The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee, published by Random House UK, Vintage, Harvill Secker. @radiomukhers @PenguinUKBooks @HarvillSecker #TheShadowsOfMen #NetGalley #blog #review #TheShadowsOfMen

WOW! What a fabulous and unique crime duo. The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Why? Read on… my review is below the book description.

Award-winning crime novelist Abir Mukherjee is back with another brilliant mystery featuring police detective Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surrender-Not Banerjee, set in 1920s Calcutta.

Calcutta, 1923

The Shadows of Men: Wyndham and Banerjee Book 5 (Wyndham and Banerjee series) by [Abir Mukherjee]

When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force—Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee—track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08LW5CPH6
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pegasus Crime (November 11, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 11, 2021

I was thrilled to be offered a copy of The Shadows of Men as I hadn’t read anything by this author before. Although this is book 5 in the series, it reads as a standalone and certainly didn’t undermine my reading experience in the least. Set in Raj-era India, you can bet your last rupee, this author is one of the best to bring historical details about colonial Calcutta to life.

The Shadows of Men: A Novel (Wyndham & Banerjee Mysteries) by [Abir Mukherjee]

We are thrust into the life of Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee, who takes us back to 1923 and the “eternal shroud of industrial smog” of Calcutta. In his humble way, he navigates British rule (gentlemen’s clubs and cricket grounds) and although some scenes of entitlement are cringe worthy, they are strikingly accurate for the period. There are so many descriptions I loved, not to mention internal monologue and observations which, at times, made me laugh out loud. For example: “How was I to explain to Lord Taggart that, while we all might look the same to him, a Hindu following Gulmohamed into the Muslim parts of town would stick out as much as he would at a meeting of the Women’s Institute.” To see life through his eyes was a privilege, and the author’s voice served to make me feel as if I was in safe and dependable hands.

The doggedly determined Captain Sam Wyndham, whose dry British wit and eternal optimism seems to drive him to the root of the problem. No matter what challenges he faces, you can’t help having complete faith in his skill. The pressures between upper and lower castes and Hindus and Muslims continues to escalate, and with Banerjee in a jam, Wyndham’s day just got worse. How will he ever reinstate Banerjee’s freedom? By putting himself in harm’s way to save his backside, that’s how.

The case takes him to Bombay and again, beautiful descriptions abound. I was treated to vivid characters; Miss Colah, Cyrus Irani, Cecily Parsons, and I particularly enjoyed the Englishmen armed with a drink and a cigar, “the brave men of the King’s Own Bombay Gin drinkers” — another dazzling display of brilliant writing. You can’t shy away from the haves and the have nots, the sheer opulence in contrast to the simplicity of everyone else. But crammed between these sweat inducing layers is the suspense, and I couldn’t read to the end fast enough.

Sam Wyndham and Surrender-not Banerjee are one of the most unique crime duos I’ve come across in a long time. I hope they will continue for many books to come. Many thanks to the author and to Harvill Secker, Vintage and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

Other books by this author:

FINDING SUZY: The Hunt for Missing Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh and ‘Mr Kipper’ by David Videcette, published by DNA Books August 5, 2021. #Review #Blog @DavidVidecette

I was really excited to read this wonderful book. My review comes after the description and buying links for Finding Suzy by David Videcette.

How can someone just disappear?

Step inside a real-life, missing person investigation in this compelling, true crime must-read.

FINDING SUZY: The Hunt for Missing Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh and 'Mr Kipper' by [David Videcette]

Uncover what happened to missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, as David Videcette takes you on a quest to unpick her mysterious disappearance and scrutinise the shadowy ‘Mr Kipper’.

One overcast Monday in July 1986, 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh vanished whilst showing a smart London property to a mysterious ‘Mr Kipper’.

Despite the baffling case dominating the news and one of the largest missing persons cases ever mounted, police failed to find a shred of evidence establishing what had happened to her.

Sixteen years later, following a second investigation and under pressure from Suzy’s desperate parents, police named convicted rapist and murderer John Cannan as their prime suspect. However, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge him, citing a lack of evidence.

High-profile searches were conducted, yet Suzy’s body was never found. The trail that might lead investigators to her, long since lost.

Haunted by another missing person case, investigator and former Scotland Yard detective, David Videcette, has spent five years painstakingly reinvestigating Suzy’s cold case disappearance.

Through a series of incredible new witness interviews and fresh groundbreaking analysis, he uncovers piece by piece what happened to Suzy and why the case was never solved.

People don’t just disappear…

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0999M1FJ4
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ DNA Books (August 5, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 5, 2021
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 310 pages

This is a case that has haunted us all. Suzy Lamplugh, a negotiator working in an estate agent, suddenly disappears leaving no trace. She had no known enemies and the only suspect that emerged at the time was John Cannan, responsible for the abduction of 29 year-old Shirley Banks in Bristol a year later. But he was never convicted for Suzy Lamplugh nor was he completely eliminated. The enquiry tapered out a year later and in 1987, the police had no suspect and no motive. But for us — the general public — the mystery of her disappearance has never waned.

