Quiet Wolf (DI Jamie Johansson #5), by Morgan Greene

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Morgan Greene for providing me with a copy of this novel, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Happy to have the latest Morgan Greene novel in hand, I rushed to settle down with Detective Jamie Johansson yet again. Greene develops another great crime thriller in rural Sweden, where Johansson finds herself in the middle of a missing person investigation. Still living in Kurrajakk, Detective Jamie Johansson has found her routine as she helps police the community. When she receives a frantic call from her former partner, Johansson makes her way even further north to look for a missing family. What she discovers is something far more confusing and sinister. Greene develops this series so well and keeps the reader on their toes throughout.

Detective Jamie Johansson has found her groove in the northern Swedish community of Kurrajakk. One of a literal handful of police, Johansson and her partner, Kjell Thorsen, must keep the peace. When Johansson receives a call from her former partner about a missing family in an even more remote community, she can Thorsen agree to have a look.

When they arrive, the sole police officer says that he is unsure what might have happened and cannot see any foul play, something that Johansson and Thorsen contradict when they make their way to the scene. Human hair and tire marks litter the road, depicting a worrisome crime scene. Now, it is a matter of finding them, left to wonder if there is a killer on the loose.

With the local police officer vowing that nothing is amiss and that the family has turned up at a local church, Johansson is not satisfied. When she and Thorsen investigate, they discover a group who call themselves the Wolves and act in a very peculiar manner. Their views are steeped in the Bible, as well as turning towards a leader who has all the answers. Alas, while Johansson and Thorsen want to help the family, it would seem that no one is going anywhere without a little push, something that might require help from all the way in Stockholm. A chilling thriller that will keep series fans on their toes and new readers rushing to get caught up with all that DI Jamie Johansson has to offer.

Since I was first introduced to the work of Morgan Greene, I have come to build a connection to Jamie Johansson. The strong writing Greene offers up and the storytelling never disappoints, leaving me to wonder what else is to come. I am always eager to see where Johansson will find herself, as well as how her new revelations will shape the series.

Jamie Johansson has definitely transformed in the last handful of novels, coming into her own as she tries to carve out a niche. While much of the book is about the cases at hand, there are moments where some inner development occurs, much to the delight of the series reader. Johansson appears destined to remain in Sweden, feeling that there is nothing for her back in the UK. However, that could all change before long and Greene will have to keep his protagonist on her toes as she tackles many of the issues that arise.

Morgan Greene has a way with his writing, pulling the reader in from the opening pages and sustaining the intensity until the final paragraph. His mix of great crime thrillers, Scandinavian settings, and strong characters make the books alluring to the curious reader. The narrative remains strong as it pushes forward through succinct chapters. The plot thickens and takes the reader on quite the adventure into some dark themes, which only adds to the allure. Continued peppering of Swedish into the text adds plausibility, being set in rural Sweden. I am eager to see where things are headed for Jamie and the entire crew, as Greene has announced a few novels set to release this year.

Kudos, Mr. Greene, for another successful Jamie Johansson thriller. There is much to enjoy with this series and I cannot get enough.

Death Chorus (DI Jamie Johansson #4), by Morgan Greene

Nine stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Morgan Greene for providing me with a copy of this novel, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always eager to read the newest piece by Morgan Greene, I rushed to settle down with his latest Detective Jamie Johansson novel. Moving the series along, Greene spins another great crime thriller in rural Sweden, where Johansson finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Having settled in Kurrajakk, Detective Jamie Johansson hopes the peace and quiet of a town not known for crime will suit her better. All is fine for months, but the discovery of a boy in the woods turns into a horrific murder and Johansson’s dream is shattered. With a new partner who does not know the area, Johansson will have to acclimate to his ways, as well as trying to solve a case that has stirred up old folklore for the residents. A sensational thriller by a master of the genre!

After a great deal of chaos, Detective Jamie Johansson was happy to make the move to Kurrajakk, a small community in northern Sweden. She’s been working in the community for four months with little more than having to handle minor disturbances. However, all that changes one morning when the body of a teenage boy is located in the woods. He’s been sliced multiple times and has a crow shoved down his throat. This is surely not the work of your typical killer after a skirmish.

