Category Archives: Thriller

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown – Review

Title – Digital Fortress
Author – Dan Brown
Genre – Thriller
Length – 512 Pages
Publication – July 2004
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

When the NSA’s invincible code-breaking machine – encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls in its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage…not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it will cripple U.S. intelligence.

Review

Digital Fortress is my first step into the mind and works of Dan Brown.

Was I impressed? Most certainly.

This was the author’s debut. I’m late to the party I know but better late than never.

What we get is a very good story of deception and intrigue based around the release of a piece of code which has been introduced into a top secret code-breaking machine designed to crack any code.. but it can’t crack this one.. it’s stuck.

Susan Fletcher is caught up in the all mess when she notices the machine has been working on cracking the code way longer than it should. Susan’s partner is also sucked into this mess when he is sent off to find the code that will kill the program.

There’s some very good twists to this plot in my opinion. I always felt I had an idea of what was happening until the author throws in a spanner to twist the tale in another direction. You never quite know who is behind everything until the end.

Honestly within the first few chapters I made assumptions on how the plot would develop.. How wrong was I? Very..

Pleasantly surprised indeed. I tend to read more self-published/ Indie authors so this was a break to my norm but it was well worth reading and I’ll make sure to follow up on the authors subsequent books.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

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

Calendar

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

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.

Somewhere in San Diego by Dennis Macaraeg – Review

Title – Somewhere in San Diego
Author – Dennis Macaraeg
Genre – Thriller
Length – 226 Pages
Publication – April 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

A thriller about best friends, scientific data, hired guns and a harrowing race with a past lover to stay alive. Marine biologist Danny Maglaya must meet with his best friend and fellow scientist Blake Mason to upload the data demanded as ransom by the kidnappers of Blake’s fiancée. The task might have been simple, but every time the two scientists try to rendezvous, two contract assassins show up. With Danny and Blake’s phones hacked and each move they make monitored, the only way to survive is to outwit the men wanting to eliminate them. With an ingenious but risky solution, Danny teams up with his ex-lover to piece together secrets that only she, Danny and Blake know. A series of perilous events follows as Danny and his old flame, Valerie, race through San Diego County, solving clues about Blake’s whereabouts and about their possible future together. Will their love for each other be the catalyst for success or will the bitter pain of their breakup be a recipe for disaster?

Review

Before I get down to what I thought of the book have you read my review for Somewhere in the Shallow Sea? If not take a look.

Now while I think it works better if you read Somewhere in the Shallow Sea first it’s not 100% necessary.  Personally I would just so you can see the progression of not only the tale but also the author.

The plot follows the same sort of pattern as the previous book. Danny is a biologist who created a compound that can attract fish. While Danny and his friend Blake have been collecting data on their research Blake’s fiancée has been kidnapped.

The kidnappers want this information uploaded for all to see otherwise Blake’s fiancée dies.

So of course Danny wants to help. The only issue is he’s being hunted down by two assassins who seem to want him dead and the data destroyed.

What we get is a fast paced tale with twists and turns all the way as Danny tries to but the pieces together.

Again we have some romance for Danny, as much as I don’t like romance in my books this worked well and built up nicely so wasn’t forced on me as a reader.

What I really liked is the tale is fun and exciting and a super easy read.

Yes it’s a bit outrageous that this is the second kidnapping to involve Danny and that these assassins seem a little useless at times but that’s what give it a fun edge.

Overall for me this was an improvement on the last tale. The development worked better especially between Danny and Valarie.

If you’re looking for a fun action thriller rather than the dark gritty thriller then this is the book for you.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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

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

Scent of Death by Jonathan Ross – Review 

Title – Scent of Death
Author – Jonathan Ross
Genre – Thriller
Length – 310 Pages
Publication – 15th June 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

James Goodwin uses his olfactory equivalent of perfect pitch to sniff out people’s emotions, from love to malice. He earns a handy living by uncovering corporate cheats, but he’s growing bored. When billionaire Garth Cotton asks him to cook up the world’s first love potion, James first smells a grand challenge, and accepts. But once on the high seas in Cotton’s mega-yacht, James smells treachery. He sniffs out secrets that land him and Cotton’s dazzling assistant, Samantha Heartgrave, on a timeline to death. To save himself and Samantha, James must exercise his gift of smell in ways he never dreamed possible.

Review

Scent of Death was a rather riveting read. I really enjoyed the plot and that the main character uses his gift of smell to earn a living.

James is bored of the same old work and is looking to challenge himself. When he’s offered the chance to help create the first true love potion he jumps at the chance without any thought.

What happens next is that impulsive decision comes back to haunt him. Garth Cotton isn’t all he seems.

James has been brought in solely to help make the love potion that has already been created smell appealing, in its current form no one would buy it, so from the off he clashes with the scientist who created the scent who resents James’s presence and involvement.

We also meet Samantha who James can’t figure out.. she’s a tough cookie to crack even for James.

Over time James comes to the conclusion he’s not going to get out of this alive but he doesn’t get much chance to get away.

It’s a fast paced tale which has an exciting, action packed ending.

What this author certainly does well is write the high octane story. It’s the spy action thriller without the spy.. you get average Joe Bloggs..well average as in not trained with weapons etc.

Overall its well written easy read, nice characters with fast but decent development with an unexpected but really enjoyable plot that is very intriguing indeed.

Here’s the blog exclusive, I reviewed for this author last year – The Jumbee’s Daughter. Now I enjoyed the tale but I thought things progressed a little fast at times. This story just felt better, the plot tighter. Yes there’s still a couple of times I felt things moved a bit fast for my taste but this book was much more my cup of tea, the development was just better. There was nothing wrong with the previous book but overall this book just ticked more boxes for me.

One thing I always try to do is support authors. While I received a free copy of the book for review I really enjoyed what to me is development from the author so I was very happy to purchase a copy myself today to celebrate the release.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.