(Book Tour) Son’s of Darkness – Gail Z. Martin

What’s it all about?:

“We are the Night Vigil.

We keep the Vigil, looking for the ones who can still be saved, the ones who aren’t too far gone. We’re the misfits and the muck-ups, unwanted by Heaven or Hell, given one last chance to atone for all the mistakes and missed chances, the pain we’ve caused others and ourselves, the good things we were afraid to do, and the bad things we embraced with open arms.

Unfinished business ties us to the mortal world, to make atonement, find absolution, satisfy retribution, get things right. You won’t find a sorrier group of halfway-house heroes. No illusions left – about ourselves, humanity, or what’s really out there in the darkness. Just a purpose, to go down fighting the good fight. Because this is our last chance.

One final chance to make it right, the thin red line of humanity against the evil that goes bump in the night, your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf.

When a series of disappearances, suicides, and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, demon-hunting ex-priest Travis Dominick teams up with former special-ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice”

My Thoughts:

After taking a rather longer than expected break from blogging, I am back and I bring you a book tour stop that I decided to take a chance on, and I can say i was not disappointed.

Welcome to the book one in an exciting new series Night Vigil. Not had much exposure to urban fantasy so this is a fairly new genre to me, so as little as i have to compare this too i really enjoyed this first in the series.

A fairly easy to follow storyline, mixed in with believable action and if there was music I could hear a rock soundtrack from start to finish

Both leading characters were troubled but very well written and although we find out a little about each man, I would love to know more and hope than we learn more back story as this series progress.

As you all know I’m a very visual listener and this was a journey , the scenes and locations all came alive in my imagination as I listened along.

Let’s talk about the artwork for a second, so vivid as you can see from the banner and picture, it’s a visual feast.

Let’s welcome the narrator of this fine tale , a new name to me but someone I will definitely want to hear more from, Jeffery Kafer, his tone and way he reads the story and characters, every word sets the scenes perfectly.

Gail is a new author to me , but I like her writing style is straight to the point and weather the research was real or fictional a lot of work went into the background and characters and creatures . If you are looking for something that bit different to distract you from wherever your head may be then I recommend this as a good starting point.

You can buy it here:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sons-Darkness-Night-Vigil-Novel/dp/B08L43C7YV/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

You can find Gail here: @GailZMartin, and here: https://ascendantkingdoms.com/

The Cryptic Lines – Richard Storry

Book Blurb:

In a remote, crumbling, gothic mansion the aged Lord Alfred Willoughby writes his Last Will and Testament, and deliberates over what is to become of his vast fortune after his passing. The obvious thing is to leave it to his only son, Matthew, but the boy has grown up to become a wastrel, unable to hold down a job and constantly relying on hand-outs from his father. So what to do? He finds himself torn. His head tells him to leave Matthew nothing at all; but his heart feels differently. After all, he is still his son…

Finally, he settles on the solution: In one last-ditch attempt to show his son that nothing worth having is gained without effort he sets a series of enigmatic puzzles. If Matthew can successfully solve them he will inherit the entire estate. If he fails, he receives nothing.

However, it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mansion hides many secrets, and things are not at all as they first appear…

My Thoughts:

I confess dear readers and listeners, it has been a while since I have had a good oldie worldly mystery and this ticked every box and dotted every t and crossed every I.

It was dark it was creepy from the beginning to the end, every word had me on the edge of my seat, I wasn’t sure what to expect at the beginning and I definitely didn’t see what came at the end.

The story is well written and tense in all the right places, I loved all the characters even the bad ones, they were so well written I could almost pull them out of my earphones and stand them up in front of me, and being a very visual person I could see every description of rooms and people clearly in my head.

The cover art is amazing as well , shows a lot but leaves a lot to your own imagination.

The narrator for this little mystery is none other than Jake (the man with the voice) Urry who does an amazing job of drawing you into the dark and gothic corridors of this creepy house, I felt like he was walking beside me telling me the story, a great narrator.

So my beloved readers and listeners, if you are wanting a gothic mystery this festive period to take your mind of all the Christmasness then give this a listen at only 4 hours and 20 mins, it’s not long but it packs a lot of mysterious goodness into that time.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cryptic-Lines-Richard-Storry-ebook/dp/B00RXKXTJY/ref=nodl_

And you can follow Richard Here: http://www.richardstorry.com

or on twitter @RichardStorry

And Jake can be found at:

http://www.jakeurry.con

@JU_audiobooks

A time to kill – Stephen Puleston

Book Blurb:

A missing person. 

Investigating the disappearance of local antiques dealer, Harry Jones, is not high on DI Ian Drake’s priority list. He has more important things to spend his time on than looking for a man who has probably just walked out on his wife. Until they find Harry’s dead body…

Shot at close range and dumped like rubbish.

Drake knows they are dealing with a cold-bloodied killer. But the valleys of Snowdoniaare an unlikely place for a murderer to hide out, and Harry an unlikely victim. As the investigation unfolds, Drake discovers a web of intrigue surrounding Harry, and business links with the criminal underworld.  

A killer hidden in plain sight. 

When another murder takes place that strikes at the heart of the community Drake is convinced the killer lies closer to home. And when two key witnesses disappear, Drake faces a race against time to bring the killer to justice, before he strikes again… 

My Thoughts:

Welcome back dear readers and listeners.

Can you believe this is book 5?

So welcome back to another case with our old friend DI Ian Drake and team

It still amazes me 5 books in how much of a dangerous place the windswept landscape of wales is, and fortunately for us , this story is no different.

Again I am captivated by the cover art of this book, it’s beautiful yet haunting, leaves me feeling like something isn’t quite right. I take my hat off to the artist who once again as absolutely nailed it.

It seems that not even selling antiques in wales isn’t a safe occupation anymore as we discover, but as with all good British crime thrillers , there is so much more to it.

The team dynamic is coming together in this book as the new members fit in to the existing team members, it’s believable how they each discover things they like and things They dislike about each other

I enjoy Stephen Puleston’s writing style it’s detailed yet his stories are easy to follow but full of grit and drama, a winning combination.

And DI drake, grows as a character every book at first I thought that his routines defined him, but 5 books in I am so pleased he is finally conquering them and even perhaps living his best life.

I am pleased to welcome back Richard Elfyn as golden voiced narrator, who once again hits all those unpronounceable welsh place names perfectly, without loosing any of the grittiness and suspense of the story..

I am happy to say 5 books in this series shows no signs of loosing any of its balls, and goes from strength to strength and that in its self is a testament to the brilliant team of Stephens writing and Richards excellent narrating.

I can’t recommend this series enough, British doesn’t get any better than this, make your ears happy, give them Ian Drake.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Kill-exciting-thriller-Inspector-ebook/dp/B07B3X3Y1Q

Follow Stephen here: https://www.stephenpuleston.co.uk/

Or twitter: @stephenpuleston

Queen of The Warrior Bees – Jean Gill

Book Blurb:

Epic eco-fantasy from the award-winning author of The Troubadours Quartet 
One misfit girl and 50,000 bees. Together they must change the world. As the Mages of the Citadel fight amongst themselves and prepare for war against the Forest, Mielitta, a despised servant, has her own battle to face. Bastien and Jannlou, the boys who terrorised her as a child, have grown into their status as Mages and she cannot escape them forever. 
   In desperation, she flees to the forbidden Forest and its dangerous attractions. Her scent angers thousands of bees and, although she survives their attack, she has changed. A strange bee symbol glows on her thigh and her senses are altered. She learns that her connection with bees enables her to summon their aid and gives her the power to shift shape. 
   This new-found bond works both ways and the bees need Mielitta’s help as the rift widens between Forest and Citadel. Can one girl and a colony of bees reunite Man and Nature, or is the split irreversible? 
Block Nature out and she’ll force a way in.”

My thoughts:

Welcome back dear listeners and readers, anyone who knows me will know that I am not a fan of anything yellow and black and striped that stings.

But I was completely engrossed by this book, yes believe it or not , I was listening to it every chance I got, I loved everything about this enchanting, and beautiful story.

I want to start with the cover art, it’s mystical and magical, draws you in and makes you want to discover what lies within the forest, but shows enough as not give too much away.

The characters were another strong point in this book, our leading lady is Mielitta a servant with a secret but this servant turned unlikely saviour , i instantly connected with, as I did with all of them, even minor characters had a big personality in this story.

The story is also strong , man versus nature, man thinking they can bend nature to his will, and well nature saying , “eh no” (pick any accent here you like). You will have to listen to it to see how it ends.

The narrator for this magical tale was Jannie Meisberger new name to my ears but defiantly someone I want to hear more from.

So if you want a break from crime stories (and why would you?) I highly recommend this little gem, this is book one so who knows one day you might see book two on here , keep your eyes peeled.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Queen-Warrior-Bees-misfit-Natural-ebook/dp/B07PZ212M8

And find out all about Jean Gill here:

https://jeangill.com/

Dead on your feet – Stephen Puleston

Book Blurb:

“A gruesome exhibit…
When the dead body of a woman is found on public display, the murder scene bears all the hallmarks of a famous work of art. DI Ian Drake knows he is dealing with a very creative and intelligent killer – one who enjoys having their work showcased for all to see.

A gallery of death…
As more murders take place, each copying a famous work of art, Drake faces a murderer who always seems to be one step ahead. And when one of the suspects is revealed to be his own brother, the pressure mounts…this case just got very personal.

The portrait of a killer.
The art world is small, but the murderer’s ego is too big to hide forever. Drake knows he is getting closer to unmasking the culprit, but can he stop the killer before their grand finale – and a very public murder?”

My Thoughts:

Welcome back to deepest darkest Wales dear readers and listeners.

Things for DI Drake takes its darkest turn yet and I absolutely loved it.

New cases bring new team members and new dynamics.

From the very beginning I was hooked by the shadowy villain, so creepy and realistic. Also I liked the seemingly innocent cover that says so much yet doesn’t give anything away.

I loved how with the introduction of new team members , how the remaining original ones had to adapt to new people it was all very well written.

Every crime scene was brutally beautiful in its description, I could see every detail through the eyes of drake and the team.

Even drake himself has improved since the last book, his oddities are abit more under control, but as always life with him is never simple, but you will have to listen to it to find out why.

We welcome back one of my favourite welsh voices Richard Elfyn, who again tackles the Welsh language expertly as we have come to know and love. An award for pronouncing those town names alone should be on the cards.

This was definitely my favourite of the series so far, a brilliant stand alone but fits into a series that is quickly becoming a firm favourite of mine. So if you want a British crime thriller that keeps you interested from the first word to the last, then get this book or in fact the series into your audible library.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Your-Feet-Detective-Inspector-ebook/dp/B06ZZBCX5F

You can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston

Or his website: www.stephenpuleston.co.uk

Killer Cruise – Dawn Brookes

Book blurb:

“A body in the water. A plethora of suspects. Rachel Prince must be on another cruise!

When a cruise ship singer turns up dead, Rachel Prince and her octogenarian traveling companion, Lady Marjorie, are thrown headlong into a topsy-turvy murder mystery that threatens to be their last!

Crew aboard the fictional Coral Queen find themselves stretched to the limit by the antics of a Queen tribute act, a troublesome stag party and a group of excitable female cheerleaders.

Rachel is accompanying Lady Marjorie on a cruise around the Baltics. The older woman is hoping for a mystery while Rachel seeks peace and quiet.

PC Rachel Prince, cruise ship sleuth can’t believe it when a man dies under suspicious circumstances. The probable homicide occurs shortly after an unpleasant encounter with a Freddie Mercury lookalike. Rachel and Marjorie find themselves absorbed by the man’s untimely death, and surrounded by suspicious characters with ample motive for killing the unpopular victim.

The Chief of Security wavers between involving Rachel in the investigation and keeping her away from it. Sarah, Rachel’s best friend and cruise ship nurse is keen to keep her out of harms way, but it’s a case of the irresistible force meets the immovable object when there’s a mystery to be solved. Rachel is spurred on by the incorrigible Marjorie who is keen to interfere and test her own sleuthing skills.

Chief Waverley and Sarah are fighting a losing battle, and become more and more exasperated by Rachel’s involvement. In addition to this they both have problems of their own.

As the dead man appeared to have more enemies than friends, this mystery tests Rachel to the limit. She finds herself in danger as she tries to keep Lady Marjorie safe while solving the crime.

Join the crew and passengers aboard the Coral Queen for another exciting adventure at sea!”

My thoughts:

Who would have thought that so much unpleasantness could happen aboard a cruise ship.

But seemingly the good ship the Coral Queen attracts those sorts of things.

Luckily for them they have our heroine Pc Rachel Prince.

I like how each book we learn more and more about Rachel and the firey old lady Marjorie and her old friend nurse Sarah.

As with previous books there is a lot going on but the writing is done in such a way that it is easy to follow and never a dull moment.

I love the covers for these books, simple yet colourful and attractive

We welcome back our favourite narrator Alex Lee who once again does a spectacular job of telling this story

so if you want a bid of cosy crime this winter try season, give this book and This series a go, it can work as a stand alone, with some minor references to previous books but it doesn’t effect the enjoyment of this latest book.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Killer-Cruise-Rachel-Prince-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07N5LDVK6

You can follow Dawn here: @dawnbrookes1

A podcast review – Morbid

I know what you are all thinking “this is not an audiobook review?” And you would be right.

I find myself on a true crime journey at the moment, It all started when my sister introduced me to another podcast called ‘Crime Junkies’ I started listening to that and I was immediately hooked.

From there I stumbled upon Morbid, as the name suggests it’s not a podcast about rainbows and unicorns although believe it or not both are actually mentioned, this series of true crime stories and cases solved and unsolved, old and more recent is led my two hilarious women called Alaina and ash, and they could not be more different, one is a autopsy technician and the other is a hair stylist, but together they bring you horrific murder cases and criminally good stories , all done with dignity and respect, but never far away is a constant undertone of humour and sillyness, which you will agree when dealing with murder you need a pallet cleanser.

morbidplague3.jpg

There is a lot of flowery language but if you can overlook that then you are in for a wild ride and a lot of fun. Currently sitting at 98 episodes, each one deals with some well known names but a lot of smaller cases which I like finding out about.

If you are into true crime and looking for something refreshing to listen to then give this a go.

There website is: https://www.morbidpodcast.com/

You can follow them on twitter: @amorbidpodcast

(Blog Tour) – Visions of Zarua – Suzanne Rogerson

I am honoured to be on the tour for this amazing book.

Book blurb:

“Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria. Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the royal order of wizards refuses to investigate. Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer. The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects, and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?”

My thoughts:

I was honoured and lucky enough to be asked to be a part of this tour, for this magical and amazing book.

I loved everything about this from the first word to the last, I was drawn in and hooked and didn’t want to leave.

The characters, the setting, the sights, sounds and descriptions well all right on the money.

The main character Padrin was a brooding dark shadow who I couldn’t help but like from the very beginning despite his troubles, with his childhood friend Varnia , the two made an excellent team through good times and bad I felt they complimented each other perfectly, another sign of a truly great book.

I normally get easily lost with a book with more than one timeline but this one was interesting, straightforward and added another layer to the story.

All other characters weather good or bad were well rounded , fleshed out, I felt as if I wanted to know more about each and every one of them.

The narrator for this fantasy epic was Guy Barnes, a new name to me but someone I will be definitely be looking out for.

The cover art was another thing that drew me in, it was mesmerising and you couldn’t help but wonder who or what was under that cloak.

I must confess even though it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished this, (and yes I know why am I only writing this now) but that aside if you want something abit different then give this a go, it has stuck with me.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07VFCDTMJ/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1570611977&sr=8-1

Guarded Prognosis- Richard L. Mabry M.D

Book Blurb:

Double-barreled trouble
When Dr. Caden Taggart saw the two men sitting in his waiting room, he didn’t think they were patients. He was right, and when they introduced themselves as agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency, things started to get bad.
Then Caden felt as though someone had gut-punched him when his father, Dr. Henry Taggart, told him he probably had carcinoma of the pancreas. When he talked about his son assisting with his suicide, Caden wondered how he could talk him out of that.
When he shared his news with his wife, Beth, she tried to assure Caden that God was in control. But as things progressed, he was unsure that was true. At first, he feared for his freedom. Then for his ability to cope. Eventually, he feared for his life.

My thoughts:

Well now where to begin here,like a exquisite recipe, if you take a dollop of crime, a smattering of mystery and some seasoning of Christian doctrine, stick in the oven until done, and the end result is this tasty offering.

I have to confess I had this sitting in my library for way longer than I should have, but it was worth the wait.

I really enjoyed this, from the story to the characters, to the setting.

I always worry when science and religion mix but this story deals with it very well, it doesn’t push it to the front in your face, also it doesn’t cower at the back afraid to speak, no it sits quite comfortably like it is meant to be there.

Our main characters Caden and Beth Taggart were both believable, well written people who I actually want to see what happens to and bringing Caden’s dad Henry into the equation with all he has to deal with, you have yourself a family unit that likes it’s independence from each other but come together when need be.

I found the storyline easy to follow , the characters interacted well, the events, the settings all played their parts to tell a brilliant story.

The cover art is very well done, it tells you whats in this book without words which is hard to do.

The narrator for this medical marvel is Bill Nevitt, he does a fantastic job voicing a cast of characters both male and female.

very few books I listen to have quotes but this books a gift that keeps on giving, here it is:

“We all choose the brand of misery that makes us happiest”

if medical crime drama stories are your thing well this one will not disappoint it has an excellent story and a few twists and turns.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guarded-Prognosis-Richard-L-Mabry-ebook/dp/B07DJJRGRP/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=guarded+prognosis&qid=1567755449&s=gateway&sr=8-1

You can find Richard L. Mabry here:http://www.rmabry.com/

And Bill Nevitt: https://billnevittmedia.com/

Worse than dead – Stephen Puleston

Book blurb:

“An engineer on a car ferry sailing from Dublin is murdered and his killer is on board.

But what connects the victim to drug dealers and the gangsters of Dublin?

A data stick discovered by the murdered man’s wife finds may hold the clues. But the codes and numbers on it only complicate the investigation.

And then Inspector Drake’s cousin makes contact and tells him he has information. But can Drake rely on him or does he have another agenda? 

And when the team discover a direct link to drug dealing in North Wales and beyond there are powerful forces at work.

Drake’s cousin drags Drake’s family into the middle of the case that piles the pressure on Drake who’s facing regular the prospect of losing his father to cancer.

Establishing the evidence takes Drake to Dublin and Cardiff and then on a last-minute chase over North Wales to catch the killer.

Read Worse than Dead today because we all love a great yarn with realistic characters.”

My thoughts:

Welcome back dear readers to book two of this increasingly growing series of brilliance.

( you can see my review for the previous book Brass in pocket here, https://alistenersslant.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/brass-in-pocket-stephen-pulestone/)

This book takes to the water and bounces about countries but it was so well written that it was easy to follow.

From the very beginning it is interesting and exciting, the mystery begins to unravel that keeps you guessing from beginning to end.

I loved the locations, flirting between Wales and Ireland you think things are settled in one place and something more interesting happens in the other , and I’m left thinking “oh what now?”.

Each of the main characters I grow to love every book I listen to, the growth and progression is both personally and professionally is brilliant and so well thought out.

I love the dark and gritty cover of this which is fast becoming a hallmark of this fine series

Will poor drake ever catch a break as he not only as to deal with work issues but when his family becomes a priority

I enjoyed the how the mix of business and personal gets so intertwined but good ole drake comes through and out the other side.

and a warm welcome back to Richard Elfyn who has become the voice of this series and again brings the characters and places to life and does an excellent job.

this is definitely a series worth getting into if you want some good British detective goodness, highly recommend it.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Worse-Than-Dead-exciting-Inspector-ebook/dp/B00I3J4P2O/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=worse+than+dead&qid=1565643098&s=gateway&sprefix=worse+than+dead&sr=8-1

you can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston

Blood Conspiracy – Brock E. Deskins

Book blurb:

“I’ve spent the last year cleaning up the mess Percy left after his failed coup. It isn’t glamorous, but it’s a job, and it pays well enough. 

Percy altered the Cure in a way to make it easier to create his little vampire army, but his new vampires have attitude problems and are worse at playing by the rules than I am, and they are the mess I’m trying to clean up. No biggie, I’m pretty good at that kind of housecleaning. The only problem is that someone called the cops on Percy’s little house party. 

Homeland security got hold of the new and improved Cure, made their own vampire anti-terrorist unit, and dropped them into freaking Yemen. Like most ill-conceived government projects, this one went bad real fast, and guess who has to fix it? Now I have to hunt down and kill these rogue vampires, take on the US government, and destroy all evidence of our existence. And, oh yeah, there’s a freaking bomb in my head.”

My thoughts:

Welcome to book two of my favourite vampire Leo Malone if your new to this series see my review of book one here (https://alistenersslant.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/shrouds-of-a-darkness-brock-deskins/)

There is just no quiet life for Leo and I wold have it no other way, this story sends him on an adventure to save not just his world and people but also more importantly himself.

I love the character of Leo he is a charming, foul mouthed, pain in everyone’s arse but despite that he gets the job done.

Character progression is well done in this book as I learned more about Leo and other minor but no less important.

this story takes on an international flavour being set in Yemen and this time Leo is being used as a puppet and he is not happy about it.

The descriptions of the places and the people and things were just on point , I always know it’s good when I can listen and close my eyes and picture along with the story.

The narrator for this great adventure was none other than the author himself , Brock is multi talented being able to write and narrate what’s fast becoming an excellent series.

If you want wild adventure, some strong language, violence but an all round great story then listen to this and the first one.

you can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Conspiracy-Brooklyn-Shadows-Book/dp/B07NF9VYGR

Follow Brock here:

@brockdeskins

http://www.brockdeskins.com

Vessel – John Bowen

 
theVessel

Book Blurb:

“Forget all you know. History’s biggest secret was hidden behind legends and lies…
An International Amazon #1 Bestseller in Kindle Thriller and Mystery.
Running for her life, carrying a secret with the potential to change what it means to be human, Holly Reilly calls the only person she knows with the skills to keep her alive: her estranged husband Gabriel.
Caught between two deadly adversaries, Holly and Gabe are drawn into a centuries-old conflict, one poised to spill into the modern world, threatening chaos and bloodshed.
A breathless blend of action and mystery, faith and fanaticism, Vessel exposes an unwritten history stretching back to the Crusades, medieval Europe and feudal Japan as it races to its final explosive conclusion.”

My Thoughts:

I love historical stories, especially ones with a sharp thriller element like this one has, I enjoy every incarnation of the holy grail story I hear but this one put a completely different twist on it that kept me interested from beginning to end.

This globetrotting and time trotting adventure takes you here, there and everywhere, I loved the history soaked tales of the Knights Templar onto Japan, the adrenaline spilling over each bit like an overflowing bucket (or chalice). The attention to detail was excellent, the way the story weaved effortlessly through the different time periods and back to current without missing a beat.

I found the relationship between Gabe and Holly sweet and believable even in mortal danger Gabe was both a gentleman and a hero and Holly to be feisty and more than capable of taking care of herself.

The device they call the grail was brilliantly imagined from its description to the explanation of what it does.

every character was superbly written, showing many different layers and that was another facet that kept my interest.

This fine story was told to us by Craig Beck, who did a first class job of narrating this non stop rollercoaster of historical goodness.

If you want a mix of history, action, revenge and great storytelling then this is one not to miss.

You can buy it here:

You can follow John here: https://johnbowenauthor.wordpress.com/

 

 

The man by the sea – Jack Benton

Book blurb:

“John “Slim” Hardy, a heavy drinker and disgraced soldier turned bumbling private detective, is hired to investigate Ted Douglas, an investment banker who slips out of work every Friday to visit a desolate cove on the Lancashire coast. There, he walks to the shore, opens an old book, and begins to read aloud. 

His wife thinks he’s having an affair. 

Slim thinks he’s insane. 

The truth is more incredible than either could imagine. 

My thoughts:

Where do I start with this little gem, it definitely isn’t your average British based detective/ murder mystery, well it is but it really isn’t.

Ok let’s slow down and start at the beginning, I loved the idea of this , it’s something a little bit different, the characters and the settings and of course the story.

first off I loved the haunting cover, it said so much without using any words, so whoever did the artwork I take my hat off to you sir/madam.

I absolutely loved the lead character from the very start, endearing and very rarely sober, John Hardy I salute you, maybe the only man who’s demons are are drunk as he is .

At first I thought it was just going to be a quick mysterious open and shut detective story and at only 4 hours and 52 minutes in length, I was amazed at how much tension and intrigue and drama they managed to squeeze into this book.

The setting of the coast of Lancashire is well described and sounds like a place well worth a visit,

All the elements are in this for a anyone who loves a-bit of everything, murder, love , a hint of paranormal, but maybe not?.

The narrator for this fine mix is Kevin E Green, a new name on this blog but I want to hear more, cause he told the story in such an eloquent manner, from simply reading to scene setting, good job Kevin.

So if you haven’t already figured out, this has a little something for everyone and it’s short enough that if you want something quick it has that too, so go give it a listen.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Slim-Hardy-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B078SYNP3F/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=a+man+by+the+sea&qid=1560794926&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Deadly Cruise – Dawn Brookes

Book Blurb:

Just when you thought it was safe to cruise again….

PC Rachel Prince returns to cruising after giving evidence in a difficult trial. She wants to recharge her batteries and reevaluate her future after receiving threats from the man she helped put away.

Taking Queen cruises up on their offer of a free luxury cruise aboard the Coral Queen, she opts for a sailing to New York.

Rachel’s best friend and cruise nurse, Sarah is also returning to the ship to start a new nine-month contract so the timing is perfect.
Almost immediately, Rachel meets a cruise tour leader who invites her to join him and his Russian group for some of their planned activities. These activities should help pass the time during the sea days.

A crew member is found dead in his cabin – could this be another mystery brewing? Rachel’s eagle eye spots some curious goings on among the Russian tour group that she finds enticing. Chief Security Officer Waverley wants Rachel to leave things alone – will she listen?

Sarah has problems of her own as conflict develops in the medical team when a new nurse is brought in at short notice.

Rachel can’t resist doing a bit of snooping, but will she get to the bottom of a mysterious death and untangle this complex case before they reach New York?

My Thoughts:

Welcome back to second adventure of our beloved pc Rachel Price, is you missed it see my review of book one here ( https://alistenersslant.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/a-cruise-to-murder-dawn-brookes/)

Who would have thought so much could happen on a floating city of a cruise ship, but on this one thankfully a lot does happen.

I bet we were all really hoping that this time around Rachel has a better trip.

And to begin with it is, but trouble seems to follow Rachel around or maybe she goes looking but who knows it makes for some fun adventures.

I like the descriptions, not detailed enough to be overwhelming but just tells you enough to be able to paint a picture in your own imagination.

The story structure was well written, characters are colourful and well fleshed out, for some people on this cruise, it will be the longest trip of their lives.

I love when I simple start draws me in and keeps me interested with a twist I didn’t see coming and as far as cosy crime goes, this one was twisty.

Since the last book I enjoy seeing Rachel and her friends onboard the ship grow and become more believable,

I am proud to welcome back narrator queen Alex Lee who again does an amazing job of telling this story good pace and well told as always.

Another excellent cosy crime story , good if you have heard the first one but not essential as it works as a stand alone with minor references to the last book.

Definitely recommend this for any long time fans of cosy crime or just looking for somewhere to start.

you can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07R92YLBG/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1560157472&sr=8-1

You can follow Dawn here:

https://www.dawnbrookespublishing.com/

Follow The Money – David Fuentes

Book blurb:

Follow the Money is a collection of novellas that follows the lives of different bank notes on their respective journeys, as they pass from one person to the next through London and New York. In a twist of fate, both of these bank notes transform in the second installment of each story. It sends them on a completely new journey into the unknown. So fasten your seat belts, and brace yourself for the ride of your lives. Your journey awaits you.

My thoughts:

Well this fine book came completely from left field I did not expect what my ears were offered, but boy oh boy were they happy.

This story takes storytelling and completely turns it on its head the main protagonist is not what anyone would expect

I knew money causes problems but wow this series of notes caused no end of trouble from start to finish and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

I really enjoyed the format of this book, it wasn’t one story but several shorter that sometimes connected sometimes didn’t, but all made sense and was each very well written.

*parental warning* the stories contained within this book do contain some graphic scenes of a sexual nature, so if your abit shy then you have been warned.

loved all the characters and the settings and if your ok with some bad language then this is amazing.

The narrator for this plethora of sublime series of stories is Matthew Kerslake who does a superb job of the voices , scene setting and overall storytelling.

If your looking for something a little bit different then I would highly recommend this little gem, it will change the way you think about characters in a story.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Follow-Money-Tale-Tales/dp/B07GJXR6C1#productDescription_secondary_view_div_1559303015700

You can find Matthew here:

https://www.instagram.com/david_fuentes_author/

https://m.facebook.com/DavidFuentesAuthor

The Third Wave – Karla Forbes

Book blurb:

Charles Morgan is small operator in the vast computer technology industry, but he has big ambitions. He borrows heavily from the Mafia to finance his dreams of becoming a big player, but when he fails to make the expected profit, they are quick to demand their money back. Desperate to save his own skin, he hatches a plan that will cripple the competition and propel his new product into the ranks of market leader. 
Bryony Elliot is a brilliant but naive British student who has the skills he needs to bring his plans to fruition, but she is refusing to cooperate. With time running out and his creditors’ threats becoming increasingly vicious, Morgan gives up on persuasion and employs deceit instead. 
Unaware of the true situation, Bryony launches a catastrophic virus attack on society. When she discovers that she has been used, she frantically attempts to stop the carnage she has wrought, but she is up against violent men who are intent on stopping her. Bryony must dig deep into her mental reserves to stay alive and reverse the damage, but first she must conquer the fears and demons that rule her life. For Bryony has dark secrets of her own….

My thoughts:

Be upstanding ladles and jellyspoons and welcome back to the blog Mr Nick Sullivan, in the magnificent second outing.

This second adventure was like a Hollywood movie in my ears , had all the action and suspense of any action film you care to mention.

Poor poor Nick all he wants is a quiet life, but unfortunately this story he finds a case that could be not be louder.

It was a fictional situation that could very well one day happen with computers getting more and more clever, or are we getting more dependant on them?, anyway that’s an argument for another day.

What quickly starts out simple for nick, soon goes south quick and he finds himself in several situations he would rather he wasn’t in.

I loved Nick, Bryony there relationship was realistic and the other members of the gang we met briefly all had their own characters which made it even better.

At first I didn’t like bryony I thought she was aloof and cold but as Nick chipped away at her outer shell she became more human and likeable and by the end I felt sorry for her.

The narrator for this fine story is Mr Craig Bowles, who did such a fabulous job on narrating book one that it was a joy and privilege to have him back for book two.

So if you like your story fast and action packed then wrap your ears round this little gem, you can find my review for book one here https://alistenersslant.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/fallout-karla-forbes/)

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07LFMNHQT/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1558373911&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

you can find Karla here: @karlaforbes

And her website: http://karlaforbes.yolasite.com/

Greenwash – Colleen Cross

Book blurb:

Avalanches are deadly, but high up in the mountains, something even more sinister awaits…

Private investigator Katerina Carter and boyfriend Jace embark on a cozy weekend getaway just before Christmas at a luxury mountaintop lodge. While he writes the biography of a billionaire environmentalist, she explores the snowy wilderness.
Then two local environmental protesters die under mysterious circumstances. Kat and Jace race to uncover the truth only to face even deadlier disaster. The mountains take no prisoners. 
Neither does the killer.
In the remote mountaintops of the Rockies, everyone looks out for each other. Except for cold-blooded killers, that is. And the killer is creeping closer and closer. Someone doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Kat from finding the truth.

My thoughts:

Welcome back fellow readers and the next in the instalment of our favourite heroine Kat Carter.

I am loving the diversity this series is bringing me, each case is always that little bit different, the cast of characters is always fresh and interesting and even the staple people in the stories you know and love have yet another angle to learn about.

This tale leaves you shivering and I had no idea an avalanche could be the prime suspect in a murder, except it’s not that would be silly but the shadowy people involved very much are in the frame.

Having been to Vancouver a couple of times I like hearing of places I’ve visited or not places I want to go.

once again the minor roles in this story play as big a part of this story as the main ones do and achieve the aim of fleshing out a snowy wilderness.

