Around this time last year I was raving about C. J. Tudor’s debut novel, The Chalk Man. I am delighted to be in the same position this year with Tudor’s second novel The Hiding Place. The Hiding Place is the perfect mix of mystery, folklore, and edge of your seat suspense.Read More
The old saying goes “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” However what happens when you are unable to tell the difference between your friends and enemies? When you realize your loyalty and trust has been misplaced? When you find yourself in complete isolation with people you have known for years, but who are now displaying a different side of their personality? In The Hunting Party, we meet eleven long time friends who have found themselves in this exact situation. Full of twists, turns, and drama, The Hunting Party is the perfect winter read for those who love classic locked door mysteries.Read More
I am always conflicted when I learn of a stand alone book by an author of a series I love. Will I like it as much as the series? Are my expectations too high? Am I being unfair to the author by comparing the books? With Inborn, all of these questions/hesitations posed themselves as I started the book and they were quickly dispelled. Inborn is a fast paced, compulsive, and authentic story of loss and the ripple effects of tragedy.Read More
I will start this review out with a bit of advice: if you have never read a book by Jane Harper you are truly and completely missing out and you should remedy this immediately. Each new release by Harper immediately becomes my new favorite, cementing Harper as one of my favorite authors of all time. The Lost Man tells the story of an isolated family and they're extremely complex dynamic. Filled with shocking revelations, enduring and relatable characters; The Lost Man will have readers longing to know the conclusion but also craving more, not wanting the story to end.Read More
When reviewing books, I strive to be as honest as I can without being rude. I have never written a book and I admire anyone who has. This statement is not a prelude for a negative review, more like a bit of advice. When you start a series with book one and for whatever the reasons do not care for it ; do not give up on the series. Give book two a try. This was certainly the case for me with Fiona Barton’s Kate Waters series.
I love a good ghost story, but I usually prefer my crime fiction books without mystical elements. For this reason I was a little hesitant to read Little Darlings. As I got further along into the story, I was surprised that I was loving it and could not stop reading. With a malevolent tone, creepy folklore, and a detailed police investigation; Little Darlings is a demented, dark, and creepy tale of a mother fighting to save her children.Read More
When I started Murder and Moore, one of my hopes was to discover new authors. I have been very lucky. I have found many new fantastic authors I would have never discovered had I not started Murder and Moore. Many of these authors are now automatic adds to my to be read list whenever I learn of they’re newest release. After reading The Good Teacher, it is safe to say that Rachel Sergeant is the newest author to be added to my list of automatic must reads.Read More
Whenever I read a book by a writing duo, I am always curious about how the authors found each other. I was lucky because this was one of the first questions Greer and Sarah answered. They met each other through publishing; Greer, an editor and Sarah, already an author. The two became fast friends discovering they had a lot in common; same age, shared love of the same books, and they both have brothers named Robert. At the author event, I could truly feel the connection between Sarah and Greer. Although the event was in a large packed room, I felt like I was in a coffee shop or restaurant talking to two new friends.Read More
As a general rule I do not like surprises. I am a planner. I like to know what is going on around me at all times. However there is one exception to this rule. I absolutely positively love being surprised by a book. When I start to read a book, I usually have a general idea of what kind of story I am reading. Nothing excites me more than when I realize my assumptions were completely wrong.Read More
The story of what someone will do out desperation will never get old. Whether in books, TV, or theatre; this story will always be gripping. The reason?…it makes the audience think about what they would do in the character’s shoes. Whether the audience agrees or disagrees with the character’s decision they will always want to know how it ends. An Anonymous Girl is exactly this type of story. The protagonist made a choice I would not have necessarily made but I was no less captivated by her story.Read More
What do you consider the most important element of a book? What aspect is the most influential when deciding if you enjoyed a book or not? For me, it is the main character. I do not necessarily have to like the main character but I have to find them intriguing. With Into The Night, I will be completely honest. I did not like its protagonist Detective Gemma Woodstock, but I found her very interesting. Into The Night presented me with a new experience, a lead character I did not care for but with an exciting and original central mystery, I found myself glued to the book.Read More
There is an old saying,“ People are like tea bags. If you want to know what they are made of stick them in hot water.” I believe this saying applies to the good and bad characteristics which emerge when people are in a difficult or challenging situation. With respect to Inhuman Resources, Pierre Lemaitre’s latest English translation, readers discover a character pushed to the brink by unemployment, fear of poverty, and the need to regain his dignity.Read More
A small town is one of my favorite settings for a story of crime fiction. Readers can almost always look forward to recognizable and endearing characters. This was my expectation when I started River Bodies. While some of my expectations were met, many were not. I was introduced to an interesting main character, but the plot lacked intrigue and mystery.Read More
When reading the synopsis of a potential new read, there are certain words and phrases which almost guarantee I will love the book. With phrases like, former psychiatric home, witches, suspicious villagers; I instantly knew The Lingering was my kind of read.Read More
Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series is one of my favorite series of all time. With each new installment I am transported to Iceland to reconnect with characters who have become old friends. Everything I love about The Dark Iceland series can also be found in The Darkness - vivid descriptions of beautiful yet treacherous landscapes, a simmering mystery, and an endearing protagonist.Read More
Sharon J Bolton was born and brought up in Lancashire, the eldest of three daughters. As a child, she dreamed of becoming an actress and a dancer, studying ballet, tap and jazz from a young age and reading drama at Loughborough University.
The first book of the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, Snare was an eye opener for me. It is the first crime fiction book I read which focused on the illegal drug trade. I was a bit hesitant, but I am so glad I gave it a chance. Sometimes I do forget there is much more to crime fiction than just murder. Snare and Trap portray a dark world with characters as cunning and evil as those in any murder mystery.Read More
Have you ever read a book by a “new to you” author and immediately add every book by this author to your list of must reads? This is what I did after reading The Craftsman. The Craftsman is the story of a small town with disturbing secrets and the formidable woman who will stop at nothing to expose these secrets. Readers in the mood for an enthralling and spooky read just in time for the Halloween season, should add The Craftsman to their list of must readsRead More
I have read three of Malone’s previous books. What I noticed about all three is how the story starts right away. There is no build up, no setting the scene, the story begins with the first word. This immediately makes me sit up and pay close attention afraid to miss any details. After He Died is no exception, Malone’s straight forward approach to writing will grip readers from the very start and will leave them shocked and a little disturbed but in the best way possible.Read More
Caz Frear grew up in Coventry, England and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the writing dream finally came true. She has a degree in History & Politics, which she’s put to enormous use over the years by working as a waitress, a shop assistant, a retail merchandiser and, for the past twelve years, a headhunter. When she’s not agonizing over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at Arsenal football matches on the TV or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about. Follow her on Twitter at @CazziF
MM: Sweet Little Lies was an awesome read. It had the perfect combination of grit and heart which kept me glued to the book. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for my blog Murder and Moore.
CF: Great - thank you! And thanks again for all your support xx
MM: What authors have inspired you?
CF: So many, but the two that always spring to mind are Tana French and Lynda La Plante. They’re actually quite an interesting combination in that they are very different writers but in my opinion they’re the best at what they do. Lynda La Plante is a phenomenal storyteller. Her plots are so intricate and well-executed and her books are incredibly well-paced – classic ‘one more chapter’ novels. Over the years, I’ve used her novels like textbooks, always asking myself “How would Lynda handle this?” when I’ve hit a particularly tricky plot knot! Tana French on the other hand is the queen of prose and characterization. She’s also not afraid to write unlikable characters or ambiguous endings, which I love.
MM: What are you currently reading?
CF: I’m utterly enthralled by Alafair Burke’s The Wife at the moment. I’m on a US book tour and actually dying to get onto the next flight so I can dive back in. The dialogue is fantastic and the small details/anecdotes give such flavor to the overall story. I’m about half-way through and I have no idea which way it’s going to go.
I also recently finished Skin Deep by the amazing Liz Nugent. It’s about an Irish woman passing herself off as an English socialite on the French Riviera and the story opens with the line - ‘I wondered when rigor mortis would set in, or if it already had.’ Because of this, it’s not your classic ‘whodunnt?’ Instead the reasons why she’s ‘dunnit’ become the mystery. I can’t recommend it enough.
MM: I recently read an article by Ann Cleeves. She stated she never planned to start a series when she wrote the first Jimmy Perez book. It was supposed to be a standalone. Did you know from the start that Sweet Little Lies was just the beginning for Cat? How did you come to that decision?
CF: I LOVE Ann Cleeves and yet I didn’t know that fact! I always wanted Cat to become a series character and had several ideas about what path her journey could take. However, you never know how a character is going to be received so I feel so lucky that she’s living to fight another day (or another novel, I should say!) I deliberately made her a relatively young police officer so there would be scope for her to grow, personally and professionally.
MM: What sets Cat apart from other detectives in crime fiction is her age. I think she may be the youngest detective I have read. What was behind your decision to introduce Cat at the age of 26?
CF:Ah, I might have just answered this one! However, there was another reason. I knew that I wanted to write about someone at the lower levels of the police force as frankly, they are the people who do most of the investigative work. Certainly in the UK, it’s actually quite rare for a Detective Inspector or Detective Chief Inspector to interview witnesses/suspects, take statements etc (even though this is often portrayed on TV) and the truth is that like most industries, the further you go up the ladder, the more your role becomes about management, admin, spreadsheets etc. I wanted to feature someone who was constantly out in the field and this was far more likely to be someone at Cat’s Detective Constable level.
Also, because of some of the decisions Cat makes, I wanted the reader to cut her a tiny bit of slack! Obviously she’s a grown woman in a very responsible position, but I remember being twenty-six and my decision-making skills perhaps weren’t as honed as they are now. The old saying that ‘you live and learn’ is particularly apt here and Cat is finding this out on a daily basis.
MM: Cat and her father, Michael, have a strained relationship. Why did you choose for Cat to have the strained relationship with her father rather than her mother?
CF: Sweet Little Lies was definitely influenced in a small way by Sharp Objects (Gillian Flynn). I absolutely loved the toxic relationship between Camille and her mother and I guess I was trying to turn this on it’s head a little! I also think the relationship between a father and daughter is often the more complicated one. In the main (although I definitely accept there are exceptions), daughters tend to idolize their fathers so to go from thinking your father is a superhero to suspecting him of murder would be a huge psychological burden – or in other words, it has great dramatic potential!
MM: If you were to cast the movie version of Sweet Little Lies which actress would play Cat Kinsella?
CF: Tricky one but I’m going to say the British actress, Juno Temple. She’s such a fantastic character actress and while she can turn her hand to anything, she really excels at quirky and troubled. I’ve no doubt at all that she’d do Cat justice!
MM: What does the future hold for Cat Kinsella?
CF: Book 2 comes out next July (2019). It’s called STONE COLD HEART and it features Cat and the rest of the MIT4 team investigating a brand new case but with the events of Sweet Little Lies still casting their shadow. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers by saying anything specific about what the future holds for Cat but it’s complicated, let’s just say that!