Johnasson’s superior is set to retire and does not trust that she can do this alone, so he brings in a pompous detective to help with the investigation. While Kurrajakk may be a small town, Johansson is not yet ready to share policing duties with someone else, though Kjell Thorsen has other plans. He’s heard much about Jamie Johansson and her work, knowing that she puts a violent spin on things, which may not work so well in a rural community. Still, they work together as best they can to crack the case wide open.

After some initial inquiries, Johansson and Thorsen discover that the victim was not quite as docile as some of would believe. Felix Nordahl was running quite the pill business in town and keeping teens supplied, much to the chagrin of their parents. Many have a beef with him, though no one’s yet surfaced as a prime suspect.

Norahl’s death has stirred up some old folklore about Kråkornas Kung, the King of Crows. This is an old legend that has the locals all in a tizzy. As Johansson and Thorsen try to weave their way through truths and myths, appearances of the King of Crows around town adds to the confusion of the investigation. There is surely a drug angle here, though it is not becoming overly apparent to any involved.

As the town begins to riot over the return of Kråkornas Kung and how inept the police appear to be in finding a killer, Johansson and Thorsen will have to provide them wrong. It is sure to be a case unlike anything either of them has ever seen, with a killer lurking in the shadows and waiting to strike again. Another brilliant piece that kept me up we’ll into the night. Morgan Greene knows what he’s doing and takes the readers on a stunning adventure.

Since discovering the work of Morgan Greene, I have not been able to stop reading anything with Jamie Johansson. The writing is strong and the storytelling never ceases to amaze me. I am always shocked to see the angles and perspectives that emerge from the books and find myself pining for the next novel as soon as I complete the latest. Greene has released a schedule of upcoming pieces, which has me excited for 2022, distractingly me from another winter of calamity when it comes to pandemics.

Jamie Johansson has surely transformed herself over the last handful of novels, working her way up the ranks and being challenged at every step. Her grittiness is something like no other and she has made a name for herself in the policing community, both in England and, more recently, in Sweden. Her dedication to the job is like no other, though she takes little guff from anyone, preferring to get the job done and enjoy some time for herself. There is much that she discovers about herself, some of it not entirely to her liking, in this piece, which is sure too impress the reader.

Morgan Greene has a way with his writing that pulls the reader in from the opening pages and does not let go until the final paragraph. His mix of great crime thrillers, Scandinavian settings, and strong characters make the books alluring to anyone who takes the time to read them. The narrative is strong and pushes forward with each passing chapter. The plot thickens and takes turns that keep things interesting throughout, adding folklore and educational moments to add depth for the reader. More recently, the peppering of Swedish into the text gives it even more plausibility, being set in rural Sweden, and makes it an enjoyable piece for me. With a handful of upcoming releases in 2022, I know I will be busy and surrounding myself with great reading experiences. I just hope others discover Morgan Greene as well.

Kudos, Mr. Greene, for another winner. Jamie Johansson is such a rising star and i cannot wait to see what’s to come!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Rising Tide (DI Jamie Johansson #2), by Morgan Greene

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Morgan Greene for providing me with a copy of this novel, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I have been following Morgan Greene since his fist novel caught my attention. It seems that Greene has a knack for writing that keeps getting better with each story he produces. While Jamie Johansson has evolved, she has never turned into a predictable character, finding strength and grit in every situation. This book takes the story out of the ‘traditional’ police venue and places DI Johansson and her partner in survival mode. When aa murder on a Swedish oil rig requires some investigation, DI Johansson and Kriminalinspektör Wiik are chosen to take the trip over 500 kms off the Norwegian coast to find the killer. What begins as a simple investigation takes a turn for the worse quickly. As no one can get on or off the rig, the killer must be there, but who could it be? Johansson and Wiik become hunted prey as they try to survive until help can arrive, hindered by stormy weather. As the body count mounts, it will be a race to reveal the killer before Johansson and Wiik become victims themselves. Series fans will be eager to get their hands on this novel, as Morgan Greene dazzles throughout.

