Synopsis

What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labelled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system?  Probably not.

After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace.

When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved.

As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.

Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.

 

My review

This is a really cunning and clever mystery with a cast of some truly ghastly but fascinating characters! There are, of course, the good guys too and these are equally as interesting, particularly Dalia, the insurance investigator, and Tyler, the cop.

The story begins and ends from the point of view of Alex, our main suspect, but  most of it is narrated by Dalia. She gives us an insight into the complicated business of insurance for highly valuable items, and with her sharp, incisive mind she contributes greatly to the police investigation too. She’s very likeable, down-to-earth and engaging as our main protagonist.

It’s enlightening to see the world through Alex’s eyes too. He’s not trying to impress anyone, just be brutally self-serving. He and Marley and Ashton Bennington are the main suspects, but how to determine which one of them perpetrated the crime, or was it all of them? Or was it someone else altogether?

There’s a great sense of place in the novel. The settings range from the courtroom, to the sumptuous residence of the Benningtons, to prison interview rooms, to various atmospheric sites were the team conduct their investigations. Each has loads of atmosphere and detail.

There’s co-operation and confrontation in the novel, loyalty and betrayal, cruelty and kindness and hatred and love. There are plenty of shocks in store for the reader but not enough to destroy your faith in humanity. Even though it seems unlikely at times that justice will fully out in this complicated case, you’re aware that there’s a strong force for good at work.

The plot keeps you guessing all the way through this gripping and highly enjoyable novel.

Absolutely to be recommended.

 

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KN85YK4

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KN85YK4

Good reads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42852253-facing-a-twisted-judgment?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Author Bio

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right?

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

 

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.

A Hollow Sky is the second Alex Ripley Mystery.

 

My review

A Hollow Sky is a thoughtful and thought-provoking mystery with a definitely unsettling undercurrent of menace. It unrolls slowly to begin with, but as it gains momentum it really begins to sweep you along as the tension mounts. This is the result of excellent, careful writing.

As well as the mystery involving comatose Megan and a cast of scarily obdurate and arrogant people adhering to somewhat extreme religious beliefs, there is a personal interest story line involving Alex  Ripley, who is an intriguing and complex character. She’s certainly courageous and determined and I wouldn’t want her on my trail!

The setting in the close-knit village is almost claustrophobic, exactly as the author intends. I mentioned that feeling of menace earlier, and it lurks. stagnating in every corner. Alex comes in like a breath of fresh air, but will she be enough to recharge the oppressive atmosphere and chase the evil away?

In summary, an excellent, absorbing, slightly disconcerting mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the end.

The book is the second in a series but works fine as a standalone, and is an enticing introduction to this author.

 

Purchase Link

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

Direct from Red Dog Presshttps://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

 

Author Bio

Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

Social Media Links –  

www.facebook.com/mseancoleman.author

www.twitter.com/mseancoleman

Giveaway to win paperback copies of The Cuckoo Wood and A Hollow Sky, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Synopsis

The sequel to S. W. Ellenwood’s debut novel, The Janitor and the Spy, picks up six months after Thomas Thornhill’s nightmare mission in Amsterdam. On his own, he now goes under the alias of Jack Montferrand and seeks to gain entry into the oldest and most dangerous triad in Asia to find Them.

On the inside, he finds the triad not as stable as he thought, forcing him to win their trust and prove his worth to them at every turn as new rivals sprout up. He plunges his hands deeper into the filth, and himself deeper into the alias of Jack, so much so that he starts to wonder where Thomas ends and Jack begins.

 

My reviews

This is another fast-paced, snappy thriller that carries on from where The Janitor and The Spy left off. It’s largely set in Hong Kong where our hero Thomas, going by the name of Jack Montferrand, needs to infiltrate one of the triads in order to continue to track down ‘The Twelve’ whom he learned about in the first novel. His ex-boss, who died at their hands as did Thomas’s fiancé, gave him a name as a lead to find them, and this is what Thomas is working on. It’s not going to be straightforward and it’s bound to be painful, if not deadly.

The author has a light, easy style, with touches of humour, but he can create horror and tension just as well. He’s obviously done a lot of research and creates a very convincing setting for the action, down to details of ethnic food the characters eat. The characters in question are interesting and rounded, and we get a good idea of what makes them tick, particularly Thomas.

Punchy and enjoyable, definitely one to read if you enjoy contemporary thrillers. There’s doubtless a lot more to come from this talented author.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Lumberjack-Thornhill-Book-ebook/dp/B07JFCHTD4

US – https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Lumberjack-Thornhill-Book-ebook/dp/B07JFCHTD4

Author Bio

S. W. Ellenwood is thankful to have a close-knit family of two parents, a brother, and two sisters. A homeschooler who graduated college from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Ellenwood loves all forms and genres of stories and was inspired by The Lord of the Rings films and his parents to write. You can find Ellenwood writing his next novel at the local coffee shops or playing table top games with his best friends.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/swellenwood

Website: http://www.swellenwood.com/

 

Synopsis

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach…

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans. But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home… And someone is watching… Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

 

My review

This is a book that will probably push you out of your comfort zone. It certainly did with me. Too many books like this and I’d be losing my faith in human nature! The book is very darkly ingenious and intensive, and makes for a very original if challenging read. It’s worth the effort, though, as it’s very entertaining and will totally grip you.

We have a cast of damaged characters. The punchy storyline varies between these different people, which adds yet another layer of wariness and menace to the novel that’s already full of it. They all have secrets, that range from shady to downright murky, and are the sort of people you’d be well advised to run away from should you encounter them in a dark alley!

The book is full of energy, and also surprises. Even in an unpredictable book, we like to think we have an idea what might happen next. You don’t have a hope in this one. The author’s creativity knows no bounds and he leads us a macabre, merry dance.

If you fancy a book that’s definitely unique, blackly quirky and which will leave you plenty to think about, then this is one for you.

 

About the author

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

 

The book is published by Orenda Books and is available in all Amazon stores as an ebook and paperback, and also as an audiobook.

 

 

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The Fourth Victim

Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquillity and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry, but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with head injuries, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more. However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

 

My review

This is a carefully written police procedural with a strong sense of place. London oozes out of every sentence and is created in detailed imagery. It’s not always pleasant but cities have their blemishes. There’s also the added dimension of mental health issues in the form of Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is dealt with sensitively although we see the devastating consequences it can have in this novel.

The author gets inside his characters’ skins. We see how and why they annoy each other, why they’re attracted to people they know they shouldn’t be, how they’re crippled by grief, driven by the desire for justice, as the case may be. The human interest level is always there, which sometimes isn’t the case in procedurals where it’s all about unmasking the villain. The author admits to being a ‘people watcher’ and that comes through very clearly. He creates real people, warts and all.

The plot’s an interesting one, particularly with the element of DID as part of its complexity, and it’s particularly clever how we have three dead bodies, yet indisputably four victims. A nice touch.

The Fourth Victim is an absorbing novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy solving crimes alongside fascinating protagonists.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fourth-Victim-John-Mead/dp/1912575361/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-fourth-victim/john-mead/9781912575367

Author bio

Born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estates ever built, I was the first pupil from my local secondary modern school to attend university.

I have travelled extensively during my life from America to Tibet. I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that I am an avid ‘people watcher’ and love to find out about people, their lives, culture and history.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in my novels are based on real incidents and people I have come across. However, I have allowed myself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

 

Social Media Links 

Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor

Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

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The Janitor and the Spy by S W Ellenwood

Synopsis

Baby wipes are not the best at cleaning up blood, or what happened to Thornhill in Amsterdam.

They told Thornhill it would be a simple spy mission that he was more than eager to take on, but of course, it wasn’t.

It didn’t take long after meeting the contact for Thornhill to question if he or anyone else connected to him was going to be able to make it out of Amsterdam alive. Passing strangers on the streets became potential hitmen and dinner with criminals became a safe haven as Thornhill seeks to find answers from an old man named Golay.

 

My review

I must start with an apology to the author and the book tour organiser. I’m a day late posting this review due to a date muddle entirely on my part. I shall make sure not to be so organisationally challenged again.

This is a snappy and energetic read, high on intrigue. Our hero, Thomas Thornhill, is a seasoned spy but even he is a little daunted by this latest mission. He is to retrieve some papers from an old contact, but things don’t go to plan. The contact, Golay, gives him the runaround, a colleague disappears and even Thornhill’s minder seems to be at risk.

I especially like how details about Thornhill emerge indirectly as the novella proceeds. For example, he’s a bit particular about what he eats and it’s important to him to look the part. He also reveals a softer side that’s not been completely hardened by his line of business. He will kill if he needs to, but he can show compassion to those that deserve it.

Thornhill travels from America to Amsterdam, where all the excitement starts, then back to America but his work isn’t over yet. There are some super twists, and some poignancy, at the end, which definitely leave the reader wanting to find out what’s going to happen next.

We meet an interesting cast of characters, all nicely delineated and memorable. The settings are persuasive and detailed, and very atmospheric. The plot is well thought out and lively. In summary, a snappy, enjoyable read.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janitor-Spy-Thornhill-Book-ebook/dp/B013KNYGVC/

US – https://www.amazon.com/janitor-spy-thornhill-book-ebook/dp/B013KNYGVC/

   

Author bio 

S. W. Ellenwood is thankful to have a close-knit family of two parents, a brother, and two sisters. A home-schooler who graduated college from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Ellenwood loves all forms and genres of stories and was inspired by The Lord of the Rings films and his parents to write. You can find Ellenwood writing his next novel at the local coffee shops or playing table top games with his best friends.

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/swellenwood

Website: http://www.swellenwood.com/

 

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for this exciting thriller today. So grab your passport and a bulletproof vest and join me for a ride across Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Synopsis

The Failsafe Query is a gripping thriller set in the contemporary world of modern British espionage.

Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for Alfie Chapman, an Intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. This includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.

The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy.

Tense, fast paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale.

 

My review

With many thrillers, the emphasis is all the action which leaves us with cardboard cut-outs as characters, and rather bare writing. However, that’s not the case at all with this super thriller. Everyone we meet is a fully developed and convincing person, and some of the descriptive imagery in this book is searingly apt and, at times, beautiful.

Sean Richardson is a tough, scarred man but he’s still apprehensive when dealing with some of the ruthless people  he has to. He’s not gung-ho. He’s doing what he’s doing because it’s the right thin to do but he’s aware how dangerous and probably foolhardy it all is.

Melissa Morgan, an investigative journalist who crosses paths with Sean due to their connections with the elusive Alfie Chapman, is another strong character, but she has her weaknesses too. When they combine forces they make quite a team.

Alfie, the would-be mole, is a complex person too. He’s going through mental torture, and isn’t at all the sort of selfish, arrogant person we might consider a whistle-blower to be.

The action is fast-paced, just as it should be, and the plot’s extremely clever, with twists and turns you definitely don’t see coming. Thoroughly absorbing.

There’s a handy glossary at the back so that you’re not puzzled as to what terms such as ‘Great Game’ and ‘Line N’ might mean.

In summary, this is a very accomplished novel. The political and physical background to the action has obviously painstakingly researched, and the author has created some fascinating characters and scenarios for us to relish.

Purchase  Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Failsafe-Query-Michael-Jenkins-ebook/dp/B07DWDTNTW

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Failsafe-Query-Michael-Jenkins-ebook/dp/B07DWDTNTW

Author Bio –

Michael Jenkins served for twenty-eight years in the British
Army, rising through the ranks to complete his service as a major. He
served across the globe on numerous military operations as an intelligence
officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance
disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal
Engineers.

His experiences within the services involved extensive travel and
adventure whilst on operations, and also on many major mountaineering
and exploration expeditions that he led or was involved in.
He was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical
Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee
of the Mount Everest Foundation charity.

He was awarded the MBE on leaving the armed forces in 2007 for his services to counterterrorism.

The Failsafe Query is Michael’s first novel. He has started work on
his second spy thriller, The Kompromat Kill, and hopes to publish it
the spring of 2019.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/FailsafeQuery

https://www.facebook.com/thefailsafequery/

https://www.michaeljenkins.org/

 

Giveaway – Win 5 x PB copies of The Failsafe Query & a spy linkage map (unframed) (Open Internationally)

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494155/

 

Do visit the other ports of call on the book tour: