Books reviewed by John Barnbrook
The discovery of symbolic muslin roses and the unearthing of a human skull are the forerunners of a series of events that will rock the community of far-flung Sanday in the Orkneys and will lead to the arrival of Dr Rhona MacLeod, a forensic expert and other mainland police officers.
Reviewed on 28 July 2017 by John Barnbrook
Professor Olivia Sweetman, a noted historian, has used a Victorian diary to write the biography of one of the earliest women to become a doctor. But in the background is the ominous presence of the woman who gave her the diary, who could destroy her hard-earned reputation.
Reviewed on 24 June 2017 by John Barnbrook
Zoë Grant is an aspiring artist on the verge of a breakthrough with a local gallery. Garda Detective Cathy Connolly is called to investigate a break in at Zoë’s home and discovers an old wedding dress, ripped open, with baby’s bones hidden in the hem.
Reviewed on 24 June 2017 by John Barnbrook
As a teenager, Evelyn Talbot was abducted, tortured and left for dead by her psychopathic boyfriend. Now, as an adult she has established a mental health facility in Alaska, specifically to research psychopaths. When the murders start suspicions and fear grow in the isolated community.
Reviewed on 10 June 2017 by John Barnbrook
Selena Cole disappears leaving her two young daughters alone in a playground. Meanwhile, on an isolated mountain road, the body of a young man is found. Against a background of commercial kidnap and rescue work, the police investigation leads to some surprising connections.
Reviewed on 27 May 2017 by John Barnbrook
David desperately misses his dead mother, despises his new stepmother and detests his new half brother. These emotions attract the attention the Crooked Man who draws David into a dark and disturbing land where he must grow in strength and determination in order to survive.
Reviewed on 29 April 2017 by John Barnbrook
When Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Orthodox priest, finds the body of Ugolina Nogara in the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, the retreat of the Pope, he becomes party to machinations within the Vatican that will rock the whole establishment of the Catholic Church.
Reviewed on 14 April 2017 by John Barnbrook
Clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is drawn unwillingly to help solve a double murder - a mother and daughter found in odd circumstances in a remote farmhouse. This involvement leads to Joe’s family becoming endangered by the attention of the damaged murderer.
Reviewed on 01 April 2017 by John Barnbrook
Lieutenant Eve Dallas has a dear friend, Dennis, who is injured when he walks in on the abduction of his cousin, Senator Edward Mira. Investigation uncovers darks sordid secrets that involve not only the senator but also a circle of his friends, a group bonded by ritual and cruelty.
Reviewed on 18 March 2017 by John Barnbrook
Nick Belsey is a disgraced policeman, living in a recently closed police station. An insistent knocking at the door introduces him to a woman who is searching for him by name, to help her to find her missing son. Helping her leads Nick into the world of celebrity, obsessive adoration and corruption.
Reviewed on 04 February 2017 by John Barnbrook
Danny Orchard is famous because he was still born and then had another near-death experience and published a successful memoir. Danny also used to have a twin sister, Ash, but she was not someone you would have wanted to meet. Now Ash is trying to ruin Danny’s life again.
Reviewed on 10 December 2016 by John Barnbrook
Rachel has given up her job as detective inspector to raise her son. Her son is murdered and Rachel’s cousin is convicted for his murder and placed in a secure psychiatric unit. When it becomes clear that he is likely to be freed, Rachel is driven into a determined and elaborate plan for revenge.
Reviewed on 26 November 2016 by John Barnbrook
Charlie Parker and his two sidekicks, Angel and Louis, appear to have the power to know and intervene in deviant criminal behaviour. They are an unusual force for good. This power serves them well as they investigate cases of missing young girls and pit themselves against the insidious power of The Cut.
Reviewed on 12 November 2016 by John Barnbrook
A woman is thought to have committed suicide in her bath but Commissaire Adamsberg refuses to be convinced. Further apparent suicides, linked by the drawing of a strange symbol convince the investigating team that they are pursuing a serial killer.
Reviewed on 15 October 2016 by John Barnbrook
Jack lives in Tudor London, in a secluded alley with his mother, until, on the verge of entering life of organised crime, he encounters a world he did not know existed, a world of red-handed priests, demons and magic. As a result he finds himself fighting for his life, encountering allies in surprising places and meeting the famous Dr Dee.
Reviewed on 01 October 2016 by John Barnbrook
Reports of a missing model and the subsequent murder of her father lead DI Wesley Peterson into an investigation which throws suspicion onto many of the residents of the rural Devonshire town. The causes of the crime appear to have historical origins.
Reviewed on 20 August 2016 by John Barnbrook