Just when I think the series has reached an end, Colleen pulls another blinder out the bag of tricks .

Once again we welcome back our resident and brilliant narrator Petrea Burchard, who does an excellent job of weaving this chilly thriller.

This has been book three in the increasingly popular series but as I’ve found each can work well as a stand alone with only maybe minor throwbacks to the other books in the series.

I can’t recommend this series enough, I have enjoyed each one as much as the last.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07Q5JHGV1/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=

And see Colleens website here: http://colleencross.com/

And follow her here: @colleenxcrossa

(Blog Tour) The Tapestry Bag – Isabella Muir

Book blurb:

“A young woman named Zara goes missing, one year to the day that her boyfriend, Joel, was killed in a hit-and-run. Is Zara in danger? Is she still alive? What really happened to Joel, and who is to blame?
In the quiet seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, the police appear to be doing little to find Zara. Her friend Janie decides to make it her mission to track her down. It’s the “swinging sixties”, and Janie fears that Zara may be mixed up with drugs, alcohol, or worse. As Janie explores the strange circumstances of Zara’s disappearance, she starts to question the truth about Joel’s death.
Janie runs the mobile library and has a passion for crime fiction, especially Agatha Christie. Can Poirot help Janie solve the mystery of Zara’s disappearance? 
As she looks for clues she comes across some unsavory characters who each have a reason for wanting Joel dead. Can Janie untangle the web of lies and find out the truth?

My thoughts:

I was honoured to be asked to be a part of this blog tour when another blogger pulled out, but their loss is my gain and what a gain this book was I really enjoyed it.

Everything about it was brilliant the setting, the people, the places , the story, but I will touch on each of them

the setting of 1960’s England at the hight of the beatlemania was believable and could imagine it all taking place.

The characters well very well written and I could see myself interacting with them and getting to know them such were their depth, the big hearted lead heroine, Janie is an immediately loveable character who I was drawn to straight away , in fact I liked and was drawn to all the characters major and minor for a variety of reasons.

The story is a twisty one, the last few books I’ve listened to have had that definite theme, but this one especially, in true who dunnit fashion the story keeps you guessing right up to the very end, even if you do figure out what’s going on you will not be disappointed by the story.

The narrator for this homegrown sleuthfest was Penny Scott-Andrews and absolutely delightful voice a childlike quality which is in no way a bad thing , Penny tells the story in a wonderful way, kept me hooked from beginning to end.

If your a fan of British classic twisty turny who dunnit then grab this your ears will definitely thank you for it.

You can buy it here:

Uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tapestry-Bag-Sussex-Twists-Mystery/dp/B07N144SR3/ref=nodl_

Us: https://www.amazon.com/Tapestry-Bag-Sussex-Twists-Mystery/dp/B07N14VB24

you can find Isabella’s website here: https://isabellamuir.com/

you can follow Penny here: @penandrews

And Isabella here: @sussexmysteries

A cruise to murder – Dawn Brookes

Book blurb:

Looking for a good clean murder mystery? 
Meet Rachel Prince, a newly qualified police constable trying to hold it together after being ditched by her fiancé.
Rachel’s best friend, Sarah, suggests that she needs a break and what better way to relax than a Mediterranean cruise? Sarah works as a nurse on the cruise ship and they plan to enjoy all the luxuries of cruising. At least they would do if Sarah ever got any time away from the medical centre.
Rachel makes friends with a bereaved, elderly woman and an attractive Italian but it’s not long before she is convinced that something sinister is going on. There is mystery and threat surrounding Lady Marjorie Snellthorpe.
Who is the secretive Carlos and what is he up to?
Rachel finds herself in the centre of a mystery that could cost her her life, or worse still, her heart.
Has her broken engagement clouded her judgement?
Events unfold that cause her to question her sanity and when one of the passengers meets with a tragic accident, the tension grows. Rachel tries her best to relax and enjoy her holiday with her friend, but there seems to be danger around every corner. Is Marjorie in danger? Can Rachel solve the mystery even when she is in danger herself?

My thoughts:

Take a classic feeling mystery,mix in a cocktail and you have this fantastic story.

I loved the windswept and interesting locations we visited in this adventure, never sure if the people you met were really who they said they were.

The lead characters Rachel and Sarah, two old friends, I enjoyed how a cruise ship and a murder can’t come between friends

I enjoyed the exoticness of the locations , while I listened I could picture the scenes, always a sign of a well thought out book, I enjoyed the other major and minor characters

as I said a great twist on a classic who dunnit I would love there to be more of these types of stories, if anyone knows any let me know.

The narrator for this joyous cruise was Alex Lee and she does an excellent job of telling the story and making the characters come to life.

If you want a murder mystery with an exotic twist then I definitely recommend this.

you can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cruise-Murder-Rachel-Prince-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07C3T52MB/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=1YOFY5JDMU25I&keywords=a+cruise+to+murder&qid=1556716533&s=gateway&sprefix=a+cruise+to&sr=8-1

Find Dawns website here: https://www.dawnbrookespublishing.com/

Missing Gretyl – Si Page

Book blurb:

Some say Gretyl is loud, hairy, and obnoxious. Others are less complimentary.

Buckle up for a comedic rollercoaster ride, with bad wigs, waxing disasters, holiday scams, a deluded hitman, lust, arson and murder.

After fifty years of marriage, Gretyl Trollop is thinking of a new life, somewhere hot. Her husband, Albert, is thinking of the crematorium. She’s thinking of stuffing herself in a bikini. He’s thinking of a taxidermist. The Londoners continue their separate lives until a mysterious letter turns their world upside down.

My thoughts:

Welcome back friends, this book was an easy listen and a brilliant, funny distraction.

There were many elements to this book , different situations and people but it was so well written that I had no problem following it and keeping everyone in the right place, well done to Si Page for such good writing.

Each character felt like I wanted to learn more about their back story, I loved what was being told about them now but being such well rounded characters I truly believed there could be a whole unknown back story waiting to be told.

Our lead heroine Gretyl is a superb, sassy and takes no rubbish from nobody a trait which serves her well throughout this tale.

The down to earth nature of the story is a breath of fresh air and could be told today and not seem out of place.

Our storyteller this time around is Melanie Crawley who does an excellent job of drawing you in to the details and does every voice brilliantly.

So if you are looking for easy listen with many funny moments then this is well worth a listen.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=si+page+missing+gretyl&ref=nb_sb_noss

You can follow Si here: @siberpasta

And website: http://www.sipage.co.uk

Blowout – Colleen Cross

book blurb:

A Sinister Crime Lies Deep Beneath The Water…

A Katerina Carter Fraud Legal Thriller

On fraud investigator Katerina Carter’s trip to a remote island aboard a luxurious yacht, she suspects the boat’s slick and charming owner is hiding a dark secret. With her cunning instinct for sniffing out malevolent cons, Kat tries to warn her friends that something is very wrong with their host and that his moneymaking scheme smells fishy.

And why is she only one who thinks he’s not being completely honest?

While exploring the island, Kat and her friends research the rumors of a sinister cult, the Aquarian Foundation, and search for buried treasure. The cult swindled people out of their money and now the same situation is starting to eerily echo their present circumstances. That is if Kat can prove to the others that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. . .

When Kat’s warnings fall on deaf ears, she uncovers a horrifying truth that will place those closest to her in mortal danger. Now it’s a race against the clock for Kat to expose a killer before he strikes again.

Blowout, the third book in the Katerina Carter Fraud Thriller series, appeals to crime thriller fans of James Patterson, John Grisham, and Michael Connelly.

My thoughts:

Welcome back to book three of this brilliant series and with each book it keeps getting better.

Normally out heroine is on the outside of the case trying to solve it, not this time, unfortunately this time around she finds herself right slap bang in the middle of it all.

I really enjoyed the direction change of this one , it was still a fraud thriller but this time it had a pinch of murder mystery thrown in.

And which each book the relationships between our characters becomes realistically stronger which I think is one of the many things that makes this series so popular and keeps bringing me back.

And as each story is told I love finding out a wee bit more about everyone that I didn’t know before

I don’t talk about the villains in these stories much but this one I was drawn to, suave, charming and nearly got away with it.

We welcome back long time voice of this series Petrea Buchard who again does an amazing job of narrating this slightly different story.

This series is really growing on me and Colleen Cross is quickly becoming a firm favourite of mine with Petrea becoming a favourite narrator, I will be back with book four soon but will have a couple of reviews in between so be patient.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blowout-Katerina-Thriller-gripping-psychological-ebook/dp/B018RSIKI0/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_3?keywords=blowout+colleen+cross&qid=1554807512&s=gateway&sr=8-3-fkmrnull

Or follow her website: http://www.colleencross.com

Or on twitter: @colleenxcross

Game Theory – Colleen Cross

Book blurb:

“Someone is siphoning funds from billionaire Zachary Barron’s currency hedge fund. Intent on prosecuting the thief to the fullest extent of the law, he hires Katerina “Kat” Carter, the best forensic accountant in the business, to follow the money trail. Both are shocked when it leads to Zachary’s father, Nathan. 

And he’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Nathan belongs to a shadowy organization with global ties and unimaginable resources. They already control the banking industry and the media, but their ultimate goal – the collapse of the global currency market and a new world order – will soon be within reach. 

The organization learns of her involvement and sends a warning. She knows it will be her last – others who have tried to foil their agenda have met with violent deaths. 

If Kat walks away and keeps her mouth shut, she’ll look over her shoulder for the rest of her life in a world she’ll scarcely recognize. Ignoring the threat makes her and everyone she cares about a target…or a potential traitor. 

Still, as Kat Carter knows all too well…the greater the risk, the greater the reward. 

And there’s no hedging on this bet. It’s all or nothing. 

Who’s in?”

My thoughts:

Welcome back readers, to this the second of the Katerina Carter legal thrillers , quickly becoming one of my favourite series.

I’ve never understood the world of markets and finance but that is irrelevant as this series is becoming so much more than that, a wonderful mix of mystery, suspense and classic who dunnit?

As this series goes from strength to strength which I have no doubt it will, I can see the characters grow and change with each story which is a sign of a well thought out and well written book.

Katerina as a main character is smart, sassy but ultimately wants to see justice done, no matter what a case throws at her.

All the other major and minor characters were brilliantly written and interactive, I felt for poor uncle Harry as he was put through the ringer, went through a mix of emotions as the story progressed and came to its satisfying conclusion.

Again the narrator returning to tell this story is Petrea Burchard, again does a wonderful job of telling this twisty tale, a voice that fits every area of this series which is very rare.

I enjoyed this one and have got book three eagerly geared up, so if you want a legal thriller with so much more bundled inside then go for this.

You can read my review of book one here:

https://alistenersslant.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/exit-strategy-colleen-cross/

You can buy this fine book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Theory-Katerina-Carter-Thriller/dp/B07NF7K9M5/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=colleen+cross&qid=1554286147&s=gateway&sr=8-3

And find Colleen here: @colleenxcrossa

And her website: http://colleencross.com/

The Development – Jackie Kabler

Book Blurb:

The third installment of the Cora Baxter Mysteries 

After a stressful week, TV reporter Cora Baxter is ready for a quiet weekend. What she isn’t counting on is witnessing the shocking death of a young woman on her way home. 

Cora discovers that seventeen-year-old Leanne has been protesting against a new housing development, angering the powerful establishment. Leanne’s death is ruled a suicide but, when puzzling information comes to light, Cora decides to investigate further. 

She might not know what an unscrupulous businessman, a suspended police officer and hate-mail sending neighbours have to do with the case but she does know there is a news story there. 

With her eccentric camera crew on hand to help, can Cora work out what happened in the days before Leanne s death? And was it really suicide after all?”

My thoughts:

Who would have thought property development could be such a deadly business?, well in this story it really is.

I enjoyed the idea of this book, it’s everyday life settings that take a dark turn and it asks the question, how far are people really willing to go to get what they want.

our lead heroine is Cora Baxter your very normal down to earth tv reporter who immediately loved she was quirky funny and honest, an instant hit.

But she has help, her on hand camera and sound crew who throughout the story provide comical relief and rally round when Cora feel like she can do no more, a true meaning of teamwork is on display through out.

I enjoyed the slight twist in the tale of this, I was so sure I had it figured out , but then I was wrong, that is a sign of a very well written, thought out story.

Our storyteller is Zara Ramm easy to listen to and told the story in such a way that it was a joy to listen, hope to hear more from her.

Although this is book three it works as a stand alone, I enjoyed this and if you like a mystery with a good plot and brilliantly written characters then I suggest you give this a go.

You can follow Jackie here: @jackiekabler

Also her website: http://www.jackiekabler.con

you can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Development-Cora-Baxter-Mysteries/dp/1783758120/ref=nodl_

The Clock Keeper – Melissa Delport

Book Blurb:

“Since the beginning of life on Earth, seven powerful families have protected time. From within their bloodlines, one person is selected every decade to make the ultimate sacrifice. 

When Anna Kennedy is selected by the Tempus Guild as the new Clock Keeper, she commits a crime so heinous that it could cause time itself to unravel. Now, it falls to her sister, Clarke, to right the wrong and restore honor to the Kennedy family. The only problem is that in order to do so she must send her best friend to his grave.”

My thoughts:

This was a wonderful wibbly wobbly, Timey wimey story.

It was so well written and fast paced. Without losing any of it’s written beauty.

The main character Clarke is a brilliant well rounded lead with an attitude of don’t cross me but with a heart of gold, and the bond with her sister Anna is so real that I actually felt sorry for the two of them.

Enter the maybe villain of this tale Fletcher I say maybe because he isn’t intentionally being mean more misguided, but I enjoyed how it all worked itself out in the end, the slight romantic element usually puts me off but it was done in such a way that it actually weaved through the story largely to me unnoticed.

The narrator for this story was Vivian Swain, did an excellent job narrating the very twisty subject of time travel, but she made it a joy to listen to and the time flew by, her pace was good and it made me invest more in some characters than I probably would have.

So if time travelling adventures are your thing or if your looking to dive into a new genre then I would give this a look and a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.com/The-Clock-Keeper/dp/B07NSBN3Q5#productDescription_secondary_view_div_1552817010960

And follow Melissa here: @melissadelport

Also her website: http://www.melissadelport.com

Terminal Breach – Steve Bradshaw

Book blurb:

An unknown invader – code name GRAY WOLF – commandeers a nuclear missile silo in North Dakota and threatens to launch a Minuteman III ICBM. The President’s only containment option is to obliterate the Midwest nuclear arsenal at a cost of millions of civilian lives.

Across the country in Key West, the world-renowned forensic sleuth Dr. Elliott Sumner is pulled into the international crisis moments after he spots a serial killer he put away for life. Elliott gets the call to examine hideously mutilated corpses found frozen solid in the wilderness. The macabre blood trail is the only way to identify GRAY WOLF, and give the President more options. Setting aside a life-threatening condition, Sumner goes to North Dakota.

Can Elliott solve the grisly international forensic puzzle, or will time run out? Can the launch of a rogue Minuteman III missile into the world be averted, or is a nuclear Armageddon the only outcome for the unimaginable terminal breach?

My thoughts:

This was an amazing thrill ride from beginning to end, a brilliant work of fiction but with an undertone of a reality that could very easily happen.

I loved the settings, I also loved the descriptions of the people and surroundings

the twists were genius, the characters were well thought out and believable

The main character dr Sumner is a fantastic lead, a brilliant forensic investigator has to battle with deadly terrorists, frozen corpses and his own personal demons, I loved how he was written as an unassuming, low key man with a brilliant mind, all the other characters compliment Sumner, everyone from the potus (president of the United States) to the lowly members of the local cops everyone was so well written and had a story of their own.

The narrator for this tale is Holly Palance, who tells the story in such a great way that I was gripped from the opening line to the closing credits and all throughout she takes you on a rollercoaster of an adventure.

if you want an adrenaline fuelled thriller of a story I highly recommend this as it will keep you hooked from start to finish.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Breach-Steve-Bradshaw-ebook/dp/B07G7DLSG1

And follow Steve @SBauthor

or on his website: http://www.stevebradshawauthor.com

Murderous Secrets – Paty Jager

Book blurb:

Book four in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series
Jealousy…Deception…Murder
The accident that took her father’s life has always haunted Shandra Higheagle. When her dreams become too real, she knows it’s time to discover the truth. It doesn’t take long to suspect her father had been murdered and that someone is unhappy with her probing.

Detective Ryan Greer knows Shandra well enough to insist he be kept informed of her investigation into the decades old death of her father. When signs implicate her mother, he can’t withhold the information, even though he realizes it could complicate their relationship. 

My thoughts:

I found this languishing in my audible library the other day, I confess I had totally forgotten about it.

But now I unearthed it, I can say I really enjoyed it.

The reach of family is never ending and this story is about trying to find answers even when everyone tries to talk you out of it.

I loved the homeliness of the main character Shandra and her tenacious way she wouldn’t let her dads death go. The locations are beautiful and picturesque.

The minor supernatural element of dreams and visions and the slant of the native Indians

the other characters were lively and interesting and I wish more stories would feature animals, even if they purely add cute value.

The narrator for this amazing whimsical tale is Zara Ramm and she does a wonderful job of weaving a magical tale, good pace and a very nice voice that’s easy to listen to.

So although this is book 4 in the series it works well as a stand alone with minor mentions to past cases, but it doesn’t effect this story, so if you want something abit different then I recommend this.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07818FBJW/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=

you can follow Paty here: @patyjag

Death in Dulwich – Alice Castle

Book blurb:

“Thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane is forced to become Dulwich’s answer to Miss Marple when she stumbles over a murder victim on her first day at work. 

To clear her name, Beth is plunged into a cozy mystery that’s a contemporary twist on Golden Age crime classics. But can she pull it off? She already has a bouncy young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of SE21.

Join Beth in #1 of the London Murder Mystery series, as she discovers the nastiest secrets can lurk in the nicest places.”

My thoughts:

If I were writing a travel guide to Dulwich it would definitely read “stunning but deadly”, I found this story a cosy crime with black undertones.

I enjoyed the premise of this book, a poor unsuspecting single mum dropped in the deep end of, at the beginning not sure what

I loved our heroine Beth a perfectly normal down to earth women who through terrible secrets and lies did her very best and shined through,

I loved all the characters each had their own quirks and quirky personalities, made me actually google Dulwich.

The plot was believable, ive never lived in a village like it but I can easily believe such things go on from the perfect privet headges to the yummy mummies all trying to get one over on each other.

I liked how it wasn’t quickly wrapped up in a neat little bow but kept you guessing all the way to the end, I like a cosy mind bender and this was defiantly a modern day Miss Marple but with less frillyness.

Our storyteller for this slice of cosy suburban mystery is Alex Lee a new name to me but one I am very keen to hear more from, told the story at a good pace and her voice is very easy to listen to, (maybe back for book two?).

If you want to give your brain and nerves a rest from bloody deaths and psychological games, I recommend this for something that little bit different.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07N1X3K2Q/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=

You can follow Alice here: @DDsDiary

Her Mother’s Daughter – Alice Fitzgerald

Book blurb:

“1980: Josephine flees her home in Ireland to start a new life in London – but can’t leave her traumatic childhood behind. 

Seventeen years and two children later, her sister calls: their mother is dying and wants to see Josephine. It’s a summons she can’t refuse…. 

1997: Ten-year-old Clare can’t wait for the summer holidays, when she will meet her grandparents in Ireland for the first time. She hopes this trip will put an end to her mum’s dark moods – and drinking. But family secrets can’t stay buried forever, and following revelations in Ireland, everything starts to unravel. Have Josephine and her daughter passed the point of no return?”

My thoughts:

Here is second review I am behind on and my tour of the uk takes me from Scotland onto England and Ireland, and this is a real heart wrencher. 

I keep having to remind myself that this is not a true story, it easily could be.

The main characters in this sorry tale are Josephine and her daughter Clare, lots of other minor rolls but this story revolves around them.

families are messy messy things and closure is a transparent and hard to grasp thing and all throughout this story, it’s something for both Josephine and Clare that seems to be just out of reach.

This might be a bit of a shorter review than normal, not because it wasn’t a good book, it was great but it was difficult subject matter with not alot of light at the end of the tunnel, I so wanted the best for all concerned, but it just never seem to happen.

The Narrator for this tale of woe is Caroline Lennon who does a fantastic job given the bleakness of the story she has to tell, the accents are spot on for every character and tells the story at a good pace.

So if you are looking for something bright and airy then this isn’t it, but don’t mishear me dear readers,for all the darkness contained with this story, the one thing I can say shines through brighter than anything is that Alice Fitzgerald and Caroline Lennon has managed to capture beautifully is the overwhelming humanity and frailty of everyone represented. A job that’s not always easy to do.

So if you want something not light and fluffy but something real then give this a listen.

you can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07HWY4KNT/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1547724634&sr=8-1

Follow Alice here: @AliceFitzWrites

Brass in pocket – Stephen Pulestone

Brassinpocket

Book Blurb:

“It is the middle of the night….

The road is deserted….

A killer is waiting….

Two traffic officers are killed on an isolated mountain pass in North Wales. Inspector Drake is called to the scene and quickly discovers a message left by the killer – traffic cones in the shape of a number four. The killer starts sending the Wales Police Service lyrics from famous rock songs. Are they messages, or is there some hidden meaning in them? Does it all mean more killings are likely?

When a politician is killed, Drake has his answer. And then the killer sends more song lyrics. Now Drake has to face the possibility of more deaths, but with numbers dominating the case, Drake has to face his own rituals and obsessions. Finally, when the killer threatens Drake and his family, he faces his greatest challenge in finding the killer before he strikes again.”

My Thoughts:

Welcome back to the grimmer side of Wales dear followers, after the last novella I was thrilled to get a full length story to wrap my ears around.

It was a joy to welcome back deep but troubled, or deeply troubled ( you decide) Inspector drake.

We find our beloved inspector embroiled in a classic baffling thriller where I was kept guessing up to the very end, I enjoyed the far reaches consequences when the ones closest to him are dragged into it.

I absolutely love a book that has an a soundtrack and this one definitely did not disappoint , some songs I new , some that I discovered through this book, I wish more books did that.

A plethora of supporting characters go all out to help Drake to solve this tricky conundrum, all well written so much so I wanted to know all their back stories.

As if things aren’t bad enough for drake when the great and the good start being killed, he finds he has to battle demons inside himself as well as outside.

The Welsh language is a beautiful guttural sounding thing all the places we visit, the names of the places, which brings me nicely onto the teller of this story, step forward Richard Elfyn, does an outstanding job of narrating this, brings every place and character to life, I could close my eyes and imagine I was watching everything that was happening.

If you want a homegrown British thriller, that takes you on a whistle stop tour of the best and worst of wales then look no further, well worth a listen.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brass-Pocket-Inspector-Drake-Mystery/dp/B07JH54YK7/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

You can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston 

 

Exit strategy – Colleen Cross

Book blurb:

Private investigator and forensic accountant Katerina Carter uncovers a sinister connection between blood diamonds and organized crime. Then two company employees are brutally murdered and her investigation becomes much more dangerous than she had ever imagined. Can she can stay alive long enough to expose the real criminals…or will her first case be her last?

My thoughts:

Legal thrillers have never been high on my listening list, but this very one may just change that,I really enjoyed this one.

From the very beginning the opening line ,the action came thick and fast, from then it just got better and better.

I found Katerina, believable and a real tryer, I loved all the close relationships, which proves there is nothing more important than family, specially in such a story.

I found the plot well written and twisty and turny, just when i thought I had a handle on the story, another twist would hit from nowhere, I enjoyed every min of it.

Every character whether a main player or minor role, I honestly loved the bad guys as much as the good.

What started life as a simple fraud case soon grew so many arms and legs,it turned into a big brilliant legal thriller spider.

The narrator for this rollercoaster was, Petrea Burchard, another new name in a increasingly long list of new and brilliant narrators I’ve heard since starting this blog, she does an excellent job, good pace and timing, wonderful accents, one to keep an ear out for.

If legal thrillers are your thing, 0r like me you are fairly new to the genre this would be a good place to start, it has action, suspense and action and a class story as well.

you can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Exit-Strategy-Katerina-Carter-Thriller/dp/B07HZJTNNL/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542794179&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=exit+strategy+colleen+cross&dpPl=1&dpID=51RXhUkV30L&ref=plSrch

You can follow Colleen here: @colleenxcross

and petrea: @petreaburchard

(Blog Tour) Dead in Venice – Fiona Leitch

book blurb:

“Bella Tyson is a famous 40-something crime writer suffering from writer’s block ever since a bitter divorce two years before. When a fan offers her the use of an apartment in Venice, Bella jumps at it, hoping a change of scene will have her writing again. Once there, she soon meets Will, a charming Englishman, who shows her around the city.

Enchanted by both Will and her new surroundings, Bella decides to write a supernatural murder mystery and begins researching local legends and the city’s more sinister side, including an illicit visit to the island of Poveglia, spooky former home of Venice’s asylum. Soon Bella uncovers more than she has bargained for and finds herself enmeshed in a series of gruesome real-life murders that uncannily mirror the legends she is researching.

As she and Will join forces to investigate, real life and local lore merge disconcertingly – for nothing in Venice turns out to be what seems, including Will….”

My thoughts:

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have not laughed so much from the get to at a book for a very long time.

I loved the two lead character Bella, quirky and so believable and Will cloaked in mystery, but as the story is told I enjoyed learning more about him.

The different genres all contained within the one story was inspired, the subtle mix of romance,supernatural, crime and mystery.

The incidental characters were just as important and well written as the main ones.

I found this story beautifully weaved like a fine tapestry with a thread that starts bright and gets darker with time.

The narrator for this fantastic tale is Deryn Edwards a new narrator to my ears, but one I definitely want to hear more from her.

This is one of my favourite listens of 2018, and I eagerly await my next listen from Fiona Leitch and Deryn Edwards.

So if you want a great story and an easy listen, then I highly recommend this.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Venice-Crime-Grant-Finalist/dp/B07FPQ8KND

Here is the lady herself.

Devils Kitchen – Stephen Puleston

Book blurb:

“When two bodies are found sprawled at the bottom of the Devil’s Kitchen in the mountains of Snowdonia, it looks like a murders/suicide. But something doesn’t feel right to Detective Inspector Ian Drake and his gut instinct has never let him down before.

Drake suspects at least one of the deaths could be suspicious, but who would kill such an ordinary couple and why? This might be Drake’s first murder inquiry, but his years as a detective have taught him one thing – every murder has a motive, and every killer leaves a trace.”

My thoughts:

Coming into this not having listened to any previous stories, it was great to go back to the very beginning and find out how it all began for Drake.

There is something about stories set in Wales , the accent ,the scenery it just makes crimes seem that little bit grittier.

Drake for me is tenacious,like a puppy with a stick ,not prepared to leave anything unchecked to find the answer to the case, when everyone else is telling him to close it. I can see his tenacity only getting stronger.

I loved the descriptions of the scenes, the names of the towns, I can could never hope to pronounce but i really want to visit,

The supporting cast of characters were brilliantly written and complemented/annoyed drake in a believable way, Drake himself the well groomed, fussy cop, did he keep himself well groomed because he wanted to or was to hide deeper feelings, maybe more will be revealed in later books.

The voice behind this fine tale is Richard Elfyn and he does the story absolute justice, great pace and keeps things interesting the whole time.

Despite this book is only two hours twenty one minutes long, it holds nothing back from the very beginning to the end.

In all honesty I loved this, I loved the writing style, none of the characters annoyed me, if your looking for a new series to start, then definitely start this.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devils-Kitchen-Inspector-Prequel-Novella-ebook/dp/B01DOB25I6/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539976466&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=devils+kitchen+stephen+puleston&dpPl=1&dpID=518s7N5OoPL&ref=plSrch

You can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston

Fallout – Karla Forbes

Book Blurb:

The British government is being blackmailed by criminals who got their hands on a quantity of plutonium left over from the Cold War. There is only one man who knows their identity and can prevent a disaster, but he is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit and has no intention of being found. 
As the authorities attempt to track him down, the clock is ticking, and they are running out of time. They pin their hopes on the fact that a bunch of amateurs won’t have nuclear technology and the worst they will manage is a dirty bomb. After all, everyone knows they aren’t really that dangerous.
People run away from the explosion, and the radiation drifts harmlessly into the atmosphere. But suppose you could change that? What if the terrorists had found a way to keep the radiation near to the ground, encourage people to hang around breathing in death, and when you invite them to their own slaughter, they come willingly? They would be dangerous then…wouldn’t they?

My Thoughts:

This came to me through a Facebook giveaway and I’m so glad I decided to give it a go.

This was an action adventure from the very first word to the last, a rollercoaster ride with the occasional glint of humour which only made the good,better.

At 10 hours 38 mins it seems a long book but the pace of the story it skips along quite the thing.

the lead character nick Sullivan is a cocky yet honest man who knows what he wants and goes and gets it

The villains remind me of baddies from an old fashioned action adventure film,everything was there apart from twirling moustaches and laughing.

I found the story believable and quite scary because in today’s day and age this could very well happen, sometimes fiction is more shocking than real life.

The narrator for this ride is Craig Bowles, only slight criticism I have is, at first I found his voice a-bit monotone but as the story went on I got used to it and enjoyed it.

As an opening story in a new series it was brilliant, I eagerly await book two, if you want a good fast paced adventure then give this a go.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallout-first-Sullivan-thriller-thrillers-ebook/dp/B07CWHV2T7/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1539370393&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=karla+forbes&dpPl=1&dpID=51bYS8MbpsL&ref=plSrch

You can follow Karla here: @karlaforbes

Morton – Erik Therme

Mortom

Book blurb:

Mortom: population 986. On the outskirts of town, 33-year-old Craig Moore is found drowned in the lake. A loner and town eccentric, few attend the funeral.

One week later Andy Crowl arrives in Mortom, still stunned by his cousin’s death and equally confused why everything was left to him. The two hadn’t spoken in years and shared little outside of fierce childhood competition.

But Craig hardly did him a favor. The estate amounts to little more than a drained bank account and a property overridden with junk. When Andy finds a dead rat under the refrigerator with a key in its mouth, he thinks it’s some sort of sick joke. Then he finds the letter left by Craig, written two days before his death … detailing the rules of “the game.”

My thoughts:

I absolutely loved this, a good old mystery thriller, not so much a who dunnit, but a why’d they do it.
The main characters of this twisty tale are Andy and his sister Kate, both well written and well rounded, I could believe they were actual people.

I am a big fan of geocaching (see link below for more info) so I love a good treasure hunt, and this one was one you would not forget for a long time. I loved the cryptic clues that made up the hunt, I enjoyed the way Andy didn’t just solve it straight away, it was all very well paced.

The descriptions of the house, the town and the various clues and location’s were all written as if a photograph was being held up in front of your eyes. I could often close my eyes and picture Andy’s surroundings vividly.

Even the minor characters who appeared sporadically fleshed out the story and added to the mystery and suspense.

The narrator for this twisty treasure hunt is Christopher Lane, he did an excellent job and kept the story ticking along with the right amount of emotion and pace.

If you want a classic mystery with a treasure hunt then I can’t recommend this enough. I enjoyed everything about it.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mortom/dp/B07DVWSDD8/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

You can follow Erik on Twitter: @eriktherme

or his website: http://www.eriktherme.com

You can learn about geocaching here: http://www.geocaching.com

Sticky Fingers – JT Lawrence

stickyfingers

 

Book Blurb:

“Diverse, dark-humored, and deliciously bite-sized, this compelling collection of 12 short stories by JT Lawrence include:

“Escape” – A story about about a suicidal baby who knows he was born into the wrong life, and has to get creative to correct the mistake, much to his mother’s horror.

“The Itch” – An intense, uncontrollable, unexplainable itch lands the protagonist in a mental institution.

“Bridge Gate” – In this poignant and charming short story, a daughter yearns to connect with her absent father through the letters they exchange. She’s not put off by his pedantic corrections of her writing, despite the slow reveal that he is less than perfect himself.

“The Unsuspecting Gold-Digger” – A woman gradually poisons her husband so that she doesn’t have to break his heart.”

 

My Thoughts:

Welcome to my quick review of these 12 short stories, the title alone conjures up images that the stories contained within do their best to play on. If your expecting sunshine and normality then turn around and go back the way you came, this little lot takes a road straight down route strange.

