Posts Tagged ‘Thriller’

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 No Comments

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.

I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas

February 8, 2017 - 7:54 pm No Comments

I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas. Night Shade Books, New York. $15.99 (US). 241 page paperback. ISBN: 978-1-59780-835-4

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

There is one kind of story that never seems to make sense. It is the first person narration of a person who turns out to be a ghost. The questions that hang over it is, who are they telling this story to, how are they telling it and who is listening? If the spirit has gone on to judgement and is having to justify their presence it becomes a different kind of story. Another kind of story that has a low success rate of being convincing is the one set at a convention, perhaps because genre readers are too familiar with them. It is almost on a par of a writer writing about a writer – we want the story, not the story of how the story was written. But like everything, sometimes you find an exception. Nick Mamatas has set his novel at a convention and the first person narrator is dead. His skill has made it work.

Although there are horror conventions with a Lovecraft theme that are held in Providence, Rhode Island, the one featured in I Am Providence is not one of them. Convention attendees may think they know people who have a resemblance to the characters in this book, but that is superficial. All conferences, whether genre, business or scientific have attendees with similar characteristics. That is to be expected. Here, the Summer Tentacular is the H.P. Lovecraft convention which draws this group of fans to the town. Most of them seem to write in, what they consider, the style of their hero. The impression given is that this is a place to have your ego stroked.

From the beginning, we know that Panossian is dead. He tells us so in the first paragraph. He is just as perplexed about the situation as a critical reader might be. He still seems to be able to think and hear. He wonders if this is a condition for all the dead and if this is a phenomenon that fades as his brain rots. What he does, as there is nothing else he is capable of, is to run through in his mind the events leading up to his murder and to try and make sense of them. He can also hear and try to interpret what is going on in the morgue. This excellently handled device keeps the plot going forward as well as filling in gaps in the narrative that only the victim would be aware of.

Paralleling, Panossian’s story, is that of Colleen Danzig. This her first Summer Tentacular and is the outsider through whose eyes we see the other, quirky characters. She appears to be an otherwise well-adjusted human. She becomes involved because, in order to save money, she is sharing a room with Panossian. They have not met before now, except on-line. Because of this, she is asked to identify the body. She is the viewpoint character in the present away from the morgue and aware of any developments in the police investigation.

The murder seems to revolve around a rare book which the author has bound in human skin. For this reason he hasn’t been able sell it on eBay, because they have a policy against auctioning body parts, and skin counts as such. Panossian was sent one of the only five in existence and has a private buyer for it, though for much of the time there is doubt over the existence of the book, or the potential transaction.

Mamatas is an author well versed in the writings and cult of H.P. Lovecraft and to add to the delight of the book, each chapter heading is the title of a Lovecraft story. The design of the book adds interest as tentacles insert themselves into the pages. And tentacles wind through the plot as the origins of the events here stretch back to a time beyond. Recommended.

Searching for Sullivan by Carissa Ann Lynch

January 17, 2017 - 6:18 pm No Comments

Searching for Sullivan by Carissa Ann Lynch

Published by Limitless Publishing on 17th January 2017

215 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Veronica Von Derbach is a single mom to Sully.  After a disastrous boat ride, Sully goes missing, presumed dead. Veronica having to carry on living her life becomes a parapsychologist, a ghost hunter. The majority of her cases she has disproven the present of a ghost, but when a grainy photo of a ghost at Lake Merlott arrives across her desk, she knows she has to investigate.

Veronica is a very brave woman, after everything she went through, she still got her degree and was renowned in her field. In all her cases, she showed compassion to the clients. When she began investigating at Lake Merlott, she was still professional even though she was scared to find out the truth.

This book was full of suspense and kept my interest from the start. The twists in the book kept me guessing throughout, and I was really surprised with the final twist, it was definitely what I did not expect. It was written with such feeling, you could really feel Veronica’s pain.

As usual Carissa knows how to tell a haunting story and is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects. If you want a great story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then buy this book. 1st class