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Books 128-129: The Shining Skull and The Affair

Book 128: The Shining Skull (Wesley Peterson #11).
Author: Kate Ellis, 2007.
Genre: Police Procedural. Murder Mystery. Archaeology.
Other Details: Paperback. 274 pages.

Little Marcus Fallbrook was kidnapped in 1976 and when he never returned home, his grieving family assumed the worst. Then, thirty years later, teenage singing star Leah Wakefield disappears and DI Wesley Peterson has reason to suspect that the same kidnapper is responsible. And another abductor is at work in the area - a man who tricks blonde women into a bogus taxi and cuts off their hair. Has Leah fallen prey to the man the newspapers call 'The Barber' or has she suffered a more sinister fate? But then Marcus Fallbrook returns from the dead. And when DNA evidence confirms his identity, the investigation takes a new twist. Meanwhile, archaeologist, Neil Watson's gruesome task of exhuming the dead from a local churchyard yields a mystery of its own when a coffin is found to contain one corpse too many - a corpse that may be linked to a strange religious sect dating back to Regency times.

Wesley has his hands full elsewhere - slowly, Marcus Fallbrook begins to recover memories that Wesley hopes will lead him to a cunning and dangerous murderer. But he is about to discover that the past can be a very dangerous place indeed.
- synopsis from author's website.

Another outstanding book in this impressive and addictive series. After being more to the fore in The Marriage Hearse, here the personal issues of the main characters take a back seat in order to focus on the the interwoven crimes from the present, recent and more distant pasts.

I am deeply impressed as to how well Ellis manages to come up with such intricate plots and was glued to my settee in order to finish this. I am also happy for the return of the Historical Note, following the story,

Book 129: The Affair (Jack Reacher #16).
Author: Lee Child, 2011.
Genre: Action. Thriller. Murder Mystery.
Other Details: Hardback. 427 pages.

In 1997, a dead woman was found behind a bar outside Fort Kelham, MS. The murderer could be a local or a soldier, so the Army sent one of their best men to investigate. A real superstar. That man wasn’t Jack Reacher. Reacher went in undercover..... brief synopsis from author's website.

Despite what I said about having no intention to read another of lee Child's Jack Reacher novels I found myself reaching (no pun intended) for the next in the series from the library shelf. Although a prequel to the series it is the sixteenth written and provides background to what set Reacher off on his adventures. It proved perfect non-demanding yet highly engaging reading for this hot summer.

Lee Child certainly knows how to write a thriller and I can appreciate now why he is such an international best-seller. It isn't non-stop action but organically paced.

Will I go back and read earlier novels in the series? I may well as they are quick easy reads.
Tags: adventure, murder mystery, police drama, thriller
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