Santa Monica Suicide Club by Jeremy C. Thomas*
British actor turned private investigator, Mandy, is called on to solve the murder of a rich young Mexican man. Along the way, he uncovers seedy sex scandals, several dead bodies and an extremely fishy fish farm. This is written very much in the style of classic detective fiction. It's a shame that that seems to mean a loser lead character who is inexplicably attractive to smart women, however if you can get past the scene where he considers beating up his tenant-with-benefits, the plot is cleverly twisted together and the mystery kept me guessing right up to the end.
Tiny Instruments by Mitchell Bogatz*
Timothy and his friends are all clones of successful scientists, living in a very strict school with no contact with the outside world. They have been taught that they are worth less than real humans but Timothy is starting to have his doubts. This was such an interesting concept I was really looking forward to reading it but, unfortunately, I found the (very much "tell not show") writing style too frustrating; I gave up about halfway through. I've had the same reaction to a lot of classic fantasy/sci-fi, though (hello, Raymond Feist), and could imagine a lot of my gamer geek friends ploughing through this quite happily.
Trust by Mike Bullen*
Two men go to a work conference. One cheats on his partner, one does not. Exploring love, boredom, grown ups acting out of character and, of course, the necessity of trust, this is a well plotted novel from the creator of Cold Feet (non-Brits: TV show about relationships). It was a little bit too well plotted for my liking, though - it felt a bit too carefully choreographed to be completely believable. Also, because the book is about the kind of men who would make slightly inappropriate jokes to try to impress people at the work Christmas do, some of the humour is... well... exactly that; there were moments when I winced and wanted to politely excuse myself. Over all I did enjoy it but I wasn't exactly racing towards the end.
*provided by publisher or agent for review