Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, and… no qualms about a little murder.
… funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten …
Ever since her darling father’s untimely death when she was only eighteen, Maud has lived in the family’s spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. …
Now in her late eighties, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father’s ancient armchair. It’s a solitary existence, and she likes it that way.
Last Rituals (2005) is the first book in her Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series.
Good, not great, is my review.
The premise is interesting:
At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest.
Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim’s family isn’t convinced that the right man is in custody.
They ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate.It isn’t long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student’s obsession with Iceland’s grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts.
But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems . . . and no one can be trusted.
He writes Canadian crime fiction unapologetically. The setting of this book is Toronto. Canuck pop culture references are continual.
My first highlight is that Gord Stewart, 40 years old, single, living with his widowed father is almost an anti-hero. More a loser than super sleuth. That’s original.
He’s been working in the movie business as a location scout for years, and when there isn’t much filming, as a private eye for a security company run by ex-cops, OBC.
When a fellow crew member asks him to find her missing uncle, Gord reluctantly takes the job. The police say the uncle walked into some dense woods in Northern Ontario and shot himself, but the man’s wife thinks he’s still alive.
With the help of his movie business and OBC connections, Gord finds a little evidence that the uncle may be alive.
Now Gord has two problems: what to do when he finds a man who doesn’t want to be found, and admitting that he’s getting invested in this job.
For the first time in his life, Gord Stewart is going to have to leave the sidelines and get into the game. Even if it might get him killed.
Book #2 in the Detective Cormac Reilly series by Irish lawyer, Dervla McTiernan.
I found the story line cleaner and easier to follow than in Book #1 – The Ruin.
When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.
A security card in the dead woman’s pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics.
The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research.
The enquiry into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.
As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity.
Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?
The 2021 Lincoln Rhyme book is excellent, as are they all. It’s the most recent, as I post.
Another roller coaster of a plot with multiple surprise endings.
A woman awakes in the morning to find that someone has picked her apartment’s apparently impregnable door lock and, terrifyingly, rearranged personal items, even sitting beside her while she slept.
The intrusion, the police learn, is a message to the entire city of carnage and death to come.
Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate and soon learn that the brilliant, sociopathic intruder, who calls himself “The Locksmith,” can break through any lock or security system ever devised. …
Grainger self-publishes. Kindle and Audio only, as I post.
I highly recommend the DC Smith Investigation Series;
Book 1: An Accidental Death: A DC Smith Investigation
Book 2: But for the Grace: A DC Smith Investigation
Book 3: Luck and Judgement: A DC Smith Investigation
Book 4: Persons of Interest: A DC Smith Investigation
Book 5: In This Bright Future: A DC Smith Investigation
Book 6: The Rags of Time: A DC Smith Investigation
Those are the first six of 10 up to 2023. Grainger recommends you read them in series as the characters evolve. Smith keeps trying to retire.
DC Smith is one of my favourite characters in fiction. Super competent. Very funny. Dry British humour.
These are police procedurals with no profanity, sex, nor much violence.
In the peace and tranquillity of the woods at Pinehills on a Saturday afternoon, a mobile phone begins to ring. The phone belongs to DC Smith and it isn’t unusual that the call is from Kings Lake Central police station; what is unusual is the fact that he seems to be the subject of an investigation rather than taking part in one.
What can the links be between a prisoner’s violent death in another county, the disappearance of two teenagers and the highest profile case in Kings Lake for many years?
As Smith and his team begin to untangle the threads, one thing becomes clear – they are dealing with some of the most dangerous people that they have yet encountered.