The investigation reveals the oblique reference to Mr Kipper in her diary, how the police went to her flat in Putney and saw nothing untoward. How her company car was found unlocked in Stevenage Road, which was about a mile and a half from Shorrold Road in Fulham. How the positioning of the seat determined that someone else must have been driving it. Reports of a possible altercation with a man and several eye-witness testimonies (including one from someone who knew her) only add to the confusion as to what really happened. Coverage from the media and help from the public was massive. Despite all this support, theories about Suzy’s fate continued to lead to a dead end.

David Videcette has spent many hours reconstructing Suzy’s last moments, chasing down witnesses and interviewing them again many years after the tragic event. I won’t go through each witness’s taped and noted statements here, you’d have to read the book to fully appreciate what they saw or what they heard. Videcette’s tireless determination will impress you as it did me. Finding Suzy opens up another theory to what the police confirmed at the time. The question is, will the police act on this new evidence? Or will they refute it and remain with the original? It’s a cold case worth re-opening and I’d love to see fresh eyes on this without any preconceived opinions put forward by the original investigators. For instance: The property key, what the next-door neighbour actually saw, Suzy’s partners at the time, and the Prince of Wales Pub, all play a huge part in her disappearance. The question is, did Suzy return to the pub to retrieve her secret pocket diary? Was the witness Videcette interviewed, credible?

All I can say is that the author and his partner did a fantastic job, digging and dismantling facts. He has exhausted all avenues to this case and it’s now up to the police do the rest. I think it would be a crying shame if nothing were done to exhume the last pieces of material so vital in Suzy’s disappearance. Really, what harm would it do to take another look?

The family’s agony was channelled into starting a charity in Suzy’s name, educating people to take steps to improve their safety. It was the only thing positive that came out of her disappearance. It’s an engrossing, modest book offering a different path, a what-if scenario that makes me believe evidence might have been overlooked at the time. Highly recommended reading for those desperately seeking the truth about estate agent Suzy Lamplugh.

About David Videcette

David Videcette

As an investigator, David Videcette has worked on a wealth of famous cases. He’s chased numerous dangerous criminals and interviewed thousands of witnesses.

With decades of experience working in counter-terror operations and combatting organised crime, David investigated the 7/7 London bombings as a Scotland Yard detective.

Today he uses his policing expertise to painstakingly investigate cold cases in his true crime series: Investigations by Videcette. David is also the author of the Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan thrillers.

David lives in London. When he is not writing, he consults on security operations for high-net-worth individuals and is a key media commentator on crime and policing for many broadcasters and newspapers, both nationally and internationally.

You can find out more about him here:

Visit his website at: http://www.DavidVidecette.com
Chat to him on Twitter: @DavidVidecette
Via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidVidecetteCrimeBooks

For all the latest news and updates, sign up at: http://www.davidvidecette.com/title-reveal

Other books by this author:

I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll @Thomas&Mercer @AmazonPub #review #blog #psychological #Fiction @TeresaDriscoll

If you want to curl up with a brilliant thriller, this is it.  I will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll is both harrowing as it is frightening.  For Driscoll fans who enjoyed I Am Watching You, this new offering will bring the same powerful plot line with rich characters and unexpected twists. The author switches points of view with each chapter, leaving the reader excited for more.

Description

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

I Will Make You Pay by [Driscoll, Teresa]It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

 

Review

 

One word: wow! This latest book from Teresa Driscoll weaves a fascinating plot with an emotional depth that leaves you gasping. What begins as a story about journalist Alice Henderson, morphs into a gripping, disturbing and fascinating tale, not just about who is calling her at work through voice change software to distort his voice but about Alice herself. I kept asking myself if this stalker was someone who didn’t warm to a story she wrote. Or is it someone she might have mistakenly overlooked in her past.

Alices changes all her social media passwords and makes an appointment with a security company to check her flat. Statements have been taken not only at work but also with the local coffee shop — a place she regularly frequents. Driscoll ratchets up the tension here and you can’t help wondering if Alice will be snatched away in broad daylight. You’d think Alice has done everything she can to protect herself, but is there something she might have missed? A small loophole perhaps that this ardent stalker will cleverly slip through. And what is the significance of Wednesday?

Tom, Alice’s boyfriend hires a private investigator called Matthew Hill to cover Alice. But Matthew does a little investigation of his own and realizes there is more to Alice than meets the eye. Chapters alternate between past and present, and the “Him-before” chapters are both disturbing and heartbreaking. A little boy – we don’t know who at this stage – who loves his gran, Martha. Martha’s struggles are all too real and her grandson whom she calls ‘My beloved little soldier’ witnesses her suffering through his time. She tells him she will never move from her home because of the bench and the memories that go with it.

Driscoll demonstrates over and over again that she has what it takes to shock, surprise and move her readers. I couldn’t help empathizing with a child left on his own and a caregiver strained to the limits to carve out a life for herself and the boy. I couldn’t help wondering what would happen to Brian. Will this child, who has suffered so much, eventually play out his ‘delicious dreams’ in order to feel alive? These chapters sucked me in so completely, I forgot to drink the pot of coffee I’d made in the morning!

