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Geoffrey Wansell


Jounalist


Geoffrey Wansell



Thrillers and Crime Reviews

Crime Thrillers

16 August 2018

ALL THE HIDDEN TRUTHS by
Claire Askew (Hodder £12.99)

 

All Hidden TruhtsThis stunning debut from a poet won prizes as a work in progress — and richly deserves them. It is a searing story of a college shooting in Edinburgh.
One May morning, 20-year-old Ryan Summers walks on to a college campus and kills 13 young women, then himself. These horrifying events are seen through the eyes of three women: Moira, Ryan’s mother; Ishbel Hodgekiss, the mother of the first victim; and the newly promoted DI Helen Birch, one of the first officers at the scene.
All three women are transformed by the tragedy as they try to piece together a motive. Slowly, dark truths emerge from the undergrowth of Ryan’s life. Compellingly written, in DI Birch it also has a heroine you can’t help but root for.

 

 

16 August 2018

INVISIBLE CITY by
Julia Dahl (Faber £7.99)

 

Invisible CityWhen this novel was first published in the U.S., it became an instant success, and was followed rapidly by two more books featuring trainee New York Tribune reporter Rebekah Roberts.
This is magnificent story-telling set against the backdrop of a closed, secretive community of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn — exactly the same neighbourhood in which Rebekah’s own mother, who abandoned her when she was a baby, was brought up.
Those two strands of the story coalesce, but it opens with the discovery of a woman’s naked body in a scrap yard.
The corpse is then spirited away by the community’s undertakers and is set to be buried without a post-mortem examination. Roberts is determined to get to the bottom of who killed the woman, who turns out to have been married to one of the most significant figures in the Hasidic community.

16 August 2018

RESIN by
Ane Riel (Doubleday £12.99)

 

ResinThis haunting, claustrophobic novel about love and obsession was a sensation when it first appeared in Denmark.
It tells the story of an isolated family living on a tiny Danish island called the Head. The principal narrator, Liv, was six years old when she died — or at least when her father, Jens, told the authorities she had died in an accident.
In fact, she’s helping her father in his workshop on the edge of the forest while her overweight mother languishes at home in bed. Indeed, Liv was there when Jens smothered her grandmother and set fire to her corpse.
This chilling story is told from a variety of viewpoints, including Liv’s and her grandmother’s, and through Liv’s mother’s letters. It slyly reveals the history of a fractured family that no one is allowed to leave because of Jens’s fixation that he alone can keep them safe. This is a moving tale of a love that morphs into madness.

 

 

 

 


19 July 2018

IN THE DARK by
CARA HUNTER (PENGUIN £7.99)

 

In The DarkThis second novel from the richly talented Hunter confirms the promise of her debut, Close To Home. She has a rare talent for creating suspense in deceptively simple stories.
Here a young woman and a small boy are found — by accident — locked in the basement of a house in north Oxford. She cannot speak and the child is traumatised.
The elderly and eccentric academic who owns the house insists he didn’t know they were there, and says he had nothing to do with their abduction. But who are they?
It takes lead detective DI Adam Fawley some time to gain the woman’s trust as he gently tries to find out what happened. Even then he is not a great deal wiser. Was the woman raped? Did she give birth in the cellar?
With its steely grip and compelling characters, the story reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock at his finest, where twist follows twist at a breath-taking pace.

 

 

 

 

 

19 July 2018

CARELESS LOVE by
Peter Robinson (Hodder £20)


Careless LoveThis is the 25th outing for DCI Alan Banks, Robinson’s all-too-human copper.
The sometimes scratchy Banks, who left the Met to settle in Yorkshire years ago, has experienced many tribulations in that time, including the end of his marriage, but he remains an honourable man who fights for the underdog.
His dislike of extraordinary wealth is clear here, as he investigates the mysterious death of a man found in a gully in one of the Peak District’s beautiful valleys. He turns out to be a former private banker, who has amassed a fortune.
At the same time Banks is also looking into the case of a student found in an abandoned car, but she was not the driver and her dead body was apparently planted there. Could the cases be linked?
This is vintage Banks — a dogged search for truth which never once loses its grip on its hero’s intuition and charm.

 

 

 


19 July 2018

THE WHITE DEVIL by
Domenic Stansberry (W&N £8.99)

 

The White DevilAn intoxicating, contemporary re-working of John Webster’s 17th-century Jacobean tragedy, in which Texan model and small-time actress Vittoria Paris is caught up in a double murder in Rome.
Her American husband dies mysteriously and so does the movie-star wife of an Italian senator, Paolo Orsini, who is her lover and protector.
Vittoria’s dangerous and obsessive brother Johnny is in Rome too, working for the senator and quietly manipulating her.
The tabloids have a field day with the murky implications of the two deaths, and so Vittoria and Paolo take refuge in the eternal city’s beautiful palazzos. From there they flee to Malibu in California. Then Vittoria disappears to South America, where eventually her past catches up with her.
Rome is brilliantly captured, as is Italian society, but it is the tragic heroine and her flawed brother that linger in the mind.

 





Crime Thrillers

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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