blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

The Source by Sarah Sultoon – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier.

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth… and justice.

A tense, startling and unforgettable thriller, The Source is a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience.

MY REVIEW 

The Source is told from two distinct perspectives, one from Carly who lives on an army base, she has an alcoholic mother and cares for her baby sister. She gets excited when invited to a ‘special’ party, but her excitement is short-lived.

The other is from a journalist who is investigating allegations of sex abuse at an army base many years ago and the police have reopened their Operation Andromed. As she investigates she has to deal with her own past.

This is not an easy read as it deals with child sexual abuse and trafficking, it’s not done in any sensational way, but shows the horrors of this vile trade in a sympathetic way……while this doesn’t make it any easier to read at times the story has you hooked from the very start.

It has a clever, engrossing plot and well developed character that you can’t help wanting to protect. A heartbreaking, eye opening and utterly compelling read. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour , for the promotional material and an eARC of The Source.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3ws16cq

ABOUT SARAH SULTOON

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters

of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if

blog tour, Book reviews, Horror, Noir, Thriller

Deity by Matt Wesolowski – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rakes over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge. Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Why was he never officially charged? Are reports of a haunting really true?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive, spine-chilling thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we are willing to turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…y

MY REVIEW 

Deity is #5 in the fantastic Six Stories series and it can be read as a stand-alone (as can the previous 4)

Scott King is the master of the podcast and here he has a new case to discuss. He interviews six different people to get a picture of events.

Here the tale is about charismatic superstar, Zach Crystal. He had disappeared from his isolated forest property for a year, then he comes back as suddenly as he disappeared….he announces a new album, but then there is devastating fire at Crystal Forest and his remains are found in the ruin.

Then the rumours start, the young girls who were invited to party at the estate, the accidents and deaths, but the fans still worship him. None of these rumours could possibly be true, they know him……don’t they?

Deity is about the shield celebrity gives to those in its limelight and how that light of adulation blinds those who worship it. How fans believe he can’t have done those things he’s famous!. He wouldn’t have don’t that, I know him,  he’s a kind man, look what he does for charity…….sound familiar? 

Matt Wesolowski really is the master of a dark thriller. Deity is so well written with the tension slowly building chapter by chapter, drawing you along by a hand that won’t let go. It’s dark, haunting, thought provoking and utterly brilliant from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Deity. 

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/2LRd9xj

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies, such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Changeling, the third book in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His fourth book, Beast, won the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Book of the Year award in 2020.

blog tour, Book reviews, Spy thriller, Thriller

Primal Calling by Barry Eisenberg – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

While rummaging through the attic, high school senior Jack Davies is surprised to find his never-before-seen birth certificate, revealing a startling fact that changes his life. The story his mother told about his birth, he discovers, is a lie. 

Jack becomes obsessed with discovering the true identity of his father, forcing him to face and conquer obstacles – kidnapping, death threats, and a powerful family secret – most 20-year-olds would never even dream they would encounter. Faced with unanswered questions and confounding obstacles at every turn, Jack finds himself deeply enmeshed in an intricate world of national security and international intrigue. 

Relationships are tested as his every move is tracked by a group of mysterious people. Who are they? Whose side are they on? Who can he trust? And, most importantly, who will he ultimately become?

MY REVIEW 

Primal Calling is the tale of Jake and his search for his birth father, but that’s not all.

Jake hadn’t known who his father was until he accidentally finds his birth certificate. So, he decides to find him.

But, as he begins his search his attempts are flagged and things get dark and dangerous. Who was his father and who else is searching for a man who seemingly doesn’t exist?

Primal Calling is part family drama and part spy thriller. It’s well paced, full of tension and is an engrossing and compelling read.

Thank you to Michelle at FSB associates for an eARC of Primal Calling.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barry Eisenberg is the author of Primal Calling, his debut novel. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, among others. An associate professor of health care management in the School for Graduate Studies at the State University of New York Empire State College, he is also a health care management consultant and a former hospital administrator. An avid bicycle rider, Eisenberg lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy.

blog tour, Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

Out For Blood by Deborah Masson – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE RETURN Of DI EVE HUNTER: DI Eve Hunter is back in the edge-of-your-seat new detective thriller from Deborah Masson, winning author of the Bloody Scotland Crime Debut of the Year 2020.

A young man, the son of an influential businessman, is discovered dead in his central Aberdeen apartment. Hours later, a teenaged girl with no identification is found hanged in a suspected suicide.

As DI Eve Hunter and her team investigate the two cases, they find themselves in a tug-of-war between privilege and poverty; between the elite and those on the fringes of society.

Then an unexpected breakthrough leads them to the shocking conclusion: that those in power have been at the top for too long – and now, someone is going to desperate lengths to bring them down…

Can they stop someone who is dead set on revenge, no matter the cost?

MY REVIEW 

Set in Aberdeen, DI Eve Hunter is working two cases, the death of a wealthy young man and the suspected suicide of a young woman.

When the suspected suicide turns out to be murder, the investigation really begins.

Are these two cases involving people from two different backgrounds linked?

This is a harrowing tale of human trafficking, about the women who are brought into the country under false pretences, only to be forced into the world of prostitution facing continual abuse. It’s also about wealth, privilege and power and how some of those people abuse their positions with impunity. 

Full of fantastic characters and a clever, twisty plot, this glimpse into the two worlds make this a dark and compelling thriller. I was thoroughly gripped from start to finish.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Out For Blood.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Deborah Masson was born and bred in Aberdeen, Scotland. Always restless and fighting against being a responsible adult, she worked in several jobs including secretarial, marketing, reporting for the city’s freebie newspaper and a stint as a postie – to name but a few.

Through it all, she always read crime fiction and, when motherhood finally settled her into being an adult (maybe even a responsible one) she turned her hand to writing what she loved. Deborah started with short stories and flash fiction whilst her daughter napped and, when she later welcomed her son into the world, she decided to challenge her writing further through online courses with Professional Writing Academy and Faber Academy. Her debut novel, Hold Your Tongue, is the result of those courses.

Hold Your Tongue has been widely well reviewed by readers and authors alike, with many comparing her favourably to Stuart MacBride. It won the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2020 and was longlisted for CWA New Blood Dagger 2020.

Thriller

Book Trailer for Number 10 by C. J. Daugherty

Wow, look at this


Looks great……here’s the publishers blurb….

One of the UK’s most critically acclaimed teen authors returns with a new novel set in the world of her hugely popular Night School series.

Number 10 tells the spinetingling story of 16-year-old Gray Langtry, the daughter of the UK’s female prime minister, who is about to get in way over her head.

After a wild night with friends is splashed across the tabloids, Gray is grounded for two weeks at Number 10 Downing Street, no ifs no buts.

Left alone one night, with her mother at an important meeting, Gray discovers a secret network of government tunnels leading from 10 Downing Street to the Houses of Parliament and beyond.  What starts as a bit of fun, suddenly gets serious, when Gray stumbles across a secret late night cabinet meeting and overhears what sounds like a Russian-led plot to kill her mother.

Wasting no time, she rushes back to inform her mother’s security detail, but with no proof of what she heard, no-one will believe a wayward teenager. Now, it’s up to Gray to break out of Number 10 and warn her mother before it’s too late.

With the help of her best friend Chloe and love interest Jake McIntyre – who just happens to be the son of the leader of the opposition – will she make it in time to save her mother?  And what will she have to sacrifice in the process?

PURCHASE LINK.

blog tour, Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Thriller

The Pretenders by Agatha Zaza – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

‘I’m perfectly happy lying to myself…If it means getting to stay with you.’

Jasper is ready to surprise his brother; Holly is ready to celebrate their engagement.

Anne tags along for fear of missing out, and John might just be going for another drink.

But Edmund and Ovidia had other plans for their Saturday.

Over the course of one day, these couples must own up to the secrets they’ve been hiding from one another and the lies they’ve been telling themselves. And face the devastating consequences.

Three couples. Two exes. One day. One reckoning.

In her debut novel, Agatha Zaza crafts a modern domestic tragedy simmering with betrayal and deceit. 

MY REVIEW 

The Pretenders is the tale of secrets and the consequences when they come to light.

To celebrate their engagement, Holly and Jasper arrange a little celebration with a few friends and Jasper’s brother. 

All set during one Saturday, with flashbacks to each character’s background and how they have reached this point. As secrets begin to come to light the tension builds and you wonder what will happen next.

This is a dark thriller that will keep you turning the pages as more shocks and secrets are discovered. It has a fresh, sharp writing style and some real shocks along the way. A dark and compelling thriller.

Thank you to Peyton at Agora Books for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Pretenders.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Agatha Zaza is a Zambian and Finn at present living in Auckland, New Zealand. Her writing is a departure from her work in fundraising and international development.

The Pretenders was born in Singapore, where she spent three years as a trailing spouse, where she rekindled a long-dormant love of writing. Aside from Singapore, Agatha has worked and lived several countries, among them Uganda and the then Soviet Union. While in Ireland, she earned a Master’s in Equality Studies from University College Dublin and worked in a genuine Irish pub.

Agatha’s work can be seen in the Johannesburg Review of Books and in a PEN International special edition on African writers. She has also published three short books on Amazon. She’s been a passionate slow runner for two and half decades and has recently taken up composting and staring at her new sewing machine.

blog tour, Book reviews, tech Noir, Thriller

Coyote Fork by James Wilson – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

New Fiction from Slant Books Coyote Fork: A Thriller by James Wilson

British journalist Robert Lovelace travels to California to report on the social media giant Global Village. He’s horrified by what he finds: a company—guided by the ruthless vision of its founder, Evan Bone—that seems to be making journalism itself redundant. Appalled, he decides to abandon the project and return home.

But as he leaves he has a disconcerting encounter that sends him off in a totally different direction. Soon he finds himself embarking on an increasingly fraught and dangerous mission. The aim: to uncover the murky truth about Evan Bone’s past and his pathological disregard for the human cost of the behemoth he has created.

Robert’s quest takes him from San Francisco to a small college town in the Midwest, to the site of a former hippie commune in northern California, introducing us to a range of vivid characters and confronting us with the price we pay—online trolling, the loss of privacy, professional ruin—for living in an “interconnected” world. Finally, he makes a startling discovery—and is thrown into a completely unforeseen existential dilemma.

A timely, stylishly written, and brilliantly conceived metaphysical thriller, Coyote Fork carries us on an unforgettable journey, before bringing us face to face with the darkness at the heart of Silicon Valley itself.

MY REVIEW 

Coyote Fork Is the tale of Robert Lovelace and his journey to find the truth behind social media giant, Evan Bone.

This is a thriller so in tune with the present day it feels like it could be happening right now. There is the ever present need for instant news to the extent traditional journalism is disappearing. 

How lives are spent permanently connected to the online world, some in search of fame and validation from invisible voices, who can and do turn suddenly vicious and ruin reputations and lives in keystroke.

It’s also about culture, insidious technology and a murder.

Beautifully written and utterly compelling from start to finish. A unique and timely thriller.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Coyote Fork.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

James Wilson is a London-based writer. His previous novels include The Dark Clue, The Bastard Boy, The Woman in the Picture, Consolation, and The Summer of Broken Stories. He has written BBC TV and radio documentaries, and is the author of a work of narrative nonfiction, The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America, which won a Myers Outstanding Book Award.

blog tour, Book reviews, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.

FOUR of them are hiding secrets.

THREE years of history bind them.

TWO are doomed from the start.

ONE person wants to end this.

NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

MY REVIEW 

Even If We Break is a slow burn of a suspense filled thriller. Five friends have always spent their summers together in a family cabin (sound familiar? Well it’s not!)

They all love to play role playing games, but when events start to mirror their game their already tenuous friendships start to crumble….

This is told from the five perspectives, we learn of their background, their thoughts and the recent events that have caused such distrust and suspicion. 

So, the five friends are not that close anymore and so as events turn nasty, it’s each to their own…….

The isolated cabin adds a creepiness to the already tense atmosphere.

I found this to be a very clever, mystery and suspenseful thriller with great, diverse characters that has some dark and creepy moments. Not one to read at night! A thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Even If We Break. This is my honest and unbiased review.

blog tour, Book reviews, Murder mystery, Thriller

Innocent by Erin Kinsley – Book Review




PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A MURDER TEARS A SMALL TOWN APART. BUT WHO DID IT?

‘Brilliant, compelling, heart-wrenching writing.’ Peter James

The pretty market town of Sterndale is a close-knit community where everyone thinks they know everyone else. But at a lavish summer wedding a local celebrity is discovered slumped in the gardens, the victim of a violent assault that leads to a murder investigation.

As the police search for answers, suspicion and paranoia build – and the lives of the locals are turned upside down. Secrets that lurk beneath the pristine façade of Sterndale come to light as detectives close in on the truth…

A gripping and moving thriller with the emotional drama of series like BROADCHURCH and LIAR this is the perfect read for fans of Cara Hunter, Heidi Perks and Claire Douglas.

Praise for Erin Kinsley’s first novel Found,

BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice and Sunday Times Crime Club Pick:

‘An unputdownable thriller.’

Elly Griffiths

‘Sensitive and moving…but with a core of pure tension’

Sunday Times

‘One of those rare finds – a page turner that is equally remarkable for the beauty of the writing. It will suck you in and take you on a journey’

Jo Spain

‘Gripping…once started, impossible to put down!’

Minette Walters

MY REVIEW 

Innocent is a clever, character led thriller, set in a small town, Sterndale.

During a wedding a celebrity, Tristan, is assaulted and later dies. DI Gavin Muir, DS Weld and DS Golding begin their investigation.

We then find out about the lives and secrets of the residents of Sterndale, as they search for the killer it appears not everyone is who they seem to be….

The excellent writing by Erin Kinsley really captures the almost claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town. The twisty plot builds a slow tension and is gripping from start to finish.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and ARC of Innocent. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Erin Kinsley is a full-time writer. She grew up inYorkshire and currently lives in East Anglia.

Book reviews, Court room drama, Thriller

The Curious Case Of Faith & Grace by David B. Lyons – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Pretty… or pretty twisted?

ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO FAITH AND GRACE TIDDLE ARRIVED HOME FROM THEIR USUAL SATURDAY MORNING DANCE CLASS TO FIND BOTH OF THEIR PARENTS FACE DOWN IN POOLS OF BLOOD.

Five days later, the twins — only nine years old at the time — were arrested for the double homicide.

And now, twenty months on, the entire country awaits with bated breath as the jury are dismissed to deliberate their verdict on a case that has become a national phenomenon.

But if Lead Detective Denis Quayle — the man who knows the case better than anybody else — isn’t fully convinced of the twins’ guilt…

Can a twelve-person jury be?

GET READY TO EXPLORE…

 


THE CURIOUS CASE OF FAITH & GRACE

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MY REVIEW 

The Curious Case Of Faith & Grace is the trial of twins Faith and Grace Tiddle. The girls look the picture of innocence……but are they?

The twins have been accused of the murder of their parents….

It tells of the twins early life, a quite strict life with a lot of religion and prayer…..and poor Grebit the frog gives a little idea of something dark…..

It also tells of the murder trial and the jury……one of whom is being blackmailed, all adding to the gloriously creepy tale. Guilty? Or Not Guilty?……….

Thank you to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

About David B. Lyons:

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David B. Lyons is an international bestselling author — a writer of psychological thrillers.

He has reached No.1 in charts in Ireland, the UK, Canada and Australia.

David grew up in Dublin – the city his novels are set – but currently spends his time between Birmingham in the UK and the Irish capital. David is married to a Brummie, Kerry, and they have one daughter, Lola.

He has lectured in Creative Writing in colleges and universities in both Ireland and in the UK and coaches people how to write with free tutorials at TheOpenAuthor.com.

 

You can connect with David here:

 

Website: TheOpenAuthor.com

Twitter: @TheOpenAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorDavidBLyons

 

Social Media:

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOpenAuthor

 

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

 

Website: http://theopenauthor.com/

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK:   https://amzn.to/30ZMCDh 

Amazon US:   https://amzn.to/2YRbhHj

 

Book reviews, Thriller

The Last Sword Maker by Brian Nelson – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the high mountains of Tibet, rumors are spreading. People whisper of an outbreak, of thousands of dead, of bodies pushed into mass graves. It is some strange new disease … a disease, they say, that can kill in minutes. The Chinese government says the rumors aren’t true, but no one is allowed in or out of Tibet.

At the Pentagon, Admiral James Curtiss is called to an emergency meeting. Satellite images prove that a massive genocide is underway, and an American spy has made a startling discovery. This is no disease. It’s a weapons test. Chinese scientists have developed a way to kill based on a person’s genetic traits. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The success of their new weapon proves that the Chinese are nearing “Replication”—a revolutionary breakthrough that will tip the global balance of power and change the way wars are waged.

Now the US must scramble to catch up before it is too late. Admiral Curtiss gathers the nation’s top scientists, including a promising young graduate student named Eric Hill who just might hold the missing piece to the replication puzzle. Soon Hill and his colleague Jane Hunter are caught up in a deadly game of sabotage as the two nations strive to be the first to reach the coveted goal. But in their headlong race, they create something unexpected … something the world has never seen and something more powerful than they had ever imagined.

With eerie similarities to today’s coronavirus pandemic, The Last Sword Maker is an exciting globe-trotting thriller with unforgettable characters that depicts a haunting vision of the future of warfare.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 in The Course Of The Empire series.

A terrible virus is killing people in Tibet…sounds familiar….except this virus is a weapon. A mix of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and genetics.

The developer has used Tibet as a testing ground.

The Last Sword Maker is a science based thriller, as the US race to find the secret of this new tech from China before the nano-virus teaches itself to replicate and spread as a natural virus does.

There is lots of science throughout, but the author’s writing explains it so well and has made it understandable to the layman without being patronising.

A very clever thriller that’s full of action. A real page turner that’s terrifying as it feels so, so possible.

Thank you to Michelle at FSB Associates for the eARC of The Last Sword Maker. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Brian Nelson is a former Fulbright Scholar who holds degrees in international relations, economics, and creative writing (fiction). His first book, The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup against Chávez and the Making of Modern Venezuela, was named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Economist. His work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Christian Science Monitor, and the Southern Humanities Review, among others. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two children.

 

Praise for The Last Sword Maker:

“A gripping, frighteningly plausible techno-thriller…Nelson’s intriguing scientific predictions and distinctive near-future setting make this sure to please speculative fiction readers as well as thriller fans.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“A terrifying vision of future warfare in the vein of Tom Clancy’s and Michael Crichton’s novels…A powerhouse near-future thriller with explosive action and exciting science.”—Foreword Reviews

 

“An all-too-plausible examination of how emerging technologies could be weaponized to horrible ends. I don’t recommend reading this one right before bedtime—unless you are prepared to stay up very, very late to finish it.”—Lisa Brackmann, New York Times bestselling author

 

“A head-spinning sci-fi-infused military thriller, with China and the United States putting everything they have into developing the perfect weapon, no matter the cost. ”—Francisco Toro, columnist, Washington Post

 

“The danger is unique, and the treachery vast, in this rapid-paced adventure that delivers in equal doses of amazing, yet possible. An intriguing tale that will leave you thinking. ”—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

 

“A compelling thriller…Nelson’s riveting narrative captures the drama of great power competition…This is a terrific debut.”—Patrick Duddy, Duke University, former US Ambassador to Venezuela

 

“An amazing read. The Last Sword Maker has everything”—Moisés Naím, New York Times bestselling author

 

Book reviews, Thriller

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…

 

 

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MY REVIEW 

On Addie’s 10th Birthday, her sister Jessie is supposed to take her for pizza, but she’s late…..so not sleeping, Addie here’s her dad come home, he smells meaty! He has blood on his clothes too….

She later finds out there has been a terrorist attack on the tube…..is this where the blood came from….?

Each year on 7 July a woman goes missing, the police finally link these disappearances, but they have no leads…..yet!

Jessie and Addie find a missing woman’s purse in their father’s room …scared what will happen to them if he leaves, they decide to keep it a secret….so many secrets!

The tale is told from Addie’s perspective, with a few small asides by the Magpie and snippets of real events over the years, the various terror attacks in London which build the atmosphere. 

As the story continues, we see Addie grow from a 10 year old to a young adult, with the Magpie in the background all the time….there is an ever present feeling of menace, like something seen in the corner of your eye, building until the marvellously twisty and surprising ending. Original and compelling, definitely one of my favourites this year.

Thank you to Antonia at Headline for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour. This is my honest, unbiased review.

The paperback is published on 25 June…  https://amzn.to/2V269z6

Book reviews, Extract, Thriller

No One Will Hear Your Screams by Thomas O’Callaghan – * EXCERPT*

Here’s an excerpt from the suspense thriller No One Will Hear Your Screams by Thomas O’Callaghan ( my review will follow in a day or so)….

 

Excerpted from No One Will Hear Your Screams. Copyright © 2020 by Thomas

 

O’Callaghan. All rights reserved. Published by WildBlue Press.

Pearsol opened the mortuary cooler and pulled out the stainless steel tray supporting the victim. “Lieutenant, meet Jane Doe,” he said sliding the woman’s bloated body under Driscoll’s gaze. “Harbor Patrol fished her out of the muck.  I’d say she was a feast for the gulls for a day. Maybe two.”
“What’s that smell?  Paint thinner?”
“Phenol.”  
“She was doused in phenol?”
“Injected.”
Driscoll’s eyes narrowed.
“The complete autopsy will fill in the blanks, but I’d bet my pension I already know what killed her.  The who, and the why, I’ll leave to you.”  Pearsol handed the preliminary lab report to Driscoll.  It identifies a mixture of substances inside her vascular system.  
“Phenol, formaldehyde and Chloride of Zinc?”  Driscoll looked perplexed. 
“The same Chloride of Zinc they put in dry cell batteries?” 
Pearsol nodded. “There’s three more.”
“Myrrh, aloe and cassia,” Driscoll read aloud.  “That’s a strange mix.”  He glanced at Pearsol, who nodded.  “Says here you drained 851 milliliters from her circulatory system.  What’s that?  About two pints?”
“Just under.”
“A body contains five to six quarts of blood.  So the rest of this mixture?”
“Still in her.”     
Using his finger, Driscoll pushed back a lock of the victim’s hair. “What could you have done to warrant this?” he whispered, eyes on the corpse.
 
“Right now the unofficial cause of death is phenol poisoning by arterial injection.  Familiar with the German word, ‘abgespritzt’, Lieutenant?”
“No.”
“Abgespritzt was a method of genocide favored by the Nazis in the early 1940s.  Hitler’s henchmen delivered instantaneous death by injecting 15 milliliters of phenol directly into the heart.”
“What kind of syringe injects six quarts?”  
“More than likely he used a centrifugal pump.  And he knew what he was doing.” Pearsol pointed to the side of the victim’s neck, where a semi- translucent latex adhesive covered a two inch stretch of rippled flesh between the carotid artery and the jugular vein.  “An extreme method of murder, Lieutenant.  He arterially embalmed her.”
Driscoll winced.               
“There’s more.”  The M.E. produced a transparent evidence bag containing a locket.  It was an inch in diameter and featured Saint Vitalis of Gaza; his name etched in a half circle below his likeness.  “I found it under her tongue.  Someone apparently placed it there before suturing the tongue to the floor of her mouth.”
“What’s that about?” Driscoll wondered aloud.
“Good question.  I’m not familiar with that saint.  You?”
“She‘s the patron saint of prostitutes.”
“Well, there’s a lead.  Oh, and there’s one other bit of information you’re sure to find intriguing.  The myrrh, aloe, and cassia injected with the embalming fluid were once embalming solutions on their own.  Sort of.”
“Sort of?”
“They were the purifying fragrances applied to the linens that wrapped the crucified Christ before he was laid in his tomb.”

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About the Author:
Thomas O’Callaghan’s work has been translated for publication in Germany, Slovakia, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China, and Italy. As an internationally acclaimed author, Mr. O’Callaghan is a member of both the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers associations. A native of New York City and a graduate of Richmond College, Mr. O’Callaghan resides with his lovely wife, Eileen, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful Belle Harbor, New York. 
His debut novel BONE THIEF introduces NYPD Homicide Commander Lieutenant John W. Driscoll. THE SCREAMING ROOM is the second in the John Driscoll series. The third book in the series, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOUR SCREAMS, is now available from WildBlue Press. For more information, please visit https://thomasocallaghan.com

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Book reviews, Thriller

Everything To Lose by Gordon Bickerstaff – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Scientists claim their new sports drug will boost the performance of every athlete in the world. The Lambeth Group send scientist, Gavin Shawlens, to investigate the claim.

The product is stolen, top athletes disappear, and the research team are unaware that their product has a dangerous side effect. Gavin must stop the sports drug launch before more people die.

When Gavin disappears – Zoe Tampsin searches frantically to find him before he becomes the next victim.

As if Zoe hasn’t got enough on her plate. Past events in Gavin’s life catch up with him. A powerful US general decides that Gavin must die to prevent exposure of a 60-year old secret capable of world-changing and power-shifting events.

The chase is on…

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MY REVIEW 

Everything To Lose is #2 in the Gavin Shawlens series and is a Lambeth Group Thriller.

Gavin is recovering from events in Book#1 ‘Deadly Secrets’ and now a new issue is on the horizon. So, he joins with SAS Officer Zoe Tamsin to investigate a new sports performance enhancing drug that claims it will improve any athlete’s performance. but at what cost?

But then athletes begin disappearing and dying Gavin has an idea of what the problem is, but then he goes missing and Zoe and her expert team have to find him before he becomes another victim…..

Everything To Lose is a fast paced, action packed thriller with great characters and a science based, twisty plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat….heart pounding stuff.

Thank you to Damppebbles Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.

I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.

The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GFBickerstaff 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Thriller

Singapore Killer by Murray Bailey – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

A helicopter crash and burned bodies.

 

A faceless corpse.

 

A mysterious town.

 

Carter is drawn into a dark case from which there seems no escape.

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MY REVIEW 

#5 in the Ash Carter series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Wow….the action starts from the off and really doesn’t stop in this heart pounding thriller.

Set in 1950’s Singapore, a devastating helicopter crash turns out to be a deliberate act…..and so the story begins.

Ash Carter is on the hunt for the killer, Black Jack.

This is so well written with a real sense of time and place. Full of atmosphere, it has a brutal serial killer, plenty of great characters and a twisty, violent and action packed plot to keep every thriller fan on the edge of their seats. A fantastic read.

Thank you to Murray Bailey for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Thriller

Fire And Vengeance by Robert McCaw – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

The story in Fire and Vengeance is propelled by the unthinkable—an elementary school, knowingly built atop a volcanic vent, has now exploded. The subsequent murders of the school’s contractor and architect only add urgency to Koa’s search for the truth. Was it an act of terrorism? Or a result of greed, power, and a forty-year-old conspiracy?

 

As Koa’s investigation heats up, his brother collapses in jail from a previously undiagnosed brain tumor. Using his connections, Koa devises a risky plan to win his brother’s freedom. As Koa gradually unravels the obscure connections between multiple suspects, his investigation suddenly becomes entwined with his brother’s future, forcing Koa to choose between justice for the victims and his brother’s freedom.

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MY REVIEW 

Fire And Vengeance is a story of greed and corruption. Set in Hawaii, Chief Detective Koa Kane is investigating a property developer who built a school over a volcanic vent……when this exploded it resulted in the death of 14 children.

Who knew of the dangers? How far will they go to keep their secret?

This is a thriller full of tension and drama, it’s a slow burn which builds to make a thoroughly engrossing, edge of your seat read. 

Thank you to Michelle at FSB Associates for an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Robert McCaw is the author of Fire and Vengeance, Off the Grid, and Death of a Messenger. McCaw grew up in a military family, traveling the world. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, served as a U.S. Army lieutenant, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a partner in a major international law firm in Washington, D.C. and New York City, representing major Wall Street clients in complex civil and criminal cases. Having lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, McCaw imbues his writing of the Islands with his more than 2-year love affair with this Pacific paradise. He now ives in New York City with his wife, Calli. 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Thriller

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…
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MY REVIEW 

Fran has returned home to Ash Mountain, a small town in Australia. She’s caring for her dad, who has had a stroke and needs constant care. She has a teenage daughter, Vonny and an older son, Dante.

Vonny is a typical teen, a bit moody and glued to her phone. Dante however, is happiness personified, cool and satisfied with his life.

The story revolves around a bushfire that heading for the town.

Told in two timelines, 30 years before and the few days leading up to the day of the fire. Mainly from Fran’s perspective but also some chapters from a few of the other characters, such as Rosie and Maz.

This is so full of humour, the everyday humour between friends and family that’s sharp, dark and honest. It also deals with the more serious subjects of abuse, racial and sexual, sexuality and death. Ash Mountain is domestic noir, but also a disaster thriller that literally takes your breath away…..

I love Fran, with her bonker’s humour, irreverent and hilarious and her commitment to her family is unquestionable. Ash Mountain is laugh out loud funny, (Gramps on a Stick!)….dark and tragic too. Full of emotional moments and I loved every fraught minute.  I’ll forever mourn poor Ronnie Corbett. Sheer genius and just  brilliant.

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

 

PURCHASE LINKS

 

https://amzn.to/3d0sUui

 

https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Helen-FitzGerald/Ash-Mountain/24853306

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband. 

Book reviews, Icelandic noir, Police procedural, Thriller

The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents

When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in Iceland, Elma has returned to her hometown of Akranes, after her relationship has broken down. She has joined the local police in CID.

When the body of a woman is found near a lighthouse the investigation begins. Was this an accidental death or murder?

I found The Creak On The Stairs had a creeping tension and an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. The chapters from young Elisabet’s perspective are particularly harrowing.

Elma is a likeable character and I enjoyed her close relationship with her mother and their humour brought some lighter moments to this dark tale. I do hope this is the beginning of a series as I’d love to read more….I loved the useful guide to Icelandic pronunciation too.

A compelling, sometimes emotional, Icelandic Noir Thriller that had me hooked from the first page. Stunning.

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

 

You can buy a copy here: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Eva-Bjoerg-AEgisdottir/The-Creak-on-the-Stairs/24712304 or here : https://amzn.to/3e88pff 

https://www.goldsborobooks.com/product/the-creak-on-the-stairs-may-book-of-the-month

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten. 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

In Plain Sight by Marion Todd – Book Review

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I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for In Plain Sight and am reposting my review.

 


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A child’s life is at stake. Which of the residents of St Andrews is hiding something – and why?

When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition. 

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

The second instalment from an exciting new Scottish detective series. Perfect for fans of Alex Gray, Rachel Amphlett and D. K. Hood.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Detective Clare Mackay series, but can also easily be read as a stand-alone.

A very young child has been abducted while her parents were watching a commotion at a charity fun run.

Detective Clare Mackay was about to take part in the run so was on the scene immediately, but no sign of baby Abi.

When they find out Abi has a heart condition and needs regular medication to keep her alive, this becomes a tense race against time.

Can they find Abi before it’s too late?

This is a clever, well plotted police procedural that’s so much more involved. There’s a missing child, a thorough investigation with plenty of possible suspects, office politics, an overly ambitious senior officer and well developed characters. A truly gripping and thoroughly entertaining read. I’m already looking forward to the next in the series….

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can preorder a copy here( available from 20 February) : 

https://amzn.to/2GPWsMJ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Marion grew up in the City of Dundee, now home to the magnificent V&A Museum. Always a keen writer, she has had point-of-view pieces published in the Dundee Courier and short stories in My Weekly magazine. She won first prize in the Family Circle Magazine Short Story for Children Competition in 1987.

More recently, Marion has turned her hand to crime fiction and was one of only six commercial fiction writers selected to pitch to an industry panel at XPONorth in Inverness in 2017. In 2018 Marion was long-listed for the Sunstory Award and the Scottish Arts Council Short Story Award. This year she was short-listed for Dundee Rep’s Stripped programme. She is represented by Northbank Talent Management and her debut novel, See Them Run, will be published as an eBook by Canelo on 31 October 2019.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marion worked as a lecturer, candle-maker and hotel lounge pianist, a job which provided rich material for her novels. When she isn’t writing, Marion can be found tussling with her jungle-like garden and walking in the beautiful Scotish countryside.

Marion lives in North East Fife overlooking the River Tay and is a sometime babysitter for her daughter’s unruly but lovable dog. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Thriller

Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? 

For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good. 

Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.

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MY REVIEW 

Slow Down is the tale of Noah Spaeth, the man who has everything, but wants more. It’s the story of one upmanship and how far Noah and Dominick will go to get what they want.

A fast paced thriller set in the film industry with all its decadence, drugs and greed.  A gripping, disturbing story of excess, betrayal and corruption. Brilliant.

Thank you to Blackthorn Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY. His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com. 

 

Website – Leematthewgoldberg.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/leemgol

IG – https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG