Book reviews, Science fiction, Thriller

Highest Lives by Gordon Brown – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In cities across North America people are dying in seemingly impossible ways. Is history’s most outrageous serial killer on the loose? 

When LAPD Detective Sarah Tracy is secretly instructed to recruit Craig McIntyre to help her investigate the deaths, she is unaware that his mere presence can transform people’s darkest thoughts into action. As Sarah and Craig hunt the murky underbelly of LA for the malevolent figure responsible for the bizarre deaths, they stumble upon the most expensive narcotic ever to hit the streets – a substance that promises something so unbelievable that users are willing to risk death to experience it. With government black ops agency head Senator Tampoline always lurking in the shadows, Craig is used to being hunted. Now he is the hunter. And thousands could die if he fails to track down the killer.

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MY REVIEW 

Craig McIntyre is a private investigator, he also has a strange power that affects anyone around him when violence is about to erupt. They tend to turn on each other and not him…..when the Blue World hits watch out.

Senator Tampoline knows all about this and uses Craig for his own purposes, he doesn’t get a choice.

There have been some very odd deaths, a man’s bones disappeared, a woman cut in half without any blood being spilled and a man impaled on a tree. Is this a bizarre serial killer or something else?

A new drug has hit the streets, Paradise, but at $10k a hit it’s only for the wealthy…..but what does it do?

All the while The Man With The Dead Eyes is involved somehow…..

This is an odd one to categorise, as it’s a thriller but with a little sci-fi and black ops thrown in. Craig is an interesting character, troubled obviously but loyal to his friends and relies on Charlie a lot. Is there a romance brewing with the Detective Sarah? 

Brutal, exciting and action packed with a clever, unique plot that will keep you guessing. A real page turner and I can thoroughly recommend it.

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

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Gordon Brown has seven crime and thriller books published to date, along with a number of short stories (including a story in an Anthony Winning anthology). His latest novel, Highest Lives,  is the fourth in the Craig McIntyre series. He also helped found Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival (see www.bloodyscotland.com), is a DJ on local radio (www.pulseonair.co.uk) and runs a strategic planning consultancy. Gordon lives in Scotland and is married with two children. In a former life he delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non-alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business, floated a high-tech company on the London Stock Exchange, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.

Want to know more – go to http://www.gordonjbrown.com/

Follow him on Twitter @GoJaBrown

 

Paperback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: Strident Publishing; 1st edition (8 Oct. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910829382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910829387

 Purchase Link

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highest-Lives-McIntyre-Gordon-Brown/dp/1910829382

 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Family drama, Thriller

Bad Seed by Jessica Eames – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A tragic death. A dark family secret. A past you can’t escape. How well do you really know those closest to you? 

Sarah’s world has descended into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to find out the truth of what happened, and make sure the guilty are brought to justice. She is haunted by her dad’s death, consumed by her grief and the memories of a cruel day that changed her life forever… she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. But the future holds some hope for Sarah, as she tries to move forward.

Nicola’s future is not looking so hopeful. Since her husband died, the secret she’s been keeping from her family – especially her daughter, Sarah – is eating away at her. The past is catching up with her, and the consequences will be devastating. 

Inspired by the news that more people are having DNA tests to discover their heritage, BAD SEED subverts the tropes of the domestic thriller by exploring the closest relationship of all: that between parent and child. Clare Mackintosh’s I LET YOU GO meets FRIEND REQUEST, this is a story about family, and of obsession, revenge and identity.

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MY REVIEW 

Nicola, a widow, has a secret….but someone else knows.

Her husband Charlie died and left her with money issues, so she moves into brother-in-law, Ben’s annex. 

Feeling unwell, her boyfriend insists she visit a GP, but due to her being a woman in her 50’s, she is told it’s probably the menopause…..but is it?

She’s convinced something else is happening as she receives a menacing note and her possessions are being moved. Is it all in her mind?

I can’t say too much for fear of spoiling the story, but this is one of the twistiest domestic noir thrillers I’ve read in a long time.

Told from the perspectives of Nicola,  her daughter Sarah and Fion her sister-in-law, this brooding thriller tells of family secrets, lies and ultimately revenge. Brilliant.

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

 

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Pursuit Of William Abbey by Claire North – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the award-winning and bestselling author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and 84K comes a powerful new novel that examines how the choices we make can haunt us forever . . .

South Africa, 1884. A young and naive English doctor by the name of William Abbey witnesses the lynching of a local boy by white colonists. He’s guilt-struck, but too cowardly to stand up against this horrific act. And as the child dies, his mother curses William.

William begins to understand when what the curse means when the shadow of the dead boy starts following him across the world. It never stops, never rests. It can cross oceans and mountains. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die . . .

Moving, thought-provoking and utterly gripping, Claire North’s extraordinary new novel proves again that she is one of the most original and innovative voices in modern fiction.

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MY REVIEW 

William Abbey witness the killing of a young child by a mob of white men in South Africa, he did nothing to help.

The child’s mother, after seeing her sons last breath curses William, the child’s shadow will follow him for the rest of his life…..if it catches up to him, someone he loves will die.

William starts travelling to keep ahead of the shadow, he can also hear people’s inner truthful thoughts and has no choice but to then speak them out loud. He’s now a truth-teller and as a result various governments really want to use his talent for their own ends at whatever cost. All the while William is being followed by the shadow.

This is a unique read, with brutal descriptions of the effects of war, the supernatural, fear, excitement and loss all in one harrowing and thought provoking tale. It will stay with me for a long time. 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose debut novel was written when she was just fourteen years old. Her first book published under the Claire North pen name was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The follow-up Touch received widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as ‘little short of a masterpiece’. Her next novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope won the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and her recent book The End of the Day has been shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. She lives in London

 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction, Comedy, YA fiction

The Purple-Bellied Parrot by William Fagus – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Discover … The power of the ‘HhhuuuUUTTT!

’Ever feel you are living the wrong life? Ever feel another life, your should-be life, is out there waiting for you, if only you had the courage to …Do you like tinned pineapple chunks? Have you answered yes to any of those questions? Then follow the Purple-Bellied Parrot on a rip-roaring, globe-spanning adventure packed with unforgettable characters. His quest to live his should-be life.

It Begins: In the sterile apartment of a city executive with unruly nasal hair where the Purple-Bellied Parrot cannot even do the very thing he was born to do. It Ends: On the shores of a distant land after an epic journey which tests his courage, his ingenuity and the bonds of friendship — to the limit.The Purple-Bellied Parrot is a spell-binding, life-affirming tale, with the power to evoke laughter and tears from readers 11-100 years old. (Parental Note: contains occasional mild imprecations.)

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MY REVIEW

Oh my, this broke my heart a little.

It’s the story of the Purple Bellied Parrot. His sad life life in cages where he can only just spread his wings, let alone fly.

Even the Spuggies (house sparrows) laugh at him, but he wants more, he wants his best life and so the adventure begins.

I love the humour in this, it will make you laugh out loud at times, but then there is sadness too, that will cause tears…..his poor little foot for a start!

Will the little parrot reach Brazeel? Will he have friends to talk to? Will he learn how to sing?

Beautifully written and full of emotion too. It really will appeal to all ages young and old…..plenty of poopy moments too. The handy notes at the back of the book explain the birds, language and slang.

Brilliant, funny, moving and thought provoking, one to rival Johnathan Livingstone Seagull. I loved it.

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

You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2NABN3n

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The publicity-shy William Fagus lives in a remote location in an upturned fishing smack with a parrot and sundry antique musical instruments and carpentry tools.

The redoubtable Mrs Lush, his cleaning lady and confidant, is his most frequent visitor.

William Fagus’s biography, of uncertain origin and dubious veracity, is available here: http://www.williamfagus.com/fagus_biog.html

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

Betrayed by Jake Cross – Book Review

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to Jake Cross for BETRAYED

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When Nate wakes up in the woods, he has no idea how he got there. The last thing he remembers is being at home.

And when he spots two people digging a grave his problems multiply.

After escaping from the woods, he goes home to find his house burning and his brother, Peter, dead inside. Now the police are after him for the murder.

Determined to find out who set him up and why, Nate goes on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth. But can he find those responsible and prove his innocence before it’s too late?
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MY REVIEW 

Nathan wakes in the back of a van, naked and hand tied….he hears muffled voices and sees someone digging…..is it a grave?

After a tension packed scramble, he manages to escape and rushes home only to find his house ablaze…..where is his brother Pete….?

Nearly recaptured, his nerves are shot but he manages to get away only to find he has been accused of the murder of his brother and arson.

I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the plot….but I will say this is a fast paced, nail biter of a thriller. Full of twists and surprises to keep you on edge and turning those pages. Utterly gripping.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jake Cross was a seventies child who started writing at a young age. He started with fantasy because there was no research needed for an invented world. 

Early short stories covered probably every genre except dieselpunk-romcom. Although he now writes thrillers, Jake’s reading love is true crime. Other interests are MMA, snooker and driving.  

There are no dieselpunk-romcom novels planned. 

 

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Retriever Of Souls by Lorraine Mace – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.

Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.
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MY REVIEW 

This is the first in The DI Sterling series from Lorraine Mace.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is a committed police officer to the point where his marriage is over and family life is a mess….

Bodies of prostitutes are being found, mutilated and dumped and he is determined to catch the killer before further women are murdered….

With chapters from the murderers perspective this gives an insight into his religious mania, his state of mind and gruesome details of his kills…

Full of interesting and believable characters with its clever background stories giving them a feeling of reality.

Paolo’s is quite a complex character and his team are great and work well together….will they manage to catch their prey?

I really enjoyed this compelling thriller and will be looking out for the next in the series…and I can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a crime thriller.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

 

When not working on the D.I. Sterling series of crime novels, Lorraine is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

 

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.mace.52

Website: http://www.lorrainemace.com

Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mace_lorraine/

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK: 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Retriever-Souls-Sterling-Lorraine-Mace/dp/1786156792/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1571907947&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Retriever-Souls-Sterling-Lorraine-Mace/dp/1786156792/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1571908281&sr=8-1

 

Blackwells: 

 

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Retriever-of-Souls-by-Lorraine-Mace-author/9781786156792

 

Google Books: 

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=qIxxDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-qIxxDwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_atb&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_atb

 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction, YA fiction

The Three Hares, The Jade Dragonball by Scott Lauder & David Ross – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sara Livingstone’s school trip to the Beijing Palace Museum takes a terrifying turn when an encounter with the ancient Qingming Scroll thrusts her a thousand years into China’s past. With secrets in the shadows and danger around every corner, Sara must take her place in a cosmic battle and find the courage to face an unworldly ancient magic.

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MY REVIEW 

Sara is 14 years old, living in Beijing and attends the International School. Her Granny Tang lives in an apartment nearby, so she visits regularly but as a 14 year old, she’s a little bored of her stories……but will the knowledge in these tales be useful ?

Sara starts to see things, are they daydreams? Or can she see a world beyond? 

This is a marvellous adventure tale, yes it’s young adult fiction, but it’s so well written and will appeal to any age. There’s Chinese history, art, culture and even a mention of Harry Potter. A little reminder too, that our elders have a lot to offer and deserve our respect. I love the two timelines and how they link……will the first hare get her answers? Charming, twisty and very engaging…..

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

Scott Lauder was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Having taught in Greece, Japan, and England, he now lives with his wife and four cats in the UAE where he teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and drinking good coffee. His other books include The Right Thing, A Single Shot, and The Boy-King Tutankhamun.

David Scott Ross has traveled and taught throughout Asia since he first moved there in 1987. He currently teaches in upstate NY, where he lives with his wife and two sons. When David is not writing or teaching, he dreams about becoming a chef, a rock star, maybe an actor, but probably not all at once. At present, he is wrapping up two projects: Pastimes, encounters with a Stone Age people, and Dim, a detective novel.