Tag Archive | Thriller

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Retriever of Souls by Lorraine Mace

(D.I. Sterling Book 1)

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The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.
Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

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My Review:

I really enjoyed this great British crime drama. It’s the first of a series and I’m already looking forward to reading the next.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling’s personal life is a mess. He’s separated from his wife and has high hopes of getting back with her, and his teenage daughter, Katy, is going off the rails. His professional life isn’t faring any better. His new partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson,  is obnoxious and has no respect for women.  Add to that, the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes and dumping their bodies in rubbish dumps and there aren’t any leads.

While we follow Paolo as he deals with his complicated relationships and tries to solve the case, we also get a close look at the murderer. The villain was brought up by a religious zealot who taught him that sex was a sin, and he believes that by killing the women he is saving their souls.

There is much more to this book than the crime and solving of it. It’s a character-driven book and they are well written and relatable… easy to like, or hate. It was interesting to watch them and their various relationships evolve and grow.

This was a gripping, gritty, and, at times, gruesome thriller, with interesting characters, a number of suspects, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

 

About The Author:

Retriever of Souls - Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her crime novels, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Case of the Curious Client by T.G. Campbell

(Bow Street Society #1)

 
30828825The Bow Street Society is a fictional group of amateur detectives operating in London in 1896. Each of its civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field. This ensures the Society may work to solve cases on the behalf of their clients regardless of their client’s social class or wealth; cases that the police either can’t or won’t investigate. From an artist to an illusionist, from an architect to a veterinary surgeon, the Bow Street Society is justice by all and for all.

In The Case of The Curious Client, the Bow Street Society are hired by Mr Thaddeus Dorsey to locate a missing friend he knows only as ‘Palmer’ after he fails to keep a late night appointment with him. With their client’s own credibility cast into doubt mere minutes after they meet him though the Society are forced to consider whether they’ve been sent on a wild goose chase. That is, until events take a dark turn and the Society have to race against time not only to solve the case but also save the very life of their client…

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My Review:

*I won a signed copy of this book at the UK Indie Lit Fest last year.

Although I don’t usually read historical books, I do read mysteries and thrillers, so the crime aspect of this one intrigued me and I decided to give it go. I’m glad I did!

The Bow Street Society comprises a mixed bag of members with different skills, from all walks of life and is overseen by Rebecca Trent.

We join some of those members in this book as they search for Thaddeus Dorsey’s missing friend, Palmer, which leads to them investigating a murder and trying to save their client from being convicted of the crime.

The Case of the Curious Client was a fascinating read with an intriguing plot and plenty of twists which kept me guessing ’til the end. The characters were well-rounded and I enjoyed getting to know them, their flaws, and their quirks.

The author’s patent love of the Victorian era shines through this book, and she has, without doubt, done an impressive amount of research, as the evocative and authentic descriptions transported me back in time to 1980’s London.

I will definitely be reading more of this series.

 
About The Author:

6af07c396b9dfcfbc82b1406bbcc4cf5Tahnee Georgina (T.G.) Campbell wrote her first crime fiction story at the age of sixteen as a gift for her best friend. At only 40 pages long it fell considerably short of a “novel” but it marked the beginning of a creative journey that would eventually spawn the first of the Bow Street Society mystery novels; The Case of the Curious Client. During that time she attended the University of Winchester where she acquired her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Studies and wrote a dissertation on the social and cultural importance of the works of Agatha Christie.

She also became a volunteer member of staff on an international text-based gaming website where she was responsible for creating, and facilitating, storyline-games in a Victorian Era setting. The historical content of the reference pages for this setting were therefore researched, collated, and maintained by her.

It was as part of her work for this site that she came up with the idea of The Bow Street Society. Though The Case of the Curious Client is a project independent from the website the time she spent as a member of staff there helped her better understand character formation/evolution, effective use of description, and clue-puzzle mystery plot mechanics.

More recently, she attended her very first book signing event in the form of the UK Indie Lit Fest in Bradford on the 28th July 2018. She’s currently planning a schedule of similar events in 2019, to give her readers even more opportunities to meet her and have their Bow Street Society books signed. The second and third instalments of the Bow Street Society mysteries The Case of The Lonesome Lushington and The Case of The Spectral Shot are on sale now. There are also two published volumes of the Bow Street Society Casebook: The Case of The Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories and The Case of The Peculiar Portrait & Other Stories. T.G. Campbell also writes monthly features for Fresh Lifestyle Magazine and releases new Casebook short stories in the monthly Gaslight Gazette. The fourth Bow Street Society mystery is due to be released in 2019.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Fog by Michael Wombat

17344256You know how it is. We’ve all experienced it while driving. You suddenly realise that you have no idea where you are, or what your destination is. After a few seconds light dawns and you remember where you are going.

But what if light didn’t dawn? What if you continued to know nothing before that moment? You have no idea where you are, who you are, or why a bunch of nutters is trying to kill you. The only thing you know is that you have to run for your life…

Sexy, funny, violent and thrilling, Fog is not so much a Whodunnit as a Whatthehellsgoingon.

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My Review:

This is the first book I’ve read by Michael Wombat and I will be reading more, I loved his writing style and really enjoyed the fantastic adventure within the pages of this book.

The mystery and excitement begin on page one when we meet the main character driving alone in the fog. He has amnesia and a boot (trunk) full of body parts. The book is written from this character’s point of view and it feels like you are sitting next to him while he regales you with tales of his adventure.

I won’t say anything more about the story… no spoilers… but if you enjoy a rip-roaring thriller with great twists and turns, brilliant characters and some humour thrown into the mix… then read this one.

 

About The Author:

6524212A Yorkshireman living in the rural green hills of Lancashire, Michael Wombat is a man of huge beard. He has a penchant for good single-malts, inept football teams, big daft dogs and the diary of Mr. Samuel Pepys. Abducted by pirates at the age of twelve he quickly rose to captain the feared privateer ‘The Mrs. Nesbitt’ and terrorised the Skull Coast throughout his early twenties. Narrowly escaping the Revenue men by dressing as a burlesque dancer, he went on to work successively and successfully as a burlesque dancer, a forester, a busker, and a magic carpet salesman.

The fact that he was once one of that forgotten company, the bus conductors, will immediately tell you that he is as old as the hills in which he lives. Nowadays he spends his time writing, telling tall tales in his bio, and pretending to take good photographs.

You can have a good laugh at his blog or his photographs, but most of all please go and mock him mercilessly on Twitter or Facebook. Michael Wombat has published over one book. Other authors are available.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. The weekly Meme wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading.

  • Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

FogThe appalling shrieks continued, and I heard footsteps clatter loudly down the footbridge steps, closely followed by another person bursting into the foyer.
Between my fingers I rubbed at the ichor that had once been inside a person’s head, and gazed mindlessly into the welcoming blackness.

~Fog by Michael Wombat

Life, and Other Dreams by Richard Dee

Life, and Other Dreams

 

42948389Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.

In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.

Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.

When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.

Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?

Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

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My Review:

I enjoyed this fascinating story by Richard Dee.

Rick’s life on earth is tedious and mundane, until he takes an untested medication for insomnia and starts to have vivid dreams of a ‘future’ life, on another planet.

In contrast to Rick’s daily grind, Dan’s days with his wife, Vanessa, exploring Ecias, are filled with action and excitement.

However lucid, a dream is just a dream, until Rick meets Esther Phay, and the coincidences mount up. Dan being accused of murder on Ecias and Rick’s wife accusing him of having an affair, leave Rick wondering what’s real.

The main characters were well fleshed out, and the world building was excellent. I could see the flora and fauna, and the wonderful scenery of Ecias.

Which life is real and which is the dream? Or are they both real? I need to know. With the cliffhanger ending, I’ll definitely be reading the second book of this two-part story.

 

Author Bio:

Author 1200Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon. He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, working as a Marine Insurance Surveyor and as Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as HMS Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.

Richard is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

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Five on Friday

Five on Friday

 

Five films (movies)I can watch again and again… and again:

 

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Contact-MoviePoster

Contact (1997)

Films are rarely as good as the book, but there are exceptions to that rule, and for me this is one of those exceptions. Although it differs from the book in a number of ways, I still think it’s a good adaptation of the 1985 science fiction novel by American scientist Carl Sagan. This is my all time favourite film.

 

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Alien-MoviePoster

Alien (1979)

Although I was too young to watch it when it was released, Alien and then the sequel Aliens quickly became two of my favourite films. I like the tension and the atmosphere.

 

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The Fellowship of the Ring-MoviePoster

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The three films making up The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003) are another of those book/film exceptions. Yes there are differences between the films and the book, but the story is there… the action, the adventure. Having read Tolkien’s trilogy more than once, I was impressed to see Middle Earth and the characters brought to life.

 

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Raiders of the Lost Ark-MoviePoster

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

There are any number of action/adventure films now, and I’ve enjoyed many of them, but for me, this was the original… before cgi took over. The fast paced action, over-the-top stunts and humour are a joy to watch.

 
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BladeRunner-MoviePoster

Blade Runner (1982)

I enjoy the dark and brooding atmosphere of this thriller/sci-fi film.

 

There are other films that I enjoyed enough to watch more than once, so maybe I’ll do another post in the future with some of those films.

Meanwhile, I’d love to know what films you’ve watched over and over?

Five on Friday

Five on Friday

 

Five new releases to add to my, ever growing, to-read list…

 

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Beautiful Bad
by Annie Ward

Beautiful BadIn the tradition of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train comes the psychological thriller everyone is talking about, a twisted novel about a devoted wife, a loving husband, and a chilling crime that will stun even the cleverest readers.

There are two sides to every story… And every person.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas, while she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

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Cemetery Road
by Greg Iles

Cemetery RoadSometimes the price of justice is a good man’s soul.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.

When Marshall McEwan left his Mississippi hometown at eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But as the ascendancy of a chaotic administration lifts him from print fame to television stardom, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must return home to face the unfinished business of his past.

On arrival, he finds Bienville, Mississippi very much changed. His family’s 150-year-old newspaper is failing; and Jet Turner, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club. To Marshall’s surprise, the Poker Club has taken a town on the brink of extinction and offered it salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But on the verge of the deal being consummated, two murders rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city’s economic future.

An experienced journalist, Marshall has seen firsthand how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Joining forces with his former lover—who through her husband has access to the secrets of the Poker Club—Marshall begins digging for the truth behind those murders. But he and Jet soon discover that the soil of Mississippi is a minefield where explosive secrets can destroy far more than injustice. The South is a land where everyone hides truths: of blood and children, of love and shame, of hate and murder—of damnation and redemption. The Poker Club’s secret reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., and could shake the foundations of the U.S. Senate. But by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.

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The Dragon of New Orleans (The Treasure of Paragon Book 1)
by Genevieve Jack

The Dragon of New OrleansNew Orleans: city of intrigue, supernatural secrets, and one enigmatic dragon.

A deadly curse….
For 300 years, Gabriel Blakemore has survived in New Orleans after a coup in his native realm of Paragon scattered him and his dragon siblings across the globe. Now a jealous suitor’s voodoo curse threatens to end his immortal existence. His only hope is to find an antidote, one that may rest in a mortal woman.

A lifesaving gift…
After five years of unsuccessful treatment for her brain cancer, death is a welcome end for Raven Tanglewood. Her illness has become a prison her adventurous spirit cannot abide. Salvation comes in the form of Gabriel, who uses dragon magic to save her.

A harrowing price…
To Raven, the bond that results from Gabriel’s gift is another kind of captivity. Can Gabriel win Raven’s love and trust in time to awaken the life-saving magic within her? Or will his fiery personality and possessive ways drive her from his side and seal his fate?

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The Last Woman in the Forest
by Diane Les Becquets

The Last Woman in the ForestFrom the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…

Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. When they’re separated on another assignment, she’s shattered to learn of his tragic death. Before long, Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.

Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

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The Stranger Diaries
by Elly Griffiths

The Stranger DiariesDeath lies between the lines when the events of a dark story start coming true in this haunting modern gothic mystery, perfect for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature.

To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary:

Hallo Clare. You don’t know me.

Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?

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