Cause of Death by Jeffery Deaver

Cause of Death

This 77 page short story by author Jeffery Deaver is a very entertaining read, well written, decent plot and full of detail. Quite often short stories fail for me because they lack plot detail and the characters don’t have enough meat on them to fully satisfy me. Jeffery Deaver and Jeffrey Archer are two authors who manage to overcome those obstacles and both write very good shorter stories and novellas.

Jon Talbot is a history professor who is grieving following the death of his wife Pax. She was driving home late from a volunteer assignment when she plunged off a mountain highway and died. The police reported no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death, they found a dead deer in the road and a blown tyre. But Jon is naturally inquisitive and questions the facts surrounding her death. His digging and questions uncover a twisting trail of secrets and deceit. What he learns that after five years of marriage, he is finally getting to know his wife.

A quick enjoyable read that somehow offers everything that a full length novel does.

This Much is True by Miriam Margoyles

This Much Is True

This is a fun biography of successful actress Miriam Margoyles. I have not watched a lot of the the actresses work but have always found her television interviews honest and fun so expected an entertaining read. Well I certainly got that and a lot more, I found it interesting to read about her unconventional upbringing and college days. For anyone who has watched her interviews on the Graham Norton show know exactly what to expect, honest, funny tales with nothing held back.

In my opinion the book was better than I expected, I was concerned it may be too over the top with saucy recants but like I say it was much more than that. Plenty of name dropping as you would expect from a successful career working with the top stars but very interesting.

With Miriam you get the stories straight and true with no holding back which may not always be what people want to hear. If she doesn’t like someone or agree with what they say she tells them. No beating around the bush or holding back which makes it a far more informative account.

A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane

This is my 4th read by this author enjoying all the novels especially ‘The Sister in-law’ so was looking forward to this one.

Alvera Fields, a women’s rights activist mysteriously vanishes from her home in April 1910. Her husband and newborn baby never saw her again and the mystery remained unsolved. In April 2021 on the anniversary of her great-great-grandmother’s disappearance, Vera Portman also vanishes.

The police discover the body of a girl six moths later leaving the Portman family eagerly waiting to find out if it is Vera. Her mother Felicity desperately hopes against the odds that her teenage daughter is still alive. While Felicity senses a link between the two cases all the suspicion is focussed on the last person who saw Vera alive, Felicity’s sister-in-law, Marin.

As Felicity makes a shocking discovery in Vera’s journal, she questions who her daughter really is. The deeper she digs, the more she’s ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed their ancestor in a terribly slow ruin.

Although I did enjoy the novel I didn’t feel the book achieved the same high standards of the other four books by this author I have read.

I would like to thank both Netgalley and Tabella House for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Later by Stephen King


This Stephen King novel is told from the perspective of 8 tear old Jamie Conklin, the only child of Tia Conklin. Jamie has an unusual ability, he can see dead people. It is a short term ability to see people that have recently died and they can only speak the truth to him. This unusual skill makes him an attractive aid for other peoples plans.

I always enjoy Stephen King’s writing but I don’t always enjoy the plots, this one was right up my street and I found the first half of the novel especially riveting. Jamie proves to be a great character and his innocence made the story for me. Some very good characters in this novel and the book and is very touching at times, especially when Jamie makes a close bond with an elderly neighbour.

A fast paced story that is more of a mystery story than an horror but that suits my reading preferences.

A Cold Trail (Tracy Crosswhite No7) by Robert Dugoni

A Cold Trail (Tracy Crosswhite, #7)

This is the 7th book in the Detective Tracy Crosswhite series by author Robert Dugoni. I love this series but this is the first one in the series that I didn’t fully connect with. Enjoy the characters and love the writing but felt this one was not quite up to the high standard previously set by the author.

Homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite and attorney husband Dan return to Cedar Grove where they both grew up along with their new born daughter. Husband Dan has taken on a complex case against Cedar Grove’s mayor and a group of investors trying to revitalise the downtown area. This doesn’t go down very well with the locals and is made worse when Tracy gets involved in a fatal arson case. The victim is the police chief’s wife who works as a reporter and was was investigating a 1993 cold case. The case was the murder of teenage Heather Johansen who was last seen on a dark country road close to the Crosswhite family home.

Enjoyable read but for me a slight dip.

A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite No 6) by Robert Dugoni

A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite, #6)

This is the 6th book in the Tracy Crosswhite series by author Robert Dugoni. This excellent series is getting stronger and stronger and this one proved to be the best yet.

When a woman disappears, Detective Tracy Crosswhite is convinced this is no ordinary missing person case and her suspicions are confirmed when her body is discovered in an abandoned well, The woman was estranged from her family following a disagreement over an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school.

As well as investigating this far from easy case Tracy is hiding the secret that she is pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.

Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.

I love this series, it so much more than a crime series and all the side issues and distractions make it a very entertaining read. Well researched plots and great characters are the strength to this series.

Close To Home (Tracy Crosswhite No 5) by Robert Dugoni

Close to Home (Tracy Crosswhite, #5)

This is the 5th book in the Tracy Crosswhite series by author Robert Dugoni. Another excellent addition to this great series featuring Detective Tracy Crosswhite.

Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite is investigating the hit-and-run death of a young boy when she discovers the suspect is an active-duty serviceman at a local naval base. A difficult case is made harder when a key piece of case evidence goes missing, he is cleared of charges in a military court. Tracy has dedicated her life to seeking justice and she knows she can’t let this one go without a fight.

When further investigations uncover the driver’s ties to a rash of recent heroin overdoses in the city, Tracy realises this isn’t a simple case of the military protecting its own. This is a far more complicated case that it first looked and the accused wasn’t working alone.

Robert Dugoni proves time after time what an excellent writer he is, Thoroughly researched, well written plots and great characters make this series top drawer.

The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite No4) by Robert Dugoni

The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite, #4)

This is the 4th book in the Tracy Crosswhite series by author Robert Dugoni. I am running out of good things to say about this series, great characters, well thought out plots and so well written.

The dead body of a woman is discovered in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite is investigating the case and is hunting for the killer. But her first task is to identify the victim with the autopsy revealing very little other than someone has gone to great lengths to conceal the identity. Investigations suggest the body may be a woman who disappeared suspiciously months earlier. When Tracy looks into the woman’s past it throws up more questions than answers and the case proves to be one of the most difficult ones she has faced.

This series just gets better with each book.

In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite No3) by Robert Dugoni

In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite, #3)

This is the third book in the Tracy Crosswhite series by author Robert Dugoni. This is a really good series, excellent characters and so well written. Robert Dugoni is an author who does his homework making sure that all the detail and procedures are correct. This series is of a consistently high standard and just seems to get better with each book.

Detective Tracy Crosswhite has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to families, having a particular skill at solving unsolved crimes. She suffered the heartbreak of losing her sister Sarah at a young age and has never completely got over the sadness and guilt. A former police academy classmate named Jenny asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, This is the sort of case that Tracy excels in and starts by following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, The more digging Tracy does the more hidden secrets she uncovers which only puts her own life under threat.

These books are effortless to read, great characters that are developing all the time together with well thought out plots.

Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite No2) by Robert Dugoni

Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite, #2)

This is the second book in the Tracy Crosswhite series by author Robert Dugoni. I have read so many books by this author this year and never lets me down. This is another exciting police procedural novel featuring Detective Tracy Crosswhite.

Following on from the first novel where Tracy saw the retrial of the man suspected of killing her sister Sarah. Tracy is back on the Violent Crime Squad and is investigating the murder of a dancer named Angela Schreiber. A serial killer known as the Cowboy is killing young women in cheap motels in North Seattle. As the dead bodies pile up Tracy realises the key to solving the murders may lie in a decade-old homicide investigation which occurred in similar circumstances. Another dancer named Nicole Hansen was murdered and her captain, Johnny Nolasco, would prefer to keep it buried.  

This is quickly becoming a very good series, good characters, exciting plots and so well written. Another winner for author Robert Dugoni.