Over the last couple of months, I have gotten behind on my reviews. These are three Crime Thrillers/Police Procedurals/Detective stories that I read and enjoyed. Scroll down to see my thoughts.

Child’s Play (D.I. Kim Stone #11) by Angela Marsons, Jan Cramer (Narrator)

Published July 3rd 2019 by Hachette UK – Bookouture

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DI Kim Stone is called to a scene in a park, where a woman is found dead, tied to a swing with an X carved into the back of her neck. Before long, two more victims with the same marking are found. Kim and her team know they are looking for a serial killer and once they figure out that all the victims were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event, they have somewhere to look. Their newest addition to the team, DS Penn is involved in another case from his old precinct, they are stretched thin and up against the clock, once again. Can they figure out who the killer is before he/she strikes again.

I am hooked on this series of crime thrillers. Once again in Child’s Play, Angela Marsons has crafted a sadistic, psychotic killer that has Kim and her team working around the clock to keep from having another victim. I can’t say enough how well I like these characters. They are not without their flaws, but the way they work together, the respect they have and their perseverance has them among the best and most developed law enforcement officers I read about. This is a gripping story, that had me on the edge of my seat. I started early in the day and did not go to bed until I had reached the satisfying conclusion. There are chances taken, dangerous situations and a creepy culprit all adding to the chilling, well developed plot. If you are looking for a great police procedural, crime thriller book/series, then I recommend you pick this one up. If you enjoy audiobooks, Jan Cramer does an amazing job with the narration of this series. I do read/listens with them as I have purchased all the audiobooks and recommend either format, but I love the audiobooks.

Fear No Evil (Alex Cross #29) by James Patterson

Published November 22nd 2021 by Little, Brown and Company

3.5 Stars:

I was always an Alex Cross fan, but have missed a few along the way. I picked this one up and realized how much I enjoy this series and will go back to read the ones I have missed. In Fear No Evil, Alex and Sampson have been dealing with a psychotic, criminal mastermind known as “M” or “Maestro”. Things have died down and they are planning on a trip into the Wilderness to relax and help Sampson clear his mind after the death of his wife, until a government agent is murdered and confesses to working with a dangerous, Mexican, drug cartel. When the agents family is butchered by the cartel in retaliation, the FBI calls in Alex and Sampson. Meanwhile, Alex’s wife, Bree, is in Europe working a case of a Philippe Abelmar, a sexual predator and embezzler for her private investigative company. All things come to a head as Maestro is involved in more ways than one.

Having missed a few books, there have been a lot of changes in the Cross family and their jobs. I was quickly brought up to speed and pulled into the story. There is a lot of violence and killing in this one, and it moves quickly with short chapters. From DC to Wyoming, Colorado, Paris, Amsterdam, Mexico, CA, MA and a crazy showdown in Montana on a wild river, this book takes us on a whirlwind ride. I enjoyed catching up with Alex, Bree and Sampson and am looking forward to the next book, where “M” or “Maestro” finally gets their comeuppance. This is a book that you just need to sit back and enjoy, suspend belief and grab a bowl of popcorn. It is quite the ride.

The Birds That Stay (Russell and Leduc mysteries #1) by Ann Lambert 

Published February 19th 2019 by Second Story Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In The Birds That Stay we meet Chief Inspector for Homicide, Romeo Leduc. He is called to investigate the death of an elderly woman who was strangled and left to freeze in her own yard. He was supposed to start his vacation, but reluctantly agrees to postpone and take the case. There have been several robberies in the area, so the assumption is that this is a robbery bone wrong. Marie Russell lives next door to the victim and when her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s says something out of the blue, she thinks it might link to the death of her neighbour and shares the information with Lecuc. Before ling, Marie and Romeo end up working together to investigate this crime that has links that go back many years.

This debut novel is much slower paced than I am used to. It is a well plotted mystery, with likable protagonists who follow the clues while working together. It takes them into the recent past, and the further into history right to the end of WW2. As secrets are revealed, information that seems unrelated, begins to come together to solve the death of this quiet, secluded woman. The story is set in Quebec, so there are several French phrases sprinkled throughout the story, which may frustrate some readers. This is an interesting mystery, with lots of clues that seem to be all over the place, but eventually converge into a great conclusion. I am glad I finally picked this one up and will look for more books in this series.