While DI Jamie Johansson remains seconded to Stockholm Polis, she is eager to keep working leads on who might have killed her father. However, her time to do so is short lived when summoned to begin a daring investigation. There’s been a murder on a Swedish oil rig off the Norwegian coast. Bolstad has called on Stockholm’s best homicide detectives to take the lead and catch the killer, thereby saving their teetering reputation. When Johansson and her partner, Kriminalinspektör Anders Wiik, are shuttled 500 kilometres out to sea, they can only hope it will take a few hours to find a killer, who must be among the crew.

However, arriving on the rig is the easy part, as DI Johansson and Wiik find themselves not welcomed by the crew from the outset. As the detectives try to get a handle on what’s happened, Johansson and Wiik find themselves targeted by someone who wants to snub out the investigation before it gains any momentum. However, with a strong intuitive sense, Johansson and Wiik are ale to dodge a few bullets—literally—while others are not so lucky.

Once DI Johansson learns that there may have been some tampering with the rig, it’s a matter of determining who hatched the plan and how the secret’s been kept. All the while, gale-force winds and stormy seas keep Johansson and Woiok from being able to receive any additional backup. It does, however, permit them a little time to discuss another matter, that being the impetus to see them take the case and how it connects to Johnasson’s own investigation into her father’s death. However, all that will be moot if they cannot make it back to land, something that becomes more unlikely with each passing hour. A chilling story where the hunters become the hunted and police work turns to pure survival!

There is something to be said of an author who can push outside their usual confines and still create a story that matches past publications. It would seem that Morgan Greene can do both with ease, keeping his fans flipping pages well into the night. There is much to learn and even more that remains hidden within these books, though each piece offers some crumbs that point the way to the larger picture. Greene is masterful and anyone curious about a unique take on police procedurals need look no further than this series with a strong protagonist in Jamie Johansson.

Series fans will see the growth that DI Jamie Johansson has made throughout, even if it is incremental. She has her eye on the prize and never strays from finding the truth. While policework is her primary interest, solving the cold case that is her father’s murder (covered up to appear like a suicide) proves to be the added momentum needed to keep the young detective on track. Greene has done well to craft her as both unique and intriguing, with just enough grit to keep her ready to push the boundaries of all that is set out before her. There’s so much more to learn, which I hope Greene will reveal in time.

As with most of Greene’s other works, the supporting cast makes the book come to life, complementing and contrasting with Johansson in equal measure. This is a story unlike many of the others, where the killer is right there, though their identity remains unknown. With nowhere to hide, it becomes a game of cat and mouse, forcing the reader to find clues in all those who grace the pages of this procedural. That adds depth and much intrigue to an already great story.

As Greene admits in his author’s note, the story seeks to reinvent the police procedural by moving the setting away from what many might expect. Like an isolated island or even a moving train, the setting forces the reader to examine all those in the confined space and posit who might be acting and for what reason. Turning the investigators into prey themselves, the dramatic approach is heightened and I am pleased to see Greene has done this so well. The narrative moved along well and there were few moments I felt it lag. Strong characters, witty dialogue, and a plot that kept me guessing are all parts of the overall story that will have me coming back for more. The story arc of the suicide that was murder has me wondering who is hiding something, particularly with that stunning epilogue that left the reader seeing new pieces of the puzzle emerge and fall into place in the closing sentences. Brilliant work… with another novel soon to come!

Kudos, Mr. Greene, for another winner. You have the gift and I enjoy how you pass it along to your readers with such apparent ease.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Fresh Meat (DS Jamie Johansson #2), by Morgan Greene

Nine stars

Having devoured the opening novel in this series, I was eager to get back to it, particularly because Morgan Green left things so wide open with a cliffhanger. This second book is just as good, using another gritty story and spicing it up with strong character development. A dual plot line that keeps DS Jamie Johansson busier than she could imagine helps to propel the piece forward. I was highly impressed with the novel and hope others will take the time to read the series to date. Recommended to those who love a good police procedural where the action never takes a breather.

While the partner pairing of Detective Sergeants Jamie Johansson and Paul Roper is the talk of the London Metropolitan Police, the oddity has been diluted somewhat. DS Johansson is young, lithe, and health conscious, while DS Roper smokes like a chimney, but has curbed his love of drink. The age gap is also quite significant, but somehow they make it work and find a form symbiosis. After a somewhat rocky start in the first novel, they have found their stride and the ever-present sobriety of them both appears to be one factor.

After letting serial killer and illegal organ donor, Elliot Day, slip through their fingers, Johansson and Roper have tried to earn some credibility back. When postcards from around the world begin turning up in Johansson’s personal mailbox, she is curious. Is Day simply mocking her as he galavants all over, killing Interpol agents at will? When Day begins offering Johansson clues as to where she might find some local criminals, she undertakes the missions with much success, but keeps the news from her partner and the police brass.

A postcard arrives with a vague description of a victim, one that Johansson cannot pass up. She discovers the Jane Doe, a young Asian woman who was pregnant and shot in the back. After reading some of the preliminary reports, Johansson convinces Roper that they ought to work the case. However, it’s been assigned to a senior pair of homicide detectives and they have no way of explaining how they came to know of it. Working her magic, Johansson convinces the senior detectives to let her in on the case, though she is to take no credit for anything and must keep it from her superiors. She’s in and ready to ruffle a few feathers.

After learning a little more about the victim, based on a tattoo located on her wrist, Johansson enters the world of underground Chinese casinos. It would seem the victim worked at one called Jade Circle and was used to service clients when requested. Asking too many questions leaves Roper in the hospital and Johansson on the wrong side of the beat down, though she refuses to stand down, wanting to give the victim the justice she deserves. When Johansson discovers a name for the victim, Qiang, it gets the ball rolling and makes the investigation all the more real!

When Elliot Day re-emerges at Johnasson’s apartment, he shares some news that could put the Qiang case into better perspective. Jade Circle is surely much more difficult than it appears on the surface and surely must be stopped. Human trafficking and the abyss that emerges with it will impact Johansson greatly, but she cannot relent, needing to make a difference as only she knows how. Qiang may only be a single woman, but there are so many others who need saving, if only to justify keeping Elliot on the lam and defying every rule the Met has for DS Jamie Johansson. This is where the action picks up and the case gets even more dangerous, with Elliot lurking in the shadows as well.

Morgan Greene is a natural storyteller and lures the reader in with great writing alongside some well-developed characters. Both novels served to keep me pushing ahead and reading well into the night, so as to finish and learn a little more about what was to come!

DS Jamie Johansson is a wonderful protagonist yet again, as her character continues to blossom throughout the story. With a little more backstory about her father, a detective in Sweden before he took his own life, keeps the reader eager to learn more. While she is a young detective, Johansson has the passion her father instilled in her, though she is still fairly wet behind the ears when it comes to certain aspects of policing. When she’s not in the middle of a case, Johansson uses her personal time to burn a little energy with mixed-martial arts, something Greene explores in breakaway moments of the narrative.

The cast of secondary characters remained intriguing for me. Greene develops his supporting cast effectively in this police procedural, mixing people from all walks of life to complement our protagonist. Some are one-offs, which is to be expected, while there are a few who returned for this second adventure. I hope to see more of these characters as the series moves forward, seemingly with at least two more books.

This was a great follow-up novel and Morgan Greene is surely an author worth noting, as his confidence builds. The piece gains momentum throughout with great action and a well-paced set of cases. Exploring more of the darker underbelly of London, Greene offers his readers a piece they will not soon forget. Longer chapters pull the reader in with much plot development, alongside a few teasers to keep the reader forging ahead. There is still a lot to go in the series, as Elliot Day remains on the loose and Johansson cannot simply let that leave her memory. Two more books await the reader, according to the author’s note, which will surely make for some wonderful reading in the coming months.

Kudos, Mr. Greene, for another stellar piece. Keep them coming and let Jamie find her wings!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons