Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the early 19th century, British explorer John Oxley traversed the then-unknown wilderness of central Australia in search of water. Oxley never found it, but he never ceased to believe it was out there. The myth of the inland sea was taken up by other men, and over the years search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it.

Two centuries later, his great-great-great-great granddaughter (and our narrator) spends a final year in Sydney reeling from her own self-destructive obsessions. She’s working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator, drinking heavily, sleeping with strangers, wandering Sydney’s streets late at night, and navigating an affair with an ex-lover. Reckless and adrift, she prepares to leave.

Written with down-to-earth lucidity and ethereal breeziness, this is an unforgettable debut about coming of age in a world that seems increasingly hostile. Watts explores feminine fear, apathy and danger, building to a tightly controlled bushfire of ecological and personal crisis.
4F77CB55-D4FF-4199-A53E-B56FE249522E

MY REVIEW 

Set in Australia, the narrator has just finished university and gets a job in an emergency dispatch call centre. Where she has drifted along in her safe little world, she starts to feel there is danger around every corner. 

She meets an ex, Lachlan and wonders what if? What could be?

This is a tale of love, loss, loneliness and the daily fear of things beyond our control. 

It is a beautifully written, almost poetic tale of a young woman and her coming of age, her realisation that the world is slowly falling apart. From climate change, Bush fires, personal drama and an overall feeling of disquiet. 

I found this to be a gentle read, dreamy but with this feeling of unease too. Brilliant, thought provoking, slightly melancholy and really gently captivating. 

Thank you to Poppy Stimpson at Pushkin Press for the opportunity to read The Inland Sea for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can preorder a copy here (out on 5 March) : https://amzn.to/2SjgMN2 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Noir

Raging by Stephen Scarcliffe – Book Review

85784291-3313-413E-B8BF-B1CE618EBC82
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A bloody turf war is erupting between the shellsuit gangsters and the Donaldsons, while the family outcasts look to take advantage of the disorder on the streets…

Who torched Dougie Donaldson’s taxi? 

Why are the bodies piling up in the high rises? 

Why is a scorned figure from the past poking his nose into everyone’s business?

As things escalate, Billy Wright is forced to question who is plotting against him as he is dragged even deeper into the world he is trying to escape. George Donaldson is sucked into a bitter feud with childhood pals that forces him to answer serious doubts around his loyalties and Sean Donaldson schemes to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse, hellbent on revenge against the uncle who has frozen him out of the family drug business.

Will Billy fulfil the promise he made to girlfriend Lyndsay and leave the life of crime behind as fatherhood approaches? Can George successfully defend his old man’s territory in the face of mounting adversity? Is there any line Sean won’t cross in his quest for supremacy?
FC851D49-85F0-4C72-BD61-E955AA16ABFD

MY REVIEW 

Wow what a read…..

#2 in the Chemical Estates Series but I feel it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Set in 90’s Edinburgh, this is the tale of violence.

Drug gangs are vying for control.

Billy is trying to change his life as he is soon to be a father, but someone is setting him up. So, he needs to get this sorted before it gets out of hand.

Well suffice to say things get messy.

Written just as people speak, so it can take a little while to get used to, but I felt it really added to the reality. The characters are well developed and not one of them has any redeeming traits, they all want power at any cost. Reputation is king. 

A fast paced Dark, violent, brutal, gritty and so thoroughly engrossing.

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
FEC62B82-C80F-445F-BB18-D645D16C0796

Growing up around the north of Edinburgh where the Chemical Estate book series is set lends first-hand experience and authenticity to both the story and its characters. 

Around 14 years ago, and 4 pints (or more) down, I bumped into a certain Irvine Welsh in a pub in Edinburgh city centre. After giving him a copy of a short story I had written, I received a really encouraging email that spurred me on to write a novel. The process was extended somewhat by spending 10 years as the singer-songwriter for Edinburgh Alt-rock band The Number 9s, before opting to turn my main focus to writing. Two books in now with number 3 in development I hope to continue for many years to come. 

You can keep up to date with details of new releases and plenty more by signing up for my mailing list at http://www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephenScarc  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.scarcliffe/

Website: http://www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk 

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

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

Digital https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate-ebook/dp/B081ZG3NQX/ref=sr_1_2?crid=MJZ1A4FSXQZV&keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733343&sprefix=raging+ste%2Cdigital-text%2C145&sr=8-2

Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate/dp/1711748803/ref=sr_1_3?crid=MJZ1A4FSXQZV&keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733375&sprefix=raging+ste%2Cdigital-text%2C145&sr=8-3

Amazon US:

Digital https://www.amazon.com/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate-ebook/dp/B081ZG3NQX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733406&sr=8-1

Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate/dp/1711748803/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733425&sr=8-2

08C12C49-176D-4799-8125-45DB376D9C2F 

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Nordic noir, Psychlogical thriller

Death Deserved by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger – Book Review

ADA9682D-575F-452C-B928-2540463E4AE7
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. 

When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing- persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. 

Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.

Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…
787943D3-EDA8-4B43-BBA4-CA94D7C5E2A3

MY REVIEW 

Alexander Blix is an experienced police officer in Norway. He had been involved in a shooting 19 years before that still troubles him daily. 

When Emma Ramm, a journalist reports a missing person, the investigation begins.

Sonja Nordstrøm, a celebrity athlete and author of an explosive autobiography has disappeared….

But, more bodies start to be found, each with clues that link the victims in some way…leading them to believe there is more to come.

Emma and Blix are also linked by an event in their pasts, Blix feels an obligation to Emma and passes her information relating to the case for her to post her online news reports. But is this putting her in danger?

What follows in an incredible, gripping Nordic Noir thriller, with great likeable characters in Blix and Ramm. Full of emotion, fear and nail biting suspense in a race against time to catch a serial killer before he can complete his plan. I’m already waiting for the next in the series. Brilliantly dark and utterly 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 preorder a copy here (released on 20 Feb) :   https://amzn.to/2SFbvyq

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. Death Deserved is Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley – Book Review

450C6899-1EF9-4D6C-A038-3DE511A7E257

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Things will never be the same again…

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.

A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben’s car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher’s world upside down.

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?

Gripping and sinister, The Wreckage is guaranteed to keep you up all night…

20E30429-3199-40DA-9E4B-A30971BB3391

MY REVIEW 

Ben is driving to work on the motorway when he sees a flash of white….he has hit a man.

Adam has deliberately jumped in front of Ben’s car.

While not Ben’s fault he is so guilt ridden he can barely function, but he decides to see Adam’s wife, Alice to say sorry.

Alice is a bit taken aback, but they become slightly uneasy friends and Ben becomes close to her son Max.  But, then Ben takes Max to give Alice some time alone, as he’s concerned about her drinking and if Max is safe.

This is the tale of three damaged people, each with their own problems. It deals with mental illness, obsession and domestic abuse.

I didn’t find any of the characters likeable at all, Adam was controlling, Alice is rude, selfish and just nasty and Ben….well Ben, I’m really not sure about Ben ! But, due to Robin Morgan-Bentley’s incredible writing, you become so gripped by their story.  It’s  so compelling, you really become involved and just have to know how this is going to turn out for each of the characters. The final couple of lines made me feel a little uneasy I have to say……I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

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, Psychlogical thriller

Trap Door by Dreda Say Mitchell – Book Review

6441A631-DF11-4F4A-A311-FFA203F1ADAC
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

100 years ago young women were killed in this workplace.

Is history about to repeat itself?

Rachel, a young woman in serious debt, needs to find a job fast before she’s made homeless. She gets a lucky break when she is offered a great position in a successful company. Then she discovers that the building was once a Victorian sweatshop with a tragic history. Is this why Rachel feels something increasingly sinister?

Soon her new job becomes a living nightmare. Rachel desperately wants out, but she has no other way of escaping her debts. She’s trapped. Then she makes a shocking discovery.

Haunted by the death of others and as the present and past begin to close in, Rachel needs to find answers before she finds herself in grave danger …

What is really going on in her workplace?

And can she ever escape her inner demons?

5BE47F0F-F4F0-4B0E-82F2-F745FD3855F9

 

MY REVIEW 

Rachel is a mess, she’s up to her eyes in debt and has overstayed her welcome in a friend’s house share. She could ask her Dad for help, but she is too ashamed.

So, when Michael offers her a job as a marketing consultant, she jumps at the chance even though both of them know she has no experience at all. It all starts well, but then Michael raises concerns and Rachel is moved to the basement with the techies……and to get to the basement she has to use a Trap Door.

This is the same basement where 22 people had reportedly died in a sweatshop fire 100 years ago…..Rachel has a morbid fear of fire after her friend Phillip had died in a fire 10 years before. 

She’s working alongside the techies and the masked, silent Keats which really adds to the tension. When she gets trapped alone in the dark basement, she hears her name and begins to wonder who would want to scare her so much. Every day becomes a nightmare and she no longer knows what’s real…..Can she find the truth before it’s too late?

I can’t say too much more for fear of spoilers, but it’s a tale of secrets, family and betrayals with a dark, twisty and claustrophobic plot, so full of tension it’s an utterly gripping psychological thriller from start to finish. I really enjoyed every fear filled minute.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to take part in this Publication Day Party, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of Trap Door. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here :   https://amzn.to/31N5kMV

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

65877980-F356-4B50-BED7-C881DEAE1024

Dreda Say Mitchell, who grew up on a housing estate in east London, is an award-winning novelist, broadcaster, journalist and freelance education consultant who describes herself as a ‘complete busybody’. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek. She is the author of five novels, with her first book having been awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger for best debut crime novel – the first time a Black British writer has received this honour. She has appeared on Newsnight, Daybreak and Canadian television’s Sun New Live. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, and is a frequent guest on Radio 4’s The Review Show, Front Row and Saturday Review. Dreda has written for the Guardian, the Independent and the Observer on issues ranging from race and class to Phil Mitchell’s drug addiction in EastEnders 

Book reviews, Cancer, Non fiction

What Doesn’t Kill You by Rachel Haynes – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

What lies beneath survival is the realization that the end of treatment is not the end of the story.

Rachel Haynes survived cancer not once, but twice.

This is her story about facing treatment, the joy of remission, followed by the heartbreak of relapse and finally, unexpectedly, a cure. Rachel reflects on the messy psychological legacy of survival in all its raw highs and lows, and of her overwhelming urge to finally make sense of a life she never thought she would see. With taboo-breaking humour and honesty, she vividly describes her experience of cancer and the impact it has had on her loved ones alongside a tender description of how life has brought her full circle back to love.

It is a rallying call to wake up to what’s important in life and never give up hope. A quest to uncover what to do when you have a second chance at life.

All profits from the book will be donated to Bowel Cancer UK.

3FE0783E-4608-4475-B976-38017479D0DD


MY REVIEW 

This is a book about hope, family, love and cancer.

Rachel was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer and went through surgery…..lots of surgery, chemo both IV and in tablet form, and this is her story of her traumatic journey.

It’s honest and heartfelt and so very accurate. As a stage 4 cancer host myself I know the constant fear and anxiety of the hospital appointments, treatment, scans and horror of horrors, results days. It really helps to know that others undergoing these ‘regimes’ feel exactly the same.

I loved Rachel’s humour, her family and the odd glass of wine! 

If anyone is about to start any cancer treatment, is currently undergoing or has finished treatment, this really is a must read. It shows there is hope and love in this world and doctors and surgeons really are doing their very best to keep you on this planet as long as they can.  

I would also recommend this for anyone who knows someone with cancer, as it gives an insight into how it feels and what’s behind the ‘I’m fine’ statement…..An emotional, honest and down to earth brilliant read.

Thank you to Ailsa at Watkins Media for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here (All profits go to Bowel Cancer UK):  

 

https://amzn.to/2UAFsCj

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

The Last Drop Of Blood by Graham Masterton – Book Review

A0CCA463-9B05-4536-B449-F760080D9FAC
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The final thriller in the million-copy-selling Katie Maguire series.

In the driver’s seat of a Jaguar, on a country road, a good man burns.

Justice Garrett Quinn should have been at a sentencing. He was one of the good ones, fighting for order in a lawless world. In a burned-out car, on the outskirts of Cork, DS Katie Maguire finds what’s left of him.

But this is only the beginning. The judge’s death sparks a gang war fought with bullets and bombs, and civilians are caught in the crossfire. As the city spirals deeper into violence, Ireland’s most fearless detective must find the courage to fight for her hometown one last time.

Katie Maguire is no stranger to sacrifice – but she has lost so much already. Facing new horrors each day, Katie must decide: can she do her duty when she has nothing left to give?

 

Praise for Graham Masterton:

 

‘One of this country’s most exciting crime novelists. If you have not read one, read them all now’ Daily Mail.

‘A tough and gritty thriller with an attractive principal character’ Irish Independent.

‘Graham Masterton is a natural storyteller’ New York Journal of Books.

‘Any fan of mysteries should grab this book’ Irish Examiner.
C76E7E58-7194-4CBB-ADB2-16EF3DF113E2

MY REVIEW 

#11 in the DS Katie Maguire series. It can be read as a stand-alone but you are missing out on a little background and a great series.

Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is travelling home from Conor’s funeral. When she gets a call. A car has been found alight and there’s a body inside. So she arrives and recognises the victim, due to a unique ring he is wearing, as Judge Quinn. He was the judge about to pass sentence in the murder trial of Donal Haggerty.

Meanwhile, gang leader, Thomas O’Flynn and his henchmen are feuding with the Riordan family, a feud that’s been ongoing for years…..

There’s also the case of the Lee Pusher, a man who pushes people into the river and who has just caused the death of a young woman.

Katie also has to deal with the recent founder of her beloved Conor, the reprehensible Brendan at work and also her relationship with Kyna. All adding to the feeling of stress and tension.

This is a dark and violent tale of the criminal underworld of Ireland, with drugs, shootings, murder and domestic violence…..It’s fast paced, gritting and gripping from start to finish. If you like a dark police procedural, then you’ll love this.

Thank you to Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

072A41EA-A093-48C5-AB37-E3F8132C02C3

Graham Masterton trained as a newspaper reporter before beginning a career as an author. After twenty-five years writing horror and thrillers, Graham turned his talent to crime writing. The first book in the Katie Maguire series, White Bones, was published by Head of Zeus in 2012 and became a top-ten bestseller. The series was inspired by Graham’s five-year stay in County Cork. 

 

Follow Graham:

Facebook: @GrahamMasterton

Twitter: @GrahamMasterton

 

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MljWwP

Kobo: https://bit.ly/32mnm7U

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2BcQl2h

iBooks: https://apple.co/30q4oNy 

Book reviews, Thriller

One by K.J. McGillick – Book Review

BBC2D2E5-2ED7-4F12-B6A5-282662EBF25D
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One: Rage Vengeance Murder

A stolen life. A Faustian bargain. Prey becomes predator.

Azar Abed is out for revenge for the life Dr. Adrian Armond stole from her. No matter what the cost. 

Adrien Armond will stop at nothing to recover the massive fortune Azar Abed embezzled from him. 

Neither will walk away until the other is dead. Someone’s going to die, that is for certain.

Personal revenge gets caught up in a bio-terror plot to crash the world’s economy as darkness spirals into darkness and terror is the order of the day. Azar Abed and Adrien Armond are on a collision course that could have catastrophic consequences on a global scale.

Who will kill who first? Will it be enough? Can anyone stop the bio-terror plot to destroy the world’s economy that is already in motion? Does anyone have enough humanity left even to try?

Set against a backdrop of Washington, DC, ONE is a heart pounding-psychological thriller pitting greed against greed in a cat-and-mouse game where vengeance is the only prize. It can be read as a standalone, or as the conclusion to events begun in its predecessor, TWO. It concludes the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.
62999F84-AC05-41F9-BCC5-89B5957C3634

MY REVIEW 

This is the final book in the series and really ties up all those loose ends.

It brings together elements from the previous two books in a twisty, fast paced plot. The final piece of the puzzle that really brings the series to a rage filled, incredibly tense and ultimately satisfying end.

With great characters and plenty of details to give this a feeling of plausibility. Very cleverly plotted and 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.

 

Purchase Links: 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07CNZXL1C/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CNZXL1C/

 

Author Bio –

7B4EEA66-B15F-4A03-8557-75EF65E283C7

K.J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing 

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

DCB242A8-AF99-459A-AE65-82C3B71E9C48

Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

The Alibi Girl by C J Skuse – Book Review

998FF059-138C-4196-A9DD-BD5B36D0CE81
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Joanne Haynes has a secret: that is not her real name.

And there’s more. Her flat’s not hers. Her cats aren’t hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.

Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels ever so sorry. They’re all just alibis.

In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.

But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out….

1A3C609A-9C36-4B42-A312-CAB3B63F574E

MY REVIEW 

Joanne Haynes is hiding….but from who?

When a woman’s body is found in the hotel Joanne (Genevieve) works at, she knows it was murder…..she’s seen someone strangled before…..

Have the Three Little Pigs found her?

Poor Ellis, taken away from the only family she had, she now lives alone in a world of lies and make believe….but is someone watching?

A cliché I know, but I really couldn’t put this down….I just had to know, what was real and what wasn’t…. I found it to be so well written and I was drawn into Ellis’ world with its dark humour and troubled characters. I really liked Ellis with all her quirks and felt really sad for her and baby Emily…she’s a bit of a female Walter Mitty..

While not exactly a thriller, it does have violence and murder and a twisty plot. But I felt at its heart it’s a tale of fear, loneliness, love and family and I loved every minute. 

Thank you to Jessica Lee at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour date for a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2S09XzF

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House), MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on adult novel SWEETPEA for HQ/HarperCollins (out April 2017).

C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

(Courtesy of Goodreads) 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

A Shadow On The Lens by Sam Hurcom – Book Review (Now available in Paperback)

I originally posted this in September 2019, but as the marvellous book is now available in paperback, I’m just reposting…..

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Postmaster looked over my shoulder. As I turned to look I saw a flicker of movement from across the street. I felt unseen eyes peer at me.

He walked away without another word. I watched as he climbed onto his bicycle and sped away down the street. I turned back and looked over my shoulder.

Someone had been watching us.

  1. Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, is called to the sleepy and remote Welsh village of Dinas Powys, several miles down the coast from the thriving port of Cardiff. A young girl by the name of Betsan Tilny has been found murdered in the woodland – her body bound and horribly burnt. But the crime scene appears to have been staged, and worse still: the locals are reluctant to help.

As the strange case unfolds, Thomas senses a growing presence watching him, and try as he may, the villagers seem intent on keeping their secret. Then one night, in the grip of a fever, he develops the photographic plates from the crime scene in a makeshift darkroom in the cellar of his lodgings. There, he finds a face dimly visible in the photographs; a face hovering around the body of the dead girl – the face of Betsan Tilny.

A757E4BE-D760-4791-8928-BE5402D84ACF

MY REVIEW 

Betsan Tilney has been murdered and her body burnt. Due to the local villagers superstitions, her body is being kept in an abandoned church. They feel the Death is the result of the demon, Calon Fawr.

Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer is sent to document the evidence, but he is unwell with a fever and starts to see things …including a shape over the body in one of his photographs …or is it just a flaw?

He visits Bethan’s mother and while unwell he is certain she told him, “Do not look for her with your eyes”….

Will Thomas find the killer, or is there something even darker walking in the village?

This is a creepy, gothic supernatural mystery in the vein of Poe and Lovecraft, there are even rats scratching in the ceiling….if like a historical, supernatural mystery then you’ll love this.

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

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery

No Mercy by Robert Crouch – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU? 

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he? 

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover? 

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin? 

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy. 

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him?

13AF0D9B-0831-4C62-816F-17505948EC74

MY REVIEW 

#5 in the Kent Fisher mystery series and yes it can be read as a stand-alone but you are missing a great series….

Kent is an animal sanctuary owner, an Environmental Health Officer and a private detective, an eclectic mix to say the least. His personal life is a mess, an ex turns up in a wedding dress, wanting him back and  Freya his new partner wants him to decide just want he wants.

But, when a client of Freya’s is found dead, an apparent suicide, she asks Kent to look into it for her. He speaks to the police too and agrees something is not as it seems. So the mystery begins….

When a disgruntled restaurateur, who has made a complaint about Kent and the council, is found dead the mystery deepens. Is Kent himself in danger?

This is an intriguing murder mystery with a great character in Kent, his gentle humour brings a lightness to the tale. Great fun, an intriguing mystery and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to the author, Robert Crouch, for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

BE99B6EB-AFED-4D23-A2C5-57717BB37C41

Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often find walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, taking photographs and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.

 

You can contact him via his website – https://robertcrouch.co.uk

Twitter – @robertcrouchuk

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robertcrouchauthor 

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham – Book Review

1B1B2017-63D9-41A0-8011-9FDFDFCBA219
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Her Last Breath reunites readers with Marni Mullins, a grown-up Lisbeth Salander, and her relationship with complicated detective Francis Sullivan, much-loved characters who we’ll be hopefully seeing on TV soon – the TV right have been at auction by MediaLab, who produce dramas for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Discovery.

The body count is rising…and the clock is ticking.

When a young woman is attacked and left fighting to survive in hospital, the police are pulled into a race against time to save her life. But just 24 hours later, she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body.

And when another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton.

His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of Francis’s lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?

A gripping crime thriller from the author of The Tattoo Thief.

4B58B0AB-49BD-45FB-A359-9885CB416F3A

MY REVIEW

Alex and Tash have a row in a club, she leaves and starts to walk home alone…..but someone has followed her.

Early morning, Alex receives a call from Tash, she’s been attacked, so he and his mum, Marni, race to find her.

What they find is horrific, Tash has been stabbed, mutilated and tattooed. She’s rushed to hospital and seems to be ok, but she then dies as a reaction to something. The tattoo ink had been poisoned.

As Marni is a tattooist and Alex knows about the art too, he is suspected of the attack….But, Detective Francis Sullivan isn’t so sure and that’s not just because he’d once been close to Marni.

When another woman is found with the same injuries and dies the same way, the race is on to catch the killer.

This is really an edge of your seat thriller, fast paced, great characters and a gripping plot to keep you on a knife edge throughout. 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, Crime thriller

The Sinner by Martyn Waites – Book Review

B0762FE2-148F-44F1-8B23-75A6727D11FB
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In prison not everyone is guilty . . .

Tom Killgannon, ex-undercover police officer and now in witness protection, is recalled to active service by a local police task force, headed by DS Sheridan.

His mission is to befriend notorious child killer Noel Cunningham and find out where he buried the bodies of his final two victims. The catch? Tom has to obtain that information from within Blackmoor prison itself. Undercover and with no back-up, Tom soon runs into danger. In the prison is convicted gangster Dean Foley. He used to run Manchester’s biggest gang, until Tom’s testimony put him away for life. He recognises Tom, and so begins a cat-and-mouse game as Tom fights for survival before Foley can get his revenge.

But why can’t Tom reach DS Sheridan and what is the real reason he has been sent to Blackmoor prison?

F0C20FCF-D7F7-4E43-B84A-E86BD134158A

MY REVIEW 

Tom Killgannon was an u dear over cop, responsible for putting away notorious drug baron, Dean Foley.

Now in witness protection, Tom lives a quiet life in Cornwall. But, as part of this deal, he is on call for the odd undercover operation. So, when the child killer, Noel Cunningham says he may be willing to give up the whereabouts of his last victims bodies, Tom is sent to prison to find out more.

He ‘befriends’ Noel and is about to get the information, but a face from his past, Dean Foley, appears in the same prison. Coincidence or is something else going on?

Wow…..this really is a rollercoaster of a read, with gangsters, violence, corrupt prison officers, murder and betrayals, twisty and action packed to say the least. Great characters with their secrets, hopes and fears make this an utterly gripping and exciting 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.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Martyn Waites (b. 1963) is an English actor and author of hard-boiled fiction. Raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, he spent his post-university years selling leather coats, working in pubs and doing stand-up comedy. After a stint in drama school, Waites pursued life on the stage, performing regionally in theaters across England. TV and commercial work followed, and he continued to act full-time until the early 1990s, when he began writing his first novel: a noir mystery set in the city of his birth. 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

In Plain Sight by Marion Todd – Book 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.

0FC6D754-FA0E-4711-82FF-5E5BD8A0F371

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 Sophie at Canelo for a free copy of In Plain Sight. 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, Family drama, Psychlogical thriller

Little White Lies by Philippa East – Book Review

A57072B1-0832-4990-AEF5-05417C23DCE7
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

Addictive, edge-of-your-seat dark women’s fiction perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, BCC drama Thirteen, and Emma Donoghue’s Room.
CA426898-5A8E-4C16-B673-C9F457ED15AC

MY REVIEW 

Anne, husband Robert and the children were in London visiting Robert’s sick mother, but after a row Anne and the children were making their way alone on the underground. Anne took her eyes off Abigail for a moment and she disappeared. CCTV showed 8 year old Abi, leaving the station but then nothing….she was gone.

8 years later, Abigail walks into a police station with another missing child. 

The family are so happy she has come back home, but they don’t know how to behave with her anymore…8 year old Abi has grown up. They try so hard to let her know she is loved, that she’s been missed and that everything will be ok now…..But is it? Abi feels they are all pretending…..and with a trial of her abductor pending, nerves are frayed. Can she ever feel safe again?

This is a tale of family and how they deal with trauma, how little lies have consequences and of guilt. How a family try to do the best for each other but at what cost. A tale of love, guilt and obsession and so compelling with a slow build to the tension packed ending …but there is hope. Brilliant, so unputdownable I read this in one sitting. 

Thank you to Jessica Lee at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/392kJeE

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Philippa East grew up in Scotland before moving to Oxford and then London to train as a Clinical Psychologist. 

A few years ago, Philippa left the NHS to set up her own part-time practice and dedicate more hours to writing. The result was her debut novel LITTLE WHITE LIES which will be published with HQ/HarperCollins in February 2020. 

Philippa now lives in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside with her husband and cat. She loves reading (of course!) and long country walks, and she also performs in a local folk duo called The Miracle Cure. Alongside her writing, Philippa continues to work as a psychologist and therapist. (Courtesy of Goodreads) 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

A Wash Of Black by Chris McDonald – Book Review

AC5A5951-4C13-422B-A006-77E8676AB87F
PUBLISHERS BLURB 
 

IT’S NOT LIFE THAT IMITATES ART. IT’S DEATH.

Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago.

DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.

But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must do more than put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.

If you like Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Cara Hunter, you will love this.
0ACAE0F5-F6B8-4244-811F-7808D53D7E75

MY REVIEW

DI Erika Piper has just returned to work after removing from an injury at work that had nearly killed her. Straight away her first case is a murder.

Anna Symons, an actor, has been murdered and her mutilated body left on an ice rink, in a pose nearly identical to that in one of her movies. A page from a book has also been left at the scene.

“In his head, this isn’t murder, it’s art” 

Soon after, a second murder is committed, just as violent. The two victims are linked but just who would want them dead?

With many suspects and a twisty plot, this really keeps you guessing. It’s a fast paced thriller with a strong and yet vulnerable too, character in Erika, this will keep you on tenterhooks from start to the breathless ending. An incredible debut thriller from Chris McDonald and I’m hoping there will be more in the series.

Thank you to Dylan at Red Dog Press 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.

Buy Links:

Either here at Amazon     https://amzn.to/2GMSnZK    or you can can also buy the paperback and hardback editions direct from Red Dog on http://www.reddpgpress.co.uk/shop 

Also available in all Libraries and Bookstores – Independent or otherwise!

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

575FF258-573B-460D-89F1-6CC6EE05CA9C

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

 

 

Twitter handles:

@RedDogTweets

@cmacwritescrime

 

Instagram handles:

@red_dog_press

@macreviewsbooks

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/reddogassociates

 

 

 

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

 

Details: The prize is a signed Hardback edition of A Wash of Black, along with a Go Away I’m Reading Tote Bag and a Luxury Bookmark. 

The giveaway runs from 28th Jan to 11th Feb, and we (Red Dog Press) will announce the randomly chosen winner on the evening of the 11th Feb (GMT) 

Routes to entry are all on the giveaway link, but basically, sign up to Red Dog Press Reader’s Club (which also gets you discounts in our store, a free eBook, and latest news from us), following us on twitter. Entrants who tweet our promo tweet get two bonus entries.

 

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjU5MzljNjFlYTUzNDc2MTg3MzU5ZGUxYTgwMDU2OjI=/?

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Apartment 6 by Stuart James – Book Review

D2456729-334F-4A98-B187-91EEA89EDA96
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Be careful what you wish for…

When Meagan was five years old her mother was viciously attacked and murdered.

Now an adult, she herself is the victim of an abusive relationship. Meagan is desperate to escape but doesn’t have the courage to leave.

So, when Meagan meets Oliver, a decent guy who is on the rebound after a failed relationship, the two strike up a connection. But when Meagan confesses that her husband is abusive, it leads Oliver down a dark and dangerous path.

Just how far would you go to protect someone?

Oliver is about to find out and be pushed to his very limits…

0575E9D3-8F50-4AFC-B87B-ED5D8852C443

MY REVIEW 

As a child Meagan had witnessed her father regularly abusing and beating her mother, until one day tragedy strikes.

Meagan, now a grown woman is married to Rob…..also an abusive and violent man. Is history going to repeat itself?

When Meagan meets Oliver on a train, things start to look a little brighter. Over weeks they grow close and Oliver gets a little obsessed with her. So when Meagan asks him to kill her husband, he agrees….he really would do anything for her.

Oh dear god….what follows is a gripping, violent, psychological thriller, with shocks and surprises left, right and centre. It deals with domestic violence and the trauma is causes and is violent and brutal at times and all too real. This makes Apartment 6 a visceral and compelling read. I was hooked from start to the incredible gasp inducing ending. Brilliant.

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side 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/2RF1UIj

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

C8095E8C-4434-4FB2-9C37-53EC05CEE24F

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breath away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.

I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.

That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.

A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.

A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.

A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

I’m currently working on my new thriller, Apartment Six, which Will be released 29th of January.

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.

I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

stuartjamesthrillers.com

 

@StuartJames73

 

https://www.facebook.com/stuartjamesauthor/

 

Book reviews, Cover reveal

*COVER REVEAL* for Rabette by Nick Rippington

 

79E65C34-6249-4D6F-A04C-DF5F776D9AA2


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for Rabette by Nick Rippington..

 

But first a little about the book….

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND… WITH TANKS AND GUNS’ – NICK RIPPINGTON

EMERSON RABETTE has a phobia about travelling on the underground, so when he is involved in a car accident his worst nightmare is about to come true.

A middle-aged graphic designer and father of one, Emerson’s entire future depends on him reaching an important business meeting. Without an alternative method of transport, he has to confront his biggest fear.

Things immediately go wrong when Emerson’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder kicks in and his fellow passengers become angry at the way he is acting. Thankfully a young woman called Winter comes to his rescue and agrees to help him reach his destination.

Once on the train, she thinks her job is done. What she isn’t prepared for is Emerson taking flight after reading a message scrawled on the train’s interior. 

 

It simply reads: ‘Run Rabette Run’.

 

(Rabette Run is Nick Rippington’s fourth book, a standalone psychological thriller. The author’s Boxer Boys trilogy is highly acclaimed and is now available in a digital boxset)

 

What the critics say about Nick Rippington

 

‘Addictive, funny, touching, brilliant stories’

 

‘’Characters that truly come alive on the page’

 

‘’Evocative, original, unfailingly precise and often humorous’

 

Nearly there, but a little about the Author…..

 

Author Bio:

C54124BD-34CA-4545-84B5-70419457FFB4

NICK RIPPINGTON is the award-winning author of the Boxer Boys series of gangland crime thrillers.

Based in London, UK, Nick was the last-ever Welsh Sports Editor of the now defunct News of The World, writing his debut release Crossing The Whitewash after being made redundant with just two days notice after Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011.

 On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back in the building, investigators sealing off the area with crime scene tape and seizing his computer as they investigated the phone-hacking scandal, something which took place a decade before Nick joined the paper. His greatest fear, however, was that cops would uncover 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.

 With self-publishing booming, he hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup and in 2015 produced Crossing The Whitewash, which received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards. Judges described it as “evocative, unique, unfailingly precise and often humorous”.

Follow-up novel Spark Out, a prequel set at the time of Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War, received a Chill With A Book reader award and an IndieBRAG medallion from the prestigious website dedicated to Independent publishers and writers throughout the world. The novel was also awarded best cover of 2017 with Chill With A Book.

The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing The Whitewash, was released in December 2018 and went to the top of the Amazon Contemporary Urban Fiction free charts during a giveaway period of five days. A digital box set, the Boxer Boys Collection, came out in September last year.

Now Nick, 60, is switching direction feeling that, for the moment, the Boxer Boys series has run its course. His latest novel, Rabette Run, will be released in the Spring and Nick says, ‘It is a gritty psychological thriller with twists and turns galore. Think Alice in Wonderland with tanks and guns.’

Married to Liz, When Nick isn’t writing he works as a back bench designer of sports pages on the Daily Star. He has two children – Jemma, 37, and Olivia, 9. 

 

links: 

Website: http://www.theripperfile.com

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

Twitter: @nickripp

Instagram: @nickrippingtonauthor

Where to find Nick’s books…

Amazon Author Page in the UK: 

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

Amazon Author Page in the US:

https://www.amazon.com/Nick-Rippington/e/B0135YST78

 

oh and and here’s an extract too

 

PROLOGUE

 

HE was sneaking a glance at his daughter in the rear-view mirror, listening to her talk about college and friends, when their blue family estate was broadsided by the Jeep.

Time suspended before a tsunami of shattered glass crashed in and he lost control of the steering wheel. The airbag deployed and the seat belt cut painfully into his shoulder as it absorbed the strain of his 15-stone bulk before boomeranging him back into place. What was left of the windscreen retreated as his body reacted like the lash of a whip and, in his confusion, he experienced that eureka moment… ‘Ahhh, whiplash!’

As the car skidded across the road he was dazzled by a kaleidoscope of bright lights – neon advertising boards, shop windows and street lamps. When his eyes adjusted it was as if he was watching everything in slow motion: A couple he had noticed walking hand in hand moments earlier ran in different directions, while a newspaper seller deserted his pitch, money pouch flapping against his pounding legs. Further along, a dapper-looking bloke in tweeds seemed in two minds which way to flee before settling on the safety of the Underground steps.

The visions tumbled from his mind as the car completed its 360-degree spin and he finally locked eyes on his assailant. Marooned in the stationary Jeep, the dark-haired woman stared through the windscreen vacantly, a thick stream of blood meandering down her face from a garish wound above her eyebrow. Devoid of expression, it seemed the shock had vacuumed all thought from her brain.

As soon as she appeared, she was gone, the car continuing to spin. Facing the pavement again, the driver’s attention was captured by what he thought was a bundle of blankets and rags in a shop doorway. With alarm he noticed startled eyes staring out from a face swamped in facial hair. ‘Get out of the fucking way!’ the driver mouthed as he realised one of London’s street dwellers was totally oblivious to the approaching danger.

The car made jarring contact with the kerb and suddenly it was the driver who was spinning, like a sock in a washing machine. His head bumped against the ceiling, his left arm smashed against the twisted metal of the door and his right leg sent jolts of electrifying pain through his nervous system.

Finally, the fairground ride from hell came to an abrupt halt, the car thudding against something hard. The heap of tangled metal that was once a solid and protective shell settled slowly back in an upright position, bouncing like one of those gangster rides with hydraulic suspension that featured in American movies. This wasn’t America, though, this was twenty-first century Britain and he wasn’t a teen gangster, just an ordinary Joe going about his boring, routine business.

New sounds invaded the void left by the disintegrated windows: horns blowing, tyres screeching, glass crunching, people screaming. His ears slowly acclimatising to the noise, he then detected an unfamiliar ticking and saw steam pouring from the bent and buckled bonnet. Performing calculations in his head, he tried to work out how much this entire calamity might cost him. What would the insurance company say? Was there any possibility the vehicle wasn’t a write-off and did his policy contain the use of a courtesy car? How the hell was he going to get to work? What the hell was he going to tell his wife?

Shit, his daughter!

‘You OK back there, honey?’

There was a pause during which his heart skipped a beat.

Then…

‘Yeah, I think so. I’ve a… pain in my tummy.’

Superficial damage. Nothing serious. Thank God. Relief flooded through him.

‘You?’ she asked.

‘My leg’s killing me but otherwise…’

His thoughts were interrupted by another sound. Looking to his left, he was surprised to see the passenger window still intact. Outside, a man in a navy-blue uniform and cap gesticulated wildly, but it was hard to make out what he was saying. The driver felt as if his head was submerged in that slime kids found all the rage.

Still, at least he was conscious enough to interpret the police officer’s manic, hand-waving gestures and detect the urgency in them. Shaking his head to free himself from the gloop, he felt needles of pain attack his nervous system as he shifted sideways, utilising every muscle necessary to reach out and press the button which released the window.

The car’s electrics made an uncomfortable, whirring sound as the glass slid down a few centimetres then stopped. Jammed. He continued pushing the button, but the internal workings were badly damaged. He watched as a gloved hand slipped through the gap at the top of the door and exerted pressure. There was another crunching noise and the window dropped to around halfway, the brute force almost certainly rendering the mechanism irreparable. Not thinking straight, his first reaction was one of anger and his mind made calculations about how much compensation he should claim once he was back on his feet.

The police constable battled gamely to get his point across amid a deafening ensemble of alarm bells and sirens. ‘We need to get you out of there, sir. No need to panic, but we have to make you safe before we can get the paramedics to check you over.’

‘Sounds serious, Dad,’ said his girl.

‘Thanks, Sherlock, always the optimist.’

‘What was that?’ The officer’s face seemed blurred as the driver tried to focus.

‘Sorry, it’s my ears…’ he shouted, the frenzied effort to make himself heard betraying his underlying fear. ‘I can’t… Is the car going to explode?’

‘Umm, I sincerely hope not, sir, but there is a lot of fuel around, the engine’s smoking… It’s best to err on the side of caution. We need to get you a safe distance away in the unlikely event that things escalate. The fire brigade will be here in two ticks and they’ll bring it under control in no time. Until then…’

‘Not sure I can move to be honest, son. I think my leg’s trapped.’

‘Ahhh.’ The policeman nodded. ‘Can you have a look around – see what the problem is? You might be able to free it. On second thoughts, hold on, I’ll come around to your side and see what I can do.’

Appearing at the driver’s window, he then brushed aside fragments of glass and leaned through, peering into the gloom of the footwell. ‘O… K,’ he said slowly. He wasn’t very good at disguising his feelings. It was serious. ‘We have a bit of a problem. A lump of metal appears to have wedged itself in your leg. I’m guessing it will take special tools to get you out of there.’

Shit! The Jaws of Life. Only the other day he had been watching a TV programme about the fire service and the equipment they used to cut people free from road traffic accident wrecks. The jaws had saved many lives, but the name alone was enough to send a shudder rippling through his damaged body. The sirens in the distance were getting louder as they announced their urgency to the world. Blue spinning lights roamed the darkness of the car’s interior, before a more permanent red glow encroached on the shadows. Was it getting hot?

‘Ahhh…’ said the officer.

There were snapping sounds followed by a crackle. Random memories of an old advert for cereal entered the driver’s head: snap, crackle, pop. Twisting as best he could, the driver realised the noise was being created by flames eating into the car’s paintwork. ‘No!’ he muttered through clenched teeth. Damn, he’d just forked out a small fortune on a touch-up job after some local punk had dug a thick groove right along the passenger’s side with a coin or a key.

‘Uh oh!’ said his daughter, looking over her shoulder. ‘They’re going to get us out of here, aren’t they, Dad? I’m scared.’

‘Stay calm,’ he replied, wishing he could practice what he was preaching. ‘I’m sure it will be fine. The fire brigade is on their way and will be here shortly.’

‘Ahh, they’re here,’ the policeman announced on cue, relief evident in his tone.

Moments later the driver heard a new voice, the accent pure Cockney. ‘Stay calm, sir, and we’ll have you out in no time.’

The driver twisted in the direction of the person speaking and another wave of pain rolled through him. On the periphery of his vision he could make out a tall man with a pointed jaw in a fire brigade uniform.

‘What seems to be the trouble, eh? Let the dog see the rabbit.’ The fireman leaned inside. ‘Rrrr…igh…t,’ he said before shouting some instructions to the rest of his crew.

Suddenly, the car was plunged into darkness. The driver guessed it was being buried in that foam the fire services used to bring a blaze under control. It felt strangely comforting to know they weren’t going to be burnt alive. Another sound, a screeching, grating noise soon invaded the car’s interior, setting his teeth on edge.

‘Cool!’ muttered his daughter as sparks sprayed through the roof. Moments later the metal was peeled back like the lid on a tin of tuna, bright lights invading the space, making them cry out and shield their eyes.

‘Sorry, mate, it’s got to be done,’ advised the fire officer. ‘Once we’re inside, we can hopefully remove the obstacle that’s holding you in place and get you out of there. Second thoughts, the best thing we can do, looking at it now, would be to remove the door, together with your good self. It should be easier to cut you free elsewhere, rather than in the midst of this, um, chaos. When we get somewhere a bit less volatile the medical people can assess the problem and hopefully free your leg from the door.’

As he said this, for the first time the driver realised that up until now the darkness of the footwell had prevented him taking a closer look at his injury. Shielding his eyes from the glare, he glanced downwards. A thick metal shard was protruding from his leg and a dark, sticky substance soaked his trousers. The limb looked like a theatrical prosthesis in a zombie apocalypse movie, the foot at a right angle to the rest of the limb.

He experienced an unfamiliar dizziness and passed out.

GLOVED hands grasped the limp body and gently carried it to the stretcher. The patient felt a needle entering the soft tissue in his arm and after that remembered little, sliding into unconsciousness as he murmured her name. The paramedic whispered to one of the fireman.

‘What did he say? Sounded like a name? Jane, was it? I think he said something about a daughter. Was there anyone with him?’

‘Nope,’ replied the fireman. ‘He was all on his lonesome.’

A colleague arrived at the paramedic’s shoulder. ‘Right, best get him to intensive care, lickety spit,’ said the new arrival. ‘I hate to be the prophet of doom, but it will be touch and go if he survives the night.’

 

PURCHASE LINKS

 

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084D3TT36

shortlink is https://amzn.to/36Iqhta

 

In the USA it’s https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084D3TT36

shortlink is https://amzn.to/2OisZ1U

 

AND HERE IS THE COVER…..

 

48640654-99AA-4473-A039-F43DA42F0C08

 

Book reviews, Thriller

Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster – Book Review

68A6801A-CEB0-4508-AE93-B42C82B020CD

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Tom Novak is back.

When a spate of deadly terrorist attacks hit the streets of London, Tom finds himself thrust into the middle of a fight for the survival of all he holds dear.

When the attackers hit closer to home than he could ever imagine, Tom is forced to make a choice between his duty or his conscience. In doing so, he enters a series of increasingly dangerous worlds, in the darkest corners of humanity.

Can Tom and his colleagues get to the bottom of a plot which threatens the very fabric of society?

Will they stop the terrorists before it’s too late?

When faced with the ultimate choice, which way will Tom go?

After all, as Cameron always says: “Always do right, boy…”

Going Rogue is the follow-up to the hugely successful thriller, Going Dark: the book that introduced Tom Novak as the hero who, in the words of best-selling author Tony Parsons, “makes Jason Bourne look like a vegan Pilates teacher”.

Get Going Rogue today, and start a rollercoaster ride of a thriller that you won’t ever want to put down.

1A74DD92-9476-4238-81FD-B3F808F04A61

MY REVIEW 

#2in the Tom Novak series but can also be easily read as a stand-alone.

Tom Novak works in the Covert Policing Advice Team, searching for those responsible for terrorist attacks in London.

They are looking for McEwan…..this takes Novak and his team on a real adventure and a race against time..

This is a real action packed thriller with realistic, likeable and believable characters and with the great, gripping plot this is a fantastically entertaining read. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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 

7ACC0AAE-77E6-4C3F-9C92-4F45DB54D5E5

Neil was born in Liverpool in the 1960s. He recently left the Metropolitan Police where he served for over twenty-five years, predominantly as a detective, leading and conducting investigations into some of the most serious criminals across the UK and beyond.

Neil acted as a surveillance and covert policing specialist, using all types of techniques to arrest and prosecute drug dealers, human traffickers, fraudsters, and murderers. During his career, he successfully prosecuted several wealthy and corrupt members of the legal profession who were involved in organised immigration crime. These prosecutions led to jail sentences, multi-million pound asset confiscations and disbarments.

Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police, Neil has relocated to the Scottish Highlands with his wife and son, where he mixes freelance investigations with writing.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/neillancaster66

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

Website: https://neillancastercrime.co.uk/

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

Publisher’s Website: http://www.burningchairpublishing.com

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Going-Rogue-Tom-Novak-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07YVLMKR2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=going+rogue&qid=1579695400&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Going-Rogue-Tom-Novak-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07YVLMKR2/ref=sr_1_12?crid=2XHV8QVPQAZ6O&keywords=going+rogue&qid=1579695807&sprefix=going+rogue%2Caps%2C216&sr=8-12

 

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/going-rogue/neil-lancaster/9781912946082

 

Foyles:

https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/going-rogue-a-tom-novak-thriller,neil-lancaster-9781912946082