Sacrificing Starlight

Time’s running out for DCI Hunter. His wife and child are missing, perhaps even dead. Unable to pursue those responsible he’s transferred to the wild landscape of Cornwall where another child has disappeared.

Alice Trevelyan’s father has his own agenda and wants retribution for the loss of his little girl and metes out his own violent justice.

Will Trevelyan help or hinder?

Hunter has to make his move if he wants to save Starlight.

But can anyone in this remote location be trusted?

 

My review

First up, I must apologise to the author for running late with this review. I’d marked down the wrong date in my diary for who knows what reason.

This is a challenging, disturbing novel dealing with the tough issue of child abuse. There’s graphic violence so this is very much a dark thriller, quite horrific at some points. But it certainly makes you sit up and take notice.

We have a good pair of lead characters in DCI Hunter and Iraqi war veteran Trevelyan They’re opposites in many ways, namely personality and their approaches to solving these heinous crimes, but united in their desire to put an end to an organised paedophile ring.

The action moves at a brisk pace and the plot is well thought-out. We are given different points of view on the action. The author keeps us guessing as to who the perpetrators are all the way to the exciting conclusion.

Bleak but realistic, this is a novel for anyone who enjoys a read that will shake them up and give them plenty to think about.

David Pipe is a talented and versatile writer.

 

Purchase Link

http://getbook.at/Starlight

Author Bio –

David Pipe was born in 1949 in a small Essex village. He attended a local grammar school then the University of Hull where he took a B.Sc in chemistry. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry in England and South Africa before studying for a PhD in organic chemistry at Imperial College. After spells at universities in Geneva and Mulhouse he joined the oil industry in Germany where, aged 53, he gratefully took a redundancy package. Following a period of self-employment he wound down his business, eventually giving it up to scratch the writing itch which has produced Sacrificing Starlight, a timely reminder of the risks our children face and Henry’s Tale, where ghostwriting for his furry friend he describes the emotional growth of a puppy on the rollercoaster of life, compressed into a few weeks because puppies learn faster than their staff.

 

When he’s not writing David spends his time travelling, reading, swimming and jogging. He is married and lives in Hamburg with his wife and their Border terrier Henry.

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter @dfpwriter

FB https://www.facebook.com/DavidPipeBooks/

Synopsis

In this Austen-tatious debut, antiquarian bookstore proprietor Erin Coleridge uses her sense and sensibility to deduce who killed the president of the local Jane Austen Society.

Erin Coleridge’s used bookstore in Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, England is a meeting place for the villagers and, in particular, for the local Jane Austen Society. At the Society’s monthly meeting, matters come to a head between the old guard and its young turks. After the meeting breaks for tea, persuasion gives way to murder—with extreme prejudice—when president Sylvia Pemberthy falls dead to the floor. Poisoned? Presumably…but by whom? And was Sylvia the only target?

Handsome—but shy—Detective Inspector Peter Hadley and charismatic Sergeant Rashid Jarral arrive at the scene. The long suspect list includes Sylvia’s lover Kurt Becker and his tightly wound wife Suzanne. Or, perhaps, the killer was Sylvia’s own cuckolded husband, Jerome. Among the many Society members who may have had her in their sights is dashing Jonathan Alder, who was heard having a royal battle of words with the late president the night before.

Then, when Jonathan Alder narrowly avoids becoming the next victim, Farnsworth (the town’s “cat lady”) persuades a seriously time-crunched Erin to help DI Hadley. But the killer is more devious than anyone imagines.

 

My review

This is a very clever, understated cosy mystery. And I mean understated as a compliment in that, as with Jane Austen’s own books, everything is subtle and underplayed which just makes it all the more effective. For example, this book is gently humorous. It’s not a ‘laugh out loud’ type read, but more of a ‘frequent quiet smile’, which I actually prefer and which is harder to sustain since it doesn’t rely on slapstick or cheesy situations for comedy .

The characters are equally subtle. Their personalities gradually emerge as they book progresses, rather than being described in full to us at the beginning. We get strong hints as to what they’re like – Farnsworth is a cat lady and Sylvia is bossy, for example – but there’s a lot more to them than that and we watch them all develop nicely. Erin is an interesting heroine, very much a Jane Austen heroine in that she’s not the sort that’s cut out to play a lead role. She’s an intelligent, thoughtful woman who prefers the quiet life. She’s likeable and we enjoy following the events that unwind around her.

