Posted in Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Political Thriller, Thriller

The Rift Rachel Lynch 5* #Review @r_lynchcrime @canelo_co #CrimeFiction #International #Thriller #political #France # MilitaryPolice #BookReview #TheRift

She’s determined to save a stolen son. But will that mean justice?

As a high-ranking woman in the Royal Military Police, Major Helen Scott gets the job done – no matter the task. So when she is pulled in to lead a NATO summit security team in Paris, it barely causes a ripple. Yet within hours she’s dispatched to Lyon on a new mission. One with a complex problem at its heart.

Kahlil Dalmani and Fawaz bin Nabil were close in childhood, growing up in the hubbub of Algiers. As men, they are both wildly successful. Yet their paths to fortune have caused a rift. Fawaz’s empire is built on illegal trade, and when his estranged friend refuses to grant a favour he seeks to change Kahlil’s mind the best way he knows how: kidnapping his son, Hakim.

Working out of the Interpol headquarters, Helen must unpick a web of deceit that spreads across borders and dates back years. Only by trusting those from her own painful past can she hope to return Hakim to his family. But with her focus on saving one life, she risks overlooking a plan that puts many others in grave danger.

An explosive and gripping crime thriller from one of the most brilliant British crime fiction authors of recent years.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Canelo Crime via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a suspenseful international thriller from the author of the DI Kelly Porter series.

Set in France and North Africa, it features Major Helen Scott, a Royal Military Police officer. Helen, on first acquaintance, appears to be a career officer but this more by design than intention after a personal tragedy. The story is multi-viewpoint, and several sub-plots successfully dovetail into a climactic conclusion.

The contemporary plot is authentic and multilayered with a good balance of action and introspection. The detailed and vivid writing style makes the action and settings easy to visualise.

The reader gets to know the main characters and what motivates them well. Helen Scott has emotional strength and human flaws making her believable. The cast of characters are diverse and add to the story’s authenticity and depth of interest.

In conclusion, this is an exciting international political crime thriller.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Literary Humour, Political Thriller

Facets of Death Michael Stanley 4*#Review The Detective Kubu series @detectivekubu @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #FacetsofDeath #DetectiveKubu #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana,
introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself.

First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.

Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Botswana in the late 1990s, this story introduces the reader to Kubu as he embarks on his career as a police detective. The story is multi-viewpoint and written in a police procedural style with a keen insight into the culture and politics of the Botswanan setting.

This is an atmospheric noir story with multiple murders. Kubu proves to be worthy of his fast-track appointment, as he gradually wins around those opposed to his detective status. He is an intuitive, intelligent investigator. His relative youth makes him impulsive in following leads despite the personal risk, but this is also what makes him effective.

This is an absorbing story with a likeable detective.

Michael StanleyMichael Sears and Stanley Trollip

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand.

On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Book Spotlight, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Friendship, Political Thriller, Romance, Thriller, Young Adult

Number 10 C.J. Daugherty 5*#Review @CJ_Daugherty @moonflowerbooks @midaspr @agentmilburn #Number10 #BlogTour #BookReview #YAThriller #Conspiracy #ComingofAge #Spy #Political

Number 10 tells the spine tingling story of 16-year-old Gray Langtry, the daughter of the UK’s female prime minister, who is about to get in way over her head.

After a wild night with friends is splashed across the tabloids, Gray is grounded for two weeks at Number 10 Downing Street, no ifs no buts.

Left alone one night, with her mother at an important meeting, Gray discovers a secret network of government tunnels leading from 10 Downing Street to the Houses of Parliament and beyond.  What starts as a bit of fun, suddenly gets serious, when Gray stumbles across a secret late night cabinet meeting and overhears what sounds like a Russian-led plot to kill her mother.

Wasting no time, she rushes back to inform her mother’s security detail, but with no proof of what she heard, no-one will believe a wayward teenager. Now, it’s up to Gray to break out of Number 10 and warn her mother before it’s too late.

With the help of her best friend Chloe and love interest Jake McIntyre – who just happens to be the son of the leader of the opposition – will she make it in time to save her mother?  And what will she have to sacrifice in the process?

Number 10 is a Night School spin off series that sees CJ Daugherty back at her spine tingling best.  Gripping, thrilling, and filled with intrigue, Number 10 explores the nexus of power in the UK from a teenager’s point of view.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is sinister political thrills fused with the courageous, and naive perspective of a sixteen-year-old. Gray’s life as the Prime Minister’s daughter curbs her freedom. Rebellion is her only form of control, putting her on the media radar and in a dangerous spotlight.

