Category Archives: Crime Fiction

Carina by Alison Morton – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is Carina by Alison Morton.

Here’s the blurb

Carina Mitela is still a young inexperienced officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces of Roma Nova. Disgraced and smarting from a period in the cells for a disciplinary offence, she is sent out of everybody’s way on a seemingly straightforward mission overseas.

All she and her comrade-in-arms, Flavius, have to do is bring back a traitor from the Republic of Quebec. Under no circumstances will she risk entering the Eastern United States where she is still wanted under her old name Karen Brown. But when she and Flavius discover a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Roma Nova, what price is personal danger against fulfilling the mission?

Set in the time after INCEPTIO but before PERFIDITAS in the Roma Nova series, this thriller novella reveals hidden parts of Carina’s early life in Roma Nova. And North America isn’t quite the continent we know in our timeline…

Review

Carina is part of the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton. I came late to the series but was instantly hooked in by the uniqueness of the plots.

Think alternative fiction and strong female leads mixed with intriguing and well planned plots.. yeh you’re on to a winner.

This novella is perfectly suited for someone who hasn’t read the other novels in the series yet.. It’s got the detail to make you want read the rest of the series but there’s noting that isn’t explained that would confuse the reader so it’s a perfect standalone read.

Carina is part of the Praetorian Guard.. she’s young and headstrong.. this can only lead to trouble when tasked with a mission to bring back a traitor. Carina must stay under the radar but things quickly start to go wrong…something smells funny..but can Carina figure it out?

I’m always amazed by Alison’s plots, so believable, perfectly executed..real page turners!

Overall another cracking read from the author who has a very unique setting for her tales, Alison Morton challenges female stereotypes and gives the reader a fast paced thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My rating – 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Advertisements

Blog Tour – Russian Roulette by Keith Nixon.

Next up on David’s Book Blurg It my turn on the blog tour for Russian Roulette by Keith Nixon!

B L O G T O U R (1)

Here’s the blurb

Meet Konstantin Boryakov, the enigmatic ex-KGB agent and tramp with a dark history and darker future.

Trouble has a habit of seeking out Konstantin, whether he wants it or not. Starting with small time drug dealer Dave the Rave from the moment he arrives in the seedy seaside town of Margate where he’s supposed to hide, to Nikos the loan shark and Fat Gary, all round idiot. Then there’s the so-called good guys, the councilors and lawyers who are worse than the criminals.

But Konstantin isn’t alone, despite his wishes. Fidelity Brown, aka Plastic Fantastic, dildo wielding dominatrix who has her own mélange of secrets and lies, and nightclub owner Ken who’s connected to all the wrong people, help the Russian with the heap of problems delivered to his doorstep.

Cue deception, murder, mayhem as Konstantin settles into his new life. Margate will never be the same again.

Review

I’ve read a lot of Keith’s work and I just love his books!

Konstantin Boryakov is an ex-KGB asset… he wants to stay below the radar..but trouble just seems to find him..

A couple of things I really enjoyed about the book were that the tale is broke up into nice small chunks so you can easily fit these in when you have a quick lunch break. I also really loved the style of writing.. it was like Konstantin was telling the story himself..quite dark with a hint of humour..short but informative sentences.. no bullshit..and throw in the fact it’s a quick read makes this a very easy book to devourer.

It’s quite a grizzly and dirty tale at times..the detail given not only sucks you in but also ignites the receptors in your brain..you really imagine what the characters look like, feel and smell.. I was totally immersed in this world.

Russian Roulette leaves you wanting more.. so much more..Konstantin’s so closed off.. the author holds back divulging too much but just enough to make you want to read more.. I need to see what happens next… I want to know everything!

If you want a book that grips you and won’t let go its this..I just need more!

I can’t give Russian Roulette any less than 5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Unconvicted (Jack Kowalski #2) by Olly Jarvis (@OllyJarviso) – Review

Unconvicted is the second book in the Jack Kowalski series by Olly Jarvis. I must confess this review should have went up months ago but for some reason got stuck in drafts and never published like I’d planned. I’ll learn from that..double check then check again.

Here’s the blurb –
Genre – Crime Thriller/Legal
Pages – 318
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Junior barrister Jack Kowalski is crushed. His client Timothy Smart appears to have committed a monstrous crime while on bail – a bail application Jack fought hard to win.

When a high-profile Polish footballer is charged with rape and demands a fellow countryman represent him, Jack must overcome his guilt and get back to work. Before long he takes on a second case, a GBH for instructing solicitor Lara Panassai, who Jack remains desperate to impress. But neither case is what it seems, and Jack will face an extraordinary uphill battle to see that justice is done…

Review

So when I heard Olly Jarvis had another book out it was a no brainer, of course I wanted to read it!

We are back with Jack, a barrister who has a bit of a habit of getting himself mixed up in some tough situations. Hazard of the job.

Once again Olly delivers what I’ve come to expect of him. The perfect mix of plot development inside and outside of the court that makes it tough to put down. This is the type of crime book I love..while the action jumps from the case to Jack’s personal life effortlessly you never feel bogged down and if anything it left me eager for more.

As with the previous book Jack struggles to believe in himself and its up to others to help him along. I felt a bit for him, I wanted to give him a quick shake to bring him round.. he’s got the skills he’s just scared to make a mistake.

In this novel we see Jack come up against his biggest challenge.. himself..can he overcome his own guilt.

It’s a very gripping series of cases that at first seem clear-cut but become more complex throughout the book and add in the fact Jack’s nemesis Lionel Katterman rears his ugly face again you know it won’t be easy-going for Jack.

There’s plenty of twists and turns that you just don’t see coming , it’s subtle at times as we see Jack dig deep to learn the truth but it all adds to give the reader one hell of a plot line.

Olly Jarvis is a real treat for the readers and one I love to read. His personal knowledge of the legal system shines through and gives the book authenticity. I’m just sorry this review got stuck in “drafts” for so long!

I can’t give Olly any less than a 5* as he manages to tick all the boxes for me.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to Canelo and the author for the chance to read/review the book.

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #1) by Jeffery Deaver – Review

Today I’m going to review The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver.

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Crime/Thriller
Pages – 480
Rating 4/5 Stars

New York City is thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. The cops go to Lincoln Rhyme, an ex-NYPD forensics expert left paralysed after an accident on the job. Rhyme reluctantly postpones his ambitions towards suicide and puts together a forensic investigation team, enlisting as his eyes and ears young police officer Amelia Sachs.

Rhyme digs deep into the only world he has left – his astonishing mind – and slowly begins to narrow the noose around the Bone Collector. But the kidnapper is narrowing his own noose – around Lincoln Rhyme

Review –

Does the book sound familiar? It may well do..like me you’ve probably seen the movie adaptation staring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

I loved the movie so happily picked this book up while hunting in the local charity shops. I quite like the idea of comparing to see where the movie producers have altered the plot to make up my mind as to which is better, book or film.

Let’s focus on the book..what’s it about? Well Lincoln Rhyme is a famous criminalist but he’s a quadriplegic, bed-bound and has a negative outlook on life right now.

Just when he needs it an intriguing case pops up. While he might not be able to be there physically he’s still the best man for the job..add to the equation the best woman for the job Amelia Sachs and you’ve got one hell of a team.

I’ll be honest though..to start with it doesn’t seem like these two will hit it off..they are both stuck in their own worlds a little so find it hard to see things from a different perspective. Given a little time they find their way a little and the bonds between them start to grow. I can easily see them becoming a formidable duo.

There’s a lot to Lincoln and you get quite an insight to the mans mind…not everything you’ll like, sometimes you just want to slap him to tell him to get a grip but then remember it’s just a story and that would be impossible to do.

The plot is quite gripping as it’s a race against time to stop a murderer before any more bodies turn up. What the author gets spot on is the build up…it’s intense.

Overall I enjoyed the book although Lincoln is a hard man to love. The best news for me is that there’s plenty more tales from the author to get tucked into. That’s the issue with watching films over reading books..sometimes you miss the fact there’s a book already out there and more to read, I’ll start to make up for that today!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Bury The Bodies (Solomon Gray Book 4) by Keith Nixon (@knntom) – Review

You may have noticed I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been struggling with nerve pain for a while but I recently had an operation to hopefully fix things. It’s early days but after 3 weeks of just sitting around I feel it’s time to start catching up with reviews.

First up being Bury The Bodies by Keith Nixon, book 4 in the Solomon Gray a crime thriller series.

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Crime Thriller
Page Length – 297
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

A missing son, a web of lies, a murder covered up.

Detective Inspector Solomon Gray is getting closer to finding his son, missing now for over a decade. He’s on the trail of a bent cop, Lewis Strang, who appears connected to the disappearance, all those years ago. But Strang is untouchable, a star of the Metropolitan police force. Once more, Gray must blur the line between right and wrong.

When the body of a young black man turns up on a Margate back street it seems to be yet another drug related crime. Margate is currently the focus of a special operation, codenamed Pivot, to take down local suppliers. But Gray discovers there’s more to the case than initially meets the eye.

And Gray has his own problems to deal with. First there’s the public investigation into the death of Gray’s ex-boss, DCI Jeff Carslake and then Gray’s estranged daughter, Hope, turns up on his doorstep – she’s pregnant and left the child’s father.

As Gray investigates he discovers the truth about Tom and who took him. A truth that is even more shocking than Gray ever expected…

The rest of the series is a must read! Check out my reviews for the series below –

Dig Two Graves – Book 1

Burn The Evidence – Book 2

Beg For Mercy – Book 3

If you’ve yet to read the books above my review will be a bit of a spoiler I’m afraid 🙂

Review

We are back with Detective Inspector Solomon Gray, past events still play heavily on Sol’s mind as an inquest is held into the death of Jeff Carslake, one time friend and superior. He was there at the end..he could have done something…after learning the truth Jeff was no longer a friend…

As usual the author seamlessly mixes a personal tale and a police case, both of which are utterly engrossing..so much so you get sucked in and for me it was a very easy book to demolish since I found it too hard to put down.

While Sol is trying to process his friends betrayal a murder of a young man occurs..This young man isn’t as innocent as he seems when links to drugs are found..but who murdered him a why?

As the murder case deepens Sol is also dealing with personal issues, his daughter turns up unannounced and there’s also a new love interest in his life. This makes it hard for him as he doesn’t know who he can trust and he’s scared to lose those he cares for.

The great thing about this book for the readers is we get a lot of closure as the author wraps up the disappearance of Sol’s son Tom, how he comes to get the information he needs will no doubt stay with Sol forever. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my sofa!

It’s another riveting read from an author I always have high expectations of..and he never fails to deliver.

The Solomon Gray series is more than just another crime novel. It’s about a father searching for the truth..with the answers being closer to home than he would have thought. I challenge any one to try this series and not get hooked.

One thing I really like is short, sharp, informative chapters that grip you and keep you reading, which Nixon gives you in bucket fulls. Along with this you get a mind boggingly brilliant plot that will stick with you.

I’ve been trying to think of anything I didn’t like about this book and there’s only one thing that comes to mind..it had to end. I’m not sure if we will see Sol again but if we don’t, his will be a journey I won’t forget and will happily reread.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Beg For Mercy (Detective Solomon Gray #3) by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Beg For Mercy (Detective Solomon Gray #3)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 199 Pages
Publication – 12th June 2018
My Rating –  5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Fifteen years ago Duncan Usher was sent to prison for killing his wife, Valerie. Young Detective Solomon Gray was first at the scene. His biggest case yet.

But Duncan Usher didn’t kill Valerie. While someone was strangling Val, Usher had another man’s blood on his hands. Usher took the fall for Val’s death, but now he’s out. Released on a technicality. He’s held a grudge all this time, and he won’t stop until he gets revenge on the dirty cop who framed him. Usher sets his sights on DS Solomon Gray.

And he has no qualms about using Gray’s son, Tom, as a pawn to get what he wants.

Beg for Mercy is the third 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

You’ve no idea how glad I am to be back in the world of Solomon Gray!

If you’ve not read the first two books in the series you should!

Click below to read my reviews –

Dig Two Graves

Burn The Evidence

So we are back with Sol and this has to be one of the best openings to a book I’ve ever read. Sure Sol is flawed but surely he’s not capable of murder or corruption!

As with previous tales we change perspectives and time periods throughout the book jumping from the past to the present. This style of writing really makes it an interesting read and builds the suspense up as the author reveals little by little the truth behind the case until all becomes clear.

This case has links to Sol’s past and his son Tim who was kidnapped many years ago and it appears a so-called friend might not be who Sol thought they were. But how does Duncan Usher fit in and what lengths will Grey go to in order to find out the truth.

There’s a few twists in this one that you don’t see coming and you can see relationships are starting to wear down. Gray doesn’t have many friends left to rely on. Who will he call in his time of need?

Beg For Mercy has to be the best in the series so far, which goes from strength to strength and the development of story just has me gagging for more. Will we ever know truth about what happened to Tom and is he alive? Oh I do hope the author lets us know one day but I’m happy to live with the suspense killing me if we get tales like this.

This is a suspenseful, thought-provoking crime thriller. I could give you the normal words I like to use like dark and gritty but the only way I can describe the book honestly is exciting! I just want to keep going!! More more more! The book has that WOW moment for me when things start to fit together and left me with that tingling feeling a great book does when you replay the events in your head to imagine what it must feel like.

I’m a big fan of the authors work and he never fails to deliver a cracking read!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

A Whiff of Cyanide by Guy Fraser-Sampson – Review

Title – A Whiff of Cyanide
Author – Guy Fraser-Sampson
Genre – Thriller
Length –  360 Pages
Publication – June 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The third volume of the bestselling Hampstead Murders sees the team become involved with a suspicious death at a crime writers’ convention. Is this the result of a bitterly contested election for the Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association or are even darker forces at work? Peter Collins, who is attending the convention as the author of a new book on poisoning in Golden Age fiction, worries that the key clue to unlock this puzzle may be buried within his own memories. A character called Miss Marple offers her advice, but how should the police receive this? Meanwhile an act of sudden, shocking violence and a dramatic revelation threaten tragic consequences…

Review

Book 3 of Hampstead Murders builds nicely on to what is becoming a very exciting series. If you haven’t already read the first two books you should!

Click below to read my reviews of –

Book 1 – Death in Profile

Book 2 – Miss Christie Regrets

So back to book 3..well the author certainly knows how to throw a curve ball or two and once again the suspense is built up over the book until the final reveal and all becomes clear.

This time our favourite detectives are investigating the murder of Ann Durham and from the title of the book you’ll guess cyanide plays its part.

There’s reason to believe this could have been suicide but It soon gets interesting when the evidence (or lack of) points to murder. Who did it..and even more so..how!

We get twists and turns at every corner when the detectives start looking into Ann’s life and the potential motives behind her murder explored. This really gets the cogs in your brain working worktime.

The author also gives us an insight into the lives if the detectives and while I can’t spoil it for the reader let me say things are certainly heating up and things are about to become a lot more complicated.

What the author gives the reader is a real whodunnit, the perfect mix of plot and character development to really get me sucked into the world he’s created. I really enjoy the old school vibe these tales have relying on gut instincts to lead the investigation at times.

Overall a cracking plot that had me hooked right until the last page.It’s fun and witty and if I’m honest a delightful read. The Hampstead Murders series just keeps getting better!

If you’ve not started the series yet what are you waiting for?

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.