Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor #3 DS Malice series #crime #publicationday #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman. This is the 3rd book in the DS Malice series and it always makes me wonder how this authors mind works, he comes up with wonderfully dark plots and his latest book is no exception!

My huge thanks to Karen Ashman for sending me an e-ARC of Rob’s latest book. My thoughts are completely my own and unbiased.

Oh! I should also say, “Happy Publication Day to you Rob” 🙂

Synopsis…

Valerie Riggs lets the coin rule her life. Every decision is based upon a game of chance, even the decision to kill. She trusts the coin to keep her safe … it’s never let her down.

DS Khenan Malice is called to attend a clear case of suicide. But all is not what it seems. Then his world is turned upside down by a casual remark. The worst thing is … the remark comes from his seven-year-old daughter.

DC Kelly Pietersen is close to breaking point. The ghosts of recent events won’t leave her alone. She’s about to snap and someone is going to get hurt.

Valerie is always one step ahead … the coin knows best.

Purchase from Amazon – KindlePaperback (these are Amazon affiliate links)

My Review…

Right from the start, I am going to say I am a big fan of this series. DS Mally and Detective Pieterson are a brilliant combination. They both have their issues and Pieterson is really struggling to come to terms with events from the last book. While this is a continuation of a previous storyline, this book could be read as a standalone but to, for the bigger picture reading in order is definitely advised.

So, Heads or Tails. The first thing that comes to mind is flipping a coin. How bad can that be? Well, the person flipping the coin has real darkness behind them and depending on whether the coin lands on heads or tails it will provide an answer. To simplify this, heads I will have milk in my coffee, tails I will not. Now, take this down the rabbit hole that Rob Ashman and his writing take us and you get a whole different set of questions and the outcomes are dark, well thought out and definitely macabre and so devious.

This coin flipping reminded me of a book by Luke Rhinehart – The Dice Man, I read this book years ago and it really stuck with me. The premise is similar in as much as the role of a dice dictated an outcome, so in some ways similar to Heads or Tails. But the route this author has taken is very twisted and takes so many turns, throws quite a few red herrings for the investigation as well as the reader.

The author managed to portray a sense of frustration that this difficult investigation took. The dead ends and unanswered questions seem to be never-ending and when they think they are on the right track along comes another curveball to send them almost back to the start.

This is not a straight-forward police procedural it is much deeper than that it pulls in other agencies and things could have very easily got complicated. But the skill of the author really shows when dealing with a series of subplots and how he has worked them so for me as a reader the reading is so effortless. There is such an addictive flow to the overall story that I didn’t realise the time ticking away as I was engrossed

This is a police procedural but there is also much more to it than that. It has a psychological aspect that adds darkness to it, there are various subplots that kept me turning the pages. A wonderful next instalment in this series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. 

Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Follow Rob on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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

Red Snow by Will Dean #20booksofsummer 14/20 #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Red Snow by Will Dean. This is another of my many books that have been languishing on my bookcase from when I first bought them, this is why Red Snow was one of the books to make my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

Longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, 2020

Red Snow is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, selected for ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you)

My Review…

I read the first book, Dark Pines, quite a while ago and when this second book came out I immediately bought it. Like many of the books I buy, it has gradually lipped down my TBR and is why it was one of the books I chose for my summer reading challenge.

This is the second in the Tuva Moodyson series. Tuva is a journalist in a small out in the middle of nowhere town. She is not the usual main protagonist for a story and I think this is why I like her character so much. She has been death since childhood, is bisexual and has been living in the Swedish town of Gavrik. A town she is due to leave after a job offer to bigger and better things. This is a result of her last big story.

Red Snow has a slow style to it as Tuva is looking for leads on the suicide of a local businessman. The leg work of getting people to reveal what they know in a tight-knit community is hard. SHe gets snippets from local law enforcement but the majority of what she learns takes its time.

The author has such a wonderful way of describing the setting in the bitterly cold town. There are so many little things that are mentioned as a standard way of life that I was not aware of. I think this sort of knowledge is only gained from living in the area. I liked the picture that was built up over the book of an area that is bleak, cold but also has some stunning areas.

The plot is very captivating, there are hints of things from the past that added an extra level to the overall atmospheric feel. I was so impatient to discover more and this kept me eagerly turning the pages. This was increased with the secrecy of the three generations of women in the family, secretive, evasive and reluctant to talk to Tuva initially and then gradually opening up.

This is a book that you savour as you read. A book this length I would normally read quite quickly, but I took my time, it isn’t a book I wanted to rush through and it makes for wonderful reading. A mystery that is intriguing, has just enough twists and has a lot of details. It is one for crime and mystery fans and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

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

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup #20booksofsummer #thriller #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup, this is a book I bought when it was first released and another that has gradually slipped down the TBR. This is why it was one of the books I chose to go on my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge list and it is book 13 of 20.

So, what is it about…

Synopsis…

THE CHILLING DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF HIT TV SHOW THE KILLING

As the leaves fall, he’s coming for you. . .

One October morning in a quiet suburb, the police make a terrible discovery.

A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing.

Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Examining the doll, Forensics are shocked to find a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

Can a new killer be the key to an old crime?

And will his spree be over when winter arrives – or is he only just getting started?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links) some of the covers are different, but I have used the image from the hardback as this is the copy I have.

My Review…

Wow!!!!!
Where exactly do I start with my review for this outstanding book? I mean when I finished it, it left me in “book hangover mode”

I bought my copy of this book when it was released and I had all intentions of reading it then, but it gradually slipped further down my TBR as other books took priority. I know this is something that many readers will get!

So, the book!!!!! It is absolutely blooming fantastic from start to finish. The characters are a real interesting bunch and there were a couple I definitely warmed too, others definitely not so much. They have varied personalities and traits and I have to say I really did like Hess. He is damaged goods and has been sent back to Copenhagen under a little bit of a shadow. Even though I didn’t know exactly what had happened in his past until further into the book I was aware of a solitary, broken man who buried himself in work.

Hess is teamed up with Thulin, she is waiting until she can move to the new cybercrime unit. It is something that will give her a chance to have more regular hours and so she spends more time with her daughter. Thulin is another character I really liked which is really odd because she isn’t someone I would necessarily warm to in real life. Both Hess and Thulin rile each other but they also see that each other knows their job and so respect is gradually built up.

Now the plot, well where to begin with that!!!!! It is a plot that I had no idea who had done it! The author creatively led me through the investigation, the body count started to rise and I was never anywhere close to guessing the culprit. Yes, I did have a couple of suspicions but I was way off the mark.

I loved the way he set the scenes, and the details are something I really got on with in this book. Some may find this a bit of a drag but for me, it just added to the story. There was at times a remoteness to the setting and this was sort of mirrored int he characters as well as the plot. It felt like everyone was alone, or working by themselves and this gave it more of a scandi noir feel.

The crime is dark and definitely on the disturbing side. It has a macabre side to it and by the time all is revealed, there was a little bit of me that could understand the why, only a little bit mind you! A cracking ending that left me stunned.

This is a book I read over several sittings, it was like I had to stop and digest chunks of it before I could pick it up and carry on again. I still read it over a couple of days as I could feel it nagging me to carry on reading again.

An excellent read and one that crime, thriller, murder readers who like their fiction on the dark and disturbing side will most likely really enjoy. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Curator by M.W. Craven #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge #mustread #bookreview

Today see me sharing another review from one of mt #20booksofsummer #reading challenge books. This is #10 on my list and is an absolute belter of a read. The Curator by M. W. Craven is the 3rd book in the Washington Poe series.

SYNOPSIS

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

*THE NEW THRILLER FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2019 AWARD*
______________________

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperback (to be published dec 2020) – HardbackAudio (these are affiliate links)

My Review

I really don’t know where to start with my review for this awesome book. It’s the third book in the Washington Poe series and yes you do need to read them all just so you understand how and why Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw work so well together.

The synopsis, well, to be honest, I have only just read it! Why? It’s quite simple, I don’t need a synopsis for this series I will automatically buy the next book as soon as its available, this has been the case since I finished the first one. Oh yeah! the synopsis… it does give a good idea of what you are going to get, but it also comes nowhere near to the journey you are about to embark upon.

The characters of Poe and Tilly are exceptional, they have been brilliantly developed and the banter between the two is spot on. The author has definitely given these two their own voices and set of personal traits that fit them to a tee. Poe is occasionally acerbic, blunt and comes across as tough as nails but he is showing a more softer side when it comes to Tilly. She is naive, a computer genius and has no filter when it comes to speaking, this is explained more int he first book. This is where I suggest reading all the books in order.

As for the plot of the story, well there are a few things that immediately spring to mind and they are dark, twisted, devious and then some. This is such a cleverly executed plot that had me on my toes right the way through. I was wrong-footed many times.

A cracking story, exceptional characters and a storyline that just has to be read, I think this is going to be in my Top Reads of the Year list. This is a must-read book and series, if you haven’t read them already, and especially for crime thriller readers and those that like a mystery on the darker side. This is a book that I would give a massive thumbs up to and therefore it gets a Highly Recommended from me. For me, this is fictional deviousness at its very best.

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

The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins #TheMoscowWhisper @FailsafeQuery @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins. This is the 3rd book in this series and if you like spy and espionage books you are going to get on really well with this one. It is a cracking read. My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

‘Sometimes you have to enter the death zone to save the innocent.’

A top-secret clique of former spies meet for dinner to hatch a plan to murder a competitor, not knowing that they are under surveillance from a covert arm of British Intelligence. Hours later, with bodies strewn across a terrace, a piece of secret intelligence reveals an international plot of colossal magnitude.

For disgraced agent Sean Richardson, this is the beginning of a deniable mission to infiltrate and disrupt a group of Russian mercenaries who are working clandestinely to take over a nation state.

Acting covertly as an illicit arms trafficker, Sean is dropped into a deadly cauldron of terrorism and high-tech weaponry that will take a nation down. As the bullets fly and the chaos rains in, can Sean take down the merchants of death…or has he finally met his match?

The third in a set of spy thrillers that have been expertly crafted with stunning plot lines, magnificent locations, and twists that leave you gasping for air. Perfect for fans of Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Scott Mariani. 

Purchase Links = Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) Amazon US

This is the third book in the Sean Richardson series and, boy oh boy was it a cracking read. While the title gives the impression of it being set in Moscow, it is actually Russian mercenaries and arms dealers who provide the Moscow link.

This is an absolute cracker of a read and I have to say I feel for Sean as the author really does put him through his paces. Sean is an off the books operative for an exclusive group. Plausible deniability being something that is essential, but it doesn’t mean that Sean is working alone.

In this mission, he has help from old friends, but as this is the world of spies, double agents, rumours and lies, there is always a doubt as to who can be trusted. Money and power lead to corruption and this leads to sold secrets, backhanders and the like.

This is such a fast-paced book that is action-packed from start to finish. Sean is an excellent character and is teamed up once again with Jack, and an American agent Laura. I just can’t help but like Sean and I still do have my doubts about the other two, there is just something about those who make the decisions that leaves an uneasy feeling. Or maybe I am always backing the underdog, and this seems to be Sean’s default setting.

There are some other great characters in this story and I love some of their names, well nicknames. They add a good deal of variety and some have a very unique skill set to boot.

The details that the author brings to this story is so good, tactics and weaponry are just the tip of the ice-berg. When you read the authors bio you can see where his own knowledge adds a massive extra to the storytelling.

This is such an excellent read, fast, action-packed, intense thriller. For me, this book just has it all and I would highly recommend it.

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers. 

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

Follow Michael on – TwitterFacebook or visit his Website

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

The One Who Got Away by L.A.Detwiler #20booksofsummer #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The One Who Got Away by L.A. Detwiler. This is a twisted and is another book from my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. Let me show you more about the book…

“Get out while you can. You’ll die here…”

Adeline Evans has recently moved into a home for the elderly. A safe space, where she can be cared for.

When she begins to receive cryptic and threatening notes, she is certain that someone is out to get her.

But the residents are warned against listening to a woman who is losing her memory. It would seem Adeline is tormented by the secrets in her past, and that the menace is all in her mind.

Until danger comes down the corridor and starts knocking in the night…

A compelling serial killer thriller from the bestselling author of THE WIDOW NEXT DOOR.

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This was a book that verged on the very dark and twisted. It is told over two main timelines and by two people. One of them is Adeline Evans, she has recently moved into a home for the elderly. She has signs of dementia and is forgetful, easily agitated and since her arrival, the home hasn’t been quite the same. The other voice is that of the killer!

Adeline’s story is told as her time as a 19-year-old. In her home of West Sussex, there have been disappearances of girls, their bodies turning mutilated. There is a serial killer on the loose and the police have no idea who it is.

Now as much as I liked this book I did feel that I was impatient while reading it. My impatience made it feel as if the story was dragging slightly. There are various topics that come to light in this story, one is the mutilation of the bodies and the other is of unprofessional practices in a home and I do admit to these not being my favourite topic in a book, but saying that it does add to the dark and twisted nature of the killer and also to how Adeline was so easily dismissed in some of the things she mentions.

This was a good read, as I mentioned I did feel it was a little slow in places but I still found it was quite addictive as I really needed to know all the answers. The story was quite complex with various things going on and I was kept on my toes until the author was ready to drop a hint. This hint was one that left me with an “Oh, it’s …” a sort of eureka moment if you like.

One for crime, thriller readers that is quite addictive and well-plotted and one I would recommend reading.

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

Her Husbands Secret by Louise Mangos @LouiseMangos #20booksofsummer #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Her Husbands Secrets by Louise Mangos. This is the first book I have read by this author and it is also the first book I read in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Art college dropout Lucie arrives in a Swiss ski resort looking for work – but instead finds love in the form of the handsome and charismatic Mathieu.

Matt seems like perfect husband material – especially when Lucie discovers he’s from a wealthy family. But Matt’s dark side soon emerges. Manipulative, controlling and abusive, he is anything but perfect and will tear the life she has built for herself and their six-year-old son JP apart.

Then, one fateful night, things come to a head in the most shocking way . . .

Wrongly accused of her husband’s murder and left fighting for her freedom in a foreign prison, Lucie is starting to lose her grip on reality. Now, she must summon all her strength to uncover the truth about Matt’s death and be reunited with her son – before it’s too late.

The clock is ticking . . . but who can she trust?

Previously published as The Art of Deception.

Buy a copy HERE

(This site uses Amazon affiliated links at no cost to you)

After dropping out of Uni to take time out to travel, Lucie finds herself at a bar in Switzerland. She also catches the eye of Matt and gradually they become friends and her travel plans are on hold as they gradually form a relationship. There had been the odd mysterious comment about them being together and Lucie didn’t feel exactly welcomed into the family. So where did it all go wrong?

This was an intriguing read and one that I really enjoyed. It is set out in a past and present format. I like this style for this type of book because it means I get to understand the backstory that fills in the details that bring things up to date. I found this back and forth style very easy to keep up with and was eager to see what happened next in each of the tenses.

What started out as a potential holiday romance that then became a relationship sounds like a good basis for a story, but then as it progressed the little doubts and niggles started to creep in. Understanding the lead up to Lucie’s incarceration makes for good reading. Also making good reading was the mystery around what happens after her arrest.

Lucie was a naive character and it was easy to see how she fell for Matt. There are several other characters and if I am being honest I didn’t really like that many of them, Lucie and her friend Anne were nice and likeable, but the some others felt devious and cold suiting the part they played perfectly.

The story had a good deal of tension and this was increased as the pressure of time began to play its part. This meant the pacing gathered momentum the latter half of the story. Mystery, intrigue, suspense and tension were all evident, then the manipulation, lies and secrets are added to the plot making for a tense thriller. I enjoyed this a lot and would recommend it to readers who like a domestic thriller and psychological thriller reads.

Image taken from Amazon Author Page

Louise Mangos grew up in the UK but has spent more than half her life in Switzerland. Her debut psychological thriller “Strangers on a Bridge” was a finalist in the Exeter Novel Prize and long listed for the Bath Novel Award. Her second novel “Her Husband’s Secrets” (previously titled The Art of Deception) was published in June 2019. She lives on an Alp with her Kiwi husband and two sons, and when she’s not writing you can find her on the cross-country ski trails or wild swimming in the lake, depending on the season. She also writes short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes and been published in various anthologies. She has recently completed her MA in crime writing at UEA.

Visit Louise on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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

The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins #TheKompromatKill @FailsafeQuery @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down……’

A DIPLOMAT VANISHES
A BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT GOES ROGUE

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

Purchase links – Amazon UK OR US

This is the second book in the Sean Richardson series, and it works well as a stand-alone because I have not read the first. There is enough detail given for me to get to know the character and start to understand what makes him tick. There are also references to what I am assuming is mentioned in the previous book.

So what is The Kompromat Kill? Well, it is a spy thriller that I found very enjoyable to read. Now this book is quite heavy on the detail and I will say that at times I did find it a bit too detailed, but to be fair that was the only niggle I did have. As for the story, well if you are into secret agents, double agents, secret departments of governments, rogue agents, and also corruption, power, secrets, espionage and deception then this will be right up your street.

Sean is brought into the fold to follow the trail of a possible terrorist attack. His target is an old acquaintance who screwed with his head in a big way when he was vulnerable. He is tasked with discov3ering what he can so that the Uk and US can counter whatever is planned.