Each one of these oddities played with a different part of my mind and psychy. I enjoyed how they each dealt with a totally different subject, not knowing what you were going to get next.

I do enjoy the writing style of JT Lawrence, having read several of her other books the writing remains strong.

The storyteller for this plethora of randomness is Bianca Flanders, who’s style of reading drips like pure bliss.

If you want something refreshingly strange then this is one I recommend and have just discovered there is another two collections which I am looking forward to

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sticky-Fingers-12-Short-Stories/dp/B075V81J4L/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1529916586&sr=1-6

her website is: http://www.jt-lawrence.com

 

(BLOG TOUR) All The Little Children – Jo Furniss

All The Little Children Cover

Book Blurb:

When a family camping trip takes a dark turn, how far will one mother go to keep her family safe?

Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.

Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.

When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?”

My Thoughts:

Welcome one and all to my stop on this tour for ‘All The Little Children’ by the brilliant Jo Furniss.

Be prepared for a non stop ride from start to finish; thrills, mystery and in the end a story about family, no matter what.

There are no fuzzy introductions, no back story to ease you in, you are dropped in the deep end. Despite the ubrupt beginning I found the story quickly established itsself. The main character Marlene Greene handles being flung into a post apocalyptic world the way any of us probably would, by any means nessesery. There are lots of children in this story and I liked how this didn’t shy away from difficult situations and the outcome of them.

If you like descriptive stories then this has enough for all of you, I like listening and watching the story in my head and well described scenes such as the ones found here make it a joy.

The narrator for this fine tale is Fiona Hardingham, a new name to me but gave each character life, both young and old. With great voice distinction you soon got to know each character like they were sitting with you.

My only wish would be to know a bit more of the back story of the main characters, but if that’s all I have then I cannot complain.

It has been great to be a part of this tour, so if you are wanting to experience the apocalypse from a slightly different angle then this will definitely be one for you.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Little-Children-Jo-Furniss-ebook/dp/B01MR8641A

You can follow Jo Furniss here: @Jo_Furniss

Jo Furniss website: http://www.jofurniss.com

Jo Furniss

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the
glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the
UK, she lived in Switzerland and Cameroon, and currently resides with her family in
Singapore.
As a journalist, Jo has worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including
Monocle, The Economist, Business Traveller, Expat Living (Singapore) and Swiss News. Jo
has also edited books for a Nobel Laureate and the Palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has
a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University. In 2015 she founded
http://www.SWAGlit.com—an online literary magazine for writers in Singapore.

All The Little Children B T Poster Final

Random ThingsTours FB Header

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

readyplayerone

 

Book Blurb:

“Imagine a dystopian future where citizens are forced to live in a virtual reality just to escape the unsettling state of the present. Narrated by actor Will Wheaton, this thrilling story is a fast-paced adventure that pits thousands of desperate members of humanity against each other in the ultimate race for the winning prize.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And, like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who died with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late 20th century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

Narrator Wil Wheaton is an American actor and writer best known for his role as Wesley Crusher in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for playing Gordie Lachance in the film Stand By Me. More recently, he has appeared in several episodes of the TV series The Big Bang Theory as himself.”

 

My Thoughts:

Well ladies and gentlemen get comfy in your haptic chairs, put on your visor and get ready for a rewind to the 80’s, that you will remember for a very long time.

I was born in 1981 so growing up I missed most of the best things of the 80’s but listening to this it makes me want to step back in time. And through this story you can re-live some classic moments.

I loved Wade, the unlikly hero of our tale, as he realises the enormity of his situation he faces a number of interesting and retro tasks he seems well suited for.

I loved all the 80’s references some I got, like the Atari 2600 (I had one), Commodore 64, Douglas Adams, Monty Python, all which I loved and still do, some good things just never leave you.

There was alot of detail in this 15 hour epic, each glorious hour was a crossroads where past and the future regulary had near miss collisions.

As with all good sci-fi stories there is a faceless evil organisation trying to get everything for itself, and I was concerned that sometimes they could have.

It’s funny how competition can bring the best and worst out in people, and as Wade and his new friends forge ahead with the ultimate quest, things inevitably get in the way.

The line between reality and virtual reality keep a healthy distance from each other, online you can be whoever you want, but is it who you really are?

Will Wheaton narrates this brilliant book, the young ensign crusher has come along way from the bridge of the enterprise, a great storyteller.

This was a brilliant audiobook, fantastic detail, narration and writing, I wait eagerly now to see the movie, hoping it will live up to what I have heard.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ready-Player-One/dp/B007ROETX6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528349270&sr=8-1&keywords=ready+player+one+book

You can Follow Ernest Here: @erniecline

and his website is: http://www.ernestcline.com

The Tiger Temple,The Hiram Kane Adventure Series Book 1 – Steven Moore

Book blurb:

A betrayed criminal. A kidnapped child. A deadly race against time.

On the Island of the Gods, expedition leader Hiram Kane is on holiday after a long season guiding in the Peruvian Andes.

When a good friend’s greed leads him to betray Bali’s most notorious gangster, their peaceful community is left shell-shocked after the six-year-old daughter of its leader gets kidnapped in a vicious and violent raid.

What follows is a whirlwind race across the paradise island to rescue the girl before “The Rooster” takes his sadistic revenge, and with the waking giant of volcanic Mt. Agung threatening to destroy them all, Kane risks everything to prevent a devastating tragedy.

The Tiger Temple is the exciting new starter to the Hiram Kane adventure series. For fans of Russell Blake and Clive Cussler, Steven Moore’s action thriller will leave you breathless. “

My thoughts:

If you want to explore forgien lands, track down and defeat the forces of evil, all without leaving your house then this series is for you.

Meet mild manared adventurer Hiram Kane, expert guide for all things outdoors. While he never seems to actively search for danger, it always ends up finding him.

Set in the beautiful island of Bali, which is one of the many places I would love to visit one day. The descriptions of the countryside and urban area’s were enthrawling, I could close my eyes as I listened and I could see everything in my mind in glorious 4k. Such is the brilliant detail of the author and the storytelling of the narrator.

Before I get on to the narrator I want to say more about this story, the characters were well rounded even the ones that only made fleeting appearances. The good characters left me feeling warm and fuzzy like a summer Bali evening and the bad ones left me feeling angry and wishing all manner of bad things to befall them.

Even though it only runs for 3 hours 18 mins in length, you would be hard pushed to find more action and thrills stuffed into such a small box of time, well paced and left me chasing my breath when it was all said and done.

The narrator for this action packed tale is Kenneth Bryant, his voice fits the story superbly, told at a good pace, this is one narrator I can definatly listen to again.

So if you are looking for an explosive thrill ride set in exotic lands, then I can highly reccomend this. As the opener to what is garunteed to be a great series, dive in, you know you want to.

You can buy it here:

You can follow Steven Moore here: @StevenScribe

Or his website: http://www.stevenmooreauthor.com

******************

And you can follow Kenneth Bryant here: @kennethbryant67

Or his website: http://www.kennethbryantvoicetalent.com

The book launch of Presumed Dead by Mason Cross 18.4.18

A warm welcome dear readers to a quick review of tonight’s (18.4.18) event, with Mr Mason Cross.

The man of mystery was in town to launch book 5 of the brilliant Carter Blake series, a fun night.

Tonight was compered by another well known Scottish author Douglas Skelton who pulled no punches when it came to the quick fire questions he directed at Mason, with great stories and anicdotes each question was answered with honesty and humour.

To quote Douglas,”If he thinks he’s just sitting basking in the limelight…” Mason then had a quiz round to deal with, 2 categories; his top 10 places for a book to be set and his top 10 detectives. Unfortunately neither round went terribly well.

Then to round off the night, the questions were opened up to the audience, a few good questions were asked and answered, such as “if you stopped writing Carter Blake what writer would you like to continue it for you.”. Mason suggested Skelton could pick up the story, nut Skelton was complimentary dubious that he could live up to the style.

All in all an insightful night, with Mason and Douglas on top form, a laugh never far away, if you ever get the chance to hear either or both of these fine home grown author’s , I would highly recommend it.

You can buy presumed Dead here:

Also follow Mason Cross: @MasonCrossBooks

http://www.masoncross.net

Also Douglas Skelton: @DouglasSkelton1

http://www.douglasskelton.com

Shrouds Of a Darkness – Brock Deskins

Book blurb:

 “Leo Malone: Vampire, body guard, Private detective, and all around pain in the ass is hired to find a client’s father who has gone missing, but not only is the missing man an accountant for the mob, he is a full-blooded werewolf.

What seems to be a simple case of a werewolf run amok turns into a massive conspiracy that threatens to reveal the existence of both species as the brutally dismembered bodies of humans begin turning up all around Brooklyn.
Leo quickly finds himself embroiled in fights between werewolves, vampires, the mafia, and the local police. Luckily, violence is what Leo knows best.”

 My thoughts:


I absolutely loved this, having not listened to a good vampire vs werewolf for a while I went in a little wary. I thought I was going to get the audible equivalent of the Twilight Saga, thankfully I was wrong, and this review can continue.
The central character is vampire P.I. Leo Malone, he is everything a private investigator who doesn’t care should be; brash, over confident and kick ass. The plot of the story is nicely paced and the character’s gel nicely, the good, the bad and the ugly.

The level of violence is what I expected but death is dealt out in a classy and final manner from very personalised weaponry to little things that make a big bang.

Our storyteller for this adventure is Steven Jay Cohen, I really enjoyed his narrative style, he told the story with fantastic drama in all the right places.

If you want a bit of vampire fun and to escape real life for a while, I would recommend you give this a go.

You can find it here:

Also you can follow Brock Deskins here: @BrockDeskins 

Also his website for his other great work: http://www.brockdeskins.com

Will To Live – Rachel Amphlett

Book Blurb:

Reputation is everything.

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as “Suicide Mile”, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realizes the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realizes the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him….

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future….”

My Thoughts:

Welcome back to book two in this thrilling five book series in the ongoing life of Detective Kay Hunter.

Coming into book two we find Kay still in the police and still on the hunt.

The story of this one revolves around trains and railways, I have learned so much about railway lines since listening to this, who said audio books aren’t educational?

I was immediately swept along on this tale as Kay and the team try and figure out why people are dying on the rails, but as in book one Kay’s past is never far behind her.

The progression of Kay as a detective grows as this series progresses and it is believable and exciting to follow.

It’s the same with the other key players on the team, although you don’t find out much more about them, you can feel them growing as people, which I enjoy.

I love the mind of the killers in this series so far, being scared to death, then being run over by trains. I never want to meet these people at night or during the day. What does it say about the mind of the author? The mind boggles and shivers slightly.

Narration is brought to us again by the brilliant Alison Campbell who does this series no end of good with her easy to listen to style.

Another cracker of a thriller, if you are not on board with this series yet, you have no excuse, the more I listen, the better it gets.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Will-Live-Detective-detective-thriller-ebook/dp/B06XZHB17C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1522961537&sr=1-1&keywords=will+to+live

You can follow Rachel here: @RachelAmphlett

And her website is: http://www.rachelamphlett.com

How I lose you – Kate McNaughton

Book blurb:

“When Eva and Adam fall into bed one Friday night, tired and happy after drinks with friends, they have their whole lives ahead of them. But their story ends on page twelve.

That’s no reason to stop reading though, because How I Lose You is a story told backwards – and it’s all the more warm, tender and moving because we know it is going to be interrupted. It’s a story Eva thought she knew – but as you and she will discover, it’s not just the ending of the story that she got wrong.”

My thoughts :

It is my pleasure to welcome Kate McNaughton to my blog and her debut novel “How I lose you”.

Where do I begin, there was so much packed into this 11 hour story, I have so many thoughts, I will try and make sense of them for you all.

First of all this story doesn’t play out in the normal way of beginning, the middle and the end.

Instead this turns everything on it’s head and tells you events from a point in time somewhere near the middle and goes backwards, this was a brilliant piece of writing.

The two characters, Adam and Eva, seemed so real I have to remind myself this is just a fictional story. Eva I immediately could get behind, Adam at first I found whiney and annoying but he slowly grew on me.

The story jumped between present and past frequently but it was easy to follow and didn’t leave me lost. This book shows how you think you know family, till you find out the truth.

In the same way I really enjoyed the past/present moves I also found the descriptions of London and later Berlin where the majority of Eva’s story takes place.

And speaking of Berlin, brings me nicely onto the teller of this amazing tale, Jessica Ball I found her narrative mesmerising I could close my eyes and in my mind picture everything she was describing, also she did a very good German accent, look forward to hearing more from her.

An all round amazing listen and a fantastic debut, easily one of my favourites of 2018, can’t wait to see what is to follow.

You can find it here : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07B1HNRXQ/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1522042707&sr=8-1

You can follow her on Twitter here : @katemcnaughton

Scared To Death – Rachel Amphlett

Book blurb:

 “If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully.” 

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong. 
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession. 
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realized. 
With her career in jeopardy – desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life. 
For the killer, the game has only just begun…. 
Scared to Death is the first book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…. “

My thoughts:

Here begins the first of a five book series, where we meet Detective Kay Hunter.

I had seen the name Rachel Amphlett around but had never read any of her books, when I was contacted through twitter giving me the opportunity to review this series I jumped at the chance.

I really enjoyed the story of this first one, the concept of not simply dying but being scared to death intrigued my imagination.

We find Kay Hunter dealing with several things while still trying to be a detective. With her past still hanging darkly over her head, Kay throws herself headlong into solving this case.

The story kept me guessing, it was not till near the very end I finally worked it out, a feature I always like.

Each of the characters fit together like a perfect jigsaw, I felt an immediate connection with Kay and her husband. It was an emotional roller-coaster for all the characters, the victims, the kidnappers and for me.

The narrator for this first book is Alison Campbell, if I am honest, at first her voice felt a bit monotonous, but give it time, she quickly settles in and she tells a great story.

I welcome you all to the entrance of the world of Detective Kay Hunter, a brilliant introduction to a series I feel I’m going to really enjoy, I’ll see you all after book two.

You can find it here:

You can follow Rachel here: @RachelAmphlett 

Website: http://www.rachelamphlett.com

The stolen child – Sanjida Kay

Book blurb:

Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie. In the days following Evie’s birth the new parents watch anxiously as their precious daughter struggles – she is battling the severe effects of the drugs her birth mother was addicted to.

Seven years later, the family has moved to Zoe’s native Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben, conceived naturally against the odds. Ollie is earning good money allowing Zoe to pursue her career as an artist. As a working mum it’s not easy, but Zoe has an exhibition coming up and her reputation is growing. Life is good.

But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts. The sender claims to be her birth father. He has been looking for his daughter. And now he is coming to take her back….”

My Thoughts:

After a couple of audible resets a few hours in, i am happy to say i finally got to listen to this in its entirety and what a story i was.
I was immediately drawn into this family’s story,first the shiny look of domestic bliss then the scene is shattered and Zoe and Ollie to through something no family should have to face, their daughter goes missing.

Right from the outset i found myself invested in Zoe her brutally honest and frustrated search for answers,putting equal amounts of energy into protecting her remaining child while desperately searching for her lost one.

Her husband Ollie i really didn’t take to at all at first, his lack of interest in family life, his must work attitude I felt his heart was In the right place, even if his actions were not, but has the story progressed my understanding of him grew and slowly he grew on me.

The writing style was in such a way that even though I had never been to Ealing in Yorkshire i felt i knew the place and could picture the scenes and places as the story unfolded.

The narrator here was Helen Johns who did an excellent job of telling this story, each character came to life in my mind.

If you haven’t listened to this yet, I highly recommend it,nothing like a bit of home grown uk psychological thriller ,you won’t be disappointed.

You can find it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Stolen-Child/dp/B01N39USAO/ref=la_B019E7380S_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521012308&sr=1-1&refinements=p_82%3AB019E7380S%2Cp_n_binding_browse-bin%3A308724031
You can follow her on Twitter: @sanjidakay
And her website is: http://www.sanjida.co.uk

Dig 2 Graves – Keith Nixon

Book blurb:

Was it suicide… or murder? When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son, Tom, would’ve been, had he not gone missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

With his boss, Detective Inspector Yvonne Hamson, Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. An investigator from the Met is called in to assist, setting the local police on edge. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’s old church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next.

Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons. Crippled by loss but determined to find the truth, Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption.

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark detective thriller. “Dig Two Graves” is the first book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James. “

My Thoughts:

Sorry this has taken so long everyone, but this was my first review not on Audible,but on mp3 format,so it took longer to get it to where i could listen to it.

But thankfully it was worth the wait, the story of an off the rails cop trying to solve the demons of the past while juggling the present.

I always enjoy a cop who’s humanity shines through the story no matter what is going on round about him, and Solomon Gray is the best I’ve heard so far.

I love a story set in Britain,specially somewhere I have never been,one day I want to visit Margate.

The grittyness seeps out this book from every pore, from a seeming suicide and the begging to the final notes trail off at the end, the tension tightens like a noise and refuses to let go.

Solomon Gray, a walking self destruction is a believable, rough edged character,shaped by his past while trying to navigate his present but not always getting there.

His boss DI Yvonne Hamson,I found half liking her ,half not the lines between boss and friendship regularly being blurred.

The teller of this fine tale was a new name to me, Ben Onwukwe his voice so gritty, gives an edge so sharp that if you get too close, you could cut yourself.

I really enjoyed the brief flashes back to the past which gave glimpses of what brought Gray to where he is today.

So if you are looking for a home grown Brittish crime then I point you towards this dear readers and listener’s, I really hope to hear more from Gray and the team.

You can buy it here:

You Can Follow Keith On Twitter: @knntom

And His Website: http://www.keithnixon.co.uk

#BlogTour Dark Harvest – Chris Patchell

Book blurb:

“The deaths of innocents, the birth of evil…

When a single-mother-to-be goes missing on a snowy Seattle night, the investigators at the Holt Foundation fear that the police have zeroed in on the wrong suspect. With the baby’s due date weeks away, two lives hang in the balance as the harrowing search for the missing woman unfolds.

For single-mother Marissa Rooney, the case feels personal. With her own daughter still recovering from the trauma of being kidnapped, Marissa is torn between trying to help her daughter recover and her growing responsibilities at the foundation. Her fragile new relationship with the scarred widower, Seth Crawford, adds another layer of complication to an already difficult situation.

Then a second pregnant woman goes missing.

As the Holt Foundation’s chief investigator, Seth desperately races to unravel the threads linking the two missing women and their babies. His success or failure could mean the difference between life or death for another innocent woman and her unborn child. Then a chilling clue surfaces, revealing a sinister motive behind the crime. With time running out, Marissa has a secret of her own that could make her the target of a madman and throw all their lives into jeopardy.

Entangled in the roots of a growing madness, Seth and Marissa are in a race against time to stop a killer before he can reap his dark harvest…

My thoughts :

Well, welcome back to book two of two dear readers and listeners alike.

As this story opens, we find the Holt Foundation getting its first case without Elizabeth at the helm, her son now in charge.

I feel this one started as strongly as the last one ended,the progression of the characters stable and believable.

I can only imagine being pregnant is hard enough, but when you are taken for your babies gene’s to be harvested for someone else’e gain that just makes things so much more complicated.

I wouldn’t have said straight away the doctor that the doctor was evil, not at first,he was simply trying to help himself and help his mind not melt away.

He of course doesn’t do his own dirty work, enter the mysterious redhead nurse, who I am glad to see is very human, she develops a concsious.

The more I listen, the more the character of Marissa grows on me and since the last book her daughter is falling apart, but Marissa juggles it all beautifully.

All the characters evolve in such a way that it was easy to follow.

Returning for an encore on the narration front it is Lisa stathopolis and Corey Gagne, again they provide brilliant story telling and keep the quality high.

All in all these are 2 books in a great series, I am hoping there is a third, I Am sure I am not alone.

You can buy it here:

#BlogTour In The Dark – Chris Patchell

Audible In the Dark

Book Blurb:

“Marissa Rooney stands in her daughter’s empty dorm room, a half-used vial of insulin clutched in her trembling hand. Brooke has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. And if Marissa has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not.

But Marissa isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from her past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…In the dark”

My Thoughts:

After reading the description of this book I was hooked, welcome to book one of two.

The story is loaded with atmosphere from the word go, I wanted to keep listening as every turn something even more sinister happened.

Marissa’s life as a busy working single mom with two teenage daughters, takes a dark twist as the older of the two disappears, and if that wasn’t bad enough the medication she needs she doesn’t have, Marissa’s life falls out from under her feet.

I loved how the author squeezed every bit of life out of the characters, I felt every emotion along with Marissa and her family as she frantically searched for her missing child as the shadow of the past reached closer with every chapter.

It’s soon all hands on deck as the police follow leads to find the missing girl, I really enjoyed that it wasn’t solved and tied in a neat little bow really quickly. Many times I thought “oh they have it solved”, then something else would send things in a totally different direction.

Into the story enters Elizabeth Holt, founder of the Holt foundation alongwith her Son. They pull together resources, and through various circumstances Marissa soon gets on board.

The two narrators for this are, Lisa Stathoplos and Corey Gagne, each play their part excellently and together they make the story complete.

As far as openers for a series go I really enjoyed this one, I will talk to you again in a few days when I review book two.

you can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Holt-Foundation-Story-Book-ebook/dp/B00YNKHFI8

You can follow Chris Patchell here: @chris_patchell

Dead End – Kandy Monroe

deadend

Book Blurb:

“Jenny Duncan works the evening shift at the local shop in the town of Lillington in the Midlands, UK. On Guy Fawkes night, during the bonfire celebrations, a virus sweeps through the town. Jenny finds herself trapped with three customers as the infected attack anyone they can find outside.

Then the dead start to rise, the power and communications are cut off, and a fire breaks out in a building nearby. The group of survivors must find a way out if they are to reach their families and safety.

It soon becomes apparent the virus has gone global, and safety is a difficult thing to find. The group must work together if they are to survive.

Dead End is the story of ordinary people living in the UK, with no special skills, trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. This is book one in the Dead End series.”

My Thoughts:

A wee short one on the blog today. I received this book through an opportunity on facebook and I am glad to say I was not disappointed.

Think of every good or half decent zombie movie and b-movie and this is the audiobook version of all of those.

I love a story where normal plucky everyday people show and excel in a less than everyday situation.

Yes it’s a well worn topic of the zombie apocalypse, but I found this one nearly believable which made it so much more enjoyable. The jumble of characters and personalities worked well together, once again proving the power of the human spirit in the most dire of circumstances.

The night starts like any other for Jenny, in her wee local shop, but its clear everything is not OK. Events in the story move along at a nice pace not to slow and not too quickly.

The narrator for this tale was Jacqueline Nym, another new name for me, she told the story well, I’d be interested to hear her do different styles of story.

If you want a good old zombie romp with nods too the classic b movie zombie apocalypse then give this a listen.

You can follow Kandy Monroe here: @Kady_Monroe_1 

You can buy it here:

 

#BlogTour# Meeting Lydia – Linda MacDonald

Meeting Lydia Audio

First off i am honoured to be included on the blog tour.

This was definitely outside my usual genre, I normally listen to crime and psychological Thrillers, so this was a welcome relief.

I feel like I was a fly on the wall in this story, it felt so real and life like, the scenes ran in my head like a mental film. I loved how I could picture it all taking place.

I felt for the main character Marianne from beginning right to the end, recounting stories from her past and experiences both good and bad. She lived the life we’ve all had at one time or another. Everyone can relate to school bullies unfortunately. All the other characters all fit in beautifully creating a well rounded and heartfelt story. I also really enjoyed how every other character fitted in perfectly.

The Narrator for this was, Harriet Carmichael, gave this story a beautiful voice, and  I would happily  listen to another narrated by her. You can find out more about Harriet below.

If you would like a change from your usual genre then this lighthearted yet emotional story is a great one.

You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meeting-Lydia/dp/B01MXKO1BW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517251236&sr=8-1&keywords=meeting+lydia

You can find all about Harriet Carmichael here: About the Narrator

You can follow Linda MacDonald on Twitter here: 

Meeting Lydia Blog Tour Poster

 

 

The Escape – C.L Taylor

CLTAYlOR

 

Book Blurb:

“When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift, she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name; she knows her husband, Max, and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two-year-old daughter, Elise. What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – run. ”

 

My Thoughts:

Having read the previous two books and loved them, this was my first audiobook of her’s , and let me tell you that it did not disappoint.

I loved the story of this one and how it really makes you question the everyday, the people you meet, the people you trust.

C.L Taylor has a brilliant way of bringing to life the fears and doubts we think about and the dark and private ones we don’t.

How well do we know our husband/wife? poor Jo clearly didn’t.

I love how this very sinister situation could easily happen to someone, even you it’s a terrifying look at real life dancing with fiction.

The narrator for this journey is Katie Scarfe, another new name but I liked her steady delivery and she keeps the story rumbling along nicely.

I do have this in paperback as well but if you have never taken the plunge with C.L Taylor or an audiobook then I would recommend this as a place to start.

You can find it here:

You can follow C.L Taylor on twitter here: @callytaylor

Also find out more at her website here: https://cltaylorauthor.com/

Why You Were Taken (When Tomorrow Calls, Book 1) – J.T Lawrence

whyyouweretaken

 

Book Blurb:

“In tomorrow’s world prowls a creative and ruthlessly efficient assassin who won’t stop until Kirsten is killed.

A troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning and a key and is later found dead. Was the woman just another victim of the Suicide Contagion, or is there something more sinister at play? The key leads Kirsten to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people – and her barcode is on it.

Edgy and original, Why You Were Taken is a dark cinematic thriller that will keep you guessing till the last.”

 

My Thoughts:

This was the first book I have listened to that’s set in South Africa and what a picture it painted… sure, it’s set in the far future but it still sounds like a brilliant place.

I do love all things Sci-fi and futuristic so this was right up my cyber ally, the sights the sounds, it was all very visual I loved it.

The story portrays poor Kate, thrust into a world of belief, family, murder and mystery. It all starts with a warning from a troubled women and spirals from there. I was hanging on each twist wanting to know what happens next.

Two timelines run throughout this story which may put some people off trying to follow it, but trust me it’s really easy and the two timelines give even more meat to the story.

All the various characters who appear in this story are all strong and believable, if I was ever in this situation I know I would like the good ones in this story on my side.

The teller of this story is Roshina Ratnam, a new voice to me but one i could happily listen to again, she has a nice flow and is not in your face and she doesn’t try to be something she isn’t.

If I had to sum this book up in three words, it would be “gritty, visual and brilliant”, if you like cyberpunk thrillers or just thrillers then give this one a listen.

You can Find it here:

 

You can find out more about JT Lawrence here: https://jt-lawrence.com/

Also follow her on Twitter here: @pulpbooks

The Silent Child – Sarah A. Denzil

silentchild

Book Blurb:

Winner of Audible’s 2017 Narrator of the Year Award

Introducing Audible’s Thriller of the Year: Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil, performed by Joanne Froggatt.

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned. His body was never recovered. Ten years later Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and in control again…until Aiden returns.

Too traumatised to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Where has he been? What happened to him on that rainy afternoon? And now that he’s back, whom can he trust?

At Audible we love listening to crime books. But every so often one comes along that we think is truly special. An Amazon Kindle number one best-seller, Sarah A. Denzil’s Silent Child is taking Audible HQ by storm. In an Audible Exclusive production, Joanne Froggatt (Mrs Bates, Downton Abbey) delivers a powerhouse performance that will keep you gripped until the very last second.”

 

My Thoughts:

I know I said the last one was my last review of 2017 but I couldn’t let this one slip by. I am not sure if even the greatest reviewer could do this justice, I absolutely loved it.

The intensity of the characters, the suspense attached to each one sustained right to the very end. The story twists and turns like a eerie unmarked forrest trail, I can see why it won Thriller of the year.

Nearly every second of it was believable up until near the very end, I’m not sure how much fighting a heavily pregnant women could realistically do, but when in that situation perhaps she could.

I thought although Aiden didn’t say anything, he spoke volumes throughout, just goes to show you don’t need words to make a statement.

The narrator is Joanne Froggatt, best known for her role as Mrs Bates in that well loved TV show Downton Abbey, she does an excellent job of this narration the suspense just keeps going, it was wound up all the way from beginning to end. Definitely look forward to hearing her narrate more.

This is one going straight in my top 3 of 2017, if you haven’t given this a chance I couldn’t recommend it highly enough, brilliant all round.

You can buy it here:

 

Follow Joanne Froggatt here: @JoFroggatt

Ghostly Tales: An Audible Christmas Gift

ghostlytales

Book Blurb:

“The days are getting colder, the nights are getting longer, and as Christmas approaches the time is high for some ghostly tales. As an exclusive gift for Audible members, settle down, snuggle up and listen to four chilling ghost stories, read by Simon Callow. Four great stories, one master storyteller – what could be simpler than that?

Also featuring Sally Phillips, John Banks and Dan Starkey, this exclusive recording includes ‘Between the Lights’ by E.F. Benson, ‘A Strange Christmas Game’ by J.H. Riddell, ‘Was It an Illusion’ by Emelia B. Edwards and ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens.”

My Thoughts:

With Christmas just round the corner, a wee review before the big day. This little early present had dropped into my email inbox, as it has been such a great year to be an audible member they wanted to share their happiness.

This delightfully scary collection expertly narrated by the great Simon Callow, is a great way to frighten your way into this years festivities.

Containing four very different tales of christmas terror, between ‘The Lights’, ‘A Strange Christmas Game’, ‘Was It An Illusion’ and finally, ‘The Signalman’.

As I said, not one of the stories is the same, each taking your imagination to a different time, place and people. The ghosts… some are obvious, but most leave you wondering “…was it really there?”. These are the type of stories I enjoy most, doubting your own eyes, mind and sanity, best way to occupy a dark wintry evening.

If you like a bit of a fright stepping into Christmas I thoroughly recommend this four story bundle.

So with that I wish all my followers a fantastic Christmas and New Year celebrations, and I look forward to discovering more brilliant audiobooks with you in 2018.

You can find more of Simon Callow’s work here:

https://www.audible.co.uk/search/ref=a_pd_Fictio_tseft?advsearchKeywords=simon+Callow&filterby=field-keywords&x=0&y=0

You can find it on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghostly-Tales-Audible-Christmas-Gift/dp/B07879ZW74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513973874&sr=8-1&keywords=ghostly+tales+an+audible+christmas+gift

You can follow Simon on Twitter here: @SimonCallow

 

 

 

 

Huntress Moon – Alexandra Sokoloff

huntress-moon-audio-175

Book Blurb:

A Thriller Award nominee for Best eBook Original Novel… Book 1 in award-winning author Alexandra Sokoloff’s riveting new Huntress FBI series about a driven FBI agent on the hunt for that most rare of all killers: a female serial.

FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.

Roarke’s hunt for her takes him across three states…while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be.

As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.”

My Thoughts:

It took me a while to make my peace with this book, it had been sitting in my audible library barely started for ages. I have no excuse for this other than I became so used to listening to Scottish crime that going back to American crime I struggled. But I am so glad I saw it through to the end.

I found the story gritty, mysterious, dark and enthralling at different points and sometimes all at the same time.

I loved FBI Agent Roarke, he is such a believable character trying to save the innocent people round him, while at the same time trying to save himself from his personal demons, just shows you are never far away from your past.

I also really enjoyed how parts of the story were told but you were never really told who the people were or their story, so I was left the space to use my imagination, I always enjoy this.

The idea of hiding in plain sight played a big part and really worked well. I felt for the killer as they did believe in what they were doing.

The narrator was R.C Bray, his voice worked for the gritty style of this story.

In the end I was shown there is good in American crime Thrillers, I will definitely be investing in the rest of the series in the coming new year.

You can find it here:

You can follow Alexandra Sokoloff here: @AlexSokoloff 

You can find her website here: http://www.alexandrasokoloff.com/

#BlogTour – Believe – Shelly Hickman

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Book Blurb:

“Believe. A message that still taunts her years after the passing of her daughter. In the days of her daughter’s illness, she considered herself a seeker, open to the possibilities of prayer and faith. Now cynical and guarded, she is forced to reexamine her beliefs and relive her past when an old love resurfaces, with a sick child of his own. Believe is a story that examines fractures to our foundations in the face of tragedy. It is a story that asks if prayers are always answered, but often in ways we do not see.
NOTE: Despite the spiritual tone of this work, please be aware it contains strong language.”

My Thoughts:

As this is my first ever real life story and my first ever audiobook blog tour, this has been a real challenge to balance the sensitivity of the subject matter with my thoughts.

First off I want to say this a very well written account of a very difficult subject.

I enjoyed the simplicity and honesty throughout the story and as this is new and way outside my usual genre, I had to keep reminding myself that this was in fact a real life account.

I have thankfully never experienced what Rachel went through but I immediately connected with her as a person trying to keep afloat in a sea of tradegy. I did enjoy her recounts of taking her dog to help the children even in her own grief she still thought of others.

But unfortunately things got worse before there was a light in this very dark tunnel, but light very soon shined.

Being a Christian myself I can relate to the religious overtones this book has in bucketloads but it’s not there to be in your face or bash you with a “good book”. If anything it shows you that people who believe, people who don’t or people who used to but don’t anymore, all struggle with the same things, because after all we are all simply human.

I find when the writer of the book is also the narrator, it adds another dimension to it, and with Shelly writing and narrating this is no exception, her delivery is steady and easy to follow.

My only criticism would be the ending was nice if a bit predictable but that in no way takes away from the story.

To be honest I struggled with this review but many will find this book helpful and an immense source of peace and hope.

B) Believe Banner

You can find the book Here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Believe/dp/B076PJCY8H/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511940431&sr=1-1&keywords=believe+shelly+hickman

you can follow Shelly on twitter here: @shellyhickman

A Mighty Boy – Sarah Pullen

 

amightyboy

Book Blurb:

“What would you do if a stranger told you your son was going to die?

Silas is ten years old when the headaches start. When the diagnosis arrives, his parents are told they have until Christmas… maybe. And so begins Sarah Pullen’s battle to save her son, against doubting doctors and insurmountable odds. This story about love and loss traces her family’s journey from that first day at the hospital, battling a tumour they named ‘Bob’, through Silas’s death and beyond.

This profoundly moving and honest account shows that it is possible to find the strength for a journey that no mother should ever go on; that it is possible to find a new way to live, even when death is knocking on the door. It is about confronting grief – raw, ugly, incomprehensible grief. It is a book about wrapping a small boy in love, but still letting him get grubby knees. It is about learning to savour every moment of the here and now, yet also learning to let go.

At its heart, A Mighty Boy is a story of the love between a mother and a son. It is a book about seizing the moment and somehow managing to survive the death of a child. But most of all it is a book about a small, mighty, smiling boy.”

My Thoughts:

First off I want to say I have nothing but respect for Sarah who throughout this book lays her heart and soul bare.

I admire the honesty that is shown not just from Sarah but the whole family, willing to be involved and have their story told.

I found myself laughing and in tears in equal measure as we are led through the days, weeks and months with Sarah, Silas and the family in a deterioating battle with Bob, the name of the tumour in Silas’s brain.

The research Sarah had done and continued to do was impressive and I learned a lot of new words, I cannot begin to pronounce or or understand. Right up to the end of this story I found myself willing, hoping, along with the family, for things to get better.

Though the overall tone of the book is sombre and rightly so, it is interspersed with fun and fond memories which shine brighter than the dark bits of this story.

Having the narration being done by Sarah herself makes it even more poignant, you can hear the emotion in her voice throughout the account, it feels like she is sitting beside you telling you the story.

All in all I have never been in this situation before and I hope to never find myself there, but this book will be a great source of hope and encouragement to those who have been through it or are going through it.

You can Find the book here:

 

You can find Sarah’s Blog here: https://sarahpullenwriter.com/

You can find Sarah on Twitter here: 

A night with Ken MacLeod and Chris Brookmyer 

Jump into your spaceships, let your imaginations run wild and strap yourself in for a night where we go boldly where no man or women has gone before.
Tonight was spend in the presence of two great authors, one who I knew in the shape of Chris Brookmyer and one who was a new name to me but no less interesting Ken MacLeod.

Both had made the voyage from crime writing to sci-fi, Ken has written a few sci – fi but this was Chris’s first tentative step into that universe.

The night opened with both reading an opening bit from their books, Ken read a section from the first of his corporation wars series, Dissidence as he said it wouldn’t make any sense reading  from the third one if people hadn’t read the other two like myself.

Then the two authors chatted amongst themselves, loud enough so we all could he though firing such topical lasers about as free will, artificial intelligence and advanced technology.

there was a couple of questions from a tentative audience, and Chris told a funny story about a complaint letter he had been sent about mobiles still being able to dial 999 even if you take the sim card out, and even in space there is whiskey.

All in all it was a brilliant evening, with you down to earth, honest and funny authors, it has reinforced my love for all things Sci-fi.

you can get Chris Brookmyer’s book here:

And Ken MacLeod’s book here:

Three Cheers for Me: The Bandy Papers, Book 1 – Donald Jack

Book blurb:

“It is 1916. Bartholomew Bandy, fourth-year medical student, decides that it is time to join the War. The prim young Canadian expects that he will have few problems remaining clean and virtuous. But he is aware that his bland, horse-like face drives people crazy, and that he has a certain tendency to be accident-prone. How will the war affect him, and vice versa? The realities of trench war at the front provide a contrasting backdrop for his adventures, as he blunders into contact with all sorts of people, both fictional and historical (the King, Lester Pearson, and Winston Churchill). Three Cheers For Me was first published in 1962, to wide critical acclaim. This expanded version first appeared in 1973, to launch the series now known as The Bandy Papers.”

My thoughts :

I absolutely loved this, it was some light relief from my usual genre of crime or psychological thrillers.

I’m sitting writing this on fireworks night and thinking of what poor Bandy went through during the war, even through the horrors this book has an underlying vain of comedic value.

I enjoyed everything about this story, his experiences throughout the war, from the trenches to the R.A.F, Bandy  bounces from one hilarious situation to another.

Robin Gabrielli provides the narration for this, and he does a brilliant job, every narrator I have listened to recently has been a new name to me but everyone I want to hear more from.

I can’t recommend this enough if  you need a good giggle then give this a listen, I hope they bring the other books to audible soon!

You can get it here:

Roam – Erik Therme

roam

Book Blurb:

“When three lives intersect in an unsavory hotel with a bloody history, each will struggle to exorcise their personal demons, unaware that a bigger threat is looming . . . and waiting for the right moment to strike.

Like Joshua Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.”

My thoughts:

If you are looking for something different then I may have saved you a search, this is so different from my last Erik Therme review of ‘Rest Haven’.

It’s not the way I would want to spend my birthday as Sarah’s evening goes from bad to worse. But through an unlikely ‘knight in shining armour’ Sarah embarks on a night she will never forget for quite some time.

The other main characters in the story are Kevin who gifts the biggest act of kindness he ever has. Then there is Scotty, what is wrong with him? Even he doesn’t know. There are a few other minor characters who pad out the story nicely.

The teller of this tale is Joe Hempel another new name to me and tells the story well, a name to watch.

A brilliant mysterious book, that your really not sure what is going to happen but makes you want to keep listening to find out.

You can find it here:

Zero hour (omnibus edition) -Eamon Ambrose

zeroHour

Book Blurb:

“We never saw it coming.
As the last days of humanity draw to a close, a lone survivor embarks on a search for the truth, and finds more than they bargained for, triggering a deadly race against time, and one last chance for survival.
Nothing is as it seems in this high octane post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, expanded from an original short story to a bestselling serial, and now collected in a single volume.”

 

My Thoughts:

At the very beginning I want to tell you all that this book brought screaming back to mind why I love all things post apocalyptic and sc-fi.

The story does not slow down from beginning to end, an unstoppable plethora of explosions, intrigue, dust and don’t leave out the robot dogs.

War is the same no matter what state or shape the world is in and for our lead character, Sarah. It’s not only fighting against people, she and her new companion Al are also fighting an internal battle with themselves and their humanity.

I did like how the story seamlessly moved between 1st and 3rd person narrative. A word on the narrator James Highfield, he delivers our story in a way that kept me listening.

If you are looking for a futuristic  story that may not be that far in the future then this is a good choice.

You can find it here:

 

Resthaven – Erik Therme

Book blurb:

“The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.”

my thoughts:

This book had been patiently waiting in my queue for a while, it kept slipping out of view, but the wait has not been in vain.
I cannot decide which category to put this into, is it teen, young adult or adult? It can cover so many bases its just that kind of book.

I personally love abandoned buildings , wandering around wishing the walls could talk and what secrets they would reveal, but for these five friends a simple scavenger hunt in a building they think is abandoned turns into a fight for their very lives.

So many times during the book, I could close my eyes and visualise the same surroundings the narrator was describing, which is something I love. To me, as I’m sure I have said before, it is the mark of a great writer and narrator that allows you to become immersed in the story.

Talking about the narrator a new name to me Rhandi Larson, I like her easy to follow reading style, keeps the tension nicely, wound to breaking point.

I’m glad I finally got to this one, it was a nerve shredding story of friendship, secrets and ultimately doing the right thing.

You can find it at:

A Looming of Vultures – Richard Storry

Book blurb:

“While an ugly war with its neighbouring realm continues to rage, the insulated members of Ruritania’s upper class laugh and dance their way through their superficial lives. Some people, increasingly disillusioned by the pointless conflict, start to consider how the King might be persuaded – or forced – to end it.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of items of great value are going missing from those attending these high society gatherings. At whom will the finger of suspicion point? Who can be trusted? With so many competing, yet intertwined, agendas, what will be the outcome of this looming of vultures? “

My thoughts:

Let your imagination run free through this brilliant story of fiction. I love how the characters interact with each other and if you want a tense, edge of your seat tale, then listen to this.

The land of Ruritania is laid out in vivid and colourful descriptions, showing both the good and bad sides, even the upper classes aren’t as safe as they think they are, even from their own kind.

The narration is brought to us by the gifted Jake Urry, who I’m convinced can turn his vocal talents to almost anything, even intriguing animal sounds.

A tale of thievery, deception, trust and friendship awaits you, and yes you’ll even meet a vulture.

You can find it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+looming+of+vultures

A Mind to Kill – John Nicholl

amindtokill

Book Blurb:

The hunters become the hunted…

‘I’m in here. Come on. I’m in here. Come and play with me. I’ve been waiting for you…’

When Rebecca’s childhood abuser avoids prosecution, it sets her on a path to revenge, revenge on any man who preys on the innocent. Twenty-three-year-old Rebecca poses as a child online and sets her trap, luring one predatory paedophile after another to their deaths. When a man’s severed head is found washed up on a windswept estuary beach, the police begin their investigation.

The internationally bestselling author of White is the Coldest Colour is back with an electrifying psychological thriller packed with suspense.

Brilliantly gripping, A Mind To Kill will have you hooked from the very first page and holding your breath to the heart-racing and shocking ending.

 

My thoughts:

Ahhh! Where did I put my torch, oh this story is dark, no rainbows or unicorns here, oh how I miss them.

Well what does this story have to offer, revenge, death and hiding in plain sight, I guess you never know a person really and in this story the person on the inside you really don’t want to know.

Part of me agree’s with reasons for what happens in this book but another part of me runs screaming from it’s blood soaked tendrils, there were a few times I decided I wasn’t going to finish as the subject of the book made me squirm from the inside, but I persevered and I’m glad I did.

The subject matter might not be to everyone’s tea, some graphic torture descriptions. But the story is well researched and the writer  gives the material the respect it deserves.

Onto the writer, once again it is John Nicholls who has other great books, remember google is your friend (or this blog which i have reviewed Bully Boy Blue). Anyway John Nicholls teams up with that Welsh terror Jake Urry a force to be reckoned with indeed if you combine John’s writing and Jake’s narration then you are onto a winner.

A well written and a well told story, as I said at the beginning if you are of a weak constitution then the subject matter might not be for you, but if you can see past it you are in for a good listen.

You can find it here:

Miss Seeton Quilts the Village – Hamilton Crane

quiltsthevillage

Book Blurb:

“Miss Seeton is back! A new original for this classic series of humorous cosy mysteries.

It’s practically a Royal Marriage! The highly eligible son of Miss Seeton’s old friends Sir George and Lady Colveden has wed the daughter of a French count.

Miss Seeton lends her talents to the village scheme to create a quilted ‘Bayeux Tapestry’ of local history, inspired by the wedding. But her intuitive sketches reveal a startlingly different perspective – involving buried Nazi secrets, and links to the mysterious death of a diplomat and to a South American dictator . . .

Serene amidst every kind of skulduggery, this eccentric English spinster steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles, armed with nothing more than her sketchpad and umbrella!

The first new mystery in this much-loved series for almost twenty years. Find out why the world can’t get enough of Miss Seeton!”

My review:

Like finding your favourite blanket or meeting your oldest friend after a long time, that’s how returning to the world of Miss Seeton felt when I got a copy of this.

I know it’s been 20 years since the intrepid Miss Seeton burst into my life in book one, and I know I started at the beginning and went to the end, but I promise to fill in the gaps with the other 20 in time, but onto this one.

The final peels of the wedding bells are fading and Miss Seeton has come back from a holiday in Scotland.

I love how the two books I have listened to the story is so easy to follow and get lost in. This story has an international feel about it, and like the tapestry the village is making this story has many strands. Amongst hidden Nazi gold, odd paintings, misconceived gossip and as always Miss Seeton is right in the middle of it whether she realises it or not. Throw in the mysterious death of a diplomat and of course Miss Seeton’s sketches once again make sense where Scotland Yard cannot.

Even though some time has passed we welcome back Phyllida Nash, who it feels like she has never been away and beautifully tells us this new story.

When I was first sent this I was a bit unsure as it has quite been a while, but I’m delighted to say it was all unfounded as it could have been yesterday, a welcome return for the cute little village and our favourite Miss Seeton.

You can find it here:

 

Wretchedness – Ambrose Ibsen 

wretchedness

“There is no hope.

A peculiar tablet unearthed in a Middle Eastern ossuary provokes madness in those who encounter it. One by one people come under the tablet’s sway and are subjected to horrific visions and dreams. In time, the tablet’s true purpose becomes clear: It is the harbinger of an eons-dead god whose reemergence will steep the world in terror and suffering. Having put the pieces together, two men race against the clock and attempt to disrupt the terrifying work of an ancient cult.”

My thoughts:

First thing I have to say about this book is if you are a visual person be prepared to get very uncomfortable very quickly, that’s not a bad thing, in fact it makes this book all the more special, for everyone else you will still get the impact.

I found myself at several points actually turning it off and putting something lighter and cheerier on because this story is no sunshine and lollipops, that’s why it took me so long to get to the end but glad to say I did keep going back to it.

Fear is a funny thing, it can manifest itself in many ways and in this book it was something truly horrific, I ‘enjoyed’ it and it terrified me in equal measure, not many books can do that.

If I find a stone tablet anywhere I am definitely going to leave it well alone after learning many lessons from this story.

I found the characters engaging and felt sorry for them at times, the narrator was the welsh terror Jake Urry, he did a fantastic job keeping the intensity dialed up to eleven! His descriptions of the people, places and things meant I could visualise everything.

It left me wanting to know more about the old lady, more about her past, how did she come across that tablet.

If you are looking for something with a dark side then this is the story for you, just don’t listen to it alone at night…

You can find it here:

My first  Bloody Scotland experience 

Excitedly I made my way to the Golden Lion Ballroom for the first event of the day, a panel featuring CL Taylor, Claire Macintosh and Sarah Pinborough.Two of them I’ve read before and Sarah Pinborough was a new name to me, but what a time we had.

The morning was chaired by Jacky Collins, and through a series of questions I learned alot about the 3, slowly growing to be my 3 fave female authors. It was light hearted, laugh a minute, very entertaining and insightful.

A brief break, sitting watching Stirling go by, having lunch reading before my next event I indulged in a spot of geocaching, finding one that was just outside the Albert Halls venue (to find out more about geocaching see their excellent website www.geocaching.com).

Anyway, back to the point, my next stop was to hear the brilliant Peter May who most famously wrote the Lewis trilogy. But this talk focused on his life in France, becoming a French citizen the Enzo files, and a brief visit to the China Chronicles. Peter is a very humble and clever man, if you haven’t read him before I would highly recommend.

A wee booky break before the last afternoon session. I have to mention one of the wonderful sponsors of Bloody Scotland Bookdonors, at the 3 events I attended so far, they had a free book on every seat so everyone got a wee surprise. Some you may have heard of Book Donors. It is a great idea to get some brilliant 2nd hand books into the hands of people who my not have read them.

You can find out all about them www.bookdonors.co.uk.

Onto the next event, ‘Simenon et Margret: John Simenon & Graeme Macrae Burnet’. A bit of a French theme with this one, I do like learning something about which I know nothing about.

I did not know what to expect going to this but I went in open minded and was not disappointed. This was my wild card choice of the day, I found the whole talk fascinating and it made me want to actually get one of his books.

Before this day I had never heard of Georges Simenon or his famous detective Mairgret, keep your eyes on ITV as a certain Rowan Atkinson will be bringing Mairgret to the small screen.

I learned that Grahame Macrae Burnet has alot of respect and admiration for Georges and his son John Simenon, never new the writer but only ever knew the father. Also Penguin Books are currently re-releasing some of his extensive 49 book collection, an opportunity for people like myself who have yet to set foot into Mairgret’s world.

20170909_204233

And last but not least on my whistle stop tour of Bloody Scotland is the ‘2 crime writers and a microphone’ live broadcast recording from Bloody Scotland. The usual hosts Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste were joined by the musical maestro who wrote the theme to the show Stuart Neville. Every week they bring to your ears the best news, reviews and guests from all things crime book related.

This week was no different, the guests were, Eva Dolan (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eva-Dolan/e/B00GIKK5HE), Mark Billingham (https://markbillingham.com/), and Ian Rankin (https://www.ianrankin.net/)

The laughter wasn’t slow in starting as the panel covered everything from Donald Trump, blocking Stephen King on twitter, killing people in books, worst dates and what would happen to your work when you die.

To say I had a brilliant time at my first Bloody Scotland is an understatement and i urge anyone thinking about it next year, to go ahead and do it, you will not be disappointed. There will be something there to interest you, as this festival has something for everyone interested in crime fiction.

Picture Miss Steeton – Heron Carvic

picturemissseeton

 

Book Blurb:

“When Miss Seeton walks out after a performance of Carmen and witnesses a real-life stabbing, all she can recall is a shadowy figure. But how could she have guessed that her latest artistic endeavor is a picture-perfect portrait of the killer?

Her sketch puts her in a perilous position, for back at her recently inherited cottage in Plummergen village, she’s fated to be a sitting duck . . . for murder most foul!

Meet Miss Emily D. Seeton: retired art teacher Miss Seeton steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles. Armed with only her sketch pad and umbrella, she is every inch an eccentric English spinster and the most lovable and unlikely master of detection.”

 

My review:

As cosy crime stories go, this one has hidden depth, it’s book one of a series of five.

The hero of this take the formidable yet loveable Miss Seeton, a retired spinster, a women anyone would love to have as their granny.

Miss Seeton and the whole surroundings is so quintessentially english, that’s part of the charm. I am pretty sure every little English town has their own Miss Seeton and so they should.

The narrator Phyllida Nash regails us with the adventures of Miss Seeton in a wonderful manner that is easy to listen to and follow.

Time after time Miss Seeton saves Scotland Yard from red faces, but as always they get their man, whether they realise it or not.

On the face of it, this looks like a retired art teacher, moving to a small village and causing all sorts of chaos, but go beyond that and you have a multi layered tale which is well worth more than one listen.

You can find it here:

Harvest Festival – Karl Drinkwater

 

 

 

harvestfestival

Book blurb:

“How Far Would You Go To Save Your Family?

First the birds went quiet.

Then the evening sky filled with strange clouds that trapped the heat below.

Now Callum wakes, dripping in sweat. Something has come to his isolated Welsh farm. If he’s going to keep his family alive during this single night when all hell breaks loose, he’ll have to think fast. And when he sees what he’s facing, he suspects even that may not be enough.

This blast of a book can be read in one nail-biting session.”

 

My review:

How much fear, action and horror can you fit into 2 hours and 5 minutes? If this book is anything to go by rather alot.

Callum an ordinary family man with a wife and 2 teenage kids, his life on his farm is about to be turned upside down.

I liked the fast pace of the story, it grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and dragged you right along till the end.

The descriptions of the narrator R J Alldred are detailed and terrifying, you do not want to meet one of these things on a dark night.

I really hope there is a sequel as I want to know more about the origin of the “things”.

If you want a scary, sci-fi, short story then I highly recommend this one.

You can find it here:

Those eyes – Marc Richard

thoseeyes

 

Book Blurb:

“Archangels in the sky have one job: Making sure our souls get to new bodies. But sometimes they screw up.

Ronnie Jones is an ambitious teenage boy about to ask his Helen to marry him, till an accident cuts his life short. Like that annoying joker someone forgot to take out of that deck of cards before shuffling, his soul ends up where it doesn’t belong; miles away. When he reawakens as Freddy, his spirit is on a mission. He must find the girl that has his heart.

The good news: He finds her again!

The bad news: It’s thirty years later, and she’s a baby. Seriously. He can’t catch a break.

Baby Katey’s parents meet their end when their plane crashes into a Tahitian moose. Freddy steps in and adopts her. His love for Katey/Helen is of a different variety now. He’ll do anything to protect her. But does this include shielding her from the truth?

Those Eyes is a surrealist romantic comedy originally penned by a group of Benedictine monks in a trailer at a maple syrup protest rally. The manuscript went through several revisions, and even one book burning demonstration, and is now nothing like the original text. It has been translated into one language: This one. It’s packed with extra comedy, a whole lot of love, a splash of the ghastly, and more than a touch of the bizarre.”

My Review:

I stumbled across this one from the great folks at Audiobook Boom, they sent me this free copy for an impartial review, so here it is…

Where do I begin with this love story, you all know the story of boy meets girl, girl meets boy yada yada, well that is pretty much where the similarity ends. This is dark, yet over flowing with comedy moments, it’s a story of love lost, family, friendship and back to love again.

But the road poor Ronnie finds himself on is not a straightforward one. Through a series of humorous, bizarre and twisted events he is reunited with his soul mate, but not how you might think.

The narrator David S Dear, brings the story to life giving each character a unique identity.

For me this was a direction change from my usual crime genre. If you want something a little different and a bit light-hearted then this surrealist romantic comedy will definitely be a winner.

You can find it here:

 

The memory of water – JT Lawrence

thememoryofwater

Book blurb:

“Slade Harris will do anything for a story, including murdering the woman he loves.

Slade doesn’t think twice about jumping out of a plane or conducting disastrous love affairs to gather material for his work, but his self-indulgent life is catching up with him. Stumbling through his late thirties hopeless and a little drunk, Slade has a dazzling, dangerous idea which will change his life forever. It’s going to be Slade’s ultimate story … and all he’s hoping for is to survive it.”

My review:

To say this is good wouldn’t be doing it justice, such a well crafted story, so many twists, turns and roundabouts.

The main character and teller of the story, Slade Harris, finds himself in a writers slump getting used to his own success and the perks that brings. Now struggling to write anything, the secret he hides threatening to tear him apart.

As the story goes on Slade dreams up a plan to shift his writers block, he plans the perfect murder.

There are some graphically described sex scenes and if this bothers you then it might not be your cup of tea.

At first I wasn’t taken by the narrator J. Austin Moral II,  I thought his narration was very monotone and samey, but I stuck with it and it in the end it worked well for the style of story.

As I said when I opened this review there are so many twists and turns and colourful characters at times I had to wind back slightly to fully understand some bits as there is a lot happening at the one time.

If you don’t mind some of the steamier descriptions then you will be rewarded with an intriguing story which gives the listener a disturbing insight into the mind of a writer, although I’m sure all writers aren’t that dark 😉

you can find it here:

Death stalks Kettle Street – John Bowen

 

deathstalkskettlestreet_

Book blurb:

“Imagine your neighbours begin to die in a series of accidents. Only they aren’t accidents…

Someone is murdering Greg Unsworth’s neighbours and staging the deaths to look like accidents.

Greg knows the truth, but when he’s grappling with OCD and simply closing his front door and crossing the road are a battle, how is he supposed to stop a serial killer?

Meet Greg Unsworth, afflicted with OCD, who begins to realize a series of fatal accidents on his street are in fact a series of murders. After encountering Beth Grue at the scene of one such crime, the two share their suspicions. Beth, a local librarian, aspiring author, and a woman who has never allowed herself to be defined by her cerebral palsy, agrees they have to do something. So when the police repeatedly dismiss their concerns, they take matters into their own hands, seek to discover the Kettle Street killer’s identity and expose him before he claims his next victim…”

My review:

Well,  as my first venture into a cosy crime story I couldn’t have picked a better choice. The story was engaging and made me want to keep going back to finally find out who the killer was.

The two main characters Greg and Beth certainly put a whole new spin on crime solving, one with OCD and other with Cerebral Palsy together somewhat tentatively they come together and try and sort the whole mess out.

All the events throughout the story all look like simple accidents a wasp sting, an unfortunate end with a weight lifting bench and such like, all brilliantly portrayed.

The narrator Helen Clapp is very easy listening and she does a fantastic irish accent.

Through a writing class , Beth thinks she has it all worked out, the author/teacher Dermot O’Shay looks good for it due to various things.

Throw in a couple of red herrings, a number of brilliantly crafted clues and you have a wonderfully warm and well written story, I can see alot of research has gone into the two conditions that feature heavily throughout.

If you have never listened to a cosy crime story I would highly suggest this is where you start.

You can find a link to buy here:

 

 

 

 

Unethical Conduct – Arthur Cole, Nigel C.Williams

terrymcguire

 

Book blurb:

“Corrupt senior officers, a murder, a rape and a flasher. Can DI Terry McGuire’s day get any worse?

McGuire became a police officer to uphold the law and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. When he discovers a connection between a former friend and colleague and a body buried on a beach that appears to have been frozen for five years, McGuire knows there is only one course of action he can take.

With a murder, a rape and a flasher adding to McGuire’s headache, is there a connection between his colleagues and the awful events unfolding? Can McGuire stand up for what he believes and bring the perpetrators to justice, whoever they may be?”

 

My review:

Having not listened to many police procedurals, I went into this without any preconceptions and what I found was a great story.

There is a lot of research in this book, the authors, Arthur Cole and Nigel C. Williams, did their homework. Terry McGuire, the lead detective, is a well rounded and believable character, someone I certainly would not want to get on the bad side of, there are other characters also which come and go, not intrusive but also not forgetful.

The pace is good , I would have liked to have known a bit more background on the villain of the story, but mystery does breed intrigue.

Once again I am enthralled by the narrator is Jake Urry bringing his own unique brand of terror to an already dark tale.

Just when I thought Wales was a nice bright happy place, this book flips it over and shows its darker seedy underbelly, a side I’m happy to listen about and not get to close to.

These two authors are new to me, however it’s been a welcome introduction to both. At 3 hours and 40 minutes long this book is a brilliant place to start if you’re new to police procedurals or to the voice that is Jake Urry, then this book is where I would begin.

This is the first book in what looks like a great series, I’ll definatly get the rest to see where Terry ends up next.

 

In The Dark – Daniel Fox

inthedark

Book blurb:

“My name is Steve Lewis.
I know this because it’s one of the few things I remember.
I have a wife, a son and I run a successful business.
I know this because that’s what they tell me.
I remember things that aren’t true.
I forget things that are.
I see things and people that aren’t real.
You see, I have brain damage
…and that’s the only rational explanation for things like this.”

 

My review:

This is undeniably one of my favourite psychological Thrillers of 2017, answered alot of questions throughout the story but happily left me with so many more.
It left me wondering about how the brain and mind work, the difference between dreams and reality.

The narrator Timothy Mckean does a great job of keeping the chilling tone travelling through the story and up and down my spine.

Poor Steve throughout the book struggles with what’s real and what’s not, at times I found myself questioning my own sanity the mark of a great storyteller.

The only flaw, and it’s a minor one, was the very end jumped about really quickly so I really had to concentrate but it was well worth it, with an ending I did not see coming.

This is one I would definitely recommend, I will be looking out for more.

You can find the book here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/153277866X/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500664371&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=In+the+dark+Daniel+fox&dpPl=1&dpID=511CU8VXmZL&ref=plSrch

Bully Boy Blue – John Nicoll

BullyBoyBlueBook blurb:

“Every aspect of Kathy’s life is dominated by her abusive bully boy husband. Now she’s pregnant and in fear for her life. Can she ever escape him?”

 

My review:

Although it is only 1 hour and 50 minutes long the story evoked so many emotional reactions from me, and at the same time I didn’t know how to feel.
The intimidating, violent and abusive husband, John Connor, finally gets his comeuppance in a very well thought through and executed plan.

The wife, Kathy, finds herself pregnant trapped and who will believe her predicament? Who will come through for her?

In the end the elaborate plan was brilliantly executed, I did wonder if it was a bit far fetched but the ingenious twists kept the intrigue going.
narrator, Jake Urry, with ‘that’ voice made this story come to life with dripping suspense.
A short but powerful story that addresses an issue that is very uncomfortable, but tackles it well.

His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet

HisBloodyProjectBook blurb:

“The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.
Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.”

 

My review:

This one came as a £1.99 daily deal from Audible, at first i didn’t think i would enjoy it as i haven’t explored much in the way of historical crime books, but i decided to give it a go and im glad i did because i found a gem amongst the coal with this one.

Set around a small crofting family in 1869, it is written in a memoir style through a series of personal documents written by the main character of the story Roderick Macrae plus the early doctors and psychiatrists and of course the all important lawyer.

There are many social and political powers at play throughout this story, but the main theme i took from it was that the powerful are powerful and the downtrodden very much stay there.

Now to address the obvious elephant in the room of this book, what Roderick Macrae did and why he did it, the law of the land in this story is in charge and he doesn’t let anyone forget it especially the Macrae family, through a series of incidents some Roderick can control and some he can’t, it pushes him to carry out the only course of action he sees he has.

The narration was excellent Crawford Logan and Cameron Mowat both brought the story to life, the descriptions of life back then makes me glad i live in the now.

As with books in this style of genre one listen through is not enough, i think a second listen would take you even deeper to this sometimes uncomfortable, horrific and often sad story.

You can buy it here:

 

A Second Hand Life – Pamela Crane

asecondhandlife

 

The blurb:

A heart never forgets its last beat…

In a freak collision when she was twelve, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim—the girl killed the night of Mia’s accident—due to a scientific phenomenon called “organ memory.”

Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the “Triangle Terror,” Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her—along with a killer set on making her his next victim.

As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited specters lead her further into danger’s path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself. More than a page-turning thriller, “A Second hand Life” weaves a tale of second chances and reclaimed dreams as this taut, refreshing story ensnares and penetrates you.

 

My review:

I went into this not really sure what to expect, the blurb gave you the outline but there was so much more.

The author Pamela Crane has put a lot of research into the supernatural side of it.

The characters are well-rounded and believable, Mia is tenacious, the other characters all fit in and play their part well.

Unlike some crime novels, the clues in this story drip in an unobtrusive way

The serial killer in the shadows is both human and monster in equal measure.

The narrator Melanie Carey is easy to listen to, some places I felt her voice drag a bit where it could be more animated but those were few.

The conclusion I did not see coming, a sad but fitting end to a story that was both harrowing and brilliant in its own right. Definitely will get the rest of the series

You can find the book at:

 

The One – John Marrs

theone

 

The blurb:

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

 

My review:

Well what can I say about this book that hasn’t been said already? After reading rave review after rave review I had an audible credit to use and I thought ‘why not’, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed in fact I enjoyed every minute of it.


The 5 main characters were believable and you invested yourself in each one throughout, even the characters who played a minor role in the book are well crafted and fitted in perfectly. The narrators read the parts well, at a good pace, drawing me in with just the right amount of suspense that kept the story moving.

The themes touched on in the book relate to what is happening in today’s world, love, loss, homosexuality, divorce and affairs, it paints a very dark picture.

 But if you can stick with it, there is light at the end of this tunnel, as you step over every body in the 103 chapters you are rewarded with a brilliantly crafted story that’s both dark as night and bright as day.

 In my opinion it is well worth the journey and I am looking forward to exploring more of John Marr’s work.

You can find the book at: