Category Archives: Crime Fiction

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!

1

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.

Minnesota: Her Account; Her View by Nick Knardirell – Review

Title – Minnesota: Her Account; Her View
Author – Nick Knardirell
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 226 Pages
Publication – Sept 2015

My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Groomed by her father to one day take over the Family business, Fuada ruled with an iron fist. Undermined by her brother and betrayed by her right hand man, she finds herself backed into a corner. Murders, informants, mistaken identity and the purposeful mistakes of her brother create an unquestionable trail that lead straight to her. Controversial, conflicted, secretive, narcissistic, arrogant and prideful are a few words that describe Fuada Busticnam. While narrating the story of her life from prison, she journeys through her past to discover why she landed there.

Review

Minnesota is quite a hard-hitting story from the start. It’s a tale of a young girl groomed from a very young age to take over the family business. Not everyone is happy with the choice as this dark underworld is still mainly fronted by men.

The story is a memoir of events that lead to the downfall of the family. Not only does Fuada Busticnam have to contend with the family heads looking down on her she also has a wayward brother who thinks he should be running the family, even though clearly he doesn’t have what it takes.

This isn’t a slow burner by any means but I found myself reading this one slowly more so just because I was enjoying the tale and really wanted to soak everything up.

The development of the story is really what made this a great book for me.. we see the little girl grow up and become a fearsome gangster leading a double life and it progressed at an easy pace for the reader.

At times the events are emotional and we glimpse an insight to the gangsters mind as she justifies the punishments she doles out. As strange as it is you find yourself actually liking the character and wanting her to succeed, it’s like even though she’s a bad person she has a code she sticks by and for that reason I warmed to her.

A deep hitting story which I was drawn into easily. A fan of crime books should enjoy this but I’d certainly recommend this to anyone really..Not a book I’ll forget any time soon that’s for sure.

My thanks go to the author who provided a copy of the book for review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Chase: The Hunt for the Mute Poetess by Thomas Dellenbusch

Title –  Chase: The Hunt for the Mute Poetess
Author – Thomas Dellenbusch, Richard Urmston (Translator)
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 116 Pages
Publication – Aug 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Enrique “Rique” Allmers runs a security firm in Hamburg, Germany. When he encounters a young woman fleeing from pursuers through the local fish-market, he takes her under his wing. They get away, but the same men – now with reinforcements – are still on their tail. Rique doesn’t know
who she is, or the identity of those who are after her. Because she doesn’t speak a word to him…

Review

Thomas Dellenbusch is a German writer and this is the first book in the Chase series that has been translated into English.

I was interested as soon as I read the word KopfKino..I’m guessing you don’t know what this means? Neither did I. It’s a German term for Theatre of the mind and it means relaxing, thought-provoking and enthralling movie length stories. The books certainly ticks all those boxes!

So on to the story itself. Rique is forced to defend a girl when he sees her running for her life, clearly scared out of her wits. The goons chasing her want the girl back but what they don’t realise is Rique isn’t just a normal guy.. he’s part of the CHASE group, highly skilled individuals who offer services such as security.. he manages to scare the goons away and with his team behind him he looks to stop this gang..but why are they after her?

This girl is mixed up in in a situation she never knew existed and Rique is going to put the puzzle pieces together for her one bit at a time.

The thing I liked about the book the most was the CHASE team itself, A Mission Impossible type of team. Each member has their own skill set which the author showcases throughout the tale.

The story flows logically and you are sucked in deeper and deeper as facts are revealed. Towards the end the suspense was killing me.

Does the book work being translated into English? It most certainly does. If I hadn’t of known I would never have been able to tell.

Overall a top notch plot translated perfectly for English readers. I’m pleased to say book 2 has already been translated and I’ll be reviewing that shortly!

Highly enjoyable and very much the engrossing fast read I was after. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t like about this one.

I hope to see many more from Thomas.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead by Owen Mullen (@OwenMullen6 ) – Review

Title – Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
Author – Owen Mullen
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 272 Pages (Paperback)
Publication – 21st March 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Gavin Law was a whistleblower.
Now he’s missing.
Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.
Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands?
Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place.
Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty.
With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way. His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.
If that means murder, then so be it.
Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale.
He may not be so lucky a second time.

Review

This is the third novel in the Charlie Cameron P.I. series. I loved the previous two books in the series so jumped at the chance to read this one. If you’ve not manged to read them yet you can see my reviews by clicking the images below.

gamesold fr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I honestly didn’t think Owen Mullen could top the previous book but he certainly did and it was lovely to be back with Charlie and the loveable rogue Pat.

Once again Charlie gets drawn into two cases while also handling his personal life.. which is never easy.

I think it’s this work life balance that makes Charlie the likable and believable character he is. His private life is more complicated in this tale when an old flame shows up which brings Charlie’s emotions to the foreground.

I’d recommend reading the books in order if I’m honest but it would work as a standalone too as the author explains the background well enough, I just think you’d be missing out on the character development that’s built up.

So you’ll want to know about the cases our P.I gets sucked into. Well first off Gavin Law has went missing and his overbearing sister is out for answers. There’s not much to go on at first and it takes Charlie a while to be able to piece the dark and disturbing case together with some twists in the tale that really knock you for six.

The other case involves Sean Rafferty a gangster we’ve met before. I won’t give the game away with this one but when a gangster is involved you know there’s bound to be a body or two.

I’ve always loved Charlie but in this tale his Police friend Andrew Geddes shined and developed so well for me. I can’t wait to see what’s next and hope Geddes gets more page time.

The plot is dark and gritty, twists come from nowhere and you really are kept on your toes. It’s another brilliant tale from Mullen. What I really enjoy is that he manages to give us two tales weaved into one and at no point did it get confusing, With so many characters it would be easy to get lost but not with Mullen’s tales..everything is so clear to follow.

What I really need to love a book is to feel like the characters are real and with Charlie I get just that. I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Aurelia by Alison Morton – Review

Title – Aurelia (Roma Nova #4)
Author – Alison Morton
Genre – Fiction, Crime, Thriller
Length – 270 Pages
Publication – May 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Late 1960s Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 20th century Aurelia Mitela is alone – her partner gone, her child sickly and her mother dead – and forced to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer. But her country needs her unique skills. Somebody is smuggling silver – Roma Nova’s lifeblood – on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Miklós who knows too much and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised and feared since childhood. Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she discovers that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles and pursues him back home to Roma Nova…

Review

Aurelia is book 4 in the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton. The good thing is if like me you’ve come to this series late you don’t need to have read the first 3 books to enjoy this one as the book is a prequel.

I loved the pace of this book, it’s so fast paced and easy flowing that you can’t help but sucked in.

The character Aurelia was well-developed. She has a military background and is very motivated and driven by her need to show just how much a woman can do without the need of a man. She’s strong and while a lot of people respect a woman in a powerful position some still believe a woman beneath them..and she’s loves to wind these people up..some hold grudges.

When we first meet Aurelia we learn of her military background but after some family misfortune she must leave the profession behind..family come first.

She’s soon recruited to be a spy of sorts, with her background and position in power she’s the perfect agent.

Silver is being smuggled and Aurelia soon stumbles upon the person responsible.. but she’s can’t prove it yet.

What happens after that is that we are treated to some very interesting twists. We have great characters such as a potential love interest who helps Aurelia..but he’s got his own secrets. There’s the jealous suitor who Aurelia despises and the biggest treat for me was the military contacts she makes throughout the book in her previous military role and her new role. Each very clearly defined, straight-laced but each intriguing in their own right.

As I’ve said the book is fast paced but the plot was great, I didn’t think anything was missing and it worked well. I particularly liked the historical edge to the tale, bringing the idea of Praetorian’s and such to a modern-day tale, It really gave it the unique feel.

I’m certainly going to pick up the previous 3 books and the series and look forward to more from the author. Her writing style is energetic and purposeful, the characters are always on the move and I loved how things played out.

This is a mystery with a historical edge, twists come out of nowhere.

I really fell for Aurelia..she has so much to deal with but she’s strong, she will persevere.

Most of all I loved how the author managed to make this mystery fun and serious at the same time, at times it’s light hearted at others very poignant. Loved it.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review their work in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.