Police Procedural

Unless otherwise noted, summaries on this page are quoted from fantasticfiction.co.uk


Booth, Stephen. Black Dog, 2000.
Ben Cooper and Diane Fry series, #1.

When smart, sexy teenager Laura Vernon goes missing one long, hot summer in the Peak District, local police mount a full-scale search operation. But it’s retired lead miner Harry Dickinson who finally discovers Laura’s body, and he seems bent on obstructing their investigation. Even her parents are holding something back. But what could be more important than finding Laura’s murderer? Ben Cooper, a young DC living with tragedy, has known the villagers all his life, but his instinctive feelings about the case are called into question by the arrival of Diane Fry, a ruthlessly ambitious DC from another division. As the investigation twists and turns, Ben and Diane discover that to understand the present, they must also understand the past – and in a world where no one is entirely innocent, pain and suffering can be the only outcome.


Booth, Stephen. The Corpse Bridge, 2014.
Ben Cooper and Diane Fry series, #14.

The old Corpse Bridge is the route taken for centuries by mourners from villages on the western fringes of Derbyshire to a burial ground across the River Dove, now absorbed into the landscaped parkland of a stately home.

When Earl Manby, the landowner, announces plans to deconsecrate the burial ground to turn it into a car park for his holiday cottages, bodies begin to appear once again on the road to the Corpse Bridge. Is there a connection with the Earl’s plans? Or worse, is there a terrifying serial killer at work?

Back in his job after the traumatic events of previous months, Detective Sergeant Ben Cooper knows that he must unravel the mystery of the Corpse Bridge if he’s going to be able to move on with his life. As the pressure builds, Ben doesn’t know who he can trust and, when the case reaches breaking point, he has to make a call that could put everything and everyone at risk.


Clausen, Lowen. Second Watch, 2003.
Seattle, Trilogy series, #2.

Katherine Murphy is new to Seattle’s Second Watch and to the Ballard Beat. Her partner, Grace Stevens, grew up in the small Scandinavian neighbourhood and introduces Katherine to its rhythms, its people and its dangers.

When the body of a boy is found in a trash compactor, Kathrine and Grace are the first officers at the haunting crime scene. With only one clue to carry them, they take on a risky undercover assignment to search for the killer. But it may already be too late for them to save another child in desperate need of protection… summary from goodreads.com


Connelly, Michael. The Black Echo, 1993.
Harry Bosch series, #1.

LAPD detective Hieronymous (aka Harry) Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. Called out on a routine drug overdose case, Bosch soon realises that the victim found lying in the Mullholland Dam drainpipe is no accident case. Billy Meadows was a fellow ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam and Harry swears to bring the killer to justice.


Crombie, Deborah. No Mark Upon Her, 2011.
Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series, #14.

It is a dank October afternoon in the historic Henley-on-Thames when Olympic rowing hopeful, DCI Rebecca Meredith, decides to take her scull out on the river. When she doesn’t return, a search and rescue team discovers her body floating in some weeds close to the shore. Accidental drowning is the initial verdict. Recently married, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, who has a new job at Scotland Yard, are returning to London from Glastonbury when Duncan gets a call from his boss. Against the serene backdrop of the river in autumn, there has been another shocking and violent death. Becca’s friend, the SAR handler Kieron Murray, has been found shot. And just when the pathologist was beginning to raise questions about Becca’s death.

As Duncan explores the victims’ lives he discovers that while ex-war veteran Murray was well-liked, it seems Meredith left behind a string of failed relationships; she was unscrupulous, competitive, and aggressively ambitious. Gemma discovers that Meredith had accused Commander Ross Kelly, a senior met officer, of rape, but had been warned off pursuing the case further. The officer was retired with honours and benefits, and it seems that Becca was considering changing her mind. With a prime suspect, it becomes clear that there is someone else who is willing to go to any lengths to keep Kelly’s crimes from coming to light – and more than one innocent life depends on Duncan’s and Gemma’s ability to track down a killer.


Deaver, Jeffery. The Bone Collector, 1997.
Lincoln Rhyme series, #1.

Lincoln Rhyme was once a brilliant criminologist, a genius in the field of forensics—until an accident left him physically and emotionally shattered. But now a diabolical killer is challenging Rhyme to a terrifying and ingenious duel of wits. With police detective Amelia Sachs by his side, Rhyme must follow a labyrinth of clues that reaches back to a dark chapter in New York City’s past—and reach further into the darkness of the mind of a madman who won’t stop until he has stripped life down to the bone.


Fairstein, Linda. Cold Hit, 2002.
Alexandra Cooper series, #3.

The third in Linda Fairstein’s gripping and authentic series of crime novels featuring Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper. With aplomb, style and sharp compassion for her “clients” Coop again unravels the truth behind murder in partnership with homicide detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace. The victim is Deni Caxton, third wife to the heir of a steel baron and a leading New York art dealer in her own right. As Coop, Chapman and Mercer investigate her brutal killing they strip away the elegant and refined façade of her marriage and the international art world to reveal a tangle of cut-throat business dealings, over blown egos and distorted passions. They find that the rich have the same motives for murder as the poorest killer – money, revenge, love and hate – and they rapidly discover that a veneer of artistic ‘civilisation’ doesn’t prevent the use of blackmail or violence, not even when officers of the law stand in the way.


Farjeon, J. Jefferson. Thirteen Guests, 1938.

No observer, ignorant of the situation, would have guessed that death lurked nearby, and that only a little distance from the glitter of silver and glass and the hum of voices two victims lay silent on a studio floor.’On a fine autumn weekend Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, Bragley Court. Among the guests are an actress, a journalist, an artist and a mystery novelist. The unlucky thirteenth is John Foss, injured at the local train station and brought to the house to recuperate – but John is nursing a secret of his own.Soon events take a sinister turn when a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled. Death strikes more than one of the house guests, and the police are called. Detective Inspector Kendall’s skills are tested to the utmost as he tries to uncover the hidden past of everyone at Bragley Court.


Freeman, Brian. Immoral, 2005.
Jonathan Stride series, #1.

In Duluth, Minnesota, a young woman, Rachel Stoner, has gone missing. Cop Jonathan Stride, a sharply focused detective despite the stresses of his troubled personal life, is quick to suspect her stepfather of murder. And yet, he has his doubts. Even for a man accustomed to power, the accused seems remarkably convinced he’ll go free. Could he be telling the truth? While Stride endeavours to make sense of the conflicting pieces of evidence, a young woman’s body lies half-buried deep in the woods. But if it’s not the body of Rachel, where is the missing girl? Is she dead, or is the terrible, unexpected fate that awaits Graeme Stoner one he does not deserve?


Gayle, Stephanie. Idyll Threats, 2015.

In the summer of 1997, Thomas Lynch arrives as the new chief of police in Idyll, Connecticut – a town where serious crimes can be counted on one hand. So no one is prepared when Cecilia North is found murdered on a golf course. By chance, Chief Lynch met her mere hours before she was killed. With that lead, the case should be a slam dunk. But there’s a problem. If Lynch tells his detectives about meeting the victim, he’ll reveal his greatest secret – he’s gay.

So Lynch works angles of the case on his own. Meanwhile, he must contend with pressure from the mayor to solve the crime before the town’s biggest tourist event begins, all while coping with the suspicions of his men, casual homophobia, and difficult memories of his former NYPD partner’s recent death.

As the case unfolds, Lynch realizes that small-town Idyll isn’t safe, especially for a man with secrets that threaten the thing he loves most – his job.


Hayder, Mo. Birdman, 1999.
Jack Caffery series, #1.

Greenwich, south-east London. The Met’s crack murder squad, AMIP, is called out by nervous CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. As each post-mortem reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realize that they are on the trail of that most dangerous offender: a sexual serial killer.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery – young, driven, unshockable – finds himself facing both hostility within the force and echoes of his past in this, his first case with AMIP. Haunted by the memory of a death long ago, he employs every weapon forensic science can offer for he knows it is only a matter of time before this chaotic, sadistic killer strikes again.