Interactions are great. As in any group of people, within the very dedicated Jane Austen Society there are friendships and animosities, organisers and followers-along, ambition and apathy. The bickering and niggling is extremely life-like – well, it is for me living in a small French village where committee meetings see the full gamut of emotions being run through!

The use of quotes from Austen’s novels is a witty touch. As always the author has a light hand with this and doesn’t overdo it, just throwing in an appropriate quote to add a little richness.

Well worth a read, whether you’re a Jane Austen fan or not.

 

Published by Crooked Lane Books.

Bridge to Eternity

Audrey, recently widowed, is not saying why she left her comfortable home in the south of England to move into an old school boarding house on the edge of a moor. Tina, a young estate agent, is concerned for Audrey’s safety as she believes the folklore about a schoolboy who never went home. Property developers, annoyed at losing a site ripe for demolition, make plans to encourage Audrey to sell. Malcolm, a charming widower, brings a welcome light into Audrey’s life until it shines into a very dark corner…

 

My review

This is quite a chilling story which will grip you from the very beginning. It centres on the old schoolhouse that our heroine Audrey has bought. But why exactly? And why are several other people particularly interested in the property? The reasons are complex and clever, and you’ll enjoy discovering them.

The action takes place in the mid-1960s and the present day, and we jump between the two time periods. That keeps the interest going and it’s satisfying to gradually see how events more than half a century apart tie together.

The pace is brisk and there’s plenty of excitement. The ominous Russian brothers are very well portrayed, and we meet plenty of other fascinating characters. The house provides an atmospheric, definitely brooding setting for this highly intriguing tale.

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bridge-Eternity-Romola-Farr-ebook/dp/B07PPPTQZ5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Eternity-Romola-Farr-ebook/dp/B07PPPTQZ5

 

Author bio

“I started my working life in the theatre and was very lucky to find myself on the West End stage in a hit play at the age of 16. My career and life nearly ended there as I was knocked down by a car on the way home one Saturday night. I recovered and went on to be quite a successful photographic model. Later, when that part of my career did die, I turned to writing and made quite a good living writing screenplays, making films, and writing advertising copy for a marketing company. A few years ago I entered a short-story competition and fell in love with prose and knew I had to tell my own story within a fictional framework. At the moment I am hiding behind a nom de plume.”

Social Media Links – @RomolaFarr

Palm Trees in the Pyrenees

A rookie cop, a dash of mysterious death, and a heap of suspicion – as the heat rises, lethal tensions boil over in the Pyrenees.

Unappreciated, unnoticed, and passed over for promotion, thirty-year-old Danielle’s fledgling career in law enforcement is going nowhere – until the unexpected death of a hated Englishman turns her small town upside down.

Set in the idyllic south of France, Palm Trees in the Pyrenees is the first whodunit novel in Elly Grant’s thrilling murder mystery series. Against a background of prejudice, jealousy, and greed, Danielle pieces together the sparse clues of a fractured homicide. But will she find enough evidence to solve the case – and get the recognition she deserves?

To find out, get your copy of ‘Palm Trees in the Pyrenees’ – right now.

My review

This is not what you might expect from a whodunit in that it’s rather darker than many novels in this genre. But not initially, and that’s what is so very different and clever! From an apparently straightforward opening, things become increasing complex. And the ending will take your breath away.

An unliked and unlikeable Englishman falls to his death from a balcony in a quiet French tow. Young policewoman Danielle is the first on the scene and this story is about her solving the crime.

The book has a very immediate, happening feel to it due to the use of the present tense. And also, as our narrator Danielle is French, she explains that English isn’t her first language and that makes you pay more attention to her language. It’s perfect, but it’s a clever touch that makes you more aware than normal of the phrasing and nuances in her words.

The setting is vivid and transports you to southern France and those palm trees.

Thoroughly absorbing and intriguing, this is a compelling book that it’s impossible to put down once you start reading.

Purchase Links

http://mybook.to/palmtrees

Palm Trees in the Pyreness will be FREE on 16th – 20th Sept 2019

https://www.creativia.org/palm-trees-in-the-pyrenees.html

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ITJ51MA/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01ITJ51MA/

 

Author Bio –

Hi, my name is Elly Grant and I like to kill people. I use a variety of methods. Some I drop from a great height, others I drown, but I’ve nothing against suffocation, poisoning or simply battering a person to death. As long as it grabs my reader’s attention, I’m satisfied.

I’ve written several novels and short stories. My first novel, ‘Palm Trees in the Pyrenees’ is set in a small town in France. It is the first book of my ‘Death in the Pyrenees series and they are all published by Creativia. The others in the series are, ‘Grass Grows in the Pyrenees’, ’Red Light in the Pyrenees’, ’Dead End in the Pyrenees’, ‘Deadly Degrees in the Pyrenees’ and ‘Hanging Around in the Pyrenees’. Creativia has also published my grittier crime novels set in Glasgow, ‘The Unravelling of Thomas Malone’ and ‘The Coming of the Lord’ as well as my thriller, ‘Death at Presley Park’. Also published are my Romance ‘Never Ever Leave Me, as well as a collaboration on the quirky black comedy ‘But Billy Can’t Fly’ and short stories called ‘Twists and Turns’.

As I live much of the year in a small French town in the Eastern Pyrenees, I get inspiration from the way of life and the colourful characters I come across. I don’t have to search very hard to find things to write about and living in the most prolific wine producing region in France makes the task so much more delightful.

When I first arrived in this region I was lulled by the gentle pace of life, the friendliness of the people and the simple charm of the place. But dig below the surface and, like people and places the world over, the truth begins to emerge. Petty squabbles, prejudice, jealousy and greed are all there waiting to be discovered. Oh, and what joy in that discovery. So, as I sit in a café, or stroll by the riverside, or walk high into the mountains in the sunshine, I greet everyone I meet with a smile and a ‘Bonjour’ and, being a friendly place, they return the greeting. I people-watch as I sip my wine or when I go to buy my baguette. I discover quirkiness and quaintness around every corner. I try to imagine whether the subjects of my scrutiny are nice or nasty and, once I’ve decided, some of those unsuspecting people, a very select few, I kill.

Perhaps you will visit my town one day. Perhaps you will sit near me in a café or return my smile as I walk past you in the street. Perhaps you will hold my interest for a while, and maybe, just maybe, you will be my next victim. But don’t concern yourself too much, because, at least for the time being, I always manage to confine my murderous ways to paper.

Read books from the ‘Death in the Pyrenees’ series, enter my small French town and meet some of the people who live there —– and die there.

Alternatively read about life on some of the hardened streets of Glasgow or for something different try my other books and short stories.

 

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/elly.grant.92

Synopsis

They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down.

When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

Tense, absorbing, and insightful, The Kompromat Kill is a gripping thriller leaving
you breathless at the pace of intrigue, cleverly unravelled in a dramatic finale.

My review

‘Energetic’ is the best term for this book. It’s full of action and life from the first page to the last. And death, of course, since it’s a thriller set in the brutal word of international espionage where anyone inconvenient is efficiently wiped out. Any violence, however, is somewhat matter-of-factly delivered, which is in keeping with the book’s genre, rather than being gratuitous and sensationalised.

Our hero is Sean Richardson, a man loyal to his country and colleagues, and prepared to do what needs doing, but who is also endowed with a sense of morals that weigh him down at times. He’s thoughtful and contemplative, but acts instinctively when necessary too.

All the characters we meet are convincing. Everything from their names to their actions conveys their personality and their role in this thriller.

The action takes us to all kinds of places, which are all described in enough detail so that we can picture the scene perfectly without becoming bogged down in minutiae.

The Kompromat Kill follows on from The Failsafe Query but works perfectly as a standalone. It’s an exciting, escapist read but it leaves you with a few things to think about after you’ve finished it. Absolutely one to read.

 

Purchase Links

UK  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QFSF44F

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QFSF44F

 

About the author

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query was my first novel, with The Kompromat Kill as my second.

 

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/FailsafeQuery

https://www.facebook.com/thefailsafethrillers/

 

Giveaway to Win 5 copies of The Kompromat Kill (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494254/

Smile Of The Stowaway

A married couple, a stranger from far away and a murder that rocks their lives. Desperate to reach England, a bedraggled immigrant clings precariously beneath a couple’s motor home as they cross the Channel. Once holidaymakers Bob and Anne overcome their shock at his discovery and their initial reservations, they welcome the friendly stranger into their home in defiance of the law. But their trust is stretched to the limit when the police accuse the smiling twenty-three-year-old of a gruesome murder. Could this man from six thousand miles away be guilty? Or is the real killer still out there? Former national newspaper journalist Tony Bassett tells how Anne turns detective, battling against a mountain of circumstantial evidence and police bungling to discover the truth. This gripping first novel concerning a death in a remote Kentish country cottage is packed with mystery, suspense and occasional touches of humour.

 

My review

This is a modern, tingling psychological thriller that begins with the book’s title. At once you’re slightly on edge, wondering exactly what sort of smile that stowaway is smiling. A relieved one? A smug one? Triumphant, nervous, malicious?

The challenges to your possible preconceptions regarding immigration, keeping secrets and how far one should go to help a stranger continue in the story, which is fast-paced and gripping. The author has a spare, punchy way of writing that doesn’t bog you down with more than you need to know. It also gives you more to guess about.

The book doesn’t just make you sit up and think a bit more seriously about modern issues. There’s a crime to solve too, and the plot is tightly constructed and exciting. There’s some lighter relief along the way so it’s not a white-knuckle ride all the time. The author handles tone and tension very well.

There’s a lot packed into this novel which you really should discover for yourselves.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Smile-Stowaway-Tony-Bassett/dp/1911546457

US – https://www.amazon.com/Smile-Stowaway-Tony-Bassett/dp/1911546457

 

Author bio 

Tony Bassett, who was born in West Kent, grew up wanting to be a writer from the age of nine when he edited a school magazine. After attending Hull University where he won a `Time-Life’ magazine student journalism award, he spent six years working as a journalist in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff before moving to Fleet Street. Tony spent 37 years working for the national press, mainly for the `Sunday People’ where he worked both for the newsdesk and the investigations department. He helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial for the `Evening Standard’, broke the news in the `Sun’ of Bill Wyman’s plans to marry Mandy Smith and found evidence for the `Sunday People’ of Rod Stewart’s secret love child. On one occasion, while working for `The People’, he took an escaped gangster back to prison. His first book, `Smile Of The Stowaway’, is one of four crime novels Tony has written over the past three years.  He has five grown-up children and eleven grandchildren.  He lives in South East London with his partner, Lin.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/tonybassettauthor/

Twitter: @tonybassett1

Tony’s author website

www.tonybassettauthor.com

And do enter this fantastic giveaway!

Giveaway to Win 6 x PB copies of Smile of the Stowaway (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494252/

Synopsis

What secrets lie hidden in the Medieval college of Kineton and Dacre…?

Salster, 1385

Master mason Simon of Kineton is building his magnum opus: a great college to rival any in England.

But the Bishop of Salster, hostile to free education, is determined to sabotage Simon’s project.

When rumours spread that the mason’s son is cursed, the bishop sees an opportunity to undermine both Simon and the college.

And everything Simon has worked so hard for could end up crumbling down around him…

Salster, 2019

Damia Miller has been employed to promote penniless Kineton and Dacre college.

Delving into the college’s history, she becomes captivated by the vast grotesque painting that has recently been uncovered during renovations.

It soon becomes clear to Damia that the painting holds the key to the past – a past which could reveal exactly what she’s been searching for…

 

My review

This is a fresh, clever book. We have two timelines – 1385 and 2019. Although six and a half centuries separate them, there is so much that’s similar: rivalry, the importance of education, strong personalities, families that are a little different from normal, intolerance and commitment. These elements and the apparently separate plots link begin to entwine firmly as the story progresses and the mystery of that painting is slowly solved.

Simon and Damia are the lead characters, one in each timeline. It is they who hold the action together in their sections of the book, but Damia is the overall lynchpin. It’s she who brings everything to fulfilment. She’s a very interesting heroine. Like Simon she’s unconventional in her outlook, opinionated and dedicated. We become very interested in seeing her at work and watching how her character develops.

The background to the historical element of the book has clearly been very carefully researched and we get a convincing sense of the period and the beliefs and politics of the time. The modern era is just as vibrantly and realistically portrayed.

The author has a clear, direct style that is easy and enjoyable to read. The plot is interesting and well constructed. All in all this is an absorbing and satisfying book.     

The First Lie

We’ve all had sleepless nights thinking about it.
You’re home alone. Someone breaks in.
In defending yourself, you end up killing the intruder.
Now you’re the one the police want.

That is the situation that criminal barrister Paul Reeve arrives home to find.
His wife Alice stands in the bedroom, clutching a bloodied letter opener in her shaking hand.

“What have you done, Alice?”
“I didn’t have a choice…”

We would all believe the person we love most.
But would we all make the same choice Paul and Alice make next…?

 

And here is the cover…

It’s certainly stunning, and I can’t wait to read this novel!

 

Pre-order Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Lie-addictive-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07NLCMD44/

UShttps://www.amazon.com/First-Lie-addictive-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07NLCMD44/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-first-lie/a-j-park/9781409187424

 

Author Bio –

After studying literature, linguistics and Spanish at university, AJ Park trained as an English teacher and actor. He has edited magazines and taught English, Media Studies and Drama in secondary schools in England. He was also a competitive fencer for seven years.

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter @AJParkauthor               

Facebook KarlVadaszffy

www.karlvad.com

Foul Deeds Will Rise

By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.

After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.

 

My review

This book follows on from the outstanding ‘A Walking Shadow’ and shares all the excellent characteristics of that book – an original plot, atmospheric settings, fascinating dramatis personae and superb writing. However, it works well as a standalone, since all we need to know is communicated to us as and when we need such information.

Lillian Nolan is a unifying feature, as is the theatrical background, but this new adventure is fresh and lively, not simply a variation on a theme. We learn more about our heroine and we witness her maturing and developing. She no longer depends on a spirit to help her with her acting, but is very accomplished all on her own. Yet she learns that it’s all right to call on the assistance of others for help, whichever realm they happen to reside in. It’s a sign of strength to know your limitations, not a weakness.

The action runs alongside a production of Hamlet. In the first book the tragedy in question was MacBeth, and I like how this theme continues. Shakespeare’s tragedies often have ghosts and supernatural occurrences in them, which is mirrored in the ‘real’ life of this novel.

The action moves swiftly and throws up some interesting people and events for our consideration. There are convincing friendships and enmities, and definitely some twists and turns in the plot.

Thoroughly enjoyable and very clever.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NQM8NT4/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQM8NT4/

THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES

Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.

Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.

About the author

Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theatre early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theatre, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theatre History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.

She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/BackstageMystery/

www.BackstageMystery.com

https://twitter.com/EbethIreland

Synopsis

A beaten homeless vet. Three cops gunned down. A multistate manhunt. The trial of the decade.

A new kind of legal thriller

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

 

My review

There is so much to admire in this book, everything from its clever format of essentially being three exciting stories in one, to the difficult issues it tackles, to the excellent and atmospheric writing.

N Lombardi Jr doesn’t hesitate to shock us in his writing, although never gratuitously so. He gives us a good shaking just  by presenting us with contemporary injustices and discriminations that are going on around us and that we’d normally prefer to ignore. The callous neglect of war veterans suffering from PTSD is the main subject under scrutiny, but police brutality, social intolerance and summary justice all get a big look in.

The two pertinent crimes in this novel – the beating to death of war vet Jay and then the shooting of three cops – occur early on, and the majority of the book deals with the aftermath of these awful events. We follow the flight of the chief suspect, Donald Darfield, and then his capture and trial. The latter might appear to be less than exciting, but trust me it isn’t. There’s a lot of tension and excitement during it, and throughout your blood pressure just keeps going up in response to the bigotry and deceit that crops up!

We meet some fascinating characters in the book, from Jay himself, whom we get to know from flashbacks to the past, to his comrade Donald, to the strong doctor, Tessa Thorpe, who counsels the troubled veterans, to the eccentric, controversial defence lawyer, Nathaniel. They’re all so unique, so human, so convincing.

This powerful, compelling book has a startling ending. That’s all I’ll say!

It’s the first in a series, and I can’t wait to read more by this excellent author. His imagery, characterisation and creation of scenes and settings are all amazing, and despite an overall impression of understatement, as in there’s no unnecessary sensationalism and everything is so carefully, methodically constructed,  this novel is one of the most impactful I’ve come across in a long time.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Justice-Gone-N-Lombardi-Jr/dp/1785358766

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Gone-N-Lombardi-Jr/dp/1785358766

Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/justice-gone-n-lombardi-jr/1128875661?ean=9781785358760

Book Depository

https://www.bookdepository.com/Justice-Gone-N-Lombardi-Jr/9781785358760?ref=grid-view&qid=1544400889897&sr=1-1

Waterstones

https://www.waterstones.com/book/justice-gone/n-lombardi-jr/9781785358760

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/justice-gone

About the author

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Social Media Links –

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_Jr_

http://www.author-n-lombardi-jr.com/