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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.

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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.

The Kin of Cain, Matthew Harffy Blog Tour!

Speesh Reads

Well, that was fun. I’m glad I took part in that one. I put a fair few hours in behind the scenes there, but I hope it’s not the last.

The ‘Tour’ itself is over now, but the various articles and reviews on the blogs involved, are of course still out there in the old cyberspace.

I think it would be a shame, for those who didn’t get to it while it was on, for me to just move on and leave it all behind. Rather than do links here to all the various sites, here are links to the pages I set up for the tour:

‘Interview’ with Matthew Harffy Part One

‘Interview with Matthew Harffy Part Two

Review of Kin of Cain

As I was once rightly told that ‘everything before the ‘but,’ is bullshit,’ I’ll go with …

However, while I linked to all the other blogs – and…

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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.

The Reborn King (The Dragon’s Blade #1) by Michael R. Miller – Review

Title – The Reborn King (The Dragon’s Blade #1)
Author –  Michael R. Miller
Genre –  Fantasy
Length – 408 Pages
Publication – Nov 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.

Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.

Time is short, for new threats and deadlier enemies are emerging…

Review

Now this was a fantasy tale i could really get to grips with. We have everything I love in a fantasy book, Wizards, Trolls, Dragons, Fairies, Demons and a battle of good versus evil.

The story starts well and we are thrust into a war between demons and the rest of humanity. During this battle Prince Darnuir is hurt but saved by the wizard Brackendon. He uses a dangerous spell which turns him back to a baby.

Cosmo is a wonderful character, a hunter who is entrusted with baby Darnuir. He raises him without the knowledge of his former self. This means when the demons return that Darnuir has to grow up fast and unite everyone to fight. But the demons have been quiet for 20 years.. why did it all stop any whya re tye now suddenly back??

Now I can’t spoil the plot but there’s a good reason why.. things are hinted at throughout the book.. little bits shared here and there that add up to give you a fuller picture but still leaves you desperate for more when the end comes.

As Darnuir grows Brackendon has his own battle to fight. I loved in this book that magic is poison.. If not properly controlled it will break you and the rebirthing spell is just too much for Brackendon to take.

For 20 years Darnuirs past life has been kept secret and he must face an internal battle with himself to become the leader everyone needs.

The main issue he has is trust, none of the races really trust each other..too much bad blood.

Along the way he is aided by not only Brackendon and Cosmo but the mysterious Guardian Blaine. He’s been away for many years…why?? I liked Blaine. He’s certainly got the best interests of his people at heart but how far will he go to save his own race? only time will tell. Dragon’s have a rather high opinion of themeselves so will Blaine be able to follow Darnuir’s wishes to unite the races to fight the demons as one?

There’s battles, death and so many twists to enjoy in this one and one of the best things had to be the unpredictability of it..I was hooked, even though I had some ideas I really didn’t know where the story was going to go and what would happen next.

Now, let’s talk about the demons and their master Rectar. I loved the setup and their internal struggles. As a reader you are still left in the dark a bit as to Rectar’s motivations but his plan is clear and towards the end of the tale his past starts to become clearer. There’s so much unanswered at this stage but I felt the author gave you just the right amount of information to hook you so you’ll come back to read the next book.

The word I used most often with this book was “Damn”. Mainly –

Damn why didn’t I see that coming, Damn that’s a nice idea! or Damn they killed….(obviously not going to drop names 🙂 )

Overall this is a brilliant story, easy to read, fun, exciting and engrosing. There’s twists & treachery around every corner… what more could you want? Early on I felt a lot of questions were unanswered which meant I stopped reading to think these questions through..answers do come but later in the book. My only advice is don’t over think things..all will be explained in due course and what an imagination this author has…Damn it’s good!

The author has me excited to see how this one plays out. Bring on book 2 due out in February.
To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

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

David’s Book Blurg is 2 years old!

Well this has come around fast hasn’t it… 2 years! where has the time gone.

First off i just have to say a quick thank you to those who have supported my blog. In what seems like a tight community bloggers I feel I’ve been made very welcome.

I’m very very proud of the growth in these two years. Compared to year 1 i had an extra 5000+ views. I’m no expert..I’m just reading books for the love of it, so to find so many of you interested so amazing to me.

So what have i learned for last year. Well first off..If you’re thinking of becoming a blogger…Do it! I’ve never felt better. Go back a few years and all I would do is sit and watch TV all day.. no more!

My biggest tip would just be honest..Don’t read books that don’t interest you as you’ll just not enjoy it and I’ve seen too many bloggers stop over that past year as they just seemed to lose the passion for it.

The next thing I’ve learnt the hard way is to not over extend.. I’ve committed myself to too many books during 2016 so this year I’m limiting how many I say yes to. I feel bad but i can only read so much and requests are about double my reading rate.

I have to admit though my love for books grows everyday at the moment, the covers, the plots, the characters, the authors.. there’s so much to explore and I’m looking forward to more.

My main focus for this year is to tidy up my filing system and to prepare and schedule reviews when possible. Sometimes I need to put the books down and do some admin ha ha.

Thanks again for following my blog, it’s very much appreciated!

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko – Review

Title – As Wings Unfurl
Author – Arthur M. Doweyko
Genre – Science Fiction
Publication – July 2016
Pages – 234
My Rating – 3/5 Stars

Synopsis

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise. 

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems. 

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity.

Review

This book follows Apple.. he’s not had the best of times but he’s always managed to keep going.. and in this book we find out why. Angela has been with him.. watching..protecting as best she can.

After a murder and a robbery Angela is forced to reveal some truths to Apple. Angels exist and not all are intent on doing good.

It’s a good versus bad tale. We get introduced to some interesting good guys, one such is a Yeti! I loved the Meh-Teh and Shilog, They have a side story which converges with Apples and this is one part of the book that I really enjoyed.

I don’t want to give too much away but there’s a plot out there to remove humanity and start over..There’s a biblical feeling to events whereby one of the higher beings watching over us and our every movement has decided we have failed to live up to expectations and it’s time for a do over. 

I really liked the bad guy in this tale. I can’t spoil it but clearly they have some obvious issues, you never really know what you’re going to get with the character, like they could do anything and I loved the unpredictability of it.

The battle between the forces of good and bad was done pretty well, not graphic in details but the end fight had me hooked as to how things could end.

So you’ll want to know why it’s only a 3* star for me. Well it’s the relationships between the characters, mainly Apple and Angela. I know we are told Angela has been with Apple for years but as this is a fast paced tale I don’t think we had enough time to see or feel the relationship grow itself without it being pointed out to us. 

The major plus for this book is the plot itself along with the writing. It’s very easy to read and enjoyable and the plot keeps you hooked with multiple perspectives.

This book is perfect if you like the idea of a good versus bad Fantasy/Science Fiction vibe tale with fast paced writing.  An enjoyable quick and interesting read.  Enjoy the ride.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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

The Prisoner: A Forest Lord Novelette by Steven A. McKay (@SA_McKay) – Review

Title – The Prisoner: A Forest Lord Novelette
Author – Steven A. McKay
Genre – Historical Fiction
Publication – 20th December 2016
Pages – 27 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

When two lawmen – fabled former outlaws themselves – are sent to a snowy English village to arrest a rapist it seems a straightforward task, but is all as it first appears?

England 1325 AD

As Robin Hood and Little John take the criminal into custody they find the people of Stapleford accommodating enough and the terrified victim’s bruises are plainly visible. Inevitably, as they set off on the journey back to Nottingham the lawmen’s disgust at the captive’s crime colours their opinion of him and Little John has to be restrained from brutally assaulting the man.
The harsh winter conditions slow their progress though, and eventually the prisoner’s protestations and desperate violent actions have the lawmen questioning what’s really been happening in Stapleford…

Can Robin and John complete the mission they’ve been given, or will their own innate sense of justice lead them down an unexpected path?

Fans of the bestselling Forest Lord series will love this exciting new stand-alone tale, set just before Blood of the Wolf, that explores the themes of morality and justice in medieval England.

Review

The Prisoner is a short story in the absolutely brilliant Forest Lord series by Steven A. McKay which brings fresh life to the tale of Robin Hood.

This short is 27 pages long which isn’t much but you get a good little story for your 99p.

If like me you’ve read the rest of the Forest Lord series you’ll be needing a fix of McKay right about now and this does the job nicely.

What I really enjoyed about this tale is once again how the author manages to give an ending I didn’t see coming. You really never know with McKay what twists and turns he’s going to throw at you.

For me the story ticks all the right boxes for a short tale. If you’re familiar with the series you’ll love being back, and if you’ve not read the series yet this would a be a great insight to McKay’s Robin.. you can’t go wrong for 99p in my opinion.

This isn’t a Christmas tale but it does have an ending which can bring a smile to your face and give you a bit of joy which is exactly what you need at this time of year. Justice will be served.

Everyone is busy with the holiday season so this is the perfect tale for you, it’s not a big commitment and it’s got a strong story which builds on the series and characters we’ve grown to love

Top notch for a short story

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon