Tag Archives: Frank Westworth

The JJ Stoner Series #7, #8 & #9 by Frank Westworth

Today I’m going to be doing 3 quick reviews for Frank Westworth author of The Killing Sisters and The Stoner Series.

Frank is adept and writing short sharp self-contained espionage thrillers packed with action..but few words.. that’s just JJ Stoner’s style! These novellas feature characters from the authors full length novels and serve to support the series but at the same time act as an intro for anyone wanting to learn Frank’s style of storytelling.

7

Seven Hells – Here’s the blurb

A terrorist atrocity will occur today on the crowded streets of a British city. The authorities have been forewarned, and tactical squads scramble to likely locations. They’re playing a waiting game with a deadly opponent, a religious extremist with a lethal message in mind. But who will make the first move?

JJ Stoner – the ex-military man with a sideline in silencing people – should play no part in this operation. But an old opponent from the times of the Troubles has other ideas. He knows who to manipulate to lure Stoner into the killing zone – and into conflict with his closest friends and allies…

Review

We are back with book 7 in the JJ Stoner series.

It starts with a meeting between Stoner and The Hard Man.. Stoners boss. Drinks have flowed and the conversation turns to work.. but of a more personal motivation… Stoner doesn’t do personal.

The meeting ends abruptly as a terrorist threat has been reported and there’s still time to stop the attack!

JJ is thrust back into contact with his ex-lover, Bernadette, who has a source.. but they will only meet with Stoner. There is some tension building I can feel it.

As you can imagine things do not really go to plan and Stoner is lucky to not have his ass blown off.

There’s a few twists along the way and I always love how Stoner is a man of few words..the more you read the more you think you know him.. but you don’t..you never quite know which direction he will take but rest assured it will be the way packed with explosions and bullets.

Another cracking instalment from the author.

4/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

8

CzechM8 – Here’s the blurb

The life of a contract killer can be complicated.

JJ Stoner’s boss wants him to kill someone. His best friend’s girlfriend also wants him to kill someone. His best friend could kill him for getting cosy with the wrong woman.

Stoner just wants to ride his Harley – but the forces of law and order have other ideas…

Review

JJ just wants a simple life.. point and shoot.. no hidden agendas..no deceit..but that will never happen in his line of work.

This book heavily involves Shard, a colleague of Stoners. Shard seems to be quite jealous of Stoner talking to a woman.. why? Well this lady has had one or two dances in the bedroom with Shard if you get my drift.

To be fair to Stoner.. she just wants him to kill someone for her.. but this isn’t just an ordinary man either.

In typical Stoner fashion the job is done.. deniability concrete. I loved the Yuri’s..brought in to help Stoner with a particular part of the plan. The mission goes quite smoothly for once!

I always love that the author lets Stoner’s passions shine through each tale.. In this one it’s his love for motorbikes..at other times it’s his music..it just adds a little depth to a man of few words.

4/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

9

Nine Lies – Here’s the blurb

Even an accomplished assassin can have a bad day. JJ Stoner certainly didn’t expect brain tissue and skull fragments to feature quite so prominently in a routine surveillance operation. That’s bad enough, but things get worse as the week goes by.

Machiavellian inter-agency intrigue sees Stoner pretending to be a Russian agent while fulfilling a mission for the CIA. Somehow JJ ends up at the wrong end of a gun barrel, dodging bullets. And not all of them miss their target…

When you’re a deniable – potentially disposable – covert operative, killing people is sometimes the easy option.

Staying alive isn’t always so straightforward.

Review

So…Stoner gets shot!! Yeh that got you listening.

The tale starts with JJ Stoner and Stretch McCann on a routine mission, interagency cooperation. Things go smoothly.. so much so The Hard Man, JJ’s Boss has another job for him and JJ decides to bring Stretch along for backup.

Things go sideways.. and it’s not coincidence either.. but who set them up..and who’s the target, Stoner or Stretch, and why?

Well JJ won’t let a little bullet stop him getting to the bottom of things but it does take some well placed connections to put the pieces together.

I quite enjoyed this one, showing Stoner isn’t invincible and I loved the back and forth between Stoner and Stretch…brothers form different mothers type of feel.

4/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreadsor Amazon.

Overall I really enjoy these books, short sharp and enticing. There’s always that wiggle room for interpterion.. you never quite know how Stoner will react and it is this unpredictability that keeps me reading.

10 Questions with…Frank Westworth

Today I bring to you my 10 questions feature with author Frank Westworth. If you’ve been following my reviews you’ll know I’m a big fan of his work.

 

Frank is the author of the brilliant Killing Sisters series and also the JJ Stoner short tales I love so much.

If you havent already please take a look at the Author Spotlight I did for Frank last year.

You should also check out my recent reviews for the following books –

The Stoner Stories – Volume 1

The Redemption Of Charm

I hope you enjoy the Q&A 🙂


 

First of all welcome to my blog Frank. The first question has to be the most important… so obviously I want to know if you are a tea or coffee kind of man? Or do you prefer something stronger?

Both. Everything. No limits. Whatever tastes right. No constraints. If I want to drink a coffee – I drink coffee. Tea’s the same, there are tea days and there are coffee days. And there are … something stronger days too. They are the jewels. When that time is the right time, only Stolichnaya will do … if there’s none nearby, then maybe Famous Grouse, or a lot of cheap beer. A lot… an awful lot.

Once a month I tend to let my hair down (not that I have much these days) and enjoy a slap up takeaway meal. I mean as much as I can eat. It’s my guilty pleasure. What’s yours?

Guilty? There is a thing. Why feel guilt about a pleasure? You deserve pleasure, and so do I. But… rules got laid down in all of us when we were growing up. I can still feel a little guilt about breaking those rules. So… ordering more food than I can eat, and wasting the rest. Drinking more than is sane, to the point of embarrassment. Riding a motorcycle further and faster through the wildest storm in the darkest night through the Welsh mountains…
Forbidden conversation in the dark hours on forbidden topics with people you don’t know and do not even like.

Are you afraid of anything strange? I myself am afraid of clowns which I believe is totally justifiable.

No. Fear is a strange thing. I’ve died twice – although I can’t recommend this much as a learning experience – and after that very little is a concern, almost nothing is an actual fear.

Are you a morning or night person?

Depends. A beautiful dawn is as beautiful as a beautiful evening, and the blackest night is as challenging as the brightest day.

Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there? (For those of you who don’t know who Rufus is… watch Bill and Ted. I love those movies!)

  1. I want to endlessly sit in an audience anywhere and listen live to Jimi Hendrix playing Little Wing. Loop. Repeat. Forever.

Now an important question. I don’t want facts, I want opinion. How many sides does a circle have? (I’ve had many a drunken conversation on the topic, exciting I know)

Four. Accept no other answer.

Ok so I guess I should ask some questions about your writing. Give me five words to describe JJ Stoner.

Relentless. Loyal. Vindictive. Clever. Violent.

Do you have any inspirations inside and outside of the writing community?

Oh yes. Far too many to list – you’d doze off. Every brilliant book is a unique inspiration, like every outstanding movie, and every great piece of music, and standing in love with mountains, forests, rivers, ships and cities. Everything, pretty much, is an inspiration – something to think about and enjoy.

What’s currently on your own bookshelf?

I’m reading Entanglement by Zygmunt Miloszewski, after that comes Kings of America by RJ Ellory. And after that? I’m not sure whether to dive into something SciFi or maybe another thriller of some kind. There’s a lot of books on the shelves.

What’s next for Frank Westworth?

A holiday – off to Malta. Holidays are the very best times to write fiction, and as I’ve hit the end of the trilogy I need to get into the fourth book. Trilogies always have four books, right? Right.

Thank you Frank..this is a fun little Q & A 🙂 Ha

To find out more about Frank’s work head to Murder, Mayhem & More or Goodreads

The Redemption Of Charm by Frank Westworth – Review

Title – The Redemption Of Charm (Killing Sisters, #3)
Author – Frank Westworth
Genre – Thriller
Length – 200 Pages
Publication – March 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

JJ STONER HAS EVERY REASON TO KILL.

The ex-black ops assassin and former soldier has been betrayed three times over. His enemies brutalised his woman, corrupted his best friend. Stoner is now a danger to anyone who knows him. He’s isolated. Neutralised. Vulnerable.

Now he must confront Charm, the final Killing Sister, and find out whether any of his former friends and allies will stand by his side when the bullets start flying.

JJ Stoner has every reason to die.
Can he find a reason to live?

In ‘The Redemption Of Charm’, anti-hero JJ Stoner prowls the threatening territory familiar to readers of ‘Galveston’ or ‘The Winter Of Frankie Machine’ but with a distinctly British twist. Imagine what might happen if Jack Reacher lost the only fight that really matters…

Black humour and wry realism underscore intense episodes of brutal, no-holds-barred conflict. Snappy dialogue segues into surreal, sometimes deadly sexual encounters.

Finally, Stoner must take his last stand and face his ultimate foe. Survival is far from certain.

Perfect for fans of Lee Child, Don Winslow and Nic Pizzolatto.

Review

I must admit coming late to the series so I’ve not actually read the first two books in the series yet but I really wanted to see how the book would read without prior knowledge of the first two books. Well let me tell you, it wouldn’t be recommended to read this book as a standalone. The author does a great job at giving you tit bits of information to explain what has happened to get to where Stoner is right now but I feel you lack the character development this way, I was lucky to have read all the Stoner short tales so I knew a bit about JJ’s world and the characters to expect so can honestly say while it’s a great book regardless I think you’re better off having a fuller picture so you can enjoy it more.

Now on to the story..JJ is a man who knows how to kill, he’s a man of few words and emotions but in this story we find him broken after the events of the previous book. (If like me you come to the series at this stage don’t worry, the author explains everything nicely so I wasn’t confused at any time).

One thing is for sure..he won’t remain broken for long..he has an itch to scratch but first he needs to figure out who he can trust..not so easy for a man who is more than a little paranoid.

What we get is another great tale from Frank, it’s dark and gritty but Stoner adds his own humour to the tale which makes it fun. What makes this book different from the rest I’ve read from the author is the emotional development with Stoner. He’s a man of few words but we see in this book that he’s not a machine and he has to bring himself back from the brink.

Stoner slowly puts the pieces together and this is where Frank Westworth really shines..the suspense. You know everything is building up to the ending but you never know when a big event will happen and that ending certainly had the bang I was after.

Westworth did a great job of keeping me interested throughout the book. As with all the shorts Frank knows how to make his characters appeal. Motives are never clear at first and you can’t help but want to read more to find out what the hell is going on and who Stoner is going to kill. It’s all mystery and suspense building into one hell of a thrilling final act.

I won’t pretend to be some authority on authors but in my opinion Frank is a very unique writer and my only reason for a 4* is coming to the series late I found it took me a little while to figure out the killing sisters as their names are all very similar Charity, Chastity and Charm . I had to reread a few lines of text to remind myself who was who but it didn’t take any enjoyment away from the tale at all.

