A pinch and a punch for the first of the month, but not only that. Our guest columnist Miles of the ever popular book blog Milo’s Rambles is back to share his crime picks from the month of June. And we’ll hand you straight over to him…
Three books stood out for me this month namely Craig Robertson’s Cold Grave, the third in his gritty Scottish crime series; Alison Bruce’s The Silence, set once again in Cambridge; and finally Scott Mariani’s The Sacred Sword, the seventh title featuring protagonist Ben Hope.
Taking Mariani’s title first, as with all action and conspiracy thrillers I find you have to approach the read with a touch of ‘whatever happens, happens’. You have to suspend belief to a certain point or you find yourself questioning not only the author but the protagonist who spends a lot of the time trying to dodge the bullets and kill the baddies. The Sacred Sword is no exception – typical Boy’s Own stuff! Entertaining, escapism and a very quick adventurous read I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Conspiracy thrillers are fast becoming my favourite read at the moment!
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to read one of Craig Robertson’s two previous books you’ll know he knows his stuff and how to deliver a taut, gritty thriller. This time around Cold Grave surprised me somewhat. It didn’t read like Random, his debut title, and was not what I had expected at all – not even close, to be honest. Robertson has written a totally different book this time around, the styles are different and the book feels a lot more mature, more heartfelt. But he knows Scotland, and knows Glasgow like the back of his hand, and that certainly comes across once again. Great characterisation, but the star of the show for me was the island of Inchmahome. Atmospheric, edgy and powerful.
Finally we have Alison Bruce’s title The Silence. Bruce is back with her fourth story featuring DC Gary Goodhew and the streets of Cambridge. The Silence is another cracking release from the Cambridge based author and although a departure from her previous novels – certainly as far as I’m concerned – this marks a significant change in structure and a refreshing move away from being a case-driven, all-out police procedural towards a more thoughtful and adroit slow burner.
So there we have it, my top picks for June, with something for everyone I hope. Titles to watch out for in July include Tim Weaver’s Vanished (set in and around London’s Underground system), John Grisham’s The Litigators and Karin Slaughter’s Criminal. Until next time…
Watch for our review of The Silence here on Crime Fiction Lover soon. You can order the books Miles has recommended from Amazon below.