November 20

The Man in the Wall – Emma Angstrom

Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games.

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two weeks after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

 

My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for the chance to host the Blog Blitz

 

The Man in the Wall – I was hooked by the name and sold by the description (above). How utterly chilling, to think that whilst in the safety of your home there may be someone watching you…moving around your house, maybe even while you are sleeping. Or if your wife disappears, returning dead two whole weeks later – clearly having been killed some days earlier.

Let there be no doubt that The Man in the Wall is deeply unsettling and more than a little chilling.

Alva moves into a new home with her mother and elder sisters.  She is excluded by her siblings and seems to be having problems fitting in at school too. Alva has an unusual fascination with the occult and paranormal (unusual in one so young). She has an encyclopedia which she frequently consults and is looking for hidden messages in everyday objects, convinced her dead grandmother is trying to communicate with her. Following Alva’s story was fascinating as she was often unpredictable and made for a quirky character to keep up with.

We also get to see how the Man in the Wall is living out his days – the residents in the rooms he is watching will sometimes feel they are being watched, whirling around they look to the corners or the vents but never actually believe their home has been invaded. As a reader this was a very uncomfortable feeling, watching the watcher and almost sharing his fascination.

There was initially a bit of a slow build into the story while reading The Man in the Wall. However, once characters are established, the building introduced and the relationship between different family members are shown to be strained then the pace will pick up and the chills begin.

I like the phrase chiller/thriller for books like these – page turning tension but with a creepy edge to the action which some readers may find a bit distressing.

 

The Man in the Wall is published by Bloodhound Books and is available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Wall-dark-disturbing-thriller-ebook/dp/B0777HCJ54/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1511112861&sr=1-1&keywords=the+man+in+the+wall

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November 19

Hell to Pay – Rachel Amphlett

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

 

My thanks to Emma Mitchell for the chance to join the blog tour.

 

Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter is back in a 4th outing.  She has had a rough time in the previous books (not that it is essential to have read them) but in Hell to Pay she will come directly up against Josef Demiri – the man behind much of her pain.

Hell to Pay has a great opening sequence.  Called to a traffic incident Hunter finds that what may have been a simple car crash has become exceedingly unpleasant as it becomes clear there was a body in the boot of the crashed car.  Investigation into the car and its driver reveals a connection to Demiri.  Hunter has been waiting for her chance to get back at Demiri and she wants to be involved in the investigation – she is determined to arrest him and bring down his criminal empire.

Dimiri is equally determined to get to Hunter.  He feels she needs to pay for her previous interference in his business affairs. He has been keeping a close watch over her – too close for Hunter’s liking – and he now feels that the time has come to put an end to her attempts to arrest him.

Rachel Amphlett has made a truly deplorable bad guy in Demiri. Returning readers knew he was a danger to Kay, however, the stakes are significantly raised in Hell to Pay. We get to see the worst of Demiri yet it appears that he is mocking the police and simply toying with them…all to ensure he can get a chance to get to DS Hunter. It ensures the story builds towards an inevitable showdown and it did have me worrying that Kay’s obsessive focus to bring down Demiri may be ill-advised.

I always enjoy Rachel Amphlett’s books – the interplay between her characters does make the reader feel they are part of a tense and frustrating investigation. Hell to Pay zips along at a good pace and I loved the twists and turns along the way. The Kay Hunter series is highly recommended – if you pick up Hell to Pay you will find that you will want to catch-up on the first three books too.

 

Hell to Pay is a gripping fast paced crime thriller, and the fourth in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH
2. WILL TO LIVE
3. ONE TO WATCH
4. HELL TO PAY

You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hell-Pay-Detective-Hunter-Book-ebook/dp/B077CLS6RL/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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November 12

See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt

Just after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He’s found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.

It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie who the police first question, but there are others in the household with stories to tell: older sister Emma, Irish maid Bridget, the girls’ Uncle John, and a boy who knows more than anyone realises.

In a dazzlingly original and chilling reimagining of this most notorious of unsolved mysteries, Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.

 

My thanks to Anne Cater for the chance to join this blog tour

Lizzie Borden took an axe

and gave her mother forty whacks,

when she saw what she had done

she gave her father forty-one.

