Category Archives: Thriller

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

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The Expired by B. P. Smythe – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Expired by B. P. Smythe.

Here’s the blurb

‘The Expired’ is a psychological thriller masterpiece showing how vulnerable people can be brainwashed to become sleepers (Manchurian Candidates) and used by corrupt politicians to further their own ends. ‘The Expired’ shadows true accounts of government sleeper programmes set up during the Korean War and the East West Cold War.

Commander Gregory Potting is a former head of MI6 Intelligence and the governments most trusted Senior Adviser for Internal Affairs.

His position is put to the test in 1973 when a bizarre psychological plot unfolds that isinextricably linked to a London terrorist attack, a cocaine drug scam, a homosexual called Francis Hodder who suffers from schizophrenia and changes from time to time to Roxanne – a transvestite prostitute who robs and murders his clients.

Francis Hodder is a transsexual who preys on gay men. As a child he is abused by his father who is head of government security. Francis becomes an embarrassment to MI6 because of his gender leaning. He is brainwashed to become a Sleeper assassin triggered by code words to kill personnel who threaten government security. Francis becomes a manipulated pawn, who by mistake during a sexual encounter with a Black September terrorist, uncovers plans for a deadly attack on a densely crowded popular sports event to kill thousands of people to further the cause of EL Fatah and Black September.

 

Review

After reading the blurb about the book I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.. There’s so much going on… I couldn’t quite see how it would work..Well Mr. Smythe sure showed me, I was sucked in from the first page.

The story mainly focuses on Francis Hodder, a transsexual who abused as a child has grown up to have a long list of issues.. first and foremost he’s got a split personality going on. We have Francis but also Roxanne..

A powerful player in the government sees a way to make use of Francis and he’s brainwashed to kill on command.

What happens next is a rather expertly woven series of events where we learn of other individuals that have been brainwashed.. it’s seems this powerful player is setting up a chessboard of pieces so to speak, ready to do whatever they are told to.

As the game goes on players are eliminated while others emerge and a terrorist plot becomes clear..

I’ve not read anything from the author before but from this I felt he must have one hell of an imagination to put this together. We have Francis and his double life but also a terrorist plot which felt like it could have been a separate tale.

It works enough for me to enjoy the tale but the plot line explored towards the end of the book with Francis’s past and present colliding was the best bit and the terrorist plot was overshadowed by Francis.

The author manages to wrap the tale up nicely..It didn’t feel like any loose ends were there and to be honest I quite enjoyed the book even though it’s quite an unusual read for me.

Overall the pace of the tale is good and the chapter length is easy to swallow, add in a strangely unique plot and you’ve earned a 3* on this one.

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

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Blog Tour – Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen.

Even better it’s part of a blog tour.. I do love taking part..a shared chat about books…what’s not to like.

Join in with the tour!

Out of the Silence Blog Blitz.jpg

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Psychological Thriller

My Rating 5/5 Stars!!!!!

Star investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan’s glory days are behind him. His newspaper has banished him to Pakistan, not knowing the greatest moment of his long career is waiting for him there.

When Simone Jasnin asks him to help expose a grave injustice, he finds himself embroiled in a harrowng tale that began in a dusty settlement in rural Punjab, setting in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Seven years later in the city of Lahore, members of a prominent family are being brutally murdered, one by one. The only clue is a hand-carved wooden bangle left at the scene of each crime.

As the list of suspects grows and the tension mounts, Ralph realises the answers might be closer to home than he ever thought possible.

Solving the mystery will put him back on top but at what cost?

Only when the smoke clears will the killing stop and honour be satisfied…

Review

Owen Mullen fast became a favourite author of mine over the last couple of years..his crime thrillers always have me hooked so of course I’d want to read his latest work.. so much so I didn’t even read the blurb.. I knew I’d love it.. I just didn’t know how much ..or that it would move me as much as it did.

Under an amazingly written story we truly get a heart wrenching tale of abuse and injustice..so much so I really felt for all of those involved..it was impossible not to get invested in this story and I promise it will stay with you.

Doctor Simone Jasnin finds a woman in need.. she has a story to tell.. her tale isn’t for the fate hearted but needs to be shared. This is where Ralph Buchanan comes in..he’s flawed like all the best characters, but slowly he earns his chance at redemption.

The tale Simone recounts is a tale of young blossoming love, Afra and Jameel, would be lovers but kept apart simply due to perception of worth. Jameel has nothing to offer therefore is no good.. They end up going along very different paths… and Afra’s is one of immense pain.

While Afra’s tale is retold we also learn what becomes of Jameel..a man who proves he’s worth tenfold..

Jameel and Ralph’s journeys collide as we delve deeper into the life of Afra..no matter her pain she never gives ups.

Out of the Silence is a gut churning tale of abuse and revenge.. a tale that needs to be told.. and Afra’s tale will be heard.

I can’t say I’ve ever been moved by written words before..yes I enjoy lots of books.. I love quite a few..but to be moved by the written word.. that to me is saved for notes from those nearest and dearest to you.. not just any old written word…but..I felt Afra’s pain..it hurt and it made me feel like no book ever has.

This is a tough tale.. not for the faint hearted.. a well written tale that deserves to be shared. A thought-provoking tale that really gets you thinking.. just because we don’t see abuse doesn’t mean it’s not going on.. it’s out there and we need to do what we can to stop it.. hopefully Afra’s tale will help.

Owen is no one trick pony.. he’s pure talent..I dare you to read this and try and tell me you didnt feel something.. it would be impossible.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Reaper’s Kiss (The Ripper Legacies #3) by Robert Southworth (@robius71) – Review

Next up for review is The Reaper’s Kiss, book 3 in The Ripper Legacies series by Robert Southworth.

I’m the self-proclaimed biggest fan of Rob’s.. he’s the reason my blog even exists.. that said he knows I won’t take it easy on him.

Here’s the blurb.

Genre – Thriller/Alternative History
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

London 1891
Sir Simeon Harkness has joined his son in the pursuit of the infamous killer. With his resources, it is not long before the scent of new lines of investigation are detected. The Ripper can feel the oppressive breath of his pursuers upon his skin. He must hide his tracks and remove those that once called him master. The hunt is on but the Ripper will not go quietly to the gallows

Review

We are back with William Harkness and his men but now the full force of Sir Simeon Harkness is added to the game..If you haven’t already you should read the first two instalments in the series. The Reaper’s Breath and The Reaper’s Touch.

William is on the hunt for his greatest enemy again.. The Ripper..and the followers of Cronos that he controls.

Along the way in the final hunt there are twists and turns everywhere that turn the whole series on its head… nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

This was the best yet from the author. The character development of William and his partner Emily was brilliant. The story belonged to Sir Simeon for me though.. he’s the game changer..you learn so much more about the man and it really changes your views of the man just as it does for his son William.

If I’m honest there’s just too many characters I loved in this instalment.. Faraday, Finch and Tallow to name a few. Every character is unique and has their own place in the tale.. Have you ever read a book when the characters are all quite samey.. yeh not Robert Southworth’s characters..each are memorable in their own right.

I’ve followed the authors work from day one and he never fails to get the plot spot on!..there’s so much jam-packed into this book it was gripping.

Southworth is a master of alternative history. He has a talent of seeing a story where no one else does and I hope there’s many more tales to come. The way he can take a snapshot in time..meld it into something he can work with then write 3 books will always amaze me.

Towards the end of the book the action comes thick and fast and the author saves the best bits until the last few chapters..simply breathtaking moments that had me on edge.

The Reaper’s Kiss ticks all the boxes on my list..a first rate plot..real character development that doesn’t feel forced and twists that give the wow factor.

Robert Southworth never fails to amaze me with his storytelling skills and I can’t urge you enough to give his work a try.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

I did a Q & A with the author sometime ago.. you can check it out here! Look out for another Q&A in the near future!

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.