Best mystery novels for this summer

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Best mystery novels for this summer

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, Little, Brown and Company, US $28.00, Pp 400, June 2019, ISBN 978-0316523097
Outfox by Sandra Brown, Grand Central Publishing, US $28.00, Pp 428, August 2019, ISBN 978-1455572199

Jackson Brodie recently moved to a beautiful, quiet seaside village. His teenage son and aging Labrador accompany him — both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. Julia is an actress and just completed a detective film series. The village may be picturesque, but there is something dark about this place. Currently, Jackson Brodie is gathering evidence of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife. This is when Vince Ives and his former wife, Crystal Holroyd, separately approach Jackson Brodie for help. Vince Ives was a successful middle-class husband and father when Crystal Holroyd left him. His boss fired him. As this was not enough, police suspect him of murder. Crystal Holroyd has built a new life for herself, but it looks like past shadows are following her as her daughter receives threats from someone who may know them personally. In this fifth novel in the Jackson Brodie series, Atkinson follows the same pattern as in others. Brodie may be the central character but there are other important characters such as Jackson’s protégée, Reggie Chase, who has been promoted in the police force and is taking control of several old cases. Those stories intertwine with Brodie’s new cases. But everything changes when he accidentally runs into a desperate Reggie Chase on a crumbling cliff. The accidental meeting leads him to a sinister network where he crosses an old friend’s path. The chance meeting with Reggie leads to where old secrets cross new lies. Packed with secrets, sex, and lies, Big Sky is totally engrossing and a page-turner. As you read this suspenseful mystery novel, you will feel as if you are missing a heartbeat or two.

About the author

Kate Atkinson has written ten more ground-breaking, bestselling books, most recently Transcription. Kate Atkinson’s first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named England’s Whitbread Book of the Year in 1996. She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

*****

Jasper Ford is an attractive and charming man. He recently married Talia Shafer, a rich businesswoman many years younger. Jasper Ford is new to the people of the town. He suddenly appeared on the scene and was married to the rich woman. FBI agent Drex suspects Jasper Ford is the conman he has been looking for. The conman Drex is looking for appears on the scene suddenly under a new identity, marries a rich woman and disappears with the woman and her wealth. He has done this to eight women in the past thirty years and Talia is possibly the ninth victim of the man Drex knows as Weston Graham. Drex has made it his goal to catch Weston. The families of the women have no idea where they had gone but Drex believes that the women had been murdered by the psychopath conman. Drex is chasing Weston for personal reasons as well. Drex’s mother left him and his father for another man named Weston Graham. Drex suspects Weston Graham murdered her like other seven women. Drex got close to catching Weston many times but he would disappear just before he could catch him. This time Drex decides to go more carefully and swiftly. Drex rents a house next door to the newly married couple and poses a neighbor. As a neighbor, he can easily set up surveillance on their house. As time passes, he becomes more and more convinced that Jasper is actually the conman he is looking for. But, Drex starts getting attracted to Talia also. He understands that this is one chance to catch Weston and his attraction to Talia is threatening to compromise his purpose. But he fails to understand if Talia is an accomplice or would-be victim. In the past, Weston did not marry the women he murdered after robbing them of all their wealth, but he has married Talia. Things become clear when Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner is found dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears. Drex and Talia now have a common cause — catching Weston. Outfox is packed with suspense and love. It is an extraordinarily satisfying and entertaining novel.

About the author

Sandra Brown is the author of seventy New York Times bestsellers. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas.

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