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Crime Fiction

Bitter Water by Gordon Ferris

Bitter Water by Gordon FerrisGordon Ferris’ first Douglas Brodie novel, The Hanging Shed, caused quite a stir when it was published in 2011, particularly on Kindle where it punched its way quickly to the top of the popularity charts. Judging by that success, it is likely that an army of fans are eagerly awaiting Brodie’s second outing in the follow up — Bitter Water. The dark and brooding atmosphere and action packed story line of the first novel are certainly a tough act to follow, read my full review below to see if Gordon Ferris’ latest manages to hit the spot.

Oh, and one last thing before we get onto the main review, when I wrote this the Kindle version of the book was being sold at a very reasonable price. Click here for Amazon.com and here for Amazon.co.uk.

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Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Having sung the praises of the slightly old-fashioned charm of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying in a recent review, I would have to say that Elizabeth Haynes’ debut novel,  Into the Darkest Corner, strikes a stark contrast. It is about as chilling and disturbing a book as you are likely to come across, and pulls very few of its punches.

It is none the worse for this however, it is just perhaps not for the easily disturbed. Elizabeth Haynes’ day job as a Crime Analyst has equiped her with the background to deliver an almost uncomfortably realistic experience for the reader. One not to be missed for fans of crime fiction.

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Snowdrops by A.D. Miller

I have had David Miller’s novel Snowdrops on my “to read” list for quite a while, after reading a synopsis when it appeared on Amazon’s Rising Stars list earlier this year. It has since then received much acclaim, making it first onto this year’s Man Booker Shortlist, and then subsequently being selected for the final six.

Whichever way you look at it, this is quite some achievement already for a first novel, whether or not it eventually picks up the big prize, and I certainly thought it was an excellent debut from David Miller. The level of knowledge and feel that he displays for the book’s Russian setting was most impressive, and I most definitely look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

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A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin

I picked up a copy of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying for next to nothing in a recent Amazon Kindle sale. It was a member of an on-line book club who gave me the tip-off, and I’m really pleased that I acted on it. Ira Levin’s novels are probably overshadowed by the successful film versions of his work, such as The Boys From Brazil, The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby — A Kiss Before Dying has itself been turned into a film twice — so it was rather ironic that I soon formed the conclusion that A Kiss Before Dying came across, to me it seemed, almost like  reading a Hitchcock film.

Possibly a little old fashioned, and without any of the gore and explicitness that seem par for the course these days, nevertheless it allows the story-telling and plot to carry the day. Something that one or two modern day crime writers and publishers might do well to take note of.

A small, perfectly formed, masterpiece of suspense.

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