Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon @knntom @GladiusPress @ZooloosBT #crime #policeprocedural #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon. This is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and I am so glad that I have started this one at the very beginning. Pennance is a character that I really liked and I can’t wait to read more. Also, the name choice is so good as well.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s book tours for the spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous crime thriller.

Three bodies, one suspect. That suspect is you…

When the unidentified corpse of an apparent suicide victim is found hanging above a complex pattern of forty photographs of children, Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance of the Met’s specialist Sapphire Unit is brought in to investigate.

A post-mortem reveals the suicide was murder, and Pennance realises he knows the man. But as the body count rises, all the signs point to a care home in Kent – a place that Pennance is all too familiar with.

The problem is the only person connecting the victims is Pennance – and he has a solid motive for wanting them dead… Can Pennance prove his innocence?

Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James Blood Sentence is the first book in the explosive series featuring Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance.

MY REVIEW

WOW! What a brilliant read this book was. It is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and what an opener it is.

When Pennance is dragged away from a crime scene in London to go to Anglesey, he isn’t expecting to find that he is a connection, not that he is connected to others. I have to be really careful here, it would be so easy to make a slip up in this review and reveal details!!!

Pennance, well he is mystified and so was I. I mean how could he be connected to two bodies, one a suicide in Wales and a murder in London. He works for the Sapphire Unit of the MET, it’s the department that deals with sex crimes, so it becomes more and more intriguing.

Pennance is a bit of a closed book, the only person who he seems to really get on with is a work colleague, Smithson. The relationship between them is friendly and supportive and I am glad it is a friendship rather than a relationship as it means that Pennance has someone to turn to. Why would he need someone to turn to I hear you ask! Well the more you learn about him the more you realise the complexities of his character. Yeah, I know, vague!

The author has created a wonderfully intense and twisted police procedural that has some really dark scenes, it is twisted around one main plot, but it isn’t straightforward. It also has subplots that keep you on your toes and makes for very addictive reading.

Pennance is a character that comes across as cold, so having a sidekick as such makes a good balance. You do get to learn more about him and his past and I think there is possibly more to come out, I definitely think there are more layers to him for the author to tease out, there is definitely the potential from this reader’s opinion.

This is a crime thriller, it has a very mysterious feel to it and it kept me reading. It feels wrong to call a book exciting when it deals with murders and crime, but exciting it is as it is the start of a new series, and I think it is going to be a very good one. I will be keeping my eye out for more.

Ideal for those looking for something new in police procedures. It’s got plenty of twists, some unexpected turns and all in all a fab read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the author

Keith Nixon is the best-selling author of sixteen novels and one million words in print, including the Margate based Solomon Gray series of over 250,000 copies in circulation and reached no.1 on Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Keith lived near the gritty seaside town of Margate, where many of his novels are based, for 17 years before relocating to the edge of the Peak District with his family where he lives today. Keith works in a senior sales role within a high-tech industry and has regularly travelled all over the globe.
His novels are published by Gladius Press and Bastei Lubbe (German)

Social media links – Facebook Instagram Twitter – Website

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Nine Lives by Peter Swanson #crime #mystery @FaberBooks #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Nine Lives by Peter Swanson. This is a really enjoyable crime mystery book that I had requested from NetGalley. My thanks to Faber & Faber for granting my request to read this title.

If you’re on the list you’re marked for death.

The envelope is unremarkable. There is no return address. It contains a single, folded, sheet of white paper.

The envelope drops through the mail slot like any other piece of post. But for the nine complete strangers who receive it – each of them recognising just one name, their own, on the enclosed list – it will be the most life-altering letter they ever receive. It could also be the last, as one by one, they start to meet their end.

But why?

MY REVIEW

When a letter arrives with nine different names on it and one of them is your own. What would you do? Well for the nine recipients of the letters, seeing their names on a random list doesn’t necessarily alarm them or bother them. Just a prank maybe or something that has been mistakenly mailed. One of the recipients works for the FBI, she is intrigued by this list and seems to think one of the names sounds familiar.

This is a slower-paced story and one where the author introduces the nine letter recipients and gives the basics about them. Nothing seems to link them and they all seem like random strangers. The author gradually ups the suspense throughout this story and it isn’t until the final 20% of the book that things suddenly become clear.

Given that the characters are unknown to each other, there is something that obviously links them. This is the letter with their names on it. One death doesn’t really mean anything, but when a second and then a third person on the list turns up dead, well there is something obviously more going on.

I did like this slower pace, it is one of those stories that feels like nothing is really linking or moving but in subtle ways, things are developing. The author lays down the foundation and then builds them, adding more details to the remaining characters until the end of the book.

This is a crime based story but it felt more like a crime mystery than a crime thriller. Discovering the reasons, the motives and the underlying cause of the list made this a quite addictive read. It is one I would be happy to recommend.

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Fair Game by R.D. Nixon @TerriNixon @RandomTTours @HobeckBooks #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Fair Game by R.D. Nixon. This is the second book I have read in this Clifford & MacKenzie series. It’s nice to occasionally step away from police procedurals and read a book about an Investigating Agency.

My full review for the first book Crossfire can be found HERE

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher Hobeck Books.

It’s autumn in Abergarry.
The nights lengthen, the weather turns, and the atmosphere darkens as the community is rocked by a brutal roadside murder: a loan shark’s ‘bag man’, Craig Lumsden, is found bludgeoned to death in his car in the early hours of the morning.

The season for murder.
The case seems simple enough. and the fingers quickly point to the most obvious suspect. But things are rarely as simple as they seem…

A murder that’s too close to home.
Too close for comfort, and definitely too close for complacency for private investigators Maddie Clifford and Paul Mackenzie. Delving into the case brings at least one of them face-to-face with danger… Will life in Abergarry ever be the same again?

MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the Maddie Clifford and Paul Mackenzie series, I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the previous book, Crossfire. While Maddie and Paul are part of an investigation agency, they are also caught up in something closer to home. A 25-year-old prank with fatal consequences starts this story off. It then gets dangerous and lives are on the line as the author turns up the tension.

This is a story that I really enjoyed, but I did need my wits about me for the many characters in this one. I did occasionally forget who was who, and thankfully I could remember the name Paul MacKenzie as he is referred to in both his first name and surname.

The other thing that kept me on my toes with this story was the complexity of the plot, it was one I could follow while I was reading it, but given the larger cast, it would be very confusing trying to summarise it. This is not a bad thing as it meant for me I had to concentrate more and therefore found myself more immersed in the story.

The storyline is mainly present day, it involves close friends, relatives, family and acquaintances. Thinking back on the story I do believe pretty much everyone has a part to play and I there is one or two characters that I really did have a soft spot for. Not main characters as such, but very definitely important to the story.

You will have to forgive my vagueness for this review, I did mention that it was complex but at the same time I don’t want to give anything away.

The author has created a wonderfully tense story, it is full of danger, apprehension, doubt, mistrust and it takes time for the whole truth to come out. The storyline itself is slow to completely reveal itself, but the pacing increases as I got further and further into it.

The ending was interesting, it did answer the questions and also raised eyebrows. I really enjoyed this one, as I write this review I can see this one being very good if it was made into a TV mini-series. I do think that there are many details that would transfer so well. This is an atmospheric crime thriller, tense, dark, devious and one that I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

R.D. (Terri) Nixon is a prolific writer, with thirteen books under her belt now. In
addition to this crime series, she also writes historical fiction, family sagas and
mythical fiction. When she’s not writing, Terri works in the Faculty of Arts,
Humanities, and Business at Plymouth University, where she is constantly
baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

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A Life For a Life by Carol Wyer @CarolEWyer @ZooloosBT @AmazonPub #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review on the opening day of the Blog Tour for A Life For a Life by Carol Wyer. This is the 3rd book in this series and it is another fabulous story involving Detective Kate Young.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this excellent book.

Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.


When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.
Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.


With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

MY REVIEW

This is the third book in this series and it is a cracking series. This latest book, A Life For a Life is such an aptly named title for the story.

detective Kate Young is a tough as boots detective, she has to be to have dealt with what has gone on in her past. She is still coming to terms with the death of her husband, and she still misses her father. While she is making progress and in touch with her remaining family, things are still challenging for her.

When a new case lands on her desk, she once again battles with one of her superiors. She is convinced he wants her to fail so appears to limit her and her small team. The case of a body discovered shot through the head isn’t a normal shooting. It is also the start of something that has the team really struggling to piece things together.

While working on this official case, she is also still working on her own personal one. This is a case that has been developing over the course of the series, it has the potential to blow things out into the open and careers could be ended. The problem is that she has very little in the way of evidence. She also finds that her own sounding board for advice has disappeared.

Working one main case is one thing, especially when you have a team working it with you. But when you add another case that you are essentially working yourself and undercover, it makes things difficult. Another problem Kate has is that she really doesn’t know who she can completely trust, her team seem ok but she has her doubts.

Knowing that certain people are waiting for her to fail and fall makes her more determined to do all she can. Working all the hours she can and concentrating all her energy on the shooting case leaves her run down. Her appearance adds fuel to fire that she isn’t able to cope with. All she needs is more pressure, but she does have a superb team to help her.

The author has created a storyline that really does pull on the heartstrings. It is a plot that has a real emotional side to it and it was easy to see how this had developed. Combining this with the unusual weapon of choice is an interesting angle. It is also one that makes sense as things are eventually laid out.

Some surprising twists, an excellently laid out police procedural with an underlying personal story and a one-sitting read for me. This is one where the bodies pile up, the questions keep coming and the pressure is constant. If you have not read any of the previous books in the series I would recommend doing so for the underlying story and also because they are really, really good. This is a book and a series I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer’s crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series, featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye For An Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia. 

Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr. Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy. When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

To learn more, go to http://www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter: @carolewyer

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The Curfew by T.M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor @Tr4cyF3nt0n @ZaffreBooks #crime #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Curfew by T.M. Logan. If you have read any of this authors books before then you are in for a treat, this one is brilliant!

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my hardback copy from the publisher Zaffre Books

I should have known something was wrong.
I should have sensed it. Felt it in the air, like the build-up of pressure before a thunderstorm, that heavy, loaded calm.

The curfew
Andy and Laura are good parents. They tell their son Connor that he can go out with friends to celebrate completing his exams, but he must be home by midnight.

The lie
When Connor misses his curfew, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of five families forever.

The truth?
Because five teenagers went into the woods that night, but only four came out. And telling the truth might mean losing everything…

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 

MY REVIEW

The synopsis for The Curfew is so tantalising and it nicely sets the mood for what is to follow. Right from the outset, this book has a tense atmospheric edge to it, the further I read the more I needed to know what exactly happened the night five teens went into the woods and only four returned!

This was an addictive read and once I read over two sittings, I got a real sense of mistrust as I read, this gave such a tense feel to the overall story. When a teen doesn’t come home parents are obviously worried, phone calls to known friends and other parents soon ensue.

The police are obviously called and this begins the nightmare for several people. How far would you go to protect your own child, would you lie for them, would you omit important details, would you look for your own answers? Well of course you would, and more. This is what makes this book so addictive, tiptoeing over the line to protect your own is something most parents would do.

The crime, well it isn’t straightforward as such. There is no sign of the missing teen, there are however rumours. Deep down you know you don’t want to believe them, but it makes you wonder! It challenges the perceptions you have of your own family and your friends. Who to trust, who can be trusted and more importantly how will this all end!

The over-lying atmosphere for this book is amazing, it oozes suspicion from the first pages and the author ramps it up. It makes this book quite a fast-paced and edgy read. As I read I just didn’t know who to trust, I knew in my heart who I thought I could, but, there was always the element of doubt. This gives such a great psychological edge to the story and all the time I was on edge for some of the characters.

The characters are a mix of parents, teens and family members. This is a community where the teens all know each other, they know each other’s secrets and they see what happens. How do you convince a teen to tell the truth when they could be implicating their friends or disappointing their own parents, or landing themselves in real life-changing trouble?

There are so many dilemmas in this story and I think it would make for a fabulous Book Club read. I also think this would make an amazing thriller film as the author really does bring the eerie and spooky woodland setting into an unsettling and vivid image through the pages.

If you are a fan of this author’s previous books then I think you are going to love this one. This is definitely one for fans of suspense-filled, atmospherically charged, crime thriller and mystery read. A brilliant read from start to finish, with several unexpected twists and a great read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

T.M. Logan is a Sunday Times bestseller whose thrillers have sold more than 1 million copies in the UK and are published in 18 countries around the world. The Holiday was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and will soon be a major TV drama. Formerly a national newspaper journalist, he now writes full time and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. Follow him on Twitter @TMLoganAuthorFollow him on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

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If She Wakes by Erik Therme @ErikTherme @ZooloosBT #crime #mystery #domesticthriller #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for If She Wakes by Erik Therme. This is the second book in the Harlow series and it works as a standalone very well indeed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous mystery, crime, thriller story.

Who do you trust when everyone is lying?


My name is Tess Parker.
Two days ago, I was in a car accident with my sister-in-law, Torrie. Before she slipped into a coma, she asked my husband and me to care for her four-month-old son, Levi.


Yesterday, a woman claiming to be Torrie’s estranged sister knocked on our door. But Torrie has no siblings . . . or so she said. She and my brother were only together a short time before he left, and Torrie has clearly been keeping secrets.


Today, another of Torrie’s “sisters” has come to town. Both say the other is lying about who they are.


Neither of them is telling the truth.
Both of them want Levi.

MY REVIEW

This is my first time reading this author and what a really good twisted crime, thriller mystery this book was. It also had a very good psychological edge to it.

The life of Tess hasn’t been the happiest, it has left her mentally and emotionally scarred. She has the support of her husband, and together they are existing in their marriage. When an accident leaves Tess’s sister in law in hospital it is down to Tess and her husband Josh to look after 4-month-old Levi until Torrie is able to leave the hospital.

This started well and the author quickly engaged me with a pretty fast-paced story. What appeared to be a simple story of an accident soon developed into something more twisted. The story of Tess is gradually incorporated into the story and it was definitely needed to explain her state of mind and also the dynamics of her relationship with Josh, Torrie and also baby Levi.

Tess comes across as quite emotionless but as I learnt more about her I realised why. It gave reason to her cold attitude and also to her mental health. This story does touch onto the mental health side of things in various forms and the author has done a wonderful job with this. It gives the overall story a psychological edge to it that makes for a gripping read. It also added several twists, some I saw coming but others I didn’t expect at all.

This is a fast-paced story, it is intriguing and one that I read in one sitting. I was able to see a different side to several of the characters and for some it made me change my view of them. Not everyone is as you think they are.

This is one for those who like a twisted crime thriller and mystery read. It is one I would recommend reading and I look forward to reading more by this author. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harboured runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways – HERE

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Alex Cohen Boxset by Leopold Borstinski – Cuban Heel #book4 #AlexCohen @borstinski @ZooloosBT #histfic #crime #bookreview

Over the past week, I have been resharing my reviews of books #4 to #6 of the Alex Cohen Box Set. Today is the final day on the Blog Tour and I am sharing my review for Hollywood Bilker.

Having read all the books from the very beginning I have become very fond of Alex Cohen, yeah he is a gangster, he should never be crossed. But the author Leopold Borstinski has created such an addictive series that runs through the decades from Alex’s rise to where he is in the 60s.

If you are a fan of American historical fiction and especially around the Gangsters then this is a series you really should read. It is fabulous and I cannot wait for the next one in the series, which I have been told is in the pipeline! 🙂

Alex Cohen Boxset – Books 4 -6 by Leopold Borstinski. Today is the review for Hollywood Bilker

This digital box set contains the second set of three books in the saga of Alex Cohen’s life:


Hollywood Bilker: Alex returns to America and settles in 1960s California to build a drug and prostitution empire in LA. When he gets a call from the mob to help the CIA invade Cuba, Alex must decide between his family and his business associates. If he helps Uncle Sam and the Mafia then he puts his life on the line fighting for freedom and the chance to rebuild his Havana casinos. If he refuses the favour then death will call on him, his ex-wife and their sons. Once he agrees to one accommodation then others are sure to follow, in a decade where even presidents, assassins and presidential candidates were whacked at a terrifying rate.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK or US

MY REVIEW

This is the 6th book in the Alex Cohen series, a series I am loving and have with every book in the series. The series follows the life of Alex, his family, his friends, his enemies and his business associates. This 6th book sees Alex entering the 1960’s in America.

The previous book saw him high-tailing it out of Cuba, now the author has him rubbing the shoulders with the rich, famous and possibly infamous depending o which circles you mix within. With names such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, the Kennedy’s and Alex’s business background, well you know that these people are going to meet up in this authors series.

If you are new to this series then I would definitely recommend re4ading from the beginning, it gives you a better understanding of where Alex has come from, his background and his life growing up. Working his way up through the ranks of the racketeers and mobs of each decade of the 1900s.

With each book, the author uses names of new items that are relevant to the time, it sort of backs up Alex’s character and also keeps the reader in the time and moment.

Alex and his wife Sarah don’t see much of their family, and while Alex has hinted at retiring he has never done much about it. He is a careful man but also one that will take care of his own business. But, now as he is getting to the stage where he wants more family time he realises he needs to let some of his businesses go.

In this episode, the author has Alex rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, glamorous parties, with special extras being his speciality. It gives him a chance to get in with the in-crowd of the time. While this story is full of action, dodgy deals, hidden agendas, it also had a slightly different edge to it. Alex still puts himself in the midst of things, still in danger and risking his life, but he has a future that he is now thinking about. I think this does show in this story, don’t think that Alex or the author have gone soft, they have not. Just pickier about what job is absolutely necessary.

This is yet another fabulous book that I loved, especially as it involves the golden era of Hollywood stars and politicians. If you are a fan of history in the US through the 1900s then this is a series that may very well appeal. I have loved it and look forward to reading the next book.

I have included the links below to my reviews for all the books in this series

The Bowery Slugger

East Side Hustler

Midtown Huckster

Casino Chiseler

Cuban Heel

Hollywood Bilker (see above)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow him at – Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

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Alex Cohen Boxset by Leopold Borstinski – Cuban Heel #book4 #AlexCohen @borstinski @ZooloosBT #histfic #crime #bookreview

Today I am delighted to be re-sharing my reviews for three books in the Alex Cohen series.

Alex Cohen Boxset – Books 4 -6 by Leopold Borstinski. Today is the review for Cuban Heel.

I have read every one of these books and adored each one. Over the next week, I will share my reviews from each of the books in this set. My thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spots on the tour and for giving me the chance to re-share the love I have for this series.

This digital box set contains the second set of three books in the saga of Alex Cohen’s life:


Casino Chiseler: Alex Cohen leaves jail to find salvation from the 1940s mob in the hotels of Las Vegas. When Bugsy Siegel invites him to take over sports betting in Nevada, Alex must figure out how to get back to the top table in New York without attracting the Feds’ attention. If he succeeds then he will regain his self-respect, but if he fails then the last members of the national crime syndicate will cut him dead and he will be left a nobody or wind up a corpse.


Cuban Heel: Alex joins long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky to recreate Las Vegas in 1950s Havana. Dictator President Batista gives them the opportunity to build their dream casino complexes, but Alex must choose between dancing with this devil or being in debt to the Italian mob.


Hollywood Bilker: Alex returns to America and settles in 1960s California to build a drug and prostitution empire in LA. When he gets a call from the mob to help the CIA invade Cuba, Alex must decide between his family and his business associates. If he helps Uncle Sam and the Mafia then he puts his life on the line fighting for freedom and the chance to rebuild his Havana casinos. If he refuses the favour then death will call on him, his ex-wife and their sons. Once he agrees to one accommodation then others are sure to follow, in a decade where even presidents, assassins and presidential candidates were whacked at a terrifying rate.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK or US

MY REVIEW

The setting is the 1950s, the place in Cuba and this is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series. The author has created a series that follows the life, relationship, work and family of Jew, Alex Cohen. A man who had nothing and who has turned a profit from his various wheelings and dealings, oh and the occasional murder!

Cuba is the new Vegas for Alex’s business colleague Lansky Meyer. A country that will see the gambling empire that Meyer to possibly come to fruition. A place that he can call his own and is free from the mobs and bosses, as well as Hoover and the FBI.

Alex is a hustler, he has worked with and alongside the big bosses and now that he is back with his wife Sarah he wants a more settled life. While he is still in the thick of things, he is thinking more about the impact things could have on his family. In the past, he has been very much an act now think later guy. As he has aged and gained experience he is looking at a different lifestyle and that Cuba may provide that.

As this series does contain references to historical events, I was aware of the troubles that await Alex as Cuba, or Castro makes himself known. Being “in bed” with a president doesn’t make it a safe place when Castro makes his move.

Once again, the author has completely had me hooked on what happens next with Alex. Even though he is a rogue, I do have a soft spot for him as I have followed him from his beginnings and arrival in the US. Each decade the author takes his characters into have historical references and these are worked well in the stories.

Again Alex is at the forefront and he has certain roles, not just as a father and husband but also as a businessman. Wanting to leave certain parts of his past in the past is not easier. He is a man with a reputation and this means he is the man to go to. I do like how the author keeps him in the thick of things and never makes things plain sailing. The action and drama of Alex’s life never stop and this makes this such an exciting series.

A series that I adore and if you like historical fiction, gangsters, action, mobs and dubious dealings then this is one for you. I would definitely recommend this series and also this latest book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow him at – Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

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The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris #NetGalley @HarvillSecker #victorianmystery #truecrime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris. This is a very interesting Victorian mystery that is based on a real case.

I requested this book via NetGalley and I was approved to read this from the publisher, Harvill Secker.

An astonishing real-life locked-room murder mystery set in Victorian Dublin, packed with gripping, perplexing twists. This meticulously researched true-crime tale reads like a quintessential Victorian thriller and is perfect for fans of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

One morning in November 1856 George Little, the chief cashier of the Broadstone railway terminus in Dublin, was found dead, lying in a pool of blood beneath his desk. His head had been almost severed; a knife lay nearby, but strangely the office door was locked, apparently from the inside. This was a deed of almost unheard-of brutality for the peaceful Irish capital: while violent crime was commonplace in Victorian London, the courts of Dublin had not convicted a single murderer in more than thirty years.

From the first day of the police investigation it was apparent that this was no ordinary case. Detectives struggled to understand how the killer could have entered and then escaped from a locked room, and why thousands of pounds in gold and silver had been left untouched at the scene of the crime. Three of Scotland Yard’s most celebrated sleuths were summoned to assist the enquiry, but all returned to London baffled. It was left to Superintendent Augustus Guy, the head of Ireland’s first detective force, to unravel the mystery.

Five suspects were arrested and released, with every step of the salacious case followed by the press, clamouring for answers. Under intense public scrutiny, Superintendent Guy found himself blocked at almost every turn. But then a local woman came forward, claiming to know the murderer….

MY REVIEW

This is a well-researched account of the death of George Little. He worked as a cashier for the Broadstone Railway in Dublin and his death occurred in 1856. This was a case that confounded detectives as the room was locked from the inside and initial observations were confusing.

This is quite a good read and one that I did find very interesting as it took me back to a very different way of investigating crime. The laws were very different from today and the way things were undertaken to solve showed how things have changed over the years.

This was interesting for a number of reasons as it showed various aspects of society at the time, living conditions and also how the proceedings could be hampered by newspaper reports. I really enjoyed the way the author laid this book out, it made for following what could have been a very confusing account, much easier to follow. Questions led to more questions, sometimes leading to dead ends. There were various suspects and yet it took many months for things to finally come to a conclusion, even then it was not altogether clear cut.

The research is meticulous and there are some great footnotes to show how things have changed over the years. The facts have been used well and incorporated into a narrative of events. This makes for a practical and analytical read, showing the stories of those involved but without emotion. At times it felt like reading a newspaper article. I think this style is good for a true crime read, not that I have read that many, but it was a style I enjoyed.

This is a slower book and there is some overlapping, but this I think is expected given the era of the crime. We are lucky to have computers to cross-reference, double-check and back-up as well as have a much more advanced technology to assist with identification. There are mentions of major changes to the law to show a comparison between then and now.

This is a good read and one for those who enjoy true crime and especially historical crime. Well laid out, a good pace and some very interesting facts. I do think it could have been a little shorter in length but that is just my opinion. I would happily recommend this one.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

This Charming Man by C. K. McDonnell @Caimh @Thomassshill @TransworldBooks #crime #mystery #magic #fantasy #bookreview

Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester . . .

I am delighted to share my review today for This Charming Man by Caimh McDonnell. This is the second book in The Stranger Times series, I adored the first book and this one is just as good. Great for fans of crime/mystery and Magic/fantasy novels.

My huge thanks to Thomas Hill at Transworld Books for sending me a copy of this book and also the first one.

Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester . . .

Nobody is pleased about it. Not the Founders, the secret organisation for whom vampires were invented as an allegory, nor the Folk, the magical people hidden in plain sight who only want a quiet life. And definitely not the people of Manchester, because there is nothing more irksome than being murdered by an allegory run amok. Somebody needs to sort this out fast before all Hell really breaks loose – step forward the staff of The Stranger Times.

It’s not like they don’t have enough to be dealing with. Assistant Editor Hannah has come back from getting messily divorced to discover that someone is trying to kidnap a member of their staff and while editor Vincent Banecroft would be delighted to see the back of any of his team, he doesn’t like people touching his stuff – it’s the principle of the thing.

Throw in a precarious plumbing situation, gambling debts, an entirely new way of swearing, and a certain detective inspector with what could be kindly referred to as ‘a lot of baggage’ and it all adds up to another hectic week in the life of the newspaper committed to reporting the truth that nobody else will touch.

This Charming Man is the second book in the critically acclaimed The Stranger Times series.

MY REVIEW

The Stranger Times is the first book in this series that I read and thoroughly enjoyed last year. It is also the name of the newspaper that caters for those with a slightly obscure/different/unique view of the world. This is the sort of paper that will report on alien sightings, mysterious noises in the basement and weird and wonderful goings-on that regularly appear.

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise when a Vampire suddenly turns up, but then everyone knows such things don’t exist! I love how the author uses this vampiric occurrence and it is almost tongue in cheek that his reporters don’t quite know what to call a pale, pointy-toothed anomaly. It struck me as funny that the reporters are fine with demons, aliens etc, but not calling a vampire a vampire. Anyhow, I do digress.

The main characters are the same that appeared in the first book, so we have Banecroft the editor, along with Grace, Stella, Ox, Stanley, DI Sturgess, Hannah who gallantly report the news while Banecroft is breathing down their necks, wanting answers and a story to print in his paper.

The bodies are a unique find and they are shrugged off as such, some things are not that easy to hide and it doesn’t take long for things to start to heat up. Tensions are brittle as lack of sleep and deadlines are approaching as well as some interest from someone higher up!

This is a humorous and quirky read that I really adored, it is a great mystery novel and the one-liners, little snide comments and the unrelenting thick-skinned Banecroft just add to the humour. Magic and special powers work alongside many other phenomena in this story and as I immersed myself in this story I found bizarre things as quite normal.

This is one that those of lighter fantasy and humorous fantasy readers will enjoy. It is witty and fun to read. There is mystery and magic, the odd body because even though Vampires do not exist, you need a corpse, don’t you? I would suggest reading the first book as it does bring you in and introduce you to the characters that you will also find in this second book, and it is also a really good read. This Charming Man is a fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx