Category Archives: law enforcement

Cross the Borders and Deceive

For the Dignified Dead

By

 Michael Genelin

A NetGalley Review

A tensely written story that crosses Europe and cultures. A female detective makes the links across multiple crimes, deaths, and countries, that culminate in a most unexpected outcome.

The writing style impressed me as it felt Eastern European in its cadence and grammar and the preciseness of a detective whose mind could make these links across so many clues and occurrences, in so many different countries.

This book did not read like an American novel. It read like a translation from a Baltic or Slavic language, which, from a western writer, was I thought impressive.

The story was complex and complicated and involved many disparate countries and police authorities. The detective amassed an enormous amount of travel miles – she hopped on planes like they were buses, in her quest to find the truth and to help find a lost boy.

In the end, she was surprised by the truth or the crimes and who committed them and just how far the conspiracy spread and who was involved and who was the mastermind, and thus just what her own role in the conspiracy turned out to be

Cats multiply – Universal Coons

Danger in Cat World

By Nina Post

A review for the publisher: Curiosity Quills

When asked to describe what Danger in Cat World is about during an interview Nina Post replied:

Danger in Cat World is a procedural murder mystery about a homicide detective who feels isolated by his work and investigates the murder of a reclusive heiress. When he discovers a window to another universe and dozens of cats begin appearing out of thin air, he must embrace the unknown to solve the case.

Now this is a different take of course on the idea of Schrodinger’s Cat – I must assume – mixed up with the latest physics about we are living in only one of many multiple universes – each of which contains the same matter but has deviated in its pathway due to a different decision made at a crucial point.

It seemed to me that I’d better explore this theory more and so found a ‘for Dummies’ site:

The multiverse is a theory in which our universe is not the only one, but states that many universes exist parallel to each other. These distinct universes within the multiverse theory are called parallel universes.

Every single possibility exists somewhere and has happened somewhere – thus Hitler won WW2 in several and /or invaded Britain and so on.

If there are multiple universes then it stands to reason that at times our universe may interact with other or cross over or… thus if you are clever enough you can build a machine that can make these interactions take place. And a Coon cat can therefore multiply in our universe as all these other universes all have such a cat, and they can all cross over into ours – every hour if the rather clever machine is still operating….

A Coon cat is an American breed that is rarely seen here in the UK, so I needed a picture of one and to learn a little more about them – being a cat lover, of course.

Maine Coon cats are among the top 10 breeds in the US I read. It weights between 12 and 18 pounds and is very large looking at the photos, and shaggy, and a good mouser apparently. It is hardy too and thus very much an outdoor cat I would assume. You can buy them in the UK of course but I personally have never seen one.maine coon

So what did I think of the book? Well Nina has a rather zany imagination as evidenced by her book titles.

And this zaniness is reflected in her writing style which I thought refreshing and different and amusing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book in a very light-hearted way and loved the detective named Danger and his

I think I need more about Danger to read and I see he a new book will come in February next year. I am definitely going to check out her other books too as she seems an author worth following.

5 stars!

Innocence or Guilt: You choose

My Sister’s Grave

And

Her Final Breath

Bks 1 and 2

By

Robert Dugoni

A NetGalley Review

Is she being stalked by the killer? Or just a common or garden nutter?

Just what is this about knots? Not the Japanese type of fetish knots but hangman’s nooses and knots.

Ah, a female cop with intelligence and attitude – not so sure I like her ability with guns though – she even likes to shoot and misses it when she can’t get to the range. However, I can blame her parents for their upbringing of her and her sister, as it was a father’s hobby passed onto the kids as he took them with him whenever he went to competitions. And encouraged them. And even got them to dress up as gun-slingers of the Wild West. And her shooting name was a pun on her actual surname – ‘Crossdraw’.

I did check out Washington State, where Tracy grew up, to see what the NRA was doing, and found to my personal disgust, that Washington State University had teamed up with the 4H organisation to bring a gun club to young people. Not really the behaviour, to me, of an ethical university.

It was interesting to find out from the novels that Levi Strauss supported the anti-gun lobbyist but not Wranglers or Lee.

I explored no further.

This review is going to talk about both novels as they lead one into the other. Book one starts the story line of the sister Sarah, and book 2 completes it, with an unexpected twist at the end. Which made a really good ending and one I had not expected.

Starting with book 1 I would like to make some comments about the Innocence Project.

It has always seemed to me that the Innocence Project is direly needed in the US for 2 reasons: 1. The Death Penalty; and 2. The inability of some police officers to look past the colour of a person’s skin to determine innocence or guilt.

So in book 1 we find that someone is ‘fitted up’. Is this surprising in ‘Backwoods’ USA? They needed a ‘solve’ for the community to put the incident to rest. So am I surprised? No.

I checked into the Innocence Project and here are some statistics:

As of 2014/5:

  • 333 post-conviction DNA exonerations
  • Majority of exonerations are people from low socio-economic status
  • 14 years was the average length of incarceration before exoneration;
  • 140 real offenders were found as a result of investigations (40% of cases);
  • 18 people were on death row;
  • 99% were males;
  • 70% were of ethnic minority groups;
  • 22% of cases were closed because the evidence was missing;
  • 1989-2004 overall 1579 people exonerated;
  • 1973-2004 4% of those executed were probably innocent;
  • 75% of wrongful convictions were through eye witness accounts;
  • 50% included unreliable/improper forensics or forensic testimony;
  • 25% of those innocent were coerced or threatened into giving false statements;
  • 28% pled guilty to additional/or other crimes they did not commit to avoid a long sentence;

Other reasons for exoneration include:

  • Government misconduct;
  • Inadequate legal counsel;
  • Improper use of informants.

There is still a death penalty in 31 states and in 2014 there were 35 executions with 3002 on death row.

The states which execute most people are: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, and Arizona, with Texas holding the current record.

So all of the above is the background to the story played in book 1. And a  very strong story-line it is considering that here we are talking about a sister trying to exonerate her own sister’s presumed killer.

Book 2 takes this is as its starting point and the case that Tracy abandoned to go home to deal with the above. It proves to be a vital element in bringing to justice a serial killer but it has already been closed with a presumed killer incarcerated. Again we see Tracy considering exonerating a killer as she ties together the current spate of killings with this closed case.

Tracy Crosswhite is the type of cop I like. She is determined, intelligent and no nonsense.

Robert Dugoni portrays her well and the stories are full of detail and well paced with nice twists and turns to keep you interested.

I look forward to this series being continued.

4 stars for both books.