Another fairly solid month’s reading, even if the list is still quite short.
I started the month with the most recent of Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant books, Foxglove Summer.
In this novel, London PC and apprentice wizard Peter gets out of the city to investigate the disappearance of two young girls, who wandered out of their rural homes late at night. It soon becomes apparent that something magical is going on, and Peter gets involved in the case, which grows increasingly complex and otherworldly.
As with the other books in the series, this is a fun and bizarre romp through a world that exists on the fringe of our own. That means carnivorous unicorns, river gods and changelings.
It’s good to see Peter in a new setting, surrounded by different characters that aren’t familiar with the magic world. Now that I’ve read all the books so far in this series, I’ve got to wait for the next one to be published later this year, and it’s going to be a long few months.
Monument to Murder is the fourth book in Mari Hannah’s Kate Daniels crime series, which follows a murder detective from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
When the bodies of two young girls are discovered in a scenic spot on Bamburgh beach, Kate and her team set up in the pretty town of Alnwick as they begin to investigate. But just how is the case connected to the staff of a local prison, where a dangerous sex offender with an unhealthy obsession is about to be released?
It’s a few years now since I read the first three books in Mari Hannah’s series, and I decided to pick this one up recently at the Crime Story event in Newcastle, where she was one of the speakers.
I think this was one of my favourite Kate Daniels book so far: it feels more polished and rounded than the earlier stories.
Before she became a writer, the author worked in the Probation Service and her knowledge about this area of the criminal justice system does shine through, as the story alternates between the police investigation and the prison, where a recently widowed psychologist is struggling to deal with the rigors of her job and her difficult daughter. The two storylines complement each other, as they push the story on at a good pace, gradually weaving together as the connections between them become clear.
The third book I read this month was the post-punk novel How I Left the National Grid by North East writer Guy Mankowski, which follows the story of an Eighties rock star who disappears at the height of his fame, amidst ugly rumours that he was involved in the death of a young fan.
Years later, journalist Sam is commissioned to write a book about the singer and finally reveal the truth about his mysterious disappearance.
I won’t go into detail on this one, as I reviewed it more fully last week, but it was an insightful look at how music can affect us, and the relationship between a band and their fans.
- Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch
- Monument to Murder, by Mari Hannah
- How I Left The National Grid, by Guy Mankowski (read my review)
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