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Geoffrey Wansell

Journalist


Geoffrey Wansell



Thrillers and Crime Reviews

Thrillers Crime

12 October 2017

THE CUBAN AFFAIR by
Nelson DeMille (Sphere £19.99)

 

The Cuban AffairWidely acknowledged as one of the greatest thriller writers of our times, DeMille’s mastery of the genre is underlined again here.
The charismatic central character this time is Daniel Graham ‘Mac’ MacCormick, a 35-year-old American Afghanistan veteran, now captaining a deep-sea fishing boat out of Key West in Florida.
The boat is mortgaged and Mac is on his uppers — until he is approached by a Miami-based Cuban lawyer with a proposition that could earn him $2 million. The idea is to smuggle back to the U.S. more than $60 million worth of assets that were hidden in a cave in Cuba after Castro came to power.
Inevitably, there is a beautiful Cuban woman involved, whose grandfather assembled the treasure trove of currency, jewellery and gold coins that is to be liberated.
Mac takes the challenge, and the drama unfolds at breakneck speed. Filled with wry humour, it roars to a climax, leaving the reader with barely time to breathe.

 

 

 

12 October 2017

DON'T LET GO by
Harlen Coben (Century £20)

 

Don't Let GoNap Dumas is a French-born small-town cop in New Jersey, where he is also known for handing out summary justice to men who abuse their wives or girlfriends.
Yet he is also a man haunted by his past. Fifteen years ago, his teenage brother, Leo, and his girlfriend were found dead beside the railroad tracks in what the local community thought was a suicide pact — a theory Dumas never believed.
Now, those deaths come back to life when a police officer is killed and Nap’s former girlfriend, who disappeared on the night of the suicides, appears to have returned from the dead as her fingerprints are found at the scene of the officer’s murder.
Add in a mysterious missile control site that may once have had nuclear capabilities, which lay behind Nap and Leo’s school, and you have an addictive roller-coaster of a thrill ride, but one with a distinct moral heart.

12 October 2017

THE BLIND by
A F Brady (HQ £12.99)

 

The BlindThis is an intriguing debut from a New York-based psychotherapist writing about a world she knows extremely well.
Her protagonist, Samantha James, is an American psychiatrist whose personal life is a mess — she drinks far too much — but whose professional life caring for the mentally disturbed is beyond reproach.
She has built her reputation on dealing with the most difficult men and women, and she never rejects a challenge.
Enter Richard, a patient with a daunting mental history, who usually refuses even to speak to the therapist assigned to him. Undeterred, Sam takes on the case — only to find that Richard seems to her to be almost completely sane.
He may act obsessively from time to time, but there is no madness she can identify.
What is the secret? Is Richard hiding his true nature so cleverly that even she cannot detect it? This is the question that sustains a gripping story to its fascinating conclusion.

 



14 September 2017

MUNICH by
Robert Harris (Hutchinson £20)

 

MunichFor his twelfth thriller, Harris returns to the rich seam of history that inspired his first hit, Fatherland, where he imagined a scenario in which Hitler had won World War II.
Harris displays all his gifts again as he recounts Neville Chamberlain’s visit to Munich in September, 1938, when the then British Prime Minister was anxious to avoid war.
With exemplary research and the addition of two fictional old Oxford friends on opposite sides of the diplomacy (the thriller element), Harris portrays Chamberlain in a far more favourable light than he is usually cast by opponents of his appeasement with the Fuhrer during those dramatic days.
The tall figure of Chamberlain waving his piece of paper at the foot of the aeroplane steps is brought superbly to life. But it is the story of his negotiations with Hitler that grip, casting him as a formidable, almost heroic, figure.

 

 

 

 

 

14 September 2017

A LESSON IN VIOLENCE by
Jordan Harper (Simon&Schuster £12.99)

 

A Lesson In ViolenceThis is one of the most striking debuts I have read this year. Visceral, violent and utterly compelling, it nevertheless shines with humanity.
An 11-year-old girl called Polly goes on the run with her brutal father Nate, who has just been released from jail with a price on his head from a vicious prison gang called Aryan Steel.
The gang want father and daughter dead — they’ve already killed Nate’s ex-wife, Polly’s mother — so the pair take off in a stolen car in a desperate attempt to escape.
Carrying her teddy bear, Polly is a girl with ‘gunfighter eyes’ and the temperament to match. She becomes her father’s partner in crime, a young Bonnie Parker to his Clyde Barrow, and every bit as adept at violence as he is.
The race across the country is as fast and furious as the TV screenplays that Harper writes, but there is also such an unmistakable warmth in this portrait of father and daughter that it brings tears to the eyes


 

 

 

14 September 2017

THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE by
David Largercrantz (MacLehose £20)

 

The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An EyeThis fifth thriller in the Millennium series, initiated by the late Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, continues the life of enigmatic, belligerent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. Here we find Salander in prison, determined to protect a vulnerable fellow female inmate who is being tortured by a prison gang.
Add a warden who is frightened of the gang as well as Salander’s troublesome twin sister Camilla, with links to Swedish crime and the Russian mob, and you have all the ingredients to allow Salander to wreak havoc, helped, as ever, by investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
Expertly told, the plot crackles with life. Sadly, I have never warmed to Lisbeth — too stony, too relentless, too charmless — but there is no denying the spell she weaves over millions.

Thrillers Crime

Cary Grany biography
RattNewCover1
Goldsmith biography
Garrick History
Cary Grant picture book
Frederick West
Bus Stop Killer
David Suchet

For a synopsis of any of Geoffrey's books, please click on the appropriate cover above.

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