Book reviews, Crime thriller

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The fourth book in the award-winning Lori Anderson series, Deep Dark Night sees daring bounty hunter and single mother Lori Anderson journey from Florida to Chicago to take down a notorious crime family. Published to coincide with International Women’s Month, it will see the full series rebranded a fresh, contemporary new look.

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

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MY REVIEW 

#4 in the Series featuring Lori Anderson, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone ( but I will be reading the previous 3 now!)

Lori is a bounty hunter and she’s in debt to the FBI. Agent Morgan has a job for her involving the Cabressa crime family. He wants to lock up the boss finally……but at what cost?

Lori has contacted the family offering a prized gold chess set for sale, her offer is accepted but there are conditions. She must play a game of poker! This gives her a few hours to learn the game with the help of JT.

So, dressed to the nines she arrives at the game in a luxury penthouse, but then the power goes out plunging them into darkness and as tensions rise all hell breaks out.

The body count rises and so does the tension. Can Lori and JT escape the building in the pitch dark?

This really is a clever thriller and so well written, from the fierce and strong Lori, to the claustrophobic tension of trying to escape a dark building. It’s a real heart pounder of a read. Brilliant.

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

 

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

 

AUTHOR BIO

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Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter- ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges in her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. 

She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls. Steph is an alumni of the MA Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrillers. 

She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym, Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018 

Book reviews, Fantasy

VENATORS: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But, Grey and Rune have very different ideas.

When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.
With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the illuminating truth about their ancestry.

In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.

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MY REVIEW 

Grey and Rune are seemingly typical college students, but they have powers they keep relatively hidden.

They are pulled through a portal and enter a very different world. A world of magic and chaos, of vampire, werewolves and so much more.

With a large cast of characters, great world building and an exciting plot, this fast paced fantasy tale is enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to The Write Reads 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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Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny world- building skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release,  Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

This Lovely City by Louise Hare – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.

London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.

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MY REVIEW

This is historical fiction set in London soon after WW2 and is so redolent with atmosphere you can almost smell it.

Lawrie had arrived in London on the ship, Empire Windrush, he’s now a postman by day and an aspiring musician at night. He’s also in love with Evie, but they face many difficult challenges to say the least. They just want a quiet life together.

One day, Lawrie hears a woman shouting and a baby is found in a pond, regrettably they baby doesn’t survive. The police immediately suspect the Jamaican community just because the baby had dark skin…….but can the truth be found?

While this is a murder mystery, I felt it so much more as it deals with the reality of the horrific discrimination and abuse the ‘Windrush’ generation deal with on a daily basis, truly shameful.

A beautifully written, emotional tale and one that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Sian at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this Book Blog Tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the the book. This is my honest and unbiased review

 

You can preorder a copy here : https://amzn.to/39AykdC

(Available from 12 March)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Noir, Police procedural

Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The papers want blood.

The force wants results.

The law must be served, whatever the cost.

July 1973. The Glasgow drugs trade is booming and Bobby March, the city’s own rock-star hero, has just overdosed in a central hotel.

Alice Kelly is thirteen years old, lonely and missing.

Meanwhile the niece of McCoy’s boss has fallen in with a bad crowd and when she goes AWOL, McCoy is asked – off the books – to find her. McCoy has a hunch. 

But does he have enough time?

 

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MY REVIEW 

#3 in the DI Harry McCoy series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Set in 1703’s Glasgow, a violent time full of drugs, alcohol and some really nasty people, and that’s just the police!

Young Alice Kelly has gone missing and it’s a race against time to find her. 

But, McCoy is assigned to a different case as his acting boss wants the glory of the Kelly case.

So McCoy is sent to investigate the Bobby March case. Bobby, a well known rock star (he could have been one of the Rolling Stones you know!) has been found dead with a needle in his arm…..so OD ?

McCoy is also asked by his actual boss, Murray to find his niece, Laura, as she has run away from home again. He wants this done on the quiet and McCoy wonders why?

This brings to life the reality of inner city poverty, the violence of gangs, the drugs, alcohol, music and even the IRA in the 70’s.

I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling this amazing tale. It will drag you through the grim world of the dark side of Glasgow, with its truly great characters, good and downright evil,  and a complex plot. This is Noir with a capital N, it’s gritty, violent and downright grim at times, but it’s thoroughly engrossing from the first page to the last. 

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

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2wL4swv

 

About the Author

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Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow, and is available for press and events. 

 

Will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Peter May, William McIlvanney and Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther

 

Publication date: 30 January 2020

Format: Paperback

Price: £8.99

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Noir

Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…

Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect.

Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.

Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…

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MY REVIEW 

Hamburg is having a spate of car burnings, inconvenient but nothing more, until the body of Nouri Saroukhan is found in one. He was a member of a notorious crime family, but they claim to have disowned him. Did this have anything to do with his relationship with Aliza, a woman from an opposing family…?

This is where Chastity Riley begins the investigation, accompanied by Stepanovic they see the worst and scariest of people as they try to get to the truth. 

Chastity is a fantastic character, she’s heartbroken, not sleeping, constantly smoking and drinking and says exactly what she thinks. Tough on the outside but soft inside, which is why she’s a bit of a mess. But when it comes to work, she is solid.

This is noir at its darkest, it deals with fear, of brutality and violence, organised crime, immigration and corruption. There is also humour, a love story (very Romeo and Juliet) and a little romance too. 

This really is a unique crime thriller in that the language used is almost poetic, it draws you in and won’t let go. It has a fantastic style of writing that gives a modern day setting the feel of a classic noir. Original, stylish, fascinating and totally gripping from start to finish. 

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

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3cEx7ny

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
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Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

 

PRAISE FOR SIMONE BUCHHOLZ

 

‘This is a punk-rock album translated into a hard-bitten tale of low-life scum and a lone officer. Fierce enough to stab the heart’

Spectator on Blue Night

 

‘Lyrical and pithy’

The Sunday Times Crime Club on Blue Night

 

‘Simone Buchholz writes with real authority and a pungent, noir-is sense of time and space … a palpable hit’

Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

 

Book reviews, Family drama, Womens fiction

The Widow’s Mite by Allie Cresswell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Widow’s Mite

Minnie Price married late in life. Now she is widowed. And starving.

No one suspects this respectable church-goer can barely keep body and soul together. Why would they, while she resides in the magnificent home she shared with Peter?

Her friends and neighbours are oblivious to her plight and her adult step-children have their own reasons to make things worse rather than better. But she is thrown a lifeline when an associate of her late husband arrives with news of an investment about which her step-children know nothing.

Can she release the funds before she finds herself homeless and destitute?

Fans of ‘The Hoarder’s Widow’ will enjoy this sequel, but it reads equally well as a standalone.

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MY REVIEW 

This is #2 in the Widow’s series but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

This is the tale of the recently widowed Minnie Price and Maisie Wilde (from book 1) and how they cope with the trials and tribulations of widowhood. 

They become friends due to their shared circumstances, albeit very different financially, but they both have reprehensible relatives and adult children to deal with.

I found this to be a beautifully written tale of grief, life and friendship. It’s full of humour and relatable real life situations. A Gentle, lovely read.

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/dp/B0848P81GJ

 

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0848P81GJ
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Author Bio –

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England. 

The Widow’s Mite is her tenth novel.

 

You can contact her via her website at www.allie-cresswell.com

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/

http://www.allie-cresswell.com

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Book reviews, Horror, Short story

Disturbing Works Volume 2 by Jon Richter – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 John Richter’s Disturbing Works Volume II

Another compendium of delightfully macabre stories by Jon Richter, author of Deadly Burial and Never Rest. Jon’s first short fiction collection was described as ‘Black Mirror meets Tales Of The Unexpected’, and here he brings you another chilling assortment of twisted tales encompassing killer creatures, terrifying technology, and scientific experiments gone horribly wrong… These dark fables are perfect for anyone who likes their reads short, shocking, and laced with a dash of black humour.

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MY REVIEW

This is a collection of 10 deliciously dark short stories.

There’s a mix of the grotesque, creepy and monstrous tales each with a marvellous twist and some really dark humour, which really appealed to me. That giggle of fear and the unexpected.

Dark, disturbing and thoroughly entertaining. Brilliant.

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

 

Author bio:

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Jon Richter writes dark fiction, including his two gripping crime thrillers, Deadly Burial and Never Rest, and his two collections of short horror fiction, volumes one and two of Jon Richter’s Disturbing Works.

Jon lives in Elephant & Castle and is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a great story. He writes whenever he can, and hopes to bring you more macabre tales in the very near future, including his upcoming cyberpunk noir thriller, London 2039: Auxiliary. He also co-hosts the Dark Natter podcast, a fortnightly dissection of the greatest works of dark fiction, available wherever you get your podcast fix.

If you want to chat to him about any of this, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites or Instagram @jonrichterwrites.

His website haunts the internet at http://www.jon-richter.com, and you can find his books at Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2OXXRVP.

 

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Historical fiction, Murder mystery

This Lovely City by Louise Hare – Audiobook Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.

London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
CCF793DD-31C1-4369-9CF1-A51A2934CDB0

MY REVIEW

This is historical fiction set in London soon after WW2 and is so redolent with atmosphere you can almost smell it.

Lawrie had arrived in London on the ship, Empire Windrush, he’s now a postman by day and an aspiring musician at night. He’s also in love with Evie, but they face many difficult challenges to say the least. They just want a quiet life together.

One day, Lawrie hears a woman shouting and a baby is found in a pond, regrettably they baby doesn’t survive. The police immediately suspect the Jamaican community just because the baby had dark skin…….but can the truth be found?

While this is a murder mystery, I felt it so much more as it deals with the reality of the horrific discrimination and abuse the ‘Windrush’ generation deal with on a daily basis, truly shameful.

This is beautifully, movingly narrated by Theo Solomon and Karise Yansen,  and with the Jazz music at the beginning of chapters, they really brought this wonderful tale to life. One that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Joe at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this Audio Blog Tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audiobooks.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Darkness For Light by Emma Viskic – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Caleb Zelic can’t hear you. But he can see everything.

The latest pulsating thriller in the Caleb Zelic series

After a lifetime of bad decisions PI Caleb Zelic is finally making good ones. He’s in therapy, his business is recovering and his relationship with his estranged wife Kat is on the mend.

But soon Caleb is drawn into the tangled life of his troubled ex partner Frankie, which leads to a confrontation with the cops. And when Frankie’s niece is kidnapped, she and Caleb must work together to save the child’s life. But can Caleb trust her after her past betrayals?

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MY REVIEW 

#3 in the Caleb Zelic series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in Australia and Caleb is a Private investigator. He is meeting a new client but finds his body instead.

He is then confronted by a dubious federal agent, Imogen, who tasers him and tells him she wants certain information within 2 days or he’ll be charged with a violent offence. 

So the investigation begins, he finds Maggie (he had killed her violent husband in a previous story) badly injured…..as he needs Maggie’s records for Imogen he now needs to find Frankie, his ex business partner who had betrayed him and nearly killed his wife, Kat.

He does find her and Maggie’s niece, Tilda and together they try to find the list of people involved in money laundering…..but then Tilda is kidnapped.

Can Caleb get the list, find Tilda and keep everyone safe? 

Wow, this is fast paced and so involved, but due to Emma Viskic’s excellent writing it’s easy to follow and so compelling.

Caleb is a complex character, he’s deaf, but that in no way defines him, he has mental health issues due to events in his past and is in therapy to deal with it…his wife is pregnant but they are currently living apart and he’s a bit of a mess. 

With its clever plot, great characters that you really care for this really is an amazing thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed every breathless minute. If you like a crime thriller to keep you on your toes, you’ll love this. Brilliant and I’ll be reading more by Emma Viskic that’s for certain.

Thank you to Poppy Stimpson at Pushkin Press for a free copy of Darkness For Light. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2Ts3XAn

 

 or here direct from the publisher

 

https://www.pushkinpress.com/product/darkness-for-light 

 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Promo

**PROMO** – Little Doubt by Rachel Lynch is OUT TODAY……

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Little Doubt by Rachel Lynch is OUT TODAY !!!
I originally posted my review of this brilliant instalment to the DI Kelly Porter series by Rachel Lynch. But here it is again…….

 

#7 in the DI Kelly Porter series by Rachel Lynch, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

This starts with the murder of Ella, a wealthy, middle-class woman, while out for a run.

Then a young woman, from a very different background is stabbed to death on a nearby rundown estate.

Are these two deaths related?

DI Kelly Porter begins her investigation, treating each case with the same determination to find the killers and the truth. Her boss, the truly reprehensible Superintendent Ormond knew Ella and begins interfering with Kelly’s investigation. He wants a quick result, but at what cost?

Kelly is concerned with his methods and feels there is something else going on….just who can she trust?

So well plotted, this is so topical too, with the current prevalence of knife crime it feels very close to home. Kelly is a great character, with her determination and lighter moments with family make her well rounded.

There’s also police corruption, secrets and of course murder in this gripping and tense police procedural. Another great read from Rachel Lynch and I’m already looking forward to Book #8.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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ALSO BOOK 8’s Cover will be revealed on Friday….woooohoooo…..can’t wait

 

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

One Dark, Two Light by Ruth Mancini – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

New Year’s Eve, London.

Outside the Hope & Glory pub, a man has been left to die. A victim of extraordinary violence, he will never walk or speak again. He remains in hospital for months, until criminal defence lawyer Sarah Kellerman walks onto his ward.

Sarah barely recognises the man she once worked with – he was honourable and kind – what was he involved in? Who wanted him dead? But in her race to uncover the truth, Sarah comes to realise there are two men in her life that she never really knew at all…

From one of crime fiction’s most compelling voices, One Dark, Two Light is where the personal and criminal collide, as Sarah works to bring dark secrets into the light.

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MY REVIEW 

Sarah Kellerman is a lawyer, she’s also a single mum to Ben as her partner had left them many months before. She had started seeing Will, but he seems to have just started ignoring her.

However, she receives a message to say Will is in hospital fighting a really nasty infection, hence the disappearing act. So she goes to visit him in hospital and he’s very unwell but hopefully will recover, while she’s there, Sarah sees someone she knows, Mark Felding, a custody sergeant and a well respected officer, so why does no one know his name.

He had been the victim of a mugging and then a hit and run, due to a head injury he hasn’t been able to tell anyone who he was. So at least Sarah can now let them know and his poor family are told.

She’s concerned why nobody has reported him missing?

Well, then Sarah’s ex turns up wanting to try again, another woman is visiting Will and he clearly wants his relationship with Sarah kept secret and she really has concerns about what people are saying about Mark, as this doesn’t match what she’s knows about him…..

But, does she really know these two men at all? Can she find the truth about what has happened to Mark….or will being warned of by a Senior Police Officer put her off?….as if !!!!

I really enjoyed this twisty thriller, with its clever plotting and well developed characters. Sarah is a great, relatable character and she’s just such an empathetic person and really wants to help her clients and others. She’s dogged in her determination to get the truth. I read this in one sitting as I was hooked from start to finish. A compelling thriller and a great read.

Thank you to Victoria Joss at Head Of Zeus Books, for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Ruth Mancini is a criminal defence lawyer, author and freelance writer. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two children. 

 

Follow Ruth:

Twitter: @RuthMancini1

Facebook: @ruth.mancini.author

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35EgK7a

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2MOgucO

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

Follow Head of Zeus:

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus 

Audiobook, Crime thriller

The Seventh Victim by Michael Wood – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Imagine receiving a letter from your son’s murderer. Imagine starting to trust him.

What if the only person who can help you find your son, is the man in prison for killing him?

A child taken. A mother on the hunt for the truth.

Twenty-five years after her son Zachery disappeared without trace, Diane Marshall receives a letter that overturns her world once again. The man convicted of killing 13 boys, Zachery among them, finally confesses to it all – except the murder of her son.

Armed with this new information and determined to discover the location of his body, Diane and the former DI in charge of the case start investigating. Somewhere out there, her son’s killer is waiting as the reckoning draws nearer. Sooner or later, the terrible truth – buried and undisturbed for a quarter of a century – will out.

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MY REVIEW 

This is the tale of prolific serial killer, Jonathan Egan Walsh, who has been convicted of the murder of 13 boys. 

25 years later, Walsh is dying of cancer and writes a letter to the mother of Zachary Marshall. He tells her he didn’t kill her son…..he admits to the others, but no Zachary.

She takes the letter to the police, but they are not interested, telling Diane, Walsh was a manipulator and evidence shows he had been in contact with Zachary and the case is closed.

But, Diane will not give in, she needs to know the truth. 

This really is an incredible listen, beautifully narrated by Joanne Froggatt and Mathew Horne. They really bring these characters to life and make this very tense and atmospheric.

I loved this utterly gripping thriller, twisty, and with a heart rending ending making this a completely engrossing must listen.

Only available at Audible 

Thank you to Phoebe at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Political thriller, Thriller

The Treadstone Resurrection by Joshua Hood – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Working as a cabinet-maker in rural Oregon, Adam thinks he has left Treadstone – the CIA Black Ops programme – in the past, until he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site.

Operation Treadstone has nearly ruined Adam Hayes. The top-secret CIA Black Ops programme trained him to be a nearly invincible assassin, but it also cost him his family and any chance at a normal life, which is why he was determined to get out. Everything changes when he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site rural Oregon.

Adam must regain the skills that Treadstone taught him – lightning reflexes and a cold conscience – in order to discover who the would-be killers are, and why they have come after him now. Are his pursuers enemies from a long-ago mission? Rival intelligence agents? Or, perhaps, someone inside Treadstone? His search will unearth secrets in the highest levels of government and pull him back into the shadowy world he worked so hard to forget.

Coinciding with the much-anticipated return of the Treadstone series – released by Amazon in January 2020 in the UK – and with the 40th anniversary of the first Bourne book, The Treadstone Resurrection is the latest instalment of the franchise. Picking up the baton from Robert Ludlum, Joshua Hood is an author and former Airborne Division fighter, whose real-world experience and combat training makes him the perfect writer for The Treadstone Resurrection.

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MY REVIEW 

This is a novel set in the Jason Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum. As a fan of these books I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy The Treadstone Resurrection, but I needn’t have worried in the slightest.

This is an all out, action packed thriller. 

CIA operative, Adam Hayes receives an email from an old friend with a warning. Then with events at his workplace, it soon becomes clear someone is out to kill him. 

This obviously puts paid to his ‘quiet’ life as he searches to find out who wants him dead and why.

It results in a fast paced, tense military thriller that will have your heart pounding. An exciting, fun and thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Anna at Midas PR 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/2TuEaGw

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Robert Ludlum (1927 – 2001) was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into 32 languages in 50 countries. Among his best-sellers were The Scarlatti Inheritance (1971), The Osterman Weekend (1972), The Matarese Circle (1979). He is most famous for the Jason Bourne series – The Bourne Identity (1980), The Bourne Supremacy (1986) and The Bourne Ultimatum (1990). The series was adapted for TV in 1988, for a film featuring Matt Damon in the lead role in 2002, and for a brand-new TV production from the writer behind Heroes and Chicago Hope in January 2020. 

 

Joshua Hood is the author of Warning Order and Clear by Fire. He graduated from the University of Memphis before joining the military and spending five years in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was a team leader in the 3-504 Parachute Infantry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006, conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2007 to 2008, Hood served as a squad leader with the 1-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Afghanistan for which he was decorated for valour in Operation Furious Pursuit. On his return to civilian life he became a sniper team leader on a full time SWAT team in Memphis, where he was awarded the lifesaving medal. Currently he works as the Director of Veteran Outreach for the American Warrior Initiative.

Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Domestic noir, Thriller

The Last Cuckoo by Maria Frankland – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Do you listen to your mother? Even after she’s dead?

Anna Hardaker is following you …

This seemingly innocent Tweet fills Jamie Hardaker with confusion and fear. After all, his mother Anna has been dead for nearly three weeks.

What follows is an orchestrated Twitter campaign to lead those Anna loved, and didn’t love so much, to the truth behind her “accidental” death.

 

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MY REVIEW 

This is a unique thriller, told by Jamie, whose mother, Anna has died after an accident. It’s told as his innermost thoughts, how he misses his mother, he talks to her all the time.

Her fiancé, Iain tries to help Jamie, but it’s all fraught and not helped by Claudia, his daughter and was soon to be Jamie’s step-sister. These two young people really don’t get on at all. 

Anna had been at the end of her tether with their constant bickering and other family members sticking their oar in really didn’t help matters.

After Anna’s funeral, Jamie receives a twitter notification, from his mother’s account. He initially ignores it, but as more tweets are added, he wonders who could have access to her account…he even wonders if it could be her ghost..but when they start to intimate that Anna’s death may not have been an accident he begins to wonder who would be so heartless.

Was there more to Anna’s death? And who could possibly know?

Not only is this a mystery, it’s also a tale of a modern family…..a step-family and it’s challenges…messy and realistic. It’s so well written, it’s hard to believe it’s the author’s debut thriller novel, with plenty of twists and surprises making this a thriller that makes you think. Very clever and totally gripping throughout. 

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

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Maria Frankland’s life began at 40 when she escaped an unhappy marriage and began making a living from her own writing and becoming a teacher of creative writing.

The rich tapestry of life with all its turbulent times has enabled her to pour experience, angst and lessons learned into the writing of her novels and poetry.

She recognises that the darkest places can exist within family relationships and this is reflected in the domestic thrillers she writes.

She is a ‘born ‘n’ bred’ Yorkshirewoman, a mother of two and has recently found her own ‘happy ever after’ after marrying again.

Still in her forties, she is now going to dedicate the rest of her working life to writing books and inspiring other writers to also achieve their dreams too!

 

Twitter @writermaria2017

http://www.mariastephenson.com/

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Legal drama, Thriller

The Holdout by Graham Moore – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the screenwriter of The Imitation Game comes a knockout thriller that reads as 12 Angry Men meets Serial. 

It was the most sensational case of the decade.

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It’s an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.

 Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.

Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.

The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?

 

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MY REVIEW 

10 years ago Bobby Nock was on trial for the murder of 15 year old Jessica Silver. The 12 members of the jury deliberated and one of them believed Bobby to be innocent. 

Maya Seale does a ‘12 Angry Men’ and manages to persuade the other 11 and so Bobby goes free. But this was not a popular verdict with the American public and the media frenzy lasted a long time and affected their lives in different ways.

Now, a podcast, Murder Town, which discussed the trial, the verdict and the jurors, is now being made into a docuseries by Netflix. The original jurors, well the majority, are taking part. Maya, now a defence lawyer eventually agrees to take part.

They are all staying at the original hotel they were in during the original trial, then there is a death and Maya is arrested on suspicion of murder. Can she prove her innocence? Is there more to the Bobby Nock case than she first believed?

I really enjoyed this legal thriller, the chapters alternating between the past and present really build the story perfectly.

A fast paced, marvellously twisty thriller that’s totally engrossing from start to finish.  Perfect escapism and thoroughly entertaining.

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: 

Graham Moore is a New York Times bestselling novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay for THE IMITATION GAME won the Academy Award and WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015 and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, received 8 Academy Award

nominations, including Best Picture.

Book reviews, Cover reveal

*COVER REVEAL* for Halo by Olga Gibbs

Welcome to the cover reveal for Halo by Olga Gibbs

 

But first, here’s a little about the actual book…..

 

 

Halo by Olga Gibbs – Cover Reveal

 

Synopsis:

 

“I am Uriel: The Harbinger of Chaos, The Keeper of the Gates, The Begetter of Life, The Dam of The Ends and I’m coming to take what’s mine!”

The clash with Baza and his angels had demonstrated to Ariel that Earth (Apkallu) is not the safe heaven she thought it might be and it is only a matter of time before she’s dead. The only way to survive is to fight back and to accept her destiny.

But as Ariel, with Jess in tow, returns to Uras she’s rejected in her own domain, and needs to fight to suppress the revolt against her reign. The angels refuse her and her lead, abandoning her and Uras in favour of a new ruler.

She knows that without an army of followers she won’t stand a chance against Baza or Mik’hael, so now she needs to go into most unexpected places to find one

 

Halo Goodreads link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49677378-halo

 

Sounds so good……and Now a little about the Author 

 

 

Author Bio

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Amazon Best-selling Author Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.

She is currently writing the final books in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller.

Please visit author website www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.

 

 

AND Finally here’s the stunning COVER…..Gorgeous to say the least !

 

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Author links

 

Website: https://olgagibbs.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/olgagibbsauthor

 

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

 

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

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/olgagibbs

 

Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/olga-gibbs

 

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17733283.Olga_Gibbs

 

Purchase Links:

 

Heavenward purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzWlx

 

Hallow purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vkw6

 

Harbinger Purchase link : https://books2read.com/u/bx8n1l

 

Halo Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nvW56

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Audiobook, Book reviews, Thriller, True Crime

Bleak Alley by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

True crime within the dark heart of Irish gangs. Featuring original Irish folksongs written and performed by the author, Shane Dunphy.

He seems like a typical 16-year-old boy except that Mikey is walking the knife edge of crime. He’s tough and good with his fists, but when journalist Shane Dunphy is offered the chance to write his story, he discovers a lost, vulnerable child, in danger and desperate for help.

Shane descends into the perilous underworld of organised crime and discovers that the glamour of gangland life is riven with brutality and murder. Far from providing a means of survival for boys from broken families, the price they pay is often with their life.

With skill and empathy, and no little courage, Shane attempts to rescue Mikey from the clutches of warring gangland leaders and to restore the love and harmony of Mikey’s family which has been shattered by poverty and bad blood.

For fans of Peaky Blinders, Bleak Alley is the first in a series of true crime stories from the heart of Irish gangland life. The author provides extensive historical analysis of the rise of Irish street gangs and their outlaw Celtic culture, as well as original Irish folksongs.

Bleak Alley examines serious issues of social deprivation, state indifference and lawlessness with the pace and intrigue of a high-class thriller.

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MY REVIEW

This audiobook, Bleak Alley is the true crime story of 16 year old Mikey, a young man from a troubled background. His mum is a schizophrenic and his alcoholic dad beats them both regularly. Mikey becomes caught up in a gang. 

Shane, a journalist wants to write about Mikey and wants to try to help him realise that being in a gang, heading for a life of violence and crime isn’t his only option.

This is not a tale for the faint hearted, it’s a gritty look at the reality of gang culture, the violence and exploitation of young vulnerable men in this lawless part of Irish gangland society. Very well read by Shane Dunphy and along with the Irish folk songs make this an unforgettable listen. 

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Only available from Audible 

Book reviews, Non fiction

Tales Of Mystery Unexplained by Steph Young – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 
 

Tales of Mystery Unexplained….What happened to Elisa Lam, found dead in a water tower atop a hotel roof? Who were the two men who came to see her & what was in the mystery box they gave her? Why did the location of her gravestone match the zip code of a Bookstore, miles away?

Why was a man found in the same spot he disappeared, but 4 years later, with a hole in his head that no surgeons could explain? And what did this have to do with a séance, doppelgangers & the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? Why did a man write the Fibonacci sequence as a clue & tell a stranger he was “Looking for the Beast,” before he disappeared in the barren plains of a desert? Plus many more Tales of Mystery Unexplained.

Steph Young has appeared on national radio shows & podcasts including the UK’s The Unexplained, and Coast to Coast Am, talking about many of these mysteries.

You can also hear some of these Unexplained Mysteries on her podcast on iTunes ‘Tales of Mystery Unexplained.’

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MY REVIEW 

This is such a creepy read, all the more so as this is a collection of true stories.

There are tales of missing people, unexplained deaths, fairies, witches, UFO’s and even hairy hands.

For me the most well known of these was the case of Elisa Lam, seen acting strangely in a lift, only to then disappear. Her body was later found in the hotel water tank, it has never been explained how she got in there, whether by her own deeds or someone else’s.

Well written in a way that asks questions and not just sensationalism but a real query into real events, even if there are no definitive answers this is a very entertaining read. It makes you wonder just what is out there. 

