Silent as the Grave by Paul Gitsham
The third in a series featuring DCI Warren Jones, but my first venture into this series.
The body of an elderly man is discovered, his dog dead by his side. A mugging gone wrong? What puzzles DCI Warren Jones and his team is the lack of clues and the apparent efficiency of the murder; it appears to have a professional touch. Reginald Williamson's friends and acquaintances can offer no possible reason for his murder; nothing anyone knows about would seem likely to have resulted in Williamson's having been deliberately targeted for death, and the team is having trouble making any progress in the case.
Eventually, DCI Jones is contacted by someone who claims to have information about the murder, but will only exchange information for some aid in his own situation. Against protocol, Jones meets with the man, who turns out to be the former head of Jones' department, now being investigated for corruption.
What gets Jones' attention is that the roots of Williamson's murder go back decades, and as it turns out, have a special connection with the death of DCI Jones' father.
Skillfully portrayed characters are especially important in this mystery/police procedural. The author makes several things obvious to the reader, while delivering other information only as DCI Jones and Tony Sutton continue their investigation. Making everything fit is difficult for the pair as records concerning the old case are missing or altered. Jones and Sutton continue to find answers that only lead to more questions. Who to trust when the corruption may have been initiated by someone in the police force itself?
I need to see about the previous two books in this series. :)
Mystery/Police Procedural. April 15, 2015.
The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child
OK, I've thoroughly enjoyed the craziness of the Lincoln Child/Douglas Preston duo for years. In addition to the books the two co-author, each also puts out an impressive number of solo works. The Forgotten Room is the third in a series by Lincoln Child about Jeremy Logan, a quirky enigmalogist, a puzzle solver, occasional de-bunker, and an expert in analyzing events and situations that have no logical explanation.
Here again, I'm starting with the third novel in a series. Child's first book in this series is The Third Gate, and yes, it is now on my wish list. Not that there was any problem reading the latest Jeremy Logan book without having read the earlier ones; it functions perfectly well as a stand-alone.
No one thinks any of the Preston/Child novels (in concert or singly) are great literature. They aren't. But they are fun in their unique Gothic-y, paranormal way, and they read at light-speed. They don't deliver characters in depth, but they do deliver quirky personalities, paranormal or mystic events, and action and suspense.
Briefly: a huge old estate with a strange history was purchased by a prestigious think tank in the early 1900's. The think tank and its fellows (scientists and researchers in various fields) have maintained strict standards over the years; the work done by the researchers is innovative and important.
Jeremy Logan is called in to investigate the violent and appalling suicide of one of the respected fellows of the institution. Recent renovations have revealed a room with no point of entry and with a perplexing machine inside, a challenging enigma for the enigmalogist. Logan suspects that the secrets of the room had something to do with the researcher's death and may have even wider implications.
Regardless of the fact that I'd love a little deeper characterization and a slower more detailed approach to the plot, I succumb each time to whatever Douglas Preston or Lincoln Child offer. I'd like them to read a little slower, last a little longer, but have no intention of swearing off the weirdness these two authors manage to concoct.
Science Fiction/Thriller. May 12, 2015. Print length: 306 pages.