Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith Book Cover Image

Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith: Crime Fiction With Character

Rating: 3.5 stars

Category: Crime fiction

Synopsis: Victor Van Allen is proud of the ordered life he has created for himself. He runs a sought-after printing press, holds a respected position in the town, and is the father of a precocious little girl.

The only taint to this perfect facade is his wife, Melinda. Their relationship is tenuously held together by Vic sleeping in a separate room and pretending to ignore her involvements with other men. Yet a new arrival in the sleepy town of Little Wesley means Vic may not be able to look the other way for much longer… Continue reading Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith: Crime Fiction With Character

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood Book Cover Image

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: Character-Centric Historical Crime

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Historical fiction, crime, literary fiction

Format: Audiobook

Synopsis:

Alias Grace is based on the actual historical figure Grace Marks, who was convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper in 1843, alongside James McDermott. In this fictionalised account, it is uncertain whether she was acting under duress, out of fear for her own life, or if she was McDermott’s lover and co-conspirator.

The ambitious psychologist Dr Jordan is sent to the penitentiary to draw out the truth. However, with Grace claiming to have no memory of the incident, it will be difficult to separate the innocent, exploited young girl from the woman capable of unspeakable violence. Continue reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: Character-Centric Historical Crime

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Book Cover Image

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction

Synopsis:

“Did the world always mete out just deserts?”

Tom Ripley is struggling to make his way in New York City, chasing the elusive American Dream while treading the edges of illegality. When the father of an old acquaintance approaches Tom in the hope that he can persuade his son, Dickie Greenleaf, to come home from Europe and take on the family business, Tom leaps at the chance.

However, from the first, it becomes clear that Dickie has no intention of obliging his father. His life in the Italian village of Mongibello is everything Tom has ever dreamed of: wealth, status, a luxurious lifestyle. Tom will have to return empty-handed to his sordid life in New York – unless he takes measures increasingly more extreme. Continue reading The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel

Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler Book Cover Image

Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler: Macho Detective Fiction That Screams “Male Gaze”

Rating: 2 stars

Category: Crime Fiction

Synopsis:

Private investigator Phillip Marlowe, a little strapped for cash, is on yet another assignment to track down an adulterous spouse when he runs into Moose Malloy. This cold, violent gangster has a soft spot: a barmaid named Velma whom he was going to marry before being jailed for armed robbery.
Marlowe strikes out to find Velma, but soon uncovers a black hole of gangs, blackmail and corruption in which she may well be lost forever. Continue reading Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler: Macho Detective Fiction That Screams “Male Gaze”

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite Book Cover Image

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Sharp, Provoking Crime Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction

Synopsis:

“You can’t sit on the fence forever.”

Zorede takes the role of older sister seriously. She protects Ayoola. Takes the blame when she gets in trouble. And – quite literally – cleans up the bodies. Ayoola has now killed three of her boyfriends, and, although she pleads self-defence, Zorede is not convinced.

So when Ayoola starts dating the doctor Zorede is in love with, it’s finally time for her to pick a side. With family loyalty stretched to the limit, Zorede questions whether she should continue to defend her little sister – no matter what. Continue reading My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Sharp, Provoking Crime Fiction

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Book Cover Image

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: The Mother of All Plot Twists!

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: Shortly after confessing to a close friend that she is being blackmailed, Mrs Ferrars is found dead: the police conclude it was suicide. The case takes a much darker turn when that same friend is found murdered in his own study.

An unassuming newcomer to the village seems the last person the police will call upon for help. He spends his days fondly tending a vegetable patch. However, this newcomer is not your average hobbyist gardener, but a retired detective going by the name of Hercule Poirot… Continue reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: The Mother of All Plot Twists!

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins Book Cover Image

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Clever, Tightly Plotted Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: A diamond is stolen from one of the most sacred shrines in India. A young lady receives an extravagant birthday present in the will of her deceased Uncle. A London philanthropist is attacked in what seems to be a case of mistaken identity.

Connecting all of these events is the superstition surrounding the diamond: that it will leave a trail of blood in the lives of all those in possession of it. As inexplicable events plague the family holding the mysterious heirloom, Franklin Blake seeks to record witness testimonies and find a rational cause for the occurrences.

The family and their connections each contribute their version of events, but suspicions are rife and nobody knows who to trust. Not even the reader… Continue reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Clever, Tightly Plotted Mystery

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene Book Cover Image

Archive Nostalgia: Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Thriller, Crime Fiction

Synopsis: The novel is set in 1930s Brighton, where the holiday amusements sit in stark contrast to a sinister gang underworld. Central to our view of this underworld is Pinkie, a boy of only 17 who orchestrates the killing of rival gang informer Fred.

Little does he know that Fred had befriended the uncompromisingly righteous Ada, who is determined to see justice done. As he commits increasingly violent acts to protect himself and his fragile status, Pinkie is left spiralling further into a state of amorality and despair. Continue reading Archive Nostalgia: Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle Book Cover Image

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle: Suspenseful Crime Fiction Classic

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: Sir Charles Baskerville confesses to a close friend that he feels haunted by his family history. According to legend, his cruel ancestor Hugo Baskerville received recompense in the form of a hell-hound set loose on the moors to hunt him down.

A few days later, Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in his garden at the edge of the moor. There is only one detective who can separate fact from folklore in this case: his name is Sherlock Holmes. Continue reading The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle: Suspenseful Crime Fiction Classic