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Milo’s crime picks for April

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At the end of each month we invite our friend and guest columnist Miles, creator of the blog Milo’s Rambles, to share his favourite new crime reads with us. Miles is a book fiend just like everyone here on Crime Fiction Lover, and always comes up with interesting choices. For the month of April, here’s what he liked best in the crime genre…

April has been a fool of a month for me, a month that has thrown up a couple of very interesting books, a number of excellent gym sessions and a few disappointments along the way. Without a shadow of a doubt two books stood out from the crowd – certainly as far as I’m concerned – SJ Bolton’s Dead Scared and Matthew Quirk’s The 500. I often wonder when a new month rolls around whether this will be the month I fail to find that standout book. Fortunately it hasn’t happened yet but I’m sure it will come, give it time.

Although from different genres – crime and political thrillers – these two books have a couple of things in common. They are both very quick reads, they make you think, and are without doubt character-driven books with enviable protagonists.

In Dead Scared the story holds strong throughout and along with a plot that is both imaginative and very well structured, the narrative is taut, just the kind of thing I expect from SJ Bolton who is now writing her sixth book. The book marks the second outing for DI Mark Joesbury and DC Lacey Flint. Once again the pair skirt around an obvious animal/love attraction that’s clear for all to see but they refuse to give in to their feelings… or do they?!? Lacey Flint is an intriguing character; she appears more open this time around – a depth that wasn’t there in Now You See Me – yet at the same time a lot more vulnerable but dogged and determined all the same.

The 500 by Matthew Quirk – acquired by 20th Century Fox in 2011 – casts a beady eye on the political shenanigans and skulduggery that has infested the corridors of power in Washington and together with the constant back stabbing that naturally occurs when billions of dollars are at stake, it was the narrative that held me captive. Mike Ford, the protagonist in Matthew Quirk’s book, simply talks to the reader and on numerous occasions I felt as if he was personally leading me through the last 12 months of his life, speaking just to yours truly. The narrative is entirely written in the first person’s perspective and feels relaxed, personable and natural, the story benefiting with an unhindered fluidity from beginning to end.

The storyline itself is fast-paced, believable and mind-blowing. I had no idea corruption occurred on this scale in the nation’s capital. Who knew what money could buy? When we first meet Mike Ford he’s in a world of trouble and fighting for his life and together with ample twists and turns to satisfy the most critical thriller lovers, you never quite know where the story will take you. Normally when I approach the final third of a book I start thinking about my next read but not this time around. I just didn’t want to accept that the book was reaching its conclusion. A thoroughly entertaining climax I was so disappointed it had to end! The 500 is just up my street.

That’s it for another month on Crime Fiction Lover for me, The 500 by Matthew Quirk is out early June and Dead Scared by SJ Bolton is out now.

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