Category Archives: Blog Tours

Blog Tour – The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas – Review

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas.

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Here’s the blurb –

Synopsis

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

The author has kindly wrote a piece on how her work has progressed since the release of Fifteen Words so keep reading after my review for something I hope you’ll find as interesting as I do! It will also give you a little more insight to her latest work.

Review

If you haven’t already I highly recommend you read the authors previous novel Fifteen Words. The Watcher follows directly on and it would give you some background to the characters.

Fifteen Words was the story about Max being held prisoner, The Watcher is a story about how life and Max himself have changed since his release.

Max is a torn man, he’s struggling to come to terms with what happened to him when he was a prisoner and this really made me feel for the man, I don’t imagine being a POW is something you would ever come to terms with.

His relationship with his wife is stretched to breaking, the love they had for each other just isn’t what it once was, so much has changed.

For me this tale was really about Max’s daughter Netta, I loved her. She’s a young girl who’s grown up in an adult world and she hears and sees more than people know.

While the family are trying to come to terms with their own demons a murder occurs that has the police snooping around and the author keeps you on edge until the last moment to reveal all.

I really enjoyed how the ending was written when you see the events play out from different perspectives, this really kept the suspense going.

There’s some good twists in the tale, nicely written and followed on well from the previous novel. The characters  might be the same but this tale had that little bit extra with a whodunit thrown in. It was a change in direction from what I expected but it worked well and I was hooked.

Going back to Max, there is a lot of development for him during the story and emotions are very raw for him and I liked how this was explored. Not easy to read at times as he’s a beaten man with what looks like no way to build himself back up.. just when he needs someone the most he and Netta finally bond and it was a pleasure to read.

Overall I loved it, the unexpected events in the book really kept me on my toes and had me sucked in from page 1. We are left with a little cliff-hanger so I do hope we see more of Max and his family to see how things play out.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon


Monkika Jephcott Thomas

How my work has progressed since the release of Fifteen Words. –  Monika Jephcott Thomas.

Writing my debut novel, Fifteen Words, was a daunting task. No doubt it is for most writers. So when it came to writing the follow up, The Watcher, I was definitely less apprehensive. I was more confident with the whole mechanics of writing and publishing, but I was also on more solid ground with regards to my characters, because some of the protagonists I had got to know so well during the writing of Fifteen Words and the newest character was based on myself – so what could possibly go wrong!

Although the character of Netta is based on me, she is based on my five-year-old self, so the challenge here was to try and recall the feelings, preoccupations, and perspective of a child’s world when I had been resident in the adult one for over half a century. Fifteen Words is quite an adult book – in its events and style of prose. But during the initial drafts of The Watcher I realised that writing in a more ‘childish’ way could be just as powerful, if not more so.

The advantage of writing from a child’s perspective, if you succeed, is that it can illuminate the absurdities of the adult world and adult relationships in a way that no adult character can. The central motivation of a child, wherever they come from, is to play. Children play games. But of course, so do adults in relationships, whether they realise it not. Psychological games, power games, cynical games. Hence, the best person to illuminate how daft these games appear to be, is the unjaded player of innocent games: a child. As Netta thinks to herself after observing her family one morning:

Adults were like the British soldiers who still hung around on the streets: they spoke a different language and had no intention of learning hers.

As well as unwittingly observing the chess of adult interaction for us, Netta soon becomes a direct recipient of adult game-playing, ironically enough, when she stays at children’s home. There the abusive Herr Kahler fulfils his own perverse desires by callously manipulating Netta. You can perhaps see from this extract how it is written with almost fairy-tale repetition, which is intended to elevate Kahler’s callousness to ‘wicked witch’ proportions whilst keeping it in the realms of possibility, as we are reminded more than ever by this fairy-tale style how we are seeing these events through a child eyes. This reminder, I hope, makes the end of the extract even more sickening.

‘What did I tell you to do this morning?’ he growled.

‘Sweep the sand from the driveway,’ she answered.

‘And did you do that?’

‘Yes I did,’ she said.

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘Yes I did, Herr Kahler,’ she added to make sure she wasn’t sounding rude. She didn’t want to sound rude. She was just telling the truth.

‘I beg your pardon?’ he repeated.

‘Yes I did!’ She raised her voice ever so slightly in case he was having difficulty hearing her.

‘I beg your pardon, but if you had done what I’d asked you to do, why was there sand all over the driveway when I went out at lunchtime?’

Silence, except for the sound of children enjoying themselves in the garden. Netta couldn’t think of anything to say.

‘I’ll tell you why.’ The red face was getting redder again. ‘Because you’re a lazy, spoilt little girl, that’s why.’

Netta had to tell him this wasn’t true. She had to explain that she had done the job. ‘No, I—’

‘I beg your pardon?’ he shouted, slamming his hands on the table and pushing himself up.

‘I—I—I… yes, I—I’m lazy, Herr Kahler.’

‘And?’ He sang the word like a motorcar speeding up.

‘And spoilt,’ she said, but the words tasted foul in her mouth because she was sure they weren’t true.

‘Yes you are.’ He came out from behind the desk and Netta flinched, but he passed by her and grabbed the broom from behind the door. ‘Now, you’ll go and do it again and you’ll make sure you do it properly otherwise you’ll get the slipper, do you hear?’

She took the broom. It felt like it was made of lead. She went outside. The driveway was covered in sand. Her whole body drooped. But she swept it all away again, more thoroughly than she did the first time with the thought of the slipper hanging over her.

Milla found her at dinner time slumped in her chair at the round table.

‘What happened?’ she whispered.

‘I’m too tired to even tell you,’ Netta sighed.

The two girls ate their fish and cabbage that evening in the kind of silence Frau Auttenberg expected every evening. When the cod liver oil came round Netta opened her mouth obediently, as she had done ever since that long night when she had first done battle with the battle-axe. And when she was allowed to leave the dining room she spat out the oil she’d been hiding into the potted plant on the windowsill in the stairwell, which was growing much faster and looking much healthier than Netta was for its daily dose of fish oil.

But before she could begin to get undressed, Paul came up to her and said, ‘Herr Kahler wants to see you.’

Netta almost cried right there in front of Paul, but somehow she held it in and got herself back downstairs to the office. And it all sounded very familiar.

‘What did I tell you to do this afternoon?’ he growled.

‘Sweep the sand from the driveway,’ she answered.

‘And did you do that?’

‘Yes I did.’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘Yes I did, Herr Kahler.’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘Yes I—!’

‘I. Beg. Your. Pardon?’

She knew what the answer was supposed to be, but she couldn’t believe she hadn’t done it properly this time.

She opened her mouth to speak.

‘Think very carefully before you answer, young lady,’ he snarled.

She couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. If she told the truth she would get the slipper. If she lied and said she had been lazy again, she would get the slipper. This was so unfair!

Herr Kahler got up. He was wearing his pyjamas already with an open red dressing gown on top and red leather slippers to match.

He closed the door quietly and took Netta by the wrist.

Without giving too much away about how this strand of the story ends, it takes another child to see a possible way for Netta out of Kahler’s twisted game. And it has to be a child, I think. The Watcher partly explores the effect of trauma on children in an age when children were supposed to be ‘seen and not heard’ by illuminating that fatal mistake all adults make, as if they have never been children themselves:

how children, seen and not heard, still saw things and heard things, especially the things expressed inches above their heads, which adults somehow believed were inaudible and forgettable to something as absorbent as a child.  


My thanks go to Monika and Authoright for the chance to read and review the book in exchange for my honest review.

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Blog Tour – And So It Began by Owen Mullen – Review

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Today it’s my stop on the Blog Tour for Owen Mullen’s latest book – And So It Began, here’s the details 🙂

Title – And So It Began (Delaney #1)
Author – Owen Mullen
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 244 Pages
Publication – 23rd September 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

PI Vincent Delaney thought he was done with the NOPD until a string of seemingly unrelated child murders brings an unexpected invitation from the FBI, and his old boss.

A serial killer is roaming the South, preying on children appearing in pageants, and the police want him to go undercover using his own family. Accepting would mean lying to people he loves and maybe even putting them in harm’s way.

In Baton Rouge, a violent criminal has escaped and is seeking revenge for the brother Delaney shot dead. But Delaney isn’t going anywhere. He has unfinished business.

Meanwhile, north of the French Quarter, shopkeepers are being extorted and ask for Delaney’s help. Extortion is a matter for the police.

But what do you do when those responsible are the police? Delaney has his work cut out and he’ll be lucky if he makes it out of this alive…

Review

I’ve been a fan of Owen’s work for a while now so jumped at the chance to read this book when I heard he was starting a new series.

The synopsis itself had me hooked with the idea of a serial killer preying on children involved in pageants.

For anyone who hasn’t read Owen’s work previously, the author has a great way of mixing storylines together to make a gripping read. You get the main plot, in this case the serial killer but you also get the personal story behind Delaney where we learn a violent criminal is out for revenge and another case which hits closer to home than Delaney would like. The mix worked well and each tale was exciting in its own right.

The back story for Delaney was great, I liked learning about the events leading up to him leaving the NOPD and this constant threat against him always had me wondering what was around the next corner.. and would everyone make it out of this tale alive.

The main story focusing on the pageants was superb and as a parent had my nerves on end knowing that people can prey on others at any time, even when you think they are safe.

Delaney is brought in to help with the pageant case and he goes undercover to keep an eye on things. Little does he know how close he’s going to get. Can he figure things out in time though? As the bodies pile up the pressure is on.

The other side story about the shopkeepers being extorted was my favourite if I’m honest, some great twists thrown in that gave it the extra wow factor.

What really worked for me was the development of the tale, it was paced well and the plot just flowed perfectly and logically for my tastes.

A great start to a new series for the author and it’s super to see he’s stuck with what he does best and gives us the same style of tale we are used to from him but at the same time something fresh and exciting packed full of action, twists and the character development I love to see in a book.

My thanks go to Bloodhound books for the chance to read/review the book before general release. As a fan of the author I must add I paid for my own copy of this book on release.. it’s just that good!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

For The Love Of Grace by Andy Blackman– Review – #Blogival2017

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Today is my third and final post as part of Click Street’s #Blogival2017.

I’m going to be reviewing For The Love of Grace by Andy Blackman, here’s the blurb.. 
Genre – Thriller
Length – 211 pages
Publication – Sept 2016

Grace Backer had a life full of tragedy. But despite everything, she raised her son, Tom, with her secret intact. Tom is a prodigal child, destined to escape the slums of the East End of London for a better life; circumstances will make him flee his loving mother and their home much sooner than expected. Tom starts a new life in Odessa, Russia, and with the help of new-found friends starts a business. At last, he is finally accepted into a new and loving family, but one which holds its own dark secrets. A chance meeting with the son of a duke of the realm leads to close friendship and a new business partnership. When Tom decides to move his company to London and have his regal new friend run it, the firm thrives. However, not everything is as it seems, and Tom?s business soon conceals dangerous secrets of its own. Years later, when Tom finally decides to return to London, he is a wanted man, one hunted by the intelligence agencies. If he is finally to be reunited with his beloved mother and his best friend, he must fight to put the past behind him. But keeping secrets is never easy.

 

Here’s my thoughts –

So the book mainly follows the life of Tom Backer..he’s not had the easiest start in life but he’s smart..very smart. Unfortunately life has more to throw at him and his life is turned upside down again and again.

This was quite an interesting story that bounces around the timeline a little to give you glimpse into the past to learn more about Tom but also is mother Grace.

The story for me had two distinct storylines.. The first being Grace, her part of the story was emotional and intense,  she was by far my favourite character. The second tale being Tom’s which is action focused and gripping at times, I didn’t fully warm to him, he adapts too easy to his situations but I think this is down to the fact he’s clearly a gifted human so sees things differently than the others might.

This is a tale of passion and vengeance, at times things flow too easily for my own tastes but I enjoyed following Tom’s journey of destruction. There’s a good twist at the end of the book which I really enjoyed and it really tied things up for me.

There’s certainly enough meat on the bones with this one for me to be interested to see where the author goes next.

My thanks go to Authoright for having me on the Blogival again this year 🙂

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Grace-Andy-Blackman/dp/1911110535/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472152533&sr=8-1&keywords=andy+blackman+for+the+love+of+grace

Purchase from Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-the-love-of-grace-andy-blackman/1124144405?type=eBook

 

About Andy Blackman

After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren.

The Expansion by Christoph Martin – Review – #Blogival2017

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Today is my second post as part of Click Street’s #Blogival2017.

I’m going to be reviewing The Expansion by Christoph Martin, here’s the blurb..
Genre – Thriller/Action & Adventure
Length – 261
Publication – 2nd May 2017

Synopsis

In politics and big business, truth is a matter of opinion.

Straddling the storyworlds of Panama, Washington and London, The Expansion follows British-born geomatic engineer Max Burns, whose revolutionary water-saving system wins him the esteemed position of head engineer for one of the 21st century’s most politically contested megaprojects: the expansion of the Panama Canal.

For Max it is a dream come true: not only is he able to work closely with construction giant and old high-school friend Godfredo Roco in one of the most beautiful tropical environments, but it’s the kind of job Max has been working toward his entire career.

Yet in the arena of global trade and diplomacy, stakes are high, and when a senior official of the Panama Canal Administration is found dead, Max finds himself in the frame for sabotage and murder, and at the centre of a web of political intrigue and betrayal that reaches far beyond the idyllic shores of Central America. The only person Max can trust is his new-found love, Karis Deen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Except Karis herself holds a secret that could not only destroy Max, but could change the entire balance of world power.

Review

The Expansion is a fast paced thriller and the tone I set straightaway with a prologue that easily sucks you in with its explosiveness.

After the death of his parents Max Burns moves in with his uncle Alan. He studies and becomes a successful engineer.

Godfredo Roco is an old friend of Max’s and when a business opportunity comes up Godfredo instantly thinks of Max for the job. Little does Max know that all is not as it seems.

Max is hired to head up a team of experts in the expansion of the Panama Canal. His idea is by far the best but with underhand deals being made the finances aren’t looking too good.

The story changes perspective quite a bit and we get a good range of characters including Karis Deen. I won’t spoil the story for you but this girl has a hidden secret and her involvement in the tale was probably what I enjoyed the most.. I would have loved to learn more about her and the Abbey (The Abbey is part of her secret, it will make sense when you read the book).

There’s a lot of players involved so the author keeps you on the edge of your seat while connections are made and the full plot comes to fruition.

I think the only thing that the book was missing was a little connectivity. After such an explosive prologue I didn’t really see it link to the main story the way I thought it would. Saying all that, I still really enjoyed the plot and its development.

It’s a slow burner for the first few chapters while we learn about Max’s upbringing but then we are hit with a fast paced easy read as the action comes thick and fast, very easy to get drawn into and enjoy. Characters are well-defined and fun to read about which are all big positives for me. I’ve also read that this story is only the first in a planned series and the book does work really well as an opener to a series and leaves me intrigued as to where the author will go next with the characters.

Overall I thought this was a very good book, some strong characters added to a decent plot to give me something I could really get stuck into. I’ve no doubt in my mind at that I’d want to read the next installment.

My thanks go to the athour and Authoright for the chance to read/review the book.

Purchase on Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Expansion-Christoph-Martin-ebook/dp/B06XKRK9SL/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1492682557&sr=1-2-fkmr1

About the author: Christoph Martin is the writing team of Christoph Martin Zollinger and Libby O’Loghlin. Christoph Zollinger is a Swiss entrepreneur whose career spans legal, military, corporate and private enterprise. Christoph graduated with a law degree from the University of Zürich, after which time he went on to live and work in Panama in corporate and private enterprise for more than a decade. In 2012 he returned to Switzerland with his wife and children. He divides his time between his home in Zürich and a tiny Alpine village in Graubünden. Libby O’Loghlin is an Australian novelist and prize-winning short story writer who has a career in narrative media production, including film and television, as well as print and digital publishing. She has lived in the UK, USA and Malaysia, and she now lives with her family in Switzerland.

Website – http://www.theexpansionbook.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/expansionbook

Guest Post – Anne Boileau – Clink Street Blogival2017

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Today is my first post as part of Click Street’s #Blogival2017.

I took part in the 2016 Blogival and the reason I’m back again this year is simply becuase it’s a wonderful way for the authors to interact with readers and It brings something a little extra to my blog.

There’s plenty more stops on the tour.. please do have a look. Word of mouth really helps not only the authors but us bloggers too.

I’ll be sharing some fellow bloggers posts via my twitter account so keep an eye out.

Now what do I have for you today you ask? Well I had the pleasure of reviewing Katharina Luther: Nun. Rebel. Wife last year and was itching to know more about the inspiration behind the tale. Author Anne Boileau has very kindly prepared a post for me to share with you…

But first here’s a bit more about the book –

On 31st October 1517, Martin Luther pinned ninety-five theses on the Castle Church door, Wittenberg, criticizing the Church of Rome; they were printed and published by Lucas Cranach and caused a storm. Nine young nuns, intoxicated by Luther’s subversive writings, became restless and longed to leave their convent. On Good Friday 1523 a haulier smuggled them out hidden in empty herring barrels. Five of them settled in Wittenberg, the very eye of the storm, and one of them – Katharina von Bora – scandalised the world by marrying the revolutionary former monk. Following a near miscarriage, she is confined to her bed to await the birth of their first child; during this time, she sets down her own story. Against a backdrop of 16th Century Europe this vivid account of Katharina von Bora’s early life brings to the spotlight this spirited and courageous woman.

But wait.. there’s more click here to read my review of Katharina Luther: Nun. Rebel. Wife!

Now you have that review fresh in your mind enjoy the guest post! 🙂


 

You ask me what was the inspiration behind the novel, Katharina Luther. Nun. Rebel. Wife. The answer to that is,  I didn’t find Katharina, she found me; and she took me by surprise.

In 1992 I travelled to the former German Democratic Republic; it was barely three years after the Wall came down (the Germans call it die Wende, which means the change or turn around). I was researching for my dissertation on Land Management, Agriculture and Conservation in the New Lands of Germany following Unification; This was my conclusion of a BSc degree in Rural Resource Development at Writtle College and Anglia University in Essex. I already spoke fluent German and wanted to visit the former East Germany; Strutt and Parker awarded me a travel grant, so  I went with my husband to Brandenburg and Saxony.

Such contrasts! We visited ancient monastic carp ponds at Nieski, dating back to the 12th Century, heaving with wildlife, and recently designated as  a Biosphere Culture Landscape by UNESCO.  Then we stood on the edge of an enormous open-cast coal mine, stretching into the horizon, a desert. We saw lakes polluted with slurry from industrial pig production units and huge dairy plants with literally thousands of miserable incarcerated cows.

But then there were the beautiful well-managed forests, abounding with wildlife, and the Spreewald with its water meadows, creeks and old thatched farmsteads.

The ancient towns were dilapidated but had not been ripped apart in the sixties and seventies for the needs of the motor car as happened in the west.

We visited Wittenberg where the Black Cloister was promoted as Martin Luther’s home. It was in that old monastic house that I first came across Katharina von Bora. There was a small exhibition all about her. Portraits by Cranach and other, later paintings; a pair of shoes and stockings, a ring given to her by King Christian of Denmark, a little book of Hours, even one of her dresses, and so on. We were both intrigued. It had never occurred to us that Martin Luther had been married, having assumed that as a monk he would have remained single and celibate. We were wrong!

Anyway, I went home, wrote my dissertation, got my degree and found a job. I watched my daughters grow up and leave home. But Katharina had sown a little seed in my heart and when I had more time I decided to find out more about her. I returned to Wittenberg, visited the other significant Luther towns: Eisenach and the Wartburg Castle; Erfurt where Luther was a student and then a monk; Torgau and Leipzig; I read a lot, in German, about those turbulent times and found a wealth of material about Katharina, who is a well-known figure in Germany, but virtually unknown in the UK.

That is why I decided to write her story for an English-speaking readership. I wanted to shine a light on the life of the woman behind the man who – whether you like him or loathe him – ushered in the modern world. He could never have followed through and achieved what he did without the help and support of a strong, well educated woman at his side ­– not only to run his household and give him a family to keep his mind in the real world, but also to kerb his irascibility and keep him healthy in body and mind.

Katharina von Bora, or Frau Doktor Luther,  kept the show on the road. Not for nothing did he call her Herr Kathe.

Anne Boileau

June 2017


Purchase from Amazon UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Katharina-Luther-Nun-Rebel-Wife-ebook/dp/B01J95GP8W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1473953274&sr=1-1&keywords=anne+boileau

About the author: Anne Boileau (also known as Polly Clarke) lives in Essex. She studied German in Munich and worked as interpreter and translator before turning to language-teaching in England. She also holds a degree in Conservation and Land Management from Anglia University and has written and given talks on various aspects of conservation. Now she shares, writes and enjoys poetry; her work has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines; she has also won some awards, including First Prize with Grey Hen Press, 2016. She translates modern German poetry into English with Camden Mews Translators and was Chair of Suffolk Poetry Society from 2011 to 2014.

Blog Tour – The Black Hornet by Rob Sinclair – Review

BlackHornet FINAL

Title – The Black Hornet (James Ryker Book 2)
Author – Rob Sinclair
Genre – Thriller
Length – 350 Pages
Publication – 12th June 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The Black Hornet: an action packed and utterly gripping thriller from the best-selling James Ryker series

What do you do when the love of your life vanishes without a trace? If you’re ex-intelligence agent James Ryker you search for the answers whatever the cost, however much blood and sacrifice it takes…

Six months ago Lisa was taken from Ryker, and he’ll stop at nothing to find out who is responsible and why. Following a trail to Mexico, the ex-Joint Intelligence Agency asset soon finds himself in the firing line of enemies he long thought he’d left behind. Set-up for the murder of a former informant, Ryker is thrown into a crumbling jail run by The Black Hornet, the notorious leader of a Mexican drug cartel. But what connects the cartel to the informant’s murder, and to Lisa’s disappearance? And just who is the mystery American claiming he can help Ryker in his hour of need?

The Black Hornet is the second book in the bestselling James Ryker series. Part Bourne, part Reacher, it’s an explosive and action-packed thriller to rival any other.

Review

The Black Hornet is the second book in the James Ryker series. Ryker has a past.. a past he’s trying to escape from but six months ago his life was turned upside down again..Lisa.. the woman Ryker loves was taken.

Ryker is hell-bent on finding Lisa and those behind her kidnapping..he heads to Mexico as his search continues and finds himself in deep trouble when he’s thrown in prison.

We get introduced to a couple of new characters both play their cards close to their chest so it’s hard for Ryker to figure out who to trust.

A mysterious man claims he can get Ryker out in exchanged for is assistance. He knows all about his particular skill set and he needs his talents. At first Ryker refuses but when things start to get brutal and violent he’s left with no choice. To make things even harder for Ryker this man says he has information on Lisa!

Ryker follows his gut and ends up working on a job for the JIA again. Ryker is happy to do this for two reasons. One he know the mysterious man who helped him get out of prison will show he face again.. he’s got his own agenda that collides with Ryker’s mission and two..he knows deep down he misses it. He may be getting older and he hasn’t used his talents for a while but he’s not over the hill yet.

Ryker has some great development during book, you can see he’s torn. He wants the quiet life but at the same time he knows he couldn’t escape his that life for long. He loves Lisa but he’s struggling with guilt..If he had just been home he could have stopped it all happening.

This book is a little more brutal than the last but it’s exactly what the story needed, prison isn’t going to be a nice place is it?

I loved The Red Cobra, book 1 in the series.. I LOVE this one more if that’s possible. In this book Ryker is much more the focus of the tale and I couldn’t fault it one bit.

Douglas Ashford had to be my favourite character in this tale, some lovely twists thrown in from the author to give you the “Oh my!” moments.

I’m certainly hooked in for more from the author!

My thank to Bloodhound Books and Rob for having me on the blog tour

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon


 

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Author Bio:

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan, with over 250,000 copies sold to date. The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob’s fourth book, the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments, released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016, has been described as ‘clever’ and ‘chilling’ and an ‘expertly crafted’ story, and became an Amazon UK top 50 bestseller soon after its release.

Rob’s James Ryker series follows on from the Enemy books, with the first novel, The Red Cobra, being released in April 2017 and quickly becoming an Amazon bestseller in the UK, US and Canada. The second book in the series, The Black Hornet will be released June 12th.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-Sinclair/e/B00LFXNU76/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1488963366&sr=8-1

https://www.facebook.com/robsinclairauthor/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/RSinclairAuthor

http://www.robsinclairauthor.com/

Killer of Kings Blog Tour!

Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for Killer of Kings by Matthew Harffy, book 4 in the Bernicia Chronicles series.

If you’ve not read me reviews for the rest of the series and the standalone novella click the images below to find out more!

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Want to know more about book 4? Well here’s the blurb followed by an extract to hook you in.


Synopsis :-

AD 636. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical thriller and the fourth instalment in The Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

Beobrand has land, men and riches. He should be content. And yet he cannot find peace until his enemies are food for the ravens. But before Beobrand can embark on his bloodfeud, King Oswald orders him southward, to escort holy men bearing sacred relics.

When Penda of Mercia marches a warhost into the southern kingdoms, Beobrand and his men are thrown into the midst of the conflict. Beobrand soon finds himself fighting for his life and his honour.

In the chaos that grips the south, dark secrets are exposed, bringing into question much that Beobrand had believed true. Can he unearth the answers and exact the vengeance he craves? Or will the blood-price prove too high, even for a warrior of his battle-fame and skill?


Extract –

FRANKIA, ad 635

“Be careful there, you two!”

The cry came from old Halig. He worried like a maid.

Wuscfrea ignored him, leaping up to the next branch of the gnarled oak. The bark was damp and cold, but the sun was warm on his face as he looked for the next handhold. They had been enclosed in the hall for endless days of storms. Great gusts of wind had made the hall creak and moan as if it would collapse and when they had peered through the windows, the world had been hidden beneath the sheeting rain.

After so long inside it felt wonderful to be able to run free in the open air.

A crow cawed angrily at Wuscfrea from a perch high in the canopy of the trees. The boy laughed, echoing the bird’s call.

“Away with you,” Wuscfrea shouted at the creature. “You have wings, so use them. The sun is shining and the world is warm.” The crow gazed at him with its beady eyes, but did not leave its branch. Wuscfrea looked down. Fair-haired Yffi was some way below, but was grinning up at him.

“Wait for me,” Yffi shouted, his voice high and excited.

“Wait for me, uncle,” Wuscfrea corrected him, smiling. He knew how it angered Yffi to be reminded that Wuscfrea was the son of Edwin, the king, while he was only the son of the atheling, Osfrid. The son of the king’s son.

“I’ll get you,” yelled Yffi and renewed his exertions, reaching for a thick branch and pulling himself up.

Wuscfrea saw a perfect path between the next few branches that would take him to the uppermost limbs of the oak. Beyond that he was not sure the branches would hold his weight. He scrambled up, his seven-year-old muscles strong and his body lithe.

The crow croaked again and lazily flapped into the sky. It seemed to observe him with a cold fury at being disturbed, but Wuscfrea merely spat at the bird. Today was a day to enjoy the fresh air and the warmth of the sun, not to worry about silly birds. For a moment, he frowned. He hoped Yffi had not seen the crow. Crows were the birds of war. Whenever he saw them Yffi recalled the tales of the battle of Elmet, and how the corpse-strewn bog had been covered by great clouds of the birds. The boys had frightened themselves by imagining how the birds had eaten so much man-flesh that they could barely fly. It was a black thought. As black as the wings of the crows. To think of the death of their fathers brought them nothing but grief. Wuscfrea shook the thoughts away. He would not allow himself to be made sad on such a bright day.

Glancing down, he saw that Yffi was struggling to reach a branch. He was a year younger than Wuscfrea, and shorter.

“Come on, nephew,” Wuscfrea goaded him. “Are you too small to join me up here? The views are fit for a king.” Wuscfrea laughed at the frustrated roar that came from Yffi. Yet there was no malice in his words. Despite being uncle and nephew, the two boys were more like brothers, and the best of friends. Still, it was good to be the superior climber. Yffi, even though younger, was better at most things. The long storm-riven days had seen the younger boy beat Wuscfrea ceaselessly at tafl and Yffi had joked that someone with turnips for brains would only be good to rule over pigs. The words had stung and Wuscfrea had sulked for a while until Yffi had brought him some of Berit’s cheese as an offering of truce. Wuscfrea loved the salty tang of the cheese and the insult was quickly put aside.

Now, as he pulled his head and shoulders above the thick leaves of the oak, Wuscfrea wondered whether he would ever be king of anything. Certainly not of this land, rich and lush as it was. This was Uncle Dagobert’s kingdom. Far to the south of Bernicia and Deira, the kingdoms his father had forged into the single realm of Northumbria. Far away and over the sea. A safe distance from the new king.

Wuscfrea breathed in deeply of the cool, crisp air. The treetops on the rolling hills all around swayed in the gentle breeze. The leaves sparkled and glistened in the sunlight. High in the sky to the north, wisps of white clouds floated like half-remembered dreams.

One day, he would travel north with a great warband, with Yffi at his side. They would have ships built from the wood of this great forest and they would ride the Whale Road to Northumbria. They would avenge their fathers’ slaying and take back the kingdom that should have been theirs. Wuscfrea’s chest swelled at the thought.

“Vengeance is a potent brew,” Halig had said to him when they had spoken of the battle of Elmet one night over a year before. “Drink of it and let it ferment in your belly. And one day you will wreak your revenge on the usurper, Oswald,” the old warrior had touched the iron cross at his neck. Wuscfrea had thought of how Jesu told his followers to turn the other cheek when struck and wondered what the Christ would think of the lust for revenge that burnt and bubbled inside him. But then Wuscfrea was the son of a great king, descended from the old gods themselves so they said, so why should he care what one god thought?


Tempted yet?

Here’s my thoughts –

Beo’s back and this one is just as brutal as it’s predecessors. Beobrand is older but still as sharp and hot-headed as always.

Old enemies show their faces again but this time Beobrand might actually be able to rid himself  of them..that ever present shadow looming over him.

War is coming and while on a mission for Oswald Beo is sucked in and the bloodlust takes holds..it’s time for a blood feud to be settled.

We get a great mix of action and suspense as the focus switches from Brobrand to Reaghan back home struggling to figure out her place in Beobrand’s absence.  She’s resented by others because of her past but she’s powerless to change it.. While the action is non-stop this switch of focus really gave it a suspenseful build up.

Chapter 15 was my favourite chapter of the story, real white knuckle moment. Scary and exciting at the same time.

Harffy once again holds no favouritism with his characters..not all Beo’s gesithas will make it home… but neither will Beobrand’s enemies.

The character I most enjoyed was Wynhelm. I didn’t like him at first but as he developed throughout the tale I warmed to him like I felt Beo did to. Although he may rub Beo up the wrong way he’s loyal and is faultless in his logic.

The one difference I felt this book had over the rest in the series is that Beobrand gets some closure, so it does leave me wondering what could possibly happen next.

Harffy is one of my top authors who never disappoints and he has my thanks for having me on the blog tour. I would also like to thank Yasemin at Head of Zeus who organised everything. While I’m always grateful for the ARC of the book it was my pleasure to purchase the book on release.

Killer of Kings is a strong book that solidifies this series as being one of the best to be published in recent years.

My verdict – 5* all the way!

Keep an eye on my blog tomorrow for a Q&A with the author himself who kindly answered some of my burning questions.

If you’d like to know more head to Amazon or Goodreads.


Other stops on the tour –

History.. The Interesting Bits – 5th June

Love Books Group – 7th June 

Breakaway Reviewers – 8th June

Stephanie Churchill – 9th June

What Cathy Read Next – 10th June

Lives and Loves of a Book Nerd – 11th June

Parmenion Books – 12th June


 

Author info:

 

Matthew grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline had a huge impact on him He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.

Buy links

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nNEyPz

iBooks: http://apple.co/2ocWWEi

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ocS2Y7

 

Follow Matthew

Website: www.matthewharffy.com

Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Facebook: MatthewHarffyAuthor

 

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