Blog-Tour: Ice Lake by John A. Lenahan

It’s my stop on the Blog-Tour for Ice Lake by John Lenahan. Be prepared to be entertained by his amusing and sharp-witted characters, and his environmentally driven assiduous crime story.

About the Author

John Lenahan is a popular TV magician who toured with Jack Dee, Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood. He starred on a prime time BBC1 TV show, had his own BBC2 series, and was the voice of the toaster in ‘Red Dwarf’.

His fantasy trilogy Shadowmagic, an award-winning podcast that received over 100,000 downloads, was published by HarperCollins and sold over 70,000 copies across all editions.

Ice Lake is his debut crime novel, the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull.

Read more about John Lenahan and his books

Follow @johnlenahan @KillerReads @HarperCollinsUK

About the book

An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull.

An abandoned body…

Deep in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A haunted psychologist…

Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A desperate killer…

It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, this time a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

Review

Harry Cull is not only a trained polygraph examiner and psychologist, he is also a wee bit of a human lie detector. He can read his fellow humans like books. He also isn’t very subtle about telling them what he can read in their faces, voices and body language. His very direct approach often leads him into some uncomfortable and often contentious situations.

The interactions between Harry and Todd are especially funny, although Harry and Edward Cirba come a close second as a comedy duo. It is this light-hearted touch that makes the story flow in a way that distracts the reader from the dangerous elements of the story. It almost lulls them into believing it is safe.

Hidden behind the dry humour and sharp observational skills is a world of pain. Harry has been dealing with a personal tragedy. The kind of tragedy you don’t recover from. His personal problems make him a little bit paranoid when it comes to connecting the dots in perhaps completely unrelated crimes.

The author also tackles the issue of fracking, which is an important hot topic at the moment. He does this in a way even laymen can understand both sides of the argument. This definitely applies to the ‘loophole’ that was created, so fracking companies can get away with not only contaminating the water supply, but also being able to dispose of waste illegally in a completely legal way.

Lenahan infuses his crime with his very own brand of banter and wit. Sarcastic tongue lashings and cheeky comments are plentiful in this crime story driven by environmental topics. The author plays with the idiosyncrasies and eccentricities of small town people in a way that is beneficial to both the characters and the story. I always enjoy walking away from a read with the feeling that I have added to my pot of knowledge.

Buy Ice Lake at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @johnlenahan @KillerReads @HarperCollinsUK

Swamp Bones by Kathy Reichs

22914887

Swamp Bones is a straight to digital Temperance Brennan short story by Kathy Reichs.

The occasional interim novellas are a great way to whet the appetite for the release of future novels. In that respect the Brennan books by Kathy Reichs are no exception.

Swamp Bones is a quick delectable morsel of the crime series. For a novella length story it manages to pack quite a punch and a lot of interesting facts at the same time.

For instance the plague of Burmese pythons in Florida. The Burmese python has adapted to its new habitat and is thriving. It is responsible for the declining numbers of native mammals in the Everglades. They are an endangered species in their natural habitat, because of the decline in their numbers due to poaching.

Of course that makes the large number of them in the Everglades even more ironic. They have to be culled to keep the number local species in Florida from becoming extinct, and yet it is illegal to capture or kill them to use their skins.

People really should think twice about buying exotic pets, which  then outgrow the owners capabilities and houses, really quickly. They in turn think letting those pets free in the wild, and I say wild with the complete irony it deserves, is doing the animals a favour.

The crime is discovered by accident by Tempe Brennan, just a right person at the right moment in time kind of thing. Human bones where there aren’t supposed to be any at all. Not much, just a smidgen of bone and Tempe is wading through swamps to find the rest that should be attached to the smidgen. You sort of need a least a bit of a body to be able to find a cause of death.

It is an invigorating and witty read. Just enough to keep a reader going till the release of the next full length novel.

Buy Swamp Bones at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

At the end of this book readers get  a chance to read the first few chapters of the upcoming new Kathy Reichs novel Bones Never Lie.

download (26)

Read The Bone Collection,  Bones Never Lie,  Bones in her Pocket or Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs.

Read ExposureSwipe or Code by Kathy and Brendan Reichs.

Read Two Nights by Kathy Reichs.

The Last Savannah by Mike Bond

18051729

You can feel the connection to Africa in the descriptions and the emotions. A sense of someone who loves the country and the way its beauty has lain ownership on the author. A link that can never be severed, forgotten or forgiven.

MacAdam seems to be confused and appears to be fighting an internal struggle. One second he is the man, who adores his adopted country and the is pining for good old England. One of the things I found quite interesting was the dialogue he had with himself about colour. It was almost as if he, as a white man was projecting his feelings about race and skin colour on to the people around him who were not white. A subconscious thought process perhaps, but there lying subtly under his skin. That confusion of two men in one body was also apparent in the way he spoke about himself as an ex-SAS and yet when confronted with the choice to kill or be killed he waxes lyrical excuses.

I am not sure whether that portrayal of MacAdam was intentional or if the author was unaware of the split nature of his character. I hope it was intentional, because it is actually quite a good way of showing the emotional confusion of someone, who lives in a foreign country.

As a foreigner you never quite belong, no matter how many years you live there, and often when yu get older the heart yearns for the home country. In a country plagued by violence and racial issues that sense of being an intruder probably never really fades from view, even if someone has spent a lifetime building a life there.

I would have liked for the plot about poaching to be more than just a sub-plot. It is a serious issue which deserves a lot of attention. I am sure many people are unaware of the fact that one day we will only be able to see certain species in books or on the screen, because they are being eradicated for profit.

Instead the book focused on the kidnapping of Rebecca, who used to be the main characters mistress, and her attempts to survive.

The one character in the book, who managed to draw me in was Warwar. Quite unexpected I might add, because he goes from being the murderer and the distasteful villain to the young man who wants to save and redeem himself.

The writing went from bouts of almost poetic descriptions to awkward dialogue and then staccato like action scenes.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.