Hill, Susan. The Various Haunts of Men, 2004.
Simon Serrailler series, #1

A lonely woman of 53 vanishes in fog – hidden in her cupboard is an expensive pair of cuff-links with a note: ‘To You, with all possible love from your devoted, Me’. A fat 22-year-old never returns from an early morning walk – is her disappearance connected with her girlish crush on Dava, the blue-eyed ‘therapist’ whose speciality is ‘inner harmony’? Experienced policemen know that most missing persons either turn up or go missing on purpose. But fresh young D. S. Freya Graffham won’t drop it – until she discovers what links the people who disappear on ‘The Hill’, young and old, men and women, even a little dog.


Hjorth, Michael & Rosenfeldt, Hans. Sebastian Bergman (aka Dark Secrets), 2012.
Sebastian Bergman series, #1.

Sixteen-year-old Roger has vanished. Days pass and Västerås Police do nothing, blaming his disappearance on teenage antics. Then Roger’s pale, mutilated body is found floating in a shallow pond, his heart missing, and the experts descend.

They need Sebastian Bergman. Top criminal profiler and angry, self-destructive mess, Bergman is no stranger to secrets. Desperate for access to police files, he plays along, until the brittle web of lies and deception seizes his full attention.

But Roger had his own secrets – dark secrets that are tearing apart the very fabric under which they all survive . . .


Jance, JA. Until Proven Guilty, 1985.
J P Beaumont series, #1.

The little girl was only five, much too young to die – a lost treasure who should have been cherished, not murdered.She could have been J.P. Beaumont’s kid, and the determined Seattle homicide detective won’t rest until her killer pays dearly. But the hunt is leading Beaumont into a murky world of religious fanaticism, and toward a beautiful, perilous obsession all his own. And suddenly Beau himself is a target – because faith can be dangerous…and love can kill.


La Plante, Lynda. Above Suspicion, 2004.
Anna Travis series, #1.

A rookie detective, Anna is about to embark on her first murder case – and it couldn’t be a more serious, more gruesome series of murders. The killings began eight years before; now the body count is up to six. The method of killing is identical, the backgrounds of the girls very similar – all of them prostitutes. As the book opens, a seventh body is found, same modus operandi but the victim this time is a young student, sweet, innocent, with ‘the face of an angel’. Anna stumbles on a vital piece of information which links one man to the killings. But that man is a household name, a well-known and much-loved actor, with charm, good looks and the gift of the gab. Denial springs easily and confidently to his lips; his protestation of innocence is convincing. What if he is arrested, in the face of huge publicity, and he is the wrong man?


Leon, Donna. Death at La Fenice, 1992.
Guido Brunetti series, #1.

There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice.

But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one. . . . summary from amazon.com


Johnson, Craig. Death Without Company, 2006.
Walt Longmire Mysteries series, #1.

When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation of her death that proves to be as dramatic as her life. Her connections to the Basque community, the lucrative coal-bed methane industry, and the personal life of the previous sheriff, Lucian Connally, lead to a complex web of half-truths and assumed allegiances. As the specter of Mari’s abusive husband arises, Sheriff Longmire, aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, must connect the past to the present to find the killer among them.


MacBride, Stuart. Dying Light, 2006.
Logan McRae series, #2.

It’s summertime in the Granite city: the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and people are dying! It starts with a prostitute, stripped naked and beaten to death down by the docks – the heart of Aberdeen’s red light district. For DS Logan MacRae, it’s a bad start to another bad day. Only a few short months ago, he was the golden boy of Grampian police. But one botched raid later, he’s palmed off on a DI everyone knows is a jinx, waiting for the axe to fall with all the other rejects in the ‘Screw-up Squad’. Logan’s not going to take it lying down. He’s determined to escape DI Steel and her unconventional methods, and the best way to do that is to crack the case in double-quick time. But Rosie Williams won’t be the only one making an unscheduled trip to the morgue. Across the city, six people are burning to death in a petrol-soaked squat, the doors and windows screwed shut from the outside. And despite Logan’s best efforts, it’s not long before another prostitute turns up on the slab!


