West Seattle Blues by Chris Nickson

West Seattle Blues is the second outing for music journalist Laura Benton. Set several years after Emerald City, Laura is now married with a son who is almost walking and a husband in the book business. She still works, albeit not as much as she used to, writing reviews and doing occasional interviews. When the editor of The Rocket calls Laura and asks her to contact old country singer Carson Mack (great name), who thinks his life story would make a good book, Laura isn’t convinced. She goes to see Carson and when he realises she’s the one who solved the murder of Craig Adler, he convinces her to help him find the son he has never known. Of course, this book coming from the pen of crime writer Chris Nickson, murder and intrigue soon come knocking at Laura’s door...

Read More

Emerald City by Chris Nickson

Mention Seattle to me and what comes to mind is Microsoft, Frasier and rain. But Seattle is also the setting for Emerald City, the new book by Chris Nickson. It’s 1988 and Laura Benton is a music journalist at The Rocket, a publication at which the author also worked in the 1980s. It’s a male-dominated world where Laura feels she has to constantly prove herself in order to be taken seriously. When Craig Adler, songwriter and lead with local band Snakeblood dies of a heroine over dose on the eve of the big time, there’s no reason for anyone to be suspicious. But when Laura discovers that Craig had been clean for a year she suspects there may be more to the story than meets the eye. Then the threatening phone calls start, warning Laura to leave the story alone. But...

Read More

Random by Craig Robertson

[tweetmeme source=”nettiewriter” http://www.URL.com] We have a legal system so that the courts can take responsibility for meting out justice, taking decisions regarding punishment away from those who have been offended against and making that justice impartial instead of fueled  by revenge. But what if those courts let you down? This is the situation the main character in Random finds himself in. His 11 year old daughter is killed by a drunk driver. The culprit, because of a contact in the press, is portrayed as a pillar of the community and the young girl as a reckless, out-of-control tearaway. When the case reached the courts the drunk driver was let off. What father wouldn’t want to take matters into his own hands and mete out his own form of...

Read More

The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris

[tweetmeme source=”nettiewriter” http://www.URL.com] The Hanging Shed was at the top of the Amazon Kindle chart a couple of months ago due to its absurdly cheap price. If I am being honest, its price was the chief reason I bought this crime thriller set in post-war Glasgow, the same era as the previous book I reviewed, The Long Glasgow Kiss. But here the similarity ends. Where Craig Russell’s book had a smart, noir feel to it, Ferris’s is its darker, grittier cousin. Douglas Brodie is an ex-cop, ex-soldier home from the war and trying to ply his trade as a London journalist when he gets a call from an old friend who was horribly burned in the war. Hugh Donovan is due to be hung for the murder of five young boys and what follows is Brodie’s attempt to...

Read More

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

[tweetmeme source=”nettiewriter” http://www.URL.com] I left writing a review of this book for a week or so to decide what I really thought about it. I enjoyed it well enough when I was reading it, but it didn’t really grab me. And now a week later, I have no idea why that should be as it’s a damn fine read. I can only suppose it’s because I was feeling under the weather when I read it. Set in Edinburgh during the festival, the book tells the story of a group of seemingly unrelated people who witness an incident of road rage. Throwing convention to the wind, Ms. Atkinson starts off the book with a viewpoint character that isn’t the main character of the story. This threw me a bit: as writers we are told to introduce your main/viewpoint character as...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest