The Heat by Sean O’Leary #TheHeat #SeanOLeary @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Heat by Sean O’Leary. This is a quick-ish read and a first for me by this author. My thanks to Emma for arranging my copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour. Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

Jake is a loner who works nights in a Darwin motel and lives at the YMCA. He’s in love with Angel, a Thai prostitute who works out of the low-rent Shark Motel.

A vicious murder turns Jake’s life into a nightmare. He must fight for his life on the heat-soaked streets of Darwin and Bangkok in the wet season to get revenge, and to get his life back

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

Amazon AUS US Australian Bookseller

My Review…

This is a reasonably quick read and the story took me to Australia, not the gorgeous scenic side either. The main protagonist is a young man, a drug user, I suppose what you would consider to be a drop out.

The author has created a story that has a slow feeling pace but is also quite compelling reading. Taking the reader into the murkier world of drug use, prostitution and corruption. However, this young man does have more to him that first glance suggests.

The further into the story I got the more intriguing I found it. It has a moralistic sense to it as the main character tries to do what is best after the death of one of his friends.

The feeling I got from this was that it wasn’t a story about doing what was right, although that is part of the story. It is also about self discovery and also laying some demons to rest.

I did like this slower paced story, it is told from the perspective of the main character and this gives a more personal feel to this story. It is gritty given some of the subject matter involved but also it has a heartwarming sense of justice to it.

A story for contemporary fiction readers and I do think it also crosses into literary fiction. This is a human interest story that I found to be very addictive, I don’t think this will be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would be more than happy to recommend it.

About the Author…

Sean O’Leary has published two short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’.  His novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in September 2017. He has published over thirty individual short stories and is a regular contributor of short fiction to Quadrant, FourW, Sudo, Close to the Bone (UK) and other literary and crime magazines. His crime novella ‘The Heat’, set in Darwin and Bangkok, was published in August 2019. Drifting and The Heat are both available on Amazon. His interviews with crime writers appear online in Crime Time magazine.

He has worked in a variety of jobs including motel receptionist, rubbish removalist/tree lopper, farm hand, short-order cook and night manager in various hotels in Sydney’s notorious, Kings Cross. He has lived in: Melbourne; Naracoorte; Sydney; Adelaide; Perth; Fremantle; Norseman; Geraldton; Carnarvon; Broome; Yulara; Alice Springs; Kakadu; Darwin and on Elcho Island-Galiwinku. He now lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, thinks that test cricket is the greatest game of all and supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence). He writes every day, likes travelling and tries to walk everywhere.

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#Casino Chiseler #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature the next book in the Alex Cohen series. The Casino Chiseler by Leopold Borstinki is the 4th book in the series and it just keeps getting better and better.

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

Let me show you what it is all about…

Synopsis…

Would you gamble everything you possess to win more than you can imagine?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen leaves jail to find salvation from the 1940s mob in the hotels of Las Vegas. When Bugsy Siegel invites him to take over sports betting in Nevada, Alex must figure out how to get back to the top table in New York without attracting the Feds’ attention.

If he succeeds then he will regain his self respect, but if he fails then the last members of the national crime syndicate will cut him dead and he will be left a nobody or wind up a corpse. And after he bumps into his childhood sweetheart, he has a once in a lifetime opportunity to win her heart. But Alex knows the criminal underworld has the habit of spilling over into his personal life and when Meyer Lansky asks him to murder Siegel, Alex must choose what is truly important to him.

The fourth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which rips open the Jewish mob’s involvement in the birth of modern Vegas. Leopold Borstinski’s shattering crime fiction deals a royal flush to each reader.

Purchase links –

Amazon UK – (this is an affiliate link)

Amazon US

Waterstones

My Review…

I am absolutely loving this series and have enjoyed each book. Casino Chiseler is the 4th book in the Alex Cohen series and Alex is making his way back into the fold after his spell in Sing Sing prison for tax evasion. Alex was part of a group called The Murder Corporation, a group that was the go-to people for a contract killing. This is America, Al Capone has already been imprisoned, the Mafia is on the up, loyalty is paramount and these are dangerous times. WWII has begun as Alex now sets his sights on Vegas.

Alex rejoins his friend Benny in Las Vegas. Benny had the foresight years ago to look towards Vegas as being the place to set up shop. Alex is soon back in the thick of things as he coerces people to pay up in the insurance game, after all, you don’t want your business to accidentally burn down or one of your employees to suffer a tragic injury. Extortion is not a new game, but those that run the game does change. Stepping on toes is inevitable and danger lurks in a passing car with a gunman.

I love the sense of urgency that this book has. Even though it spans a decade it runs across the years quickly. Buildings take time to build and get everything in place to guarantee a healthy profit. It moves along at a fast pace and the drama is still very evident. Now I know that Alex is a gangster, he is a killer and he is dangerous but I really do like this character.

This is a series that has followed Alex since his arrival in the country. Jews are still not trusted and this is evident within this story as newer members are unsure where Alex’s loyalties really lie. Alex’s loyalty will be tested in this book.

A fabulous series that is full of action all the way through from the first step of a Jewish immigrant on US soil through prohibition and now moving up into the world of gambling. It is one for readers who like historical fiction that is working its way through the decades and one I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media:

TwitterFacebookWebsiteInstagram

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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

Midtown Huckster (Alex Cohen #3) by Leopold Borstinski @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Midtown Huckster by Leopold Borstinski. This series is just getting better and better with each book. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the Tour and for my e-copy of the book. Let me show you more about the book…

Can you keep your gelt and freedom when the cops have enough evidence to take you down?

1930s Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion–he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends.

If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?

The third book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical noir novel, which plunges you deep into the early days of narcotics trafficking and the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction delivers a fix to every reader like heroin from a needle.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is the third book in the Alex Cohen series and I having been enjoying it so much. This book follows on from the previous books and while you could read them as a stand-alone I would advise reading in order.

Set in 1930’s New York as prohibition is coming to an end and as President Hoover forms the Federal Bureau to investigate tax evasion and bringing the profiteers to justice.

As I mentioned, this story follows on from the previous books, these include Alex’s arrival in New York and his Jewish background. This book feels more involved as there is more secrecy as the investigators are getting closer to convicting the main bosses. Another thing that I noticed was slightly less Jewish terms, this kind of makes sense as Alex would have become more Americanised but, I also do miss them.

The book once again uses various points of history to keep the story in the right period, with mentions of Thomas Dewey who was a New York City prosecutor in the 1930’s and whose aim was to beat organised crime. I like these historical mentions as it makes for great additional reading outside of the story.

The journey Alex has made up to this point has been gradual, he is trusted and has respect but there are things afoot that are making him suspicious. Times are changing and not necessarily in Alex’s favour. As he has had his fingers in many pies and looks for more ways to earn a living, the more the investigators have to go on, and what they can’t find well…

Another excellent read in the series and I am so glad there are more planned book to follow, I am certainly interested in what happens next for Alex. This is an excellent series for Historical fiction readers and I would definitely recommend reading Midtown Huckster.

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media: TwitterFacebookWebsiteInstagram

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

Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey #BeforeIDie #JackieMorrissey #InkubatorBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Before I Die by Jackle Morrissey. THis was such a compelling read and I would like to thatnk 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 what it is all about..

She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.

Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.

But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.

Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.

Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores…  But no one will listen.

Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.

Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.

The stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll, and Andrew Hart.

Buy your copy from – Amazon UKUS

The synopsis does a fabulous job of setting the scene for this book and it indicates that not all is as it should be. Maureen is a character I immediately liked, the is all there with no loose marbles. She is independent but does seem to be avoiding Delores who seems bossy, a bit of a bully and, according to most people, never stops talking.

Now I found that the main premise for the story was one that intrigued me, it has a relevance to events in the news as elderly and vulnerable people are taken advantage of. I found the way the author tackled the subject of getting older and therefore becoming forgetful to be very relevant and it played to the stereotype of the older members of society no coping and in need of more support.

Delores was a well drawn out character, she is sneaky and devious and knows how to push the right buttons. Unfortunately she doesn’t take into account Maureen’s tenacity, and that is fortunate for Maureen. WHile Maureen knows what is going on, her daughter doesn’t and she believes what the wonderful carer Delores tells her. Setting seeds of doubt and then following them up as they develop.

The story takes some surprising turns, and I soon discovered how well the author had this story plotted out. Events from earlier in the book suddenly become obvious later on as things start to draw to their conclusion. There are sneaky and deceitful characters, as well as those that mean well. But when certain things connect then watch out!

I really enjoyed this story, the characters were well developed and they played their parts wonderfully. The sad thing about this book is that even though it is fiction, this manipulation and praying on the vulnerable does happen in real life. I think this is why this book worked so well for me. Before I Die was a slower thriller, but full of suspense and I would definitely recommend it.

Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time.  The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

BEFORE I DIE is Jackie’s debut novel and her first published with Inkubator Books.

Jackie has no Social Media Links to follow.

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.  

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The Wave by Virginia Moffatt #TheWave @aroomofmyown1 @0neMoreChapter_ @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Wave by Virginia Moffett. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Tonight they’ll share their darkest secrets, but tomorrow, there is no escape…

A devastating tsunami is heading towards the Cornish coast. With no early warning and limited means of escape, many people won’t get away in time.

While the terrifying reality of the news hits home, one young woman posts a message on Facebook, ‘With nowhere to run to, I’m heading to my favourite beach to watch the sunset, who wants to join me?’

A small group of people follow her lead and head towards the beach; each of them are harbouring their own stories, and their own secrets.

As they come together in the dying light of the Cornish sunset, they will discover something much more powerful than they ever imagined. But there is no escaping the dawn … the wave is coming…

Here are the links so you can buy your own copy – Amazon UKAmazon USHarper CollinsWaterstones WHSmiths Foyles Hive

Well this was an addictive read. A deadly tsunami is due to hit coastal areas around the world. The author has chosen to focus on a cove in Cornwall and as it is a county I live in it was so easy for me think of many of the covers near where I live.

The story focuses on a handful of people and they are introduced in a very clever way. The first person posts a status on Facebook, it is seen by the person who mentions it to a third and so on. This is how the small group of strangers find themselves on a remote beach facing the inevitable.

Each person tells their own story of how they came to be there. It is told in the present tense and so there is a little repetition but from each ones own perspective. For me this was a good way to get to know the characters and what made them tick.

The group come together, there are cross words, but there is also the understanding that they are all going to die together as the wave hits. There is a sort of resolve to the group, this almost makes the story come across not as emotionally charged as I thought it possibly would be. The inevitability of their situation I suppose. While there is emotion it is understated, and I realise it is how each of the characters hold back the tears and overly emotional blubbering. There are nerves, tensions, times of calm, as well as fun and laughter, there is contemplation and thoughts of if things could have been differently in the past. Call it wishful thinking if you like, but what it boils down to is working out who is important and how to make peace and say that final goodbye.

I was totally captivated by this book and it made me think about what I would do if I heard the news of an impending tsunami. A wonderful read that had me mesmerised and one that I would definitely recommend.

Virginia Moffatt was born in London, one of eight children, several of whom are writers. ‘The Wave’ is her second novel. Her previous publications are ‘Echo Hall’ (Unbound) and ‘Rapture and what comes after’ (Flash fiction collection published by Gumbo Press). She also writes non fiction. Virginia is married to Chris Cole, Director of Drone Wars UK. They have two daughters at University and a son still living with them in Oxford.

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East Side Hustler (Alex Cohen #2) by Leopold Borstinski #EastSideHustler #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #BookReview

I am absolutely delightedd to be opening the Blog Tour for East Side Hustler by Leopold Bortinski. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book. East Side Hustler is the second book in a series I am loving.

Let me show you more about the book…

Alex lived through the war, but will he survive the peace?

Jewish gang member, Alex comes back from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has seen. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again.

But the route to the top is fraught with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. When organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein dies, the turmoil caused by his loss sets in train a chain of events which means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to attain your American dream?

The second book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which tears through the Prohibition years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir pierces the heart of every reader like a bullet from Alex’s sniper rifle.

PURCHASE LINKS Amazon UKAmazon USNook

This is the second book in the Alex Cohen Series and I am going to say straight from the off how much I am enjoying this series.

Alex Cohen has just returned from serving in the First World War and is suffering from the horror at what he saw and did. He makes his way to his old stomping ground and gradually makes his way back into civilian life. He is a member of a gang in Bowery district of New York. This, like many other gangs control gambling, prostitution, extortion, backhanders and bribes, basically they are racketeers.

While Alex makes his way back to health he reconnects with his old friends and gang members. Things are getting more dangerous for everyone in 1920’s America and as Prohibition looms things are getting tense. Prohibition strains all gangs and they are often at odds with each other, but also alliances are made. The meeting of new allies inevitably sees one of the most infamous names making an appearance in the story, that is one Al Capone.

Tensions are a strong thread within this story as the lives of friends and family are always in threat. Vendettas and revenge lead to bloody battles and street wide gunfights. Trust is something that is not easily given and this adds to the drama.

The author does an absolutely fantastic job of immersing the reader in the time and setting of the novel. I like how Jewish words and phrases are dropped into conversations, I should explain that Alex is Jewish.

This is a book that really does exude the roaring 20’s with mobs, gangs, prohibition and illegal drinking and gambling. While this is all going on Alex also has a family to take care of and like many other families, his also becomes a target.

A wonderful historical fiction read that took me to 1920’s America a time of change and a time of trouble. The author has some brilliant characters and a totally addictive read. The first book – The Bowery Slugger saw Alex Cohen starting his journey into the gangs, East Side Hustler sees him making his mark as a major player and they are both excellent reads.

East Side Hustler is a book I would definitely recommend. This really is a fabulous book and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book that is due out later this year.

See my review for The Bowery Slugger – HERE

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow Leopold on – Twitter Facebook Website Instagram

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

The Southern Belles by Katie Simpkins #TheSouthernBelles @FusionPress1 #TheBrightonBellesSeries @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The Southern Belles by Katie Simpkins. This is the fist book in The Brighton Belles series and it was one I really enjoyed.

My thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Ley me show you what it is all about…

Not Just Any Old Riches to Rags Story.

Heiresses, Evelyn, Georgia and Olivia Belle, nicknamed The Southern Belles by the tabloid press, have everything they’ve ever wanted. Then, suddenly, on Evelyn’s 30th birthday, their father dies in a tragic road traffic accident, leaving a massive hole in his business’ finances. With the world’s media, and the National Crime Agency looking on, their family home, cars and all other assets are sold at auction, leaving the sisters penniless, homeless and jobless.

Shunned by their celebrity friends, the Belle sisters must learn to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives. Evelyn, the eldest, knows how dire their situation is, and asks their father’s solicitor, who has kindly paid for their first two months’ rent on a rat-infested bedsit in Brighton, to look into their Father’s case, while they hunt for jobs to make ends meet, which inadvertently leads to them meeting new guys, falling in love, and learning along the way that the world doesn’t owe them a favour, and that money doesn’t buy you happiness.

This was such a good book to read after several darker or more serious books that I had been reading. The Southern Belles is a book that was a lighter read but one that also had some more serious aspects to it.

The Southern Belles is a riches to rags story that deals with making the most out of what you have got. The Belles are 3 sisters Evelyn, Georgia and Olivia Belle who are still reeling after the death of their father. When the reading of his will shows some worrying financial irregularities. These see the girls being kicked out of their home with very little money.

The story is about how the sisters deal with life in the real world. No celebrity friends, no spotlights, no yachts or high-life parties. The decisions they make from now on are based on what they can afford.

The old friends soon ignore them, well most of them do. There is one however who takes every chance she gets to have a dig, try to belittle and laugh when ever she can.

The sisters soon realise that they have to take opportunities where they can and find they have talents and abilities. They all find jobs and it seems that luck is on their side. Each sister is very different and family is the key to all their decisions. Some of these decisions will be tougher than others.

Through the story I quickly grew to like the girls and how they were different to how I expected them to be. They are not the stuck up rich girls I was expecting.

The story takes some surprising turns as I read about their successes, failures and also their love lives. Their is a goodromantic theme to this story as well as other topics.

It was an easy book to disappear into and I really enjoyed it. It has set the scene very well for more books in The Brighton Belles series.

If you are a fan of heartwarming stories that have a romantic feel as well as dealing with changes in life-style then this is a book you should consider picking up. I am looking forward to reading more in this series and I would definitely recommend it.

Katie Simpkins is the pseudonym for 42 year old dental technician Duncan Brockwell, from a town near Brighton, called Burgess Hill. Duncan works at Elite Dental Studios in his hometown during the day, and writes in his spare time. He is the author of The Southern Belles, his debut novel. Since writing The Belles, he has completed a further four novels, the first sequel to the Belles, The Varndean Vixens, two crime dramas, Blood Bunker and Blood Lust, a horror novel, Hellingly, set in an abandoned mental asylum, and is currently writing his first action / adventure called Trailblazer, set in the American Midwest in 1976, about an aging country singer who is being pursued  by the mob, the FBI and a nutty sheriff, while on tour with his band and getting to know his estranged daughter, Nancy. He is also attempting to write a comedy TV series script for The Southern Belles for a producer at Voyage Media.

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Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster @neillancaster66 @Burning_Chair @damppebbles #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster. Having recently read the first book in the series, Going Dark, I was eager to catch up with Tom Novak again. My thanks to Emma at damppebbles Book Tours for m spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Tom Novak is back.

When a spate of deadly terrorist attacks hit the streets of London, Tom finds himself thrust into the middle of a fight for the survival of all he holds dear.

When the attackers hit closer to home than he could ever imagine, Tom is forced to make a choice between his duty or his conscience. In doing so, he enters a series of increasingly dangerous worlds, in the darkest corners of humanity.

Can Tom and his colleagues get to the bottom of a plot which threatens the very fabric of society?

Will they stop the terrorists before it’s too late?

When faced with the ultimate choice, which way will Tom go?

After all, as Cameron always says: “Always do right, boy…”

Going Rogue is the follow-up to the hugely successful thriller, Going Dark: the book that introduced Tom Novak as the hero who, in the words of best-selling author Tony Parsons, “makes Jason Bourne look like a vegan Pilates teacher”.

Get Going Rogue today, and start a rollercoaster ride of a thriller that you won’t ever want to put down.

Tom Novak is definitely back and is part of a team looking into bombings in London. These are vicious attacks on the Muslim community, time is of the essence as things seem to be escalating.Tom once again goes undercover to try to gain access to the group and get valuable info for an arrest.

Having recently read Going Dark, I was eager to reconnect with Tom in the second book in this series. It is again packed with action from the very outset as the attacks take place and as the team is gathered to discuss the best way to deal with the situation.

Tom is a cold character and in some ways this makes him a very good character to read about, given his cold outlook he does have a strong moral compass that has been instilled in him. If you have read the first book then you will understand this, but if you haven’t then things are alluded to in the story.

The undercover work that Tom takes on puts him right in the thick of things, and they cvould very easily go wrong. As many bases are covered as possible, but the risk of having his cover blown is always there, never more so as when the story takes a further development and the risks become more apparent.

The story progresses at a good speed and I was soon drawn into Tom’s world, it is dangerous and makes for great reading. The author weaves Tom this way and that throughout story and brings back some characters from the previous book.

Buster is a character that features along side Tom, he is Tom’s wing man if you like. The banter between these two is so good and had me smirking several times.

Once again the author has created a fast paced action read that puts his main character right in the middle of the action. Tom is tough yet fair, doesn’t like loose ends and is a brilliant character.

There is a snippet right at the end of the book that is a teaser for the next book and it has already got me eagerly waiting to see what happens next with Tom Novak.

If you like crime and thriller reads that delve into the dangerous underworld of society where there are no rules, then this is a series ytou really need to pick up. Going Rogue is a fabulous read and I would definitely recommend it.

Neil was born in Liverpool in the 1960s. He recently left the Metropolitan Police where he served for over twenty-five years, predominantly as a detective, leading and conducting investigations into some of the most serious criminals across the UK and beyond.

Neil acted as a surveillance and covert policing specialist, using all types of techniques to arrest and prosecute drug dealers, human traffickers, fraudsters, and murderers. During his career, he successfully prosecuted several wealthy and corrupt members of the legal profession who were involved in organised immigration crime. These prosecutions led to jail sentences, multi-million pound asset confiscations and disbarments.

Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police, Neil has relocated to the Scottish Highlands with his wife and son, where he mixes freelance investigations with writing.

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