Monday, August 31, 2015
Reading right now:
“Red Line” by Brian Thiem. Thiem’s first novel marks the beginning of a new series featuring Oakland homicide detective Matt Sinclair. When a teenager is dumped at a bus stop in Oakland, Sinclair is assigned the case. Unfortunately for the city and for Sinclair, it is only the first in a series of killings. This is an excellent police procedural from a veteran Oakland police detective who obviously knows what he is talking about.
“In a Dark, Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware. This creepy novel places a group of women in the middle of the woods, in a glass house, celebrating an upcoming wedding. Of course, the party goes horribly wrong when someone is murdered. This psychological suspense novel is an excellent end of summer read.
Other mysterious things:
Vu Tran’s “Dragonfish” features an Oakland police officer who is trying to find his missing ex-wife who disappeared from Las Vegas. Some of the other mystery authors whose series has Oakland, California playing an important role includes: Janet Dawson’s Private Investigator Jeri Howard series which started with “Kindred Crimes” in 1990; Nichelle Tramble’s series starred Maceo Redfield a disillusioned baseball star and started with “The Dying Ground” in 2001; Marilyn Wallace’s Oakland homicide detectives Jay Goldstein and Carlos Cruz were featured in three novels starting with “A Case of Loyalties” from 1986; and don’t forget Lachlan Smith’s novels with Leo Maxwell which started with “Bear is Broken.”
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” by F. H. Batacan. This mystery novel has been available for years, but I’ve never read it. Since it is considered the first Philippine crime novel and mandatory reading in some literature classes, it seems like a must read. The book won the Philippine National Book Award and been reprinted four times. After a serial killer strikes in Manila, the police are unable to deal with a crime that they have no training to handle. In order to protect their flock, two Catholic priests go on the hunt for the killer using Father Gus Saenz’s training as a forensic anthropologist and Father Jerome Lucero’s talents as a psychologist.
“The Killing Lessons” by Saul Black. This is a debut novel and the start of a new detective series. San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart is determined to stop a series of abductions, torture, and murder of women across the country. Her obsession drives her to the edge of destruction both physically and psychologically.
Other mysterious things:
“Come Hell or Highball” by Maia Chance. First in the Discreet Retrieval Agency series, this new book introduces Lola Woodby whose husband just died leaving her without a penny and in debt. What to do? Why not retrieve a missing reel of film that one of her husband’s ex-girlfriends needs found and is offering money for her to find it? Seems easy, but when the film disappears and a man ends up dead, she discovers that being an unofficial detective might be harder than she thought.