While he is in the midst of his mission he is delivered a bombshell and could compromise his end objective. As he gradually deals with that yet another shock is delivered. Now, Sean is reeling and trying to keep his head in the game and not be swayed. Luckily he has those around him who can offer the support he needs without asking too many questions. With very few people who can be trusted, he needs this support.

I like Sean as a character, he is tough as nails but there is also a vulnerability to him that is alluded to, and this is where I think having the read the first book would have been good. It may have possibly given me more details on his mates and those who he could trust.

Now I did mention this book having a lot of detail, at times it was really helpful and it helped to explain past events, but there were also times when I was just too impatient and wanted to get on with the story, basically I wanted to know what happened next.

I did enjoy this story a lot, it had an old school espionage thriller feel to it with a modern setting, up to date cyber and tech stuff was mentioned and as you probably gather from this sentence, some of it went over my head! But as a reader I found that worked well in the context of the story.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series and to discover what predicaments Sean is placed in again. The Kompromat Kill is ideal for readers who like espionage and spy thriller and it is one I would recommend.

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers. 

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.  

Social Media links – Twitter Facebook Website

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @BOTBSPublicity @BloodhoundBoook #BOTBSPublicity #PsychologicalThriller #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book on The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Jake and Kate live in London but after an altercation with a stranger who threatens Jake with a knife, they take their son and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think until people in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Their neighbours are strange and when Kate sees a face at the window, the family realise they might be in danger.
When they find a tape hidden in the loft of the house, a video recording of the previous family who once lived there, it chills them to the bone.
They soon realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and they too could now be next.

What is the mystery surrounding the house on Rectory Lane? 

Jake and Kate are about to find out…

Well this book is definitely high on the creepy factor as it oozes drama and tension. Fed up with the smog, noise, traffic and smell of London the Morley family are looking for a new home. Their dreams come true when they find a stunning house in a nice village and in their budget.

Moving into a village is daunting and there are some odd comments from the locals. Their neighbours however seem nice, friendly and welcoming. Not used to living in an old house, they initially dismiss the sounds, but then Jake decides notices something rather odd while he is out on his morning run.

The tension and drama are great throughout this story, it is an edge of the seat read and one that I read in one sitting as I was not able to put it down. As I mentioned the creepy feeling was a constant and it is not until a lot later in the story that things start to connect.

Now when I started this book I hadn’t read the synopsis, I rarely do, so I was completely oblivious as to what it was about. This for me was great as it meant I went into the story completely blind. The author did a great job of drawing me in, adding intrigue and mystery along the way.

Now the ending, well I didn’t see that one coming and it was a cracking one and then there were the final concluding lines… well hell! Blindsided yet again!

If you like a psychological thriller that is full of mystery, suspense, intrigue and tension and you like a book that hit a quite a reasonable punch on the creepy-o-metre, then you should definitely pick this one up. A fabulous read that had me hooked and one I would definitely recommend.

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.
My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.
I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.
To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.
That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.
I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year. 

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.
I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true. 

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Betrayal by Adam Croft and Steven Moore @adamcroft #politicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Betrayal by Adam Croft with Steven Moore. This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and as is my usual, I have not yet read the first so I can say it works well as a stand-alone.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.

After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.

As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.

But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.

This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and yes as is the norm for me I have not read the first. The advantage is that I can say that Betrayal works well as a stand alone, in fact when I started the book I had managed to convince myself this was the first book!!!!

Sam Barker works for The Firm, he has been tasked with looking into the main supporter of Ecohope, and umbrella for several countries to unite and help with the climate change problem. From the outset the course is set as it emerges that there are some that will benefit from this union and there will be those that sadly loose.

Sam, it seems is ideally placed as his son Benji is a student of the man he is supposed to be looking into. As Sam delves further the waters muddy and not everything is as it seems. Power, corruption and political gain are the front runners in this not so eco friendly venture.

I liked the style of this story and its quick pace. The first chapter is fast and to the point before handing over to the second chapter and the story that follows. Yes this is about climate change but there is not too much. The main focus is on Sam and his search for the people at the controlling end.

This is the first time I have met Sam and I do like him, there are other characters that I don’t trust. My mind always mistrusts people that are a little slim with the facts, especially when it against a character I like, I will let yo find who that is!

AS I said this is the second book and it worked very well, I didn’t feel I was missing any vital details. It is a crime thriller with a political and environmental slant that was very enjoyable reading. It is one I would recommend.

With more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlet.

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