Alice, her campaign, the housing block and the local paper, all come full circle in a frightening denouement I didn’t see coming. All I can say is Driscoll teases out this twisty plot at the perfect pace, introducing multi-layered characters that even the sharpest readers won’t predict what’s coming.

Print Length: 317 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 10, 2019)

Publication Date: October 10, 2019

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B07P7GLXNB

Links: US flag US here    British flag UK here

About the Author

Teresa Driscoll – a former BBC TV news presenter – is now a million-copy #1 bestselling author. Her debut psychological suspense I AM WATCHING YOU hit Kindle #1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has also been number #1 in Italy in translation. Her second thriller THE FRIEND again made the #1 top spot in the UK and Australia while THE PROMISE hit #2.

Teresa’s work has been sold for translation to 20 countries and optioned for film. She also writes women’s fiction; RECIPES FOR MELISSA was auctioned at the Frankfurt book fair between seven German publishers and her second women’s fiction title is LAST KISS GOODNIGHT.

During her long career as a journalist, Teresa worked for newspapers, magazines and television, including 15 years presenting the BBC TV news programme Spotlight. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.

Teresa lives in glorious Devon with her family and blogs regularly about her “writing life” at her website – http://www.teresadriscoll.com.

Other books by Teresa Driscoll

Teresa Driscoll

 

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir @OrendaBooks #review #blog #crime #thriller

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir is a crime thriller, published by Orenda Books. With a quote by Val McDermid, I knew I was in for a treat! Told in multiple points of view, it’s an easy read with complex underpinnings that give the book that extra oomph!

About the book

Cage book coverDrugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue in Iceland rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy…

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis, María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.

Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive.

With a shocking crescendo, the lives of these characters collide, as drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy. 

Book details:

Series: Reykjavik Noir trilogy

Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (April 1, 2020)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1912374498

ISBN-13: 978-1912374496

Book links:  British flag UK here  US flag  US here

 

Review

Agla is restless and sitting out a sentence for financial crimes. Unable to get over why her girlfriend Sonja left her, life on the inside offers plenty of distractions. An Islandic smelter scheme for one. With Maria nosing around on the outside, Agla soon realises she gets the information she’s looking for and Maria gets one hell of a scoop.

Agla comes across as brusque and rigid. With her history in an unforgiving financial environment, you can’t expect her to be anything else. Her kindness to pill-popping Elísa builds as the relationship deepens but life outside comes at a cost. Breaching probation conditions for one.

María Gunnhildur Jónudóttir, who was a former investigator at the special prosecutor’s office where Agla Margeirsdóttir had been a person of interest, now runs an online news outlet. But when she goes to see Agla in prison to ask about her links to Ingimar Magnússon and William Tedd — the Paris-based markets guru — she is denied visitation. But she doesn’t have to wait long. With the tenacity of a bloodhound, she is determined to get to the bottom of a conspiracy where a few greedy men could push their profit margins through the roof. But this settling of scores is detrimental.

Ingimar Magnússon, closely connected to Iceland’s business and politics, likes to play dangerous games. With a natural cold, ruthless streak, he’s rather good at it. He’s also good at infringing international regulations while staying just within the legal limits. Dirty tricks, blackmail and willing to hold a gun at anyone who stands in his way, this is a man you’d want Agla and María to steer well clear of.

And then we have Anton, a creative and dynamic individual, who has a project simmering in the cellar. Too much listening to Radio Edda makes him feel it’s time for action.  If he takes matters into his own hands, his plan could blow a hole in the stratosphere. But will such a rash decision be a hit with his beloved Júlía? I have to say I was floored by the outcome.

Including Sonja, all of these people are in a cage of their own making, and each with their own axe to grind. The chapters are compact and the pace, even when weaving from character to character, is rapid and full of intrigue. You can’t get enough. It’s one of those books that if you have to put down, you’ll still have each scene fresh in your mind, frantic to know what happens next. When all stories converge, it’s a thrill to learn who belongs where and how their lives might or might not be intertwined. About three quarters of the way through, I guessed a small portion of how the ending might play out. But certainly not all.

All in all, I gave it five big fat stars. The story-line shifted effortlessly between each point of view and spun a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. Flawlessly paced and painfully gripping.

Bonuses:

A map: Found in the front matter to show us the region and setting. Major plus!

Book cover: One that will definitely stand out on bookshelves.

Writing style: Relaxed and comfortable, with visceral descriptions.

About the Author

lilja+webphoto+2+f+liljawriter.jpgIcelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir is an award-winning playwright who has written four crime novels. The previous titles in the Reykjavik Noir series are Snare and Trap, which was a Guardian Book of the Year. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures. Quentin Bates is the author of a series of Icelandic crime novels that include Frozen Assets and Cold Comfort. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.

More books by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Lilja Sigurdardottir

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