March 22nd, 2015

no escape

Book 29: The Valkyrie Song by Craig Russell

Book 29: The Valkyrie Song (Jan Fabel #5).
Author: Craig Russell, 2009.
Genre: Police Procedural. Euro Crime. Politics.
Other Details: ebook. 420 pages.

Jan Fabel is a troubled man. His relationships with the women in his life are becoming increasingly complicated: his partner, Susanne, is looking for a deeper commitment. His daughter is considering joining the police and his ex-wife holds him responsible.

If that weren't enough, after a gap of ten years, a female serial killer - the Angel of St Pauli - again makes the headlines when an English pop star is found in Hamburg's red-light district, dying of the most savage knife wounds. Links emerge with a series of apparently unrelated events. A journalist murdered in Norway. The death of a Serbian gangster. And a long-forgotten project by East Germany's Stasi conceived at the height of the Cold War, involving a highly-trained group of female assassins, known by the codename Valkyrie. Fabel's hunt for the truth will bring him up against the most terrifyingly efficient professional killer. The ultimate avenging angel.
- synopsis from author's website.

This was an excellent crime thriller with the political and social themes that have been a major part of this series. The appearance of a female serial killer had some resonance for me with Alexandra Sokoloff's Huntress though here the figure remains more of a shadowy presence rather than a major character in the narrative.

Russell managed to twist and turn situations in the plot in a highly satisfying way and delivered a stunning climax. This is a terrific series and I expect I shall move on to Book 6, the final book to date, fairly soon.

Extract from The Valkyrie Song

Book 8- Witch Wraith, by Terry Brooks

8. Witch Wraith (The Dark Legacy of Shannara), by Terry Brooks. This is the third and final book in the Dark Legacy series. I honestly wasn't sure how Brooks would pull this off- there was so much going on by the end of the second book I wasn't sure how he would wrap up everything in just one more book. But he did it, and for the most part in a way that didn't feel rushed or contrived. There are still a lot of questions left hanging at the end of the third book, but given the unsettling tone of this entire series, I think it is fitting that not everything gets tied up in a neat bow. It's tough to review this without giving away major spoilers. Let's just say the body count is pretty high, and it's rare to see missions and characters screw up so royally- and the consequences play through. The ending is at best bittersweet. No one escapes unscathed. I especially felt sorry for Aphenglow. This is one of the bleakest fantasy trilogies I've ever read. I do wonder if Brooks will address some of the questions in later Shannara books. I do hope so, especially regarding Aphenglow.

Currently reading: Sin in the Second City, by Karen Abbott, and Eiffel's Tower, by Jill Jonnes.