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Posts Tagged ‘DI LuKe Thanet’

Once Too Often

Jessica Dander, a well known local journalist, is found dead at the foot of the stairs at the home she shares with her husband.  Was it her husband, her lover or a young man who has been seen prowling in the area?  Whoever it turns out to be, DI Luke Thanet is glad of the interruption to his attempts to write a speech for his daughter Bridget’s wedding.

It soon becomes clear as Thanet and DS Mike Lineham interview witnesses that Jessica wasn’t an especially likeable character and plenty of people could have lost their temper with her.  This is an interesting mystery and I didn’t work out what had happened and why until just before all was revealed.

This is the fourteenth book in this excellent series and all of them have been equally well written and interesting novels. Sometimes a long running series can flag but this one hasn’t.  Plots are equally good and characters are equally interesting as they were at the start of the series.

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A Day For Dying (Inspector Thanet)

Max Jeopard is found dead in the swimming pool at the house of his fiancée, Tessa, during their engagement party.  Who could have hated him enough to leave him to drown or was it perhaps an accident?

It soon becomes clear to DI Luke Thanet and DS Mike Lineham that plenty of people had reason to hate the victim.  Cast off girlfriends and men whose girlfriends who had been seduced by Max or maybe even his future parents in law could all have done it but none of them seem to have had a strong enough motive.

As the story progresses I felt almost that the victim deserved to die as he seemed to have caused so much havoc and heartbreak in other people’s lives.  Thanet is torn between the interests of justice and his feelings of compassion for all the people involved.

This is a well written mystery with interesting characters and motivations.  If you like crime novels without graphic violence and swearing then you may enjoy this book and this series.  The books can be read as standalone novels or as part of series.

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No Laughing Matter (Inspector Thanet)

Zak Randish, winemaker, is found dead as a result of a particularly gruesome murder.  He was successful and ruthless and there seem to be signs that he was in the habit of beating his wife.  His father-in-law clearly didn’t have much time for him and his work colleagues seem to have had ambivalent feelings towards him.  DI Luke Thanet and DS Mike Lineham must try and weed out those who couldn’t have committed the murder but devastating secrets must be revealed before the murderer is discovered.

I found this a quite harrowing mystery to read as the victim seems almost to have deserved his fate, if anyone can be said to deserve being murdered and I had huge sympathy with the murderer.  The story shows clearly the devastation that murder leaves behind in its wake.  As ever Thanet and Lineham work well together and manage to put aside some problems in the private lives to concentrate on their work.

This is a well written and often thought provoking series and I am finding it very good reading.  If you enjoy crime novels with little graphic violence – though the murder scene is quite horrible in this book – then you will probably enjoy this book and this series.

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Wake The Dead (Inspector Thanet)

Isobel Fairleigh was murdered during a village fete being held in the grounds of her home.  She had suffered a stroke and it was only a matter of time before she died anyway but someone seems to have taken it into their heads to put an end to her existence.  Her son – the local MP – calls DR Mallard, the police surgeon, who happens to be at the fete with his wife and DI Luke Thanet and his wife.

Naturally, Thanet and DS Lineham look to the victim’s nearest and dearest first and soon realise that they are all hiding something.  Apart from the family, there are potentially the thousand or so people who have been attending the fete to question.  I think this is a well written mystery which demonstrates graphically how family secrets can fester and affect everyone in a family.  I thought the relationships between the Fairleighs was very well done and I enjoyed reading the book.

I like the relationship between Thanet and Lineham and how closely they work together and I think this is portrayed very well in this book and in this series.  The book can be read as a standalone novel or as part of a series.  I think it is better read as part of a series.

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Doomed To Die (Inspector Thanet)

Perdita Master is found murdered at the house of a friend where she is looking after her friend’s children temporarily.  She has just told her jealous and possessive husband that she wants a divorce.  DI Luke Thanet and DS Mike Lineham must try and weed out the suspects.  There’s her husband, his mother, her lover and his wife for starters.  Perdita, in spite of the fact that she was very quiet and apparently inoffensive, appear to have upset rather a lot of people in her short life.

This is a well written and intriguing mystery.  I didn’t work out who had murdered her so it came as a shock to me when the killer was revealed.  Thanet himself has to balance work and home as his mother in law is ill.  Draco – the fiery superintendent – obviously has something on his mind and lacks his usual verve and vigour.

This is a well written series of police procedural crime novels and if you enjoy crime novels which do not contain lots of graphic violence and bad language then you will probably will enjoy the series.  The books can be read as a standalone novels but are probably better read in the order in which they were published.

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Dead By Morning (Inspector Thanet)

No one seems to have a good word to say for Leo Martindale when he returns unexpectedly to the bosom of his family after a twenty five year absence. It seems as though the villagers and his sister and brother in law have simply taken up their quarrels with him as though he only left yesterday.  When his corpse is discovered in a snow filled ditch, it looks as though DI Luke Thanet and DS Mike Lineham are going to have to arrest everyone they interview.  Everyone has turned their anger at Leo against the police now that Leo is dead.

No one s at all willing to give them any information about his movements on the last day of his life though gradually a picture emerges of arguments with just about everyone he meets.  But who could have been pushed over the edge to such an extent that they ran him over and then moved his body to a ditch?  As Thanet and Lineham accumulate evidence a picture starts to form and they begin to think the case will be solved after all.

I really enjoyed reading this well plotted mystery and wanted to know who had committed the murder.  I had sympathy for most of the people involved and I could see how the victim almost invited the murder. Thanet and Lineham are as always interesting characters and Superintendent Draco is becoming more human after several run ins with Thanet.  This is an excellent novel in an excellent series.  The books can be read as standalone novels though I think they are probably bets read as a series.

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Suspicious Death (Inspector Thanet)

A woman’s body is pulled out of a river one morning following an ill assorted dinner party and her mother’s death.  Marcia Salden seems to have gone out of her way to make herself unpopular with everyone.  She has upset villagers by buying a plot of land which the village had been promised for a new village hall; arranged the eviction of a harmless man living rough in her woods and got the better of various other people in financial transactions.

DI Luke Thanet and DS Mike Lineham have their work cut out to eliminate suspects all of whom appear to have taken it into their heads to wander about the village at the relevant time.  In addition they both have family problems of their own to try a resolve.

There is a nice balance in this mystery between the private lives of the detectives and the mystery itself.  I thought it was very well plotted and the reader’s suspicion constantly moves from one suspect to another throughout the story.  For quite a while it looks as though the murderer will remain undetected but eventually the case is solved.  The book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone novel.

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