August 20

Holiday Reading: Volume 2

I am still in post holiday mode and doing some catch-up reviewing. My long break from my laptop means I have a good number of books to discuss and the only way that I will be able to cover them all is to do a number of shorter reviews…

The Time To Kill – Mason Cross

The Time To KillThe 3rd Carter Blake novel from Mason Cross (but the first I have read – sorry Mason). But I can safely say that I will be catching up with The Samaritan and The Killing Season as The Time To Kill was brilliant!

I was actually at the launch of The Time To Kill and had a spoiler free sneak preview of the story – what I heard made me rush the book to the top of the reading pile. An action adventure (and a chase story) across the USA which kept me gripped as I read.

There are links to the previous stories so reading the first two books would probably have helped – but this in no way reduced my enjoyment. Everything that you need to know is explained but it was clear to a new reader that Carter Blake has a fascinating back-story and that he is not keen to have his past catch-up with him. Unfortunately he may not have much say in this matter.

A five star thrill-fest.


Devil Take The Hindmost – Martin Cathcart Froden

Devil Take The HindmostCycling in the 1920’s was an unexpected backdrop to Martin Cathcart Froden’s Devil Take The Hindmost but this is an engaging and extremely entertaining story.

Devil Take The Hindmost follows the story of Paul MacAllister. Farmer’s son, cyclist and newly arrived in London having left the Scottish farm to come to the big city. He falls in with Silas Halkias, a Greek “businessman” who can see potential in Paul’s cycling to earn some money in the city velodromes.

Silas gives Paul a room, finds him a job and kits him out with a top of the range bike.  There are conditions to be met as Silas is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart but Paul is a well meaning and trusting chap so he goes along with all the tasks he is presented.

I am reluctant to share too much of the detail of this book as I found the joy was in not knowing what was coming. The author has captured the feeling of 20’s London wonderfully well. The cycling element is detailed (not excessively) but I got a real feel Paul’s enthusiasm for racing and it was fun to see innovative ideas from 100 years ago being explained and explored.

Beautifully written and with excellent characters this was an absolute gem to read.


Killer Instincts – Linden Chase

Killer InstinctsZane King is being shipped to an island to conduct an undercover investigation into what is happening on this remote isle and its very unique population. It is extremely hush-hush, he has been selected as he has no family ties and he can drop out of society for a few weeks with no-one to notice he is missing.

On arriving on the island the first thing King finds is the body of a woman. She has been brutally murdered and left abandoned in the woods. To avoid blame King tries to leave the scene of the murder but he is spotted.

The residents of the island are all prisoners/convicts.  The worst of society shipped to an isolated location where they will be expected to form a community, work the land and utilise the natural resources available to them.  Escaping from the island is not an option – death awaits at sea – and supplies will drop on a regular basis to ensure the residents have staple provisions.

Except things are not going smoothly. In fact things are going horribly wrong. King has to adapt quickly to survive, he cannot let his true mission for arriving on the island be known but who can he trust and how will he leave the island when his work is done?

Linden Chase has delivered a gritty, powerful thriller which left me demanding more. So many deaths, double crossing allies, attempts to seize power and all under the watchful eyes of the mysterious authority figures that are monitoring their experimental prison.  Think Lord of the Flies for slasher movie fans and you are not too far from Killer Instincts.

Bloody and Brilliant.  Or just Bloody Brilliant. Both work.


You can order all three books through these links.

The Time To Kill:

Devil Take The Hindmost:

Killer Instincts:


Tags: , , , , ,
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted August 20, 2016 by Gordon in category "From The Bookshelf