#BookReview by #Lou of Murderous Passions by B.R. Statham @brstateham @HenryRoiPR #CrimeFiction

Murderous Passions
By B.R. Statham
Rated: 4 stars ****

Sinister and intrigue between the pages of Murderous Passions.

Thank you to Henry Roi for contacting me to review Murderous Passions on-be-half of his represented author – B.R. Statham.
Read on for the blurb, review and link.

Blurb

Two cops. Four homicides. One case involves a college professor and six thousand suspects. The second involves a dead farm girl, a dead gigolo, and a grieving housewife. The third is a jewel thief who likes to play with big caliber guns. The fourth involves a drug-crazed hoodlum with a killer’s desire to challenge the world. It is just another working day for Detective Sergeants Turner Hahn and Frank Morales.

Murderous Passions

 

Review

A tinkle on the piano may never seem as innocent again. Strike up the music and take away a piano string from the note of C and the author presents it as, not a thing of beauty for music to be made, but a very murderous instrument for garroting. It all gets very messy and macabre for someone known to Anderson University. Frank Morales and a couple of “on the beat” officers Alonzo Gonzales and Tubby Charles are on the case to such a murder, which is gruesomely described at the beginning of the book. The book then turns to the classic whodunnit mystery as it weaves through university-life within the Science faculty, focusing, especially on the professors within the Chemistry and Physics departments. The faculty was somewhat surprising as I had automatically assumed it would be within a music department, but as it isn’t so obvious, it adds to the intrigue.

It all happened in the science department of the university and there are a good few candidates of who could have committed such a murder or may know something within the department. It’s all pretty well described in a sometimes sinister way as the plot takes readers to a plethora of characters who are questioned. The university is also worried about the publicity the case could get and in-turn, its reputation, which could be in question over other serious misadventures within the very faculty that is under investigation for the murder.

Certain aspects feel a little overly described, but mostly it plunges readers deeper into the life of the characters and the mystery and sails by at a decent pace as you play detective, trying to work out what the motive really is and who committed such a murder as theories the police put together are torn apart here and there at the seams and holes appear, adding to some twists and turns.

There’s a political bent to this book about gang crimes and policing. The book certainly packs a lot in and shows certain parts of modern times and what’s happening on the streets.

Murder is twisted, but this one seems more so as more questions to do with how the victim was killed and more, are thrown out there for the police to work out. It’s interesting to read about the police pondering over different suspects and who may have motive.

The book keeps you guessing as motives and behaviours present themselves, one suspect at a time until quite a twist, that has a tone and turn of phrase, that may well leave readers with a shudder about at least one of them.

The last paragraph, both within the context of the book and outwith context of the book is both profound and thought-provoking.

Social Media Link

Twitter: @brstateham

 

The Geometry of Holding Hands By Alexander McCall Smith @McCallSmith #IsabelleDalhousie #Fiction #NewBook

The Geometry of Holding Hands
By Alexander McCall Smith
Rated: 5 stars *****

Part of the Dalhousie series, set in Edinburgh, The Geometry of Holding Hands is rather sweet in the love portrayed in the relationship between Isabelle and Jamie, her husband. The Geometry of Hands is explained at the end, but throughout the book it shows the largeness and complexities of life as well as a kindness for others.
I thank
Read on to find the blurb and full review.

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Blurb

Isabel finds herself entangled in some tricky familial and financial situations that will require all of her kindness, charm, and philosophical expertise to navigate.

Just when Isabel and Jamie finally seem to have some time to connect and unwind, a wealthy Edinburgh resident reaches out to Isabel with an unusual request—he would like her to become the executor of his large Highland estate. Though Isabel initially demurs, he presses on. He has only a short time to live, and, without any direct heirs, is struggling to determine which of his three cousins would be the best caretaker. Should it go to the bohemian artist, the savvy city property developer, or the quiet, unassuming bachelor?

As if this weren’t enough to keep Isabel occupied, she’s also spending more time helping her niece Cat at the deli. Cat, perennially unlucky in love, seems to have finally found her match in the leonine Leo. But Isabel is beginning to suspect that Leo might be interested in more than Cat’s charms, namely her access to the family trust. Isabel will need to rely upon remarkable reserves of intelligence and compassion in order to give all parties exactly what they want and deserve—no more, and no less.

Review

The Geometry of Holding Hands is the latest charming book in the Philosophy Club/Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith.

Isabelle, her husband Jamie and young son – Magnus create a charming family and possess some natural wit. It’s also as intelligent and philosophical as ever as they contemplate the poet Wilfred Owen. There is also some contemplation over money matters and their employment too, with Jamie earning a bit from being a musician/music teacher and Isabelle being the editor of the Review, dealing with many authors. All the sudden angst and wondering if they really deserve the nice things in life, begins with them going to a fancy restaurant – Casa Trimalchio. Alexander McCall Smith captures this part of the “human condition” very well and so naturally for his characters. Even though they clearly have money to do the nice treats in life, these characters are always ones that are relatable, whatever your standing in society is and are easy to feel compassion for. This is testament to the writing and thought that goes into it.

There is plenty for readers to contemplate in this book and ponder over, such as the army and also letting people live however they see fit. It’s all done in a philosophical, gentle way.

Casa Trimalchio is an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh where everyone with a “name” for themselves, seems to go and you never know who you may be sitting in the company of, including people caught up or have caused quite a scandal.

Balancing home-life, the job at the Review and Cat’s needs becomes more complex for Isabelle. When Cat and Leo’s lives become even more entangled it strains things even more complicated and then there’s Eddie in the equation too. Isabelle begins to wonder about where boundaries should be drawn without upsetting anyone.

Isabelle and Cat both have a trust that has helped Cat set up her delicatessen, whom she helps out at times of necessity, whether she really has the time to or not. I like that level of kindness that is displayed within her character. It’s a lovely sounding deli with its charcuterie etc, where she encounters Iain Melrose whom she saw in the restaurant. He’s impressed by things she did and said in the restaurant as she shown some integrity and morals and also a sign of a certain courage and strength of character. Isabelle is a character that is so well-developed in a positive, caring way which is enjoyable to read. Iain Melrose is an interesting character to explore and lived quite a life and it is explained why he is looking for someone who seems right to become executer of the estate. The estate he describes has quite a history to it. McCall Smith ensures that readers really can understand the nature of an event or circumstance and the characters presented within them in good detail, without over-doing it. He treads this fine-line well and keeps a relaxed pace. The fact that characters don’t have a continuous strict linear line from one philosophical thought or event to the next keeps the flow feeling natural and smooth. There is also a strong thread of plotline maintained throughout it.

The Descent by Matt Brolly @MattBrollyUK will keep you guessing #CrimeFiction #Mystery #Thriller #Review

The Descent
By Matt Brolly
Rated: 4 stars ****

Bestselling author – Matt Brolly, writes two series – The DCI Lambert Series and The Detective Louise Blackwell series. The Descent is part of The Detective Louise Blackwell series.

The Descent is set in the lovely seaside location of Weston-Super-Mare and gives the impression of a somewhat idyllic town, before throwing readers into something more sinister that turns it all upside down.

I thank Matt Brolly and Thomas & Mercer for allowing me to review as I’d been hoping to get a chance to review from one of the series for awhile.
Discover the blurb, review and about the author below, including website and Twitter links.

The Descent cover

Blurb

Were they pushed to the edge—or over it?

In the quiet coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, a body is discovered at the foot of a cliff just months after a near-identical tragedy—and Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell can’t believe it could be a coincidence.

Next to the body, she discovers a note that echoes one found beside the first: Death is not the end. Louise is certain that behind these desperate acts someone is pulling the strings, but how many more will plunge to their demise before she can find out who—and why?

Struggling to stay focused under the strain of her troubled brother’s disappearance with his young daughter, Louise hits a much-needed breakthrough when a third tragedy points to the involvement of a charismatic cult leader. The suspect is within her sights, but he knows she’s on to him…

Short on proof and with the body count rising, can Louise intercept his deadly mission—or has she taken on an unbeatable foe?

Review

The book asks, did she jump, did she not? What are the strange notes? 

The book is well-crafted as there is time to get to know the area, the characters and the story feels really well developed.

The prologue gives a great feel to Weston-Super-Mare, the setting of this book. So, even, if you haven’t physically travelled there before, you certainly can with ease with this book.