Gray is an easy to like character, who draws the reader’s empathy. I understand the reason for the constraints on her life, but it’s hard not to sympathise with her point of view. There is a relatable dynamic between Gray and her mother, which draws the reader into the story. The security team are believable.

The plot is fast-paced and vibrant. The setting’s familiarity adds to the story’s authenticity and conspiracy theme. The sense of danger and the building suspense makes this a hard book to put down. The ending feels like the beginning of something new for Gray, but the undercurrents of menace remain.

C.J. Daugherty

C.J. Daugherty was 22 when she saw her first dead body. Although she’s now left the world of crime reporting she has never lost her fascination with what it is that drives some people to do awful things as well as the kind of people who will try to stop them. While working as a civil servant she visited No. 10 Downing Street and saw people disappearing into a small door with her own eyes – this became the inspiration for the novel Number 10. 

A former crime reporter and accidental civil servant, C.J. Daugherty began writing the Night School series while working as a communications consultant for the Home Office. The young adult series was published by Little Brown and went on to sell over a million and a half copies worldwide. A web series inspired by the books clocked up well over a million views. In 2020, the books were optioned for television. She later wrote The Echo Killing series, published by St Martin’s Press, and co-wrote the fantasy series, The Secret Fire, with French author Carina Rosenfeld.

While working as a civil servant, she had meetings at Number 10 Downing Street, and saw people disappearing through a small door leading to a staircase heading below ground level. This visit became the inspiration for Number 10.  FYI: She still doesn’t know if there are tunnels below Number 10. But she hopes there are. 

Her books have been translated into 25 languages and been bestsellers in multiple countries. She lives with her husband, the BAFTA nominated filmmaker, Jack Jewers.  

One of the UK’s most critically acclaimed teen authors returns with a new novel set in the world of her hugely popular Night School series.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Historical Fiction, Political Thriller

The Running Wolf Helen Steadman #CoverReveal @hsteadman1650 @ImpressBooks1 #TheRunningWolf #HistoricalFiction #PoliticalThriller #Jacobite #18thCentury @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

When a Prussian smuggler is imprisoned in Morpeth Gaol in the winter of 1703, why does Queen Anne’s powerful right-hand man, The Earl of Nottingham, take such a keen interest?

At the end of the turbulent 17th century, the ties that bind men are fraying, turning neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend and brother against brother. Beneath a seething layer of religious intolerance, community suspicion and political intrigue, The Running Wolf takes us deep into the heart of rebel country in the run-up to the 1715 Jacobite uprising.

Hermann Mohll is a master sword maker from Solingen in Prussia who risks his life by breaking his guild oaths and settling in England. While trying to save his family and neighbours from poverty, he is caught smuggling swords and finds himself in Morpeth Gaol facing charges of High Treason.

Determined to hold his tongue and his nerve, Mohll finds himself at the mercy of the corrupt keeper, Robert Tipstaff. The keeper fancies he can persuade the truth out of Mohll and make him face the ultimate justice: hanging, drawing and quartering. But in this tangled web of secrets and lies, just who is telling the truth?

Amazon UK

Helen Steadman

Helen Steadman lives in the foothills of the North Pennines, and she particularly enjoys researching and writing about the history of the northeast of England. Following her MA in creative writing at Manchester Met, Helen is now completing a PhD in English at the University of Aberdeen to determine whether a writer can use psychophysical techniques to create authentic fictional characters.   

Website Twitter

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

Station Helix Ash Greenslade 4* #Review @AshThrillers @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BookTour #BookReview #political #thriller #Conspiracy #Spy #StationHelix

“I DON’T WANT YOU TO FEEL PARANOID ABOUT ME LYING TO YOU.”

An inexplicable suicide… A devastating car wreck… A secret Ministry of Defence facility… Told with pace and tension, STATION HELIX is an exciting and modern novel rooted in the tradition of British thrillers. Alex Hannay makes a shocking discovery which draws him into a perilous world of conspiracy and murder. As operatives from the CIA pursue their own operation on the streets of London, Alex is torn between protecting those who share his secret and seeking retribution for a terrible crime.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Station Helix is a conspiracy thriller with spies, secret projects and a young protagonist who is determined to discover the truth whatever it costs. It’s a long story with some slow-paced sections. The chapters are fairly short within numbered sections, which makes it easy to read. The characters are complex, and the protagonists are relatable and easy to empathise.

The setting and action scenes make good use of sensory imagery immersing the reader in the characters’ lives. This is the first book in the Station Helix series.

Ash Greenslade

Ash Greenslade is a former police officer and trainer who became hooked on thrillers after reading David Morrell’s THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE. Despite dabbling with numerous writing projects since his schooldays, it took over two decades from reading Morrell’s landmark book for Ash to finally take writing seriously. Determined to accomplish an original novel, he embarked on STATION HELIX, a conspiracy thriller inspired by a visit to Orford Ness. Originally intended as a standalone novel, STATION HELIX prompted another two books, THE ELZEVIR COLLECTIVE and TORUS, plus the RYAN KERREK spin-off series (SINISTER BETRAYAL, DEADLY ACQUISITION, BLACK SCARAB and HUNTING CARACAL).

Ash credits his love of words to weekly spelling tests from the age of four, an incredibly enthusiastic English teacher who wrote children’s stories in the 1960s, and his collection of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis and Willard Price books. Captivated by the escapism of stories, the young Ash wanted to become a children’s author, and he still has a few early projects hidden away which might resurface one day. But it was the thriller genre which grabbed him as an adult. Although Morrell remains his favourite author, he’s a fan of the old-school British stalwarts such as Buchan, Ambler, MacLean, Bagley and Higgins.

Despite his working background, Ash doesn’t write crime thrillers, preferring the more secretive and enthralling world of espionage for his stories. Betrayal and conspiracy are recurring themes. And while he avoids revealing too much of his own character through his pages, some aspects of Ash’s books are very personal, such as the scuba diving scenes in BLACK SCARAB. (Ash worked as a divemaster in the Red Sea before qualifying as an instructor in Grand Cayman.)

When time permits, Ash researches his family tree and takes photographs. Several family surnames feature in his books, and he took the cover shots for the STATION HELIX series. And while he enjoys the occasional trip to London to meet friends, visit the theatre or conduct some research for his books, he’s more at home exploring the solitude of rural Essex in search of wildlife. He can be found online at www.ashgreenslade.net

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Noir, Political Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Lost Leona Deakin 5*#Review Dr Bloom @LeonaDeakin1 @TransworldBooks #Psychological #Suspense #Military #thriller #Conspiracy #Political #BookReview #Lost #weekendread #SaturdayThoughts

There is an explosion at a military ball. The casualties are rushed to hospital in eight ambulances, but only seven vehicles arrive. Captain Harry Peterson is missing.

His girlfriend calls upon her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom to support the investigation. But no one can work out if there is a connection between the bomb and the disappearance.

When Harry is eventually discovered three days later, they hope he holds the answers to their questions. But he can’t remember a single thing.

Without any clues, will Dr Bloom find herself lost in this puzzle too?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second in the Dr Bloom series has a military theme but remains psychological suspense. Bloom’s help is requested by Karene when her partner a Captain in the Navy goes missing after an explosion at a military ball. The reader gains an omnipotent view of the story as it unfolds but who can be trusted and are all the players in plain sight?

The dynamic between Bloom and Marcus remains troubled after Seraphine, but can they still be an effective investigation team? There are noir elements in this fast-paced story and the insidious menace of Seraphine and her sinister game plan. Flawed, intelligent character gives his story its addictive quality. The plot has many players and twists that leave you gasping at times.

The best kind of psychological suspense with a strong conspiracy and political theme that one imagines will develop in the books to come.

Read my review of Gone book 1 in the Dr Bloom series

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, International Thriller, Noir, Political Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

I Am The Night Ethan Cross 4*#Review The Ackerman Thrillers, 1 @EthanCrossBooks @AriesFiction @HoZ_Books #CrimeFiction #Thriller #BlogTour #BookReview #Suspense #conspiracy #IAmTheNight

The night is dark. My soul is darker.

Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. are both killers. But while Williams is tortured by the deaths he has caused, Ackerman takes pleasure in his murders.

Williams is a former New York City homicide detective.

Ackerman is a serial killer.

And both men are about to become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of US government. They will be plunged deep into a hellish underworld of murderers and killers. They will find that there is more that connects them than divides them… and that their lives depend on it.

Amazon Aries Store Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Aries Fiction – Head of Zeus via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Violence is integral to this thriller, vividly depicted throughout, so be warned. This is more than a thriller about a serial killer and the ex-cop chasing him, both antagonist and protagonist are pawns in an immoral political game.

Flawed and relatable characters and a suspenseful and twisty plot make this an addictive read. The sense of menace pervades this story on many levels. The serial killer is evil, but the darkness, extends much wider, even the good characters have noir traits.

This is a grisly and gripping thriller that will satisfy the requirements of most thriller readers.

Ethan Cross

Ethan Cross’s Shepherd thrillers are international bestsellers. Before becoming a full time writer, he was a computer programmer, a Chief Technology Officer and a Marketing Director for a New York publisher. He lives in Illinois with his wife, three kids, and two Shih Tzus.

Twitter Website

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, International Thriller, Political Thriller

The Englishman David Gilman 5*#Review @davidgilmanuk @HoZ_Books #Raglan #TheEnglishman @midaspr @amberchoudhary @SophMidas #BookReview #BlogTour #Thriller #Spy #Political #Military

A clandestine war on the desert border of Mali and Algeria; murder and kidnap on the suburban streets of West London; a Moscow CID police inspector investigating the assassination of four of her fellow officers by the Russian mafia; a young MI6 officer facing the possibility that a long-running operation has been fatally compromised: connecting them all is the Englishman – Dan Raglan, outsider, exile, one-time member of the French Foreign Legion, fully trained killer. Raglan’s quest for answers will become a quest for vengeance. It will lead him to the winter-ravaged wasteland of the Sverdlovskaya Oblast and Penal Code #74, a place that holds Russia’s most brutal murderers. A place of death and retribution.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Englishman is a nail-biting fusion of action and intrigue. Raglan, the protagonist, has lived so many lives and seen too much. Orphan, French legionnaire and master of the deniable operation Raglan is dragged out of retirement by a series of violent attacks and a persuasive messenger.

This international thriller spans the globe and has an engaging sense of place which draws the reader into the story with its sensual imagery. Intricate plotting reveals some of Raglan’s past and secrets. The action is uncompromising with collateral damage that is both realistic and unsettling.

The climactic mission into the depths of Russia is authentic and gritty. Here again, the use of sensual imagery is notable and makes the action and the setting easy to imagine, even if you’d rather not.

If you like your escapism raw and relentless, this is the perfect book for you.

David Gilman

David Gilman is an award-winning author and screenwriter. David enjoyed many careers – including firefighter, paratrooper and photographer – before turning to writing full time in 1986.  He has written many radio and television scripts including several years of A Touch of Frost. In 2007 his Danger Zone trilogy for YA was sold in 15 countries

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller

The Circle-A-Killings Sean Heary 5*#Review @Sean_Heary @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Thriller #Political #Spy #ConspiracyTheory #International #BlogTour #BookReview

Returning from Moscow, Lorenzo Rossi finds himself forced to quit his job as head of the Vatican police. And to make matters worse, his fiancée, CIA Agent Cathy Doherty, calls off their wedding. Just as Rossi is settling into his new life as a visiting academic at Cambridge University, the CIA persuades him to rejoin Cathy in catching the killer of three American billionaires. Barely on speaking terms, the two devise a plan to befriend the CIA’s main suspect.

As they get closer to the suspect and his coterie of friends, Rossi and Cathy realise that they’re being played for fools. But why? Everything points to an international conspiracy. As friends and foes drop dead around them, they arrive at the truth. But to prove it they need to set a trap. A trap that turns them from hunter to prey. Will they survive to tell their tale?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a story with fast-paced crime thrills in an ethos of conspiracy, global politics and espionage. Rossi and Cathy first appeared in ‘The Concordat’, but if you accept they have history, this reads well as a standalone.

The plot is multilayered, and it keeps you guessing. It works on many levels, crime investigation, political intrigue and the noir activities of the intelligence services. Discerning the killer is hard to do.

Rossi and Cathy add an emotional side to the story. They have a romantic history, and this shows in their interactions. The dynamic between them is intriguing. The story has an addictive quality with action, camaraderie, conspiracy and violence.

Sean Henry

Sean travelled the world for thirty years as a mining company executive, living for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he likes to write political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he picked up a taste for Central Asian cuisine and met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

Posted in Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Suspense

Double Agent Tom Bradby 5* #Review @TransworldBooks @tombradby #Espionage #SpyThriller #International #Suspense #politicalthriller #DoubleAgent #SecretService

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?

Amazon UK Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

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.