How To Betray Your Country by James Wolff #JamesWolff @RandomTTours @bitterlemonpub #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for How To Betray Your Country by James Wolff. This is the 2nd book in the trilogy and it does work well as a stand alone.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this thriller book.

Following on from the acclaimed debut novel Beside the Syrian Sea, this is the second title in a planned trilogy about loyalty and betrayal in the modern world.


An authentic thriller about the thin line between following your conscience and following orders. James Wolff is the pseudonym of a young English novelist who “has been working for the British government for the last ten years”.


Things are looking bad for disgraced spy August Drummond. In emotional free fall after the death of
his wife, fired for a series of security breaches… and now his neighbor on the flight to Istanbul won’t
stop talking. The only thing keeping August sane is the hunch that there’s something not quite right
about the nervous young man several rows ahead – a hunch confirmed when August watches him
throw away directions to a European cemetery seconds before being detained by Turkish police. A
reckless August decides to go to the cemetery, where he meets a mysterious figure from the dark
heart of the Islamic State and quickly finds himself drawn into a shadowy plot to murder an Iranian
scientist in Istanbul.


But nothing is what it seems, and before long August realizes he has gone too far to turn back. As he
struggles to break free from the clutches of Islamic State and play off British intelligence against their
Turkish counterparts, he will find his resourcefulness, ingenuity and courage tested to the very limit of
what he can endure.

My Review…

The synopsis for this book is a good length so it does go into depth. This is the second book in the trilogy, and I do think I would have benefited from reading the first book. The first book would have given me an idea of what happened to August Drummond and what caused his decline. It is however mentioned in this second book.

This is a story that is slower-paced than I am used to with a spy thriller style. I found this novel to be a spy thriller but it is more about looking at what’s happening with August. So, while he is working and trying to discover plots the reader also joins him in his psychological journey.

August is a man who is very definitely struggling with grief, he has problems with his drinking and his general appearance. The author has portrayed him as a very sad and lonely person who is just hanging in there, trying to do his job and who is really on the edge. He is a character who I really felt for as he struggles with life and keeping in the loop with his work.

For me, this was more about August rather than the spy and espionage part, although that was very good indeed. It is a story that at first had me confused as I tried to work out the basics and then to get my head around the plot that is constantly evolving, I do feel for poor August in this respect!

Even though I did take longer reading this, I was so glad I persevered as things gradually started to come together, I found myself caring about what happened to August and also one of the other characters, Yousef. There are two different styles to this story, one is the story itself and the other is a series of reports and documents. These threw me initially and it was further into the story where I started to realise the significance of them.

This is a book that does fall into the spy thriller genre, its slower pace and the psychological side may throw readers if they are looking for a more general fast-paced story. I enjoyed this book and I did like the journey, it is one I would recommend.

About the Author…

James Wolff is an exciting new voice in literary thriller writing. He grew up in the Middle East and now lives in London. He has worked for the British government for the past ten years.

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

The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey @michaelcarey191 @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #dystopian #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey. This is an author who amazed me when I read The Girl With All The Gifts, so when I saw there was to be a Blog Tour for his lteast book I immediately jumped on board.

Let me show you what The Book of Koli is all about…

The Book of Koli begins a breathtakingly original new trilogy set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognisable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, the Shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.

This is the first book in a trilogy by this author and The Book of Koli got off to a great start. Set in a future earth where small defended settlements are the norm, strangers seldom seen and where the vegetation is just as vicious and wild as the animals.

Technology is the commodity of power and status, being able to use it sets you apart from the general population. It is this desire to own and wield a piece of tech from the old world that sets Koli on his future path.

I like the character of Koli, he is inquisitive and it at an age in life where he wants to know more. The author spends a good deal of time in the first half of the book giving background information, well as much as is possible as the story is told from the perspective of Koli, so the world as it is is through the eyes of Koli.

Koli is the teller of his own story, and it is a format I really liked as after all he is the main focus of the book. I got to know his daily routines, his friends and family as well as his wanting to know more. As well as this the author fills in more about the surrounding area and this I liked a lot. Using some place names that had been twisted over time so that they are still recognised but not quite right, sort of like Chinese whispers, gave a dimension to the story that added to the reading.

For me this does have the hallmarks of being the first book in a series, there are background details, some histories and explanations that are needed to be put in place to make what follows flow in a more understandable and coherent way. There are some good descriptions of plants, scenery, dangers and also how the community works as a whole.

The second half of the book gradually picks up the pace, still not a fast break neck pace, but one that worked for me especially as the pace of life is more walking and running speed. Everything about this book worked well and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

This is the story is of a boy who wants more and goes the wrong way about it, this gives it a coming of age feel but in a very dangerous world. The world that the author has created is so well done, descriptions of the unusual flora plants have been done so well. An edginess and nervous place where danger lurks, under, behind and above. A world that sounds okay within the walls of a community, but not outside them.

I do like a good dystopian read and this for me ticked the boxes. Having read and been amazed by The Girl With All The Gifts a few years ago I was glad to get back to this author, and I am aware that I do have other book of his still to read!

This is a book that I liked a whole lot, it was a little slower as there is a lot of groundwork that has been laid down. As a reader this works for me when I know there are more books to follow, and it suits the lifestyle of the people who live here. The book does finish at a good place but has definitely left me eager to read on with the other two books in the series.

The Book of Koli is a good read and one that I really enjoyed. It is a story that captivated me and one I would definitely recommend.

I also have the next book, The Trials of Koli, on pre-order and have to wait until September before it is released!

Image taken from Amazon UK

M. R. Carey has been making up stories for most of his life. His novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a word-of-mouth bestseller and is now a major motion picture based on his own screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on Lucifer, Hellblazer and X-Men. His creator-owned series The Unwritten appeared regularly in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, games, radio plays, and TV and movie screenplays to his credit.

Purchase your copy from Amazon UK

At the time of writing this post up one of Michael’s other books is on offer on Kindle – The Boy on the Bridge is 99phere is the link

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