I first heard that rhyme years ago – long before I knew it was based upon actual events. I took it at face value and did not give it much thought beyond the fact it was a slightly more grim rhyme than other chants I heard.

What I have never given any thought to in all the years I have known of Lizzie Borden’s gruesome legacy was WHY. What prompted Lizzie to pick up an axe and slay her parents?  I also never gave any consideration to the fact the rhyme may be misleading.  Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders and spent less than a year in prison while her trial was conducted. I had always assumed she had been guilty,

Sarah Schmidt takes the Lizzie Borden story and builds a story around the facts as known. She brings us into the Borden home and gives the reader an insight into the lives of the family and how they may have interacted.

The tale is told from a variety of viewpoints and will shift in time a little too. It gives us a chance to see a broader view of family life and of the period and places where the story is set. Fans of historical crime fiction will love See What I have Done. Sarah Schmidt does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the time and plonks the reader in the midst of a terrible moment letting everything unfold around us.

Compelling reading and at times it is utterly entrancing.

 

See What I Have Done is published by Tinder Press and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/See-What-Have-Done-Critically/dp/1472240871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510440797&sr=8-1&keywords=see+what+I+have+done&dpID=51juSb%252BhKbL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

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November 9

Trading Down – Stephen Norman

A new kind of terrorist…

Chris Peters loves his work in a multi-national bank: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. And he loves his beautiful wife, Olivia. But over time, the dream turns sour. His systems crash, the traders turn on him, and Olivia becomes angry and disillusioned. So much bad luck.

Or is it? A natural detective, Chris finds evidence of something sinister in the mysterious meltdown of a US datacentre. A new kind of terrorist. But can he get anyone to believe him? His obsessive search leads him to a jihadist website, filled with violent images; a man beaten to a pulp in a Dubai carpark; and a woman in a gold sari dancing in the flames of her own destruction. Slowly, a tragic story from decades ago in Yemen emerges.

Too late, Chris understands the nature of the treachery, so close to him. His adversary knows every move and is ready to strike. Even his boss agrees: if this program is run, it will destroy this bank as surely as a neutron bomb. And Chris Peters has 48 hours to figure it out…

 

My thanks to Alice at Midas PR for my review copy of Trading Down and for the opportunity to join the blog tour.

 

My day job is in financial services. I read crime thrillers for fun and escapism. These two parts of my life seldom cross over…a thriller set against a backdrop of Financial Services? A book which can make a page-turner out of investment banking?  Until I read Trading Down I would have seriously doubted that these worlds could collide so well – yet Stephen Norman has accomplished what I thought would be impossible and this is a stylish and sophisticated thriller.

The story flits around a few different windows of time and the international world of finance and trading is brought to the fore as we visit the worldwide banking hubs. But there is an underlying danger to be challenged and the very realistic threat of financial terrorism takes the story to Yemen and a backstory which begins a few years before we meet our key character – Chris Peters.

Everything in Trading Down felt fast, breathless and energetic. Peters is facing a crisis at every turn, both his home life and work are demanding and he is under enormous pressure.  At work he finds the computer systems which process a huge number of financial transactions are not functioning properly – after a late night crisis (when the bank activates the disaster recovery plan) Chris finds his workplace under severe scrutiny from the regulators. His attempts to maintain systems functionality unveil suspicious activities and Chris begins to explore further…his investigations reveal links to terrorist operations and Chris will be in extreme peril as he seeks to protect himself and those around him against a foe who seems always to be ahead of him.

Trading Down really appealed to me, the overlap with many of the environments I encounter through my work gave it particular fascination. It is a well plotted thriller which kept me hooked and thoroughly entertained.  It d0es stray into financial jargon at times but the authenticity benefits in that regard.  I don’t quibble if a military thriller does a discussion on ballistics or if a medical examiner in a crime thriller outlines an autopsy anomaly to a green faced police detective. So my full attention was given to discussions on investment trades and recording purchases and the story progressed at a nice fast pace entirely befitting a race against time thriller.

A very distinctive backdrop and a damn fine thriller.  Lots of fun was had with Trading Down, if you fancy trying a thriller which is a little different from police procedurals you can start here.

