Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Science fiction

Neon Empire by Drew Minh – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Rare Bird Books and California Coldblood Books are proud to bring you the remarkable debut novel from social media maven and marketing expert Drew Minh,

Neon Empire.

Imagine a city fueled entirely by social media.

Rising out of the American desert, this city is a real-world manifestation of a social media network where fame-hungry desperados compete for likes and followers. The bloodier and more daring posts pay off the most. As crime rises, no one stands to gain more than the city’s architects—and, of course, the shareholders who make the place possible.

This multiple-POV novel follows three characters as they navigate the city’s underworld: Cedric Travers, a has-been Hollywood director; A’rore, the city’s lead social media influencer whose star is fading; and Sacha Villanova, a tech and culture reporter.

Bold, colorful, and seductive, Neon Empire is a radically inventive

new thriller for the social media era. It’s due to publish on July 9, 2019.

Thank you so much for your time.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in the near future, this is an artificial world in a city called Eutopia…which sounds to me how I imagine Vegas to be….with all the famous European landmarks in one, bright, neon, strobe lit place. Full of social media celebrities and ‘influencers’ vying for supremacy and a complete lack of scruples.

Eutopia is bright, flashy, decadent and so so seedy…..an upmarket Blackpool! Everything is an advert, a marketing opportunity…….scary in that we are not far off that now.

The story follows 3 main characters on their travels through this almost psychedelic world, there is a plot, with a missing person, politics and money but it really is about this dystopian world where money and fame drive everything, the real and manufactured events to raise those ratings… very clever and utterly terrifying.

Thank you to California Coldblood Books for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Drew Minh is a digital strategist living in Los Angeles, CA. He has previously published short stories and nonfiction in 3AM, Word Riot, Litro UK and many others. NEON EMPIRE (coming out September 10, 2019) is his debut sci-fi novel.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Endgame by Daniel Cole – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A locked room. A dead body. A secret that went to the grave.

When retired police officer Finlay Shaw is found dead in a locked room, everyone thinks it’s suicide. But disgraced detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes isn’t so sure.

Together with his former partner Detective Emily Baxter and private detective Edmunds, Wolf’s team begin to dig into Shaw’s early days on the beat. Was Shaw as innocent as he seemed? Or is there more to his past than he’d ever let on?

But not everyone wants Wolf back – and as his investigation draws him ever deeper into police corruption, it will not only be his career on the line – but the lives of those he holds closest as well..

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MY REVIEW 

This is the third of the Ragdoll trilogy and while this can be read as a stand-alone, but it would really be useful for the background story to have read the previous novels. 

This is a locked room mystery. Finley Shaw, a retired police officer is found dead in a sealed room..a single shot to the head. This is first classed as a suicide, but is it?

Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes arrives at his friend Shaw’s home to take a look for himself…..and is arrested. He comes to an arrangement with the Commissioner, in return for information about the wanted drug Lord, Dubois, he will work this ‘suspicious’ death of his friend as his last case.

The story revolves around Wolf, DCI Emily Baxter, who he has a history with, and the Police Commissioner Christian Bellamy. With flashbacks to 1979 to find answers as to who would kill Fin..and why!

If you enjoy a crime thriller, with humour, twists, immensely likeable characters and a clever, imaginative plot, then you’ll love this.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2HUW6VY

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing.

He has received a three-book publishing and television deal for his debut crime series which publishers and producers describe as “pulse-racing” and “exceptional”. 

Daniel currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two in the Nathan Wolfe series instead.

Ragdoll is his first novel. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

The Boxer Boys by Nick Rippington – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Some Family feuds just won’t go away… For 40 years the Dolans and the Marshalls have lived side by side on the same rundown housing estate in east London.

While teens Gary Marshall and Arnie Dolan forge a close friendship, fighting constant battles to survive both on the streets and closer to home, the relationship between their parents is complicated and, at times, toxic. Gradually family secrets emerge which have their roots in the early 80s… and Gary and Arnie realise their entire upbringing was built on lies.  
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MY REVIEW 

 

This is a box set of three novels by Nick Rippington. 

First: 

 

CROSSING THE WHITEWASH

Gary Marshall and Arnie Dolan have been friends since they were 13 years old, and had named themselves the Boxer Boys.

Gary had dreams of being a professional footballer, but after a night out, a series of events put an end to his dream.

This tells of their lives to the present day, their friendship, the laughs and their criminal and sometimes violent activities.

As they grow up, lives change, but then the past catches up with Gareth.

A thriller full of humour, sport and action.

 

SPARK OUT (prequel)

This is set in the 1980’s , the politics, music and the Falklands War.

Mo Dolan, is a really nasty piece of work and really wants to be a big time gangster type. Violent and brutal. Will his son end up the same?

Lots of descriptive writing the political atmosphere of the time and about the horrors of the Falklands War. A thriller with a political edge.

 

DYING SECONDS(sequel)

Again the story revolves around the violent Dolan crime family. 

