Category Archives: Crime Fiction

Burn the Evidence: (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 2) by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Burn the Evidence: (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 2)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 229 Pages
Publication – 12th December 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Keith Nixon’s latest Solomon Gray murder mystery pushes all the hot button issues of a traumatised post-Brexit UK in this dark tale of loss, revenge and redemption. Flawed and floored by personal tragedy, DS Solomon Gray is ready to take his place alongside DS Logan McRae, DS Roy Grace and DCI John Luther. Modern jet-black Brit Noir at its best.”
– Tim Baker, CWA shortlisted author of Fever City

Mixing business with family can be a murderous affair …

A body washes up on the beach near Ramsgate in the South of England. For DS Solomon Gray, the case appears cut and dried-a drowning. An immigrant. Another victim to the sea in his desperate attempt to reach the UK.

As the tidewaters recede, two more corpses surface. One appears to be a refugee, stabbed to death. The other, Gray recognises immediately. Regan Armitage: son of business tycoon Jake Armitage. Gray knows this means trouble.

A post mortem reveals ligature marks on Regan’s wrists. Drugs in his bloodstream. All signs indicate murder. Armitage swears to track down his son’s killer and avenge his death.

Gray’s investigation points to a deadly fire ten years prior, and soon Armitage comes under suspicion. But DS Gray knows what it’s like to lose a child and puts aside his distrust of Armitage to help.

How are the dead men connected to each other-and to the infamous fire?

It’s then that Gray gets another tip on the whereabouts of his own missing son, Tom …

BURN THE EVIDENCE is the second book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

About the Author
Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.

 

Review

Burn the evidence is the followup to Dig Two Graves. We are back with DS Gray.. he’s flawed to the max but he’s good at what he does.

Gray has one hell of a back story which continues to unravel during this book. He can’t let go of the past, his son went missing years ago and when potential new information surfaces he can’t focus on the job at hand. That job being a triple murder.

When 3 bodies are given up by the sea Gray is trust into the case but are the bodies connected and if so how?

Something I really enjoy about the book is the back and forth from past to present..slowly giving the reader the full picture. If I’m honest it’s this type of writing that really grips me with a crime fiction book..the suspense, I want to put the pieces together just like Gray does.

Keith Nixon has written a brilliant follow-up book which combines multiple plots and twists that converge to keep you hooked. The author even dropped a bombshell which will no doubt be explored during the next instalment… it’s endings like this that keep me coming back to an author. I’m left with a  thirst that can only be quenched by reading the next installment as soon as it is released…other books can be put on hold but after an ending like that how could the next installment not be put on my most anticipated releases list!

This is what crime fiction should be for me. We have a flawed lead, (let’s face it no one is perfect, we just do the best we can) with a mix of personal and work issues to deal with. The cases develop at a good pace which keep me engaged and I must certainly want more. Chapter length was perfect, development felt natural rather than forced and there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep a real crime junkie happy also.

I’ve read a lot of Keith’s books and this is certainly a credit to his increasing collection of works and I hope there’s plenty more to follow.

Top notch work.

I would be lying if I didn’t say admit I received a copy of the book from NetGalley but I only did that so I could have a review up quickly, which I’m very grateful for, but if you take a look at Amazon you’ll now see that “verified purchase” next to my name 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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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.

 

Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Dig Two Graves (Detective Solomon Gray #1)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 227 Pages
Publication –  10th October 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Was it suicide … or murder?

When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son, Tom, would’ve been, had he not gone missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

With his boss, Detective Inspector Yvonne Hamson, Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. An investigator from the Met is called in to assist, setting the local police on edge. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’s old church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons. Crippled by loss but determined to find the truth, Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption.

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark detective thriller. Dig Two Graves is the first book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

Review

Keith Nixon has easily become one of my favourite authors since I started reviewing over two years ago so I jumped at the chance of an advanced copy of his latest book. Does that mean I’d let him off lightly? Certainly not. Just to prove how much I enjoy his work I pre-ordered a copy myself.

Solomon Gray is a man torn apart by memories of the past.. he drinks too much and is certainly on a short leash at work…but despite everything he’s one hell of a copper.

When a young boy turns up dead Gray can’t help being swept up in the case as he’s reminded of his own son who disappeared ten years ago.

The case doesn’t have many leads.. or have they just missed them?

While working the case Gray is constantly reminded of his past, even more so when Rev. David Hill is murdered. As the workload increases Gray tries to make sense of things best he can but it’s hard to do his job with superiors breathing down his neck.

When another body turns up and tears Gray’s world apart he needs a much needed kick up the arse to get his head in the game.

I loved the character of Solomon Gray, I really felt for him at times. He’s the type of detective I like reading about. He’s got his personal issues to work through and he’s good at his job and you can rely on him to see things through.

I can’t spoil the plot for you, it’s just too damn good but to be honest with you I loved it, hooked in easily and there was a pretty amazing twist I didn’t see coming towards the end which really cemented how good of a novel this was.

There’s so much more to the plot than the synopsis suggests, it’s got depth to it, it’s more than just the normal police procedural tale. The tale is expertly woven together, while the cases overlap there no confusion for the reader at all.

For me it was perfectly paced, good chapter length and with such a good plot line nothing else mattered, the world shut off and I was in Gray’s world. I really hope we see more soon.

Another cracking read from the author! Get on it now and get a copy ordered – it’s released on Tuesday 10th October!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

The Detriment by David Videcette – Review

Title – The Detriment
Author – David Videcette
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 358 Pages
Publication – 29th June 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

“The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…”

June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.

From the author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’, the smash-hit 7/7 thriller based on true events, comes the sequel about a real-life mystery that threatens to destroy a nation. Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.

We all have secrets we say we’ll never tell…

What people are saying about author, David Videcette:

“Videcette has the hallmarks of being a dangerous storyteller.” – Crimesquad.com

“Combines police experience with an audacious stroke of imagination.” – Crime Fiction Lover

David Videcette is a former Scotland Yard investigator who has worked on a wealth of infamous cases, including the 7/7 London bombings. With twenty years’ policing experience, he is an expert on terrorism and organised crime. ‘

I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you another story…’

Review

After reading David Videcette’s debut The Theseus Paradox I knew instantly I had to buy this book. The author set the standard very high last time but definitely managed to give the reader another compelling story but also managed to develop the lead character Jake which is hard in such a fast paced thriller.

Ok so if you’ve read the previous book you’ll know about Jake. He’s a good guy and good at his job but at times he jumps before he thinks, always with the right intentions though. This is a theme explored during The Detriment where Jake gets deeper and deeper into trouble with his superiors when it seems he just can’t follow protocol… Like he’s addicted to action and can’t step back from it.

As a reader you get to see the real motivations behind Jake’s actions. He’s not trying to hurt anyone..he’s just trying to do everything in his power to help.

In this tale we learn a lot more about Jake and that for me was the best thing about this book as it makes him human and you really feel for him. He’s a tortured soul and deep down has some issues he needs to work through.

Besides the personal side of things there’s a big case to be handled based on real events. After a car bomb is found Jake’s skills are put to the test to get to the bottom of the attempted attack..is it really terror related? What are the motives?

While seeking the truth Jake uncovers some sketchy dealings within our own government which in turn just leads to more and more questions.

It’s a fast paced and engrossing tale that really leaves you contemplating the story, it won’t leave you easily.

Another thing I have to say I love about the book is the little discussion points the author suggests at the end of the tale and appendix where the facts are stated, this helps get the tale deeply ingrained with you leaving me without a shadow of a doubt I’ll buy the next book the author releases.

Jake will have a hard time coming back after the events in this books so I’m excited to see what happens next.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Blood Moon by John David Bethel – Review

Title – Blood Moon
Author – John David Bethel
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 451 Pages
Publication – December 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

On a hot, steamy afternoon in Miami, Cuban-American businessman Recidio Suarez is brutally beaten and abducted. Handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded, he has no idea why he has been targeted. What he discovers is heart-stopping. What he endures during almost a month of captivity compares only to the most horrendous stories of prisoners of war. He is tortured, and under the threat of death, and worse – the rape of his wife and torture of his children – Suarez is forced to hand over his multi-million dollar holdings to his captors.

Suarez survives and then spends the next few months staying one step ahead of the murderous pack. During this time, he and his lawyer, Nolan Stevens – a former Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Office of the FBI – are having difficulties convincing the Miami-Dade Police Department that a crime has been committed. Their efforts are complicated by Steven’s difficult history with the head of the MDPD Special Investigations Division, who is not interested in pursuing the case.

Review

Blood Moon is an intense thriller. Although the tale is a work of fiction it’s based on real events which made for a gripping tale as you didn’t really know which aspects were fact and which fiction.. it didn’t bother me not knowing..it just had the cogs in my mind ticking trying to imagine what it must have been like living any of the events portrayed in the book.

So the story follows Suarez who is kidnapped and forced to give everything up..his money, his house, his entire life basically. Suarez quickly works out there’s going to be no way they will let him leave alive..they want to get every last penny out of him they can and they will do anything for it.

What we get is a rather engrossing read but at times disturbing with its gruesomeness. What I really enjoyed was the reality hit you get.. the descriptiveness  of the mental and physical torture and also the lasting effects this has on Suarez, mind and body.. this really did make the story real to me.

As a reader I did feel frustrated at how no one put the pieces together, banks, friends and family etc but I think it shows the personal touch to life I feel we’ve lost over the years.. as long as something doesn’t affect them they continue along the same path. Suarez’s wife does believe her husband is in trouble but she just doesn’t know how bad things are and with her trust issues regarding the police I understood why she didn’t raise the alarm.

I must admit by the end of the book I really enjoyed the character of his wife she develops an exciting edge to her in the later stages of the tale.

There’s some really good twists in this tale that kept me hooked, after Suarez narrowly escapes death you’re invested in his recovery and you’ll find yourself exasperated with the lack of support he gets from those who should be helping him.. luckily his family and a close friend Nolan Stevens know he wouldn’t lie and help him come to terms a little with what has happened and set him on the path to get justice.

Before reading the book I sort of had ideas on how the plot would progress.. the end result was nothing like my thoughts, the events are so unexpected and dark but so riveting.  It’s that reality check moment again.. since the story is based on a real crime you sort of don’t want to love/enjoy the story as you feel a little bad but you do.. it’s certainly got some wow moments that stick with you.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Blog Tour – Brick by Conrad Jones

Today I’m taking part in the blog tor for Brick bu Conrad Jones. Bloodhound Books kindly supplied a copy of the book for review but after reading this I bought a copy myself as it’s just that good!

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Here’s the blurb –

Title – Brick
Author – Conrad Jones
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 314 Pages
Publication – 23rd May 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

A hard-boiled and utterly gripping crime thriller from a best-selling author

When a teenager is the victim of an unprovoked attack while walking his dog, a murder investigation begins. A cruel twist of fate makes his innocent family the targets of a vicious campaign of terror.

As the detectives of Liverpool’s Major Investigation Team try to contain the violence, several key members of an organised crime family begin to topple, causing shockwaves across the world.

Why was the teenager attacked?

And will the villains be brought to justice?

Review

Brick is an action packed tale of gangsters, drugs and murder.

We get two stories playing out. The first following Bryn, a local teenager, who rubs someone up the wrong way ends up in a shed load of danger..and it’s not just him.. these men mean business and It could mean the end to his whole family.  The man he pissed off has ties to some very dangerous men.

The second story is a full on tale of drugs and betrayal.. There’s no loyalty among thieves they say. Brick explores this and what we get is one hell of a book! Gripped would be an understatement.

I was instantly hooked by the prologue and I had high expectations for the story which I’m glad to say the author exceeded!

It’s a tale of the dark underbelly of society and you felt for Bryn and his family.. it really does look like there’s no where they can hide.

You really will get sucked into this one quickly.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

 

Chase: The Hunt for a King by Thomas Dellenbusch – Review

Title – Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2)
Author – Thomas Dellenbusch , Richard Urmston (Translator)
Genre – Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Length – 118 Pages
Publication – Feb 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Theatre-Of-The-Mind-Stories

Scotland on the brink of independence: the government is planning its own Scottish monarchy. But when a member of the close-knit planning group reveals the identity of the candidate for the throne, suddenly people appear who want to prevent this royal ascension at all costs – including murder. When CHASE is called in to assist, Jérome and Chen Lu travel to Glasgow. Together with the Scotsman James Campbell, they hunt for his father’s murderer. A secretive wax seal leads them into a maze of ancient legends and lost manuscripts. Can they solve the mystery and save the king – or will old ruins become their grave?

Review

This is the second book in the CHASE series. If you didn’t catch my review of book one then click here –  The Hunt for the Mute Poetess.

On to book two…. This time the author lets other members of the CHASE team shine and this meant the story was not only enjoyable but fresh. This added some depth to the team which we were introduced to in the previous book and it’s this kind of slow but steady build-up that makes me invest in a series.

The CHASE team have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and they’re thrust into a life or death situation as a friend of Jérome’s life hangs in the balance.. it’s all linked to the death of his father and ties to the past and the Scottish monarchy itself.

There’s plenty of twists to this tale and exciting revelations to keep the reader hooked. Fast paced scenes keep the action flowing but there are also points in the book where you and the characters can reflect on events. For me this reminded of TV character Columbo, a real mystery to be solved and it takes the CHASE team to figure things out.

A real joy to read I must admit and both the author and the translator have got this book spot on. I really wouldn’t have guessed this book was translated from German to English at all and the story works well. It especially fits at the moment with Brexit and the question of Scotland’s independence being discussed.

A super quick, easy and fun read. I’d go so far as to say it would be impossible not to enjoy the book.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.