning the pages until the end.

I loved the book and will certainly look for others in the series.  Thank you, Chris, for the recommendation.


The Empty Rocker


Casey Quinby had been a police officer but an accident made her leave her chosen profession and take up journalism. The story starts with a hit and run accident but Casey isn’t convinced it was an accident. There is a group of friends, a lawyer, a policeman, 2 court officers and Casey, all intrigued with the case. Casey, the chief investigative reporter for the local paper works on the case interviewing friends of the young girl and eventually finds herself in great danger. This is a good story, let down in parts by bad punctuation. This is the first novel by this author. The plot is well thought out, the characters are believable and this is book I would recommend.



Dead Lawyer on Aisle 11


Another one from John Ellsworth, but this time with a different lawyer, one Michael Gresham.  Gresham has changed sides from defending to prosecuting.  And he does very well in this different role.

Linda Burrows is a lawyer employed by the US Attorney’s office, a job she is well qualified for.  In fact, her second husband a policeman who was acquainted with Niles Boudreux, the Senior Assistant US Attorney, recommended her for the job.

All goes well.  Linda loves the job and gets on well with her boss, according to her husband, maybe too well. Because of the jealousy and his rage, Linda and her husband, Harry divorce and life goes on for each of them separately.  Linda and Bourdreux begin an affair and he asks her to marry him.  She refuses with a laugh and continues her promiscuous ways and has affairs with several of her co-workers.  When she finds herself pregnant she faces her boss, claiming he is the father.  He reiterates his offer of marriage but again she refuses and demands he pay for an abortion. The alternative is she will sue him for sexual harassment.

Niles decides that he cannot allow that knowing the effect it would have on his career and so plots how to get rid of her and the child.  The result is she is murdered one day when in the local grocery store.

Michael Gresham is tasked with finding the killer and so we move through his attempts with the help of his team, two members of the FBI, 2 members of the Metro PD, an investigator from the US Attorney’s office and Annie his savant adopted daughter.  The team follows all usual procedures interviewing staff members of the grocery store, fellow workers at her office, etc. without much progress.

And then, DNA proves that Gresham is the father of Linda’s unborn child which quickly makes him a suspect.

Michael is charged with murder and determines to solve the case apart from the official enquiry from which he is now barred.  and calls upon his old “standby” right-hand man Marcel to help.  Marcel is a top investigator and unravels a heretofore unknown eyewitness, but what she has to say completely unhinges Michael and his team.

Meantime his brother Arnie, another lawyer, resurfaces but while he cannot legally assist Michael in his defence he does know a good lawyer whom he calls and who agrees to assist.

Twists and turns aplenty in this book, and while I was convinced I knew who the murderer was almost from the start, all is revealed and I was completely after the wrong person.

I was given this book to read by the author and in return, I am posting this review.  I thoroughly recommend the book to my friends.