Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall #AnthraxIsland @DLMWrites @canelo_co @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall. This is a fabulous crime thriller book and I was delighted to get a spot on the blog tour. My thanks to Emma at #damppebblesblogtours for my e-copy of this book.

FACT: In 1942, in growing desperation at the progress of the war and fearing invasion by the Nazis, the UK government approved biological weapons tests on British soil. Their aim: to perfect an anthrax weapon destined for Germany. They succeeded.

FACT: Though the attack was never launched, the testing ground, Gruinard Island, was left lethally contaminated. It became known as Anthrax Island.

Now government scientists have returned to the island. They become stranded by an equipment failure and so John Tyler is flown in to fix the problem. He quickly discovers there’s more than research going on. When one of the scientists is found impossibly murdered inside a sealed room, Tyler realises he’s trapped with a killer…

A gripping thriller that will leave you guessing until the final page. Perfect for fans of Terry Hayes, James Swallow and Alistair MacLean.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This was a tense crime thriller read that also had a spy thriller feel to it. The author used the Scottish island of Gruinard as the basis for his story and then expanded on it. The island was used for the testing of Anthrax in 1942 and using this fact the author then weaved a suspense ridden tale about what happened if the island still had active spores.

John Tyler, well what to say about him. Well, a man with a troubled past, a mercenary who takes on various “off the book jobs” and he has just been sent to Anthrax Island to look at the death of a technician on the base.

Given the location of the island and also that it is a no go area, this gives the story that brilliant locked in thriller feel. The isolation and also the barren and windswept island really does come through well in the writing. There is a limited number of characters and some have more of a presence than others.

The characters are used to great effect as the author gradually ramps up the mystery and intrigue of what begins a single death but then escalates to more bodies. As the story progresses then so does the suspense as I was left wondering two things, who was going to be next and could the killer be caught in time.

This, as I mentioned, is the first book in the series and the author has already got a poor battered John Tyler ready for his next mission. The main character has his flaws, and the author has left little snippets about him in the story. He is a character I will enjoy getting to know a little more as the series progresses and I am looking forward to the next book.

I really liked how the author wove fact with fiction. Using Anthrax and the testing of it on the island was such a great starting point to a story that had a reasonably fast pace to it, the intrigue, suspense and tension married sin well with the traits of the main character. The isolation and limited characters kept the main focus of the story very much in the reader’s mind.

I really enjoyed this book, it had a spy thriller feel as well as being a crime thriller. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

D. L. Marshall was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Influenced by the dark industrial architecture, steep wooded valleys, and bleak Pennine moors, he writes thrillers tinged with horror, exploring the impact of geography and isolation. In 2016 he pitched at Bloody Scotland. In 2018 he won a Northern Writers’ Award for his thriller novel Anthrax Island.

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Never the Bride by Charlotte Fallowfield #onefrommytbr #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Never the Bride by Charlotte Fallowfield. This is a book that I bought in 2017 and it is the first book in the Dilbury Village series.

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From Charlotte Fallowfield, bestselling rom-com author, comes Never The Bride – A laugh out loud romantic comedy novel full of heart-warming friendships, romance, and quintessential British humour – Coming 28th February 2017.

Abbie Carter felt doomed as she clutched her bouquet and started walking up the aisle. Again. She felt like she was stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day wedding nightmare. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Eight dresses, most of them hideous, were already stuffed in her attic space. She had more bridesmaid dresses than relationships. Was she really that unlucky in love? She despaired of ever finding her soul mate and was convinced that if she packed away dress thirteen in her attic, she’d never get to wear the coveted white one and have her happy ever after.

That was until she locked eyes with one of the handsome ushers, whose wink turned her elegant and well-practiced glide up the aisle into a flailing Bambi-on-ice spectacle. Miller Davis was the first man in forever to make her heart skip a beat, as well as her legs turn to jelly. And, for once, her interest in a man didn’t seem to be one-sided. It was just a shame that the Atlantic Ocean separated them. Abbie couldn’t even make a relationship with her elderly fat pooch, Sumo, work, so what chance did she have with a permanent New Yorker? Her best friend, Georgie, told her to ignore the miles that separated her from Miller and to go for it, saying that true love knew no bounds.

Was Abbie fated to always be the bridesmaid, or would her wish for the perfect day with the man of her dreams ever come true?

While Never The Bride will be a standalone story, it’s the first in the Dilbury Village series of romantic comedy novels. All of them will be set in the quaint ficticious English hamlet in the Shropshire countryside, but feature a different village couples’ story.

My Review…

The synopsis gives a great idea as to exactly what this book is all about. Abbie, unlucky in the love department watches as her school friends gradually get married, she is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Even when a gorgeous hunk rescues her it seems that fate has a hand to play as they live different side of the Atlantic.

I cannot believe I have only just discovered this book that has been sat on my kindle since I bought it in 2017. I was hunting for a light-hearted rom-com to lighten my reading mood as I had been on a crime reading-athon for a couple of weeks. Never The Bride more than filled the requirements for what I wanted.

The author has some absolutely brilliant characters and boy does she use to them to great and often humorous effect. There is a good deal of very British, close to the mark humour that had me sniggering and laughing as I was reading. Now don’t think this is all comedy because it isn’t, there are also some very sad moments.

This is a story about relationships and friendships in a small village near Shrewsbury. I adored the humour as well as the characters such as Daphne, Georgie, Abbie, Heath, Miller and the very flatulent Mr Sumo. The different ways Abbie finds herself in the midst of disaster, usually with Georgie in toe at some point is brilliant.

The book had me with tears in my eyes on several occasions mostly from the sniggering and laughing as well as from the occasional sad part. This was an absolutely brilliant read and if you are after a bok to lift your spirits then this is one I would defiantly recommend, I loved it.

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

The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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

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.

Social Media – Website Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linkedin Goodreads YouTube

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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.

Social Media links – Facebook Twitter Instagram

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Map’s Edge by David Hair #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Map’s Edge by David Hair. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I am looking forward to reading more.

Let me show you a bit more about this wonderful fantasy read…

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Synopsis…

Follow a renegade sorcerer off the edge of the map, in a thrilling adventure perfect for fans of Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson and Sebastien de Castell . . .

Dashryn Cowl has run out of places to hide. The erstwhile sorcerer of the Imperial College fled the Bolgravian Empire when his high-flying family fell from grace, but the tyrannical empire is still hunting for him.

So when he gets his hands on a map showing a place outside the known lands rich in istariol, the mineral that fuels sorcery, he sees a way back to power. There’s only one problem: it means masquerading as an Imperial Cartomancer (an instant death sentence) and finding some dupes to help him mine the istariol in secret, no questions asked.

But somehow, amid the dangers of the road (floods and avalanches, beasts, barbarians and monsters), a strange thing begins to happen: Dashryn starts to care about his ragtag followers and their strange odyssey into the ruins of an ancient forgotten civilisation.

But his past won’t let him be: the implacable Imperial Bloodhound Toran Zorne has caught his scent, and Zorne has never yet failed to bring his quarry to ground.

At the edge of the map, there’s no going forward and no going back . . .

Purchase from Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is my first experience with this author and what a wonderful experience it was. This is the first book in the trilogy and I very quickly found myself hooked. Often I find that there can be a lot of time spent setting up the scene and characters not so with this one.

The Empire rules the land and dominates through fear, force and magic. People are pressganged into submission and are keen to be seen to follow the rules.

A healer and his daughter live in the edge of the country along with those who wish to be left alone, forgotten keeping their heads down. The healer learns of a power source that could be the chance of starting over, not just for himself but for the rest of the ragtag bunch that make up the community living on the edge of the civilised world as they know it.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the idea of a dominating empire lording it over those seen to be weaker than them. It gave me a chance to cheer on the underdogs! But, are they underdogs? What I gradually learn is that not everyone is as they first appear, this gives a wonderful edge of uneasiness as I was never quite sure if I was cheering the right side on.

The author uses names that are pronounceable, this is a big thing for me as often I know the characters but cannot pronounce the name and this takes some of the personal side away from them. There was the odd one that I did pause over but I soon got them in my head. The names of the characters have a European feel to them, and I think this helped to cement the characters more. Certain names have a more Eastern European feel and look and this adds an ominous side to the character.

The story is one of action and adventure and one that I was really able to get my teeth into. The words are easy to follow and the author does give descriptions along the way so I was aware of what he was referring to, e.g. istariol – the source of the power. Along with various other place names, things are explained and histories are given along the route the characters make. Explaining the past as they travel makes it more part of the story rather than an aside.

There is action along the way, death and birth, reckoning, conspiracy and an uncertainty as to who to trust. Even the main characters make you wonder, are they really doing it for the greater good or are they looking after themselves and their ends. This again adds to the intrigue of the story.

As this is the first in the series, there is that almost cliff hanger to it. Yes this first story ends at a good place and it makes sense, but it also leaves a teaser.

This is a very accessible fantasy series that has a historical feel at times with mentions of flintlocks but then does have magic and politics of a ruling empire. It is a brilliantly paced story that has beasts, and otherworld animals, sorcerers, healers and good honest characters as well as a good amount of baddies.

A wonderful book that I flew through in a couple of days. I would definitely recommend this to those who are looking to start a new series, it has left me wanting to eagerly read the next one.

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

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh #1) by Michelle Kidd #ThePhoenixProject @AuthorKidd @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Phoenix Project by Michelle Kidd. This is a fabulous break necked action packed read that was such a fabulous read and a brilliant start to a series.

I would like to thank Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you more about this book…

Synopsis…

How long can the past remain buried?

A simple message in a local newspaper. A set of highly sensitive documents left in the back of a London black cab. Both events collide to cause Isabel Faraday’s life to be turned upside down. Growing up believing her parents died in a car crash when she was five, Isabel learns the shocking truth; a truth that places her own life in danger by simply being a Faraday. Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh of the Metropolitan Police races against time to save her, and at the same time unravels long forgotten secrets involving MI5, MI6, the KGB and NASA. Secrets that have lain dormant for twenty years. Secrets worth killing for. With kidnap, murder and suicides stretching across four continents, just what is the Phoenix Project?

The Phoenix Project is the first Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh novel.

If you like a gripping page turner, with plenty of surprising twists, buy The Phoenix Project today to discover its secrets.

Purchase from Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

Wow, this is a fabulous break necked, action-packed read if ever there was one. This book was laid out so that I found it very easy to keep up with the numerous characters and also the ever-evolving plotline.

The synopsis is quite intriguing and gives little away apart from that fact that nothing is what it appears to be. the truth is not quite what it seems and this adds wonderfully to the overall tension and sense of suspicion right the way through the story.

Isabel Faraday is about to get her whole world turned upside down as she is told some shocking truths about who her parents are. This leads Isabel from London to France, things happen so fast she has barely time to get her head around what she has been told before she is plunged into a dangerous situation.

DI Jack Macintosh is one of the people who like to get the answers to all the questions and it is just as well because this case is about to go global with ramifications that will shake people at the top.

This was such a brilliantly fast-paced book that I just couldn’t put down. There are a couple of reasons why I think this worked so well for me. Firstly I do read quite a few thrillers that have conspiracy and governmental agencies involved, this one focused more on finding the truth rather than trying to work around agencies.

Also, there is not too much tech-speak or weaponry mentions. While this does work for me in books it is also nice to just get on with the story and not get caught up with what gun, what calibre and all the velocity stuff, instead I was able to get completely involved in the mystery unravelling. Believe me when I say there is a lot to unravel and the author has tackled this so well.

Cover-up, conspiracy, false identities, top-secret projects and finding out the real truth is what this story is all about. It would be very easy to get confused with the different threads and theories that are mentioned in this story but I never felt this at all. Everything followed and flowed really well and it made for such an enjoyable experience.

I really enjoyed this book and if you like crime, thriller, conspiracy and mystery reads then this is one you should definitely add to your list. A brilliant book that I would absolutely 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)

Social Media: Twitter: Facebook: Website: Instagram

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The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #fantasy #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire series and was an excellent start and has left me eagerly waiting for the rest of the books. This is a fantasy book, but it is very accessible and would suit many readers.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book from Orbit Books. Before I get to carried away let me show you what The Bone Shard Daughter is about…

Synopsis…

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 

My Review…

I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and I was not disappointed. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire and I am so excited to see where this series goes in the future.

As I started this book I was introduced to the main cast, I was aware of them having an Oriental feel to their names. When I got to the end of the book I discovered the author is of Chinese/ American heritage. I do like Eastern folklore, magic and legend and this book has the feel of some of those elements.

There are a few characters to get to know as I mentioned earlier. There is Lin, the Emperor’s daughter and in theory, should be the next Emperor when her father retires or does. But he doesn’t show much time for Lin or in showing her how to work the Bone Shard magic. He is such an odd character, a recluse who seems to be paranoid and is searching for something.

Then there is Jovi, he is the best smuggler ever and he has posters of him for his arrest. He is a character that I really liked, while he seems cold, he is actually more compassionate than I first realised. He’s a smuggler but one that has a moral sense of right, Iknow that sounds bizarre but it is true and his character works really well.

Then there is the Governors daughter, Phalue. She is aware of the suffering of the people and does what she can to help. But in the eyes of her girlfriend, it is not enough, that Phalue doesn’t truly understand the suffering. I did feel for this character as she struggled with the love she has for her father but also the love of her girlfriend.

Finally, there is Sand, I first thought this was a very strange character, but actually, as the story progresses, she becomes more prominent, and her true role is just starting to emerge.

Often with first books in a series I find they are slower to get going as characters, backstories and threads begin the process of being started and plotted for the adventures and stories that will follow. With this book, that process seemed to progress really quickly, yet I never felt it was rushed, and I quickly found myself drawn into a story that has an epic feel to it.

The chapters are quick and rotate between the various main characters, I think this really helped with adding backstories, brief snippets of history, some geography and also a little of the politics. There is a general feeling of unrest in the people of the various Islands. They are hungry, have to work long hours for little p[ay and live in awful conditions. Yet the residences of the EMperor and the Governor is that of opulence and ignorance.

I really adored this story and I thoroughly enjoyed being transported in this story of magic, moving islands, strange occurrences and meeting some wonderful characters. I am really excited about this series and I would definitely recommend it to readers of fantasy and also to readers who are looking for a new series to being.

About the Author…

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

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Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp #20booksofsummer #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp. I have had this book in my tbr for a year or more, I had seen some reviews and decided rather than buy the latest book (at the time) I would start at the beginning. I decided it had lingered long enough and this is why this book was one of my picks for #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

Purchase links from Amazon (these are affiliate links) KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio CD

My Review…

This is the first book in the Charlies Fox series by Zoe Sharp. This is also the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say Charlie is a fabulous character.

Charlie Fox is a no-nonsense woman who teaches self-defence to women. She is confident and comes across as a very sure person. There is a good amount of mystery behind her and some of it has been included in this, story, but I feel there is more her than I have seen so far.

The plot involves Charlie as another body is discovered at a nightclub that she has just been to with her friend and involves an altercation. This is the start of a very twisted road that the author takes not only her main character but also her reader upon.

The further the story progressed the more I got to see of Charlie, what makes her tick, her friendships and there is also a sense of vulnerability that comes with being let down in the past. It makes her a very interesting character that has a sense of loneliness about her at times.

A fabulous first book and one that is intriguing and with a character that I really like the sound of. The plot is a good fast-paced one with Charlie string to join all the dots to discover who is behind the crimes. She is in some ways a one-woman sleuth, but she is no Miss Marple, she is tough, can be dangerous but has a level head on her shoulders. Yeah, a little on the moody side, but then who doesn’t have a moment like that.

AS I mentioned this is the first book and there are quite a few more in this series that I am definitely looking forward to reading. If you like an excellent good fast-paced crime with a strong female lead that has full-throttle action then you really do need to have a look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from the Authors Amazon Page

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father’s suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.

It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.

“I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn’t find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own.”

She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.

Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website — http://www.ZoeSharp.com — on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp).

Check out all of Zoe’s books on her Amazon Author Page

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