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Milo’s crime picks for March

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It’s the first of April and back for his monthly guest column is book loving fiction expert Miles, who runs the blog Milo’s Rambles. Here he takes us through his top crime fiction pickes released over the last month…

Guest column — March has been another good reading month and a number of titles stood out for me covering a blend of crime, thrillers, humour and a fictional story based on an event that occurred 100 years ago. When I finished writing my February article I had only anticipated talking about just one book this month – Jo Nesbo’s Phantom. Going on past history I didn’t think that anyone would come close to topping this read but one title certainly did – more on that later.

Phantom is an incredibly taut and multi-layered thriller that simply deserves to be read and although a rather sombre read it will most definitely entertain. Harry Hole is back in Oslo after a three year exile living in Hong Kong. No longer a policeman, he returns wearing the only suit he owns and has cleaned up his act. A recovering alcoholic he faces temptation on every corner. This time his vendetta is personal, and you can read about the storyline in the CFL review. The last third will quite possibly leave you speechless; turning the final page you’ll take stock and wonder whatever next! It left me breathless.

So what about the humour I hear you ask? I remember reading Herring on the Nile a year ago by a magnificent author – LC Tyler. While sorting through a few old titles I came across Herring in the Library, a precursor to Len’s journey on the Nile and an homage to Agatha Christie. Full of wonderful dry humour, sarcasm and a crime-busting duo, the Herring series is warmth on a winter’s day, a little comfort after a hard day at the office. You don’t have to think hard, just let yourself go!

This leads me on to my title of the month, Robert Pobi’s Bloodman. An exceptional debut, Bloodman is dark, resolute and uncompromising, a thriller that will tease and shock and may just cause you a few sleepless nights. It works on so many levels, the ending is surprising to say the least and I for one never saw it coming. Set over four days on Long Island, the community is preparing for the imminent arrival of Hurricane Dylan, the biggest to hit the shoreline since 1938. As the press corps congregates the police and FBI discover a couple of grisly murders. There’s a serial killer in town but no one can quite figure out who’s responsible. I just can’t wait for his next novel, and just hope it’s half as good as this one.

Finally, for something a little different I give you Dead Menby debut author Richard Pierce. Dead Men is an extraordinary debut. Written to celebrate the 100th anniversary marking Robert Falcon Scott’s death on the 29 March 1912, the book charts Birdie Bowers’ efforts to solve the mysterious deaths of Scott’s party and to find out why they failed to return home to safety. Pierce took me back to my childhood with this book and I reminisced about growing up reading about Scott versus Amundsen’s race to the South Pole. It’s another book that worked on so many levels.

So there we have it, I have no idea what’s in store for April but one thing I do know – it’ll involve reading. I hope you find something to whet your appetite and if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned it would be great to hear from you about whether you agree or not!

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