Amy Carlisle is one of the main characters , who is also within a group with Jay and Megan. Megan has been sleeping rough in Bristol (perfectly reasonable to travel from Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare).
Jay, Megan and Amy belong to a group to talk about their experiences of homelessness over tea that is not your normal breakfast tea and has unusual, interesting effects. It’s a great beginning to set the scene and introduce the chararcters before, in chapter one, readers meet, DI Louise Blackwell and her niece – Emily and within this family there’s domestic strife as all isn’t as harmonious as it could be.

The unfolding story is emotional and is well-written as it throws up social issues and also the crime itself, all intertwined to paint a picture of what’s really going on in terms of the mystery and today’s society.

There’s a body of a young woman discovered, presumed suicide by jumping, since a note is left. The crime scene on the backdrop of the sea and sand of Weston-Supermare creates a good setting and pace, which  makes it a book that you can sit back and relax with. The characters are ones that it was a pleasure to get to know and there’s a nice building up of the town and the areas where the book is set. There are also little bits about issues, such as the run-down high street that is thought-provoking of some human activity as it shows it used to be busy but hardly anyone uses it anymore, so it became shabby and many shops closed.
As the story moves on, so does the body count and the notes as the intrigue builds to whether notes that have also appeared before are connected or not. Matt Brolly is good at creating the mood and really humanising his characters with emotion and natural worry in case mistakes were made and wraps them all up well amongst the case itself.

The writing is well-rounded and done well, with characters to really get into and there’s enough to keep people guessing. It does feel between police procedural and thriller in some ways in its detailing, but all the same, it is a book that readers can really get into and makes the writing well rounded. It also means you can really get to know the surroundings, the issues and the people that make up this story in Weston-Super-Mare.

About the Author

@MattBrollyUK

www.mattbrolly.co.uk

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky, Dead Embers and Dead Time. A prequel, Dead Water, will be released by Oblong Books in July 2019. In addition he is the author of the acclaimed near future crime novel, Zero.

May 2019 saw the release of a new thriller, The Controller, and in 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer(Amazon Publishing)

Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, is released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie @tom_gillespie @lovebooksgroup #newbook #blogtour #Review

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce
By Tom Gillespie
Rated: 5 stars *****

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce is an emotional, exquisitely written book set between Glasgow and Spain. I give thanks to Love Books Group and John Gillespie for providing an e-book copy of the book.
See below for the blurb and my review and a buy link as well as social media links.

About the Author

Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the university as an English lecturer. Tom writes long and short stories. His stories have appeared in many magazines, journals and e-zines. He is co-author of Glass Work Humans-an anthology of stories and poems, published by Valley Press.

Visit Tom at tom-gillespie.comTwitter: @tom_gillespie

THE STRANGE BOOK OF JACOB BOYCE_eBcov (2)

 Blurb

A spiralling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret.
Will he find her before it’s too late?

When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.

THE STRANGE BOOK OF JACOB BOYCE_eBcov (2)

Review

 The writing is emotional and yet exquisitely descriptively written.

There is excellent descriptive writing within this book and plot and subplot that keeps you reading.

The plot sets out the complexities of the art world and life and sometimes not all is as it first appears. It intertwines Jacob’s life and his love of art and research as he tries to discover the hidden truth of a painting. Married to Ella, who later goes missing, he also has that mystery to solve.  It’s a world that has been created that builds and builds as it goes along, right to the very end.

Set between Scotland and Spain, readers will first meet Jacob at the City Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland, taking notes, a regular place for him to be. He is there so often that the staff are very aware of his presence. The writing is as intense as his concentration on the beautiful painting. Certainly if art interests you, this book will. I like art and appreciate it. This is no ordinary painting or research that Jacob is doing. He is convinced there is a mystery behind it, that all may not be quite as it seems and he is determined to find out what it is.

He lives in a flat with Ella and his cat. It’s not exactly a cosy relationship with rows of not seeing enough of each other and if one is having an affair or not, but through all that there are the most genuinely touching parts of some togetherness, showing how complex relationships can be.

It feels a lot of research has been done and is cleverly weaved with a fictional story that brings intrigue also about Jacob, who teaches Earth Sciences at the university.

There is a hum over the area of the city that frustrates and irates the residents, except Jacob. What he feels is different and puts readers right there in his shoes. You can almost see and feel what Jacob does, especially in a dream sequence. It will draw any reader in closer towards him.

Part two takes readers to La Reina de Los Gatos, Spain, an old place, untouched by mass tourism, where the hunt for Ella is on. It certainly gets intriguing as people say they’ve seen her but don’t know what happened after. The mystery of the art isn’t however forgotten and takes a turn into Franco’s time and the Spanish Civil War, which also makes for a fascinating read. The flow of the book is excellent as Jacob digs deeper into finding out more about the painting.

There are then further twists and turns to this tale, not just for the art, but within life itself.

This is a book I highly recommend, especially for art-lovers and mystery lovers and for people who would like a really good, interesting and intriguing read.

 

Buy Link   https://amzn.to/2zspp0N

 

strange book of jacob (1)

 

 

 

 

The Thursday Murder Club By Richard Osman @richardosman @VikingBooksUK @readingagency @CrimeFiction #TheThursdayMurderClub

The Thursday Murder Club
By Richard Osman
Rated: 5 stars *****

Just to add to his talents – impressively, Richard Osman, who most notably presents Pointless and House of Games with aplomb, can also write a book very well.
The Thursday Murder Club is a Must Read!

Many, many, many thanks! Not in my wildest dreams did I actually think, when I entered The Reading Agency Library Competition set by Isabella Giorgio, that I would actually win The Thursday Murder Club. For those who don’t know. To enter I had to write why a library should win a copy. Those who picked me to win, know the work I’ve done for a library to pick it up and rebuild it.

I have a burb and my review. I loved the book. It is a Must Read.
Please note that my review is unbiased.

The Thursday Murder Club

Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Review

The Thursday Murder Club is a book that hasn’t just reached expectations, it exceeded them!
Richard Osman is such a talented man and wow, can he write! I must say, after seeing him talk about his book and read an excerpt at Bloody Scotland Crime Festival in Stirling, way back in September 2019, I had high hopes. I’m so impressed that I do think it could and perhaps should even be made into a film, or a tv series. I know a number of reviewers say this about books, but I’m not generally one of them. It’s just the calbre of writing and the “ingredients”, that if followed to the letter, it actually could work. Well, that’s my opinion anyway.
The book is very hard to put down, once started.
With instantly likeable characters, who still have quite a bit of life and humour about them, it gets off to a fantastic start.

I was impressed then and the book has lived up to expectations; so I am still impressed now, having read the book in its entirety. It’s up there with some of the best in cosy crime, with its supposedly, unassuming characters in a retirement home, who are sharper and more “modern” in their thinking, than you would think. They also have solving crimes on their minds, as they form The Thursday Murder Club and no more so when they find ways of getting involved in one that happened on their doorstep.

There is some rather dark humour from the residents. That catches the attention straight off. Readers, are led, like you are going on a tour with her and you’re the person who is there to “Meet New People and Try New Things”, as the first part is called. It’s a clever way of introducing characters and some background and layout of the retirement community. Elizabeth is first, then Bernard, then Mary, Ron and Ibrahim. They like to talk about murders in sometimes, perhaps in  a way that you may not want to mess with them. Then there is a live murder, right on their doorsteps, that grabs the residents attention as they get themselves involved in solving the case in imaginative ways.
Throughout the book are excerpts of a diary that Joyce keeps, full of bits about murder and poignant, philisophical thoughts.

There is enough intrigue set up, surrounding Tony Curren and Ian Ventham and the companies.

The book is wonderfully nuanced with how the characters behave. I would go as far as saying Richard Osman has observed his chosen age group for his characters very well. The tone, things they say and how it is said, is very much set in reality. There’s quite a bit of positivity written about his older characters, to show that at least some, are still capable of doing things, which also amusing.

I thought it was a lovely thing to have a character (Ibrahim Arif) support Westham United. I also think it is lovely he has included a character (Ron Ritchie) who has read all of Mark Billingham’s books, since that is who he did a talk with and sounded like they know each other well. As well as the characters and plot being quite heart-warming, it is kind moments like these that also add to the heart-warming moments. 

The way the pensioners are with the Detective Inspector – Chris, is priceless and full of humour. I do sort of feel a bit sorry for the D.I. He certainly wouldn’t have expected the pensioners to be quite so excitable; but the way Richard Osman has written these scenes has timing down to a “T”.

“Everyone Has A Story to Tell” and they certainly do in the second part as more comes tumbling out.
Kindness is portrayed again, this time in the form of  strangers helping Joyce after a fall. There are also some unexpected twists and turns, which cause excitement and more debate amongst the residents. Things hot up as the Thursday Murder Club get ever closer to the truth.

The book can be pre-ordered. It is published 3rd September 2020 from many places, including Waterstones. I highly recommend this “Must Read” book.

Review of the intriguing story -Echo Rock by Robert Daws @RobertDaws @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #FreeOffer

Echo Rock
By Robert Daws
Rated: 5 stars *****

This is exciting. Echo Rock (formally known as Tunnel Vision), has been revamped and is looking pretty good in a compelling sense. It is also a FREE E-book, Available From Today from the HobeckBooks website (see below for the link and more details). This short story of a captivating sinister mystery as readers are invited to enter the tunnel of a Rock Ghost Story. It is thanks to Rebecca and Adrian at Hobeck Books for agreeing to pass the story onto me in advance to review.

Blurb

The Rock. A Girl. Is she real or merely a tunnel vision?
The Summer heat on the Rock of Gibraltar is intense, but deep within its dark interior, a chill horror awaits DS Tamara Sullivan. As a murder detective, Sullivan is used to the grisly truth of death as it is presents itself in all its grim glory. This time, death appears to her in an unexpected guise. Can she come to terms with the possible fact that life – of a kind – survives its mortal bonds? Does the mind play tricks or are there really echoes of life after death? If you do not believe now, you soon will.

 

Robert Daws Echo Rock

Full of suspense and mystery, the tunnel in this marvellous short story is one that will enthrall as it encapsulates you until the end. There’s a lot packed in within just 26 pages to keep anyone guessing what mysteries are held within the Dudley Ward Tunnel, Gibraltar.

Readers are taken to Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan’s account of the events of 15th and 16th September 2015. It’s an interesting way of telling what happened on these dates and it works well.
The story starts in the seemingly innocent, picturesque surroundings of the Gibraltar, where there is a real sense of where Sullivan went to within the island. The writing of the character DS Sullivan gives a marvelous insight to the character and her strong personality, traits and more… For those who have encountered her in the novels and those who have yet to discover them. Do take note that this is a completely stand-alone short story.

From a relaxed pace at the very beginning that would lull anyone into a false sense of security, the pace notches up somewhat as the intensity of the atmosphere builds and builds as does the intrigue about what is there, and all is certainly not normal  within the tunnel… An investigation is mounted to try to discover who or what it was within the there and all turns even more mysterious, intense and ghostly. It is far from your average journey…

The ending is up there with one of the most lovely, tender endings I’ve certainly read.
All in all this short story is one I highly recommend. The growing pace and atmosphere is incredibly well structured and the plot is enjoyable and written very well.
Look out for this FREE offer of Echo Rock when you subscribe to  www.hobeck.net    . It won’t disappoint!

About The Author

Robert Daws Pic
Robert Daws

His first crime novella, The Rock, made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times.
The second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock.
The third – Killing Rock is due to be published 14th July
The standalone short story is due to be published 22nd June.

As an actor, Robert Daws has appeared in leading roles in a number of award-winning and long-running British television series, including Jeeves and Wooster, Casualty, The House of Eliott, Outside Edge, Roger Roger, Sword of Honour, Take A Girl Like You, Doc Martin, New Tricks, Midsomer Murders, Rock and Chips, The Royal, Death in Paradise, Father Brown and Poldark.

His recent work for the stage includes the national tours of Ten Times Table, Alarms and Excursions, Blackbird. In the The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, Geoffrey Hammond in Public Property,  Yes, Prime Minister and Summoned by Betjeman.

His many BBC radio performances include Arthur Lowe in Dear Arthur, Love John, Ronnie Barker in Goodnight from Him and Chief Inspector Trueman in Trueman and Riley, the long-running police detective series he co-created with writer Brian B Thompson (available on Audible now… also reviewed on the blog).

Social Media Links:
Robert Daws: 
Website www.robertdaws.com     Twitter @Robert Daws 
Instagram @RobertDawsOfficial

Hobeck:  Website  www.hobeck.net       by subscribing to the Hobeck Books website, you will be able to claim your Free – E-Book
Twitter  @HobeckBooks
Facebook www.facebook.com/hobeckbook