Books – Feb 2007

Whiteout. Ken Follett.
Thriller, Scotland, present day. Secure biochemical research facility. Raid to steal vials of deadly virus on Christmas Eve. Circumstances and blizzard draws all participants towards lonely farmhouse where Director’s family is gathering for Christmas. Family tensions and armed thugs raise the suspense. Female Head of Security is interesting main protagonist.

The Brighter Buccaneer Leslie Charteris. Short stories, crime fiction.
1933, England and London. More short stories about Simon Templar “The Saint” swindling the swindlers and conning the crooks.

Chain of Evidence. Garry Disher. Detective novel.
One of the Challis/Destry series. Inspector Challis is in SA visiting his dying father and unofficially investigating the four year old disappearance of his brother-in-law. Sarg Destry plays a larger role than usual, staying behind on the Mornington Peninsula, leading the investigation into the disappearance/abduction of a 10 year old girl and the possible involvement of an alleged pedophile ring.

Dying to Please. Linda Howard. Thriller.
Sarah Stevens is a female butler and bodyguard to retired judge. She stops a burglary and the resulting publicity makes her the focus of an obsessive stalker. Cahill is the male detective who provides the love interest. (A pot-boiler, skip-read the 2nd half).

The Tenderness of Wolves Stef Penny. Historical fiction.
Set in 1867 in remote Canadian township of Dove River as winter sets in. Mysterious death of a hermit-like trapper leads to tracking of various suspects through the winter countryside and small settlements. Insights into inhabitants, social and historical observations. Multiple story threads and other characters whose paths cross and interweave as older mysteries are resolved during the pursuits. Main character Mrs Ross initiates the expedition to track her missing son who is the main suspect. Her parts of the story are told in 1st person.

A Sea of Troubles Donna Leon. Detective novel.
Set mainly on the Venetian island of Pellestrina among the close-knit fishing community. Inspector Brunetti investigates the suspicious sinking of a fishing boat and the deaths of the two men on board.

The Chinese Lake Murders Robert van Gulik.
Ancient Chinese Detective novel. Set in small lake-side town of Han-Yuan in AD 666. Judge Dee is the magistrate who in traditional Chinese detective story fashion, investigates 3 cases simultaneously, including the murder of a courtesan on one of the “flower boats”, as he uncovers evidence of a possible conspiracy against the government. Historical insights into ancient Chinese culture and customs.

The Tesla Legacy Robert G. Barratt. Thriller.
Australia, present day. Newcastle electrican Mick Vincent and his Stockton bookseller girlfriend solve the clues and go on the trail of Tesla’s legendary “Doomsday Machine” hidden in the mountainous bush near Scone. Pursued by US NSA agents and tangled with ASIO they search for the mysterious “Legacy”.

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