Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

The Portrait Lingers like a Whisper by TWM Ashford

June 7, 2018 - 8:59 pm No Comments

The Portrait Lingers like a Whisper by TWM Ashford
Published by White Inc on 5th June 2018
130 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I first came across this author when I read his dystopian series Blackwater and loved what I read. So when this book was released I got it straight away.
“Jane” wakes up with no memory, in a strange house and no one to tell her how she got there. Wandering round the house, she meets “Jack” who is in the same predicament. One thing they know they need escape, but with an unnatural darkness surrounding the house and “Jack” not what he seems, Jane knows she is in danger.
Written from Jane’s POV, the story follows Jane as she wanders around the house. There is a sense of desperation as Jane realises that she is in trouble. The pace changes throughout giving the story an intense feel to it. The more she investigates, the more she is confused and whilst she comes across strange experimental drugs none of this helps. The introduction of apparitions makes this feel like a ghost story, but the author had a way of leading you in the wrong direction. The writing style was illustrative and it felt as you were watching Jane as she struggled with her situation. As I was reading this I did not expect the truth about Jane when it was revealed and it was unexpected.
A completely different read from Blackwater and still as good

The Boogeyman’s Intern by Matt Betts

June 1, 2018 - 4:43 am 1 Comment

I have the pleasure to kick off the blog tour for The Boogeyman’s Intern. The Boogeyman’s Intern takes a lighthearted look at things that go bump in the night.

The Boogeyman’s Intern by Matt Betts
Published by Raw Dog Screaming Press 1st June 2018
218 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

As a child, did you have an imaginary friend. Did the tooth fairy visit you when you lost a tooth. These and other creatures all live together on the Hill, rubbing shoulders with the Gods from the ancient beliefs.
Abe was an imaginary friend, good at his job until he got bored. On his final strike, the committee gave him one more chance, find out who killed one of the elite, the boogeyman Ira. Being the first policeman on the Hill, he puts together a team involving his friend Zane another boogeyman and career counsellor Brady. One big problem, he did not know where to start, so had to rely on his connections in the otherworld.
Living in a land of imaginaries, you come across quite a lot of weird and wonderful characters and it is not often that you read about Norse Gods rubbing shoulders with tooth fairy assistants. Ade was a comical character who relied a lot on his quick comments. Coming across as sarcastic he did rub quite a few people up the wrong way. One of my favourite characters was Brady, who reminded me of one of those aging hippies who would be at camp singing Kumbaya.
I enjoyed how the author brought some of the human world into the Hill, Zane’s obsessiveness over a police badge and Ade would fall back on police TV shows he watched when he was an imaginary friend. What starts out with a mysterious death soon turns into a matter of life and death. The story was a quick read and I really got into it until about 50% as Ade was shown into a cave housing all sorts of strange creatures. This stopped me in my tracks as I could not understand where the story was going but as I kept reading, it became clear the reason for that particular journey. Throughout the story you find out more of Abe former life and his relationship with the human boy Truman. There are some laugh out loud moments thanks to Ade and a unlikely character of a deranged Tooth Fairy, and there were times when you felt sorry for the life Ade had and the troubles he had to overcome. The story reminded me of Monsters Inc. for adults as like the film, the imaginaries relied on children to believe in them
This is the first book I have read by this author and I am interested in to reading more of his work. If you like your fantasy read with a difference than pick up this book.

About the Author
Each night Matt Betts fills a bathtub full of pop culture and then soaks in it, absorbing it through every pore. It’s not pretty. The Ohio native is the author of the speculative poetry collections Underwater Fistfight and See No Evil, Say No Evil, as well as the novels Odd Men Out and Indelible Ink. He lives in Columbus with his wife and their two boys.
Raw Dog Screaming Press’ Science Fiction/ Adventure Imprint, Dog Star Books, Thrives
In 2013 RDSP celebrated its 10th year in publishing by launching a Science Fiction imprint, Dog Star Books, to much fanfare. The initial releases have received lots of critical praise. Dog Star Books brings readers’ favorite sub-genres of Science Fiction Adventure under the imprint’s unifying brand. Explosive covers by artist Bradley Sharp invoke the ideas of new pulp, strange worlds, and futures that never were or will be. Dog Star is the destination where meta meets pop, where intellect is fun, and where imagination pulses in all its sensual glory.

City of Ghosts (GhostWriters Book 1) by JH Moncrieff

June 17, 2017 - 7:55 am No Comments

City of Ghosts (GhostWriters Book 1) by JH Moncrieff

Published by DeathZone Books on 15th April 2017

282 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Wanting to be the next great author, Jackson Stone has come up with an idea to write about haunted places. Travelling round China, Jackson decides to ditch his tour group and spend a night in Hensu. Supposedly haunted, Jackson a non-believer, thinks nothing of it when Yuehai a mysterious young woman joins him and wants him to tell her story. However, the further he delves into her story, the more he finds himself in danger, running for his life, he needs to trust someone and finds himself turning to Kate a member of the group who has a special talent. Can they tell Yuehai’s story before time runs out?

At the start of this story Jackson was a sceptic when it came to ghosts and just thought that it was an easy option to get a best seller. As he starts to look into the Hensu flooding, his curiosity gets the better of him and he starts asking questions which draws attention from the wrong people. Although Jackson was easy to like and was a team player I had the feeling that he was a bit of loner and found it hard to trust.  He was confident in himself and even used his skin colour to escape capture, however he did have a guilty secret, and it took the help of Kate for him to shed his guilt.

Kate had a soft spot for Jackson from the start and always found a way to gravitate towards him. She was always a target from one nasty girl in the group and although she defended herself you could tell it hurt her feelings. Once she told Jackson about her talent their friendship moved to another level and if the circumstances were different I could see them becoming a couple.

Whilst the story revolved around Jackson and Kate, reading this story you get to know about the other people on this trip. The minor characters were described in detail and whilst they were minor they all played a role in Jackson being able to tell Yuehai’s story. Set in China, Jackson had the added barrier of not using the internet to search for information, and you could sense his struggle in finding out what had happened. This shows just how much we rely on the internet to get our answers. The start of the story was a steady pace as you get to know the characters, but as the story of Hensu is revealed and you realise that Jackson’s life is in danger, the pace quickens up. Whilst this is a supernatural read, this book does not rely solely on the hauntings to tell the story. This way of telling the story added suspense as you did not know when it was going to happen. The action is nonstop, which builds up to a dramatic ending.

This is the 1st book I have read by this author and I did enjoy this story. Book 2 in this series is already out

 

The Fallen and Bloodlust: 2 books both by RL Weeks and KL Roth

April 10, 2017 - 9:11 pm No Comments

The Fallen by RL Weeks and KL Roth

Published 3rd March 2017

100 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

What if you find your boyfriend murdered and you know who did it but he made you forget with a kiss? This is the dilemma that Chloe had. But when she finds out that two sexy handsome demons are involved, Chloe does not know whether to run, fight or be loved.

Chloe was devastated when she loses Jake, and whilst she tried to tell everyone what happened no one believed and just wanted to dope her up. Even her best friend Zelda was worried, but she was more concerned about the constant visits from Miles who helped her overcame her grief. However, you could tell that she still had a crisis of conscious when she was with Miles. Miles although a demon was caring and considerate, but possible that was down to the heritage of his parents. For him falling in love with a human was frowned upon, but this did not stop him pursuing Chloe. Things became more confusing for Chloe when Grail decided to pay her attention. Grail was very full of himself and I think he toyed with Chloe’s guilt. He was like a cat playing with a mouse. Although whilst reading this story I thought she was one lucky girl

The sex scenes were hot but what do you expect when one of the demons is a succubus. The ending had one unexpected twist which completed this story. As a novella, this was a quick read and it was a good introduction to the authors writing skills as a collaboration. If you like your demons hot and spicy then this is the book for you.

 

Bloodlust: A Darkness Calls: Volume 1 by RL Weeks and KL Roth

Published 3rd March 2017

238 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Emeline was in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught up in a witch hunt and cursed to walk the earth as a vampire. Whilst find a cure for her curse, she loses someone she loved, vowed never to love again, she hurts others before they can hurt her. Born to serve is her only friend and servant Marie who she saved from death many years before. After moving to a quiet town in England, she puts her plan into action to make their friendship eternal, but after meeting Matt a troubled young man whose family is falling apart, she stops to think about who she really is. Does Emeline go with her plan? Is Matt her saviour? and where is Matt’s missing sister?

Emeline is a complex woman, from the moment she got cursed she knew what she was doing was wrong, however she needed to survive. After the loss of first love her whole nature changes and she becomes heartless. However, I think that was just to protect herself from the hurt and underneath her evilness she was still a scared young woman. Only when she was with Marie do we see her carefree nature and this showed more after she met Matt. Matt had so many problems at home, a missing sister, a mom who had spiralled into a deep depression and a dad that had a fascination with a younger woman. Matt brought out the best in Emeline, and what started out as escapism soon turned into something else, but was it love or lust.

The further you get into the story more characters appear, Ti a warlock infatuated with Emeline and Lilith a love-struck witch to name but a few, but with all the additional character it does not make this book confusing as the authors tie up their involvement neatly. Added to this is further magical creatures, all having an important role in this story   About 2/3rds into the story there is a scene that shocked me as I could not believe what the authors had done with Emeline but further on and with a great twist the story gives you an explanation of Matt’s missing sister. There is so many twist in this story that it makes it a page turner as you don’t know what to expect. This book ticks all the right boxes. Paranormal, erotica, horror, mystery and fantasy. This will please so many different readers and with a cliff-hanger that makes you wander where this story will go, I can’t wait for book 2

Perk Noir by Chris Garson

March 26, 2017 - 10:38 am No Comments

Perk Noir by Chris Garson

Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 6th July 2016

375 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After getting injured on the field, former American Football player Mason Barnes became an author. He has a created a series about a ninja spy Mia Killjoy who can kill any assailant with her lady parts, loved by a niche audience all Mason wants to do is to win a Pulitzer. Mason does his writing at Perk Noir, a coffee shop dedicated to Earl “Lightening” Perkins, original owner and little known Jazz player. Being a big fan of Lightening, Mason knew there was more to his life and if he wanted to win that prestigious award, then he would have to investigate and write Lightening’s story. Helping with this story was Shelly a big Mason, Cosplay and Mia fan, who’s family heirloom kicked started the Lightening investigation, but he knew that he had to get to the story before his nemesis, Bancroft.

The way the author described Mason you have a definite picture in your mind whilst reading this story. I found him to be a loveable character, a gentle giant who had a fascination for people’s head size. When he joined up with Shelly their partnership was solid and I felt that she bought out the best in Mason and was always worrying about his wellbeing, especially when Mason suffers a health scare.  Although young in age, she was very mature and was full of confidence and I liked the way that she did not care what people thought about her. The detail that the author put into each character even the minor ones, added more depth to the story. I was instantly drawn to Brett Barlow, the café owner and Professor Harrison Coopers-Clarke Mason’s mentor and I would like to know more about them

Weaving from past to present, helped tell the story of Mason’s investigation, without it being confusing. Lightening’s story was so convincing that I had believed that he was an actual Jazz player. This is a well written book, with a great plot full of twists and turns. I did not want the story to finish but I could not put it down. It had me laughing at Mia’s antics and the constant comparison of head sizes and the final twist I am sure I just sat there with my mouth agape as I definitely did not see that coming.

This is a great story and not just for mystery lovers. I want to read more of Mason and I want to know if Snippy ever loses weight.