Tag: crime

Book Review: Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante

Unholy Murder
Series:
Tennison #7

Author: Lynda La Plante
Published: August 24, 2021
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 27, 2021- January 5, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A coffin is dug up by builders in the grounds of an historic convent – inside is the body of a young nun.

In a city as old as London, the discovery is hardly surprising. But when scratch marks are found on the inside of the coffin lid, Detective Jane Tennison believes she has unearthed a mystery far darker than any she’s investigated before. However, not everyone agrees. Tennison’s superiors dismiss it as an historic cold case, and the Church seems desperate to conceal the facts from the investigation. It’s clear that someone is hiding the truth, and perhaps even the killer. Tennison must pray she can find both – before they are buried forever . . .

In Unholy Murder, Tennison must lift the lid on the most chilling murder case of her career to date . . .

Jessica’s Review:

Compared to other books I have recently read, this one was a success!!!  YES!!  Unholy Murder is the seventh book in the Tennison series, but it can be read as a standalone.  I have not read any of the other in the series and did not feel like I have missed anything as past situations are mentioned. I did like Tennison and am interested in how she got her start in a male dominated field, especially for the time period this novel takes place in.

I was confused at first with references to using maps, the phone book, and more until I found a review that mentioned the time period: This novel takes place in 1982 based on when the Pope visits the UK where this novel takes place. Once I knew the time period I actually enjoyed the trip back in time where the things we take for granted were not in existence and we had ‘old school policing’. And with Tennison also being a woman in this time period: It really was a boys club then.

Unholy Murder has an intriguing premise that actually delivers: a coffin is dug up and it has a nun inside and it appears she was buried alive!?!?  What happened to her and why???  Secrets and lies, the Catholic Church and more: Bring it on!  And this novel became so much more than I expected with its twists and turns.

It is a police procedural, so we get to see how things were done in the 1980s, which includes autopsies. Not a fast-paced novel, but it is detailed and it does move and I never lost interest in the story. I was fully involved and cared about the characters you should care for. 

I enjoyed this novel and if you enjoy crime dramas/police procedurals, Unholy Murder and my guess is that the whole Tennison series will be for you.

I received a copy to read and review from Bookish First.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein

The Cult on Fog Island
Series: Fog Island Trilogy Book 1

Author: Mariette Lindstein
Published: January 24, 2019
560 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The deadliest trap is the one you don’t see…

When Sofia meets Franz Oswald, the handsome, charming leader of a mysterious New Age movement, she’s dazzled and intrigued. Visiting his headquarters on Fog Island, Sofia’s struck by the beautiful mansion overlooking the sea, the gardens, the sense of peace and the purposefulness of the people who live there. And she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for Franz.

So she agrees to stay, just for a while. But as summer gives way to winter, and the dense fog from which the island draws its name sets in, it becomes clear that Franz rules the island with an iron fist. No phones or computers are allowed. Contact with the mainland is severed. Electric fences surround the grounds. And Sofia begins to realize how very alone she is and that no one ever leaves Fog Island…

Kim’s Review:

One of my friends on Instagram recommended this book to me, so when I found it at Gene’s Books, I grabbed it! And y’all know I love a cult. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I was hoping for a religious cult with supernatural elements that turned it into a horror story. It wasn’t and that’s why the missing star. This was much more of a psychological thriller, turned cautionary tale.

Lindstein wanted to give an in depth look at cults from beginning to end. Here’s how people get hooked, here’s how people are content, here’s how things start to go wrong, here are the red flags, etc. I definitely enjoyed it! It was a fascinating look at the psychology of the leaders and followers. And for once, I didn’t think about my own background on every page! Absolutely a good book!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Saint X
Author: Alexis Schaitkin

Published: February 18, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 24- December 9, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men – employees at the resort – are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth – not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.

Jessica’s Review:

I am not really sure what to think of this one. It was not really good, but also not really bad, so I put it in the middle and give it three stars.  Though taking place before Natalie Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba, it was reminiscent of that story even though we don’t and most likely never will have answers to that case. 

Saint X deals with the disappearance/murder of Alison Thomas at 18 years of age on the last night of her family’s Caribbean vacation which includes her younger sister Claire at age seven.  Two native islanders are accused of Alison’s murder, but things eventually amount to nothing.

We then come to present day and Claire is all grown up. She still deals with her sister’s death even to this day and encounters one of the men who was accused of killing her sister.  Then this leads to a story of obsession on Claire’s part and reflecting on who she is and who her sister might have been. 

Saint X focuses on three people telling their story: Alison, Claire and Clive Richardson.  The three stories are blended together to get a whole picture. We also have interviews, audio diaries (yes, Claire gets to hear her own sister’s voice) and autopsy reports. 

I think why I have some issues with this one is that I was not connected to the characters, but was involved enough in the story to keep listening.  It did help me that there was a cast narration.  There are many themes dealt with throughout the novel including class, race, and privilege. Saint X gives you enough to keep you thinking. 

This one seems to be an average novel that may or may not be for you.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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