Browne: Rendezvous at Kamakura Inn

book coverAustralian writer Marshall Browne establishes a convincing Japanese ambiance for his tenth novel, a dark, bloody riff on the familiar theme of a good cop breaking the law to achieve justice.

A long, dangerous, Tokyo Police investigation into a corrupt politician is abruptly shut down, days short of success. The squad is broken up and its leader, Inspector Aoki, sent on leave. A prominent journalist breaks the story shortly afterwards and is brutally murdered in response – and we haven’t even reached the end of the prologue.

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Mosley: Little Scarlet

book coverThe latest instalment of Easy Rawlins’ story opens in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1965. A black woman has been murdered in her home during the riots and the police call on Easy for help in finding the killer. They hate to have to ask but they know their own detectives would only re-ignite the smouldering tension between black residents and the white city administration.

Easy Rawlins has come a long way since Devil in a Blue Dress, seventeen years in his past and fifteen in ours. Continue reading “Mosley: Little Scarlet”

Rankin: Fleshmarket Close

book coverIan Rankin has been writing his Rebus books since 1987 and I only discovered them last year. How could I have missed out on a writer this good for so long?

The first few pages of Fleshmarket Close set the scene and initiate three investigations. Detective Inspector John Rebus and his friend and colleague DS Siobhan Clarke have been moved from their old base to work in cramped conditions in Edinburgh’s West. Rebus is assigned to the investigation of the murder of an unidentifiable but clearly foreign man, stabbed and left to die between two blocks of squalid Council flats. At the same time, Clarke is asked for help in tracing a runaway teenage girl. Later that same day, Clarke and Rebus together are sent to discover the history of a pair of skeletons found under the cement floor of a hotel.

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