Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Icelandic Noir, International Thriller, Noir, Nordic Noir, Scandinavian Crime

The Creak on the Stairs Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir 4*#Review @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks #Translator Victoria Cribb #ForbiddenIceland #TheCreakontheStairs #IcelandicNoir #RandomThingsTours @annecater @GoldsboroBooks #BlogTour #BookReview

The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by
one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents.

When the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day…

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the
townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it ’s too late

Amazon UK Orenda Books

I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric and chilling from the beginning and tinged with unforgettable sadness. This Icelandic Noir story told from multi-points of view fuses domestic noir and police procedural with a Nordic twist. The well-constructed plot flows effortlessly. This is an addictive story cleverly interpreting familiar contemporary issues.

Authentic and relatable characters make the story believable. The stark and unique Icelandic setting has intrinsic interest for those unfamiliar with it. The emotions and crimes reflect the contradictions of the landscape. Volcanic and Icy. Long nights and midnight sun. The author uses the small town ethos well with resultant conflicts of interest for the police investigation.

A tapestry of betrayal, evil and sadness makes this story resonate.

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.

Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.

Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, International Thriller, Mystery, Romance, Travel

Island Of Secrets Rachel Rhys 4*#Review @MsTamarCohen @TransworldBooks #Cuba #Havana #1957 #Mystery #Political #Secrets #lies #HistFic #FamilyDrama #RandomThingsTours @annecater

Say, wouldn’t it be a gas if all of us here are pretending to be something we’re not?’

1957: Iris Bailey is bored to death of working in the typing pool and living with her parents in Hemel Hampstead. A gifted portraitist with a talent for sketching guests at parties, she dreams of becoming an artist. So she can’t believe her luck when wealthy socialite Nell Hardman invites her to Havana to draw at the glittering wedding of her Hollywood director father.

Iris is thrilled to escape to a faraway city by the sea. But she soon realizes that the cocktails, tropical scents and azure skies mask a darker reality. As Cuba teeters on the edge of revolution and Iris’s heart melts for troubled photographer Joe, she discovers that someone in the charismatic Hardman family is hiding a terrible secret. Can she uncover the ugly truth behind the glamour and the dazzle before all their lives are torn apart?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK, Transworld Publishers – Black Swan in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story captures the thirst for glamour and the diminished role of women that epitomises the 1950s. Intelligent but naive Iris inwardly rails against her life but feels ill-equipped to alter its path. A talented portraitist who works in a typing pool marriage is the only way out. Meeting socialite Nell is unexpected. Nell’s surprise invitation means Iris can escape for a while.

Clever use of visual imagery brings pre-revolution Cuba to life. Lies, mystery, politics and secrets are interweaved into this glitzy yet tawdry story. Some characters have more depth than others, but all make up a cast of players that give insight into the final months of Havana before the revolution.

Iris’ character development is significant as she experiences the facets of humanity and the turmoil of a country on the precipes of political change.

Rachel Rhys

Rachel Rhys is the pen-name of a much-loved psychological suspense author. She is the author of the Richard and Judy bookclub pick, Dangerous Crossing and the bestselling A Fatal Inheritance. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, International Thriller, Mystery, Noir, Suspense, Thriller, Travel

Fall Out Mark Grenside 5*#Review @MNGrenside @urbanebooks @LoveBooksGroup #Lovebookstours #FallOut #BlogTour #BookReview #Thriller #conspiracy # mystery #betrayal

The Player meets Get Shorty in this thrilling debut from Mark Grenside.

An LA screenwriter is killed shortly after completing his latest script, FALL OUT – a thriller destined to be a blockbuster but written with a secret double purpose. Echoing events from the past the screenplay is sent to a very specific group of people and will change their lives forever. All are connected to a movie that had abruptly stopped shooting in the jungles of the Philippines years before. FALL OUT exposes the truth about a conspiracy and murder that led to a half-a-billion-dollar fortune for a select few.

Follow the story of Producer Marcus Riley, who sets out on an increasingly dangerous quest to get FALL OUT made. From a powerful Agent’ s office in Hollywood, hidden treasures in Belgravia and a remote chalet in the Swiss Alps to murder at the Cannes Film Festival, Marcus teams up with designer Melinda (Mako) de Turris as they and the other recipients of the screenplay are pursued by an assassin from the past.

With clues cleverly concealed in the screenplay, Marcus and Mako unravel a lethal puzzle that for some will bring death, others the truth and ends in a cave with a shocking secret…..

Amazon UK Urban Publications

I received a copy of this book from Urbane Publications in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A chilling complex international thriller. An uncompleted film, a missing man and a historical war criminal mystery are all threads of this cleverly constructed plot.

Told from multi-points. of view the story of betrayal and greed unfolds. Glamorous settings and historical events, both actual and fictional, make this an absorbing read. The authentic and relatable characters each have a part to play in solving the mystery.

The detailed story varies in pace as it seamlessly moves between characterisation, flashbacks and adrenaline-pumping action. Full of visual imagery, the story reveals its secrets as if the reader is an eye witness. The use of screenplay interspersed with the prose, adds interest to the story. It provides important clues to the mystery.

The ending is exciting and gives the reader the completion they seek.

M.N.Grenside

Mark Grenside began his working career straight out of school at Lloyds of London, specializing in Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance. At 25 it was time for a career change and to dump the suit and tie so he started his media career working for Jim Henson and The Muppets. From that moment on he has been involved in Entertainment and nearly every aspect of it. Mark then went on to create and produce a number of television series and mini-series. At the same time he started a music management company launching million seller artist Neneh Cherry. In 2004 he arranged a $250 million buy-out of the Hallmark Channel International which was then successfully sold to NBC. He returned to producing a number of movies and mini-series.

He has recently somehow morphed into a serial entrepreneur and is now a co-founder of seed to shelf CBD producer Dragonfly Biosciences (www.dragonflybiosciences.com) and a founder in two separate digital companies…. but has also seen a very good return from his love of cooking in an expanding waistline.

A probably unhealthy amount of time and money is lavished on a collection of classic cars that he has raced all over the world. He enjoys risk and has parachuted in New Zealand, scuba dived in the Pacific, hang-glided in the Himalayas and even tobogganed down the Cresta Run. In nearly every case chasing after his wife who is utterly fearless!

He is now writing the follow up to Fall Out, entitled The Bastion. In addition he writes also puts out a humorous blog with subscribers in more than 40 countries.

Mark has two grown sons, two daughters in law, three grandchildren and lives with his wife, a pug and a French bulldog in Malta.

His first thriller Fall Out publishes in May 2020.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Suspense, Thriller, Travel

Red Desert Paddy Magrane 5*#Review #AudioBookReview @PaddyMagrane @audibleuk @midaspr #RedDesert #Narrator Joe Jameson #International #Thriller #PoliticalThriller #ConspiracyThriller #BlogTour #BookReview

When his girlfriend is violently attacked, Tom’s life falls apart and escape makes perfect sense. Taking a role as a therapist for staff on an oil camp in southern Iraq seems like the perfect solution. But upon his arrival, an explosion leaves four men dead. Tom starts to ask questions, and his curiosity soon gets him into trouble. An attack on the camp sees Tom shipped home, where he works with a journalist to continue his investigations. But when the journalist falls beneath a tube train, Tom is left wondering whether his search for the truth could end in his death, too…

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This audiobook is a gripping thriller with a complex plot and a believable protagonist. The various settings are authentic and vividly described. You can feel the heat, smell the dust and the sweat in the Iraq sequences.

Tom is easy to empathise with his tragic past and his keen sense for justice. His courage is relatable. He’s fearful but wants to find the truth and is prepared to risk his safety to achieve this.

Flawed and realistic each of the cast of characters make the story more relevant and real.Well-paced the plot enthrals right to the end. The believable ending is positive.

The narration is well balanced and professional. You forgot it is just one person as the characters come to life with subtle voice changes.

A riveting, realistic novel perfect as an audiobook.

