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

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

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The emphasis for me and the most interesting part of the book, was the relationship between mother and daughter and the attitude towards the elephant in the room. The elephant being the child’s deafness. Yasmin seems to be envious of relationship Ruby has with her father, perhaps because he understands her silence. He also tries to help integrate his daughter without trying to usurp her own voice.

Ruby chooses not to use her speaking voice, but has rather cleverly found her written voice and a way to interact on social media, which gives her another kind of speaking voice.

Yasmin is adamant Ruby use her voice, to the point that she makes her daughter even more determined not to do so.Yasmin acts as if she is almost embarrassed by Ruby’s deafness. She wants her to behave like other children. This battle between mother and daughter is evident throughout the story and also how much distance is between them because of it.

The complex relationship plays an integral role in the story, and is the one thing keeping the boat from sinking, as far as I am concerned. Aside from that and the big nod in the direction of how dangerous fracking is for our environment and us in general, the story struggles to retain any semblance of reality. In what world is someone going to become an instant ice trucker, and no her being a physicist does not count.

The narrator often changes in mid-chapter, which is often confusing and could be clearer. The plot is a little far-fetched, but the very realistic relationship issues between mother and daughter make up for what it is lacking.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

The Last Savannah by Mike Bond

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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.