The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy Book Cover The Templar Legacy
Cotton Malone, Book #1
Steve Berry
Crime, Historic Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Random House Publishing Group
February 21, 2006
ebook
514

Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.

It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’ s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize– and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.

Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.

About the book

The Templar Legacy is the first book in the series starring Cotton Malone, a former CIA agent, who retired in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he opened a bookshop of ancient books, his long-standing passion. The book begins when his former boss comes to visit him in Copenhagen and even before she can meet Malone finds herself in a chase through the streets of the city when her purse is snatched. Between blackmail, murder, suicide, betrayal and escapes around Europe, will the former CIA agent solve the mystery?

I like this kind of conspiracies, I like hidden secrets, I like treasure hunts, I like the dark side of people, even the most devoted have one, so the plot intrigued me a lot. Style and details not so much. First of all: if the masters were 66 and have “governed” for 18 years (average) from the XII century onward, something isn’t right in the book, because (66×18 = 1188 years governed in total by the masters) +1150 (year of foundation of the templars) = 2338… and the book was written in 2006…  we are not in 2300 now… Can someone please explain this detail to me? Yes, I’m that kind of person who counts and looks after these details.

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The Black Echo

The Black Echo Book Cover The Black Echo
Harry Bosch, Book #1
Michael Connelly
Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Orion
1992
ebook
570

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call-out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.

To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow 'tunnel rat' in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.

About the book

This is the first book in the series of a Los Angeles police detective called Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch. He has no family or life outside of his job, his father left the family when Harry was a kid and Harry’s mother turned to prostitution and was killed when Harry was eleven. After her death, Harry was assigned to the California child protection services. He spent the rest of his youth in a series of foster homes before joining the army. He is a Vietnam veteran traumatized by his experiences of war and after leaving the service, joins the police forces, becoming a leading detective in the Homicide Division.

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Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper – Case Closed

Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper - Case Closed Book Cover Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper - Case Closed
Patricia Cornwell
True Crime
Mass Market
November 11, 2002
Paperback
383

In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror.  An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London’s East End.  Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes were clearly escalating in violence from victim to victim.  And then the Ripper’s violent spree seemingly ended as abruptly as it had begun.  He had struck out of nowhere and then vanished from the scene.  Decades passed, then fifty years, then a hundred, and the Ripper’s bloody sexual crimes became anemic and impotent fodder for puzzles, mystery weekends, crime conventions, and so-called “Ripper Walks” that end with pints of ale in the pubs of Whitechapel.  But to number-one New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, the Ripper murders are not cute little mysteries to be transformed into parlor games or movies but rather a series of terrible crimes that no one should get away with, even after death.  Now Cornwell applies her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise to dig deeper into the Ripper case than any detective before her—and reveal the true identity of this fabled Victorian killer.

In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell combines the rigorous discipline of twenty-first century police investigation with forensic techniques undreamed of during the late Victorian era to solve one of the most infamous and difficult serial murder cases in history.  Drawing on unparalleled access to original Ripper evidence, documents, and records, as well as archival, academic, and law-enforcement resources, FBI profilers, and top forensic scientists, Cornwell reveals that Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world’s finest museums: Walter Richard Sickert.

It has been said of Cornwell that no one depicts the human capability for evil better than she.   Adding layer after layer of circumstantial evidence to the physical evidence discovered by modern forensic science and expert minds, Cornwell shows that Sickert, who died peacefully in his bed in 1942, at the age of 81, was not only one of Great Britain’s greatest painters but also a serial killer, a damaged diabolical man driven by megalomania and hate.  She exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters that were written to the Metropolitan Police and the press.  Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows that his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man’s birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions, and their effects on his upbringing present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.

About the book

This book is not fiction but an essay, a summary of the research done by the author on Jack the Ripper. I read this book for the Popsugar challenge prompt “True Crime” and therefore I had no expectations.

I find the book a bit confusing. I liked it as an essay, but it jumps from one period to another without chronology and I think, my personal thought, that if you are writing a report of a real person’s life, you need to chronologically plan the book or at least a little bit more chronologically that it is; you can’t jump from one period to another and then go back. She talked about Jack’s first murders, then she jumped to those who may have been his own murders but that have never been attributed to him, only to return to those attributed to him a few years earlier. I know it is divided into chapters and each chapter has its argument, but even more so, putting chapters in chronological order is wiser in my opinion. And she talks a little bit too much about the watermark of the paper… but I noticed this in her books, too, she is too much detailed on certain things and often the common reader is bored about it (and also it’s boring to those who know about argument because they already know those things).

The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library Book Cover The Body in the Library
Miss Marple, Book #3
Agatha Christie
Mystery
Kindle Edition
February 1942
ebook
224

Colonel Bantry has found the strangled body of an exotic blonde bombshell lying on his library hearth - and the neighbors are beginning to talk! When Miss Marple takes an interest, though, things begin to move along nicely, and its all far more convoluted - and sordid - than the genteel Bantrys could have imagined.

