Tag Archives: Bookworm

Dragonfly by Trisha Hughes – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Dragonfly by Trisha Hughes.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Mystery/Thriller

Ex-police detective Jack Curtis thought he’d seen everything.That is until he found his friend Joe naked and sobbing on the steps of his house, a gun lying beside him and his fiancée Shannon dead in a pool of blood.All the evidence points to Joe as the murderer, yet he professes his innocence. But if Joe didn’t do it, who did?Jack digs deep for answers but what he finds reveals Shannon was playing a more sinister and dangerous game than he could ever have imagined. Now he is questioning everything he thought he knew.

Review

I was immediately interested in reading Dragonfly as it’s a change in genre for the author who was more familiar to me as a historical fiction writer.. Will a mystery/thriller live up to the same standards.. lets find out.

Jack Curtis an ex-police detective is about to have his night ruined when he receives a phone call from his friend Joe.. Joe’s fiancée is dead.

Things don’t add up from the start and Jack quickly decides he’s going to be involved one way or another.

A web of lies and deception is soon uncovered. The twist in this tale is just how far these deceptions go and how far will Jack go to uncover the truth… nothing is what it seems.

The author feeds you all the right words to make you feel you know the truth pretty early on..but wait a minute..that’s too easy right? There has to be more too it but what?.. oh trust me it’s worth the wait for the big reveal.

As a mystery/thriller goes this is really good, I must admit I didn’t really warm to Jack as quickly as I’d like.. There’s a lot of back story for the reader to follow and I needed time to learn his motivations but once I’d worked him out everything fell into place and I found myself connecting with Jack more and more.

If you are looking for intense build-up that drives you crazy this is the book for you..

I seriously hopes there’s more to come.

4/5 Stars.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Faces of Darkness by Steven A. McKay

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Faces of Darkness by Steven A. McKay.

Here’s the blurb

When a young noblewoman is brutally assaulted in her own manor house, two former outlaws decide they must solve the mystery, before things go too far…

CROFTUN, NORTHERN ENGLAND
WINTER, AD 1328

Lady Isabella de Courcy is found alone in a room bolted from the inside, unconscious, and with a dagger forced through her hand, but this is just the latest in a line of similar, terrifying incidents. For months now, she’s been stalked by some shadowy tormentor yet, bafflingly, the attacker has never been clearly seen by anyone, even Lady Isabella, and he seems to leave no trace of his movements.
Can the bailiff, John Little, along with the legendary friar, Robert Stafford, uncover the truth and, more importantly, will they be able to save the troubled victim before she ends up dead?

This new standalone novella from the author of The Druid sees the return of two much-loved characters from the Forest Lord series and is based on a shocking real-life case which remains, to this day, unsolved.Genre – Historical Fiction.

Review

Steven A. McKay has delivered a gem of a story! I really thought McKay had shelved for good Robin Hood and his gang for new pastures.. turns out there’s still some stories left to be told and I couldn’t be happier.

We are back with Friar Tuck and Little John who are about to stumble upon a mystery.. and let’s be fair we all know Tuck.. he’s not one to walk away without getting to the bottom of things.

Little John in his role as bailiff is out to collect a fine and Tuck comes along for the journey. They soon learn of the plight of Lady Isabella, who is being terrorised and things seem to be escalating! There’s one issue though.. there’s no witnesses and no evidence that the individual exists..but there must be someone right?

John and Tuck do due diligence and secure the area.. with no issues found they go on their way… only to be called back as another frightful event has occurred.

It soon becomes clear that not everyone believes the stories they are being told by Lady Isabella.. things don’t add up.

Tuck is a good judge of character and soon seems to be getting somewhere.. you can see the cogs start to turn once the oil gets the gears going and it leads to a fast paced and gripping ending that packs a punch.

What I really enjoyed about this book..  it’s a perfect little mystery but with the authors fun and gritty edge.. and Tuck and John were the perfect duo. You’d be forgiven for raising an eyebrow.. you either want modern-day mysteries or straight up historical fiction right?..can you mix them? McKay certainly knows the recipe!

I’m going to put it out there now… I love these little novellas.. Can we have Will Scaflock back in the next please :).

Faces of Darkness offers an intriguing plot based around a real life event, balanced with wit from both Tuck and John.. add in the perfect pace and you’ve got a winner!

McKay knows what his readers want.. everything he offers us is pure brilliance and while we may not see the gang around that much it was so good to be back!

5/5 Stars.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

David’s Book Blurg’s Top Choices for 2019

Ok.. so there’s still time for some last minute gifts so I want to share my top picks! These are just some of the books I’ve read/listened to this year! Click the pictures to head to Amazon to have a look in detail!

  1. Are you an audiobook fan? If so you’ve got to get Lucia by Steven A McKay. It’s a gut wrenching slaves tale set in Roman times.51cHfw39UnL._SX342_
  2. Fancy a delicious new mystery novel? then look no further than No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky. (Currently at the bargain price of £0.99 on Kindle!)46203408._SY475_
  3. Do you like a police procedural kind of novel and like flawed leads? Well The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon is the book for you.47969376._SY475_
  4. Enjoy a bit of Science Fiction without the word count? Take a look at The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon!415GhUysFtL
  5. Like a bit of a historical read.. ever heard of the Hittites? look no further than Empires of Bronze by Gordon Doherty.51Odsq2iUkL
  6. Not quite sure what you are after? Fancy more than one book? Well why not get a boxset of goodness? Check out forged in Fire, a set which includes books by authors Prue Batten, Simon Turney and Gordon Doherty 5168XFNxseL

 

There’s so many good books out there.. these are just a few of the hundreds i’d happily recommend so do check out my reviews and see if anything takes your fancy.

Do get in touch and let me know what book gifts you give and receive this year 🙂

Lucia by Steven A. McKay – Audiobook Review!

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Lucia by Steven A. McKay on available on Audible!

Here’s the blurb

At eight years old, Lucia is torn from the life she knew. Her village burned to the ground and parents murdered by Romans, she is kidnapped, sold and shipped abroad to the Villa Tempestatis in Britannia to serve the young Roman army officer Castus.

Faced with a bleak future of decades of servitude to her master, as well as sadistic brutality at the hands of his slave and manageress, Paltucca, she finds herself fixated by one thought alone. Fuelled by hatred and a belief that the gods saved her for a reason, she vows to never taste freedom until she gets her revenge.

As she and her fellow slaves are exploited mercilessly by the master and his ‘noble’ friends – and brutally punished for even the smallest misdemeanours – Lucia’s longing for vengeance only grows stronger. Despite warnings from her loyal friend, Sennianus, that her hatred won’t bring her happiness, she continues to plot the downfall of Castus and Paltucca.

When Paltucca performs an unforgivable act, cruelly destroying a chance of happiness for Lucia, the manageress seals her own fate and unwittingly becomes her own undoing. But what will become of Castus? Risen within the ranks and trusted by the master, Lucia must decide whether or not to exploit her power and risk everything to fulfil her lifelong desire.

Genre – Historical Fiction.

Review

Lucia is a slaves tale told from the very beginning when she is brutally taken from her family and those she loved left for dead.

Quickly Lucia learns her new place in life but struggles with the horrible Paltucca.. an evil manageress who never seems to be happy with the work no matter the standard.

Her master Castus is an enigma or sorts at first.. as a Roman officer he’s not always at home but when he is the wine and food flows.. some of his guests are less than delightful and their urges quite abhorrent. Castus shows himself to be a good master at times ensuring the youngest slaves aren’t unduly harmed but as time goes on he himself changes…his own deprived tastes come to the fore and Lucia feels the brunt of his affections for a time.

While Lucia learns to deal with her masters demands she proves to be a good slave.. she’s part of a family. Of course she hates those who oppress her and she swears one day to get vengeance on all those who have wronged her.

As time goes on some important events happen to Lucia and her fellow slaves..the most important is her saving the estate from thieves. It’s a catalyst which sees Lucia’s fortunes change.

To say Lucia is a tough read is an understatement… don’t get me wrong.. this tale is gripping and it’s tough to put down.. what I mean is it’s harrowing… real heart wrenching.. to see someone downtrodden..treated like they don’t matter.. it’s hard to imagine a time when slaves were common place. The hardships these people suffer arent easy to forget.

Along the way we see friendships forged..and tested. Sennianus wants nothing more than to live an easy life with Lucia but she’s broken…Senni stands by her but struggles at times to accept the situation.

Regalis is the biggest character for me and plays a pivotal part.. he’s a slave but also has the job of delivering punishments on behalf of Paltucca…the thing is everyone likes the man.. he’s as honest as they come and is just doing as commanded by his master.. there’s no malice in his actions.

Sosthenes, while not very well liked he knows his place. There’s a moment your feelings for him change as you see the man in a different light.

Dentatus, a horrible creature of a man who will do anything if it sees him in the good books of the manageress.

The point I hope I’ve made clear is that this story is not just of Lucia.. yes the main focus is on her life but there’s so much more going on.. each member of the cast play their part and stay with you… they each have their own motivations and you can’t help but feel for them all. Some find it easier to adapt to their new lives than others but under everything they are humans..and their lives are worth more..

