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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What do you inherit?

A Heritage of Death Book Cover A Heritage of Death
(A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery, #2)
Alexa Padgett
Adult, Mystery, Thriller
October 23rd 2018

An unconventional pastor. A brutal murder. To solve the case, one reverend will look for help from beyond the grave…

Reverend Cecelia “Cici” Gurule dreams of a bruised and bloodied woman who looks alarmingly like Cici. She’d like to pretend the dream is a nightmare and nothing more, but there are too many coincidences in her waking life to write it off. Like the baby that turns up on her porch–a baby that disappeared weeks before.

Cici and Detective Sam Chastain race to find the woman, but the killer finds her first. As the trail grows cold, Cici’s only chance to solve the mystery before she becomes the next target may be a clue left by her ghostly twin.

A Heritage of Death is the second novel in a compelling female sleuth mystery series for fans of Ruth Ware and Gilly MacMillan. If you like convention-shattering heroines, vivid Southwest settings, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s twisty mystery.

So here we have a pastor who lives in a small town in the USA but whose twin died by murder. She has always been linked to her twin, in the way they often are, in that they would feel each other’s emotions and pains. And so she knew when her sister was in trouble and when she died.

And now, from the grave, her sister’s ‘ghost’ or at least its presence and some semblance of words, tries to help her when she gets involved in crimes. Because this pastor always does.

i read book 1 first to obtain the background and by the end of it,

i was wondering if there was anyone left alive in her church and the small town. For me, it was Midsummer Murders in a book form, but better written. Just too many people were killed. So I was not sure about book 2 which is the one this blog tour is for.

But it is better. As with so many authors, they learn their craft and improve their story-telling and the characters develop as the series progresses. This is what has happened here I think.  but let’s not have too many murders please. One complex one per book is enough.

 

about the author

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

http://alexapadgett.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15193920.Alexa_Padgett

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexaPadgett/

https://twitter.com/AlexaPadgett

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40963296-a-heritage-of-death?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FVZVPH3/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-heritage-of-death-alexa-padgett/1129039660?ean=2940155521440

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-heritage-of-death/id1432300300?mt=11

ttps://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-heritage-of-death-1

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A blitz of a book!

If She Were Blind
The After Twelve, #1
Laney Wylde
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller
Crimson Tree Publishing
October 22nd 2018

Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her “legal” service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed.

For a price.

Thanks to her powerful underground network, Estlyn’s success rate is stellar, and her inbox stays filled with inquires from the desperate and vengeful. But when one of those names is a ghost from her past seeking vengeance against her, she’s shaken to her core. Off balance and scared to be alone, she makes an impulsive move for a guy. He’s a complication she doesn’t have time for, but it turns out he may also be an unlikely—if unwitting—asset.

Treading the rapidly thinning line between personal and professional, Estlyn pursues her target while outrunning the one on her own back—only to find she may be running into a lot more than she bargained for

IF SHE WERE BLIND is the first book in the engaging New Adult series AFTER TWELVE by author Laney Wylde. Perfect for fans of the television shows REVENGE, SCANDAL, and VERONICA MARS, the AFTER TWELVE Series is a gritty social-issue drama that delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and the most bittersweet revenge plots. Estlyn’s determination to right every wrong is sure to quench your thirst for justice, yet leave you wanting more.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40866623-if-she-were-blind

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-she-were-blind-laney-wylde/1129186876?ean=9781634223386

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/if-she-were-blind/id1418955414?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/if-she-were-blind

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“The Privilege to Write About Race”

I was eighteen the first time someone made me feel shitty about the color of my skin.

It was my sophomore year at Biola University, a Christian college in Los Angeles County committed to racial reconciliation. That fall, at our annual Torrey Bible Conference, to which attendance was required, a black speaker addressed the topic of racial injustice. At least, that’s what I think he talked about. I stopped listening after he told the gym full of mostly pale students that white people were racists.

I couldn’t believe it. He listed half a dozen races, victimizing each one for the challenges they faced. I waited for him to say something about whites. We were the last he mentioned, saying we simply didn’t understand what black people endured.

How dare he, I thought. How dare he assume that because my ancestors were from Europe that I held a hatred toward people who look like him. How dare he presume to know anything about me. Because he didn’t. He didn’t know that some of the most influential women of my adolescent years were black, that one of my exboyfriends was Mexican, that I had friends of all colors and shapes and sizes.

It’s funny now to reflect on that rage I felt. I made it to eighteen before someone stigmatized my race. I doubt the speaker had made it that long.

Fast forward six years. My husband and I were watching a documentary on Netflix called 13th about mass incarceration in the United States. Several men and women, white and black, were interviewed. Whenever a white person spoke about institutionalized racism black people still face in the United States, I listened. When a black person did, I did my best not to roll my eyes.

That’s white privilege.

Privilege is an insidious force. It was invisible to me, because, like many others, I just didn’t know any different. I was raised to be colorblind, and consequently never attributed injustice to race. In fact, calling out the police or politicians or the church or any individual on anything less than involvement in the KKK was unfair.

Because if a cop shot a black man, it was because he wasn’t compliant, because he was running, because he deserved it. If he was in prison for life, it was because he broke a law that warranted that kind of sentence. If he was poor, it was because he didn’t work hard enough.

Black people told me otherwise. They protested through tears. They shared stories of the sons they lost to police brutality. They voiced the pain of being stereotyped as criminals. But I didn’t listen.

Until a white person said something.

I’m not proud of this. But I think it’s important to admit, to say out loud that I had and still have blindspots because of my privileged skin. Because maybe other people with skin light as mine will feel free to say the same, and start asking questions they once thought they had the answers to.

So many of us are afraid to say that we’re ignorant, that we just don’t know. But, guess what: when I approached my black friends with questions about what it’s like to be them, they answered. Happily. They assured me that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing. There’s only something wrong with refusing to learn.

When I started writing If She Were Blind, the first installment of the After Twelve series, I wanted to explore racial issues by writing from the perspective of characters of color. I wrote these characters in first person so I could feel the fear, the indigence, the often futile fight against a false inferiority placed on them.

It was the first time I wept for the people whose stories I had once refused to hear.

So, I wrote If She Were Blind not only to revolutionize my own perspective, but for everyone else like me––those who need someone who looks like them to validate the stories of those who don’t.

Because privilege is only insidious if you never use it to speak for those who don’t have it.

Author Bio

Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California–the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it’s the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.

When Laney isn’t writing, she’s singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she’s eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.

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Obsession with perfection

Perfect Remains Book Cover Perfect Remains
DI Callanach #1
Helen Fields
Detective and mystery stories
Avon Books
2017
408

'Must read!' Closer 'I love, love, LOVE Perfect Remains!' Reader review 'A superb debut!' Reader review On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing. In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness... Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine's missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he's eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine's killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care. It's not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes ... The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined. Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

A very interesting case is told here in this gripping novel as the culprit gradually degenerates psychologically.
Helen Fields writes a nicely paced story. Compact and concise and one that you read almost compulsively (as yet more women die).

This is book 1 in this series about the half-French detective Luc and his move to Scotland. Slowly Luc wins over his new staff as they realise that he is more than his sexy accent and model looks.
Shame about the coffee though, it appears that in police stations no-one instals a Nespresso!

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