Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha @TrishaSakhlecha @RandomTTours @panmacmillan #mystery #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha. This was a fabulous book and I would like to say a huge thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging for my copy from the publisher Pan MacMillan. It wasn’t until I read Trisha’s bio below that I realised that this book is based on an actual event!

From Trisha Sakhlecha,Can You See Me Now? is a gripping psychological suspense thriller about a young Indian woman, now a government minister, whose past secrets are about to reverberate into the present and shatter her life. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Erin Kelly.

Fifteen years ago, three sixteen-year-old girls meet at Wescott, an exclusive private school in India.
Two, Sabah and Noor, are the most popular girls in their year. One, Alia, is a new arrival from England, who feels her happiness depends on their acceptance.

Before she knows it, Sabah and Noor’s intoxicating world of privilege and intimacy opens up to Alia and, for the first time, after years of neglect from her parents, she feels she is exactly where, and with whom, she belongs.

But with intimacy comes jealousy, and with privilege, resentment, and Alia finds that it only takes one night for her bright new world to shatter around her.

Now Alia, a cabinet minister in the Indian government, is about to find her secrets have no intention of staying
buried . . . 

My Review…


I absolutely adored this book and the author has done such a brilliant job of creating a story that is full of intrigue and mystery.

The story is told in two different timelines. One is the present the other is 15 years ago while three girls were at a prestigious school in Delhi. The girls are Sabah, Noori and Alia. Alia is the newest member of the group and for the first time in her life, she feels that this is a group to which she should belong.

The past is one that builds a picture of school life for the girls and shows the dynamics between the three of them. Building on their characters and personality traits, the author gradually weaves in an air of mistrust and jealousy. Close friendships are only close when secrets and trust are kept intact, but when a comment is let loose then cracks start to form.

In the present, Alia is a politician, a position she has worked hard to for over the years, Sabah is a documentary filmmaker wanting her next story. There are things in the past that have never been fully revealed. Yet there are some things that are starting to surface.

This is such a brilliantly addictive read. I really enjoyed the dual timeline format of this story. The author used it to great effect, providing links and also reasons for mistrust in the present. The mystery behind an event in the past was one that was gradually teased out. There were several little subplots that gave more suspicions and doubt and it wasn’t until much later int he story where things were finally brought to a conclusion.

Very enjoyable from start to finish. Gripping throughout and one I think readers of crime, mystery thrillers would enjoy. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Trisha Sakhlecha grew up in New Delhi and now lives in London.  For her new novel, she draws upon a true story – a famous scandal that erupted at her own high school and which changed India.  She works in fashion and is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course. In the past, Trisha has worked as a designer, trend forecaster, and lecturer.  She is the author of Your Truth Or Mine? www. trishasakhlecha.com or on Instagram @trishasakhlecha Critical acclaim for Tisha Sakhlecha

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Seven Days (DI Jack MacIntosh #2) by Michelle Kidd #SevenDays #DIJackMacIntosh @AuthorKidd @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #PublicationDay #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour for Seven Days by Michelle Kidd. This is the 2nd book in the DI Jack MacIntosh series and is a cracking read. The first book was The Phoenix Project and you can read my full review HERE.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book. I would like to wish Michelle a very happy Publication Day 🤗

One killer. One city. One week.

July 2012 and a serial killer is terrorising the streets of London. With the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in just seven days time, Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh and his team at the Metropolitan Police have one week to find him. With the killer’s motives unknown, and a mysterious clue being left at each scene, the case takes on a menacing and personal twist. Distracted by his own demons, will DI Jack MacIntosh solve the case before it is too late?

The clock is ticking.
Tick.
Tock.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK or US

My Review…

This is the second book in the DI Jack MacIntosh series and it is another excellent crime thriller read. A serial killer is leaving bodies of women around London, nothing seems to connect them, there are no real similarities apart from some marks left on their bodies, and a random item left near the body.

The story is set just before the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, time is not on Jack and the team’s side as those higher up want the case wrapped up before the prestigious event. The added pressure of a time constraint, as well as a case with very little clues, is bad enough, but add in a new team member who is vague, distant and at times elusive really doesn’t help.

If you have read the previous book then you will have some idea about Jack, Stu and Isabel. These three are returning characters whose stories are woven into each other. The author has continued their individual stories, well more Jack’s, into this second book. These three characters are interesting and are being developed further. If you haven’t read the first book then you will miss some detail, but the author does a good job of providing a recap. In my opinion, though they are better read in order.

The author weaves a story that has the in=vestigating team scratching their heads, they clutch at straws at times as they try to progress with their hunt for the killer. The killer also relates his actions in this novel and this adds a wonderful sense of intrigue. It also allows for some wonderful red herrings to be dropped along the way. There is a psychological aspect to the story, and again it adds another element.

I really like the characters in this series, and there are the obvious new introductions. The continuation of existing characters backstories is good and I like getting to know them more. Another good aspect was the time limits that had been placed on the case, giving the team a sense of urgency and this is added to further in the story.

This is a fabulous crime thriller read that had me hooked very quickly. Even though this is still a new series I was delighted to find how quickly a couple of the main characters came back to me. This is one for crime fans, who like their police procedurals and it is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Michelle Kidd is a self-published author known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels.

Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.

But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.

In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and had not looked back since. There are currently three DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fourth in progress.

Michelle works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order J

Bibliography:

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh book 1)

Seven Days (DI Jack MacIntosh book 2)

The Fifteen (DI Jack MacIntosh book 3)

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The Kindness of Psychopaths by Alan Gorevan #TheKindnessofPsychopaths @AlanGorevan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour today for The Kindness of Psychopaths by Alan Gorevan. This is such a brilliant book and I wish to say a huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles for my spot on the blog tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Here is more about it…

How far would you go for those you love?

When Valentina López Vázquez vanishes from her home one morning, it’s obvious that she was taken by force. What happened to her next is not so obvious.

The disappearance forces two men on a gruelling search for the truth: Barry Wall, Valentina’s frantic husband, and Joe Byrne, the nihilistic detective in charge of the investigation.

They are locked on a devastating course that will take them to places darker than they ever dreamt – places without limits…

Don’t miss this page-turning thriller. Perfect for fans of Shari Lapena, Peter Swanson, Jennifer Hillier, and Linwood Barclay.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

My Review…

Wow, this is an absolute belter of a book and one that once I had started I just could not put down. The title does hint at this having a psychological element, the synopsis hints at crime. What you get is an awesome read that has so many twists and turns making this such an addictive read.

Joe Byrne is a detective, as got to get to know him over the course of the story it is a wonder how this man manages to keep going. He isn’t going to win Mr Popularity, and this makes him a bit of a loner as he bounces from situation to situation. Each more extreme than the last that eventually leads the reader to the finale.

What starts off as a missing person soon morphs into something else. Joe has a little bit of an issue when it comes to where his moral compass points, don’t get me wrong I can see the reasons behind his decisions, but, still! I do like this character a lot, he is a maverick.

This is such a cleverly written thriller, it moves from event to event drawing the reader in further and further. Never sure who to believe, what their individual motives are. The story moves along over alternating timelines, the first part of the book jumps in time and is a great way of introducing the characters.

I am being so vague about this review, in fact, it is such a good book I just want to tell you all about the excellent plot, the brilliant storyline, the fabulous characters and that ending! Talk about a fitting title to a story or what!

This is a story that is quite complex but flows so well, the author has done such a great job of twisting in various elements and in such a way that as I was reading I could easily follow. There are so many little details dropped in along the way that gradually make sense by the time you get to the end of the book.

This is a brilliant read and one for readers who love a crime, mystery thriller read with a psychological thread. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Alan Gorevan is an award-winning thriller writer and intellectual property attorney. He lives in Dublin.

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Danger Close by Cameron Curtis #DangerClose #CameronCurtis @inkubatorbooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crimefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Danger Close by Cameron Curtis. This was such a fab read and I wish to say a huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranign my e-copy of the book.

He wanted peace. But war would always find him.

Ex-Delta Force sniper Breed has spent most of his life at war and now he’s trying to make some time for peace. But when a veteran from his old unit is beheaded in El Paso, Breed feels duty bound to bring the killer to justice. A feeling that only grows stronger when his friend’s widow and son are also murdered.

As he uses all his specialist skills to uncover the truth, Breed finds himself working with some unlikely allies – a devious CIA operative, and a determined Latina reporter who is investigating the trafficking of underage girls. Together, they uncover a conspiracy to launch a massive attack on US soil.

The terrorists are confident – they have powerful friends in the Mexican cartels and US law enforcement. But they have reckoned without one thing—Breed.

Danger Close – the first in the stunning Breed action thriller series. Perfect for fans of Lee Child, Jason Kasper, David Archer.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

If you like a good action-adventure book with various threads then Danger Close is one that should be on your radar. Ex-military sniper Breed wants to know more when an old colleague of his is found beheaded on his ranch. Local law enforcement is ok but doesn’t have the knowledge that Breed does when it comes to looking at the terrain, looking for signs and clues and also there is, of course, the fact that Breed spent years working alongside him. What the police think are leads make no sense to Breed.

This book in some ways has a slight Jack Reacher style to it, in as much as an ex-military is out looking for justice so if you like those types of books then I think this one will be a good one to keep an eye out for.

I liked how the author wove Breed into the investigation along with a couple of other characters. There is some suspicion as to what really happened and why not only the man but also his family were killed. Being close to the Mexican border there is the obvious drugs, crime, cartel angle but Breed gradually finds out more when he teams up with a journalist and also an Agent to get to the bottom of the mystery.

I did find that the flow of the story kept me eagerly turning the pages and this added to the suspense and intrigue that was gradually built up. Adding in backstories, people trafficking, corruption, drugs, terrorism and also a race against time increases the tension. I really liked the characters, Breed is the main protagonist and I am glad to notice that this book is the first in a series. I am looking forward to getting to know him more, maybe he has a first name!

There are plenty of surprises, a good amount of twists that kept me guessing and I really enjoyed reading this. I liked how the characters were gradually introduced over several chapters as there is a good amount of names. I also noticed that the author does include quite a few specs as far as weaponry was concerned, not overly so but enough to make them stand out a little.

This was a really good intro into a new series, and I think it is one that would appeal to crime, thriller, mystery readers as well those that like specifically trained ex-military turning their skill set towards discovering the truth. It is a book that sort of dips into a couple of different genres and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Cameron Curtis has spent thirty years on trade floors as a trader and risk manager. He was on the trade floor when Saddam’s tanks rolled into Kuwait, when the air wars opened over Baghdad and Belgrade, and when the financial crisis swallowed the world. Having written fiction as a child, he is the author of the Breed Series of action thriller novels published by Inkubator Books. The first, DANGER CLOSE is scheduled for launch in February 2021. The second, OPEN SEASON, will be released in May.

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An Eye for an Eye (Detective Kate Young #1) by Carol Wyer #AnEyeForAnEye #DetectiveKateYoung @carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for An Eye for an Eye by Carol Wyer, this is the first book in the Detective Kate Young series, so what better place to start if you have not read anything by this author before.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my slot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

A killer running rings around the police. A detective spiralling out of control.


DI Kate Young is on leave. She’s the force’s best detective, but her bosses know she’s under pressure, on medication and overcoming trauma. So after her bad judgement call leads to a narrowly averted public disaster, they’re sure all she needs is a rest.
But when Staffordshire Police summon her back to work on a murder case, it’s a harder, more suspicious Kate Young who returns. With a new ruthlessness, she sets about tracking down a clinical, calculating serial killer who is torturing victims and leaving clues to taunt the police. Spurred on by her reporter husband, Young begins to suspect that the murderer might be closer than she ever imagined.
As she works to uncover the truth, Young unravels a network of secrets and lies, with even those closest to her having something to hide. But with her own competence—and her grip on reality—called into question, can she unmask the killer before they strike again?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

A new series sees the introduction of Detective Kate Young. From the outset this is a detective that has troubles, she is broken and is given the chance to get back on track again as she leads an investigation to the death of a local businessman.

Kate’s story runs alongside the investigation in rather a distinct way. This is ideal for the reader as both unfold together. The plot is not straight-forward and Kate and the other officers seem to find more dead ends rather than answers. It also doesn’t help when the people they talk to all seem to have something to hide, they do of course have a good reason!

As I mentioned there are two stories within this story, that of Kate and that of the investigation. At first, it seemed a little strange, but gradually I began to put things together and suddenly for one of the threads the penny dropped. It was one of those eureka moments, of course, it was the author that led me to this but I still had to read to discover the full truth.

The other storyline took a route that really does have far-reaching implications. Keeping the pressure on, keeping the team on their toes and adding additional stress to an already stressed Kate. I know this is quite a vague review but I am not going to give any spoilers.

Kate is a character who is hanging on by a thread, quite literally she is walking a tight-rope between holding everything together and completely breaking down. It is her tenacious attitude and to a certain extent her stubborn pride that keeps her from falling. She has a reputation for being the best at what she does and even in her fragile state the author really does give Kate everything to deal with. But, I have to say that the strength of the character really made this work for me.

This is definitely a complex storyline but it flowed wonderfully so I never felt lost. There are a good amount of twists, red-herrings and no matter how I thought it was going to pan out I was nowhere near to working things out. There are surprises that kept me eagerly turning the pages. This is a great first book in a series that I really enjoyed, a mix of crime, thriller and mystery with a darker and disturbing side as well as a human interest story. A fabulous read and one I would recommend and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store next.

About the Author…

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She 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 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.

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The Island by C.L. Taylor #TheIslandBook #YAThriller @HQStories #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by C.L. Taylor. It has been a while since I read one of Cally’s books, so I was really looking forward to this one. Aimed at Young Adult Readers it also works very well for Adults as well.

Here’s more…

Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My Review…

I really enjoyed this YA book and how the author approached fears and phobias through a group of teens alone on an island near Thailand.

The group of 6 have known each other all their lives, they have holidays every year. As they have grown up they have drifted apart somewhat, dynamics between each of them have altered. Tragedy has hit more than one of the group and this leads to a small void starting to encroach on the group.

A holiday on an island, a chance to get away under the supervision of a guide should be good for the group. However, when the guide dies things that had been kept hidden or controlled start to unravel. A sense of seeing beyond the mask if you like as the situation the teens find themselves in changes dramatically.

I really enjoyed the tense suspense of this novel and how the author explored the changing and challenging dynamics of the group. As they find themselves in disarray they also start to suspect that there is a danger stalking them. What or who this is they are not sure, who is to blame, who is playing games and what is to happen are questions that I needed to know the answers to as I read.

The isolation of the island adds to the sense of loneliness and separation. As I got to know each of the 6 better I began to realise that there is more than meets the eye, they are not quite the stable group I initially thought they were.

This is a really good tense, suspense ridden YA thriller and one that I really enjoyed. A good deal of mystery, intrigue and suspicion across the novel gives it that page-turner addiction. One I would recommend.

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The Conspiracy (DC Jake Tanner Crime Thriller #1) by Jack Probyn #TheConspiracy #DCJakeTanner @jackprobynbooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour and sharing my review today for The Conspiracy by Jack Probyn. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my copy of this very fast-paced crime novel.

Here’s more about it…

Candice Strachan can’t breathe. 

A small jewellers is raided in Guildford High Street and leaves police chasing their tails. Reports suggest that it’s The Crimsons, an organised crime group the police have been hunting for years. 

The device wrapped around her neck is suffocating her, crushing her chest.

But for rookie detective, Jake Tanner, something doesn’t seem right. The heist doesn’t fit any of their previous patterns. And the last time Jake met them, he was staring down the barrel of their gun, bargaining for his life. 

The men who put it there have left her to die.

When the shop owner is kidnapped and a collar bomb is attached to her neck, Jake learns one of his own is involved – a police officer. 

Her life now rests in Jake Tanner’s hands. 

As Jake follows the group on a wild goose chase, he questions everything he knows about his team. Who can he trust? And is he prepared to find out?

The Conspiracy by Jack Probyn is a tense crime thriller full of hooks and twists that will leave you guessing to the end. If you like Luther and Line Of Duty, you’ll love this series that combines tension, gripping plots, and police corruption.

(Warning: This book is intended for mature audiences and contains disturbing and potentially offensive material.)

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

The author certainly doesn’t hang around in The Conspiracy. This is #1 in the CID Case series and it definitely has a fast pace to it.

Jake Tanner has just started with the Guilford Police as a Temporary Detective Constable, he’s a rookie and appears to be very eager to impress. At least that is how some see him, he definitely gets a break in an armed robbery when he recognises the gang responsible. I have to say that initially, I thought Jake came over a little bit cocky and over-eager so I didn’t really warm to him that much. Luckily for me, this did change as I realised he is actually like a dog with a bone who cannot and will not let things drop. He knows that he is right for somethings and this does mean he goes out on a limb on more than one occasion.

A robbery, a kidnap, guns and a shot fired is not the usual modus operandi of this gang. This leaves Jake with a slight uphill battle as he tries to convince his superiors that he does know what he is on about. They need to take him at his word and not see him as just a rookie.

The story goes along at breakneck speed and this does really work well for the story as it is very much a race against time for a couple of reasons. There are quite a few characters but I didn’t think there were too many so that I struggled to keep up. They have been worked well into the plot of the story and do bring there own style and traits. I do admit there were a couple of favourites as well as the odd one I really wasn’t so keen on.

Overall this is a really good start to a new series, with a further 5 more books planned and due out. It is a police-procedural that is fast, well-plotted and has a very good addictive aspect to it. It does have a feeling of things falling in to place a little too conveniently at times. A one-sitting read for me that has left me eager to read more. There is a smallish cliff hanger that I am keen to see developed further and I am curious as to what the author has in store for Jake. It is one I would recommend.

About the Author…

Jack Probyn is the author of the DC Jake Tanner series. He hasn’t spent much time on the planet, but he knows what he wants: to entertain and enthral readers across the globe with his stories. Growing up as an only child and never owning a pet – something he reminds his parents of constantly – Jack spent a lot of time reading and writing. 


After just about completing an English degree, he decided to turn his passion from a hobby into a career. When he’s not writing, he’s usually enjoying sudoku or a true-crime drama on Netflix. He lives in Surrey with his partner – who also one daydreams of owning a pet. Preferably a dog.

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Family by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted today to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for Family by Owen Mullen. This is an author who I have read and featured on my Blog a few times. Although I have not read all of his books, the ones I have read I have thoroughly enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot ont he Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Owen’s latest book.

I really like the cover of this book, it does subtly capture some of the essence of the story. Here’s more about it…

Family – might be the death of you…

The Glass family business is crime, and they’re good at what they do. Vengeance took Luke Glass behind bars – but now he’s free and he’s never going back. Luke wants out of the gangster life – all he has to do is convince his family to let him go.

His brother holds the reins of the South London underworld in his brutal hands – nobody tells Danny Glass no and expects to live – not even DCI Oliver Stanford, bent copper and one of the Met’s rising stars. The way Danny sees it, his younger brother and sister Nina owe him everything. The price he demands is loyalty, and a war with their arch enemy gives him the leverage he needs to tie Luke to the family once more.

Luke can’t see a way out, until Danny commits a crime so terrible it can’t be forgiven. Love turns to hate when secrets are unearthed which pit brother against brother. Left with no choice but to choose a side, Nina holds the fate of the family in her hands.

In the Glass family, Owen Mullen has created a crime dynasty to rival the Richardsons and the Krays. Heart-pounding, jaw-dropping with non-stop action, Family is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

If you like a tough, hard-hitting gangland crime thriller then look no further than Family by Owen Mullen. This book really does take the reader into a dark, dangerous and criminal world of the Glass family. This gangland family is run by Danny, older brother to Luke and Nina. Danny is responsible for raising his younger siblings and they have a lot to be thankful for, but how far that gratitude stretches is anyone’s guess.

This book is very addictive, I mean really addictive and I was pretty much hooked within a couple of chapters. The main character is Luke, and it’s through him that I got an idea of how the family was run, the controls, the loyalties and also how people changed during the years he spent in prison. Luke had wanted to break free from the family business, but Danny is not having that.

Danny is a character who you don’t say “No” to, you agree with him and do as he says no ifs no buts. Nina, not so much a main character but one that does have a smaller role to play, she gives another perspective on what it is like to be a member of the Glass family.

As this is a gangland crime thriller there are certain things I do kind of expect, such as corruption, feuds, infighting, and the obvious criminal and murderous elements. This book definitely fills all those criteria and then some. The author has twisted this story in such a brilliant way that it definitely kept me on my toes with its fast pace and unique characters. Fast-paced it definitely is and I had to keep turning pages.

The characters are brilliant and I do think this is something that this author really does excel with, providing a realistic set of characters that all have their own traits. He weaves the stories of the characters really well and at no point to you get a feeling of something not quite working, for me, everything just flows seamlessly to create a wonderful read.

This is a dark story, there is violence, there is murder, there is drama, there are hopes and dreams. The body count rises, the corrupt coppers are having their hands forced, the net is tightening and who is still standing at the end I will leave you to discover.

This is a book that could easily be the first in a series or trilogy. Even though there is a satisfactory ending, I have to admit, to not wanting this to be the last time I meet some of the characters. This is one for hard-boiled crime readers who love a gangland thriller story. Excellent book and one I would Very Definitely recommend.

About the Author…

When he was ten years old, Owen Mullen won a primary schools short story competition and didn’t write another word for four decades. One morning he announced he was going to write a book. He did. Since then he has written seven. Owen was born in Coatbridge, a few miles from Glasgow, where the Charlie Cameron stories take place, and where he ran a successful design and marketing business. A late developer, he has a Masters degree from Strathclyde University which he got in his forties. In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. People tell him he enjoyed himself and he has no reason to doubt them. The journey from rocker to writer has been a fascinating experience and the similarities between the music and book industries, never cease to amaze him. His passions are travel, food and Arsenal Football Club. A gregarious recluse, he now splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete, along with his wife, Christine.

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Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) by Ray Britain #Forgotten_Lives @ray_britain @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain. This is a fantastic crime, police procedural book that I thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and also for my e-copy of the book.

Here’s more about it…

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.


But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?


When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?


Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!


Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!


As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the 2nd book in this series, but the first one I have read so I can say it works very well as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel I was missing out on too much, but I do wish I had read the first beforehand.

So, DI Doug Stirling. Seems like a pretty decent guy, a workaholic who seems to spend more time awake and working than he should. But the demands of the job are as such that it cannot be helped. His home life is hit and miss with a relationship in the balance.

A body is reported, then another and another. There is no apparent link, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. What Stirling and the team don’t realise is that when this link is discovered things really get serious. Crimes from the past are starting to emerge leaving the reader wondering how far and for how long this enigmatic killer has been on the loose.

This book is a fair lump a book and I did a double-take when I realised how long it would take me to read. It turned out that this book needed to belong to get the questions answered from a series of long-running events, things needing to link up and to be done in such a way as to not falling place too conveniently.

There was something about the way this book has been written that struck me as slightly different from other crime books. This one seemed to have more of a technical, interagency, knows how things work set of feel. When I mention it has a technical feel, don’t think computer tech, but instead think of a more procedural line. There are several aspects that made me think that the author is someone that knows his stuff. Indeed, when I checked out his bio I could see straight away I was right. This definitely shows in the writing, the plot, the story and also how the interaction between hierarchy and other agencies have been worked.

The author has definitely taken a hard subject for a reader to read about, but I do think he has done it in a way that does not edge to the graphic, more insinuating events. I much prefer this approach when reading, in this case, less is more. It was the reactions, comments, and emotions of officers that gave the gravity of the crimes.

This is one of those books that has a lot going on in it if you tried to explain it, but makes perfect sense while reading. It is laid out in a way that makes it compulsive reading, it nagged at me when I put it down! It does have more of a slower pace as there is a lot of detail, but this really works well in this case, although the pacing did pick up.

The way this is laid out is in days, with subchapter of hourly breakdowns. Giving the reader a time frame adds to the tension, the working pattern, the out of hours calls and the long working days. Again this and also mentions of budgets, cuts, not enough resources, all adding to the fact that the author has an experience. In fact, some of his bio does have similarities to that of his main character.

This really is a book that shows the pressures of the job, the stress on home life, the working pressures under tense and media-frenzied scrutiny. A brilliant read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

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The Lies of Our Fathers (The Barnabas Trilogy #2) by Jonathon Mark #TheLiesOfOurFathers @jonmark1956 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #actionthriller #bookreview

It is an absolute honour to be sharing my review and to be opening the Blog Tour today for The Lies of Our Fathers by Jonathan Mark. This is the second in the trilogy and the first time I have read a book by this Author and I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, action-packed read. While it does work well as a stand-alone I do wish I had read the first book! Typical of me 🙂

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book. Let me show you more about it…

Synopsis…

Antioch 1098. A Crusader knight saves the lives of a Muslim family.

A city under siege by the army of the First Crusade. Sickened by the slaughter of Muslims, an English knight rescues a family and helps them escape. In the midst of battle he discovers a holy secret. When the tide is turned and the Crusaders find themselves besieged within the walls of Antioch, the same Muslim family must risk their lives to save the English knight.

Ankara 2000. An ancient bible is discovered.

An original version of the Gospel of Barnabas, supporting the Islamic view of Jesus and suppressed by the Christian church for centuries, is discovered by Turkish police in an anti- smuggling operation.

Iran 2005. A son hunts his terrorist father.

Richard Helford, MI6 agent, is searching for his father, a wanted terrorist. A search for the truth will take him from the Greek islands to the deserts of Iran, via Turkish occupied Cyprus. Embroiled in the bloody rivalries of Iranian politics, could his father be guilty of a murder that hurts Richard to the core of who he is? Richard must find the secret of the Crusader knight and the proof that the Gospel of Barnabas is not a forgery. Or will the assassination squads from the CIA and Mossad get there first?

What are The Lies of Our Fathers?

The second novel in the Barnabas trilogy.

Purchase from Amazon US or UK ( the UK link is an affiliate link)

My Review…

First off I am going to mention the cover for this book, it was very eye-catching when I first saw it. Now I have read the book I realise how perfectly it fits! That is not all that fits, the title is spot on as well!

This is the second book in The Barnabas Trilogy, typically of me I didn’t read the first book so I can say this does work well as a stand-alone. But, yes I do wish I had read the first book as this second one is a cracking read. It is set over two time periods, the first takes the reader back to the crusades in Antioch 1098. Not much time is spent here as the main story is set in Iran in 2005.

What starts as a hunt for his father and the truth about an ancient scroll takes a definite turn into something much more unexpected for Richard Helford. He is an MI6 agent but is working off-grid as such and does not have the backing of the agency as he looks for his father David. The story leaps various countries as the cat and mouse chase begins and Richard tries to put together the pieces of an ancient puzzle.

It has been a while since I have read a book that involves lost artefacts and I have to say this one ticked all the boxes for me. Ancient artefacts usually have a religious base, this is certainly the case for this story as the hunt for a lost and ancient gospel hits fever pitch. Different religions factions are eager to get their hands on it. There are some who want it to use as leverage, others to prove a point and those that will not want it to see the light of day.

The author packs the religion, the politics into a story that is such a brilliant read and has a wonderful fluidity to it. There are several plots the at have been woven in together and yet I felt that I never felt lost. I admit it did take me a while to get my head around the characters, but then as I got used to them everything was good.

Because the author has injected religion and politics into the story, as well as government agencies then you just know that there is going to be a lot of conspiracy, mistrust and double-dealing. This sort of thing is right up my street and the author had me convinced… convinced that I couldn’t trust any of the characters that is! This again is something that worked really well for me, being off footed and not quite knowing who was working for who, who was telling the truth keeps the story flow moving along at a breakneck pace.

Sometimes you come across a story that you know would work really well as a film. As I was reading this book this is what kept springing to mind. I would love to see this as a film! There is also an interesting Afterward where the author explains briefly some aspects of religion and history with a list of books for further reading.

So, this is a cracking book. Fast-paced, action-packed, adrenaline-fueled, full of conspiracy and intrigue. I wanted to savour this book rather than read it at my usual speed, and yet I also never wanted to put it down! Fabulous read and one for action, thriller, conspiracy readers. It one I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

Jonathan Mark worked for nearly forty years in the City of London financial district, he retired early to pursue his long held ambition to write novels.  He shares his time between Essex and Cornwall and travels around the world to research material for his books.

To kick start his writing career he completed an MA in Crime and Thriller writing at City University London. At the time, this course was the only creative writing MA in the country which focused on commercial crime fiction. The Last Messenger was the novel submitted to complete the MA.

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