Joanne’s Mystery Picks

chasing-the-dead-david-raker-mystery-by-tim-weaver-1101993324CHASING THE DEAD by Tim Weaver

Alex Towne is dead.  Or is he?  His mother, Mary, claims to have seen him walking down the street – 6 years after he mysteriously disappeared and one year since his body was found burned beyond recognition in a car wreck.  Is this simply a case of wishful thinking on her part, or is there some substance to what she claims?  David Raker, a missing persons’ investigator, hopes that in helping Mary (as fruitless as he feels it might be) he’ll be helping himself to come to grips with the loss of his wife.

What David doesn’t realize when he takes on this case is the extremes that people will go to hide the secrets in their past.  As he delves deeper into Alex’s disappearance, he finds that not everyone is whom they say they are and a sinister network whose purpose is yet unclear, is manipulating every single move.

Be prepared for a real roller-coaster ride here – and hang on!  The ending might just derail you!

51s23vyfr3l-_sx333_bo1204203200_MURDER IN AN IRISH VILLAGE by Carlene O’Connor

Since the death of her parents a year earlier due to a drunk driver, Siobhan O’Sullivan has run the family bistro along with her five siblings.   At the age of twenty-two, this is not what she’d envisioned for herself.  She should have been pursuing her studies at the University of Dublin.  Instead, she’s baking brown bread and pouring tea in the tiny village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland.

When Niall Murphy, brother of the man responsible for the death of the O’Sullivan parents, turns up dead in the bistro, Siobhan is determined to solve the crime, especially since her brother has been arrested for it.  With each subsequent chapter, Siobhan names a different villager as the murderer until facts and alibis dismiss them as being even remotely involved.

Dotted with Irish slang and colloquialisms, O’Connor does her utmost to make the reader feel that they are there – in County Cork, Ireland.  However, it just doesn’t ring true for me.  The words appear “planted”, impeding the natural flow of the narrative.

In the end, the motive of the murderer seems incompatible with the severity of the crime.  Of course, one never knows what triggers someone to murder…

But in the case of this novel, it really doesn’t work for me.  As a “cosy”, it might work for some, but it leaves me unsettled and unfulfilled.