May,Peter. The Blackhouse, 2011.
Lewis Trilogy series, 1.

A MURDER: A brutal killing has taken place on Scotland’s most remote island. Detective Fin MacLeod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born MacLeod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past. A SECRET: Something lurks beneath the close-knit, God-fearing facade of the Lewis community. Something primal. As Fin investigates, old secrets are unearthed, and soon he, the hunter, becomes the hunted.


Robinson, Peter. Final Account (aka Dry Bones That Dream), 1994.
Inspector Banks series, #7.

It was 2.47 a.m. when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrived at the barn and saw the body of Keith Rothwell for the first time. Only hours earlier two masked men had walked the mild-mannered accountant out of his farmhouse and clinically blasted him with a shotgun.

Clearly this is a professional hit – but Keith was hardly the sort of person to make deadly enemies. Or was he? For the police investigation soon raises more questions than answers. And who, exactly, is Robert Calvert?

The more Banks scratches the surface, the more he wonders what lies beneath the veneer of the apparently happy Rothwell family. And when his old sparring partner Detective Superintendent Richard Burgess arrives from Scotland Yard, the case take yet another unexpected twist . . .


Russell, Craig. Blood Eagle, 2005.
Jan Fabel series, #1.

The first woman had her lungs ripped out. When the same gruesome ritualistic method was used again, it was clear that the same killer was responsible. But there is no precise evidence to link the two cases, except for the tantalising email. In his first crime novel, Craig Russell introduces us to a new detective hero, Jan Fabel -half-Scottish, half-German -a man of conscience and imagination. Russell has also created a richly textured scenario where the City of Hamburg plays a central role -it is a city where the old Germany combines increasingly with the new, where gangs from Turkey and the Ukraine battle for supremacy. Blood Eagle is a violently exciting thriller and Fabel’s desperate attempt to solve the case before more victims are discovered, gradually uncovers layer upon layer of intrigue. How can he track a murderer who leaves no trail, whose victims seem purposefully random and whose motive reaches far beyond greed and lust, into the darkest recesses of the human soul?


Russell, Craig, Brother Grimm, 2006.
Jan Fabel series, #2.

The hunt is on for a serial killer who is exploring the deepest fears hidden in old fairy tales. With each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected by the Brothers Grimm. The killer is a monster we all learned to fear in childhood.


Russell, Craig. Eternal, 2007.
Jan Fabel series, #3.

The Buddhists believe that each life, each consciousness, is like a single candle flame, but that there is a continuity between each flame. Imagine lighting one candle with the flame of another, then using that flame to light the next, and that to light the next, and on and on forever. A thousand flames, all passed from one to another across the generations. Each is a different light, each burns in a totally different way. But it is, nevertheless, the same flame’. ‘Now, I’m afraid, it is time for me to extinguish your flame. But don’t worry… the pain I give you will mean you will burn brightest at the end.’ An environmental campaigner and former left-wing radical is murdered, his body scalped. When a second scalped murder victim, a geneticist researching the possibility of inherited memory, is found, the media latch on to a new serial killer. Jan Fabel and his murder team have nothing to go on other than a single red hair left as a signature at each scene, each hair cut from the same head, at least twenty years previously. Connections begin to appear: a long disbanded terrorist group and its infamous leader; a mummified body over 1500 years old; and a killer who believes he has been reincarnated to exact a terrible revenge on those who betrayed him in a previous life.


Tabman, Michael. Midnight Sin, 2011.

When a rookie cop walks on to the midnight shift, the lines between right and wrong become blurred. Every step he takes and every decision he makes has unforeseen consequences. His life will never be the same.

Becoming a cop changes everything you thought you knew about life. Midnight Sin is an inside look at the dark and mysterious world behind the cop’s badge. Rookie cop Gary Hollings quickly learns that wrestling street thugs and arresting drug dealers while trying to track down a serial rapist is nowhere near as tough as watching his back from his fellow cops. He must also fight his inner demons – ones that he never knew he had until he put on that police uniform.  summary from amazon.com


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