Tag Archives: Book Lovers

Light Dawning by Ty Arthur – Review

Title – Light Dawning
Author – Ty Arthur
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 228 Pages
Publication – May 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom. As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

Review

A once great city has fallen but rebels still plot from the shadows.. the problem is they are slowly being hunted down.

The four main characters in the book are Myrr, Tala, Father Erret and Casterly. Each has their own journey to follow but at the same time their paths will cross..but are they friend or foe..the line is blurred at times.

I really enjoyed the gruesomeness of the tale, there are some rather vivid moments that don’t leave you quickly and you are left in no doubt the author has a weird and wonderful imagination which works perfectly for a dark fantasy novel.

This book is all about the build-up. You’re expecting a rebellion to happen, for the main characters to rise and become heroes…well you’ll be waiting a bloody long time..that’s not this book.

It’s quite tense at times, you really don’t know where the author is planning to go but everything falls together nicely and the interwoven tales of the main characters work well.

Oh don’t you worry a battle is coming but it’s truly unexpected the plot that plays out. I read a lot of fantasy books and let’s be honest..quite a few follow the same pattern..not this one, it’s refreshingly different and that’s what makes it so good.

The dark nature of the tale is something that really gives this book an edge, theirs a darkness overshadowing all and it was fascinating reading Tala’s tale. I won’t spoil it but she does not have it easy. She has a power within her to open the door to beings from another plain and these guys aren’t pretty that’s for sure, how they are born into this world is pretty gruesome to say the least.

I think Tala was my favourite character I must say, but I enjoyed them all, a special mention has to be made of Casterly and his fate in life.. wow..twist alert..you’ll not see that coming.

If you are looking for an engrossing slow burn of a fantasy book, heavy on the darkness scale that you can really get to grips with then this is top-notch. For me the darkness overshadows all and I liked it.

Do I want to more from Ty Arthur? Yes please.

My thanks go to Ty for the chance to read and review the book!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords by Benedict Patrick – Review

Title – Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords (Yarnsworld #3)
Author – Benedict Patrick
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 268 Pages
Publication – 16th October 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Don’t draw your blade in the City of Swords, unless you’re willing to kill… or ready to die.

Young and filled with idealistic fervor, Arturo packs his blade and travels to the fabled City of Swords in the hopes of joining the dashing Bravadori. Yet upon arriving he discovers these masked vigilantes have more in common with brutal thugs than noble monster slayers. Disillusioned and mocked, he stubbornly refuses to give up his dreams.

When an impending bandit attack threatens untold depravities upon a distant village, and no others will heed the call for help, Arturo joins forces with a worthless outcast and a walking legend to attempt the impossible, to traverse the demon-haunted wilderness and prove that in the City of Swords, true heroes can rise from the unlikeliest of places.

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords is a gritty, action-packed standalone novel set in Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld, a land where folktales and fantasy mix, where the monsters from stories are real.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of broken heroes and inspiring hope!

Review

We are back with Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series and I’ll be quite honest I couldn’t have been any more excited. For me this series has been the biggest shock since I started reviewing as it was just so original and had an immediate wow factor.

This is the best yet in the series, it’s fantasy with a dark twist that I just love.

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords is the tale of Arturo, he wants to become a Bravador. The Bravadori are a thing of legend, they are protectors. Unfortunately for Arturo the Bravadori he meets don’t live up to the legend.

If the Bravadori won’t be the protectors of those in need Arturo will!

Here’s where the tale starts to get really interesting. He’s joined on his journey by Yizel and Crazy Raccoon, each of these has their own tale. Yizel is a fallen Bravador who needs to find her worth again and Crazy Raccoon..well he’s just got a chip on his shoulder and a point to prove.

A familiar feature in the authors work is the idea of a person’s “knack”, essentially something they are very skilled at and they have these moments when their knack will flare and the early scenes in the book really had the young boy in me on edge as I imagined the swordplay and the individuals knack coming into play.

The chapters flow easily and once again the author continues to break up the reading into easy and manageable sections, after each chapter you are treated to some folklore of the Yarnsworld, you hear about the people Arturo dreamed of becoming and it really did bring the story together well while at the same time keeping things fresh and interesting.

I always love the folklore feel with Benedict’s work, it’s like these books themselves could have been passed down through the ages..the stuff of legends.

What the author always gets right for me is the suspense.. the build up to something big you know is coming but until it happens you’ve literally no idea where the author will take you.. it’s so utterly engrossing.

Benedict’s works are a real gem and a must for fantasy lovers, there’s so much scope to the series that I can see many more tales to come. Even the cover gets me excited with this one, the vivid image suits the tale well and I just love the design.

I received an ARC copy of the book for review purposes but I’ll be adding a paperback to my collection soon!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

10 Questions with Alison Morton.

Today I’m very glad to bring to you a Q&A with Alison Morton, author of the Roma Nova series.

You can read my reviews of Aurelia and Insurrectio by clicking the images below to open a new window.

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One of the biggest things I’ve enjoyed about the series is that it turns the traditional and outdated idea of social structure on its head.

I hope you enjoy the questions, do let me know your thoughts 🙂

P.S look out for my review of Retalio book 6 in the series soon!


 

Q1 – For anyone who’s read my reviews of your works I’m sure they will know how much I’ve enjoyed reading them but for anyone new what would you say to convince them to give your books a try?

You don’t believe in starting with an easy one, do you, David?  😉

Seriously, I try to provide a cracking story and provoke a few questions along the way. Yes, my books are thrillers, but without dripping body parts and with a different take on what might have happened at the end of the Roman Empire.

I enjoy a good twist when I read, so I like to put a few of those in my own books, but of course, all good reads are not only about the story, but equally about characters. We love to gasp with horror, feel that frisson of fear, fall in love and celebrate along with our heroine (or hero).

Q2 – Strong female leads are something I’m starting to see more and more in books and I love it. Did you always set out to write a series that knocks on the head the idea of the male characters being in charge?

In brief, yes! I wanted a female character who led the action and pushed the story through. Too often the woman is the sidekick or the mother/daughter/sister/colleague who waves the hero goodbye as he sets off on his quest, whether in the 4th, 21st or 43rd century. Virginia Woolf wrote in 1929 about fictitious women, “But almost without exception they are shown in their relation to men.” So it’s nothing new!

A little secret: if I find myself slipping back into the action man/passive woman trap when writing, I reverse the dialogue to make sure my heroine is making the decisions!  But it doesn’t make Roma Novan men any less masculine or tough. (I explain it all here.)

Q3 – Your idea of alternative history and that the fall of Rome didn’t mean the end of Roman culture opens up lots of writing possibilities, where did the idea come from?

Several things! I’ve been a ‘Roman nut’ since I walked on my first mosaic at Ampurias in northeast Spain. In fact I’ve clambered over quite a lot of Roman Europe! The idea of a modern Roman heroine has been bubbling away in my head for years.  She would have to be modern as even in Late Antiquity no woman could have a public role, let alone a military one, and Rome was essentially a military society. Then I read Robert Harris’s Fatherland and learnt about alternative timelines and outcomes.Two more neurons connected in the brain!

No fingers were hovering above a keyboard yet, though. Then I saw a really bad film. The cinematography was gorgeous, it was set in modern Rome and it had the enormous bonus of starring Ewan McGregor. (Your women readers will understand the last one better than men, I feel.) However, the dialogue and continuity were rubbish. I knew I could do better. The trigger was pulled. Ninety days later I had a manuscript of 90,000 words. Rubbish, of course, but it went on after much slashing, rewriting and polishing to become INCEPTIO.  The legend of Roma Nova was born.

Q4 – The great thing about the setting of your tales is that you have some leeway with historical accuracy. Was the accuracy in describing the Roma Nova culture important to you?

Absolutely! I have an MA in History which has given me a grounding in being picky about accuracy and sources in a methodological way. I don’t think you can alternate history without knowing it first.

When you choose to diverge from the standard historical timeline, you have to know exactly what the world was like at that point. This is the last solid foothold you have on the historical record. For example, the Roma Nova storyline is that the group of senatorial families who trekked out of Italy at the end of the fourth century to become the first Roma Novans were pagans persecuted by Christian Emperor Theodosius II. This persecution really was taking place at the time (not something we’re taught about). Theodosius signed the final edict outlawing worship of the traditional Roman gods in AD 394; the punishment was death.

Once you have researched that divergence point in time ad nauseam, then you project forwards using historical logical until you reach thelater time when your story is set. It helps to have a general knowledge of ,and a feel for ,history here. If not, research!

In fact, everything has to be checked from technology and attitudes in the 1960s (AURELIA), how to mount a coup d’état, intelligence techniques, warfighting of the 1980s (INSURRECTIO, RETALIO), weaponry, signals, locations and transferable Roman practices for all the books. But I love research. Honestly!

Q5 – How long have you been a writer and what influenced you to first put pen to paper?

I’ve written most of my life, but mostly practical stuff: student theses, government papers, exercise reports, corporate documentation, PR copy, articles, an academic dissertation even. As a trained translator, my work turning foreign language text into English was precise with a touch of creativity in expression, plus I edited at least one million words in that time. Now, making up stories? Ever since childhood. Writing them down? That only started in 2009 with that bad film.

Q6 – Would you contemplate writing a book in any other genre?

Ha! The great Conn Iggulden who endorsed INSURRECTIO gave me a suggestion about that. But I’m not telling at the moment!

Q7 – How important is feedback from your readers?

Very important. I’m not so grand that I don’t read and take notice of my reviews. Of course, they are all subjective, but I’ve gleaned some excellent advice from readers and fans since INCEPTIO was published in 2013.

The Roma Nova Enthusiasts’ Group on Facebook is small but going well, as is my Facebook author page and I always love it when people react to my blogposts (alison-morton.com) or tweets (@alison_morton).

Q8 – Who have been your biggest influences within the writing community?

This is such a difficult question as it changes all the time! Like many Roman writers, my first Roman book was The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. I grew up on a very mixed diet of fiction, swinging from Georgette Heyer, Leslie Charteris’s The Saint to Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise and Dennis Wheatley’s adventure tales.

I adore Gore Vidal’s Julian, and anything by Margaret Attwood and Tom Clancy. These days, Lindsey Davis is a clear favourite along with Steven Saylor, Ruth Downie, William Boyd, J D Robb and of course, Robert Harris.

Q9 – What books are currently on your reading shelf?

Legionary: the Roman Soldier’s (Unofficial) Manual by Philip Matyszak. I’m enjoying it tremendously. I’m ex-military myself, so it’s raising a few smiles.

Q10 – Future plans? More books I hope J

More books, certainly!  I’ve just completed a novella featuring Carina and set between INCEPTIO and PERFIDITAS. Perhaps I’ll write more ‘inbetweeners’ or a collection of short stories. Then there’s the foundation story of Roma Nova waiting for me…

Thank you so much for letting me ‘invade’ your blog, David!

 

Blog Tour – The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas – Review

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas.

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Here’s the blurb –

Synopsis

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

The author has kindly wrote a piece on how her work has progressed since the release of Fifteen Words so keep reading after my review for something I hope you’ll find as interesting as I do! It will also give you a little more insight to her latest work.

Review

If you haven’t already I highly recommend you read the authors previous novel Fifteen Words. The Watcher follows directly on and it would give you some background to the characters.

Fifteen Words was the story about Max being held prisoner, The Watcher is a story about how life and Max himself have changed since his release.

Max is a torn man, he’s struggling to come to terms with what happened to him when he was a prisoner and this really made me feel for the man, I don’t imagine being a POW is something you would ever come to terms with.

His relationship with his wife is stretched to breaking, the love they had for each other just isn’t what it once was, so much has changed.

For me this tale was really about Max’s daughter Netta, I loved her. She’s a young girl who’s grown up in an adult world and she hears and sees more than people know.

While the family are trying to come to terms with their own demons a murder occurs that has the police snooping around and the author keeps you on edge until the last moment to reveal all.

I really enjoyed how the ending was written when you see the events play out from different perspectives, this really kept the suspense going.

There’s some good twists in the tale, nicely written and followed on well from the previous novel. The characters  might be the same but this tale had that little bit extra with a whodunit thrown in. It was a change in direction from what I expected but it worked well and I was hooked.

Going back to Max, there is a lot of development for him during the story and emotions are very raw for him and I liked how this was explored. Not easy to read at times as he’s a beaten man with what looks like no way to build himself back up.. just when he needs someone the most he and Netta finally bond and it was a pleasure to read.

Overall I loved it, the unexpected events in the book really kept me on my toes and had me sucked in from page 1. We are left with a little cliff-hanger so I do hope we see more of Max and his family to see how things play out.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon


Monkika Jephcott Thomas

How my work has progressed since the release of Fifteen Words. –  Monika Jephcott Thomas.

Writing my debut novel, Fifteen Words, was a daunting task. No doubt it is for most writers. So when it came to writing the follow up, The Watcher, I was definitely less apprehensive. I was more confident with the whole mechanics of writing and publishing, but I was also on more solid ground with regards to my characters, because some of the protagonists I had got to know so well during the writing of Fifteen Words and the newest character was based on myself – so what could possibly go wrong!

Although the character of Netta is based on me, she is based on my five-year-old self, so the challenge here was to try and recall the feelings, preoccupations, and perspective of a child’s world when I had been resident in the adult one for over half a century. Fifteen Words is quite an adult book – in its events and style of prose. But during the initial drafts of The Watcher I realised that writing in a more ‘childish’ way could be just as powerful, if not more so.

The advantage of writing from a child’s perspective, if you succeed, is that it can illuminate the absurdities of the adult world and adult relationships in a way that no adult character can. The central motivation of a child, wherever they come from, is to play. Children play games. But of course, so do adults in relationships, whether they realise it not. Psychological games, power games, cynical games. Hence, the best person to illuminate how daft these games appear to be, is the unjaded player of innocent games: a child. As Netta thinks to herself after observing her family one morning:

Adults were like the British soldiers who still hung around on the streets: they spoke a different language and had no intention of learning hers.

As well as unwittingly observing the chess of adult interaction for us, Netta soon becomes a direct recipient of adult game-playing, ironically enough, when she stays at children’s home. There the abusive Herr Kahler fulfils his own perverse desires by callously manipulating Netta. You can perhaps see from this extract how it is written with almost fairy-tale repetition, which is intended to elevate Kahler’s callousness to ‘wicked witch’ proportions whilst keeping it in the realms of possibility, as we are reminded more than ever by this fairy-tale style how we are seeing these events through a child eyes. This reminder, I hope, makes the end of the extract even more sickening.

‘What did I tell you to do this morning?’ he growled.

‘Sweep the sand from the driveway,’ she answered.

‘And did you do that?’

‘Yes I did,’ she said.

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘Yes I did, Herr Kahler,’ she added to make sure she wasn’t sounding rude. She didn’t want to sound rude. She was just telling the truth.

‘I beg your pardon?’ he repeated.

‘Yes I did!’ She raised her voice ever so slightly in case he was having difficulty hearing her.

‘I beg your pardon, but if you had done what I’d asked you to do, why was there sand all over the driveway when I went out at lunchtime?’

Silence, except for the sound of children enjoying themselves in the garden. Netta couldn’t think of anything to say.

‘I’ll tell you why.’ The red face was getting redder again. ‘Because you’re a lazy, spoilt little girl, that’s why.’

Netta had to tell him this wasn’t true. She had to explain that she had done the job. ‘No, I—’

‘I beg your pardon?’ he shouted, slamming his hands on the table and pushing himself up.

‘I—I—I… yes, I—I’m lazy, Herr Kahler.’

‘And?’ He sang the word like a motorcar speeding up.

‘And spoilt,’ she said, but the words tasted foul in her mouth because she was sure they weren’t true.

‘Yes you are.’ He came out from behind the desk and Netta flinched, but he passed by her and grabbed the broom from behind the door. ‘Now, you’ll go and do it again and you’ll make sure you do it properly otherwise you’ll get the slipper, do you hear?’

She took the broom. It felt like it was made of lead. She went outside. The driveway was covered in sand. Her whole body drooped. But she swept it all away again, more thoroughly than she did the first time with the thought of the slipper hanging over her.

Milla found her at dinner time slumped in her chair at the round table.

‘What happened?’ she whispered.

‘I’m too tired to even tell you,’ Netta sighed.

The two girls ate their fish and cabbage that evening in the kind of silence Frau Auttenberg expected every evening. When the cod liver oil came round Netta opened her mouth obediently, as she had done ever since that long night when she had first done battle with the battle-axe. And when she was allowed to leave the dining room she spat out the oil she’d been hiding into the potted plant on the windowsill in the stairwell, which was growing much faster and looking much healthier than Netta was for its daily dose of fish oil.

But before she could begin to get undressed, Paul came up to her and said, ‘Herr Kahler wants to see you.’

Netta almost cried right there in front of Paul, but somehow she held it in and got herself back downstairs to the office. And it all sounded very familiar.

‘What did I tell you to do this afternoon?’ he growled.

‘Sweep the sand from the driveway,’ she answered.

‘And did you do that?’

‘Yes I did.’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘Yes I did, Herr Kahler.’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘Yes I—!’

‘I. Beg. Your. Pardon?’

She knew what the answer was supposed to be, but she couldn’t believe she hadn’t done it properly this time.

She opened her mouth to speak.

‘Think very carefully before you answer, young lady,’ he snarled.

She couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. If she told the truth she would get the slipper. If she lied and said she had been lazy again, she would get the slipper. This was so unfair!

Herr Kahler got up. He was wearing his pyjamas already with an open red dressing gown on top and red leather slippers to match.

He closed the door quietly and took Netta by the wrist.

Without giving too much away about how this strand of the story ends, it takes another child to see a possible way for Netta out of Kahler’s twisted game. And it has to be a child, I think. The Watcher partly explores the effect of trauma on children in an age when children were supposed to be ‘seen and not heard’ by illuminating that fatal mistake all adults make, as if they have never been children themselves:

how children, seen and not heard, still saw things and heard things, especially the things expressed inches above their heads, which adults somehow believed were inaudible and forgettable to something as absorbent as a child.  


My thanks go to Monika and Authoright for the chance to read and review the book in exchange for my honest review.

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.

 

Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Dig Two Graves (Detective Solomon Gray #1)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 227 Pages
Publication –  10th October 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Was it suicide … or murder?

When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son, Tom, would’ve been, had he not gone missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

With his boss, Detective Inspector Yvonne Hamson, Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. An investigator from the Met is called in to assist, setting the local police on edge. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’s old church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons. Crippled by loss but determined to find the truth, Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption.

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark detective thriller. Dig Two Graves is the first book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

Review

Keith Nixon has easily become one of my favourite authors since I started reviewing over two years ago so I jumped at the chance of an advanced copy of his latest book. Does that mean I’d let him off lightly? Certainly not. Just to prove how much I enjoy his work I pre-ordered a copy myself.

Solomon Gray is a man torn apart by memories of the past.. he drinks too much and is certainly on a short leash at work…but despite everything he’s one hell of a copper.

When a young boy turns up dead Gray can’t help being swept up in the case as he’s reminded of his own son who disappeared ten years ago.

The case doesn’t have many leads.. or have they just missed them?

While working the case Gray is constantly reminded of his past, even more so when Rev. David Hill is murdered. As the workload increases Gray tries to make sense of things best he can but it’s hard to do his job with superiors breathing down his neck.

When another body turns up and tears Gray’s world apart he needs a much needed kick up the arse to get his head in the game.

I loved the character of Solomon Gray, I really felt for him at times. He’s the type of detective I like reading about. He’s got his personal issues to work through and he’s good at his job and you can rely on him to see things through.

I can’t spoil the plot for you, it’s just too damn good but to be honest with you I loved it, hooked in easily and there was a pretty amazing twist I didn’t see coming towards the end which really cemented how good of a novel this was.

There’s so much more to the plot than the synopsis suggests, it’s got depth to it, it’s more than just the normal police procedural tale. The tale is expertly woven together, while the cases overlap there no confusion for the reader at all.

For me it was perfectly paced, good chapter length and with such a good plot line nothing else mattered, the world shut off and I was in Gray’s world. I really hope we see more soon.

Another cracking read from the author! Get on it now and get a copy ordered – it’s released on Tuesday 10th October!

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.

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