Coopers promise – Timothy Jay Smith

What’s the story:

In the story, Cooper Chance, army sharpshooter and gay deserter from the war in Iraq, wants to go home, but can’t because he’ll be jailed and he’s acutely claustrophobic. He’s ended up adrift in Africa in a gritty world of thugs, prostitutes and corrupt cops. When the CIA offers him a way home without jail time if he carries out a risky high-stakes operation, Cooper balks until a teenage prostitute he’s vowed to rescue is trafficked and disappears. Cooper agrees to carry out the risky operation if the CIA helps find the missing girl.

My thoughts:

Hello everyone, I know what your going to say, I have been a way for far too long, but don’t worry I am back and I come bearing something that I hope will have you all saying “we forgive you”.

I was contacted by Timothy asking if I would be interested in reviewing his new book, this could not have come at a better time as I had been thinking of starting back up , so onto the book.

First thing that grabbed me about this book is that it’s set in a far flung place, I enjoy a good story especially one set in a foreign land and this fits very nicely into that box , set in an African country there is a lot of good things to say about this book.

First off. This book does contain mature subject matter, but it is done in a tasteful and respectful manner.

The writing style really grabbed me , as you all know I’m a very visual reader so the more I can imagine the better, and this story definitely didn’t disappoint, have never been to Africa but after this I really want to.

The hero of this tale is one Cooper Chance a brilliant name in my opinion he is quite a character, in fact every character had enough depth and substance to make them believable, which if I’m honest is something that brings the book alive for me.

This book left me wanting to know more about Cooper , his back story , the reasons he ended up where and how he did. You find out a-bit, which as I said left me really hoping there is a prequel.

Back to the writing style , the descriptions of people , places and things were just so cinematic I could see myself walking beside the characters through the dusty warm streets, so badly wanting ice water.

The narrator for this story is Ryan Brophy, his style is very easy to follow and the story is told in a way that it’a a pleasure to listen to.

I must mention the artwork it’s very interesting , I’ve come across very few books that show you what the main character looks like , it’s not a bad thing at all , there is so Much to picture in this book that it just works.

I loved this book, and I know we can’t really go anywhere at the moment, but if you want to take a trip without leaving the comfort of your couch then I recommend giving this a try.

You can buy it here:

you can find out more about Timothy here: @TimothyJaySmith and at:

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:

You can follow Alice here: @DDsDiary

Brass in pocket – Stephen Pulestone


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:

You can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston 


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:

You can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston

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:

You can follow Rachel here: @RachelAmphlett

And her website is:

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:
You can follow her on Twitter: @sanjidakay
And her website is:

#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:

You can follow Chris Patchell here: @chris_patchell

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



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:

Also follow her on Twitter here: @pulpbooks

A Mind to Kill – John Nicholl


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:

The memory of water – JT Lawrence


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:

Unethical Conduct – Arthur Cole, Nigel C.Williams



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.


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



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



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: