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And yet more Perfection

Perfect Crime Book Cover Perfect Crime
DI Luc Callanach #5
Helen Fields
crime fiction, thriller, suspense, police procedural
Avon
February 7, 2019

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

An unstoppable crime thriller from the #1 bestseller. The perfect read for fans of Karin Slaughter and M. J. Arlidge.

The sexy Frenchman is again involved in a complicated serie of murders – except that only he thinks they are murders – to everyone else, they look like suicides.

In this series we have a lovely brooding dark French policeman sent to Edinburgh for various political reasons, who takes a long time to settle and make friends. But by this book in the series he is settling down – a little, but his friendships are stretched in this bizarre series of what are classed as suicides.

I very much like this series of novels. They tick all the right boxes. A brooding hero. A series of complicated crimes that only he can solve. And good storytelling with chills and gasps as accidents happen etc. Would make good TV.

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In Which Nick isn’t Trapped

Trapped Book Cover Trapped
Nick Louth
murder, mystery, police, thriller
Canelo
28th January 2019

Two desperate criminals. Something she never saw coming. A searing suspense thriller from bestselling author Nick Louth

In Manchester, two hardened gang members on the run take Catherine Blake and her one-year-old son hostage at gunpoint. She is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Held in a Transit van, Catherine needs a plan fast. But it means diving into her captors’ risk-drenched world, and playing them at their own game.

Catherine has been through cancer, miscarriages and five draining years of IVF in order to have her son Ethan. He is the most precious thing in the world. She may be terrified out of her wits, but she’d do anything to protect him. Anything, no matter the cost...

Brace yourself.

A nerve-shredding suspense thriller you won’t believe until you have experienced it yourself, Trapped is perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, JP Delaney and Rachel Abbott.

Author Interview with Nick Louth

The book ideas I get flow most strongly in the time when I’m just waking up and I lie in bed turning them over in my mind. Sometimes the ideas come very quickly, almost tumbling over themselves in their hurry to emerge, but sometimes it takes a lot longer for me to see how they would work. For example, I have just been devising a piece of misdirection for a future DCI Gillard crime thriller, one that will send detectives and hopefully the reader in and entirely wrong direction when looking for the murder victim. The course is particularly challenging when the title of my books offers a clue: The Body in the Marsh, The Body on the Shore and so on. This particular idea I’ve been working on in the back of my mind for two or three days, and I’ve yet to write down any part of it. But it’s still there ticking over, like an engine kept warm.

I do write notes, I have a notebook that I have with me at all times, and if it’s an inspiring name for a character, or a place, I need to write it down quickly. But the big concepts, the reversals, the misdirection, ideas that give the book a ‘bang’ I tend not forget.

In the case of Trapped, the basic story on the idea for its creative tension came to me all in one go. It’s the contrast between black and white, not just the evil of the gangsters and the goodness, or at least the normality of Catherine the hostage, it’s a bit extra. I wanted to contrast two ways of living a life. Our heroine is an extraordinarily risk averse woman, who plans everything in her life, even more so now she has been blessed with the child that she took so very long to conceive. For her, nothing is left to chance. But the gangsters are seemingly driven by impulse. They plan very little, certainly not far ahead, and rely on quick reactions drive and energy to live the life they want. I really wanted to smash together these two life philosophies, and pack them into the smallest possible space to see what would happen. That space is the back of a dirty, smelly transit van, surrounded by armed police. Total claustrophobia. For a long time I thought that would be enough, straight story that would have the reader on the edge of her seat, particularly given an innocent one-year-old child was in danger. I had written the book thus far almost 8 months before I got the idea for a very strong twist. I’m particularly proud that I was able to pack in to what is a bit particularly short novel all the action and a series of shocking twists.

I’m a journalist by training, and meticulous research underlies everything I do. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to make contact with a retired senior detective with extensive experience from drugs, murder, Special Branch work and undercover operation, plus a government forensic scientist who has allowed me to come with him to an occasional murder trial. I’m also fortunate to have a very senior criminal defence lawyer who has helped me extensively with work on my next book The Body in the Mist. The role of research isn’t to dump on the page everything you have learned, rather it is to convince the reader that you know what you’re talking about. Approaching those in authority is something I’ve done for many years as a journalist so it doesn’t make me nervous or intimidate me. However that doesn’t mean to say that I was good positive response. PR people for police forces or corporations, for example, often need quite a lot of handholding before they know what it is you really trying to get from them. But others fall into your hands, so delighted are they to be involved in the process of creating fiction.

I have been rejected countless times by many literary agents, amazingly even after I had a number one UK bestseller the previous year. I sometimes struggle to find what it is that agents are looking for, but feel I have a better rapport with publishers. In the case of Canelo, I was lucky enough that they approached me after a former agent of mine, now a non-fiction publisher, recommended me to them.

Author Name: Nick Louth

Previous Books: The Body in the Marsh, The Body on the Shore and Heartbreaker

Genre: Thriller

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.

The terrorism thriller Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. Mirror Mirror, subtitled  ‘When evil and beauty collide’ was published in June 2016. The Body in the Marsh, a crime thriller, is being published by Canelo in September 2017. 

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When you need to be vigilant

Vigilante Dead
A Kate Jones Thriller: Volume #8
DV Berkom
Thriller, Detective, Crime, Female Sleuth
Duct Tape Press
(26 Nov. 2016)

Death. Lies. Revenge.After years of running, Kate Jones is finally putting her past behind her. Between restoring ties with her younger sister, moving in with Sam, a cop-turned PI, and working as a PI herself, she's learning to live life without looking over her shoulder.Then Kate lands a case that changes everything: a young college student with no history of drug abuse dies of an overdose, and the parents come to Kate demanding answers. Soon, Seattle is reeling from dozens more deaths, all with the same chemical markers. At first, police assume that the victims are closet junkies who got a hold of a bad combination, but after someone close to her becomes a victim, Kate believes something far more sinister is going on.The deeper Kate digs, the more she uncovers about the deadly drug’s origins, forcing her to choose between doing what’s right… and getting revenge

I read ‘Bad Spirits’ (book #1 in this series) some time ago and meant to follow it up but didn’t. I just may have read the last book in the series and missed all the ones in between… but still, DV Berkom hasn’t disappointed.

 And I could follow enough of the series’ storyline for this book to stand alone.

Kate thinks she has finally left her nemesis behind and is free of being hunted, but by deciding to interfere in a drug case, she finds more people who want her dead. The story about the drugs gets complicated as more unsuspecting people die from tainted pain killers.

A good suspense and thriller story, which doesn’t get too technical and gives some handy hints for women about self-defence.

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Who really won the war?

Stalemate: Book Cover Stalemate:
Clockwerk thriller #1
SteamPunk, Adventure and Action,
Cobble Publishing LLC
(7 May 2018)

Clockwerk soldiers, airships, and aether bombs have ground the war between the States to a stalemate. Can Colonel Julius Montclair find a way to end the bitter conflict? Colonel Julius Montclair, elite soldier and the youngest airship commander in the Union fleet, has been humbled by war. He’s venerated for his bravery at the Battle of the Potomac, but he will carry the scars of that victory for the rest of his life. The loss of good men and women under his command continues to haunt him. Now, Montclair wants nothing more than to simply do his job and is more than ready to lay down the mantle of “hero”. That is, until President Grant himself summons Montclair to Washington. Montclair is tasked with a deadly mission: He must lead his troops on a clandestine insertion behind enemy lines to uncover a plot that may destroy the Union. But Montclair won’t be able to do it alone; he’ll need the help of the most dangerous and least trusted weapons in the Union’s formidable arsenal - the spymasters of Strategic Intelligence. Scarlet, a gorgeous young Strategic Intelligence agent and trained assassin, has the lethal skills and gritty determination required to protect her country. But can she gain the trust of Colonel Montclair and his men? Only by working together can they uncover the Confederacy’s plot and stop a dark aether-fueled weapon of mass destruction from erasing the Union from history.

This was an interesting take on what could have happened in the American war between the States. Now being British I don’t know a lot about this war apart from that it was between the Union – The North (mostly) and the Confederacy – The South  (mostly. And that there was a freeing of all the slaves – mostly held in the South that was involved. So iI was not concerned about the ‘real’ war and what really happened at particular battles etc.

You just have to remember that this an alternate universe which closely parallels ours but where there is aether to power machines, and that clockwerk – note the spelling – creates a large number of artificial items, mechanical men. horses , to artificial limbs. there are gears and cogs and everything you might expect in clockwork items, but often also aether power as well. These items are programmed by Babbage cards – yes punch cards as per weaving machines/early computers, or if we assume that Babbage’s and Lovelace’s work was completed and experimented with.

I liked the writing and found the characters believable within their frame of reference. and one especially good point about this universe is that women are powerful, skilled, and take part in everything that men do, including becoming front line soldiers and holding command.

I also love the ‘what if’ concept of this universe and that you are taken for a ride by the author’s imagination.

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