Category Archives: Mystery

Dark Heart, Heavy Soul by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Dark Heart, Heavy Soul
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Mystery & Crime
Length –    226 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


An adversary from the past asks Konstantin Boryakov for a favour – break into a facility designed to protect £200 million in cash and steal an item far more valuable. Theft, murder, mayhem and a sprinkling of deception await him…

Read the novels Ken Bruen loves!

All Konstantin Boryakov wants is a quiet life. In Margate. But someone is looking for him, someone who’ll do whatever they can to get the ex-KGB agent’s attention. Enter Violet, a woman with a penchant for throwing people who upset her out of windows. And Campari.

Reluctantly, Konstantin finds himself building a team to pull off a heist – breaking into a high security cash deposit facility with a hot line to the police. But he’s not to take money, what he’s after is a case, containing something apparently even more precious than the £200 million in notes that’s held behind razor wire defences.

The first member of Konstantin’s team is testosterone loaded prison officer David Lockwood, a man with debts to pay, and not to society. The pair break Sticky Mickey, a data mining expert, out of prison. With the arrival of strong man Lawson the team is seemingly complete, but when Lawson winds up dead, the result of an inconvenient accident, Konstantin is wary, even more so when Lawson’s void is filled by the volatile Violet.

Getting into the facility was the easy step and Lawson just the first to die. Everyone connected with the heist, it seems, is a target and Konstantin must go back to the beginning to find out who’s behind it all before he winds up with a bullet in the heart.

Konstantin Boryakov is done with the past, but seemingly, it’s not done with him…


So today I’m reviewing book 4 in Keith Nixon’s Konstantin series. If you follow my reviews you’ll know I’ve read and enjoyed Keith’s work before and this certainly didn’t let me down.

Konstantin is a brilliant character, with snip bits of information about his past being dropped throughout the book.. This made him a very intriguing character and likeable. His inner monologue had me smiling, he’s got this great sense of humour which I loved and as a reader I felt privileged to read his inner thoughts.

The author describes Konstantin as an enigma.. which I totally agree with. I can really see this series having the legs for further tales as Keith builds on the story… just leaves me wondering what can happen next and what else about Konstantin we will learn

Very enjoyable read, and once the action starts its pace is pretty fast. I loved the plot line but probably would have liked the break-in scene drawn out a little more.. that’s personal preference though I must admit

There was another character I particularly enjoyed.. Mr Lamb.. like Konstantin (or indeed any other character in the book) you don’t get to know too much about them.. the suspense this brings was great.. wondering what each characters motives truly were.

My honest opinion of this book is that while the plot is good what really gave this book the extra wow factor was the characters and the mystery behind them. You are given tit bits to keep you happy but just enough so you want to read the next instalments without giving too much away in one go

At just over 200 pages it’s not an epic read either and the story flows easily so for me it was another excellent and fascinating book from Keith. I can’t rate his storytelling enough if I’m honest. Good plots, great characters and exciting plots that develop throughout

Take a look, let me know if you agree?

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

Games People Play by Owen Mullen – Review

Title – Games People Play (Charlie Cameron #1)
Author – Owen Mullen
Genre –  Crime Fiction/Mystery
Length –    405 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


On a warm summer’s evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron’s office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child’s body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer out there whose work has gone undetected for decades. Baby Lily may be the latest victim of a madman.
For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him.

The stunning first novel featuring Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. Games People Play will have the reader guessing to the very last page.


This book starts with a bang.. I literally felt compelled to keep reading just so I could find out the truth about what happened.

Charlie is a PI who’s tasked to find a missing person, he knows he should take this case since it’s too close to an ongoing police investigation but he just can’t help himself.

Along the way we find out more about the PI’s own past and his motivations which gave him some depth and made him likable, he’s flawed but you want things to go his way.

The book has two stories playing side by side, one being the investigation and the other Charlies own complicated life. This brought a freshness to the story.. with each turn of the page the story would shift focus seamlessly kept me engaged and interested in what was happening

The story was well written and planed out. I must admit I did not see the ending coming until the author put all the pieces together.. it really had a wow finish for me..the hand over mouth moment when you finally see what Charlie has figured out.

Suspense is the word that best describes this book.. it’s all about the build-up and Owen Mullen did this really well. Some books just make the suspense plane boring but not this book!

The characters were great and I really loved the development throughout of the main character Charlie as you slowly learn more about him

For me this definitely is one of the best Crime Fiction novels I’ve read, not only does it have the investigation side you’d expect but with the underlying story behind Charlie I couldn’t help but be hooked in.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series

My thanks go to the author for the opportunity to read/review their work

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

Murder In-Absentia by Assaph Mehr – Review

Title – Murder In-Absentia
Author – Assaph Mehr
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 306 Pages, Print Length
Publication – Oct 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.

Enter Felix, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man’s killers.

Murder in absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world

This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – it will appeal to lovers of urban fantasy, detective murder mysteries and ancient Rome.


I thought this book was brilliant; it’s a murder/mystery book in a pure fantasy world drawing on themes from Roman culture and i have to thank the author for the chance to read/review the story.

I won’t lie.. I wasn’t sure if setting a murder mystery in a more historical time point would work.. but it did.

We follow Felix, he’s a private detective of sorts.. has his hands in a lot of things.. knows a lot of people.

His help has been requested to help find out what happened to a young boy who is found dead in some rather strange circumstances.

One of the best things about the book is that since it’s a fantasy novel the author has been able to had some magic into the mix.. so it’s not a clear cut murder as you might expect.

Throughout the book the author gives great insight into the character for Felix, how he knows what he does and why he’s involved in the business he is. The development of the main character definitely has me interested in future stories.

I won’t give away the plot but it’s well written and planned out. Lots of twists to keep you engaged and interested.

I’m a big fantasy fan and this book but a nice twist on the genre I’m used to reading and it was a very refreshing read that I must certainly want to follow up on.

Any fan of murder mysteries or detective novels should enjoy the historical twist on the usual tales.

Credit to the author, he’s left me with a need.. and he happily fills this need in his notes at the end of the book where he points out some other authors and tales a reader might be interested in reading. I will certainly be looking up these authors and will be adding Assaph Mehr to my “to watch” list.. eagerly awaiting the next Felix story.

Overall I couldn’t fault this book in any way, nothing felt wrong or out of place. The story flowed well and was highly intoxicating.. I was compelled to finish the story.. I had to find out how things played out.
The good news is that it looks like more tales are planned and being set in a fantasy world it leaves the door open to so many possibilities for stories… can’t wait.

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

Death by Dangerous by Olly Jarvis – Review


Title – Death By Dangerous
Author – Olly Jarvis
Genre – Thriller/Mystery
Length – 368 Pages (Paperback)
Publication – June 2015
My Rating –  5/5 Stars


Death by Dangerous is a compelling legal thriller set in Manchester and Bradford.

John Anderson is one of the North West’s most dedicated and successful prosecution barristers. His career is going from strength to strength and he is on the verge of becoming Queen’s Counsel. But the life he once knew suddenly comes crashing down following a fatal road traffic accident…

“They’re saying it was your fault. Someone died.”

Recovering from his injuries, he has no memory of the collision. Was he responsible for the death of a child? Who was his female passenger? Facing charges of causing death by dangerous driving, the professional and personal life he once knew now lies in tatters. Depressed and taking refuge in alcohol, Anderson refuses, in the face of so many unanswered questions, to accept his guilt. He becomes convinced that the gangster he was prosecuting at the time of the crash is in some way involved.

The mystery deepens as his search for the truth draws him into Manchester’s sordid criminal underworld. Shunned by his former colleagues, Anderson finds help from an unlikely source, enabling him to confront his prejudices and re-evaluate his past life. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, the path for his own redemption.

Anderson knows that defeat means deliverance to a prison full of violent criminals he has prosecuted over the years. He now has to find the strength to fight the most important trial of his life.


From the synopsis I was already intrigued to read this book and I’m glad I did. It turned out to be a book I was unable to put down.

The story focuses on John Anderson, a barrister who lands himself in trouble after apparently falling asleep at the wheel of his car.. but he doesn’t remember what happened

From here we see his life fall apart, friendships broken, family bonds tested and within the space of a few chapters John’s life is gone from high flying barrister to a nobody facing prison time.

I really can’t give too much away as it would spoil the plot but Olly has created a wonderful tale here and has used his life experiences to give this book lot of detail which adds to the authenticity of the story. It felt real. I felt worried myself what would happen to John and how I would have felt in the same situation where you just can’t control the direction your life takes.

It was really good to see John’s character grow throughout the story. At first he came across maybe a bit arrogant but as the book progresses you find out why he is that way and we also see him change because of what happens. John hits rock bottom but manages to climb his way back up

There were also some wonderful characters in this book aside from John and I enjoyed how each person seemed to have their own motives which came to light as the book progressed

The storyline played out perfectly for me and kept me guessing as to what would happen next and I was hooked right until the end.

This is definitely a book I’d recommend! And I’m glad to hear Olly is working on his next book Cutthroat Defence as we speak.

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

Elephant In The Room by Diana J. Febry – Review


Title – Elephant In The Room
Author – Diana J. Febry
Genre – Mystery
Length –  380 pages (Kindle)
Publication – January 2013
My Rating – 4/5 Stars


Penny Jackson is slowly re-building her life after the abrupt end of her marriage, when she falls in love with the charismatic hotelier, Robert Carver. When dark unspoken family secrets start to surface, Penny has to re-evaluate everything and rely on her own wits to stay alive.


So this book follows the main character of Penny who after the demise of her previous marriage has found love again.

The man she has falling for is Robert, who already has children of his own including a step daughter who Robert doesn’t have contact with.

Penny offers to track down this step daughter in the hope she can convince her to reconcile with Robert.

As you can guess there is more to this situation than Penny is aware of and an interesting tale unfolds.  Telling you anything would take away the enjoyment of reading the book but in my opinion the story flows well and you are constantly left wondering what is going on and why the step daughter doesn’t want to see Robert or his family again…who doesn’t like a bit of suspense!

I really enjoyed the book and the ending didn’t disappoint for me. This is the second book I’ve read of Diana’s and it’s of the same quality and a very engaging read. To explain this is must point out Penny is by far the most annoying character I’ve ever read about. She makes you want to scream… but as you near the end of the book you start to see why. She really does have her heart in the right place but she’s blinded to the truth which I guess we all are when we fall in love.

This really was a good book to read, my 4 star rating is simply because at times Penny was too annoying verging on stalker and I felt at this point the step daughter would have called the police rather than had a conversation with the woman.. or maybe had a bit of a cat fight.

If you like a bit of mystery or suspense I think you’ll enjoy this book.

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

Bells on Her Toes by Diana J. Febry – Review


Title – Bells on Her Toes
Author – Diana J. Febry
Genre –  Mystery
Length –  294 pages (Kindle)
Publication – 1st Sept 2014
My Rating – 5/5


DCI Peter Hatherall is called in to investigate a shooting on the Earl of Ditchburn’s country estate. The Earl’s activities have angered animal rights and environmental groups but subsequent deaths suggest Elmsgrove Racehorse Yard is the target. There is more at stake than a horse race and time is running out for Hatherall to solve the case before the culprit kills again.


I was kindly gifted a copy of the book for review. Mysteries aren’t my usual genre so I wasn’t sure what to expect but the story was great. It has twists and turns that make you doubt your own theories and the author kept me engaged throughout the book

The story starts with a body being found in a barn fire. DCI Hatherall and DI Williams are assigned the case.

They have to put a lot of pieces together to solve this mystery and the pressure is amplified when another body turns up.

Now with the genre in question it would be quite hard to talk about the plot without spoiling it so I’d like to concentrate on a few things that stood out about the book instead

The characters, the plot and the setting come together to make a very good rural detective mystery and the development of the characters was plentiful but also subtle.

When I finished the book I couldn’t help feel that the author must have spent quite a while working on the plot in order to make the discoveries/clues/twists happen at the most appropriate time.

The other thing I liked was the relationships within the book. It made the story a bit more believable for me.. I like characters and events that aren’t perfect.. life just isn’t like that.

I really would love to see DCI Hatherall and DI Williams return. I can imagine this being a very good series of detective books.

If I could say more about the story line without giving anything away I would but honestly I really enjoyed it. The twists near the end were prefect. Nothing felt out of place or rushed.

Again I’d like to point out this is not my usual genre what so ever… I’ve definitely got the taste for mysteries now.

I’ll be adding Diana to my author alerts so I don’t miss any new books and I’m already looking into her back catalogue of books looking for my next book to review

I’m trying to think if I would change anything about this book.. and I can’t think of anything that I didn’t enjoy or that I didn’t think worked. I guess my only real comment to the author would be to please write more..

To see more reviews head to Goodreads, or

The Letters by Ella Drayton – Review


Title – The Letters
Author – Ella Drayton
Genre –  Mystery
Length –  258 Pages (Kindle)
Publication – January 2015
My Rating – 4/5 Stars


Brodie Barrett is a widowed mother of a 10 year old girl and a homicide detective for the Birmingham Police Department. Everything seems fine in her world until her ex-fiance, Keaton Maddox walks back into her life. She’s ready to start a new life with Keaton but he’s also got a pregnant girlfriend working at his restaurant. Things at work start heating up for Brodie when someone decides to send her love letters at work. These aren’t your ordinary love letters, though! These letters leave clues for Brodie to find bodies of her admirer’s victims. Who could be sending these letters and why do they want Brodie to find the bodies?


Full disclosure I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ok so this book is the first book from author Ella Drayton about a detective called Brodie. Bodies soon turn up and killer wants her to find them.. the book is all about her trying to figure out who the killer is whilst also trying to sort out her personal life.

The synopsis grabbed me straight away, the idea the killer was linked to her somehow intrigued me.

I enjoyed the story line, the book was written well and very easy to read. The mix of private life and work life seemed to work well for the story.

There was strong development of the character Brodie. Since the murders are linked to her it gave Ella a great opportunity to give you more information on her and the relationships she has with other people in the book. These relationships and the information you gain made me certain who the killer was but Ella keeps the motive/background unknown until late in the book to keep you interested..

It’s very hard to pick faults with this book, if i’m honest i guess i just didn’t really like Brodie. I would have liked to see more bodies turn up, maybe a few more twists to throw you off the killers trail and to see the struggle Brodie would have gone through, accusing those close to her, doubting everyone.

The only other comment i would have is that i noticed a couple grammar or spelling errors but nothing major and it definitely didn’t spoil the book

In conclusion I enjoyed reading the book, it has a lot going for it and would definitely be interested in seeing what Ella comes up with next.

Gone Fishing by J.W. Metcalf – Review


Title – Gone Fishing
Author – J. W. Metcalf
Genre – Mystery
Length – 409 Pages (Kindle)
Publication – December 2014
My Rating – 4/5 Stars


After being Injured during his last case. Tony Gavel decides to head up to his hunting cabin in Red Valley Falls to recuperate.
While there, Tony learns that a serial killer escaped transfer to a Federal Penitentiary and has killed a few people in the surrounding woods around town.
When Sheriff Myers, one of Tony’s good friends, winds up murdered Tony takes up the manhunt to find Doogan ‘The Ear’ Ashe.
Evidence suggests that his friend Sheriff Myers was not killed by Doogan but by someone trying to make it look like he did. Now it’s a race against time to find out who really killed Sheriff Myers and also to capture Doogan Ashe before he kills again.


Full disclosure, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Tony Gavel series. Tony is a PI, trouble seems to be attracted to him and even when he needs to be resting he gets drawn into a case.

I found the story line very intriguing, the whole Doogan Ashe mystery kept me thinking and every turn of the page I was waiting for him to show his face.It’s fast paced and full of twists. By the end of the book I was sure i knew who the killer was only to find out i was wrong all along.

Talk about character development! This book is full of it! You are given a great deal of info on a lot of people. If anything this is where the 4 star rating comes from. I think a great deal of time went into each character but I found myself wanting more information on one particular person – Marshal Greta Ostmen. I just felt maybe that being a Marshal she could have brought more to the man hunt and we could have had more scenes with Greta and Tony searching for Doogan. I would go as far as to suggest Greta Ostmen could be a character to use in a spin off series

This book is a great read, flows well and easy to follow. I would have no problem in suggesting you read this if you like a bit of a mystery and detective work.

I’d never read the previous Tony Gavel novel but now I’ve read this book i will definitely be purchasing it and will be eagerly awaiting book 3

Driven to Kill (The Killing Game Book 1) by Eugenio Salvato – Review


Title: Driven To Kill (The Killing Game #1)
Author: Eugenio Salvato
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Length: 495 Pages (Kindle)
Publication: March 2014
My Rating: 3/5 Stars


Jake Knight is a detective with an uneventful career. Baxter Black is a vigilante with a mission who cannot be stopped. Until Jake locks him up for life.
Lillian is heartbroken when her daughter Clara is diagnosed with cancer that cannot be cured. Her only hope lies in a new wonder drug that’s being used as a treatment for cancer. But the trial was set up long ago and the drug won’t be released for another two years; too late to save Clara’s life. Grace, Lillian’s older daughter, has access to the drug and comes up with a plan to steal some for her sister. She has no idea how far reaching the consequences will be.
Jake Knight is assigned a new partner, a rookie named Dayna Colton. Dayna may be their only shot at getting inside Baxter’s head to stop a new killing spree that must be connected. But is everything really as it seems?


I had read Gino’s previous novel so i was looking forward to his next piece of work even though they are on different subjects.

This book is quick flowing, lots of conversations and action shifting from one scene to another. I was drawn into so much that I couldn’t put the book down and managed to finish it within a day. As the book went on i found myself wanting to keep reading so i could find out what would happen next

The only comment i would make is that the dialog was a little hard to follow at times and I did need to back track in order to work out who was talking but I still enjoyed reading the book

With regards to the story line itself… i think it’s a great concept. Maybe this could have been developed a bit further, i would have loved to know more about Baxter Black

I’m looking forward to seeing what Gino comes up with next and to see his work progress