Paddy Magrane

Paddy Magrane is a Psychotherapist, journalist and the Kindle #1 ranked thriller writer of The Sam Keddie thrillers. Born in the Middle East, Paddy then grew up on army bases in Germany, Northern Ireland and England. Paddy was an artist for ten years in the UK before working as a journalist for The Guardian, The Observer and The Telegraph. Paddy has travelled extensively, having visited Syria before the civil war and recently worked in Israel and the West Bank. In 2006, Paddy retrained as a psychotherapist and practices at home in rural Devon where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Joe Jameson

Joe Jameson is a London based actor and voice-over artist. He graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2010 and has since become one of London’s most in-demand voice-over artists.With an excellent ear for accents, and an extensive range, Joe has narrated more than 200 audio-books for Audible, Strathmore and Penguin, among others.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller

Power Play Tony Kent 4* #Review #KillerIntent @TonyKent_Writes @eandtbooks #PowerPlay#CrimeFiction #political #conspiracy #international #thriller #BlogTour #BookReview #RandomThingsTours @annecater @angelaontour

When a plane explodes over the Atlantic Ocean, killing hundreds of passengers, including controversial US presidential candidate Dale Victor, it appears to be a clear-cut case of terrorism. The suspect has even confessed to the bombing. But as criminal barrister Michael Devlin is about to discover, everything is not as it seems.

Also suspecting there are other forces at work, intelligence agent Joe Dempsey is driven to investigate. Who would have wanted Victor out of the way – and would commit mass murder to do it? As the evidence begins to mount, everything seems to point to the US government itself, all the way to the top. And now someone is determined to stop Dempsey and Devlin from discovering the truth. At any cost.

With countless more lives on the line, Dempsey must find a way to prove who’s pulling the strings, and free the White House from the deadly grip that has taken hold of power.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Political thrillers always intrigue me, and this one is exciting, frightening and realistic. The two main characters, one in the US and one in the UK, have featured in previous novels. I read this as a standalone and didn’t find it lacking.

The scenario is a popular contemporary one, high-level conspiracy, threatening the basic tenants of democracy, in the search for ultimate power. This story has something unique to bring to this storyline, which is delivered with adrenaline-fueled action, devastating human collateral damage, and a complex pacy plot.

The cast of characters are well written and the plot layers are continually more addictive as the story progresses. A compelling, thought-provoking contemporary thriller written in an easy to absorb style that keeps you reading until the conclusion.

Tony Kent

Tony Kent is a 40-year-old criminal barrister who draws on his legal experience to inspire and bring unusual accuracy to his thrillers. Long ranked as a ‘leader in his field’, Tony has prosecuted and defended the full range of criminal trials. He now specialises in the defence of serious crimes such as murder, kidnap, armed robbery, extortion and high-value fraud. A regular at London’s Old Bailey, Tony’s case history includes many high-profile, nationally reported trials. Before his legal career Tony represented England as a heavyweight boxer and won a host of national amateur titles. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, International Thriller, Noir

Zodiac Anamaria lonescu 4* #Review @ami2ro @CorylusB @Lovebookgroup #Lovebookstours #BlogTour #BookReview #Noir #Thriller #CrimeFiction #Romania

When investigator Sergiu Manta is handed the investigation into a series of bizarre murders, he can’t sure what he’s getting involved in as he has to work with regular detective Marius Stanescu, who has his own suspicions about the biker he has been told to work with and wants to get to the truth. The twists and turns of their investigation take them from the city of Bucharest to the mountains of rural Romania, and back.

AmazonUK

I received a copy of this book from Corylus Books in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I always enjoy reading translated books with their atmospheric settings. The cultural differences, add depth and interest to the story. This is a crime fiction book set in Romania, partly in the capital city Bucharest, and partly in the rural mountainous region. The investigative team are interesting characters, and despite their different ways of working, they prove to be effective. The second in the series, it reads well as a standalone, as I have not read book 1 yet.

The story’s dark crimes are balanced by the investigative team’s interactions, which add to the characters’ authenticity and charisma. The fast-paced plot flows well, making this an enjoyable crime novel to read.

AnaMaria Lonescu

Corylus Book is a new venture aiming to publish fiction translated into English. The people behind the company have very different backgrounds, but what brings us together is a deep appreciation of crime fiction and a strong interest in books from countries that so have been under-represented in English.

It took a while before it turned out that everyone’s thoughts had been on similar lines – that we wanted to take a chance on presenting some of the great European crime fiction that wouldn’t normally make its way into English. With a mixture of language, translation and other skills between the four of us, it seemed the logical next step to take.

The first Corylus books are a pair of Romanian crime novellas, Living Candles by Teodora Matei and Zodiac by Anamaria Ionescu.

There’s more to come in 2020 – starting with Romanian novelist’s Bogdan Teodorescu’s Sword, a powerful political thriller that has already been a bestseller in Romania and in its French translation. Sword will be available in May and will be followed later in the year by the first of two books by Icelandic crime writer Sólveig Pálsdóttir. The Fox will be available in the second half of this year, followed by Shackles in 2021.

And there’s more to come, with a novel by Bogdan Hrib set partly in Romania and partly in the north-east of England, a second novel from Teodora Matei, and we’re talking to more exciting writers from across Europe about what we can do together…

Posted in Cover Reveal, Crime, International Thriller, Noir

Zodiac by Anamaria Lonescu – Cover Reveal @ami2ro @CorylusB @Lovebookgroup #Lovebookstours #CoverReveal

When investigator Sergiu Manta is handed the investigation into a series of bizarre murders, he can’t sure what he’s getting involved in as he has to work with regular detective Marius Stanescu, who has his own suspicions about the biker he has been told to work with and wants to get to the truth. The twists and turns of their investigation take them from the city of Bucharest to the mountains of rural Romania, and back.

AmazonUK

Corylus Books

Corylus Book is a new venture aiming to publish fiction translated into English. The people behind the company have very different backgrounds, but what brings us together is a deep appreciation of crime fiction and a strong interest in books from countries that so have been under-represented in English.

It took a while before it turned out that everyone’s thoughts had been on similar lines – that we wanted to take a chance on presenting some of the great European crime fiction that wouldn’t normally make its way into English. With a mixture of language, translation and other skills between the four of us, it seemed the logical next step to take.

The first Corylus books are a pair of Romanian crime novellas, Living Candles by Teodora Matei and Zodiac by Anamaria Ionescu.

There’s more to come in 2020 – starting with Romanian novelist’s Bogdan Teodorescu’s Sword, a powerful political thriller that has already been a bestseller in Romania and in its French translation. Sword will be available in May and will be followed later in the year by the first of two books by Icelandic crime writer Sólveig Pálsdóttir. The Fox will be available in the second half of this year, followed by Shackles in 2021.

And there’s more to come, with a novel by Bogdan Hrib set partly in Romania and partly in the north-east of England, a second novel from Teodora Matei, and we’re talking to more exciting writers from across Europe about what we can do together…

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, International Thriller, Thriller, Travel

The Profit Motive David Beckler 5*#Review #SterlingandMason @DavidBeckler1 @LongStopBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #Thriller #InternationalThriller #China #BookReview

How do you deal with an implacable foe in an alien land…?

Manchester, England, and Wenzhou, China, 2001

When firefighter Adam Sterling arrives at the scene of a horrific car crash, little does he imagine it will lead him back to his mother’s homeland.

Kate, the woman he pulls from the wreckage, needs his help. Her father has been left for dead after a hit-and-run, in Wenzhou, China.

She suspects it wasn’t an accident and so does Jie Gang, the senior policeman investigating the case, and whose efforts are obstructed from on high.

When events escalate, Kate employs Adam and Byron Mason, Adam’s best friend and fellow former Royal Marine, to go with her to China.

Catapulted into an alien environment, and unable to trust anyone, Mason and Sterling face escalating challenges.

The struggle becomes personal, and Adam has to confront a ruthless enemy determined to destroy him and Kate. 

THE PROFIT MOTIVE is the second crime novel in the Mason & Sterling thriller series: gritty, hard-boiled page-turners with an urban setting.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts

Enticed in with a mystery and an unexplained hit and run, leaving an English businessman gravely injured. The adrenaline starts to pump, as the thought processes wonder, who is behind the attack. Back in the UK one-half of the investigators has family problems to solve. Another accident draws in his partner, and the plot takes you on a roller-coaster ride across continents and cultures, with complex characters and vivid scenarios and settings.

The plot threads appear unconnected, but as the story progresses they converge into a breathtaking, unexpected conclusion.

The second in the series, it reads well as a standalone, as the story is complete, and there is sufficient characterisation to discern the main protagonists, their background and team dynamic. The international setting is vibrant and well researched. You get a sense of place, and experience the culture and ethos, through the people and places.

An exciting, immersive international thriller, with a clever plot and authentic characters.

#DavidBeckler

I write fast-paced action thrillers populated with well-rounded characters.

Born in Addis Ababa in 1960, I spent my first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia where my love of reading developed. After dropping out of university I became a firefighter and served 19 years before leaving to start my own business.

I began writing in 2010 and use my work experiences to add realism to my fiction.

The Mason and Sterling series centre on two ex-Royal Marines, Byron who now runs a security company and Adam who is a firefighter. A strong cast of characters support my protagonists. Long Stop Books published Brotherhood, the first novel in the series, in September 2019 and will be publishing the second, The Profit Motive, on December 16th 2019. Brotherhood is set in Manchester and The Profit Motive in Manchester and Wenzhou, China.

I live in Manchester, my adopted home since 1984. In my spare time I try to keep fit—an increasingly difficult undertaking—listen to music, socialise and feed my voracious book habit.

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads Bookbub

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller

Blue Gold David Barker 4*#Review @BlueGold201 @UrbaneBooks #GaiaTrilogy #LoveBookTours @LoveBooksGroup #InternationalThriller #Geopolitics #PoliticalThriller #ClimateChange #Paperback

#BlueGold

The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat – a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow. When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission. Freda’s misgivings are well-founded when their first assignment ends in disaster – a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires’ tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust? As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon – and protect the future of ‘blue gold’.

Amazon UK

#BlueGold #BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from Urbane Publications in return for an honest review.

#BackCover

My Thoughts…

Set in a possible near future, this story has enough topicality to be both riveting and worrying. Water, which has always been a precious commodity, in places where it is sparse, now arrives on the global terrorist agenda. Water is essential for life, and therefore controlling its dissemination, storage and use makes it a powerful weapon of mass destruction.

The story focuses on an initial incendiary terrorist activity, and the role of two agents of the Overseas Division OFWAT, which for those like me who don’t know is the Water regulatory authority. In reality, since 1989 this refers to the economic regulation of the privatised water and sewage companies. In this scenario, the overseas division is aligned with MI6 and fights against water terrorism. The existing organisation is defined in the author’s notes but a simple explanation within the story would be helpful, for ease of reading.

The story begins with the agents in desperate circumstances but then goes back in a real-time way to fill in the gaps and get the reader to where they are now. The main characters are realistic with interesting backstory and flaws and dedication to the cause. There is also a cast of additional characters who each play their part in this geopolitical thriller.

The story is adrenaline led and realistic. The narrative makes many astute political comments on climate change and the importance of key natural resources, not normally the subjects of wars in past decades.

Climate change and the political situation it evokes is on most people’s minds and this thriller portrays a worrying escalation of terror threats and global power struggles over something humanity needs to survive.

Fast-paced, with relatable characters and events and an ominous realistic edge.

#GaiaTrilogy
#DavidBarker

David lives in Berkshire and is married to an author of children’s picture books, with a daughter who loves stories. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time. David’s writing ambitions received a major boost after he attended the Faber Academy six-month course in 2014 and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students. He loves reading, especially adventure stories, sci-fi and military history. Outside of family life, his other interests include tennis, golf and surfing.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, International Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Elevator Pitch Linwood Barclay 5*#Review @HQStories @linwood_barclay #Suspense #urbanfiction #Thriller #policeprocedual #Crimefiction #NewYork #ElevatorPitch #BlogTour #BookReview #bookbloggers

#ElevatorPitch
#ElevatorPitch

Amazon UK

Waterstones

#ElevatorPitch

I received a copy of this book from HQ in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Right from the first page, there is an air of menace, the occurrences seem ordinary, but something seems off, and by the end of the chapter you realise that you are right.

Set in New York, there are a series of freak incidents, a murder, political corruption allegations, and a building sense of panic, as the citizens of New York realise that maybe the freak incidents have some sinister connection.

An urban thriller, the city’s reliance on elevators, (lifts in the UK), makes the attacks, a threat to the city’s economy and infrastructure, in addition to the loss of life. The brewing political scandal amidst the confusion and terror building in the city, make this complex, fast-paced thriller, addictive reading.

This is a cerebral thriller, lots of characters, seemingly unconnected apart from the location. Their connection and the motivation for the mindless attacks becomes clearer as the story progresses, but there is so much happening, you may miss the clues, or not believe what you read.

The final chapters bring the story to a shocking conclusion.

A polished, haunting urban thriller.