Aberdeen sleuths’ colleague dies... again
TIME to start sleuthing for unorthodox Aberdeen coppers Logan McRae and Roberta Steele when a colleague — thought to have committed suicide two years prior — ends up murdered in a wrecked car on their patch.
In Stuart McBride’s The Blood Road (HarperCollins, 488 pages, $22), very young children are concurrently going missing, amid persistent urban legend rumours of a gang selling them to pedophiles.
It’s one of McBride’s best, but the plot is so horrific that you hope the author isn’t putting ideas in anyone’s head.
Burning cars are lighting up the English countryside, wiping out DNA traces of the person killing the murdered women inside — women who went alone to weddings and met a nice, lonely guy into old-fashioned courting.
The murderer knows how to avoid closed-circuit TV and leave no trace in Val McDermid’s Insidious Intent (Atlantic Monthly Press, 424 pages, $39), challenging ace detective Carol Jordan and psychologist Tony Hill in their new quasi-FBI investigative unit.
Given that Jordan and Hill are so personally messed up, readers will ask if this series is brilliant or completely off the rails.
New Jersey copper Nap Dumas is immersed in sorrow, high school deaths 15 years ago having ruined so many lives and aspirations.
Then, a murder of a cop in Pennsylvania brings up those memories and leads to new tragedies — and who are those government agents skulking about, trampling the constitution? And those legends about an abandoned missile base…?
Harlan Coben’s Don’t Let Go (Dutton, 400 pages, $13) is an absolutely superb thriller. Coben has been singled out by Stephen King as one of the best American writers. Great call, Big Steve.
It’s 1995 in Belfast, and the tenuous peace process is in constant jeopardy in what Nova Scotia mystery writer Anne Emery depicts as a fascist state ruled by British military and their police minions, that could literally blow up in sectarian hatred any second.
Heavens Fall (ECW, 480 pages, $30) is the 10th novel featuring Nova Scotia lawyer couple Monty Collins and Maura McNeil, with close friend Father Brennan Burke, flashing back to The Troubles. It’s an episodic, rambling tale of the three living among Catholic and IRA Belfast families while trying to sort out several atrocities and injustices in Northern Ireland.
Bleak yet engaging all the while, the book suddenly twists late to go even bleaker, abandoning most of its characters and subplots.
Author Steve Berry’s supposed bookseller/lawyer Cotton Malone gets an origin story, looking back to 2000 when he first became a black ops agent for unnamed forces within the U.S. government, assigned to sleuth whether the FBI conspired to murder Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The mile-a-minute breathless action in Bishop’s Pawn (Raincoast, 352 pages, $36) is ludicrous right from the start, an appalling loss of life and frequent deadly violence callously pushed aside in the rush to the next shootout and daring escape. We have corrupt FBI agents — still loyal to the dead, despotic J. Edgar Hoover — murdering American citizens and even each other in g-man evil dreamed of only in certain X-Files episodes and Trump tweets.
What will ultimately make Bishop’s Pawn so repugnant to some readers is a white guy negatively redefining Dr. King’s character, motives and the civil rights movement to suit what’s pretty much an outline for a screenplay.