The virtual crime book club met yesterday evening to discuss The Accordionist by Fred Vargas as part of our French-themed month.
Members of the well-attended meeting gave a generally positive review of The Accordionist.
The book was set fifteen years ago and there was a noticeable difference in policing and investigating style to what readers would expect today as technology has advanced.
You can watch the meeting on the video below. Be aware it contains spoilers, so if you’re halfway through the book or planning on reading it, maybe watch the video after reading. Also, you may notice, as host, my questions were a little stilted this month. I’ve struggled with my health, which slows me down when reading a physical copy book (there wasn’t an audiobook) and I didn’t finish reading until forty minutes prior to the meeting and had to plan the meeting in that time. I apologise for a slightly sloppy month.
This month we are reading debut crime novels. Read the blurbs and leave your vote in the comments below before the end of Friday 10th February. The next meeting is at 8 pm. GMT, Monday 6th March. Sign up HERE to join the book club, we’d love to see you.
Breaking by Amanda Cassidy
It’s every mother’s worst fear
On a sun-hazed afternoon in the Florida Keys, a child goes missing from the beach. Dr Mirren Fitzpatrick appeals to the world to help find her eight-year-old daughter. The family are on holiday from Ireland, far from home and desperate to return there as they arrived – together.
Yet the police are immediately suspicious of Mirren. She was drinking at a bar – alone – shortly before reporting that her youngest child had disappeared. As rumours abound about Mirren’s past a trial-by-media ensues, and she is turned from a figure of pity to the villain of the piece.
And then a small body is found dumped in the ocean. Is Mirren a heartbroken mother, or the architect of her daughter’s fate?
Bad for Good by Graham Bartlett
How far would you go?
The murder of a promising footballer and, crucially, the son of the Brighton’s Chief Superintendent, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.
Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.
(Graham has had non-fiction published before and his second fiction book is released at the end of March, so this technically is still his debut fiction novel at the time of voting and at the time of the meeting.)
Cracked by Louise McCreesh
Seven patients. One dark secret.
Jennifer Nielsen has her life on track. Until she gets news that her former psychiatrist, Phillip Walton, has been brutally murdered, and that she is implicated.
Philip knew her darkest secrets. And circumstances of his murder suggest that someone else out there knows them too.
Jenny needs to speak to old friends, and old enemies, from her dark years spent at Hillside Psychiatric Hospital. Because they are the only ones who know what really happened at Hillside, about the secret that Phil kept for them all, and that this is not the first murder.
No Country for Girls by Emma Styles
GOLD. THEFT. MURDER.
A ROAD TRIP TO DIE FOR.
‘It’s not exactly how I imagined the week starting. An accessory to murder. On the run in the victim’s vehicle . . .’
Charlie and Nao are strangers from different sides of the tracks. They should never have met, but one devastating incident binds them together forever.
A man is dead and now they are unwilling accomplices in his murder there’s only one thing to do: hit the road in the victim’s twin cab ute, with a bag of stolen gold stashed under the passenger seat.
Suddenly outlaws, Nao and Charlie must make their way across Australia’s remote outback using only their wits to survive. They’ll do whatever it takes to evade capture and escape with their lives . . .
Thelma & Louise for a new generation, No Country for Girls is a gritty, twisty road-trip thriller that follows two young women on the run across the harsh, unforgiving landscape of Australia.
Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild
“I could just kill you right now!” It’s something we’ve all thought at one time or another. But Ruby has actually acted on it. Three times, to be exact.
Though she may be a murderer, Ruby is not a sociopath. She is an animal-loving therapist with a thriving practice. She’s felt empathy and sympathy. She’s had long-lasting friendships and relationships, and has a husband, Jason, whom she adores. But the homicide detectives at Miami Beach PD are not convinced of her happy marriage. When we meet Ruby, she is in a police interrogation room, being accused of Jason’s murder. Which, ironically, is one murder that she did not commit, though her vicious mother-in-law and a scandal-obsessed public believe differently. As she undergoes questioning, Ruby’s mind races back to all the details of her life that led her to this exact moment, and to the three dead bodies in her wake. Because though she may not have killed her husband, Ruby certainly isn’t innocent.
Alternating between Ruby’s memories of her past crimes and her present-day fight to clear her name, Blood Sugar is a twisty, clever debut with an unforgettable protagonist who you can’t help but root for—an addicting mixture of sour and sweet.