Full disclosure, I was given a review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review but if you’ve read my previous reviews for this author you know I’m more than happy to buy his work and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Stoner Stories – Volume 1 by Frank Westworth -Review

Title – The Stoner Stories: The Stoner Stories 1-5
Author – Frank Westworth
Genre – Thriller
Length – 196 Pages
Publication – Nov 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

An action-packed anthology featuring covert operative JJ Stoner, who uses sharp blades, blunt instruments and his innate persuasiveness to discreetly resolve tricky situations for the British government

This collection contains the first five JJ Stoner short stories plus an all-new, previously unpublished stand-alone quick thriller and other bonus material

Please note that the JJ Stoner stories are intended for an adult audience and contain explicit scenes of a sexual and/or violent nature

FIRST CONTRACT: JJ Stoner was a soldier who killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand, he over-stepped the mark. Faced with a dishonourable discharge and accusations of murder, Stoner accepted an offer from a stranger who represented an intelligence agency, and found himself about to execute his first private contract…

TWO WRONGS starts with great sex and ends in sudden death. US Navy SEAL Stretch McCann believes he’s met the girl of his dreams. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else; another military man not inclined to suffer rivals lightly. Enter JJ Stoner, who offers Stretch an opportunity for action…

THIRD PERSON: A target is being stalked through rain-soaked city streets. Someone seeks JJ Stoner, covert investigator and occasional contract killer. Caution is advised: with Stoner you often get more than you bargain for and this is Ireland, not so very long after the Good Friday agreement. Someone plans to put a cat among the peace process pigeons…

FOUR CORNERED: Stoner needs to prove to his boss that he’s more than a one-trick pony whose only skill is delivering an abrupt ending. But when a static stake-out abruptly escalates into live fire, JJ is distracted by two killer women. What should have been a ‘routine conversation’ with a disenchanted weapons inspector veers into violence with fatal consequences…

FIFTH COLUMNIST: A bent copper is compromising national security and needs to be rapidly neutralised, but none of the evidence will stand up in court. That’s exactly why men like Stoner operate in the shadows, ready to terminate the target once an identity is confirmed…

SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP: When Stoner returns to the USA he’s treading on sensitive territory. No Englishman is exactly welcome in Louisiana so soon after the international oil rig disaster. Stoner claims he’s visiting New Orleans for the annual jazzfest, but the agents sent to intercept him have a hard time believing this…

This anthology introduces the central characters from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series in six complete, stand-alone stories. You don’t need to read the longer novels first: you can start right here if you like

Review

Last year I read the first 5 shorts in the Stoner series by Frank Westworth. I was very kindly gifted the first book but I happily purchased the rest in the series I enjoyed the first that much. I was lucky enough to be offered the chance of a copy of the anthology containing the shorts I’d already reviewed but with the added advantage of an extra tale for me to enjoy!

If you’d like to see what I thought of the original 5 shorts click the images below to open up the reviews I’ve previosuly posted.

 

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Looking at the Stoner Stories collection as a whole.. what does it offer you over the purchasing the single stories?? Well to be quite honest the anthology offers value for money. It’s currently £1.99 on kindle which is a steal.

As I also mentioned you get an extra story in this anthology too, SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. This short builds nicely on the series as Stoner becomes more established and it was a treat to see Stretch in this one as he’s one of my favourites in the series.

I’m not going to spoil the tales for you. What I will tell you is Frank likes to keep you guessing right until the end..you really don’t know where the tale will take you or what will happen to Stoner next.

I enjoyed reading all the stories individually last year but the collection is so much stronger together. Short tales for me are easy to forget sometimes..not that they don’t stick with you but you’ve got to work hard in 50 pages to hook a reader in..this collection perfectly keeps you hooked as you can go from one story to the next and really helps me as a reader enjoy the characters.

The Stoner Collection is full of twists with intriguing characters. Frank Westworth leaves you wanting more and with a short tale that’s never a bad thing in my book..you want to feel like you get value for money (which you certainly do) but you want to know there’s more to come and that the author is hooking you in for future tales.

This collection is highly recommend for anyone who likes shorts like myself, like a bit of a thriller but don’t want the word count or if you just want to try something new.

Great book for a bargain price! Check it out.

My thanks go to the author and also Rowena at Murder Mayhem for the chance to read/review the collection.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.