CXVI-2 reviewed. I found #murder #mystery & deception from @cxviAngie

CXVI - Book II - #murder #mystery from Angie Smith
CXVI – Book II – #murder #mystery from Angie Smith

Yonder cover blurb:

Book II in the CXVI trilogy is not intended as a stand-alone read and should follow Book I, CXVI – The Beginning of the End.

The frantic search for Detective Sergeant Maria Barnes is on. She’s linked to the murder of the former Home Secretary and is desperate to prove her innocence, but she’s trapped. Her captor, Freddy Williams, a ruthless serial killer, holds all the cards; including the one she cannot allow him to reveal.

Barnes is forced to adopt a dangerous bluff and double-bluff strategy, which ultimately involves the Secret Intelligence Service and her former boss, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods, combining forces. But who will survive? And who can you believe?

And just what is the relationship between Barnes and Woods? Perhaps her nemesis Faulkner-Brown holds the answer, but will he be the one who brings this reluctant heroine crashing down?

Hold tight for a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller. Captivating, unpredictable and shocking.

My Five Stars Review:

Book 1 of CXVI left me wheezing and being carried away by the Red Cross on a stretcher; I can’t take relentless murder, mystery, action and suspense these days, and that is exactly what Book 1 was full of from cover to cover. Having almost been excited to death by the first volume why might I read the second, CXVI II? Well, quite simply I have a lousy memory in combination with a taste for extreme sports, so I couldn’t remember why it was on my doctor’s list of ‘banned items’ (along with vintage port, elephant water-polo and racin’ my own Bentleys). I dived in. Oh boy.

The action continues immediately, almost brutally directly from where it left off in Book 1 – so unless you read that volume first, you won’t have a clue-ette who is whom, why or whether you should be shouting encouragement or throwing brickbats. If you have read Book 1 then opening this one is just like turning the page of an old friend. It is a tribute to the earlier book that all of the plots, the intrigue, the murders, the action came flooding back to set the scene for Book II.

The book re-kindled the tingle in my nether regions that always comes with reading a book set somewhere other than ‘abroad’ – this one, like the first, is set in Yorkshire, which is quite good enough for me. Splendid stuff indeed. If, also like me, you’ve been driven all over this green and pleasant, murderous land then you’ll be recognising locations left, right and centre. That’s all part of the magic. The characters move about like billiards balls during a particularly rough Atlantic crossing on one of the smaller liners – except that, as you read, you realise they are all moving in some sort of criminal ballet, there’s a real-world pattern to the order of play. There is logic and order to the flow.

I’ve said it before about CXVI Book 1 and I’ll say it again about CXVI Book II, there’s violence in this book but it’s never gratuitous. There are no salacious sex-scenes to hide from the younger staff; you could put this book out on open display in your library without risk of serious moral corruption (other than perhaps from the murders of course). I detected no glaring typographical wotnots, no errors in formatting broke the momentum. The writer’s way with prose and with dialogue is easy and natural. The plot and the action therein do not even approach the borders of the land of disbelief – which, in and of itself, is a worrying indictment of human society (but an indictment that makes for good reading).

Wait until you are at one of your homes alone, wait for a stormy night, preferably one when the dogs are particularly neurotic about any little creak, groan or gamekeeper’s distant gunshot, cook yourself a decent balloon of warm brandy and curl up by an open fire with CXVI, Book 1 AND Book 2.

This book is a thriller. It’s thrilling. Be thrilled. I was.

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