A curmudgeonly financier, his self-absorbed adult children, a couple of pragmatic and clever hotel workers, tons of money and influence, a wild local lad, some smitten girls, the film business, mix into a classic Christie plot filled with twists, turns, and double-backs galore. Plus the glorious settings of A Great House, a fancy Hotel, and an excessively genteel little village, and let's not forget Miss Marple...

About the book

This is a fairly old book, I read it for the Popsugar challenge “a book set in a bookstore or library” and therefore I had no expectations. I’ve never read anything about Agatha Christie and I do not think I will read anything else about the author. I found this story a bit too simple.

I have a question: isn’t the series titled Miss Marple? Because I met her only twice and I’m on page 47…. I thought she was going to be more present… Maybe in the other books she is more present but not in this one and I’m sad about it.

The book is nice, obviously being a dated book is not one of those complicated that exist now and that obviously I like more, but the reading was pleasant, simple even if as I said I hoped for more Miss Marple. All right, she solves the case, but being the protagonist (more or less) I would have liked more presence. It was a little obvious who the killer was, reading the mysteries written nowadays, solving the case before the protagonist of an “ancient” book is common I think, but I did not see the small final twist.

The title, among other things, especially the English one (The Body in the Library) reminds me of an episode of the Bones TV series…

Every Dead Thing

Every Dead Thing Book Cover Every Dead Thing
Charlie Parker, Book #1
John Connolly
Crimine, Mystery
Hachette UK
1999
ebook
480

The gripping first Charlie Parker novel from bestselling author John Connolly - perfect for fans of Stephen King and Jeffery Deaver. Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that 'The Travelling Man' is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.

About the book

When I bought this book, somewhere I read “Perfect for Jeffery Deaver’s fans”… but are you kidding? Please do not compare a thriller genius with this boring author.

To say that I got bored to death reading this book isn’t enough, the narrative is slow and most likely because of this boredom, I lost all the connections because I honestly don’t understand how the case of the disappearance of the woman can be connected to the murder of his wife and child.

The protagonist is unbelievable, alcoholic, drug addict and moreover a born criminal.

In the post in which I introduced this book, I said “hope I won’t be disappointed”, but yeah, it happened!! Never again!

Honestly I can not even summarize what happened, I just know that the protagonist is tormented by the death of his wife and daughter, and I have no idea how this is connected to everything else.

-5 stars for this book.

Bones of The Last

Bones of the Lost Book Cover Bones of the Lost
Temperance Brennan, Book 16
Kathy Reichs
Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Scribner
August 27th 2013
ebook
338

The body of a teenage girl is discovered along a desolate highway on the outskirts of Charlotte. Inside her purse is the ID card of a local businessman who died in a fire months earlier.

Who was the girl? And was she murdered?

Dr Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist, must find the answers. She soon learns that a Gulf War veteran stands accused of smuggling artefacts into the country. Could there be a connection between the two cases?

Convinced that the girl's death was no accident, Tempe soon finds herself at the centre of a conspiracy that extends from South America to Afghanistan. But to find justice for the dead, she must be more courageous - and take more extreme action - than ever before.

About the Book

I find this book in the series a little better than the previous one (at least Brennan is not kidnapped) but not a 5-star-book because once again Tempe looks like a teenager with her first crush with Ryan.

Tempe is in North Carolina and is called for the case of a young unknown woman found on the side of the road, in her purse, a document that belonged to an important local businessman who died some time earlier. Furthermore, she is involved in a case involving the bones of Peruvian dogs. She is also asked by her ex-husband, Pete, to clarify a case involving the son of another former marine, accused of shooting two Afghan citizens in the back so Tempe travels to Afghanistan to examine the bones.

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Cause of Death

Cause of Death Book Cover Cause of Death
Kay Scarpetta, Book 7
Patricia Cornwell
Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Berkley Publishing Group
August 1st, 1996
Paperback
356

It is New Year's Eve, the last day of Virginia's bloodiest year since the Civil War. Dr. Kay Scarpetta plunges into the murky depths of a ship graveyard to recover the very human remains of Ted Eddings, an investigative reporter. What kind of story was Eddings chasing below the icy surface of the Elizabeth River? And why did Scarpetta receive a phone call from someone reporting the death before the police were notified? She soon discovers that Eddings' murder is merely the first layer of something much deeper --- a labyrinthine conspiracy that will put all of her criminal and forensic knowledge to the test like never before. For Scarpetts, the real challenge won't be cataloging the growing number of dead bodies, but preventing herself and those she loves from becoming the next victims.

About the Book

Cause of Death is the 7th book in the series of detective stories about Kay Scarpetta,

I liked the book itself, the plot is compelling and when it comes to nuclear, I’m all for it since I’m a chemistry major, the only flaw is Kay, I know that is the main character but I really can not stand her relationship with Wesley or her long speeches with her niece… in all the books I’ve read so far, it is the usual story with Lucy. I liked Marino more here, even if I did not like him in the previous book or at least his jealousy, here I found his character improved with both Kay and Lucy.

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Lycke

Lycke Book Cover Lycke
Ellen Tamm, Book 1
Mikaela Bley
Crime, Mystery
Scribe Publications
March 26th, 2015
Paperback
352

‘Death, death, death,’ she whispered to herself. But it was already too late. The panic was growing inside her.

On a cold and stormy Friday in May, a young girl disappears without a trace from outside Stockholm’s Royal Tennis Hall.

The missing girl is Lycke, and assigned to report on her story is TV4’s hot-headed crime reporter Ellen Tamm. As the police begin their search, Ellen starts her own investigation, delving into Lycke’s life: her family, the nanny, the kids who taunted her at school.

As Ellen is drawn deeper into a tangle of secrets, lies, and betrayals — and frustrated by the odd behaviour of Lycke’s family, as well as corrupt police, her upstart new boss, and the disturbing threats being made against her — she becomes more and more possessed by the task she has been given, tortured by the echoes of her own past, of the darkness that haunts her.

Will she find Lycke before it is too late for either of them?

Mikaela Bley’s debut, 'Lycke', is the haunting first novel in the Ellen Tamm thriller series, and is an exciting new voice in Swedish crime writing.

About the book

Lycke is a Swedish detective story and the first in the Ellen Tamm series. Ellen is a journalist and has some personal problems, the one that stands out most is that she is a bit obsessed with death. She also has a secret and the disappearance of a child is likely to bring out this tragic part of her life.

I like the fact that the “secret” of the protagonist comes out in the middle and not immediately or at the end of the book. The reader thus becomes curious but does not need to read the entire book to ask what happened.

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Abducted

Abducted Book Cover Abducted
Lizzy Gardner, Book 1
T.R. Ragan
Crime, Female Detectives, Mystery, Thriller
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
May 29th, 2011
Paperback
354

When Lizzy Gardner was only seventeen, what should have been the perfect night became the perfect nightmare. Kidnapped just blocks from home after a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Jared, she woke up to find herself at the mercy of a depraved serial killer. Imprisoned and tormented for months by the maniac she came to know as Spiderman, Lizzy narrowly escaped, the only one of his victims to survive. But Spiderman escaped too, outwitting police and cursing Lizzy to spend her life looking over her shoulder…

Fourteen years later, Lizzy is a private investigator who teaches self-defense to teenage girls in her free time. She does what she can to help others protect themselves and to forget the horror of her ordeal, yet fears she will always be known as “the one who got away.” Then she receives a phone call from Jared, now a special agent for the FBI, with grim news. The killer has resurfaced, this time with a very specific target—Lizzy. And he’s made it clear that she will not escape him again. So begins a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, a terrifying, heart-pounding hunt that only one will survive.

About the Book

I hate spiders! I wish everyone on Goodread.com would stop posting spider images in the comment section, but no! Anyway, I loved the book!

So the main character was victim of a crime and I usually don’t like that, even if I like series like Kate Burkholder and Smoky Barret, but I liked this in the book. So I’m very picky when main characters are victims, too.

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The Mermaids Singing

The Mermaids Singing Book Cover The Mermaids Singing
Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, Book 1
Val McDermid
Crime, Female Detectives, Mystery, Thriller
HarperCollins
1995
Paperback
464

This was the summer he discovered what he wanted at a gruesome museum of criminology far off the beaten track of more timid tourists. Visions of torture inspired his fantasies like a muse. It would prove so terribly fulfilling.

The bodies of four men have been discovered in the town of Bradfield. Enlisted to investigate is criminal psychologist Tony Hill. Even for a seasoned professional, the series of mutilation sex murders is unlike anything he's encountered before. But profiling the psychopath is not beyond him. Hill's own past has made him the perfect man to comprehend the killer's motives. It's also made him the perfect victim.

A game has begun for the hunter and the hunted. But as Hill confronts his own hidden demons, he must also come face-to-face with an evil so profound he may not have the courage—or the power to stop it...

About the Book

Apparently a TV show was made from this series, but I didn’t know… that’s quite strange for a TV addict like me.

The book starts in Italy, my country (quite surprised because I didn’t know about it or didn’t remember, I do buy books like they are water and leave them in my e-Reader while I finish others) and I didn’t know it was so old (likewise, I don’t look at the publishing date when I buy books), it still had Lira as currency! Moreover it still had floppy disks and some of you may even not know what they are…

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