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Posts Tagged ‘Lambert and Hook’

Watermarked (Lambert and Hook Detective series Book 7)

A woman’s body is found floating down the River Severn.  The body has been on the water for several days so it is not a pretty sight.  Lambert and Hook must first identify the body and then interview the woman’s nearest and dearest and see who might have wanted her dead.  Identifying her is fairly easy as a woman fitting her description has been reported missing.  Her daughter doesn’t seem too upset and her husband is in Spain on a golfing holiday.

No one seems to have wanted her dead apart from her son-in-law who wants her money to bolster up his business and her down and out son who blames her for his father’s breakdown and death.  But things are never quite what they seem and some painstaking police work will be needed before Lambert and Hook can identify the murderer.

This is an excellent series – well written with intriguing plots and well drawn characters.  The series can be read out of order.  This is number seven in the series if you do want to read them in order.  If you are looking for a series of crime novels with not too much violence and bad language then you could do worse than try this series or the same author’s Peach and Blake series.

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Accident by Design

Walter Fletcher is an independent and active elderly man.  His family want him to sell the family home and move into sheltered accommodation.  He refuses but then is found dead at the foot of a ladder.  His grand- daughter – home form university for the funeral, contacts the police as she believes that what appears to have been a tragic accident was actually murder.

Lambert and Hook find themselves immersed in an investigation which becomes more and more obscure.  The only certain thing about it is that the ‘accident’ was actually murder.  They have plenty if suspects – his three adult children and a few close friends.  His children are singularly unpleasant characters who seem to be focussed on the money which is tied up in Walter’s house believing that they are entitled to their share of it.

The author expertly brings to life the tensions which affect many families even if all on the surface seems to calm and peaceful.  All have secrets which they do not want revealed to the others but is one of them a murderer?  I enjoyed listening to this audio version of this story, expertly read by Gordon Griffin.  It is number nine in the Lambert and Hook series.

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Lambert and Hook have their work cut out when Samuel Jackson is murdered on location while is he producing the latest episode in a long running TV detective series.  How can they possibly know whether what they’re seeing in genuine reactions or actors doing what they do best?  Sam himself is a thoroughly dislikeable corpse who has made enemies of just about everyone who has come within his orbit.  Everyone involved in the production is therefore a potential suspect.

In this well written crime novel the reader sees the investigation mainly from the perspective of the people questioned by the police rather than reading about how the investigation is going from the perspective of the police so the reader is able to work out for themselves who is the likely murderer.

I enjoyed the book though I don’t think it is as good as some in this series – possibly because I prefer to read about the thoughts of the detectives involved.  However it is still worth reading for its interesting characters and touches of humour.  I did work out who the murderer was quite early on but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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Darkness Visible

Darren Chivers narrowly escapes arrest in a police drugs raid on a pub.  He decides it would be better not to deal at the moment while the police are watching him and he turns to his sideline to make him enough money to live on.  Blackmail may be lucrative but it can also be more dangerous than drug dealing and Darren soon winds up dead.

Lambert and hook have to pick their way through Darren’s shady life to try and find the most likely suspect amongst his victims.  The book focusses as much on Darren’s life and that of his victims as it does on Lambert and Hook’s investigation and I like the way the author creates the characters in short scenes which make them come alive.

I felt for the blackmail victims and I had considerably less sympathy for Darren himself because he is a thoroughly unpleasant character and quite frankly deserved what he got.  This is an interesting read and I completely failed to pick out the murderer from the various suspects.  This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone novel as can all the others in the series.

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Something Is Rotten: A Lambert and Hook Mystery

DS Bert Hook is inveigled into agreeing to play Polonius in an amateur production of Hamlet.  He is not at all keen on the idea but finds himself agreeing to it and much to his surprise and delight he actually enjoys the rehearsals.  But his theatrical career is due to be cut short when the director is found murderer after one of the rehearsals and Hook finds himself trying to envisage which of his fellow thespians could possibly be guilty of murder.

Michael Carey – young actor playing the lead role; two youngsters on the edges of crime who have parts in the play or Marjorie Dalrymple – the organiser of the production.  All have possible motives for the crime.  Lambert and Hook must try and work out whether it is someone from the past or the present who has suddenly found the director’s continued existence just too much to bear.

This is a well written and absorbing crime mystery with some interesting characters and a well realised amateur theatrical background.  I like Lambert and Hook as characters and they way they interact and this is one of the best in the series in my opinion.  All the books in the series can be read as standalone novels but also as part of a series.

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Rest Assured: A modern police procedural set in the heart of the English countryside (Lambert and Hook Book 27)

Twin Lakes is a holiday park where people buy chalets which they can use for weekends or longer periods.  Some of the residents live there for the eleven months of the year in which they are permitted to live in the park.  DS Bert Hook’s neighbours have one of the chalets and they approach Hook because they have received a couple of threatening notes while they have been at Twin Lakes.  Hook investigates on an informal basis and the notes stop.

Then a few months later a murder is committed in the idyllic surroundings of Twin Lakes – shattering the calm and peace of the place and the lives of all the residents.  Lambert and Hook have plenty of suspects and these suspects are all hiding secrets which they don’t want the police to find out about as some of them are criminal.  But who valued their secrets to the extent that they would commit murder to protect them?

I thought the characters in this mystery were particularly well drawn.  The young school teacher who is having an affair with a pupil; the council worker who seems to have more money than you might expect from the job he does; the business man who may or may not be on the right side of the law and the same sex couple who are about to marry but are worried about how people will take the news.

I thought the background was interesting as it shows a close community in which some people want to take over and control the others and how people who snap up gossip can rapidly become dangerous.  This is a well written and book in an excellent series.  The series can be read in any order and it will appeal to anyone who likes their crime stories without too much on the page violence.

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Close Call (A Lambert and Hook Mystery)

A small close of four new houses where the occupants all moved in at the same time and are gradually getting to know one another seems the least likely scenario for a murder.  But an informal get together for all the residents results in the murder of one of their number – Robin Durkin.  He us found dead in his garden by his wife, Alison, on the morning after the party.

As Lambert and Hook delve into the murdered man’s background and the backgrounds of the other residents of Gurney Close they discover any number of reasons why all of them might have wished him dead.

I liked the way the evidence was built up piece by piece and gradually fitted into the jigsaw puzzle that was Durkin’s life and death.  Bert Hook has some domestic problems so he doesn’t feature so much in this story but it is still a good read in spite of his absence.  I always like the way that suspects and witnesses underestimate his abilities solely on the basis of his appearance.

This is a well written book and a well written series and I recommend it to anyone who likes their crime novels without too much on the page violence and with police characters who basically get on well.  The books can be read in any order.

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