The 50/50 Killer from Steve Mosby (Orion).
Although I did not fully embrace the subject matter in Mosby’s first novel The Third Person – just a matter of taste, I assure you – I did notice and appreciate, and indeed, would draw attention to this author’s wonderfully mature writing which displays great emotional intelligence. It belies the years suggested on his birth certificate.
I was late in reading my trusty HB of this novel last year; the PB was out before I managed to read it and now Mosby’s next crime fiction tome – Cry for Help – is out in a few weeks. I am also late in posting about this novel because it’s one of the little darlings I typed onto my laptop over Christmas and New Year, which had to be re-typed due to technological difficulties. So, what do we get with The 50/50 Killer?
I believe that Mosby married around the time of publication of this novel and I wonder if the impending recognition of commitment was the source of inspiration for this novel, for here, the story revolves around a killer who likes to test a couple’s love for each other. The killer in question is known as "The Devil" and he likes to play "games" with couples, testing their resolve and their love for one another in a way that only nightmares would normally intrude. The key question posed to each member of each couple is this: "Are you prepared to die to save the one you love?" The story matter is not for the faint-hearted as the killer tests with torture and luckily, Mosby strikes it right here, we have just enough detail, but not too much.
The Fourth Man by K.O.Dahl (Faber)
Sex can sometimes be great. Frank Frølich, Oslo policeman finds himself in a "stick up" situation – no, no, no, not an erection courtesy of Elastoplast and/or Dyson, but a face to face, torso to living torso, legs entwined, seriously life-ticker-threatening situation with a black haired beautiful female, after they’ve been in a face to face, torso to living torso, legs entwined, seriously life-ticker-threatening situation avoiding bullets on the floor of a shop. Phew! Shortly later, Frølich is able to re-live the bedded situation again, this time in more relaxed circumstances and the black haired beauty has captured his heart, even if she prefers to remain as free as a gelatine leaf in the wind. Got the picture? Black haired beauty literally tumbles into Frølich’s life and he unexpectedly finds passion, possibly love, but most definitely obsession.
And so begins The Fourth Man from K.O.Dahl.
We were pleased last year – I’ll come back to why it’s "we" later – when Randolph emailed us, asking if we’d like a copy of his first novel, A Dog About Town, as scribed by his creator: a New Yorker with Welsh connections, one Mr J. F. Englert. It’s a mystery novel told through the eyes of Randolph the black Labrador Retriever, who just happens to be sentient.
Now, for the "we" element. As it’s Randolph’s story, I’ll hand you over to Oscar, my gorgeous seal point Siamese cat to tell you what we thought about it…
Christmas is fast approaching in New York when we meet Randolph, a rather chubby black Labrador Retriever and his master Harry. They are both getting over the loss of Imogen, Harry’s partner and Randolph’s mistress, who simply vanished when she left to buy some bread. Randolph is quite remarkable for his species in that he is sentient and of above average intelligence (quite like me in fact). Unlike Harry, Randolph has a rational approach to Imogen’s loss, whereas Harry has developed an interest in the supernatural and become involved in séances, hoping to find some closure. Randolph simply groans inwardly at his desperation here, knowing this stuff is pure twaddle, truth be told, especially when it’s in the hands of Harry and his cohort Ivan Manners as they go ghosthunting in New York State.
In a nutshell (because she at the keyboard says I must do it like this, for consistency): Lyell Overton Minskoff-Hardy, celebrated literary bod (to some) dies in suspicious circumstances in the loo of a New York apartment where
Gallows Lane from Brian McGilloway was published on Friday 4 April. It’s the second in the Inspector Benedict Devlin series set in the Lifford-Strabane area. The first in the series, Borderlands, was also published in paperback on the same day.
So, if you’ve been busy at the last minute organising your ISA before the end of the tax year, I suggest you get out your card and do some clicking or head to your nearest bookshop ASAP. This is certainly a series not to be missed.
In a nutshell: James Kerr has been released from prison and Superintendent Costello wants Devlin to keep an eye on him. ‘I don’t want Kerr coming back here, making trouble, Benedict. If he arrives, convince him to stay back on the Northern side of the border, eh?’ Devlin reluctantly obeys orders, not as convinced as Costello that Kerr’s ‘finding Jesus’ is a front. Then, a body is discovered at a new housing development; the girl has been badly beaten in what appears to be a sexually motivated crime. As Devlin investigates and pursues a local body-builder as the prime suspect, a second body is discovered. This time, its born-again James Kerr who has been crucified, nailed to a tree. With Devlin realising that the cases are linked, a high pressure investigation ensues, putting Devlin and his team under considerable, and almost unbearable strain…