Saturday, October 30, 2010
The title added is Hotel Bosphorus by Esmahan Aykol from Bitter Lemon Press in April 2011. Not only does it feature a crime bookshop owner but is also states on the cover "the first Kati Hirschel murder mystery" (there are three so far).
Kati Hirschel, in her thirties, is the proud owner of Istanbul’s only crime bookshop. When the German director of a film starring an old school friend is found murdered in his hotel room Kati cannot resist the temptation to start her own maverick investigation. After all her friend Petra is the police’s principal suspect and reading all those detective novels must have taught Kati something. This is a crime story but also a wonderful book about Istanbul and Turkish society. It uses humour, social commentary and even erotic fantasy to expose Western European prejudices about Turkey as well as Turkish stereotyping of other Europeans.
More translated delights can be found here and here.
What you doing 'ere?
Never mind, zzzz
Friday, October 29, 2010
Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Book of the Year
Dead Like You Peter James (Macmillan)
The Ice Cream Girls Dorothy Koomson (Sphere)
Jump! Jilly Cooper (Bantam Press)
One Day David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Red Queen Philippa Gregory (Simon & Schuster)
Worth Dying For Lee Child (Bantam Press)
National Book Tokens New Writer of the Year
Patrick Barkham The Butterfly Isles (Granta Books)
Edmund de Waal The Hare with Amber Eyes (Chatto & Windus)
Katherine Webb The Legacy (Orion)
Rebecca Hunt Mr Chartwell (Fig Tree)
Natasha Solomons Mr Rosenblum's List (Sceptre)
Simon Lelic Rupture (Picador)
International Author of the Year
Colm Toibin Brooklyn (Penguin)
Jonathan Franzen Freedom (Fourth Estate)
Stieg Larsson The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Quercus/MacLehose Press)
Kathryn Stockett The Help (Fig Tree)
Emma Donoghue Room (Picador)
Christos Tsiolkas The Slap (Tuskar Rock Press)
Waterstone's UK Author of the Year
Tom McCarthy C (Jonathan Cape)
Maggie O'Farrell The Hand That First Held Mine (Headline Review)
Kate Atkinson Started Early, Took My Dog (Doubleday)
David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Sceptre)
Rose Tremain Trespass (Chatto & Windus)
Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate)
The winners of the eight categories will be awarded on 10th November. The ceremony will be broadcast on More4 on 13th November, followed by five further tie-in shows in the run-up to Christmas.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Marco Vichi's first Inspector Bordelli book, called Inspector Bordelli, will be published in June 2011. According to the promotional material: "Inspector Bordelli is Andrea Camilleri's favourite detective after his own Montalbano" and equally good news is that Camilleri's translator, Stephen Sartarelli is translating Inspector Bordelli.
No cover image yet, but here's the blurb:
Florence, summer 1963. Everyone has left town for the holidays, and the city is deserted, hot and full of mosquitoes. Inspector Bordelli is tossing and turning in bed when a telephone call informs him of a mysterious death: a wealthy Signora has been found dead in her villa. Next to the bed lies a glass with traces of her asthma medicine, but the coroner explains a sudden asthma attack is unlikely to have been the cause of death. Bordelli sets to work. Each suspect has a solid alibi, but there is something that doesn't quite add up . . .
So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Liza Marklund?
If you have read it, how well does the cover match the story?
Bonus question: Does a cover quote from a well-known author encourage you to pick up the book?
Here is the Euro Crime review by Maxine of Red Wolf.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Which titles are you most excited about?
In the depths of winter, a killer stalks the city streets. His victims are two young women, both found with twenty-four inexplicable puncture wounds, both drowned in their own blood. The crime scenes offer no clues, the media is reaching fever pitch, and the police are running out of options. There is only one man who can help them, and he doesn’t want to be found. Deeply traumatised by The Snowman investigation, which threatened the lives of those he holds most dear, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong’s opium dens. But with his father seriously ill in hospital, Harry reluctantly agrees to return to Oslo. He has no intention of working on the case, but his instinct takes over when a third victim is found brutally murdered in a city park. The victims appear completely unconnected to one another, but it’s not long before Harry makes a discovery: the women all spent the night in an isolated mountain hostel. And someone is picking off the guests one by one. A heart-stopping thriller from the bestselling author of the The Snowman, The Leopard is an international phenomenon that will grip you until the final page.
The countryside around Milan is wrapped in eerie darkness as psychologist Anna Pavesi digs in the icy soil, looking for...what? Just over a week earlier, Anna had been approached with a request to investigate a fatal road accident and a missing body. Anna is no detective, but she was short of money and agreed to take on the assignment, leading her into a labyrinth of false clues and wilful deception in which nothing is at is seems. As she digs deeper, Anna realises that even her own life may be in danger...
Håkan von Enke, a retired naval officer, disappears during a walk in a forest near Stockholm. Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation, but he is personally affected - von Enke is his daughter's father-in-law - and Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility. He is confounded by the information he uncovers, which hints at elaborate Cold War espionage.
Wallander is also haunted by his own past and desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, and will soon come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary - himself.
Suspenseful, darkly atmospheric, psychologically gripping, The Troubled Man is certain to be celebrated by readers and critics alike.
Fred Vargas - An Uncertain Place
Commissaire Adamsberg leaves Paris for a three-day conference in London. With him are a young sergeant, Estalère, and Commandant Danglard, who is terrified at the idea of travelling beneath the Channel. It is the break they all need, until a macabre and brutal case comes to the attention of their colleague Radstock from New Scotland Yard. Just outside the baroque and romantic old Highgate cemetery a pile of shoes is found. Not so strange in itself, but the shoes contain severed feet. As Scotland Yard's investigation begins, Adamsberg and his colleagues return home and are confronted with a massacre in a suburban home. Adamsberg and Danglard are drawn in to a trail of vampires and vampire-hunters that leads them all the way to Serbia, a place where the old certainties no longer apply.
Johan Theorin - The Quarry
Jan Costin Wagner - Winter of the Lions
Every year since the tragic death of his wife Detective Kimmo Joentaa has prepared for the isolation of Christmas with a glass of milk and a bottle of vodka to arm him against the harsh Finnish winter. However, this year events take an unexpected turn when a young prostitute turns up on his doorstep. Not long afterwards one of Kimmo’s colleagues, a forensic pathologist, is found murdered and Finland’s most famous talk-show host is brutally attacked. When it becomes clear that the pathologist had recently been a guest on the star’s show, Kimmo is called upon to use all his powers of intuition and instinct to solve the case. Meanwhile the killer is lying in wait, ready to strike again… In Kimmo Joentaa, prize-winning author Jan Costin Wagner has created a lonely hero in the Philip Marlowe mould, who uses his unusual gifts for psychological insight to delve deep inside the minds of the criminals he pursues.
Karin Fossum - The Caller
One mild summer evening Lily and her husband are enjoying a meal while their baby daughter sleeps peacefully in her pram beneath a maple tree. But when Lily steps outside she is paralysed with terror. The child is bathed in blood. Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to meet the family. Mercifully, the baby is unharmed, but her parents are deeply shaken. Sejer spends the evening trying to comprehend why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank. Then, just before midnight, his doorbell rings. The corridor is empty, but the caller has left a small grey envelope on the mat. From his living room window, the inspector watches a figure slip across the car park and disappear into the darkness. Inside the envelope Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message. Hell begins now.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Win one of five copies of Someone Else's Son by Sam Hayes
Here are this week's reviews:
Geoff Jones reviews the second in the "mystery man" series from (Colin) Bateman: The Day of the Jack Russell now available in paperback;Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.
Amanda Gillies reviews the third in the globe-trotting Chris Bronson series by James Becker: The Messiah Secret;
Maxine Clarke reviews the eagerly awaited sequel to Lee Child's 61 Hours - Worth Dying For;
Paul Blackburn reviews the first in 'the Reaper' series by Steven Dunne: The Reaper set in Derby;
Laura Root reviews The Oxford Virus by debut author Adam Kolczynski
and Terry Halligan reviews Carol McCleary's The Illusion of Murder in which Nellie Bly aims to go round the world in 75 days.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Simon & Schuster have triumphed in a hotly contested auction for two novels by debut author Penny Hancock. Senior Commissioning Editor Francesca Main acquired UK and Commonweath rights, excluding Canada.
The first of the two novels, Tideline, has drawn comparisons with the writing of Belinda Bauer, Sophie Hannah, Minette Walters and Nicci French and is a psychological thriller rich in atmosphere and suspense. Set by the Thames in Greenwich, it is the story of a respectable married woman, Sonia, who one afternoon answers the door to fifteen-year-old Jez, the nephew of a family friend. She invites him in – and doesn't let him leave. Sonia's estranged husband, her twenty-one-year-old daughter and Jez's own family, falling apart under the stress of his disappearance, all remain oblivious to Sonia's secret, and as events run an increasingly sinister course, we realise she will stop at nothing to keep it...
Francesca Main said: "This is a masterfully controlled, beautifully written and utterly mesmerising novel with a darkly evocative setting. I loved the unwavering composure of Sonia's first-person voice, despite her increasingly unnerving actions, and the gradual reveal of the events in the past that have unhinged her. This is a story of obsessive desire and the destructive power of memory that gets right under the skin. I'm delighted that we'll be publishing Penny, who no doubt has a glittering future ahead of her."
Simon & Schuster will publish Tideline in trade paperback and bespoke limited edition hardback in Spring 2012.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
In addition I have been sent an exclusive extract containing pages 124 to 129 which can be viewed here (hosted on the euro crime website).
The competition is open to all and can be entered here.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Belinda Bauer?
If you have read it, how well does the cover match the story?
Bonus question: Does it winning one of the UK's highest crime fiction awards make you more likely to read it?
Here is the Euro Crime review by Paul of Blacklands.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Following the success of 2009's five-part Hornets' Nest series, Tom Baker, Susan Jameson and Richard Franklin have been lured back to the studio for the Demon Quest series, again broken into five, one hour, episodes.
At the beginning of The Relics of Time, we find the fourth Doctor resting up in his Sussex retreat, Nest Cottage, with his housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey. He has decided to overhaul the TARDIS and has bits strewn all over the place. Unfortunately Mrs Wibbsey mistakes the spatial geometer for some old porch lights and takes it to the jumble sale where it is bought by a stranger to the village. A stranger, who rather than leave cash, leaves a collection of unusual items including a picture of an ancient mosaic with a very familiar face on it (see above!).
Fortunately the TARDIS can still move in time, so the Doctor and Wibbsey are able to travel back to Ancient Britain to solve the mystery of how the Doctor's head has been so immortalised when he hasn't been there before (or "at least not recently").
And so begins the first time travelling of the series, one that leads to the creation in mythology of the priestess Wibbsentia, and the role of would-be assassin for the Doctor. The pair have to stop a war, find out who a wizard and his monster are, and not least of all begin to track down the missing pieces of the TARDIS.
Tom Baker is "my Doctor" so it's a great pleasure to have him back at the helm in these exclusive audio adventures. The story is told with part narration, part sparky scenes of dialogue, mostly between the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey. Tom Baker's voice may not be quite as it was in the tv shows, but he seems more mischievous and theatrical than ever.
By necessity, The Relics of Time is setting up the series mystery so the actual individual adventure is wrapped up quite quickly, though with much left to be explained in the following episodes. The schedule for which is:
Part Three: Shard of Ice (4 Nov)
Part Four: Starfall (2 Dec)
Part Five: Sepulchre (2 Dec)
I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Rosie was a beautiful, young actress when she fell in love with Johnny Mullins, the notorious London gangster. But their married life was far from what she had hoped it would be and was marred by drug abuse and violence. After Johnny was arrested and sentenced to 18 years, it became clear that their relationship was doomed to fail. Now, years later, and for the first time in a long time, life is finally looking up for Rosie Mullins. She has confronted her jealous husband and told him that she wants out, her acting career has taken off, and she has fallen into a new relationship with a top TV executive. All too quickly, however, she finds that Johnny's influence extends far beyond the prison walls that contain him. To make matters worse, his intensely loyal twin brother, "Mad Dog" Eddie, is proving to be every bit as dangerous as her husband. Betrayed by those who had sworn to protect her and cornered by her past, Rosie has to fight with every breath to protect herself and her beloved daughter, Ruby. She finds herself forced to play a very, very dangerous game; setting her old family against her new one.
Sean O'Donnell, small-time villain and family man, walked out of his home nineteen years ago and hasn't been heard of since. Now his daughter, Iris, has returned to the East End in the hope of finding him again. But she's not the only one on his trail. The psychotic Street brothers are right on her heels ? and they've got good reason to want her father dead. With the help of the mysterious Guy Wilder, Iris slowly begins to unearth the horrors of the past. It isn't long before she comes to realise that some secrets are best left buried...
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Win one of five copies of Someone Else's Son by Sam Hayes
Here are this week's reviews. [Sorry for there only being two. I've had a cold/migraine induced sickness which meant the time I had allocated to do the reviews was spent in bed! I did want to get Maxine's review of Red Wolf up as a) it's great and b) the book came out just a couple of days ago]:
The latest (and is it the last?) in the Dr Siri series by Colin Cotterill has just come out in paperback - Love Songs from a Shallow Grave, reviewed by Michelle Peckham andPrevious reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.
Maxine Clarke reviews the long awaited Red Wolf by Liza Marklund, tr. Neil Smith.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
ITV today announced it has commissioned a new two-part drama, Point of Rescue (working title), based on the highly acclaimed and chilling psychological suspense novel from Sophie Hannah.The whole press release is here.
Point of Rescue will star Olivia Williams (The Ghost, Dollhouse, An Education, The Sixth Sense, Rushmore) in the lead role of DS Charlie Zailer and Darren Boyd (Whites, Personal Affairs, Little Dorrit, Green Wing) as DC Simon Waterhouse.
It's a story which explores themes of identity, guilt and family strife. The 2 x 60 min drama will be adapted for ITV by Hat Trick Productions.
When Geraldine Bretherick and her five-year-old daughter Lucy are found dead in the bathroom of their luxury home, the case divides new DS Charlie Zailer and her DC Simon Waterhouse. Is it murder, suicide or something even more sinister, and how watertight is the alibi of the husband Mark?
Meanwhile, when Sally Thorne, a working mother with a husband and two young children, hears of the deaths, she is shocked and appalled. Months before she'd met a man called Mark Bretherick at a hotel and had a brief but passionate affair with him. Now she feels the need to get in touch with him again to offer her sympathy. Her friend Esther does not think this is very wise.
Point of Rescue (working title) will film on location in Buckinghamshire in October.
Revenger by Rory ClementsThe winner will be announced on 4 November 2010.
Washington Shadow by Aly Monroe
Heresy by S.J. Parris
Heartstone by C. J. Sansom
The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor
To Kill a Tsar by Andrew Williams
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Erin Kelly?
(For the UK edition the ends of the pages are also green!)
If you have read it, how well does the cover match the story?
Here is the Euro Crime review by Maxine of The Poison Tree.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The 2010 Book Video Awards celebrate four outstanding new Crime and Thriller books via striking video trailers produced by leading young film makers from the National Film & Television School.and the four videos are for:
Created as a result of a competition sponsored by Random House and The Bookseller magazine, YOU now get to decide the overall winner by viewing the trailers below & voting for your favourite. The winner will be announced at an Awards ceremony on October 15th.
A - Blood's A Rover - James Ellroy
B - Blood Harvest - S J Bolton review
C - Hypothermia - Arnaldur Indridason review
D - The Snowman - Jo Nesbo review
Watch the trailers and cast your vote at the Foyles website.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Win one of five copies of Someone Else's Son by Sam Hayes
Here are this week's reviews (in all but once case the author or the reviewer is Scottish, and in one case both! Plus two of the non Scottish authors are Brummies (where I live)):
The tv series Thorne, starts tonight with the adaptation of the first Thorne book, Sleepyhead. Geoff Jones reviews the ninth in this series, written by Mark Billingham: From the Dead;Previous reviews can be found in the review archive and forthcoming titles can be found by author or date, here.
Paul Blackburn reviews the fourth Gus Dury from Tony Black - Long Time Dead set in Edinburgh;
Maxine Clarke is in Glasgow with Karen Campbell's Anna Cameron in her third outing: Shadowplay;
Pat Austin is impressed with R J Ellory's latest standalone: Saints of New York;
Amanda Gillies enjoys Tom Harper's latest thriller, which involves the Holy Grail: The Lazarus Vault
and Craig Sisterson reviews Stuart MacBride's most recent DS Logan McRae book: Dark Blood set in Aberdeen.
Friday, October 08, 2010
CWA GOLD DAGGER 2010You can watch the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010 ("a celebration of all things criminal in literature, TV and film") being presented on ITV3 on Tuesday, 12th October at 9pm.
• Blacklands, Belinda Bauer - winner
• Blood Harvest, S J Bolton
• Shadowplay, Karen Campbell
• The Way Home, George Pelecanos
Belinda Bauer said: "It was a thrill just to be shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for my first novel, let alone to win. Blacklands is a small, simple book and I'm still stunned and delighted that it seems to have struck a chord with so many people."
CWA IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER 2010, SPONSORED BY IAN FLEMING PUBLICATIONS LTD
• A Loyal Spy, Simon Conway - winner
• The Dying Light, Henry Porter
• Innocent, Scott Turow
• The Gentlemen’s Hour, Don Winslow
Simon Conway commented: “To have won The Steel Dagger against such stiff competition is both unexpected and deeply satisfying. My book's reluctant hero Jonah would probably celebrate by getting roaring drunk, beaten up, abducted, thrown out a chopper and inadvertantly saving several thousand lives. I may try some of these at home.”
CWA JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER 2010
• Acts of Violence, Ryan David Jahn - winner
• The Pull of the Moon, Diane Janes
• Rupture, Simon Lelic
• The Holy Thief, William Ryan
Ryan David Jahn said: “Simply being listed alongside such talents as the other finalists was an honour. To win, and be brought into the company of writers such as Walter Mosley and Minette Walters, who have gone on to such fine careers, is unbelievable -- an indescribable thrill.”
The discovery of a corpse washed up on a beach in an Icelandic backwater sparks a series of events that propels the village of Hvalvik’s police sergeant Gunnhildur into deep waters.
Although under pressure to deal with the matter quickly, she is suspicious that the man’s death was no accident and once she has identified the body, sets about investigating his final hours.The case takes Gunnhildur away from her village and into a cosmopolitan world of shady deals, government corruption and violence. She finds herself alone and less than welcome in this hostile environment as she tries to find out who it was that made sure the young man drowned on a dark night one hundred kilometres from where he should have been – and why.
"Although born in the UK in 1962, through a series of coincidences Quentin Bates found himself working in Iceland in his gap year. The gap year then became 10 years, during which time he managed to get himself married, produce a family, and generally go native in Iceland. The family then moved back to the UK in 1990 where Quentin became a full-time journalist on a commercial fishing magazine. Frozen Assets* was born through the author's own inside knowledge of Iceland and its society, along with exploring the world of crime. He and his (Icelandic) wife frequently return to Iceland, where they have many friends, including several in the Reykjavik police. "
*I'm not sure if the final title will be Frozen Assets or Frozen Out or perhaps it'll be different for US/UK.
Quercus has acquired WEL rights in the latest novel by Frank Schaetzing, author of The Swarm, a book-of-the-fair a few years back. The new novel is LIMIT, published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Germany and now sold in 17 countries.
The story is set in 2025. The race for alternative energy – helium 3 – to be found on the moon is on between the Russians and the Chinese. Julian Orley, the eccentric owner of Orley Enterprises, invites prominent and very rich guests to a breathtaking trip to the moon to stay in the moon hotel. On earth, detective Owen Jericho is searching for the dissident Yoyo, who holds many keys to the intrigues and ruthless games for power between politicians and the multi-national oil companies.
The Swarm, published in the UK by Hodder, has now notched up sales of 5m in 30 countries, and a film is due next year. Quercus also published Schaetzing's historical crime novel Death and the Devil, which has sold in excess of one million copies in Europe alone.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
This competition is open internationally and will close on 31 October 2010.
Only 1 entry per person/per household please.
(All entries will be deleted once the winners have been notified.)
A tense and powerful emotional thriller from Sam Hayes that asks: Do we ever really know our children? 'What would you do if your teenage son was stabbed to death at school?' That's a question chat-show host Carrie Kent can well imagine posing to any one of her studio guests. Her daily morning TV show deals with real life in all it's grubby glory - from underage sex to benefit swindlers, cheating partners to DNA testing. It's a million miles away from her perfect, polished existence. But when she gets a call to say that her beloved son Max has been murdered, Carrie and her ex-husband Brody will have to enter a world of poverty, fear and violence if they want to find out what really happened. And when the shocking truth is finally revealed, will they be able to live with it...?
Holt's next book (in English), 1222, published by Corvus is a pure Hanne book and is the eighth in the series but Corvus have an ambitious plan to release the seven earlier books next year - the first time they'll be available in English - along with a re-release of the three Vik-Stubo books.
1222 is set in the real place of Finse and is a homage to an Agatha Christie style locked room mystery and will be published in December.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS & below) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Frank Tallis?
If you have read it, how well does the cover and/or title match the story?
Here is the Euro Crime review by Michelle of Deadly Communion.
US_____________________________________UK (trade paperback)
UK (mass market paperback)
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Pan Macmillan has bought three crime novels by debut novelist Mari Hannah.and Louise Millar
..."Mari has done everything right in creating what I know will be an extremely addictive series. She has the perfect protagonist in Kate Daniels and her North East setting adds such depth and atmosphere to these books."
The Murder Wall will be published in early 2012, with Settled Blood to be published later in the year.
Macmillan has bought world rights to two books by debut author Louise Millar, the first of which is described as "a gripping psychological thriller".
Journalist Millar's first novel, entitled The Playdate, is a dark tale about parenting and the nature of modern friendships. The book is due for publication in spring 2012, and is expected to appeal to fans of Barbara Vine, Sophie Hannah and crimewriting duo Nicci French.
A second, as yet unnamed novel will follow.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Michael Joseph will release the eight books in the series over the next ten years, with the first seven each named after a day of the week. The final title will bring the whole series together.
Psychotherapist Frieda Klein will be introduced as the series heroine in the first title, Blue Monday. It is set in London, with the plot centering around the abduction of a five-year-old on Monday, "the lowest point in the week." One of Klein's patients has an unexpected link to the case, and she is quickly at the centre of the search for the kidnapper.
Blue Monday will be published as a hardback on 23rd June 2011.
You can read more of Michelle's reviews here.
The Liar's Lullaby by Meg Gardiner (May 2010, Blue Door, ISBN: 0007337620)
THE LIAR'S LULLABY is the third book in a series featuring Jo Beckett, in a role I’d not encountered before in a novel, that of forensic psychiatrist. Her job is to evaluate the state of mind of the victim prior to death, and to determine, for example, whether that person was likely to have committed suicide, or not, the options being: Natural, Accidental, Suicide or Homicide (NASH). In this case, the victim is a famous singer, Tasia McFarland, ex-wife of the current President of the United States (McFarland), who apparently kills herself in spectacular fashion, by shooting herself at the start of her act in front of an audience of thousands, at the Giant’s ballpark in San Francisco. However, when she died, Tasia was suspended on a Zip-line, and surrounded by a fog of carbon dioxide gas, the play-back video is inconclusive, and the bullet can’t be found. She could have shot herself with the gun that she had with her, but she could equally well have been murdered.
Jo starts by interviewing the people who saw Tasia just before she died, who tell Jo that Tasia seemed to be terrified of something just before she died, and had had a gun on her, which she refused to give up, claiming she needed it because otherwise ‘he’ll get me’. But she also finds out that Tasia was mentally unstable, and had bipolar disorder, so it’s not clear if there was a real threat or not.
Next Jo goes to Tasia’s house as part of her investigation into Tasia’s state of mind before her death. There, she disturbs someone who has broken into the house, and is attacked. This is someone called ‘Noel Michael Petty’ (or NMP), whom we discover seems to have a fascination for Tasia, so much so that they have broken into her house after the shooting, to discover her private side. Jo calls the police, and Ace Chennault, Tasia’s unofficial biographer, who just happens to be hanging around outside the house, chases after NMP. But then he is attacked, landing up in hospital, and NMP escapes. Jo then turns her attention to the intruder, thinking that they could be a stalker and might be responsible for Tasia’s death. Tasia’s sister, Vienna, then gives Jo a cell phone that used to belong to Tasia, which is full of messages from someone called ‘Archangel X’, messages that get angrier and angrier as Tasia doesn’t reply, as she seems to have ignored them. Could this person be NMP, and could they have become so angry that they were responsible for Tasia’s death?
Jo then finds out that Tasia met with the President just three days before her death, and tries to talk to McFarland to find out why, without any success. She does eventually manage to talk to his chief of staff, Kelvin Lewicki, but is unable to find out why, or what the meeting was about.
Finally, the story also involves a person called Paine, who contributes to an on-line anti-government website called ‘Tree of Liberty’, and has two main supporters, Keyes and Ivory. He claims that Tasia was shot by a high powered rifle, by someone in the crowd below, but that this will be covered up by the government, and used as an excuse to crack down on their freedom to hold personal firearms. He seems to have his own plans, and wants to ‘deliver’ his message somehow.
This is a complex story, with many twists and turns, and some clever use of technology to track down various suspects. There is a tense, dramatic ending, in which Jo’s life is put in danger, but she finally manages to piece it all together. No-one is quite whom they seem to be of course, but Jo follows up several false trails before finally working it all out. Highly entertaining, and one to keep you reading right up to the end.