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Bertie

A couple of crime titles

I haven't read any psychological type crime yarns in quite some time as last year I concentrated mainly on Vintage Crime books. That was vastly enjoyable but I suddenly fancied something a bit more unsettling. This is the type of thing that I don't really like to watch on TV as it creeps me out too much but I have no problem with it in books. So anyway, the library supplied what I was looking for.

First up was Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo. This 'new to me' series was recommended by Kay at Kay's Reading Life and this is book one in the series.

Silence



The Chief of Police at Painter's Mill, Ohio is Kate Burkholder. The town has a large Amish population and Kate herself was brought up Amish but left the religion/way of life in her teens. Thus, her relationship with her family and former Amish neighbours is almost non-existant. And life isn't that easy as a female chief of police either. Her fellow police officers have accepted her but dealing with town politics and politicians with personal agendas is never easy.

A body is discovered in a snowy field by a police officer chasing straying cows. The young woman's body is severely mutilated and it's obvious she's been murdered. Sixteen years ago there were several identical murders, is the killer back? Kate has a terrifying secret in her past which makes her think this serial killer can't be. But might she be wrong?

I must say a big 'thank you' to Kay for suggesting this series as this book was rivetting. A real pageturner. I really liked Kate and felt for her in her difficult situation. So much unfairness and injustice in her life and that made this book much more than just a crime yarn. The wintery, Ohio setting was superbly portrayed and I felt myself there in all the snowy bleakness. I will say that this book is not for the faint-hearted. If you don't care for gory descriptions (think Tess Gerritsen) and psychological type crime scenarios then this might not be for you. Personally, I couldn't put it down and have already put the next book on reserve at the library.

After that I fancied yet another psychological type thriller so I moved on to The Killing Place (or Ice Cold) by - funnily enough - Tess Gerritsen, book 8 in her long-running Rizzoli and Isles series.

Killing


Maura Isles is off to Jackson Hole in Wyoming for a medical conference. Her personal life is complicated at the moment because of who she's heavily involved with. At the conference she comes across Doug Comley who was at medical college with her, although the two were not really friends. He has his 13 year old daughter at the conference with him, plus two friends, and at dinner one night he tells Maura that they're all going to head off to a lodge in the mountains when the conference ends. He eventually persuades Maura to go with them. Things start out well but deteriorate when the sat nav sends them up the wrong road on the mountain. The car ends up in a ditch and the four adults and a child are stranded. There's no mobile phone signal and they didn't tell anyone where they were going. (This strikes me as TSTL... Too Stupid To Live!) They start out walking and come across a small settlement in a snow filled valley. What is this place? Why does it appear like a Marie Celeste scenario where people have disappeared off the face of the earth in the middle of their meals? Something is not right here and Maura knows without a shadow of a doubt that they need to get out of here and back to civilisation as soon as possible. But how?

Cracking good read this one. Tess Gerritsen never disappoints, her books always gallop along at breakneck speed, scaring you to death half the time but always hugely enjoyable. *If* you don't mind the fact that they are a bit gory. She doesn't spare the reader any details of autopsies and some of it does make you shudder a bit. Her main characters, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are not blonde bimbo type women, they're intelligent, thoughtful, 'different'. Very different to each other too and I like that. The plot here seems simple but, typically, it turns out not to be. I thought I had it all worked out and of course that was nonsense. LOL! Good stuff. I won't leave it so long next time before I read more in this series.

Comments

Ooh, horror and suspense used to be big with me... until one day I tried to read a book of H.P.Lovecraft stories my sister had bought me as a gift, because she knew he was one of my favorites... and I couldn't get through them. Suddenly I was a big old coward!

Psychological horror and non-graphic, low-wattage suspense are sometimes still okay, but anything gory is definitely not for me now.

'S a shame, really. In my youth I would have loved all the Zombie Apocalypse shows that are so popular nowadays... but in my old age I can't stand them. *sigh*
Funnily enough I absolutely love Lovecraft. LOL

I don't think I would care for the zombie shows either. I don't mind reading that kind of thing but watching it on TV or in films really freaks me out. And anything about creepy serial killers is a definite 'no, no' too. I know how weird this is.

Your P.O.V. Doesn't Seem Weird to Me...

...It's simply a result of experience, and realizing as you travel through your life that pain and death aren't just stories... they're someone's reality.

*shudder*


...Although some unpleasant realities are easier to keep at a distance emotionally. A good writer can keep readers interested in even fairly gruesome stories without driving them into despair.
These look like something I good get into. Thanks for the reviews!
My pleasure. :-)
I'm not sure about the first one (I'm not so in the mood for gore and so on these days) but I like the sound of the second one - and wow, two women in a partnership, in a crime book? I'm not entirely sure I've even seen that before - I'll try and keep an eye out for the first one in their series... *g*
I'm not really a huge gore fan either but it's easily skippable. It's the creepy element I like about some of these books, though I can't for the life of me watch this kind of thing on TV or in films.

It's a good series. Rizzoli's a Boston police officer and Isles a forensic person dealing with autopsies and so on. (Sorry, can't remember her correct title.) There's a US TV series which has made them much more attractive than they are in the books, which is blinkin' shame imo. Anyway, these two take centre stage in the books, sometimes together and sometimes the focus of a book is on one or the other. The first few are quite creepy, one or two are outright excellent... Body Double, which is book 4, is amazing, imo, and I really liked this one I've just read as it was set somewhere different. The first book is called The Surgeon.
I've actually read The Killing Place and I agree, it's a terrific read! Thanks for the other rec, too, it sounds like a good one.
It's a really good series and this one is now one of my favourites. My actual favourite so far is Body Double, the one about Maura's mother.

The book is also very good, I definitely plan to read more in this 'new to me' series.

Is The Killing Place horror? Because if it is, I'm there.
The Rizzoli and Isles series is a crime series *but* yes, I think it's quite horror orientated in feel. Especially the first couple of books which deal with a very creepy serial killer. Most of the books have a nice scary feel to them which I really like. Not quite as amzing as John Connolly's 'Charlie Parker' series but pretty good nevertheless. The first book is called, The Surgeon.
I think I was slightly put off by its connection to Rizzoli and Isles, which I've only known from the ads for the program over here, which looks sort of silly. But I like creepy, love horror, so I my have to check out the series.
I haven't seen the TV series but my daughter has and tells me the two - books and TV series - bear hardly any relationship to each other. I did wonder as the scariness of the books would be hard to replicate onscreen, imo.