Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Bright Lies A.A. Abbot 4* #Review @AAAbbottStories #thriller #CrimeFiction #Domestic #Noir #Betrayal #Lies #noircrime #psychological #suspense #BrightLies @RandomTTours

She’s learned too much, too young. Can she break free?

Emily’s dreams come true when her mother marries wealthy painter, David. Thanks to him, Emily’s artistic talents shine. Then he starts teaching her things a 14-year-old shouldn’t know. While Emily breaks free, she’s forced to sleep in a rat-infested alley.

Bad boy Jack has turned his life around. Working as a DJ with ambitions to open a club, he rescues Emily from the streets when he sees a woman in trouble. He doesn’t know she’s still only 15 – and trapped in a dark web of secrets and lies.

David must find Emily and silence her. As he closes in, Jack faces the hardest choice of all. If he saves Emily, he’ll kiss goodbye to his future…

What would you sacrifice for love?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a disturbing, intense psychological suspense, an insightful and sensitive exploration of domestic and child abuse and the resultant damage. The subject matter is difficult to read. Emily and Jack’s vulnerability and the perversions of David and his ilk are well-written without the need for an overly graphic description. This exploration of a contemporary issue is relatable and sinister because it parallels reality.

The characters are defined, and flawed some are easy to empathise because of their vulnerability. Others are despicable and easy to hate.

Although this more suspense than a thriller, the writing style and structure keep the momentum and make this a page-turner. The pacy plot keeps the reader on edge, the undercurrents of menace apparent and intensify as the story progresses.

This is noir crime creating a gritty, vice-ridden world that you want the protagonists to escape.

A.A.Abbott

British crime thriller writer A.A. Abbott (also known as Helen Blenkinsop) loves to escape with an exciting and emotional read, and that’s what she aims to write too. Based in Bristol, she’s also lived and worked in London and Birmingham. All three cities feature in her pacy suspense thrillers. Her latest psychological thriller, ‘Bright Lies’, begins in North Somerset with a posh art exhibition in Bath. Young Emily meets the man who will change her life and cause her to run away to a squat in Birmingham, work in a nightclub and get further entangled in a web of lies.

To write ‘Bright Lies’, Helen has had advice from thirty beta readers on subjects as varied as police procedure, drug abuse, grooming, art, music, DJing and clubbing. She’s grateful to them and to her editor, Katharine D’Souza, for making huge improvements to the story.

Helen’s earlier 5 book Trail series is a lighter read focused on a vodka business. Snow Mountain is a premium vodka made in the former Soviet Union, and its owners have blood on their hands. The saga follows the fortunes of two families running the business and what happens when they fall out with each other and with a London gangster. Glamorous heroine Kat is the girl readers love to hate at the beginning of the series, but by the last book, she has won them over. Book research for the series included prison life, hotel research and vodka. Helen especially enjoyed a tour and tasting with the helpful folk at the Chase Distillery in Herefordshire.

Like 10% of us, many of Helen’s family are dyslexic. While she is not, she wants her books to be enjoyed by readers with dyslexia and visual impairment too. She publishes her thrillers in a Large Print dyslexia-friendly edition as well as the standard paperback and Kindle versions. (You can also adjust the font on your Kindle to suit your needs.) Audiobooks are definitely on the cards – watch this space!

Helen likes speaking to book groups, business networks and social circles, and reading thrillers and short stories at live fiction events and on Zoom. If you’re a book blogger, litfest organiser, reviewer or simply adore books, she’d love to hear from you.

Helen is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Bristol Fiction Writers’ Group, and Birmingham’s New Street Authors.

Find out more and get a free e-book of short stories at https://aaabbott.co.uk

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Nine Rachelle Dekker 4*#Review @RachelleDekker @RevellBooks #thriller #SCFI #Friendship @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Ninetour #BookTour #BookReview

Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn’t seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.

Award-winning author Rachelle Dekker throws you into the middle of the action and keeps the pressure on in this page-turning story that, asks Are we who the world says we are–or can we change our story and be something more?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The action and suspense begin from the first pages, which set the scene for a fast-paced disturbing novel. The multi-viewpoint plot alternates between intimate insight and an omnipotent view of proceedings.

The plot is a fusion of conspiracy, crime, mystery and sci-fi delivering a compelling and unsettling thriller. Some of the concepts are familiar, but the author gives them an original slant and ramps up the suspense with a layered plot reveal.

Lucy and Zoe’s emotional and physical journey is conflicted and violent, but their friendship nurtures positive change in both. A satisfying ending leaves some questions unanswered.

Rachelle Dekker

Rachelle Dekker is the Christy Award-winning author of The Choosing, The Calling, and The Returning in the Seer series. The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker and coauthor with him of The Girl behind the Red Rope, Rachelle was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She writes full-time from her home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Daniel, and their son, Jack. Connect with Rachelle at www.rachelledekker.com.

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 Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller

Carrion Graeme Cumming 4* #Review @GraemeCumming63 @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #Carrion #Fantasy #Adventure #noir #BlogTour #BookReview

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY. WORDS HAVE POWER.

A sheet of black filled his vision as hundreds of birds dived at the cottage, pointed beaks thrust forward. From this angle, he couldn’t see many of them striking it, but the few he did see held nothing back as they hammered into the shutter. The scale of the attack was beyond anything he’d seen or heard of. And bloodied casualties littered the ground: skulls shattered, wings broken, innards spilling from them. The fact that so many of them continued with the onslaught in spite of this filled him with even more dread.

Salin has always wanted an adventure and, when the opportunity presents itself, he grabs it with both hands, taking his friends along for the ride – whether they want to or not.

With strange lands come strange creatures that stand between them and their goal. And that goal is the same for someone else, a man who believes the prize is worth every sacrifice – especially when the sacrifices are made by others.

The future is about to change. But who for?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This noir fantasy adventure takes the reader on a journey in an intricately built world. There is enough familiarity in the setting to make it relatable, but the story is vivid, filled with fantastical creatures and manifestations of good and evil.

The prologue entices the reader into the story and introduces the antagonist and the birds who are so important. The protagonists are diverse and believable because of their flawed characters. Salin, the leader of the quest, is courageous and tenacious, but for him, the end justifies the means even when it leads others into danger.

There are some graphic images in this story which reinforce the depravity of the antagonist, and backstory that illuminates why they are evil. Like all fantasy stories, you have to believe the world, and be invested in the quest. With carefully reading, this is easy with this story.

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country, and has spent most of his life immersed in fiction – books, TV, movies – turning to writing his own during his early teens.

With his interests in story-telling sparked by an excessive amount of time sitting in front of a black and white television, his tastes are varied. Influences ranged from the Irwin Allen shows (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, etc.) to ITC series (The Saint, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) and so many more), so the common theme was action and adventure, but crossed into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as crime and espionage.

This diverse interest in fiction continued with his reading and his discovery of the magical world of cinema. As a result, his stories don’t always fall into a specific genre, but will always maintain the style of a thriller.

Graeme’s first novel, Ravens Gathering, was published in 2012, gaining excellent reviews and a committed following. His second novel, Carrion, was published in 2020, and has been greeted with enthusiasm by readers waiting to find out what he’ll come up with next. He hopes not to keep them waiting so long next time.

When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

Website Twitter

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

Hunter Killer Brad Taylor 4*#Review @BradTaylorBooks @HoZ_Books #International #Thriller #military #political #BlogTour #BookReview @sophmidas @midaspr #HunterKillerUK

The Taskforce tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.

They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.

#HunterKillerUK

Amazon UK

#HunterKillerUK

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

My Thoughts…

This story gets your attention from the first page. Focusing on contemporary issues, it’s complex plot delivers an intense and often violent read. It’s part of a long-running series but reads as a standalone. Although to appreciate the team dynamic and character development, it’s advisable to read the books that come before, which I haven’t yet.

The setting is vividly described and evokes all the reader’s senses. The plot is fast-paced and keeps its momentum until the various sub-plots integrate into an impactful conclusion. The cast of characters is believable and the connection between the various team members, authentic and relatable.

Geopolitics, revenge and ruthless individuals define this story. Pike and his team are diverse and flawed, but their commitment to each other resonates.

Brad Taylor

Twitter Website

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 Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Gangland Crime, ganglit, Thriller

Tangled Lives Stephanie Harte 4*#Review @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books @StephanieHarte3 #ganglit #crimefiction #thriller #London #EastEnd #organisedcrime #BlogTour #BookReview #TangledLives

Alfie doesn’t forget… and he certainly doesn’t forgive. Can Nathan and Gemma’s marriage survive the mob boss’s return?

Nathan has tried to be a changed man for Gemma after they escaped gangster Alfie’s clutches, but it doesn’t take long for him to give into temptation… and now Alfie’s back to get what’s his.

Alfie doesn’t like losing. The gangster has been biding his time ever since Nathan and Gemma escaped his clutches, but he’s determined to collect his debt now. It helps that he knows about Gemma’s big secret…

Gemma’s been hiding something life-changing from her husband while they’ve been on the run. But now Alfie’s back in town, her lies could cost her Nathan… and her son.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in the Risking it All series concentrates on a gangland family vendetta, Gemma and Nathan have escaped, but he continues to put them in danger. Told from a multiperson viewpoint the reader understands all the main characters actions, emotions and motivations.

Gemma’s secret threatens her family and gives Alfie leverage. Nathan remains weak and self-centred and the least likeable of the three main characters. The action is swift and not graphic, and the characters are flawed and relatable.

The plot is well written and the characters vibrant making this an addictive ganglit read.

Stephanie Harte

Stephanie Hart is a debut author writing in the ganglit genre. She lives in London with her family. Twitter

Read my review of Risking it All here

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, International Thriller

Saint Justice Mike Girst @michaelgrist 4*#Review @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #International #Thriller #Action #BlogTour #BookReview #ChristopherWren #SaintJustice

Hundreds of human cages hidden in the desert. A small-town police department wiped out. One man with nothing to lose.

Rogue DELTA operator Christopher Wren pulls off I-70 after three weeks on the road and walks into a biker bar in Price, Utah. An arbitrary decision he’s about to regret.

Wren’s a stranger in a gang bar involved with human trafficking. The bikers attack Wren, leave him for dead and steal his truck.

Now he’s going to get it back.

From a secret warehouse in the desert. Ringed with fences. Filled with human cages.

As a dark national kidnapping conspiracy unfolds and the body count mounts, one thing is for certain.

Justice will be done.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is the first book in the Christopher Wren series, and my first book by this author. There’s violence, written using graphic imagery, that is a signature of this type of action international thriller.

The main protagonist is a contemporary anti-hero. He’s the weapon government agencies use to rid themselves of predatory forces and terrorists. His moral compass is finely balanced, and his emotional damage great, in some ways more of a creation than a human his effectiveness is legendary. He has a story, of course, which the reader learns as the story progresses.

Wren’s vigilantes have his back, but it’s a fine line between good and bad in this complex and fast-paced plot. The setting and scenarios are believable, and this authenticity gives the story its edge. Vividly described characters draw the reader into this dark world, which in many ways seems frighteningly real.

This story of relentless action and violence with an intricate plot is addictive if unsettling reading.

Mike Grist

Mike Grist is the British/American author of the Christopher Wren thriller series. For 11 years Mike lived in Tokyo, Japan, exploring and photographing the dark side of the city and the country: gangs, cults and abandoned places. Now he writes from London, UK, about rogue DELTA operator Christopher Wren – an anti-hero vigilante who brings brutal payback for dark crimes.

Discover Mike’s other books and his stunning ruins photography at his Website

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Horror Fiction, Noir, Thriller

Hinton Hollow Death Trip Will Carver 4*#Review #DetectiveSergeantPace @will_carver @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #Eviliscoming #Crime #Thriller #noircrime #horrorfiction #BlogTour #BookReview

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard
about if none of this had happened.
Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.
Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home
before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label
around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from
Hinton Hollow.
Because something was coming.
Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the
history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its
residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their
insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence
suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.
Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.
Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the
things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not
alone. Evil had a plan.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Detective Sergeant Pace series this story is complete and reads, as a standalone. However, reference is made to the detective’s former life and reading the previous books would give more information on this.

This is an impactful read which graphically explores inhumanity. I didn’t read the chapters that detailed animal cruelty. That apart, this is a well-written story. It’s told from a character called Evil’s point of view who judges humanity with a unique moral code.

Evil enacts a vendetta of sorts on Pace. The inhabitants of Hinton Hollow are collateral damage.

The ending befits what comes before. Whether you like it or not, and this story will divide its readers, it is a memorable experience.

Will Carver

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.

He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children.

Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.