Latest Reads: The Silver Wolf Rob Sinclair.

Publication Date: Available Now from Bloodhound Books

Source: Review copy

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

I’m a fan of this series – pure escapism and the character development is brilliant so I do highly recommend reading in order, including the Enemy series.

Mainly I think that I love a good anti-hero and Ryker is definitely that – this time around he’s after revenge but that won’t come easy and as usual with this author it’s a bit of a thrill ride, with added oomph created  by the “Silver Wolf” of the title – because we all love a good bad guy right? I KNOW that one is not not just me.

It is easy to get caught up in this – in fact I read it in an afternoon with no problem at all – Mainly I think it’s the “Bourne” vibe of the whole series, a kind of jet setting, hard hitting boom of a read that doesn’t pull punches. I liked that the past pulled on Ryker here, back into the intelligence services vortex, a fascinating underworld.

A huge plus of this series as a whole and this book in particular is the excellent scene setting interspersed with the strong character building both in relationships and personality – intriguing and highly readable, anyone who likes a great thriller that can steal your time in a good bookish way should pick these up.

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Latest Reads: Everything Is Lies Helen Callaghan

Publication Date: 22nd Feb 2018 from Penguin: Michael Joseph

Source: Netgalley

No-one is who you think they are

Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed.

Everyone has secrets

Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.

Especially those closest to you 

The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .

What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?

I got thoroughly immersed into “Everything Is Lies” almost immediately – excellent lead in to an emotionally charged story that was absolutely gripping.

Sophia comes home to find her mother dead and her father critically injured in an apparent murder/suicide – but she is not convinced and when she discovers her mother has finally written a book so begins a journey into a dark past that has never let go…

Helen Callaghan has written a story about personality, manipulation and perception, wrapping it  up into a tense and genuinely intriguing family drama. Using the past and present to great effect (I, admittedly, found the past portions the more engaging of the two, the slowly unfolding truth about Sophia’s Mother brings her to stark, beautiful life) we find out that nothing about Sophia’s origins are as they seem. The characters in this drama are both enigmatic and beautifully drawn, the notebooks Nina left behind bringing an era to life – a time, not that far in our past, where certain things were viewed differently  – the central theme here is enduring and changeable but I won’t spoil anything.

Secrets abound, still I found the whole thing endearingly realistic – often quite heartbreaking – whilst the final reveal so to speak was nothing like surprising, this is not a book that lives and dies on being unpredictable but more an emotional journey of one daughter discovering her parents’ past and seeing them as people separate from herself. It is clever, yes very twisted with psychological thriller elements – but I came out of it feeling melancholy and this is one of those books where the characters are very real and you wish you could go back in and change the bad things into good.

Definitely recommended.

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Firestorm Lucy Hounsom – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: 14th December from Tor

Source: Netgalley

The land burns brighter in the dark.

Kyndra has finally mastered her cold Starborn powers, but at what cost? She’s drifting from those dearest to her – though they can only reunite Acre together. And assassins who dance through time pose an extraordinary new threat. They seek to change the past – to unmake the Sartyan Empire and rewrite the whole history of Acre. And in the Khronostians’ new narrative, Kyndra is never even born. 

Ex-slaver Char is determined to enlist the help of dragons for the fight to come. They were banished from the world by Khronostians. But, with the rogue Khronostian Ma’s skills, he and Kyndra aim to reach the dragons’ mountainous city. And perhaps here, they can gather enough power to send Kyndra far back in time – to prevent the death of an era. Yet despite her best efforts, events propel Kyndra towards a confrontation that has shaped and will shape the future of the world.

A brilliant end to what has been a brilliant series from Lucy Hounsom – complex, addictive, beautiful world building and hugely character driven.

Watching Kyndra change, adapt and fight her ability, often with the world on her shoulders has been a huge strength of this series for me – that and the other cast surrounding her each one full of depth, the relationship building is just as strong as the world building here and the author manages the many facets of her plot with aplomb.

Full of magic and you know, time travel which is never easy, so often over complicated, also DRAGONS. Look you can’t ask for more than dragons really – but you get much more as in Firestorm changing the timeline changes the perspective and without Kyndra surely the world will be lost?

I just banged through this super fast, devouring the words and living the adventure. Pure book reading bliss.

Highly Recommended – the whole trilogy.

Find out more here: http://lucyhounsom.com/

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Breaking Bones Robert Wite – Blog Tour Review

Publication Date: Available Now from Endeavour Press

Source: Review Copy

The streets of Preston are alive with music and banter.

But nothing can drown out the sound of breaking bones. 

Inseparable since childhood and feared by their community, Tony, Eddie and Frankie are beyond the reach of justice. 

The brutal gang, The Three Dogs, are a law unto themselves. 

Detective Jim Hacker has watched The Dogs grow from thuggish youths to psychotic criminals. He seems to be the only one who wants to see their empire fall. 

Meanwhile Jamie Strange, a young Royal Marine, finds himself embroiled in the lives of The Three Dogs when his girlfriend, Laurie Holland, cuts off their engagement… to be with the most dangerous of The Dogs: Frankie Verdi. 

Jamie vows to save Laurie, before Frankie damns them both. 

Every dog will have its day. 

Breaking Bones is a fast paced, highly authentic crime thriller, set in the Eighties with some cleverly drawn characters and an engaging story.

I’m not usually one for books about gangs and the such but I found myself immersed into this one fairly early on – although I have to say I was more into the military layers perhaps than the main one – this is a novel that encompasses many things and keeps you turning those pages.

It is violent, as is it’s subject matter but the author draws a vivid and immersive picture of life on the streets, the “Dogs” themselves are fascinating as a unit. Breaking Bones was well written to really draw you into a different world as a reader, that plus the 1980’s setting, one I remember well, made this an addictive and enjoyable read.

If you like the Martina Cole style of storytelling, dark, gritty and realistic then this one will be for you.

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The Perfect Victim Corrie Jackson. Blog Tour Guest Post.

Today I am VERY happy to welcome author (and friend) Corrie Jackson, talking about four female journalists who rock her world. Details on the book follow – but pick this one up if you can because it’s all the brilliant.

4 female journalists who rock my world

One of the things I value most about my journalist protagonist, Sophie Kent, is her courage. Not just the everyday courage it requires to survive the cutthroat world of 24/7 news. I mean the courage to fight the fight, to make herself heard, to go where others won’t in the pursuit of truth. Sure, Sophie’s a fictional character. But look around you. Every day, female reporters are risking everything to expose injustice. It takes guts. Think Martha Gelhorn, Kate Adie and Marie Colvin. These women are pioneers, revolutionaries, superheroes. And it’s thanks to them that I was inspired to create a kick-ass journalist of my own. Here are a few of the bold women whose written words have changed the world…

Veronica Guerin

For Guerin, death threats went with the territory. Her role as crime reporter for Ireland’s Sunday Independent saw her grapple with Dublin’s criminal underworld. But Guerin refused to back down, even when a gang member shot her in the leg. Her talent for building relationships with both the police and the drug gangs gave her unparalleled access. But she paid the ultimate price. In 1996, two motorcyclists shot the reporter at point blank range as she sat at traffic lights in her car. Guerin’s husband later said ‘she stood as freedom…she stood as light.’ And her death marked a turning point in Ireland’s battle against organized crime.

Nellie Bly

Fed up with writing for ‘women’s pages’ at her local Pittsburgh newspaper, Bly moved to New York in 1887 and landed a job at Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, the New York World. After hearing reports of brutality at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island, Bly went undercover by faking insanity to get admitted. Ten torturous days later, Bly’s exposé blew the lid on the rat-infested hellhole, where women were systematically abused, and dangerous patients tied together with ropes. Her story forced the government to reform the system – and she pioneered a new kind of investigative journalism in the process. Trail. Blazer.

Alex Crawford

The Sky news correspondent, who was awarded an OBE in 2012, has reported from all over the world. But the Libyan Civil War made Crawford a household name, after her live-reporting from the Battle of Tivoli went viral. She’s also a mother of four and has spoken out about the endless sexism she’s encountered. In a 2011 interview Crawford gave via satellite link from Libya, she remarked that she’d spent the day working with a male colleague, “and there will be no-one who says ‘what do you think you’re doing, how awful, what are you doing to your children?”’ Quite.

Edna Buchanan

Dubbed the ‘one-woman newsroom’, Buchanan ruled Miami’s crime beat for two decades. She covered over three thousand murders and won a Pulitzer prize in 1986, blazing a trail right through the ruthless, Alpha-male crime industry (in towering heels most of the time). She has gone on to write several novels (check out her memoir, The Corpse Had A Familiar Face; I devoured it in one sitting) but journalism is her passion. In her words: ‘There is something noble and exciting about venturing out every day to seek the truth.’ Amen to that!

About the book:

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart.

Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees.

Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts.

As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart.

Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.

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January Book Watch: The Last Mrs Parrish Liv Constantine.

Publication Date: January 11th 2018 from Harper Collins

Source: Review Copy

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson—the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul—are a golden couple straight out of a fairytale, blessed with two lovely young daughters.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrish family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces. 

I LOVED “The Last Mrs Parrish” it was so totally addictive, once I started reading Amber’s story I just could not put it down – she’s one of those characters you love to hate as she slowly and insidiously starts to insert herself into another woman’s life with the express purpose of stealing that life for herself.

Be careful what you wish for, especially when what you are wishing for belongs to somebody else – still, Amber was a highly engaging, intriguing character who managed to get a few flashes of sympathy from me even during her total bitch moments of which there were many. As she plans and adjusts and reads the signs in order to capture Jackson’s attention there are cleverly placed layers that allow the reader  to see things Amber does not. It makes you keep turning and turning those pages to see whether or not she succeeds in her dastardly plan.

Descriptively speaking this is a joy – the authors do a truly excellent job of describing the life of the rich and privileged and offsetting that against Amber’s less pampered existence – seeing things through Amber’s eyes allows for a truly voyeuristic vibe that is genuinely compelling. There are twists and turns along the way and a pitch perfect ending that gets the blood up – The Last Mrs Parrish is a tale of actions and karmic consequences – whether everyone in this novel eventually ends up with the life they deserve, you’ll have to read and find out. Trust me, you’ll have a lot of fun doing that.

A genuinely riveting psychological thriller. Highly Recommended.

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Whiteout Ragnar Jonasson – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda Books

Source: Review Copy

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kalfshamarvik.

Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thor Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier.
As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

Book 5 in the Dark Iceland series (UK publication not in exact order)  from Ragnar Jonasson and they just get better – tense, atmospheric, with beautifully descriptive setting and terrific sense of character.

In a small isolated village a girl has been found dead at the foot of the cliffs where her mother and her sister had earlier died – was this suicide or something more sinister?

What I love about this series is the old school feel brought to the writing – like if Agatha Christie were writing Icelandic Noir right now – that and the incredibly immersive settings as Ragnar Jonasson brings Iceland to beautiful, stark life – despite it being fictionally dangerous (always a body!) you want to visit and drink it all in. The prose is so good you almost can without even leaving your house…

The mystery elements are beautifully layered and Ari  as ever is utterly compelling – I’m going to miss that guy with his little quirks of personality, in this story about to become a father – I have to give a  shout out to the amazing Quentin Bates who has translated all of these perfectly –  the series has been entirely absorbing, a literary delight that is perfect for curling up with on those chilly winter nights.

I always read these in one sitting. So immersive, the plotting taut and darkly devilish, the characters engaging and full of depth and I can’t recommend these highly enough for fans of literary crime with a cleverly addictive tone.

Go get ’em!

 

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