Enter the Author as Detective

The Sentence is Death
Detective Daniel Hawthorne 2
Anthony Horowitz
crime fiction, thriller, suspense,
Century
November 29, 2018
400

This is the first of Anthony Horowitz’s novels about detectives that I’ve read. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The concept of putting the real author into imaginary scenes, some of which are based on semi-fact, and including autobiographical details was fascinating. And made the whole story so much more believable.

I found it however, to be slightly confusing in that it was set in 2015 but had just come out in 2018, but understood that writing about real events that happened to the author were better if viewed in the past rather than as his current life.

I am even tempted to go and see if this road and house – Heron’s Wake – do exist and look like they are described in the story. And it would be nice to find out if the production of the TV show really did have problems in London with filming, but there are limits to just how much I will do to verify authenticity. And I have been caving in the past so the descriptions of the pot holing system were very realistic for me. Confession time though. It made my fear of confined places very much worse – especially the crawling on your stomach in water aspects!

I liked the style of writing. At first read it is prosaic yet the characters, including his own as portrayed, come through clearly. the descriptions are spare but clear and sufficient and fluent.

The only criticism I have is the constant mention of the children’s series of books. OK Anthony. We know you are perhaps better known to a certain set of readers for the Alex Rider books, and perhaps you want others to know about them, but… mention once or twice but no more, please!

I did particularly like this though:

[a] good definition of creative writing is to unlock doors and take the reader through to the other side.

 

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And it comes back?

Ricochet Book Cover Ricochet
David A. Kennedy 
adult, thriller, crime
Acorn Publishing
November 6th 2018

Brenda Roseberry’s youth was fractured with personal loss and sexual assault. In response, she’s trained her body through rock climbing and Isreali martial arts. Her genius at engineering tends toward the devious: she invents technology that allows her to see through walls, along with bulletproof clothing and specialized grenades.

Brilliant, fearless, and eminently disturbed, Brenda is ultimately recruited by Special Crimes Response And Mitigation—SCRAM. And so begins her daring pursuit of white-collar crime, fringe terrorist conspiracies, and anyone deserving of her unique brand of draconian justice.

Her only real friend is a notorious MS-13 gangster named Pucaso. He’s got a crush on her but that only makes Brenda deride him and loathe herself. Still, she relies on his help, whether she’s in Belize to wipe out the server farm of a corrupt hedge fund, or on Maui to take on the poisonous executives of a giant chemical company. Brenda treats wrongdoers like insects—the kind that need extermination.

I debated about the stars ranking but in the end, I felt that it just didn’t enthuse me enough, and I won’t bother with book 2 in this series – when it comes out.

Please note that the author does climb and thus we can be fairly sure that the parts about climbing are (more or less, given artistic licence) correct. I thought that these climbing descriptions were the best part of the story. And would have liked more written about what it was like to make these climbs and the characters of the type of people who undertook extreme climbs,

This was another character set that didn’t feel quite rounded to me. I got the disturbed nature of the characters but …

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40194838-ricochet?ac=1&from_search=true

https://amzn.to/2JJX3jG

About the Author

Dave is a guidebook writer/publisher turned novelist. He began rock climbing around 1984, which was a “logical” extension of hiking, camping and backpacking since boyhood. After his first article on climbing in San Diego’s back-country was published in Rock & Ice magazine, he created the San Diego County Climbing Guide, which proved extremely popular. Next came San Diego Adventures: Classic hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. In 2007 he completed and published a second edition of the climbing guide, which vividly detailed over 2,000 routes.

Subsequently, he embarked on a fiction-writing odyssey, producing sci-fi novels and short stories “rather unsuccessfully” in terms of publication. He finally found his proper voice in 2017 when he wrote Ricochet, an intense modern-day thriller about a young female vigilante. Upon its completion, he learned about Acorn Publishing while attending the 2018 Southern California Writers’ Conference and was signed by them shortly thereafter.

David is also an accomplished horticulturist. He became interested in tropical plants called Bromeliads in 2010, which quickly turned into a passion. He is an active member of the San Diego Bromeliad Society, and has won “Best of Show” awards in their annual show multiple times. His Tillandsia collection is considered one of the best in the region. For many years he and his wife Debbie have been chief volunteer caretakers of the San Diego Zoo’s Kent Bromeliad Garden.

Becoming a novelist is the realization of a lifelong dream. David loves the process of storytelling, of waking up each day well before dawn and diving into the art of making words come together in a way that appeals.

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Enter the Creatures

All Souls Trilogy Book Cover All Souls Trilogy
All Souls
Deborah Harkness
fantasy, ghosts, witches, occult
Penguin Books; Reprint edition
(26 May 2015)

It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.

Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires.

A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future.

Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires.

Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist.

Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...

You might be watching this on Sky One – A Discovery of Witches – or may never have heard of this series, but if you like Outlander, then you’ll like this set of 3 books.

I loved them and I’m going to list my reasons why:

  1. The historical accuracy – in clothing, sights, smell and books;
  2. Libraries and Books. The clear descriptions of old books, the way they were bound, the way they were printed, the colours and te illustrations;
  3. How difficult it is to write with a quill – and write clear and clean hand-writing;
  4. Descriptions of Alchemical experiments as described in the books, and as they are to be understood in modern chemistry terms;
  5. ‘Meeting’ historical characters in Elizabethan London. The philosophical discussions. The political intrigue;
  6. Details of Elizabethan witchcraft which ring very tue;
  7. Length of the books – like Outlander, the books are long and rich in descriptions and details. You feel that you are really obtaining full value for money;
  8. The move from country to country and time to time with all the different customs and languages.  And the reminder that Langue D’Oc was the language of most of Southern France and the Occitanie and the County of Toulouse, and that Paris was the capital of France which was not the ruler of this area, except by remote access.
  9. The author is an historian and has actually visited the places she writes about from the Bodleian to the Yale Library;
  10. And finally, they hooked me and I just couldn’t put them down. They were a very good read, well written and clean and clear stylistically, and engrossing. The characters grabbed you and you wanted to find out what came next….

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Just Who?

Who Book Cover Who
(Stalker, #1)
Megan Mitcham
Adult, Psychological Thriller, Romance
MM Publishing LLC
October 2nd 2018

A billionaire in high heels. A relentless stalker. A chance rooftop meeting. Her choices could send everything crashing down.

Billionaire Larkin Ashford is fiercely independent, but even she has to admit her fashion empire was built on the backs of brides. When her company has the opportunity to go public, her board of directors won’t pull the trigger unless she settles down. A series of threatening messages aren’t making her decision any easier. As she retreats to her rooftop hideaway to clear her head, she finds herself imprisoned in the strong arms of a mysterious man who thinks she was about to jump.

Despite her friends’ warnings that her wannabe savior could be her stalker, she can’t get his body off her mind. Determined to find the truth, she searches the city for her mystery man and discovers a dark secret that could bring everything she’s worked for crashing down. With her empire in danger, she’ll have to uncover the truth before her fortune and her life zero out.

Who is the first standalone novel in a pulse-pounding psychological thriller series. If you like headstrong women, steamy chemistry, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love Megan Mitcham’s high-rise romantic thriller.

To be honest I had some issues with this book, but I did finish it.

  1. The introductory paragraphs, I found very confusing and didn’t get what was happening until a few pages in.
  2.  Tarin. You don’t take people onto your Board without thoroughly checking them out. You need to have them recommended or vetted in some way. Their word is not just enough. You would look into their work history, their financial records etc.
  3. To list on the stock exchange – ie going from being private to a public company with open purchasing of shares etc., you need to have an investment banker to do the work for you.  there is no mention of that in the story. They undertake Due Diligence of the numbers and people involved – ie Tarin again.
  4. Lucas was too obvious as the person with the flowers and the letters right form the start. He was creepy and too interested in them. I would have sacked him as soon as I finished my affair with him, as it clearly wouldn’t work him still being in such a prime role and doing a rubbish job. he should have followed up with the florists etc etc
  5. I also found Larkin to be 2-dimensional.  She never gelled for me as a person.
  6. The IT manager was way out of line and should have been sacked. Larkin’s response was feeble and would have been seen as that by him and his staff.
  7. The IT manager would never stoop to learning a new language for a project. He would either send one of the staff on a course, or hired in a specialist. (I’ve worked in IT).
  8. And finally. Her father. Any father who comes in 2 days after I have been nearly burnt to death asking for my will would get cut out of my life completely. His excuse was pathetic and not acceptable. This didn’t ring true for Larkin to forgive him.

So having listed all the above.  I’m now downgrading my stars to 2. I did finish the book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41540582-who?ac=1&from_search=true

https://amzn.to/2yFudwp

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/who/id1434316342

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/who-19

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Megan_Mitcham_Who?id=1dRqDwAAQBAJ

http://www.meganmitcham.com/stalker-series.html

http://www.meganmitcham.com/who.html

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Megan Mitcham was born and raised among the live oaks and shrimp boats of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where her enormous family still calls home. She attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a bachelor’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and special education. For several years Megan worked as a teacher in Mississippi.

She married and moved to South Carolina and worked for an international non-profit organization as an instructor and co-director.In 2009 Megan fell in love with books.

Until then, books had been a source for research or the topic of tests. But one day she read Mercy by Julie Garwood. And Oh Mercy, she was hooked!

Megan lives in Southern Arkansas where she pens sizzling suspense novels. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Goodreads. For news, giveaways, and exclusive offers sign up for her newsletter at www.meganmitcham.com!

http://www.meganmitcham.com/index.html

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6552758.Megan_Mitcham

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMeganMitcham/

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When Angels get Angry

Blessed Fury Book Cover Blessed Fury
Angels of Fate #1
C. S. Wilde
Fiction, urban fantasy
Independently published
September 3, 2018
332

Once you face the devils, there's no going back. Guardian angel Ava Lightway has spent a century watching over her charges, whispering the words of the gods in their ears. But her peaceful existence ends when she's assigned to Liam Striker, a supernatural detective with no memory of his past. Liam might be Ava's biggest challenge yet. Stubborn and dangerously captivating, he'll stop at nothing to find the demon who murdered his father. Even if it costs him his life. Keeping death away from her new partner is an impossible task. And even if their investigation doesn't destroy Ava, succumbing to Liam's smoldering touch just may. Read the sizzling, breath-taking tale of angels gone bad! Note to readers: If you like fast-paced adventures and toe-curling love stories, this book is for you!

This is a book where the standard fantasy characters appear – angels, demons, vampires, werewolves. but we also have some Archangels and multiple gods – and it would appear a multiple Demon at the top of their hierarchy too. So some differences in hierarchy and behaviours, especially as the main female protagonist is a Guardian Angel and therefore not expected to fight.

But there the differences stop.

The female has hidden powers that she finds when she does fight. She is someone that even the Vampire Queen and Alpha werewolf want to protect as well as one of the major Angels.

It is quite a nice read – damned by faint praise? It did not really make need to see what was on the next page and in the next chapter. And in fcat there were several points in book 1 where I thought it should have stopped – and then we would have really wanted to read book 2 to find out what happened next. I think an editor would have been useful to sharpen it up and  make Ava more intense as a character. And Liam was still rather shallow as a character even by the time we got to the end of the book.

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