The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths
Very sad to read the last of the Ruth Galloway book. A skeleton is discovered by builders when they’re renovating a coffee shop. They call Ruth. Ruth has issues, trying to save her department at the university from closing, and her relationship with Nelson. The remains are modern, but they turn out to be of an archeology student missing since 2002. Cathbad gets involved too, and then he disappears. Trails lead to Neolithic mines.
It was a very good read, as always. Ruth’s and Nelson relationship goes up and down. He is married after all. Elly Griffiths manages to tie a lot of loose ends. On one hand I wish there were more books about Ruth and Nelson to come, on the other hand, I think the ending was just perfect.
My review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please note that the cover for the UK is different. Much better in my opinion.
Last Respects by Catherine Aird
Last Respects is #10 of Calleshire Chronicles books. First published in 1980ies. I’ve read the previous ones, mostly pretty good reads. Solid plots, mostly believable characters. Detective Inspector CD Sloan is a good one. What is a bit odd is that his assistant, Constable Crosby is always made to be not very good at anything and he drives way fast too. And yet, he seems to be rather solid PC if somewhat plodding.
In Last Respects a local fisherman finds a body floating about in the river. Police is called to investigate, they haul the body back to dry land. It then turns out that the cause of death was not by drowning and CD Sloan gets involved. A few more deaths, and unfortunately I was able to figure out who did it well before CD Sloan.
Catherine Aird’s writing while otherwise solid, but is littered with adverbs. When the body was found, “I’ll have to report it to the Headquarters, said Ridgeford importantly…” response a bit later “Sorry, Mr Ridgeford,’ lied Horace fluently.” “And, the policeman added drily..” While not all adverbs are bad but having them in every other sentence it gets a bit tiring. Times have changed in that regard.
My review: ⭐⭐
Going Zero by Anthony McCarten
This one wasn’t my typical read as it’s more of a thriller. The premise is interesting though, especially if you’re interested in any sort of technology. The story reminded me of one of my favorite TV shows, “Person of Interest”. In it, like in this book, someone has created a massive machine or a surveillance program to find people before or after they commit crimes. In “Person of Interest” the machine didn’t say if the person was the perpetrator or the victim.
In Going Zero, the CIA is partnering with a Silicon Valley techie, Cy Baxter, who has created a program called FUSION. The purpose of FUSION is to do surveillance, to “save lives”. Before it’s rolled out, it needs to be tested. Ten people have been selected to be part of the test. At the appointed time, all ten will get a message “Going Zero” after which they have just two hours to disappear, turn off their phones, get off the grid. The purpose of FUSION is then to find them. One of the contestants is a librarian, and she’s initially thought to be the easiest to be found. But she’s giving Cy Baxter and FUSION run of their money, for her own reasons.
The plot was good. Granted, it was a bit unbelievable, but the story flowed pretty well. The author is a screenwriter, so he knows how to keep the speedy pace. It’s twisty, with rapid turns, and plenty of action. The ending was rather good, somewhat surprising too.
My review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