Review: Disturbed Earth by E.E. Richardson

disturbed-earthDisturbed Earth
by E.E. Richardson
Series: Ritual Crimes Unit #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy (police procedural)
Setting: An alternate North Yorkshire, England
Published by Abbadon, 2015
E-book, purchased
256 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: A hard-nosed career officer in the male-dominated world of British policing, DCI Claire Pierce of North Yorkshire Police heads Northern England’s underfunded and understaffed Ritual Crime Unit. Injured in the line of duty, Pierce returns to work to find her new Detective Inspector has brought in a self-proclaimed necromancer to question the victim of a murder, there’s a coven of druids outside protesting the sale of their sacred site, and an old iron lantern in the evidence room has just sent out a signal.

Pierce is going to have to hit the ground running. A suspected ritual murder and a string of puzzling artefact thefts initially seem unconnected, but signs point to something bigger: buried skulls possessed by evil spirits start turning up, and they may only be the beginning. Someone is planning something big, and the consequences if they succeed could be catastrophic. With a rebellious second-in-command, an inexperienced team, and a boss who only cares about potential bad publicity, Pierce has to make the connections and stop the ritual before it’s too late…

The problem with being married to your work was that eventually there came a point when you had to get a messy divorce. Pierce grimaced as she climbed the stairs up to the RCU. She might be out of shape from her time off, but at almost fifty-five, there was a limit to the shape she could get back into.

and

Even in these twenty-first century days of global information networks, magic was still too difficult to reproduce and too deeply surrounded by fakery and bullshit to have more than a trial-and-error approach to understanding what it could do. The only training they could give their people was to toss them in at the deep end and hope they either swam or clawed their way out without drowning.

Cheers

  • The first in this series was a novella so this is the first full length novel.
  • I like the series. It’s a combination of a gritty police procedural in a fantasy world of necromancers, ritual murders, druids, magic and more.
  • These books remind me a little of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch which also combines police procedural with urban fantasy. I think these books are darker though.
  • I like DCI Pierce. She’s a little older than most protagonists, sometimes grumpy, quite cynical. But she’s portrayed realistically. She’s not the fastest or toughest, but she doesn’t give up. She feels all the aches and pains an older body feels when that body gets knocked down or is in a fight! She is just getting back after having been stabbed in the shoulder in her last major case.
  • The Ritual Crimes Unit (RCU) is perennially underfunded and undermanned.
  • After their last case the RCU had two people seriously injured and one killed.
  • DCI Pierce returns from sick leave and she has a new boss (the old boss supposedly retired), plus three new members of her team. And she’s not sure after the last case (which ended in disaster for her team) who she can trust anymore.
  • The world building is interesting, because the magic system the world is dealing with is quite mysterious. The author doesn’t give much background into whether magic has always been in this world or if it’s a new thing. That doesn’t really matter to me. The book tells us what we need to know and we know about as much as the police.
  • Some of the people in the book are scary; the things they do are scary; the things DCI Pierce thinks might have happened are scary. All in all I didn’t read this book at night–even with my husband home…lol.

Jeers

  • I thought DCI Pierce should have figured out some things quicker.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m hoping there will be more in this series. There’s not much information about the author and nothing I could find about future books.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • E.E Richardson is a twenty-two year old cybernetics graduate who now lives as a recluse.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • COYER Scavenger Hunt–hosted by Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading, and Books, Movies, Reviews.Oh My!
  • COYER–The Scavenger Hunt–#40, Read a book featuring a strong female protagonist  (3 pts)
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book that scares you)

Places books have made me want to visit

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week.

This week we are talking about the ten places books have made me want to visit–fictional or real! This is a very fun Top Ten Tuesday since the setting of some books make them very special. (These places are a mix of real and fictional and they’re in no particular order.)

 

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1. The Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, specifically the town of Millers Kill from the Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne series by Julia Spencer-Fleming–I really like this series and I’ve never been to this part of New York State. I like that the fictional town is called Millers Kill. (As well as the obvious definition a Kill is also a channel or creek and is used mostly in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It comes from a Dutch word.)

2. The Scotland coast north of Aberdeen found in The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley–Slains Castle which is in the book is located here.

3. Middle Earth found in The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien–I read The Hobbit many years ago and loved it. I’d also love to visit New Zealand to see Middle Earth created there!

4. Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series–When I was a teenager I thought it would be so much fun to go to a boarding school! I probably would have hated it, but Hogwarts is another matter–totally cool!

5. The desert planet Arrakis from Dune by Frank Herbert–I love this book. I’ve read it several times–once out loud to my husband as we made a long road trip. The desert planet fascinated me.

6. Tony Hillerman’s Southwest from the Jim Chee and Lt. Leaphorn mystery series–These are favorite books of mine. I’ve been to the Southwest U.S., but not to the Navaho Reservation.

7. Portugal from The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney–This is a fantasy series, but uses real buildings and areas in Portugal. It makes me want to visit!

8. Oz from the Oz books by L. Frank Baum–I read many of these books to my son when he was young and we loved them!

9. Yorkshire from All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot–I read this book a long time ago and loved it. However, I have to be honest I that the images in my mind are mostly from the British TV show which I also loved. My parents had videotapes of the shows which they watched over and over!

10. Denali National Park, Alaska from A Fatal Thaw by Dana Stabenow–These mysteries about Aleut Private Investigator Kate Shugak are favorites of mine (especially the earlier books).

What about you? What places have books made you want to visit?

Review: A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

a-share-in-death

A Share in Death
by Deborah Crombie
Narrated by Michael Deehy
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, Book 1
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural (British)
Audiobook Published by AudioGO, 2011 (originally published in 1992)
Audiobook, Purchased
288 pages
7 hours, 7 minutes
Grade: B
Narrator Grade: B
Synopsis: A week’s holiday in a luxurious hotel is just what Scotland Yard’s Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But his vacation ends dramatically with the discovery of a dead body in the whirlpool bath. Despite a suspicious lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid’s keen sense of duty won’t allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised significantly when a second murder occurs, and Kincaid and James find themselves locked in a determined hunt for a fiendish felon looking for fresh blood….

There was no hurrying sheep.

Cheers

  • A new mystery series (new to me)!
  • I read this book quickly and immediately picked up the next book. I like a mystery with a good story, but I also like books in a series where we gradually find out more about characters and friendships deepen.
  • I’ve felt in the mood for a mystery–especially a police procedural. I like these if the main characters aren’t corrupt police. And I don’t want to read about children in danger or a story about the blood and gore. I don’t want to get into the mind of murderers–especially serial killers.
  • This is a good beginning to a new series (although it was written 20 years ago!) No cell phones then!
  • I like Duncan Kincaid. He’s on vacation and wants not to attract attention so he doesn’t tell people he’s a policeman. So, of course, a suspicious death occurs and he has to tell everyone he’s a policeman. The other guests feel he lied to them. The local police–especially the officer in charge–feel he’s putting his nose into their business. But he empathizes with people and thus is able to understand them and solve the crime.
  • In this mystery because Duncan is a guest in the hotel he learns more about everyone’s life than he normally might if he was a policeman investigating a murder. He has a personal stake in what is happening. He meets the people staying at the hotel before the murder and he likes some of them. That makes it both harder and easier for him.
  • Gemma is mostly in the background in this book. She does the background interviews for Duncan–tracking down the relatives and associates of the people at the hotel. She’s also a single mom so we see a little about how she juggles home and job.

Jeers

  • We don’t get to know the people in the hotel too well.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m very excited to find a new series! I haven’t read many mysteries lately and I really enjoyed this so I plan to read some more.
  • Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard first brought Deborah Crombie to my attention and I’m so glad she did. This first book was on sale at Audible a couple months ago and when I decided I wanted a mystery I remembered this book. It’s the first book in the series so it was serendipity to pick it out and listen to it!
  • As soon as I finished this book I went and searched for the second book!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  •  The 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapis
  • 2014 Audiobook Challenge hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs.
  • Goodreads Challenge.