Lucia is an Audible book only and the narrator Imogen Church did superbly at making me commit to Lucia with everything I had. I like audio but can get distracted easily..Imogen Church commands your attention.. her tone perfect for each character.. emphasis just when you’d expect.

A compelling 5* story from McKay, an author who continues to amaze me with his writing.

To find out more head to Audible or Goodreads!

Hunting Ground by L J Morris – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Hunting Ground by L J Morris. This is part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of the book which is  out today!!!!

BLOG TOUR

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Thriller.

Freed from prison and back in Europe, Ali Sinclair has one job… find Frank McGill.

The information he has is vital if they are to end the conspiracy that threatens to bring down the Government and push NATO to the brink of war.

With terrorist attacks increasing and a mole at the top of the establishment, Sinclair and McGill will need to use all their skills to follow the clues across the continent in a deadly treasure hunt that drags them back towards London.

But when you’re being hunted by assassins and the authorities… going home isn’t always the safest option.

Review

We are back Ali Sinclair and Frank McGill.. a fantastic duo who have a talent for getting mixed up in trouble that could really end up getting them killed.

Frank McGill has gone missing.. the only one who can find him is Ali Sinclair but she’s been banged up in prison.. her reward for the last time she helped the government out.

Sinclair has a break of sorts.. but it’s not going to be smooth sailing… she’s freed from prison to track down McGill to bring in him and his asset in from the cold.

There’s a conspiracy afoot and the asset may be able to shed some light on the matter.. Unfortunately Vadim the mole who escape the clutches of Sinclair in their last meeting reappears ready to cause trouble…and this time he’s in the endgame.. time is ticking.

What I really enjoyed about this book is the fact the author not only added new characters to the mix which complemented Ali and Frank but we also see the relationship between Frank and Ali explored. After their last adventure that’s the only thing I really felt was missing but the author hits all the right notes this time and gives me that connection I was craving.

Have I grown to love Ali and Frank since this instalment.. yes.. oh I’m not one for verbal displays of connection.. I like to feel the connection.. see it grow.. but the author managed to keep on the right side of things quite well.. it’s a fine line in a thriller.. I prefer the silent and deadly type ha.

I like to bang on about development a lot.. I know… but it’s important.. Hunting Ground is an important book for L J Morris as not only does it give real development in the characters and plot but shows development for the author themselves.. no holes to pick at… just well paced adrenaline fuelled action that keeps you gripped!

It’s an easy read but it flows perfectly.. (I hate when the suspense is over too quickly!) and it’s written in such a way so you can’t help but be hooked in.

Overall 5*.. I loved the previous offering but Hunting Ground offers sooooo much more and ticked the box left blank for me last time.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author and Book On The Bright Side Publicity for having me on the blog tour!

Author Bio:
Profile 1_LJM
 

L J Morris is an author with a lifelong love of books and storytelling that he developed as a child. He spent most of the 80s and 90s serving in the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineer and now lives in Cumbria, with his family. He currently works within the defence industry and continues to write at every opportunity.

His short stories have appeared in several anthologies including Volumes 1 & 2 of Best-selling author Matt Hilton’s anthology series ‘ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales’.

Other anthologies he has appeared in include ‘Happily Never After’, ‘Wish You Weren’t Here’, and ‘Liminal Time, Liminal Space’ where one reader described his tale ‘True Colours’ as “Riveting and powerful

His first novel ‘Desperate Ground’ was published in May 2018 and attracted good reviews.

Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy…. (Granted a little later than planned.. blame the weather and an Ill family ha.. Apologies.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Historical Fiction.

AD 838. Deep in the forests of Wessex, Dunston’s solitary existence is shattered when he stumbles on a mutilated corpse.

Accused of the murder, Dunston must clear his name and keep the dead man’s daughter alive in the face of savage pursuers desperate to prevent a terrible secret from being revealed.

Rushing headlong through Wessex, Dunston will need to use all the skills of survival garnered from a lifetime in the wilderness. And if he has any hope of victory against the implacable enemies on their trail, he must confront his long-buried past – becoming the man he once was and embracing traits he had promised he would never return to. The Wolf of Wessex must hunt again; honour and duty demand it.

Review

Wolf of Wessex sees Matthew Harffy move away from the comfort of his Bernicia Chronicles Series.

To say I was excited is an understatement.. I was more than a little keen to see how the author would fair with a completely new set of characters.

Following the tale of Dunston was a pure joy! He’s pushing on a years a little as he likes to remind everyone but he’s thrust back into a life he thought he’d left long behind.

As Dunston goes about his normal day he stumbles upon a grisly murder..it’s pretty gruesome.. what makes it worse is Dunston’s dog Odin leads him to a young girl… it’s her father who’s just been murdered.

Thrust together Dunston and the girl Aedwen set out for safety.. Dunston’s wants nothing more than just to live out his days in peace as he’s promised his late wife… unfortunately for him he’s about to walk right into the biggest mess you can imagine.

Dunston is forced to hunt… to use every skill he’s got and Aedwen wants to come along for the ride… the only way to get the quiet life he’s after is to face one last trial.

As they travel the connection between the two grows.. Dunston’s reminded of the past and Aedwen needs that father figure.. a rather unconventional convergence but it’s what they both need… they don’t know it but they can help each other.

Dunston will make those who murdered Aedwen’s father pay. He doesn’t want to be a hero..her saviour.. but he can’t let her down… he’s too honourable to do that.

Down to the nitty-gritty… plot… bloody loved it! Moving away from Beobrand and the Bernicia Chronicles was a gamble of sorts but with talent like Harffy’s it’s a no brainer! My only question throughout the book was would it work.. an old man and a young girl.. can they connect.. will it make sense..and you know what it really did.

While Dunston takes the limelight there is an ensemble of supporting characters who add to the tale, combine this with a wonderfully detailed setting and you’ve got a winner!

I particularly liked the charcoal burners, learning about their lives and how lonely it could have been for them, shunned by many. It proves you can write a cracking plot whilst also sharing knowledge that will stick with the reader long after the book is finished.

The thing about Dunston is he’s complex..his motivations subdued.. until he can hide no longer.. he’s not the young man he once was but he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Gripping from the first page the last, the hero who didn’t want to be, a young girl seeking true justice.

There is one thing in this book better than everything though.. Odin! Dunston’s four legged companion.. his tale is one of pain, loyalty and strength.the connection between the two runs deep.. I loved it.

Wolf of Wessex is a cracking read, dark and brutal just the way I like it. The plot grows at a decent pace and at every turn you are led by the author on a heart-gripping adventure..

As much as I want to see Beobrand return Harffy has proved I’ll love anything he writes… more please!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads!

Desperate Ground: (Ali Sinclair #1) by L J Morris – Review (FREE BOOK ALERT!!)

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Desperate Ground: (Ali Sinclair #1) by L J Morris which is currently free on Amazon!

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Thriller.

When the secrecy of a nuclear weapon agreement is thrown into doubt, a disgraced intelligence operative is recruited to find out if the deal is still safe…

Ali Sinclair, wrongly convicted and on the run from a Mexican prison, is enlisted to infiltrate her old friend’s inner circle and find the evidence.

The only people on her side are an ex-Cold War spook and the former Royal Marine that was sent to find her. Together they discover that the stakes are much higher than anyone knew, and the fate of the world is at risk…

But when you live in the shadows who can you trust?

Review

Ali Sinclair and Frank McGill are not to be messed with.. Ali has quite a skill set and with Frank backing her up with fire power when needed you are in deep trouble if they come calling.

Sinclair has spent time behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.. she took the blame for the right reasons but she will never trust those in power again who left her in a hell hole of a prison.

When Sinclair breaks free Frank is their waiting.. nows she’s keeping her head down as she will be sent back to jail if caught.

When Simeon Carter learns of a potential situation that could use the skills and knowledge of Sinclair it’s Frank who must act as a middle man and gain Ali’s support… this is a chance for her to come home..to be free.. it’s not one she can pass up. She’s the ideal candidate.. she’s got the skills and a past connection on the inside to help… or are they part of the madness also?

As Frank and Ali set out on their mission Simeon is also doing his bit..he’s got an expert working with him to uncover the threat but with limited info it’s not going to be easy.

It soon comes clear there is more to this threat than originally thought and it could have devastating results… and worse still there’s a mole.. someone on their side is calling the shots..but who? and why?

Everything comes to an explosive conclusion but the threads are left to set the scene for the next book in the series which I’m excited to read.

What I really enjoyed about the book was the plot..the whole idea of how the bad guy thinks he can get his hands on nuclear weapons was fascinating.. the whole idea that security put in place to protect these system could be exploited was right up my street.

The story is quite plot driven and I would have loved a little more character development as I didn’t feel like I knew the team well enough by the end of the tale..Sinclair and McGill are a tight but I’d like to explore the background to this more.. hopefully we will see their connection grow further in the next instalment.

Desperate Ground is a spy thriller full of action and violence.. it’s the perfect thriller.. reminds me of Mission Impossible/James Bond and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ali is such a strong and fearless force it’s hard not to love her.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books and the author for the chance to read/review the book. Get your copy now while it’s on offer for free!!!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads