Book reviews, Crime thriller

Spider Games by K.J. McGillick – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Kate O’Brien is pure dedication; she believes in the justice system. This feisty, no-nonsense attorney works herself to the bone every day, tirelessly building her reputation and career. She is on the path to being a legal star. That is until her corrupt law partner, Bill Brown, a criminal defense attorney, achieves a degree of notoriety which attracts the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

When the inconceivable happens, Bill is arrested, charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering leaving the law firm in chaos. As Kate slowly digs her way out, what she finds sends her down a dark path that could lead to her imprisonment or death. Bill has meticulously set her up to pay for his malevolent crimes. His cohorts, fearing she knows too much, have marked her for death. Can she stay ahead of the FBI and unravel crimes that reach as far as China and Russia? Or will she need to assume a new identity to save her own life?

A fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. Suspenseful crime fiction with twists and turns throughout this masterfully plotted novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. It may be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the series, A Conspiracy of Betrayal.

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MY REVIEW

#1 in The Conspiracy Of Betrayal series.

Kate O’Brien is a lawyer whose life and career are put in danger after her law partner, Bill,  is investigated by the DEA.

All the while she is still working cases but then finds links to Bill and his plans to implicate her in his crimes. Can she prove the truth before it’s too late ?

This is so well plotted that it keeps you on your toes with its twists and secrets. A tense and intriguing tale. Thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources 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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Kathleen McGillick is an author of fast paced mystery, suspense and thriller novels. Her fascination with the genre reaches back to her childhood when she read every Nancy Drew book she could find. This, one could say, laid the foundation for her future love of all things mystery and who dun it’s.

Although she has lived in Georgia for over thirty-five years and is practicing attorney in the Metro Atlanta, she will always call New York her home.

When writing her novels she draws from her extensive experience in the medical and legal field to weave her twisted plot lines. Kathleen counts herself an ardent student of art history which allows her to add a dash of art to her novels adding to the mystery of the story.

As a young person her dream was to become an English literature teacher. Although life took her on a different path, one might say she found her way back to her early love of books by spending her time now writing them.

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You can’t save someone that doesn’t want to be saved . . .’

For some people, trouble just finds them.

Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer. 

Now, he’s been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.

Duchess Radley, Star’s thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin – and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town. 

Murder, revenge, retribution.

How far can we run from the past when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?
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MY REVIEW 

30 years ago, 5 year old Sissy Radley died. A 15 year old boy, Vincent King was convicted of being responsible for her death.

King has just been released from jail and has returned home to the small town of Cape Haven.

We Begin At The End is a tale set in a small American town, where everyone knows each other’s business. There is a marvellous mix of characters, Chief Walker, a police officer addicted to pills, Star, Sissy’s sister, who is a mess of drink and men, and young Duchess, 13 years old and parent to her little brother and carer to her mother, Star. Duchess is a little obsessed with an old outlaw ancestor and she is as unpredictable as he was, but also she will protect her family at all costs.

This captures the claustrophobia of a small town, it shows people at their best, their worst and their most low. It is a thriller with an emotional heart.

Beautifully written in a way that reminded me of the writing of Harper Lee and John Steinbeck, it’s about the characters and their lives. Heart rending, utterly compelling and unforgettable, a must read.

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.

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3aNxI4X

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. 

His debut novel, Tall Oaks, won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger. 

Chris’s second novel, All The Wicked Girls, was published in August 2017. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, War fiction

All In Her Head by Nikki Smith – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An emotionally charged suspense about the dark corners of a mother’s mind, perfect for fans of Erin Kelly and Louise Candlish.

A haunting and compelling book that shines a light on the darkest corners of the human psyche and makes us question our limits.

Alison is more alone than she’s ever been. She is convinced that her ex-husband Jack is following her. She is certain she recognises the strange woman who keeps approaching her in the canteen.

She knows she has a good reason to be afraid. She just can’t remember why.

Then the mention of one name turns her life upside down.

Alison feels like she’s losing her mind . . . but it could just lead her to the truth.
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MY REVIEW 

All In Her Head is the story of Alison who has amnesia after suffering a trauma in her past. 

She sees people who she thinks she knows but is worried one of them may have been responsible for her trauma. Her sense of fear and paranoia builds, as the reader begins to see the larger story, how Alison’s mental health is drawing her deeper into her fears.

With plenty of twists and surprises this unique thriller is so clever, utterly compelling and is a read in one sitting book. Brilliant.

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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Nikki studied English Literature at University before pursuing a career in finance. She always had a passion for writing and in 2017 she applied for a Curtis Brown Creative writing course. Later that year she had a short story published and submitted the opening chapters of her novel to a competition where she won the opportunity to be mentored by the author Amanda Reynolds, and the rest was history. 

Book reviews

Summer Of Reckoning by Marion Brunet – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A psychological thriller set in the Luberon, a touristic French region that evokes holidays in magnificent pool- adorned villas. For those who live there year-round, it often means stifling poverty and boredom. Two teenage sisters have grown up in a world where the main distractions are hatred of Arabs and booze. When Celine, 16, discovers she is pregnant and refuses to divulge her lover’s identity, her father embarks on a mission of revenge. A dark and upsetting account of an ailing society, filled with silent and murderous rage.

Brunet uses her tense and efficient novel to tell us a story of “people at sea, on a boat punctured just above the waterline, never far from a shipwreck”. No one describes better the poisonous claustrophobia of families trapped in small rural towns. She writes with a scalpel about couples, family, sexism, racism and poverty.

A story that is dark and luminous at the same time, dark following the slow unravelling of the crime story affecting Celine, and luminous in Joe’s conviction that she will escape this sinister world. A novel that leaves you heart-stricken and seduced.–Le Monde

With its intense rage, corrosive boredom and low-life scams, Brunet’s Provence is saturated with broken dreams. The last flickers of childhood are terrifying, proving that, even under the strong sun, social barriers remain implacable.–Paris Match
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MY REVIEW 

Set in the south of France this is a tale of envy, resentment and racism…..and a little hope.

16 year old Cèline is pregnant, she won’t tell who the father is. 

Her father is angry, he suspects her friend Said, a neighbour. As a result his resentment and racism comes stronger which adds to his feelings of inadequacy and makes him even more violent and angry. How far will he go ?

This is a relatively short novel but, my,  it packs a punch. It’s well written and you can feel the stifling heat and the simmering tension is palpable. A tale of male violence, of the casual sexism women suffer daily. It’s dark, unflinching and so compelling. 

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/2XcRP8N

 

ABOUT The Author and the Translator

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Marion Brunet, born in 1976 in the Vaucluse, is a well known Young Adult author in France. Her YA novels have received over 30 prizes, including the 2017 UNICEF Prize for Youth Literature. Summer of Reckoning is her first novel written for adults and her first work to be translated into English.

 

Katherine Gregor lives in London and has recently translated works by Alexander Pushkin from the Russian and plays by Carlo Goldoni and Luigi Pirandello from the Italian.