Category Archives: Thriller

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.

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Pendle Fire by Paul Southern (@psouthernauthor) – Blog Blitz

B L O G B L I T Z

Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for the Pendle Fire the new release by Paul Southern, here’s the blurb –

Title – Pendle Fire
Author – Paul Southern
Genre – Thriller
Length – 256 Pages
Publication – 1st April 2018
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Social worker Johnny Malkin is battling a crippling workload and a hostile local community. That’s on a good day: things are about to get a whole lot worse.

Two fourteen-year-old girls are found wandering Aitken Wood on the slopes of Pendle Hill, claiming to have been raped by a gang of men. With no female social workers available, Johnny is assigned to their case. But what, at first, looks like yet another incident of child exploitation takes a sinister turn when the girls start speaking of a forthcoming apocalypse.

When Johnny interviews one of the girls, Jenna Dunham, her story starts to unravel. His investigation draws him into a tight-knit village community in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where whispers of witchcraft and child abuse go back to the Middle Ages.

One name recurs: The Hobbledy Man. Is he responsible for the outbreaks of violence sweeping across the country?

Is he more than just myth?

Review

Pendle Fire is a thriller with a supernatural edge and at every turn you are left wondering who or what is causing all the violence. Is this myth from the past real or is there somethings else afoot?

The book follows two main characters PC Shaf and Johnny Malkin. They are both caught up and a whirlwind of violence and mystery and the deeper they go the more confusing it gets for them to separate the truth from fiction.

I’ve reviewed for the author previously and knew from the off that the direction I as a reader would go would be turned on its head.

The story line is very engrossing and tackles some difficult subjects such as grooming with some very detailed accounts at times and while it’s a hard subject to read about it added to the mystery of the tale..for me I was left undecided as to the true culprit(s) of the of the events that played out and I feel the author wrote it this way to engage with the reader..you decide the ending you believe.

I’m all about the flow of a book and the alternating perspectives worked well and kept things fresh adding suspense as the tale progressed.

Overall a fast paced dark and disturbing tale, well written with a decent page count makes this an easy read to get stuck into.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author and Bloodhound books for the chance to be part of the tour

Author Bio:

Paul+Southern+picture+

Paul Southern was born in the 1960s to itinerant parents who moved from city to city. He lived in Liverpool, Belfast, London and Leeds, then escaped to university, where he nearly died of a brain haemorrhage. After an unexpected recovery, he co-formed an underground indie group (Sexus). Made immediate plans to become rich and famous, but ended up in Manchester. Shared a house with mice, cockroaches, and slugs; shared the street with criminals. Five years later, hit the big time with a Warners record deal. Concerts at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Melody Maker front cover, Smash Hits Single of the Week, Radio 1 and EastEnders. Mixed with the really rich and famous. Then mixed with lawyers. Ended up back in Manchester, broke. He got a PhD in English (he is the world’s leading authority on Tennyson’s stage plays!), then wrote his first novel, The Craze, based on his experiences of the Muslim community. He has three other published books and has written for ITV. He was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger award in 2002 and received positive reviews from national and international press, including The Guardian, Arena, Radio 4, Ladsmag, and Kirkus, amongst many others.

Links:

www.paulsouthern.org

https://www.facebook.com/paulsouthernauthor/

https://twitter.com/psouthernauthor

BLOG TOUR – The Silver Wolf by Rob Sinclair – Review

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Today is my stop of the blog tour for Rob Sinclair’s latest release The Silver Wolf, book 3 in the Jame Ryker series. Here’s the blurb –
Genre – Thriller
Length – 371 Pages
Publication – 17th Nov 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

Review

We are back with Ryker, he now knows the fate of Lisa and he’s even more determined than ever to make those involved pay no matter the cost.

Ryker used to work for the JIA but not anymore..he’s happy to be a lone wolf on this one but will take any assistance offered if it helps him track down his targets.

While on his personal mission he ends up stumbling upon a much bigger issue and can’t help but be sucked in. His personal mission might not be the same as the JIA’s but while they are of use to him he will continue to do what he does best..cause trouble.

There are some amazing twists to this explosive and gruesome tale..Ryker definitely has a darker edge to him. I must admit this story plays out like a Jason Bourne kind of tale but it’s much more exciting.

The author takes no prisoners.. I’m not going to spoil it but there’s one scene that left speechless and I read it over again a few times thinking – “Oh MY GOD did he really just do that”. Damn it’s good.

The Silver Wolf offers everything you could need in a thriller, it’s dark and heavy hitting which gives it an edge, there’s suspense but plenty of action for the adrenaline junkies, twists all over and I can’t stress enough how amazing the overall plot is.

It was a true pleasure to read, seeing the big picture come together as Ryker but’s the pieces together. The author continues to knocking cracking tales time and time again and delivers every time.

It’s a must read series.

My thanks go to the auhtor and Bloodhound Books for the chance to read/review the book! I sense a paperback copy being ordered for my collection 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Author Bio:
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons

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.

 

The Refugee by S A Tameez – Review

Title – The Refugee
Author – S A Tameez
Genre – Thriller
Length – 279 Pages
Publication – August 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Aleppo, Syria, 2016 – a country in turmoil. Ahmed, a prominent university professor, is put on the run, narrowly escaping execution from both ISIS and Assad’s government. Ahmed has no choice but to take his wife and 10-year-old son and to flee the country illegally. But instead of finding refuge, Ahmed finds himself in a position far worse than being killed

Review

The Refugee is the tale of Ahmed and his family in war-torn Syria. When the government decides Ahmed’s teachings to be a threat he must flee with his family or risked being killed.

The first part of the story where we get to know Ahmed and his family as they flee is very emotional to say the least. The characters and fears become real.

At one point the author really had the wind knocked from me and made me think back to real life events and the death of Alan Kurdi, who tragically drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

Things for Ahmed don’t go the way he would like, the refugees are looked at as the lowest of the low with only a few people actually being kind. The similarities with views towards refugees these days really made me think about the wider issues the world is facing and I found myself reflecting a lot.

After such an emotional heart punching start the book takes a turn to full thriller as Ahmed’s son disappears. There’s a frantic search but nothing turns up..Ahmed soon learns there’s more going on In this refugee camp than he first noticed and he sets out to right his wrongs.

Ahmed is a man torn, he feels like he’s failed everyone he was supposed to keep safe and he’s powerless to do anything about it.

As the search for his son continues you can see his mind deteriorate as he makes split second decisions with no concern for himself. He’s had his life.. he just needs to be able to give his son a future that’s all that matters,

The thriller aspect of the tale worked well, it was fast and fun with some good twists. Ahmed did get very lucky at times and the bread crumbs were there for him to follow but the actual outcome was never certain until the end and that made it an enjoyable read.

I honestly felt there’s two parts to the story, the emotional and thought-provoking tale of fleeing Syria followed by a fast paced action thriller. Each worked in its own right and mixed well enough but after reading the fast part of the book the second didn’t match my expectations…not so much in a bad way, just the author did so well in the first section of the book to get my emotions on edge and I wanted him to continue on that track to give me a gut wrenching read that would hit hard and make me cry. When you hit the second section your emotions are knocked out of the way with the fast paced and exciting action.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and I’m left in no doubt that the author is capable of writing to different styles. I’d like to see what he comes up with next to see what direction he takes.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

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

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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.