Gareth, who used to be Gary is working for a welsh newspaper as a sports journalist after moving on from his earlier way of life. But then his father is murdered, his old friend Arnie Dolan has been arrested. Is he responsible or was some one else responsible? And why?

Again, set with a backdrop of politics (Brexit) and sports with the murder mystery too in a totally engrossing read.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about. 

As the newspaper’s Welsh Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011. 

On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back into the building, investigators sealed off the area with crime scene tape and seized his computer, which contained all the secrets to his Fantasy Football selections.

Handed the contents of his desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old baby to support. Options were limited but self-publishing was booming. Having hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup, in 2015 he produced Crossing The Whitewash.

The book was praised by many, received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards and more than 25 five-star reviews on both sides of the pond. 

Almost two years after Crossing The Whitewash came the second in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel called Spark Out, which was released in paperback on July 1 and for Kindle on July 10, 2017. The book received an award for best cover of 2017 with the Chill With A Book website, along with a readers award, before receiving the IndieBRAG medallion from a prestigious site covering Independent writers and publishers throughout the world.

The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing the Whitewash, was released in December 2018.

Married to Liz, Nick is now a full-time back bench designer on the Daily Star sports desk and has two daughters – Jemma, 36, and Olivia, 8. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex. In the past he has worked for the Sunday Mirror, Wales on Sunday and Media Wales in Cardiff as an executive editor.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buckrippers

Twitter: @nickripp

Goodreads Author Page:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14194075.Nick_Rippington

 

Blog: On the website – Say Hello to My Little Friends

 

Website: http://www.theripperfile.com

 

Amazon Author Page in the UK: 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nick-Rippington/e/B0135YST78

 

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Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

Code 17 by Francis Booth – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Code 17 by Francis Booth

Code 17 was originally a musical idea.

Ten years ago I made an album that paid homage to the theme music of 1960s British TV spy series like The Man from UNCLE, The Baron and Department S, and to films like Modesty Blaise and The Ipcress File. The music on the album was from an imaginary TV series called Code 17, featuring the glamorous art dealer/spy Lady Laura Summers. She was imagined as a cross between Sharron Macready of The Champions, Emma Peel of The Avengers and Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward of Thunderbirds, though none of these women was the lead character in their own show.

Ten years later I thought I could make a novel out of Code 17 and Lady Laura – a fast-paced, female-led thriller set in the art world of Swinging 1967 London. I kept to the format of a twelve-episode TV series and tried to imagine each chapter as a self-contained thirty minute episode, split into short, cinematic scenes; I imagined our heroine getting into deep water in every episode but always getting out of it before the credits rolled.

I hope you can imagine it that way too.

You can hear the music at https://www.mixcloud.com/planckmusic/code-17/

And watch the promotional video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfZsXqxch5I

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MY REVIEW 

Lady Laurencia Artemisia Claudia Summer or Lady Laura as she prefers, is an upper class art dealer……she is also a dealer in art forged by her friend Muffie…

Lady Laura is also gay, she is to marry Jonny, to keep up appearances, but on the wedding day, he is shot and with his dying breath he says ‘Code 17’….

Code 17 turns out to be a clandestine group of wealthy, powerful men who right wrongs their own way….

Lady Laura believes a woman to have shot Jonty, confirmed by her father as he tells her of the secretive Code 17…she wants revenge for Jonty and decides to find out more herself.

What follows is a romp through 1967….with its pop art, money and fashion. It’s a fast paced adventure in the vein of the Avengers….bowler hats and swords,there’s even a catsuit…. Lady Laura reminded me distinctively of Joanna Lumley’s Purdy…..

Lots of twists, with references to art and literature too. Great characters and a fun read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Francis Booth’s novels are all available as eBooks and paperbacks on Amazon. They include:

  • The Watchers series of Young Adult fantasy novels: The Charlotte Strain and The January Legacy;
  • The Nevermore novel sequence Nevermore, Evermore, Gone Before and Nothing More, a series of dark revenge tragedies;
  • Code 17, a fast-paced, female-led thriller set in the art world of Swinging Sixties London.

Francis is also the author of several academic books on modern literature and culture, also available on Amazon:

  • Amongst Those Left: the British Experimental Novel 1940-1960 (to be published by Dalkey Archive Press);
  • Everybody I Can Think of Ever: Meetings That Made the Avant-Garde;
  • Girls in Bloom: Coming of Age in the Mid Twentieth Century Woman’s Novel;
  • Text Acts: Twentieth Century Literary Eroticism;
  • Comrades in Art: Revolutionary Art in America 1926-1938.

As a translator, Francis Booth has published English versions of the Marionette Plays of Maurice Maeterlinck and produced libretti adapted from Akutagawa, Strindberg and early Sanskrit and Buddhist texts, several of which have been set to music and recorded.

Francis also produces music under the name Tektonix, all of which is on YouTube and at mixcloud.com/planckmusic. He is currently at work on Code 17.1, the sequel to Code 17.

 

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