Milo’s crime picks for February

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Today we’re welcoming Miles to Crime Fiction Lover for his first monthly guest column. Miles runs the blog Milo’s Rambles which features an array of book reviews and articles. We’ve invited him across to share with us his favourite crime, mystery and thriller books from the month gone by. So without further ado let’s hand over to him and find out what his recommendations for February were…

Guest column — I don’t think you can beat the feeling you get when you finish reading one book, put it down and then cast your eyes on a full book shelf while all the time deliberating your next target. Although the cover art entices and the words captivate you just don’t know what you’ll get when you start reading. Everyone is different of course and whether it’s a particular genre, author or even character, we all have our reasons for choosing a particular book.

Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered a new found love and respect for books, how long they take to make from idea to publication and I appreciate them a lot more than I ever did. It’s a great world that allows your imagination to run riot and escape for as long as the book lasts, sometimes longer if you find a truly great book.

In my first column for Crime Fiction Lover I thought I’d mention just a couple of books that have caught my imagination this year so far.

Belinda Bauer’s Finders Keepers is the first book I read in 2012 and what a great book it was to herald in the New Year. The third in her series based in Exmoor I felt it was her strongest yet and a great improvement over what I thought was a subdued second title Dark Side and the ending just left me breathless!

If you’re a fan of crime and translation then you won’t go far wrong with Marco Vichi’s Bordelli series. Published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK they have secured the rights for four titles in the series and I for one can’t get enough of this cantankerous detective! The outstanding package combines an envious narrative, a colourful and multi-faceted detective and a cornucopia of Italian food to die for. Seriously, the food on offer in this book is enough to tempt anyone off a diet! As we are only two titles into the series in the UK I would highly recommend reading Death in August published in 2011 and then move on to the equally intoxicating Death and the Olive Grove, I don’t think you’ll be sorry!

I don’t know about you but I’ve always had a soft spot for the religious conspiracy thrillers and one that has recently caught my eye is The Turin Shroud Secret by relative newcomer Sam Christer. His second novel The Shroud is a gripping read and although 500 pages in length I read it in two days. The narrative is powerful and has a pace all of its own and a serial killer that will make you squirm, the guy is unhinged! Well worth a read if you like Dan Brown type thrillers, it had me gripped from start to finish.

Finally, looking ahead to March we have Dave Jackson’s follow up to last year’s smash hit Pariah. Set once again in New York The Helper is written with a backdrop that is distinctly Irish and completely unputdownable. It is a magnificent book, one that will have you entertained from the very first page right up to its climactic dénouement. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Books I’m looking forward to in March: Jo Nesbo’s Phantom, Harlan Coben’s Stay Close, and William Landay’s Defending Jacob.

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