#FridayReads 2021-12-10 ‘Miss Benson’s Beetle’, ‘A Particular Darkness’ and ‘Dark Whispers’

This week, I’m reading one book that my wife enjoyed and continuing with two series. The book my wife read has a gorgeous cover and an improbable but intriguing plot. The first series is the second book in the dark, violent and beautifully written series about Katrina Williams, a Detective in a Sheriff’s Department in a small town in the Ozarks. The second series is the fifth book in the Firebrand series about a detective with special abilities who works for the supernatural division of the Metropolitan Police in an alternate London where magic is an accepted part of society.

I’m seeing this as a week to sit back and let talented authors take me wherever they want to go.

‘Miss Benson’s Beetle ‘ by Rachel Joyce (2020)

I’m hoping that this book will be a little bit of unconventional escapism. The focus seems to be firmly on a friendship between two women that enables them to become something extraordinary together. The plot sounds like it will require a fair amount of suspension of disbelief but I’m willing to make that bargain if it delivers something uplifting and a little magical.

‘A Particular Darkness’ by Robert Dunn (2017)

In the past few months, I’ve become fascinated with Robert Dunn’s writing. It started with his final book, ‘The Sound Of Distant Engines‘ a piece of Speculative Fiction set in a near-future America. Searching his back catalogue I found, ‘A Living Grave’, the first book in a contemporary hard-boiled police mystery series set in in the Missouri Ozarks, and starring Sheriff’s Detective, Katrina Williams. It was darker and more realistic than I had expected and by the end of the book, I knew that I had to find out what Katrina did next. So, this week, I’m reading book two and hoping that Robert Dunn found a way to keep up the pressure that is shaping Katrina Williams into someone extraordinary.

‘Dark Whispers’ by Helen Harper (2021)

I read the first four books in this series back to back this summer. It was a perfect escape from the real world. It’s set in an alternate London where the supernatural world and the human world mix openly and the Metropolitan Police have a supernatural squad to deal with non-human crime. The magic is fairly original, the mysteries are interesting and the main characters, who has very unusual powers, is easy to like.

So, when the fifth book was published this month, I knew I had to have it and read it as quickly as possible.

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