Tag Archives: Thriller

A Whiff of Cyanide by Guy Fraser-Sampson – Review

Title – A Whiff of Cyanide
Author – Guy Fraser-Sampson
Genre – Thriller
Length –  360 Pages
Publication – June 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The third volume of the bestselling Hampstead Murders sees the team become involved with a suspicious death at a crime writers’ convention. Is this the result of a bitterly contested election for the Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association or are even darker forces at work? Peter Collins, who is attending the convention as the author of a new book on poisoning in Golden Age fiction, worries that the key clue to unlock this puzzle may be buried within his own memories. A character called Miss Marple offers her advice, but how should the police receive this? Meanwhile an act of sudden, shocking violence and a dramatic revelation threaten tragic consequences…

Review

Book 3 of Hampstead Murders builds nicely on to what is becoming a very exciting series. If you haven’t already read the first two books you should!

Click below to read my reviews of –

Book 1 – Death in Profile

Book 2 – Miss Christie Regrets

So back to book 3..well the author certainly knows how to throw a curve ball or two and once again the suspense is built up over the book until the final reveal and all becomes clear.

This time our favourite detectives are investigating the murder of Ann Durham and from the title of the book you’ll guess cyanide plays its part.

There’s reason to believe this could have been suicide but It soon gets interesting when the evidence (or lack of) points to murder. Who did it..and even more so..how!

We get twists and turns at every corner when the detectives start looking into Ann’s life and the potential motives behind her murder explored. This really gets the cogs in your brain working worktime.

The author also gives us an insight into the lives if the detectives and while I can’t spoil it for the reader let me say things are certainly heating up and things are about to become a lot more complicated.

What the author gives the reader is a real whodunnit, the perfect mix of plot and character development to really get me sucked into the world he’s created. I really enjoy the old school vibe these tales have relying on gut instincts to lead the investigation at times.

Overall a cracking plot that had me hooked right until the last page.It’s fun and witty and if I’m honest a delightful read. The Hampstead Murders series just keeps getting better!

If you’ve not started the series yet what are you waiting for?

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Pendle Fire by Paul Southern (@psouthernauthor) – Blog Blitz

B L O G B L I T Z

Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for the Pendle Fire the new release by Paul Southern, here’s the blurb –

Title – Pendle Fire
Author – Paul Southern
Genre – Thriller
Length – 256 Pages
Publication – 1st April 2018
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Social worker Johnny Malkin is battling a crippling workload and a hostile local community. That’s on a good day: things are about to get a whole lot worse.

Two fourteen-year-old girls are found wandering Aitken Wood on the slopes of Pendle Hill, claiming to have been raped by a gang of men. With no female social workers available, Johnny is assigned to their case. But what, at first, looks like yet another incident of child exploitation takes a sinister turn when the girls start speaking of a forthcoming apocalypse.

When Johnny interviews one of the girls, Jenna Dunham, her story starts to unravel. His investigation draws him into a tight-knit village community in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where whispers of witchcraft and child abuse go back to the Middle Ages.

One name recurs: The Hobbledy Man. Is he responsible for the outbreaks of violence sweeping across the country?

Is he more than just myth?

Review

Pendle Fire is a thriller with a supernatural edge and at every turn you are left wondering who or what is causing all the violence. Is this myth from the past real or is there somethings else afoot?

The book follows two main characters PC Shaf and Johnny Malkin. They are both caught up and a whirlwind of violence and mystery and the deeper they go the more confusing it gets for them to separate the truth from fiction.

I’ve reviewed for the author previously and knew from the off that the direction I as a reader would go would be turned on its head.

The story line is very engrossing and tackles some difficult subjects such as grooming with some very detailed accounts at times and while it’s a hard subject to read about it added to the mystery of the tale..for me I was left undecided as to the true culprit(s) of the of the events that played out and I feel the author wrote it this way to engage with the reader..you decide the ending you believe.

I’m all about the flow of a book and the alternating perspectives worked well and kept things fresh adding suspense as the tale progressed.

Overall a fast paced dark and disturbing tale, well written with a decent page count makes this an easy read to get stuck into.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author and Bloodhound books for the chance to be part of the tour

Author Bio:

Paul+Southern+picture+

Paul Southern was born in the 1960s to itinerant parents who moved from city to city. He lived in Liverpool, Belfast, London and Leeds, then escaped to university, where he nearly died of a brain haemorrhage. After an unexpected recovery, he co-formed an underground indie group (Sexus). Made immediate plans to become rich and famous, but ended up in Manchester. Shared a house with mice, cockroaches, and slugs; shared the street with criminals. Five years later, hit the big time with a Warners record deal. Concerts at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Melody Maker front cover, Smash Hits Single of the Week, Radio 1 and EastEnders. Mixed with the really rich and famous. Then mixed with lawyers. Ended up back in Manchester, broke. He got a PhD in English (he is the world’s leading authority on Tennyson’s stage plays!), then wrote his first novel, The Craze, based on his experiences of the Muslim community. He has three other published books and has written for ITV. He was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger award in 2002 and received positive reviews from national and international press, including The Guardian, Arena, Radio 4, Ladsmag, and Kirkus, amongst many others.

Links:

www.paulsouthern.org

https://www.facebook.com/paulsouthernauthor/

https://twitter.com/psouthernauthor

BLOG TOUR – The Silver Wolf by Rob Sinclair – Review

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Today is my stop of the blog tour for Rob Sinclair’s latest release The Silver Wolf, book 3 in the Jame Ryker series. Here’s the blurb –
Genre – Thriller
Length – 371 Pages
Publication – 17th Nov 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

Review

We are back with Ryker, he now knows the fate of Lisa and he’s even more determined than ever to make those involved pay no matter the cost.

Ryker used to work for the JIA but not anymore..he’s happy to be a lone wolf on this one but will take any assistance offered if it helps him track down his targets.

While on his personal mission he ends up stumbling upon a much bigger issue and can’t help but be sucked in. His personal mission might not be the same as the JIA’s but while they are of use to him he will continue to do what he does best..cause trouble.

There are some amazing twists to this explosive and gruesome tale..Ryker definitely has a darker edge to him. I must admit this story plays out like a Jason Bourne kind of tale but it’s much more exciting.

The author takes no prisoners.. I’m not going to spoil it but there’s one scene that left speechless and I read it over again a few times thinking – “Oh MY GOD did he really just do that”. Damn it’s good.

The Silver Wolf offers everything you could need in a thriller, it’s dark and heavy hitting which gives it an edge, there’s suspense but plenty of action for the adrenaline junkies, twists all over and I can’t stress enough how amazing the overall plot is.

It was a true pleasure to read, seeing the big picture come together as Ryker but’s the pieces together. The author continues to knocking cracking tales time and time again and delivers every time.

It’s a must read series.

My thanks go to the auhtor and Bloodhound Books for the chance to read/review the book! I sense a paperback copy being ordered for my collection 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Author Bio:
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons

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.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown – Review

Title – Digital Fortress
Author – Dan Brown
Genre – Thriller
Length – 512 Pages
Publication – July 2004
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

When the NSA’s invincible code-breaking machine – encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls in its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage…not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it will cripple U.S. intelligence.

Review

Digital Fortress is my first step into the mind and works of Dan Brown.

Was I impressed? Most certainly.

This was the author’s debut. I’m late to the party I know but better late than never.

What we get is a very good story of deception and intrigue based around the release of a piece of code which has been introduced into a top secret code-breaking machine designed to crack any code.. but it can’t crack this one.. it’s stuck.

Susan Fletcher is caught up in the all mess when she notices the machine has been working on cracking the code way longer than it should. Susan’s partner is also sucked into this mess when he is sent off to find the code that will kill the program.

There’s some very good twists to this plot in my opinion. I always felt I had an idea of what was happening until the author throws in a spanner to twist the tale in another direction. You never quite know who is behind everything until the end.

Honestly within the first few chapters I made assumptions on how the plot would develop.. How wrong was I? Very..

Pleasantly surprised indeed. I tend to read more self-published/ Indie authors so this was a break to my norm but it was well worth reading and I’ll make sure to follow up on the authors subsequent books.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Somewhere in San Diego by Dennis Macaraeg – Review

Title – Somewhere in San Diego
Author – Dennis Macaraeg
Genre – Thriller
Length – 226 Pages
Publication – April 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

A thriller about best friends, scientific data, hired guns and a harrowing race with a past lover to stay alive. Marine biologist Danny Maglaya must meet with his best friend and fellow scientist Blake Mason to upload the data demanded as ransom by the kidnappers of Blake’s fiancée. The task might have been simple, but every time the two scientists try to rendezvous, two contract assassins show up. With Danny and Blake’s phones hacked and each move they make monitored, the only way to survive is to outwit the men wanting to eliminate them. With an ingenious but risky solution, Danny teams up with his ex-lover to piece together secrets that only she, Danny and Blake know. A series of perilous events follows as Danny and his old flame, Valerie, race through San Diego County, solving clues about Blake’s whereabouts and about their possible future together. Will their love for each other be the catalyst for success or will the bitter pain of their breakup be a recipe for disaster?

Review

Before I get down to what I thought of the book have you read my review for Somewhere in the Shallow Sea? If not take a look.

Now while I think it works better if you read Somewhere in the Shallow Sea first it’s not 100% necessary.  Personally I would just so you can see the progression of not only the tale but also the author.

The plot follows the same sort of pattern as the previous book. Danny is a biologist who created a compound that can attract fish. While Danny and his friend Blake have been collecting data on their research Blake’s fiancée has been kidnapped.

The kidnappers want this information uploaded for all to see otherwise Blake’s fiancée dies.

So of course Danny wants to help. The only issue is he’s being hunted down by two assassins who seem to want him dead and the data destroyed.

What we get is a fast paced tale with twists and turns all the way as Danny tries to but the pieces together.

Again we have some romance for Danny, as much as I don’t like romance in my books this worked well and built up nicely so wasn’t forced on me as a reader.

What I really liked is the tale is fun and exciting and a super easy read.

Yes it’s a bit outrageous that this is the second kidnapping to involve Danny and that these assassins seem a little useless at times but that’s what give it a fun edge.

Overall for me this was an improvement on the last tale. The development worked better especially between Danny and Valarie.

If you’re looking for a fun action thriller rather than the dark gritty thriller then this is the book for you.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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

Blood Moon by John David Bethel – Review

Title – Blood Moon
Author – John David Bethel
Genre – Crime Thriller
Length – 451 Pages
Publication – December 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

On a hot, steamy afternoon in Miami, Cuban-American businessman Recidio Suarez is brutally beaten and abducted. Handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded, he has no idea why he has been targeted. What he discovers is heart-stopping. What he endures during almost a month of captivity compares only to the most horrendous stories of prisoners of war. He is tortured, and under the threat of death, and worse – the rape of his wife and torture of his children – Suarez is forced to hand over his multi-million dollar holdings to his captors.

Suarez survives and then spends the next few months staying one step ahead of the murderous pack. During this time, he and his lawyer, Nolan Stevens – a former Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Office of the FBI – are having difficulties convincing the Miami-Dade Police Department that a crime has been committed. Their efforts are complicated by Steven’s difficult history with the head of the MDPD Special Investigations Division, who is not interested in pursuing the case.

Review

Blood Moon is an intense thriller. Although the tale is a work of fiction it’s based on real events which made for a gripping tale as you didn’t really know which aspects were fact and which fiction.. it didn’t bother me not knowing..it just had the cogs in my mind ticking trying to imagine what it must have been like living any of the events portrayed in the book.

So the story follows Suarez who is kidnapped and forced to give everything up..his money, his house, his entire life basically. Suarez quickly works out there’s going to be no way they will let him leave alive..they want to get every last penny out of him they can and they will do anything for it.

What we get is a rather engrossing read but at times disturbing with its gruesomeness. What I really enjoyed was the reality hit you get.. the descriptiveness  of the mental and physical torture and also the lasting effects this has on Suarez, mind and body.. this really did make the story real to me.

As a reader I did feel frustrated at how no one put the pieces together, banks, friends and family etc but I think it shows the personal touch to life I feel we’ve lost over the years.. as long as something doesn’t affect them they continue along the same path. Suarez’s wife does believe her husband is in trouble but she just doesn’t know how bad things are and with her trust issues regarding the police I understood why she didn’t raise the alarm.

I must admit by the end of the book I really enjoyed the character of his wife she develops an exciting edge to her in the later stages of the tale.

There’s some really good twists in this tale that kept me hooked, after Suarez narrowly escapes death you’re invested in his recovery and you’ll find yourself exasperated with the lack of support he gets from those who should be helping him.. luckily his family and a close friend Nolan Stevens know he wouldn’t lie and help him come to terms a little with what has happened and set him on the path to get justice.

Before reading the book I sort of had ideas on how the plot would progress.. the end result was nothing like my thoughts, the events are so unexpected and dark but so riveting.  It’s that reality check moment again.. since the story is based on a real crime you sort of don’t want to love/enjoy the story as you feel a little bad but you do.. it’s certainly got some wow moments that stick with you.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon