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Missing by Melanie Casey & White Bones by Graham Masterton, Book Reviews

Missing Melanie CaseyMissing Synopsis

Cass Lehman and Detective Ed Dyson #3

On any night, 1 person in 200 is homeless …

Someone is targeting Adelaide’s homeless. Men are disappearing off the streets, and body parts are turning up in a local dump.

Still haunted by her last run-in with a serial killer, Cass Lehman is trying hard to focus on the future. That’s not easy when she has the ‘gift’ of retrocognition … the ability to spontaneously re-live the last minutes of a person’s life.

Cass and Detective Ed Dyson are now trying to make a normal home together, but when she gets entangled in Ed’s latest case things are far from normal.

A twisted tale of love, desperation and murder … When the psychic meets the psychotic, who will come out unscathed? (Pantera Press)

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

BOOK REVIEW

Having recently read the first two titles in Melanie Casey’s Cass Lehman Series, Hindsight and Craven in quick succession, I couldn’t wait to dive into Book 3, Missing. That excitement was however tinged with disappointment, after Melanie telling us in February that Missing would be the last outing for these characters for now. Since then I’ll admit to dallying a little before beginning ‘the end’ of the journey…

In the foreground, like each title in this series, there is a particularly complex and chilling crime for leading man Detective Ed Dyson and his colleagues to untangle. Casey has a real knack for authentic dialogue and the exchanges between the many colourful characters involved in this investigation are very entertaining.

But for me what has made this series so strong is that it’s not all about the police work – it’s just as much about the people behind the roles; their struggles and what motivates them. All have experienced watershed moments and grown throughout the series, but none more so than the relationship between Cass and Ed. What next for this endearing pairing? What next for Cass’ psychic talents? You’ll just have to read it to find out.

Melanie Casey has beautifully highlighted the limitless power of family in this compelling novel. Missing is a thrilling and worthy ending (for now) to a very memorable series.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

PS: While Missing can be read as a standalone novel, since these titles are such quick and engaging reads I strongly recommend starting with Book 1 Hindsight.

Missing Melanie CaseyAvailable from:
Booktopia(Aus) | AmazonKobobooks

Genre: Thriller, Crime-Detective, Romance, Sci-Fi-Fntasy

This review counts toward my participation in the Aussie Author Challenge 2016 and the 2016 Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Author Information: Melanie Casey was born and lives in South Australia with her two young children and her husband (who didn’t know he was marrying a writer when he walked down the aisle). After studying English Literature and Classical Studies, Melanie shifted to Law, and now works in government. A chance meeting with a highschool English teacher in the supermarket made Melanie realise that she should be doing what she’d always loved, writing! Another period of study, this time at the Professional Writing School of Adelaide’s College of the Arts ensued, helping Melanie acquire the skills she needed to put her plan into action.

Other reviews of Missing :  Goodreads ; FairDinkum Crime ; Sydney Arts Guide ; Carpe Librum

White Bones SynopsisWhite Bones Graham Masterton

Katie McGuire Book 1 

One wet, windswept November morning, a field on a desolate farm gives up the dismembered bones of eleven women…

Their skeletons bear the marks of a meticulous butcher. The bodies date back to 1915. All were likely skinned alive. But then a young woman goes missing, and her remains, the bones carefully stripped and arranged in an arcane patterns, are discovered on the same farm.

With the crimes of the past echoing in the present, D.S. Katie Maguire must solve a decades-old murder steeped in ancient legend… before this terrifying killer strikes again. (Head of Zeus)

BOOK REVIEW

Given the amount of crime and forensic investigation shows I watch on television, I really thought I wouldn’t be phased by the criminal acts described in this novel’s synopsis. I was wrong.

I found the level of depravity meticulously described by the omnipresent narrator very confronting, and my instinctive response was an enforced sense of detachment to what I was reading. That said, while I think my engagement with the characters in White Bones was uncommonly low for this reason, I did find the historical and political layers involved in this criminal investigation generally intriguing, and in parts compelling.

In lead Katie McGuire (Ireland’s first female detective) and the ensemble cast, Masterton has written characters that are clearly fallible and he’s not afraid to swiftly end a characters’ life to progress his creative plot. While these are decisions I’d typically commend an author for, in White Bones there were a few instances where that efficiency weakened the story.

White Bones definitely has clever plot elements (perhaps too many for its 416 pages), but for me its execution lacked the depth that would have taken the story to the next level. While a page-turner, like a crash you can’t look away from, it is one only for readers with the strongest of stomachs.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5

White Bones Graham MastertonAvailable from:
Book Depository | AmazonKobobooksBooktopia(Aus)

Genre: Crime-Detective, Thriller, Mystery

Author Information: Graham Masterton was a bestselling horror writer who has now turned his talent to crimewriting. He lived in Cork for five years, an experience that inspired the Katie Maguire series.

Other reviews of White Bones : Goodreads ; The Bookbag ; New York Journal of Books ; Crime Review