Posts Tagged ‘Thriller’

Grin: A Dani Scott Novel #1 by Stuart Keane

July 2, 2017 - 8:35 am No Comments

Grin: A Dani Scott Novel #1 by Stuart Keane

Published on 30th October 2015

191 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Dani had a great life, doing well at college, doting parents and an annoying little brother, nothing could be better in her life. This was until the night her dad’s boss decided to tie up some lose ends. Killing her family and leaving her for dead, disfigured with Chelsea grin, Dani was alone in the world and the only thing that kept her going was revenge.

Dani is the same age as my daughter and throughout this book I kept imagining what she would be like if it happened to her and I had such admiration for Dani. Going through this life changing event would bring most teenage girls to their knees, where self-image is all the rage, Dani would be looked on as a freak but this just kept her focused and driven. Being alone in the world, she had to learn to be independent.

From the opening scene, you know you know you are in for a thrilling adventure, what starts off being a regular hit for Dani’s dad soon escalates into violence and pandemonium. As Dani was a teenager this helped the story grow as due to her age she was constantly being dismissed as a non-threat. It made the story intense as her actions were calculated and well planned and throughout I was willing her to survive. As this is a book about gangs then expect some violence, as this was necessary to the story. It was a perfect ending and I want to read more. Prior to Grin I have only read this author work in a collaboration and whilst I sort of knew what I was getting into, I did not expect such a great read. A fast pace page turner that will keep you gripped to the end

Scallywag by Stuart Brogan

May 15, 2017 - 4:52 pm No Comments

Scallywag by Stuart Brogan

Published by Midgard Books on 15th May 2017

156 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Callum Benson was a small- time crook. Well known to the police for burglaries and muggings, Callum was a bit of a loner and never affiliated with the criminal fraternity. One afternoon whilst he was mugging someone, he gets kidnapped. Waking up to a group of masked men, he had one task, to save his little sister he needed to murder a “policeman”.  Can Callum step up to the mark and rescue her.

At the start of this story Callum only thought of No1 and didn’t care who he hurt in the process to get what he wanted. However, when his sister was kidnapped he knew that he had to rescue her and he did surprise me that he took on the mission without asking questions. There were times he was cocky and liked to run his mouth but I personally thought this was an act because he was scared. By the end of the story I was feeling sorry for him and I actually began to like him.

The target was a strange character and whilst I read, I felt he was very childlike but the more you read his story, he was highly intelligent, knew exactly what he wanted but was evil in how he did it.

Stuart Brogan has done it again, another book that gave me a book hangover as I read into the early hours. To create a story with very few characters takes skill and Stuart proves he has it. The story intensified when Callum came across his target and the story took on a different pace. It got grittier and when you think you knew what was going to happen, the author adds a twist that completely knocks you back. The ending was a complete surprise but fitting.

Another great read that will not let you put it down until you have finished it.

Visiting Lilly (Jake Talbot Investigates Book 1) by Toni Allen

April 26, 2017 - 9:01 pm No Comments

Visiting Lilly (Jake Talbot Investigates Book 1) by Toni Allen

Published on 31st May 2016

298 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I downloaded this book on Kindle unlimited.

When DI Jake Talbot overhears Peter Charteris putting a complaint in about Frankie Hayward harassing his grandma. DI Talbot was intrigued and volunteered to look into the case. Thinking this case would be a distraction from his Christmas memories, he was curious to find out why a young man like Frankie is interested in a 90yr old woman. A simple case of harassment quickly becomes complex involving the MOD, astral projection, past meetings and a missing boy, but will Frankie ever meet Lilly.

What was different to other thrillers I have recently read was that DI Talbot was not a rule breaker, he was hard working, stickler for detail who would get the job done. As the story progresses you get to know more about his personal life and the reason why he does not like Christmas. He had an open mind when it came to the astral projection and the further he got with his investigation the more he fought for Frankie’s rights.

Frankie was a loner, even as a small boy he was different to his siblings. Brought up by his grandma and her stories about a mysterious figure who visited her one night, he was free to explore astral projection. As the investigation continued you are introduced to Frankie’s mom and siblings and I personally think he was better off living with his grandma as there was no love for him, to the point that his mom accused him of murdering Keith McKenzie, a childhood friend of Frankie’s who went missing when they were younger.

I was engrossed this story from the moment DI Talbot started the investigation. DI Talbot was like a big brother to Frankie and although Frankie found it hard to make friends there was a brotherly bond with Jake. The introduction of further characters was not confusing to the story but did help explain their past and with the addition of Frankie’s family although detestable had me feeling sorry for Frankie. I loved the idea of astral projection as although unusual neatly explained the fascination between Lilly and Frankie. The story was flowed smoothly and as the story progressed so did the suspense. There was enough twist and turns in this story to keep it interesting and when the MOD got involved I did not expect that. With Frankie talking about saving Jake’s sister, it leads nicely into book 2 and I for one can’t wait to see if he does it. A great thriller with a sci-fi element.

Jackals by Stuart R Brogan………. The Jackals book blog tour

April 18, 2017 - 12:28 pm 1 Comment

We are honoured to be part of the Jackals book blog tour. I had the pleasure of reading it and below is my review. Theresa interviewed the author and if you want to know more than carry on reading past the review:

Jackals by Stuart R Brogan

Published by Midgard Books on 23rd January 2017

243 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

 

Whilst out with her husband celebrating their anniversary, Jesse Reid come across as group calling themselves Jackals, meeting them changes her life for ever. When a Police station is brutally attacked DI Class is assigned to the case, a police officer who is not afraid to bend the rules and lives life on the edge, but is he the right man for the job.

When Jesse Reid is introduced she was a meek woman happy in her marriage, suffering with a mental health problem. What surprised me was when her life was in danger she turned into a woman possessed, putting the Jackals to shame.  Overseen by 13 influential men and pillars of the community, the Jackals are part of a secret society, a society that wanted to go back to primitive ways, who believed they would make the world a better place by murdering people. Their only rule is that they can’t use firearms. I liked DI Class as even though he knew that he was on a case that could wreck his career, he still put all his efforts into the investigation and to protect Jesse.

From the early scenes, you are subject to the graphic and horrific scenes of the Jackals handy work. Some of the death scenes were genius and one of my favourites was the death by guillotine. Jackals is full of action and fast paced. The thrill of the chase made this book exciting and it gave me a book hangover as I was reading into the early hours as I wanted to know what happened. The twists in the book added intrigue and emphasised the conspiracy of the secret society. Although this book is categorised as Horror it will also appeal to readers that like their thriller dark and bloodthirsty. For all you lovers of conspiracy groups this is Dan Brown on steroids. A brilliant book that has left me wanting to know more about the Order.

 

Interview with Stuart  Brogan

 

1) Tell us a bit about yourself! And about Jackals.

Hi there and thanks for having me. My call sign is Stuart R Brogan, author of fast paced action / horror fiction and Heathen / Pagan nonfiction. I currently reside in and torment Glastonbury, UK where I own a Viking / Heathen shop called Shield Maiden.

JACKALS is a pacey cross genre action / horror novel in which the reader is thrust into a violent and brutal world where killers stalk people to further a hidden bloody agenda. The protagonists are just normal people who have their own personal demons to deal with, but have bigger problems when caught in the cross fire. A cat and mouse game ensues as the Jackals and their superiors hunt down the already downtrodden couple, beginning in rural England and then spreading across the rest of the country as the chase continues. Jackals is my first novel and I am humbled by some of the reviews it is receiving. Fans of horror or boys own action will enjoy the visceral intensity and relentless nature.

2) The book appears to blur the edges between horror and police procedural. How important is genre to you?

It’s strange, when I started writing Jackals, I always thought of it as a horror / thriller but people have been labelling it under different genres. To be honest action / horror is closest to the mark. My style is a hybrid between genres and I enjoy blurring the lines. For me, writing realistic and intense stories is the basis and I let the story take on a life of its own, I let it breath and grow organically, even if it takes me away from the original idea. As far as I am concerned the story writes itself. I have always been a huge fan of the classic 80’s action / horror movie; I try to recreate that sense of adventure as well as impending doom. For me, human nature is far more horrific than any monster living under the bed and as such my books are intense and relentless in nature, some may find them brutal but the violence is there for a reason, never just for the sake of it or to shock.

3) I know writers hate this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Where did the idea come from?

I have had the idea for some time now and to be honest, I can’t really say where my ideas come from. It’s like a moment of clarity, I might hear a news story or see something when I am out and about and start to ask myself “What if”. I think all authors will know what I mean by that. Every good story starts with that simple question, swiftly followed by “What would I do?” From there it’s just a case of letting the imagination run with it. Inspiration can come from anywhere and at the moment I have ideas for two other novellas, one stand-alone novel and two more books using the Jackals. So I am not going to run out of ideas any time soon.

4) What else are you working on right now?

I am currently nearly finished a novella entitled SCALLYWAG; it is an intense thrill ride taking place over twenty-four hours. I have created a character that I hope will become somewhat iconic. I don’t want to give too much away as I like to keep an air of mystery but rest assured, it will have my trade mark cross genre brutality and will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

5) If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?

That my friend is an easy one, John Twelve Hawks. Author of my all-time favourite book The Traveller, he uses a pen name and little is known about him but I just love his social observations regarding the Orwellian world we now find ourselves in. In his books the antagonists are very powerful business men who wish to enslave us all and have us sub-servient. It has an excellent pace and is full of superb action sequences. The characters are also well fleshed out. I would love to sit and chat with Mr Hawks because we would agree on many issues.

Like me, he believes that mankind and his actions is the greatest evil of all!

 

By Any Means Necessary by Stephen Sayers

April 15, 2017 - 5:53 pm No Comments

By Any Means Necessary by Stephen Sayers

Published by Britain’s Next Seller on 9th December 2016

242 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After losing his mom at an early age, Tommy Myers followed 3 simple rules: Don’t let fear rule his life, fight for those he cared about and never stop unless someone kills him. Knock him down and he would get up fighting. Everything with his life was going to plan, his boxing career was on the rise, he was best friends with his stepsister and he thought nothing could go wrong. However, fate had other plans and after a vicious attack on his sister, Tommy sticking to his rules ends up in prison. Set in Newcastle upon Tyne, we follow Tommy over 3 generations, and see what choices he makes.

The instant, I was introduced to Tommy, I took to him straightaway. A loveable rogue, he earnt respect because he had morals. Sticking to his rules gave him a sense of purpose and even though he was sometimes on the wrong side of the law, he was never greedy and only used violence if necessary. As family come first we get to know Tommy’s family really well. Donna the stepmom, held the family together at their darkest times and although it must have been hard stepping into Mary’s shoes, she always supported the family and never turned her back on them. Karen, Tommy stepsister vowed never to be the victim again and although she had bouts of depression, once she had a project to keep her busy, she put 100% effort into it, not afraid to inflict pain on the male population, she was the one that people under-estimated. Tommy’s nemesis from the moment he was locked up was Jack Hudson, ruling the criminal activity in Newcastle, with the help of bent police office Detective Patrick Campbell, he wants to get revenge on Tommy.

From the prologue, you know that this is going to be an intense story. Set in the criminal world, you expect scenes that are dark and graphic, but each scene is relevant to the story. The author has not just written the scenes for shock sake. The author has your emotions on a rollercoaster, the twists he adds to the story makes it a page turner and you do not know where the author will take you next. I enjoyed reading about the 80s as being a teenager in that decade reminded me about the fashion and music that was around and with some of the comments Tommy made, made me smile to myself.

I was shocked to find that this was his novel as it was written so well. For lovers of the true gritty thrillers, then this is the book for you.  Martina Cole needs to watch out as there is a new author close on her heels.