A witness with no victim. A crime with no crime scene…
When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts – until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime.
Michael Stringer deals in information – and doesn’t care which side of the law he finds himself on. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows.
When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect … and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet.
A nerve-shattering and brutally realistic thriller, Blood Red City bursts with energy and grit from the opening page, twisting and feinting to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless.
I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.
This is an edgy, urban thriller with an action-driven, pacy plot.
Lydia tired of being sidelined investigates a video detailing a crime. She realises if genuine it has the potential, to mainstream her career. There’s relentless suspense. A sense of menace pervades every page.
Michael Stringer is an enigma. An information mercenary, he wants to know what Lydia knows. The London setting adds authenticity to the story. The story uses sensual imagery well making the events and locations easy to imagine.
The author creates an ethos of mistrust. It’s difficult to establish the truth, and who to believe. The ending answers all these questions with the possibility of a future investigation.
Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’ A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.
Tom Gray is back in his most explosive adventure yet!
Afghanistan. As the war on terror intensifies, Taliban leader Abdul al-Hussain has plans to turn the tide in his favour. His objective: a US virologist named Miriam Dagher. She’s about to pay a visit to the land of her birth, and al-Hussain has her in his sights.
Out to stop al-Hussain is Sergeant Tom Gray, SAS veteran and leader of 8 Troop. His team are tasked with disrupting Taliban operations, snatching high-profile targets and wreaking havoc on enemy supply lines. Their missions are routine, until the Taliban unleashes a new breed of warrior.
Gray Genesis is a prequel to the million-selling Tom Gray series, a familiar blend of intrigue, camaraderie and explosive action.
Alan McDermott has an eclectic work history, with roles ranging from developing software for the NHS to shovelling custard powder in a food packing factory. He tried his hand at writing in 1990, but after completing half a draft, he started a new job and threw it in a drawer. It wasn’t until 2010 that he picked up his pen again, and published his first novel, Gray Justice, in 2011. Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption soon followed, and his success as a self-published author attracted the attention of Thomas & Mercer an Amazon publishing imprint. They commissioned three more books in the Gray series, plus a spinoff called Trojan. In 2014, Alan gave up his day job to become a full-time writer, and has written three books in a new series (Run and Hide, Seek and Destroy and Fight to Survive) featuring CIA assassin Nolene Driscoll. He also has a standalone thriller called Motive, which has a new lead in Ryan Anderson.
It was supposed to be a quiet family weekend away. But for Senior MI6 officer Kate Henderson, nothing is ever that simple…
Kidnapped in Venice by a Russian defector, Kate knows she’s in trouble. But all is not as it seems. The spy offers her conclusive evidence that the British Prime Minister is a live agent working for Moscow. Kate’s holiday quickly becomes the start of her next mission.
With proof of the PM involved in a sordid scandal and a financial paper trail that undeniably links him to the Russians, the evidence seems bulletproof. But the motives of the defector are anything but clear. And, more worryingly, it seems that there are key people at the heart of the British Establishment who refuse to acknowledge the reality in front of them.
Kate can trust no one, and this mission will push her dangerously close to the edge… but is that the price to pay for the truth?
I received a copy of this book from Random House UK- Transworld Publishers in return for an honest review.
Betrayal, deceit, political manoeuvring and danger are found in this sequel to Secret Service. Kate suffers from anxiety, but a fast-moving political secret means time off is not an option. Kate’s family life is challenging and entangled with the operation with devastating results.
Authentic characters and a fast-paced convoluted plot make this addictive. It’s claustrophobic and immersive. Kate is a likeable character flawed but on the side of justice. Her internal battles threaten her professional effectiveness. The team dynamic and interagency interaction is complex and gives the story added depth.
The edge of your seat last few chapters give way to an unexpected ending. Realistic but with many loose ends. You understand Kate’s motivation but significant anomalies and questions remain.
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…
I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.
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 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 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.
Five people at the height of their success die suddenly in different parts of the world. A villa in Portofino and a terrace in Capri, both in Italy. A flight to Singapore. A beach in Santorini, Greece. A luxury resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. All five are filed as “death by natural causes”. No doubts, no links. But an intelligence analyst and his television journalist girlfriend suspect there is a connection. And follow a trail of unusual coincidences. Meanwhile, a brilliant businessman chases a dream: prolonging human life to over 150 years. And in perfect health. An ambitious goal. That entices the billionaires club: the privileged few who own over half of the world’s wealth. The human mind possesses hidden talents. You just need to know how to make the most of them. But longevity can prove fatal.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
An intriguing plot and a complex cast of characters make this an addictive techno-thriller. Five seemingly unrelated deaths attract the attention of a secret organisation. Is there a connection? Is there a ghost killer?
An enticing mix of action, conspiracy and intuitive investigation keep you absorbed in this fast-paced story. It’s a compelling read.
A.D. Pascal is an Italian writer. He lives in Milan. After graduating, he started his career as an economic journalist. Then worked as a marketing manager for multinationals.
He wrote several books on management as a ghostwriter.
In his own words: “Writing has always been my passion and the base of my activities. My purpose was to present facts and figures in a stimulating way.
Later, I realized that I would also be able to create exciting works of fiction.
‘Fatal Longevity’ is the first of a series of books I am working on. They will all combine real events with just a pinch of imagination”.
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.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
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 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.
On the streets of Bucharest, a brutally efficient serial killer is at work. His targets: individuals from the Roma community with a criminal record. Each victim is killed with a single blow to the throat and tensions rise at the same rate as the body count. For not everyone disagrees with this vigilante killer.
With Presidential elections about to take place, and the police seemingly unable to track down the elusive assassin they’ve nicknamed Sword, the government struggles to keep control while other political figures try to stoke public resentment for their own ends.
The demons in Romania’s fractured society begin to resurface, as old distrust and prejudices grow with each new victim from the Roma community. The case is under the media’s relentless spotlight. Meanwhile, ruthless figures both inside and outside the government are manoeuvring to take advantage of the situation. But are they playing with political fire for their own purposes – are they in danger of sparking a vicious racial conflict?
At a global tech gala hosted at the British Museum, scientistTobias Hawke is due to unveil an astonishing breakthrough. His AI system appears to have reached consciousness, making Hawke the leading light in his field.
But when terrorists storm the building, they don’t just leave chaos in their wake. They seize Hawke’s masterwork, sparking a chain reaction of explosive events which could end the world as we know it.
Michael North, ex-assassin and spy-for-hire, must find the killers and recover the AI. But he can’t do it alone. Hawke’s wife, Esme, and teenage hacker, Fangfang, have their own reasons to help complete North’s mission – and together they unravel a dark and deadly conspiracy which stretches right to the top of the British elite.
Can North survive long enough to uncover the whole truth? Or is it already too late for humanity?
I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Michael North attracts danger and violence. Living with a bullet in his head carries a death sentence, which makes him reckless about his future. With his quirky team, the only family he knows, he lives his life at a fast pace, with little regard for tomorrow.
This fast-paced political thriller has a conspiracy at its heart, with every twist deepening the deceit and increasing the menace. North and his team are diverse and easy to like. They have a great team dynamic, which provides a few lighter moments, to temper the tension.
Complex characters complement an addictive, contemporary, informed plot, which flows well and has an ending with impact.
I’M ALL EARS
Guest Post –Judith O’Reilly – Curse the Day
All sorts of people are ‘broadcasting’ at the minute, as if convinced by the prospect of their own imminent death that they have to say what they have to say, or face losing their chance forever.
I get that. There is nothing like the threat of your demise to focus attention on what you think and feel, what you’ve done and still have to do, on who you love and what you know, on what you can teach and what you can share with the wider world whether that’s keeping fit or making lunch or warning the world to stay at home.
At times like these, we ask ourselves did we make the mark we wanted to make? Is there still time to do more, to say more. Is there time to say everything that has to be said before it’s just too damn late?
In the writing business, we want to sell our books and through those books, we look to sell something of ourselves. We demand to be seen. We jump up and down to be heard. And social media has given us the way to star in our very own movies.
Yet even as I struggle to get to grips with some video conferencing app or other, even as I arrange Live panels in online festivals and tweet furiously about the thriller I’m launching, I question the on-line whirligig I’m caught up in – the Facebook videos and chatter, the podcasts and the Live launches.
And I wonder if everything that’s going on in the name of entertainment and distraction should shuffle to one side and make more room for Listening.
Because we can’t all talk at the same time. Some of us have to listen. And if we are all broadcasting, furiously determined to say what we have to say rather than take it to the grave with us, we cannot – any of us – be heard.
There is a quiet virtue to listening. There is a skill to it – an art. And I’d argue those who have been listening their entire lives, are probably more interesting that those who have been broadcasting.
Over the years, listeners have learnt to sift and analyse, spot half-truths and downright lies. They’ve learnt who makes noise and who has something worthwhile to say. Who can teach and who spreads light rather than casts shadows. Who to trust.
It’s soul destroying to have your words ignored. Not to be listened to. And, in work situations, plenty of women know exactly how that feels.
Equally, there’s something life enhancing in being listened to. Properly. Deeply. In being the focus of someone’s attention, and in feeling that, finally, you are truly seen, truly heard.
As a journalist as well as a writer, perhaps listening comes more naturally to me than to some. Perhaps I was born a listener. An only child, I certainly recognised early on that listening was both a duty and a privilege. If I sat quietly, I would learn who said what to whom and how they felt and what happened next. I would be amused. I would be privy to scandals of the past and to secrets of the heart.
So how exactly do you listen? How do you listen harder and more in a world which is so full of noise? How do you even make out what is worth listening to. What and who you want to hear more of? I would argue you have to make a conscious decision to make space for it in your life. That you remind yourself other things can wait a while, but not your child and not your partner and not your parents and not your friend. Because they need to be heard and to be heard someone has to be there to listen. Even more so at a time of crisis for all.
You put aside the chore or the phone. You meet their eye if you can. You don’t let your gaze roam if they are in the room with you, and if they aren’t (and they may not be today or over the months to come), you listen all the harder to what they are telling you. You focus. You concentrate. You allow them to move centre-stage and you focus the spotlight on them. They may need that. We all need that, especially when we’re fearful and with just cause. Moreover, sometimes what they’re saying is between the words, and that’s a whole other level of listening right there. And you don’t want to miss the unsaid. And I would say that the more you do it, the better you get at it.
We always know if someone is a good listener. And then the exchange becomes something meaningful because to talk to someone who listens involves trust. There is nothing more seductive and dangerous that someone who truly listens because we give up a part of ourselves when we are with them.
Above all know that being prepared to listen, giving someone else that gift – the gift of being heard, isn’t a way to silence ourselves. The listeners among us still have things to say. They just say it in a different way to most.
Judith O’Reilly is the author of Wife in the North, a top-three Sunday Times bestseller and BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and The Year of Doing Good. Judith is a former senior journalist with The Sunday Times and a former political producer with BBC 2’s Newsnight and ITN’s Channel 4 News. Her first Michael North thriller, Killing State was set in Westminster and was praised by thriller writers around the globe.
Review Competition for Curse The Day from April 2nd 2020.
To be in with a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Submit proof of your review of Curse The Day on Amazon/iBooks/Kobo to firstname.lastname@example.org,
Terms and Conditons for Review Competition forCurse The Day from April 2nd 2020.
The promoter is: Head of Zeus Ltd whose registered office is at 5-8 Hardwick Street, London, N16 5UA.
The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of Head of Zeus and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
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Closing date for entry will be 30th April 2020. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
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The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:
Review either the eBook or hardback of Curse The Day by Judith O’Reilly and send proof of review to email@example.com. Accepted retailers include Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and Waterstones.
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Devastated by a divorce and death of a child, Judge Torie Van Fleet rebuilds her life around succeeding in the justice system. Her goal: the U.S. Supreme Court. Vowing to do whatever it takes, she risks her relationship with her new husband, her relationship with her best friend, and the support of her constituents. Not until the critical first step in the process does she realize what an exorbitant price her backers demand that she pay. Will she risk everything, come to terms with her priorities, or does she even have a choice?
The new novel by acclaimed espionage author Paul Vidich explores the dark side of intelligence, when a CIA officer delves into a cold case from the 1950s-with fatal consequences.
In 1953, Dr. Charles Wilson, a government scientist, died when he ‘jumped or fell’ from the ninth floor of a Washington hotel. As his wife and children grieve, the details of the incident remain buried for twenty-two years.
With the release of the Rockefeller Commission report on illegal CIA activities in 1975, the Wilson case suddenly becomes news again. Wilson’s family and the public are demanding answers, especially as some come to suspect the CIA of foul play, and agents in the CIA, FBI, and White House will do anything to make sure the truth doesn’t get out.
Enter agent Jack Gabriel, an old friend of the Wilson family who is instructed by the CIA director to find out what really happened to Wilson. It’s Gabriel’s last mission before he retires from the agency, and his most perilous. Key witnesses connected to the case die from suspicious causes, and Gabriel realizes that the closer he gets to the truth, the more his entire family is at risk.
Following in the footsteps of spy fiction greats like Graham Green, John Le Carré, and Alan Furst, Paul Vidich presents a tale – based on the unbelievable true story told in Netflix’s Wormwood – that doesn’t shy away from the true darkness in the shadows of espionage.
I received a copy of the book from No Exit Press in return for an honest review.
A well-crafted conspiracy style political thriller, which has an additional poignancy because it is inspired by a true tragedy that happened in 1953, to a family member of the author. The story begins with the tragic event, seen from the tragedy instigator’s point of view. Its execution is the substance of many spy stories, but this one resonates because of the real-life personal connection.
A subsequent investigation in the mid-seventies provokes an internal investigation by the CIA, headed by an operative close to retirement, who is friendly with the victim’s family. The investigation throws up more questions than answers in the beginning, as those involved push-back. A turning-point is an unnamed source, who has the requisite information but won’t be identified.
There is a building intensity and menace, as the investigation progresses, implied rather than overt, but there. As the story gains momentum, the threat is implicit and Gabriel, the investigator realises his family is in danger because of his actions. The ending reinforces everything that has come before.
This thriller is written in a detailed, character-driven style that works well with conspiracy thrillers. The pacing is geared more to the absorption of events, rather than action. It is atmospheric and intense and portrays the paranoia in the intelligence world of 1950s USA believably. It is immersive and disturbing reading,
PAUL VIDICH is the acclaimed author of The Coldest Warrior (2020), An Honorable Man (2016) and The Good Assassin (2017), and his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, LitHub, CrimeReads, Fugue, The Nation, Narrative Magazine, and others. He lives in New York.