 

Trading Down is published by Endeavour Press and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trading-Down-gripping-cyber-thriller-ebook/dp/B075QF8LJ8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1510186440&sr=1-1&dpID=51FdMfy2YQL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

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November 7

The Dead Whisper – Emma Clapperton

D.S Preston and D.C Lang are sent to investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow. But who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? When they believe their questions have been answered the case is closed.

Meanwhile, Sam Leonard could not be happier – he has a great acting career and a fantastic girlfriend. After being in a previously turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?

For Patrick McLaughlin life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.

But the house that Patrick moves into is not what it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased, and a recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

In order to lay the ghosts to rest questions will be asked but can the house ever let go of its past?

 

My thanks to Sarah Hardy for my review copy and the chance to join the Blog Blitz

A nicely creepy tale which is perfect for these dark November evenings. The Dead Whisper sees the return of Patrick McLaughlin (first encountered in The Suicide Plan). Patrick can see ghosts and spirits and when he moves into the former home of the Henderson family,  complete with the family burial plot in the grounds, it will throw up a challenge for Patrick to solve.

It should be noted that Patrick does not actually appear in The Dead Whisper until mid-way through the book and this is a story which can very much be read as a stand-alone thriller. The main focus is on Sam Leonard – a successful actor who seems to attract some very protective (possibly obsessive) girlfriends.  Sam is in the early days of a new relationship – his last partner had become infatuated with him and was sending hostile messages to Sam’s flatmate and childhood friend Jenny.

Jenny is extremely protective of Sam and given how his last relationship ended it is not surprising she does not wish her friend to be hurt again.  However, the reader gets to see that Jenny’s protective edge can ramp up to outright hostility if she feels that Sam is getting too much attention from a member of the opposite sex.  Sam appears totally unaware of Jenny’s over-protective side but it does unsettle people who fall foul of Jenny’s glare.

What was particularly unsettling was that women who show Sam too much attention seem to become a target and this can have fatal consequences. I was shocked when one character I had really liked suddenly faced extreme peril, nasty surprises and unexpected twists are the BEST way to draw me into a story and Emma Clapperton did exactly that.

Supernatural thrills mean a few dead bodies are likely and I really enjoyed The Dead Whispers as the balance between crime novel and creepy thriller was spot on.

 

The Dead Whisper is published by Bloodhound Books and is available in paperback and digital format and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Whisper-haunting-thriller-wont-ebook/dp/B076M2LR5Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1510096222&sr=8-3&keywords=emma+clapperton&dpID=517eMVekTiL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

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November 4

Shadows – Paul Finch

As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.

When Lucy’s patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.

Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…

 

My thanks to Sabah at Avon for my review copy and the chance to join the tour

 

A new Paul Finch book is always met with much excitement at Grab This Book so when Shadows hit my Kindle I could not wait to start reading.

Lucy Clayburn returns for a second outing following her debut in Strangers. Having read Strangers will help you better understand  a couple of the conversations in Shadows, however, Shadows can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. Both are great reads so you are not going to be unhappy whichever reading option you opt for!

Lucy had a terrible start to her police career and has been working hard to restore her credibility and prove her value to the department.  Events in Strangers has significantly helped and her stock is rising but now an old acquaintance is looking for help as one of his friends has been caught in possession of narcotics – if Lucy can have a lesser charge pursued he can provide information on a violent armed robber.

The possibility of catching a serial offender gives Lucy the opportunity to join the high profile team that work on capturing armed robbers.  She embraces the opportunity and tries to ensure she shines through careful planning and preparation. It is great to see Lucy getting the chance to step-up and her enthusiasm and determination make her an engaging a likeable character.

Away from Lucy’s case the reader gets to see what the “bad guys” are up to.  Established (and high profile) criminals are being attacked in places they believe to be safe.  It looks like there are new players in town and they are intent on disrupting the old guard and taking out the competition.  Their mission is deadly and the story takes a dark turn when they met out their unpleasant lessons and establish their authority. It makes for gripping story telling and I got completely caught up in events.

I have yet to read a Paul Finch book that I have not enjoyed – Shadows is another great read and I highly recommend it.

Shadows is published by Avon and can be ordered in paperback or digital format here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadows-gripping-thriller-bestseller-Clayburn/dp/0007551339/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509788309&sr=1-1&keywords=paul+finch

 

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November 3

CWA Short Story Anthology

Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour.

Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood.

Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

Contributions from:
Ann Cleeves, C.L. Taylor, Susi Holliday, Martin Edwards, Anna Mazzola, Carol Anne Davis, Cath Staincliffe, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, Ed James, Gordon Brown, J.M. Hewitt, Judith Cutler, Julia Crouch, Kate Ellis, Kate Rhodes, Martine Bailey, Michael Stanley, Maxim Jakubowski, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Sarah Rayne, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Vaseem Khan, William Ryan and William Burton McCormick

 

My thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy and to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join this blog tour.

A collection of short stories poses problems which I don’t normally encounter, the primary concern being: How do you read them?

A short story anthology may look like a book and act like a book but a volume of short stories is an unusual beast. It changes, it evolves, characters come and go – never to be seen again, there are often chapters of excellence but sometimes you experience a head-scratching moment and ponder what you have just read.  You may laugh for a few pages then be terrified for the next few only to be moved to tears 10 minutes later.  A veritable roller coaster of emotion and experiences. But how do you read them?

When I read a book of short stories I will never begin at the start of the book and work my way through the tales in sequence. I will dip in and out and pick the story titles which sound the most appealing. But that is only the case when the collection is the work of a single author. If there are multiple contributing authors then I will look for names I know and read those first. But how do YOU read them?

I have never read a full volume of short stories without stopping before all the tales are told. I do return and I keep reading, but I need to dip in and out. I find the changes in narrative and style to be more rewarding when I pick up the book afresh rather than when I read multiple stories back to back. Is that how YOU read them?

The problem I had with the CWA Anthology was that there were too many good stories and contributions came from authors I really wanted to read. A problem?   Well yes – all my normal behaviours were scuppered as I wanted to keep reading (not take a break). There were multiple authors I wanted to read first (how to choose?) and the theme through the book gave it much more structure than many collections I have read in the past which had no commonality.

I had lots of fun reading my way through the CWA Short Story Anthology. I was able to maintain my habit of reading out of sequence – I flicked straight to Susi Holliday’s story and started there. But after Susi, Michael Stanley, Ragnar Jónasson and Gordon Brown I realised that this collection was a bit special. Everyone has brought their “A-Game”.

For the CWA Anthology you do feel that we are being treated to the some of the finest story telling.  A single author collection of short stories can sometimes suffer a little…”chuck in the story about the wombat we need another 8,000 words”.  But this collection is suffering an embarrassment of talent. There was page after page of brilliant narrative and I loved ending one tale and jumping back to the index to find the next journey.

Look at the contributor list – stellar. If you read crime fiction then you should own this book, simple as that.

 

The CWA Short Story Anthology is published by Orenda Books on 15 November 2017. A copy can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/CWA-Short-Story-Anthology-Mystery-ebook/dp/B075YQ9PGS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1509658571&sr=1-1

 

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November 3

Christopher Farnsworth – Everything is Porn Now

Today I am delighted to welcome Christopher Farnsworth to Grab This Book as I host the latest leg of the Hunt You Down blog tour.

The information you need about Hunt You Down can be found by scrolling down to the foot of this post. However, before you zip down (as it were) I have a brilliant guest post from Mr Farnsworth to share and it has the most eye-catching title.  Bring on the bots when this hits Twitter…

 

Everything is Porn Now

I write about the Internet a lot. I covered it as a reporter, and as a novelist, it’s become the weapon of choice for the bad guys in my books. In my latest, HUNT YOU DOWN, there’s a criminal genius who’s learned how to weaponize social media.

But the most insidious thing I’ve seen on the Net is actually happening in real life. And I’m not sure how we stop it, or even if we can.

The Internet has turned everything into porn.

I don’t mean that literally. The Internet is, of course, the greatest advance in human communication yet. And you can still find many sites — at least a couple dozen — that do not have actual naked people on them. Also, I am not taking a moral stand against pornography here. (I’m not quite that hypocritical yet.)

But what I have noticed is that the Internet is making everything — everything — quick and dirty and cheap, if not free.

Which is pretty much the definition of porn these days.

Porn was first spread on the Internet before there were even web browsers — people would break down naked pictures into binary code and then send those files over the old Usenet sites. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) But eventually, the process sped up, and soon, people were sharing porn videos for free over the Net.

And the porn industry — which had been making billions of dollars annually — saw its paying customers vanish.

That was just the beginning. Today, every form of media faces the same commoditization that wreaked havoc in the porn business.

Music was first. Way back when I was a tech reporter, I covered a new software application called Napster. In those pre-iTunes days, I used Napster on my computer at work to download every single I could remember from junior high, music that would have cost me hundreds of dollars in CDs if I’d even been able to find them. At the time, I thought this was pretty great.

I interviewed a lawyer who worked for the recording industry as part of my story, and he didn’t see it the same way. Before we’d finished talking, he’d told me that everything I’d done was illegal, and the industry would soon be suing people like me. He told me I was contributing to the destruction of the music business. I was skeptical, to say the least.

But he was right. The recording industry did sue people who illegally downloaded music, for all the good it did them. People used Napster and services like it to grab millions of songs for free. By the time iTunes and other legitimate services got up and running, the industry had been hollowed out. Billions of dollars in revenue simply vanished. Revenues have made something of a comeback as people subscribe to streaming services, but overall, it’s still less than half what it once was.

Pick any other media industry, and you’ll find a variation on the same story. Newspapers were gutted by Craigslist as people discovered they could use the Internet for free classified ads and free news. Book publishers have to reckon with a flood of cheap ebooks and Amazon’s rise as the number one bookseller in the world. TV and movies have to compete with YouTube and random cat videos for eyeballs. Musicians, authors and artists are expected to give away their work in an effort to build an audience and a brand.

All of these businesses were once highly profitable and stable, employing millions of people. I remember sitting in an auditorium during my last newspaper job as our publisher complained about a 12 percent profit margin that year, and promised he’d get it back up to 20 percent where it belonged. That paper has filed for bankruptcy twice since then.

The porn effect isn’t limited to media, either. Uber is basically the free-porn model applied to taxicabs: investors subsidize a low-cost alternative to an established industry to extract revenue from its paying customers, and eventually crash the old business.

And the Internet isn’t done with us yet.

Since the collapse of the DVD and pay-per-view model, porn has also become harder and more explicit to capture the attention people in a fraction of a second — when everything is available, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

In order to chase an increasingly fragmented audience, the spectacle has to get bigger, more outrageous, louder, more extreme. Which may be why the news media spent so much time turning a sideshow like Donald Trump into the main event.

I’m not sure where it ends. We’re hardwired to pay attention to the brightest lights and the loudest noises. (Adding naked people into the mix doesn’t hurt, either.)

But eventually, the bill is going to come due for all this free stuff. And then we’ll get to see the real cost of doing business in the new world.

 

Christopher Farnsworth is the author of six novels, including HUNT YOU DOWN, available from Bonnier Zaffre.

Hunt You Down:

John Smith is no ordinary gun for hire.
Smith is a man or rare gifts, and he knows your every thought . . .

Hired to track down a shooter targeting the rich and famous, Smith must complete his mission before another attack takes place. But when a website on the dark net is found to have connections to the murders, Smith realises that taking down a shadowy figure who has weaponised the internet will prove more difficult than he first thought.

And no matter how hard he tries, this criminal mastermind continues to remain one step ahead.

 

 

 

 

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November 1

Killing State – Judith O’Reilly

The bullet in his brain isn’t the problem.

She is.

Michael North is a hero, with a bullet in the brain to prove it. A bullet which has rewired his neural pathways and heightened his sense of intuition. A bullet which is driving him mad. Working for an extra-governmental agency called The Board, North knows one thing for sure. He is very good at killing very bad guys. But what happens when a hero is ordered to kill a good woman rather than a bad man? Because it turns out that rising political star, Honor Jones, MP, can’t stop asking the right questions about the wrong people. He should follow orders. Shouldn’t he?

 

My thanks to Anne Cater for the chance to join the blog tour

 

 

Michael North is a hero but he is also used as a killer by a mysterious agency known as The Board. The Board seem to be working in shadows but appear to be associated with the UK Government. Michael has been instructed to kill a Member of Parliament who has been asking all the wrong questions.

Michael North has a personal code – he will kill bad guys but he does not kill women. So when Michael comes face to face with his next target, an M.P. called Honor Jones, he will have to ignore his own code of honour or go against his employers – and face the consequences.

Killing State had me hooked from the outset. I love a political thriller and with a shadowy agency targeting an MP I immediately thought that National Security must be at stake and that the Government would stop at nothing to keep their secrets. I am not going to tell you if I was right but I will tell you that Killing State is a cracking action/chase thriller which sees North using all his training and guile to keep one step ahead of his employers.  He has done something they are not happy about and his life is in danger.

Not that North’s life was not already endangered…as you can see in the opening descriptions – he has a bullet in his brain and he lives under the constant threat that one day the bullet will shift inside his head and cause irrevocable harm.  Knowing that the key player in the tale is at risk every second of the day makes for an entertaining drama. Every fight, every tumble, every chase scene I found that I was expecting the bullet to jar and North to immediately become vulnerable. It keeps you turning the pages I can assure you!

What also kept me turning the pages was that I wanted to know why Honor Jones had been marked for death.  Why had this young woman been singled out, could it be down to the friends she kept?  One of her friends recently died – before his death he made cryptic references that should anything happen to him then Honor must get to some where safe.  Honor’s closest friend is missing – possibly out of contact and working in South America but if that cannot be verified then how would Honor know her friend was still alive?

Judith O’Reilly nailed the pacing, the tension and the entertainment in Killing State.  I zipped through this book in a few short days and enjoyed it immensely. Killing State releases later this week and I highly recommend you seek out a copy.

 

Killing State is released on 6 November 2017 in digital format and will be available in paperback in 2018. You can order the Kindle copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Killing-State-Michael-North-Thriller-ebook/dp/B075GW4GPZ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Follow the tour:

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October 29

Descent to Hell – Nic Parker

A man forced to enter mankind’s most feared territory … a child dragged into the underworld!

When Charlie Ward’s beloved niece is kidnapped by an atrocious demon he has to find the secret gateway into the one place every human wants to stay away from: Hell!
Armed only with courage and determination Charlie has to survive in a forbidding place filled with despair and anguish. He must face challenges no mortal should ever have to undergo that threaten to destroy his very soul.

 

My thanks to Victoria Watson for the chance to join the blog tour to Descent to Hell and to Nic Parker for my review copy.

 

Halloween approaches and it was time that I got some tales of ghosts and evil entities onto the reading list. Descent to Hell sounded ideal and, very pleasingly, it was exactly what I needed – a clever and stylish adventure story (with demons, the devil and some nasty surprises).

Charlie is going to Hell. His choice. His niece is missing and Charlie has discovered that she was abducted by a demon.  As you may expect there are not many people who may believe that a demon can rise from Hell to steal away a child and Charlie has found himself under suspicion from the police into the girl’s disappearance.

Charlie finds a way to cross from the “real” world to the depths of Hell and decides that his sister’s happiness and the chance to save his niece is worth more than his own life. Charlie will risk everything to go to Hell and try to bring his niece home. .

The most pleasing aspect of Nic Parker’s Hell was that it was not a classic interpretation from Dante or the biblical depiction. No flaming pits of the damned, no obvious tortured souls – a modern cityscape awaited Charlie. Denizens of Hell who chat, have homes, comfortable beds (as Charlie finds out when “rescued” by a gorgeous bombshell who has her own “wicked” ideas).

Yes Descent to Hell is a horror tale (any book with Lucifer has to be such) but it is also funny in places, there is a crime undertone with an investigation ongoing into where his niece may be, there is an adventure thriller as Charlie faces numerous challenges to cross Hell to face the demon who took his niece.

Nic Parker writes in a very readable style. The story zips along and there was no feeling that she was trying to pad out the plot or to distract the reader with sub plots which don’t progress the main tale. The focus on the rescue remained constant and Charlie’s frustration over a lack of progress was always tangible.

Descent to Hell comes highly recommended. If you fancy a Halloween story but normally shun away from chillers or ghost stories then this clever thriller with its dark undertones is a great option.

 

Descent to Hell is published in paperback and digital format and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Descent-Hell-would-rescue-loved/dp/3946413501/ref=la_B075TD51VV_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509270636&sr=1-1&refinements=p_82%3AB075TD51VV%2Cp_n_binding_browse-bin%3A492564011

 

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