Faceless Enemies (Kurt Wallander #1) by Henning Mankell

Book Description:

Published: January 14, 2003

Format: Audio/OverDrive

It was a senselessly violent crime: on a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death, and his wife is left to die with a noose around her neck. And as if this didn’t present enough problems for the Ystad police Inspector Kurt Wallander, the dying woman’s last word is “foreign”, leaving the police the one tangible clue they have–and in the process, the match that could inflame Sweden’s already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.

Unlike the situation with his ex-wife, his estranged daughter, or the beautiful but married young prosecuter who has piqued his interest, in this case, Wallander finds a problem he can handle. He quickly becomes obsessed with solving the crime before the already tense situation explodes, but soon comes to realize that it will require all his reserves of energy and dedication to solve.

Review –

I LOVE foreign crime fiction/drama and I never would have discovered this author if I hadn’t found a series on Netflix called Wallander.

The first disc I received had one show which was ninety minutes long and I WAS NOT impressed. The storyline was convoluted and the acting not very good. The episode was called Sidetracked and in the credits said it was based on a book by Henning Mankell. I jumped on my Overdrive site and searched for this author and his works. I found this book, which is the first in the series. 

This book was very good and just goes to show how a movie or television series can ruin a good book. I loved this version of the main character, he was quirky, dressed slovenly, drank  and needs to lose weight. He is a very good policeman and  once he’s on a case, he’s like a dog with a bone, and will not give up until it is solved.

I will not watch any more of the Netflix series but I will definitely read or listen to more books in the series.

So, Thank You, Netflix for turning me on to another Swedish crime fiction writer.

 

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Box 21 (Grens and Sundkvist #2) by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Book Description:

Published: April 1, 2010

Format: Audio

Three years ago, Lydia and Alena were two hopeful girls from Lithuania. Now they are sex slaves, lured to Sweden with the promise of better jobs and then trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay their “debt.” Suddenly they are given an unexpected chance at freedom, and with it the opportunity to take revenge on their enslavers and reclaim the lives and dignity they once had. What will happen now that the tables are turned and the victims fight back?
In this masterful thriller, the celebrated team of Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström delve into the seedy underbelly of Stockholm. There we meet Lydia and Alena as they embark on a desperate plan to expose their captor and demand justice; police officers Sundkvist and Grens, on the trail of both Lydia’s enslavers and Jochum Lang, a notorious mob enforcer; and Hilding Oldéus, a junkie on what might be his last—and most destructive—bender. At the Söder Hospital, their destinies begin to converge in unexpected and explosive ways.
Box 21 is a Scandinavian thriller of the highest order: a mind-blowing psychological drama written with powerful intensity. When it was published in Sweden, Solo called it “suspenseful, gripping, and intelligently written . . . Almost impossible to put down,” while SVT exclaimed: “Forget crime literature; this is, simply put, great literature!”
Review –
When a severely wounded woman is brought to a hospital in Stockholm, doctors are horrified to learn that her injuries are the result of a brutal whipping. She is Lydia, a victim of human-trafficking, a young girl from Lithuania sold by her boyfriend and now trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay her “debt” by serving twelve different men every day.  In the same hospital, police officer Sven Sundkvist and senior officer Ewert Grens are chasing a lead that may just expose a notorious mafia boss, a dangerous man Grens hates with a vengeance because of the connection to the death of his wife. Two stories of passionate reprisal twist together, ending in a dramatic climax,two bullet-riddled bodies and a room full of hostages in the hospital’s basement.  Ewert Grans discovers the truth about Lydia and his best friend, Bankt, who is also on the police force. He destroys evidence to save his widow from learning the horrible things he has done. Sven, finds out that his boss has covered up things and destroyed evidence to protect his friends reputation. But in the cold light of day, will Sven protect the senior officer he so admires, even from his own corruption? 
You’ll have to read the book to find out and there is also a HUGE twist at the very end that left my mouth wide open.
The only other book I have read/listened to in this series is Cell 8 which is number three. I loved it but wished I had read or listened to this one first because it would have given me a better insight into the characters of Grens and Sundkvist and their dynamic.
Fantastic book.
Five stars!

With You (Torn Asunder #0.5) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description:

Published: December 20, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book/Second Reading

Sculpt is an illegal fighter.

He’s also the lead singer of a local rock band.

No one knows his real name.

And from the moment I met him, he made me forget mine.

In order to convince Sculpt to give me self-defense lessons, I had to follow his one rule—no complaining or he’d walk. I didn’t think it would be a problem. I could handle a few bruises. What I hadn’t anticipated was landing on my back with Sculpt on top of me and my entire body burning up for him.

I tried to ignore it.

I failed of course. And having a hot, tattooed badass on top of me week after week, acting completely immune to what he was doing to my body—it was frustrating as hell, so I broke his rule—I complained.

Then he kissed me.

Author’s Note: This novella is Sculpt and Emily’s beginning and how they met. It is an extra and not required to be read before “Torn from You”. Their story and what happens to them is the novel “Torn from You”.

Review –

I first read this book in January 2014 and loved it then and now that I have read more erotic romances/contemporary romances and have a better understanding as to what makes up a great ER/CR I love it even more.

Sculpt, whose real name is Logan, is an MMA fighter and a member of the rock band, Torn Asunder. Emily wants to learn some self-defense moves and choose Sculpt to be her teacher. For five weeks he teaches her what she needs to know and doesn’t make a sexual move on her, but then he does and everything changes.

Emily has never had a boy/man pay attention to her as Sculpt does or treat her the way he does. She gave him her virginity and he tells her he love her and that she belongs to him and the next thing she knows she’s kidnapped and being tortured and sexually humiliated in a dirty basement. END

Hows that for a CLIFFHANGER ?

In the next book, Torn From You, we find out that Sculpt/Logan is working for a human trafficking/sex slave ring in Mexico and it’s his job to break and train the women as submissives so they can be put on the auction block. Raul, the boss, allows Sculpt to keep Emily as long as he wins MMA fights. Emily can’t wrap her head around the fact that he used her the long time and now is responsible for her torture and sexual abuse.

The series is well worth reading and though the mood is very dark and things look seemingly inescapable Logan and Emily do get their HEA at the end.

This is a great ER/CR series.

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Thrilled to Death (Detective Jackson Mystery #3) by L.J. Sellers

Book Description:

Published: March 23, 2012

Monday morning, a young mother disappears after a doctor’s appointment. Monday evening, a young socialite leaves a risqué lounge and never makes it home. Detective Jackson lands both cases, but at first he can’t find signs of foul play. When the socialite turns up dead, his investigation uncovers her dirty secrets, which complicates everything. The case runs into even bigger trouble with a suspect who hasn’t left his house in a year. Jackson must push all the boundaries to find the connection and answer the question: Where is the other missing woman?

Review –

Another new author for me, L.J. Sellers, and another great mystery. This one has mistaken identity, kidnapping, jealousy, murder, human trafficking, a hint of romance, postpartum depression and brotherhood of policemen. Truly a great story to take your mind off of everyday humdrum.

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Taken(Elvis cole #13/Joe Pike #4) by Robert Crais

Book Description

Publication Date: 2012
When the police tell a wealthy industrialist that her missing son has faked his own kidnapping, she hires Elvis Cole and Joe Pike-and Cole soon determines that it was no fake. The boy and his secret girlfriend have been taken, and are now lost in the gray and changing world of the professional border kidnappers who prey not only on innocent victims but also on one another-buying, selling, and stealing victims like commodities. Fortunately, the kidnappers don’t yet know who the boy is, but when Cole goes undercover to try to buy the two hostages back, he himself is taken and disappears. Now it is up to Pike to retrace Cole’s steps, burning through the hard and murderous world of human traffickers . . . before it is too late.
11889938Review –
This was my first reading of anything by Robert Crais and it was fantastic.
The story had a real plot, good characters development and interaction,mystery,plenty of action, some gore and a great ending. What more could a reader want.
The characters of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are  the ones I would want on my side anytime.
Robert Crais has just earned another faithful reader,  ME.

The Warning (Sarah Roberts, Book Two)by Jonas Saul

Book Description

Publication Date: February 27, 2011
The Warning (Sarah Roberts Book Two)
Sarah Roberts has spent the last four years helping people stay alive through the messages she receives from the dead.
She receives a daunting communication from the Other Side regarding her sister’s murderer, and where she can find him, but the message is not clear enough to confirm the man’s identity.
Then she receives The Warning, a message that tells her to stand down – let it go. She refuses and enters a complex where the odds are stacked heavily against her. The tables turn, and Sarah becomes the hunted rather than the hunter.
How many people have to die to catch one murderer? How far will Sarah go?
Sarah must face the absolute horror and reality that has become her life as an Automatic Writer. The Warning begins as a flame, ignites to a fire and explodes in an inferno of violence over a girl who receives messages from the dead to help the living.
Review –
Although I didn’t read the first book in the Sarah Roberts series this book was a great stand alone.  Vivian is already dead in this installment so I’m assuming the book one was mostly about her and how her death occurred.
This book caught my attention for the first page and never let go.  It is fast paced and packed with action.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.