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

 

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Steph Young has been a guest on National Radio shows including ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ as well as many more…

Steph’s Podcast on itunes; “Tales of Mystery Unexplained” discussing Creepy Mysteries of the Unexplained

 

website: Stephyoungauthor.com

Twitter @StephYoungAuth

Instagram @authorstephyoung

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Dead Ringer by Nicola Martin – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Get ready to meet the other you.

Just upload your photo to get started. Using the latest facial recognition software, plus your votes, MeetYourDouble will find your doppelgänger.

She might be an astronaut or a model. He might live half a world away … or a few miles down the road. You share the same face. Who knows what else you might have in common?

Start now…

The idea is simple, vain, and exciting. Tap the app, upload a picture of yourself, find your lookalike. Set up a meeting to see whether you have anything else in common.

When Ella and Jem meet, the physical resemblance is uncanny, but their lives couldn’t be more different. One is from a tiny island in a deprived Northern community – pretty much the back of beyond – where she has no job, no boyfriend, limited prospects.

The other is a London socialite, an aspiring actress living in a multi million-pound mansion. By all appearances, she’s living a charmed life, but she’s got some serious shit to run away from. Both of them have. Can either hide in her double’s skin? And at what cost? Will it solve any of the problems, or merely compound them?
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MY REVIEW

Jem and Ella meet afternoon being matched on the MeetYourDouble app. They may look alike but they are from different worlds.

Jem is a bold, brash party girl, an aspiring actor and singer with wealthy parents and has a flat in Chelsea.

Ella, is quiet, a cleaner in a hotel and whose parents run a failing caravan park and she lives in a tiny, shabby caravan in Cumbria.

Ella travels to London to meet Jem and Ella sees a different life. She returns home but Jem soon travels to Cumbria to visit. They decide to swap lives for a short holiday from their own messy lives……what on earth could go wrong?

I won’t say much more about the plot for fear of spoiling it, but I can this is a psychological thriller with a unique edge. It brings to life the destructive nature of envy and the reality that happiness is more than material things. 

Dark, tense, thought provoking and yet incredibly sad too. An utterly compelling thriller from the first to last page. 

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

 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Nicola Martin studied at the University of East Anglia and the University of California, Berkeley. After many years working as a senior copywriter in the low carbon technology sphere, she is now a freelance writer. Dead Ringer is her first novel.

Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, humour, Science fiction

QualityLand by Marc-Uwe Kling – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Everything in QualityLand is geared towards optimizing your life. QualityPartner identifies your ideal mate, earworm personal assistants get you where you need to go and android drones know you need a six pack of beer at the end of a long day even before you crave one. Humans, robots and algorithms co-exist, everything is seamlessly corporatised, stratified and monetized. Your very name reveals much of what we need to know about you and your profile discloses the rest.

Peter Jobless is a down and out metal press operator, dumped by his long term girlfriend when she is alerted to a better option on her QualityPad. But Peter has another problem – he seems to be the only one noticing that his fellow Qualityland robot citizens are experiencing an existential crisis. There is a drone who’s afraid to fly. A sex droid with erectile dysfunction. A combat robot with PTSD. Instructed to destroy these malfunctioning A.I., Peter starts to suspect the technology that rules us all has a flaw, perhaps a fatal one. Not only that, these robots might be his only friends…
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MY REVIEW

Well where do I start?

Qualityland is a country renamed to fit with its ethos. Everything is the bestest it can be (yes I know that’s not a word), it’s the greatest, the loveliest, the beautifulist….language is now in the superlative…..always.

Peoples surnames have changed too, they now reflect the occupation of your father or mother, from Peter Jobless to Monica Sex-Worker and so, so many more. 

Also every consumerist need is fulfilled automatically by TheShop, before you know you need them (or not in some cases). Technology now runs the world, Androids are real people and have rights, they can even run for president! With drones and bitter driverless cars it’s non stop mayhem..

When Peter receives an item he doesn’t need or want he tries to return it and this is where some true hilarity begins. All he wants is to return an item and get some autonomy back into his life….is that too much to ask?

This reminded me a little of the humour in Incompetence by Rob Grant(he of Red Dwarf and Courgette leather shoe fame) and the dystopia of Rob Hart’s The Warehouse, but this has its own remarkable humour and it’s totally bonkers, hilarious and utterly terrifying in its plausibility. 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.