#BookReview By Lou of Cooking the Books #ChristmasAnthology By #HobeckAuthors @HobeckBooks #Christmas #Shortstories with #Recipes #Charity #TrussellTrust

Cooking The Books
By Hobeck Authors

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Cooking is Criminal when it comes to Cooking The Books By various authors who are published by Hobeck Books have banded together to create short stories, covering every type of crime fiction, with their favourite recipes, all in one fun and twisty anthology this Christmas. Essentially a crime and cookbook all rolled into one.
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE TRUSSELL TRUST (find out more about this charity after my review)
Follow down to the blurb and my review below…

Thanks first to Hobeck Books for inviting me to review on this last day of the blog tour and for the book. 

Blurb

If an army marches on its stomach, what do crime fiction authors do? Here’s your answer, an exclusive collection of recipes from the Hobeck Books authors team served with a dash of brilliant flash fiction too…

If you love a dribble of ketchup or a drizzle of raspberry jus with your fiction, then this is the cookery book for you.


Discover the delights of mouth-watering Maltese rabbit pasta and luscious lamb in coffee. Or dare to sample chicken wings more deadly than a game of chilli roulette.

Then there’s the story of how a midnight cheese, cucumber and salad cream sandwich helped launch Hobeck itself.


This collection guarantees stomach rumbles and belly roils, and all proceeds help others through the Trussell Trust and their network of foodbanks across the UK.

Review

Put in a mixing bowl – Hobeck Authors and Publishers, a spoonful of each sub-category of crime fiction, throw in some recipes people can create real meals from, stir vigorously and bake at a high heat and what is produced is –
Cooking The Books, full of twist tales full of crime and mayhem and authors favourite recipes you can make at home or wherever you may be

There are introductions to each type of crime fiction before each twisty, entertaining
Each introduction is written in recipe form!

Then enter each twisty story, one by one and solve the crime!

Then get busy in the kitchen as at the end of every story is a real recipe you can make from home. The recipes are the authors favourites. I, myself have found a couple I’m definitely going to cook.

There is also an interesting and exquisite foreword by author – RC Brigstock that is sure to get readers in the mood for many types of crime this Christmas.

So, get  your killer kitchen utensils out and bind together with a great dollop of crime fiction to solve the crimes, and with the enticing recipes, you can have the added bonus of eating along the way.

Remember too, this publisher – Hobeck Books is giving back. They are donating All Proceeds to The Trussell Trust that helps those in need with food.

Links to The Trussell Trust   and     Hobeck Books

 

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#BookReviews By Lou of The Patient and The Politician By Tim Sullivan @TimJRSullivan @HoZ_Books #ThePatient #ThePolitician #Thrillers #BlogTour

The Patient
The Politician

By Tim Sullivan

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today, at a time of day a bit later than normal due to personal circumstance, I am on the blog tour to review both The Patient and The Politician. Some dark humour going on here as I find myself being an actual patient, although very different from that of the book, thankfully, and the fractured bones I have will heal. Sense of humour is still intact, so I see the unintended black humour and irony in being laid up and reviewing a thriller called The Patient first. Really first of all I thank the publisher – Head of Zeus and Tim Sullivan for contacting me to request I reviewed the books and what a pleasure it was. I have reviewed them both together. First discover the blurbs and then my reviews.

No fingerprints. No weapon. No witnesses. Can DS Cross prove it was murder?

THE DETECTIVE

DS George Cross doesn’t rely on guesswork and he has no time for false assumptions. He is a detective who goes off the evidence in front of him, not ‘hunches’ or ‘gut feelings’. He does not know what these are.

THE CLOSED CASE

When a young woman is found dead, the Bristol Crime Unit is quick to rule it a suicide as the woman had a long history of drug abuse. But her mother is convinced it was murder, saying that her daughter had been clean for years and had been making strides in a new therapy programme.

THE ANSWER

As an outsider himself, DS Cross is drawn to cases involving the voiceless and dispossessed and, here, the evidence states that this woman was murdered – Cross just has to prove it. But under pressure from his boss to shut down the case, and with numerous potential suspects, time is rapidly running out to get the answers that this grieving family deserve.

Perfect for fans of M.W. Craven, Peter James and Joy Ellis, The Patient is part of the DS George Cross thriller series, which can be read in any order.

A ransacked room. A dead politician. A burglary gone wrong – or a staged murder?

THE DETECTIVE

DS George Cross loves puzzles – he’s good at them – and he immediately spots one when he begins investigating the death of former mayor Peggy Frampton. It looks like a burglary that went horribly wrong to most but George can see what others can’t – that this was murder.

THE PUZZLE

After her political career ended, Peggy became a controversial blogger whose forthright opinions attracted a battalion of online trolls. And then there’s her family: an unfaithful husband and a gambling-addicted son. With yet more enemies in her past, the potential suspects are unending.

THE SUSPECTS

Cross must unpick the never-ending list of seedy connections to find her killer – but the sheer number of suspects is clouding his usually impeccable logic. He’s a relentlessly methodical detective, but no case can last forever. And politics can be a dangerous game – especially for people who don’t know the rules . . .

Perfect for fans of M.W. Craven, Peter James and Joy Ellis, The Politician is part of the DS George Cross thriller series, which can be read in any order.

Reviews


DS George Cross is on the case in both The Patient and The Politician, which can be read as stand alone and in any order.

The Patient is the first book I read. skills are not his fortè. It soon becomes apparent that D.S. Cross is on the autistic spectrum and is quite high functioning. It makes for some interesting and different interactions around the office as banter is not his thing but he gets fairly fixated on crime solving.
He works for the Major Crime Unit (MCU) in Bristol. The death of Sandra’s daughter looks like suicide or an accident, but Sandra believes it was murder. DI Campbell, meanwhile isn’t happy about Cross re-opening the Felicity Wilson case. This in itself poses questions as to why and causes some tensions between those two and Carson, that then increases the compelling nature to continue to read on. There is the themes of suicide and assisted suicide, which is interesting and also the fact that it was assumed the victim had indeed committed suicide, but D.S. Cross and her mother, especially the mother, are adamant to look again to uncover the murderous truth.

The Politician is Tim Sullivan’s latest book is also compelling and rather intriguing. There is the death of former local politician and ex-mayor Peggy Frampton that is the next case for DS George Cross to solve. In retirement she had some strong opinions about construction companies that resulted in her being trolled (shows the state of society and truly highlights the issue surrounding how people choose to (mis)behave). What a life Peggy lived, so much in the limelight, but all was not rosy. She had her enemies, which are uncovered as the police dig deep into the corners of her life, even her husband was unfaithful to her.

In both books, the further the surface is removed, the darker the under-layers become!

Both books have their red herrings to successfully throw readers off the scent a bit and to cast doubt in their minds when trying to figure out who the perpetrators are. The lack of obvious evidence in both books adds intrigue as all the signs initially point to a suicide (The Patient), a burglary gone wrong (The Politician), which even though, given the nature of the type of crime books they are, adds exceptionally well to the thriller as it is more pieces of the puzzle, of people’s lives the police (and reader), needs to piece together and the more taut it becomes, the deeper the investigations are dug into.

Tim Sullivan writes intriguing plots and complex characters with thought provoking themes in a way that makes them compelling. The endings could possibly be stronger, but these are books worth investing time in what fast becomes engaging storytelling in both The Patient and The Politician. These are the 3rd and 4th in the series. I have not read the first two, but that doesn’t detract from the 2 I have read as I felt I got a good grasp of the recurring characters and the mysteries are complete by the end of the books.

 

#BookReview By Lou of Bodies In The Water By AJ Aberford @AJAberford @HobeckBooks #PoliticalThriller #CrimeFiction #Thriller #IndyPublisher

Bodies In The Water
By AJ Aberford

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Bodies In The Water is murky, intriguing, gripping and time will pass you by without you even realising. If you liked tvs Homeland, you’ll like this.

Bodies In The Water cover

Blurb

An unwilling hero

Inspector George Zammit, of the Maltese Pulizija likes a quiet life, keeping his head down and avoiding trouble. But when he investigates a body floating in the waters of Valletta’s Grand Harbour, he soon finds himself entangled in an international criminal plot which leads him on a perilous adventure.

A powerful crime family

Natasha Bonnici is part of a sophisticated Italian crime family whose attentions turn to the oil riches beneath the Libyan desert, where they encounter Abdullah Belkacem, a Libyan militia leader with big ambitions. Nick Walker sells his Maltese online gaming company to a shady purchaser and finds himself at the centre of Europe’s biggest money laundering operation.

Troubled waters

Set against a backdrop of the world of oil smuggling, the turmoil of North Africa and the seemingly unchecked corruption in the Southern Mediterranean, their paths all collide, with disastrous results. 

Review

The Bodies In The Water is highly emotive! Readers will get to know a bit about the Maltese population and the Grand Harbour. It sounds idyillc, but there are dark, murky corners.  
This is a story that takes readers into the world of modern-day people trafficking; which happens in many countries and to many people regardless of race, creed, culture; and no longer is it a particular race etc doing the trafficking, people trafficking is done by so many races, cultures etc.

Meet Mobo and Abeao. They are characters who get under your skin and it’s interesting with the story being seen through their eyes in the prologue. There is also a really shady character – Abdullah, who has some rather illicit plans to cease opportunities to make money.

There is a really strong character in Natasha Bonnici, whose early life has been tough, but is also part of a powerful criminal family.

Business and agendas soon show themselves in the fore in the shady characters who are involved in criminality.

Gerald Camilleri of Assistant Commissioner of Organised Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Command is on the case as there are also shady dealings with a gaming company. There is also Inspector George Zammit, whom readers see some of his family life and also meet his daughter – Marianna, which picks up on a different theme – schooling. His life isn’t so quiet as he ends up be on treacherous adventures and inveestigations.

The style of writing is strong, the themes are hard-hitting and important ones at that and this author knows his stuff and has turned it all into a page-turner of a tightly written plot.

#Review By Lou of Headshot By Otho Eskin @OthoEskin @oceanviewpub #Thriller

Headshot
By Otho Eskin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Headshot is a page-turner. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts below in my review.

Thanks firstly to Oceanview Publishing for inviting me to review and for a copy of the book.

Headshot

Blurb

The Most Elusive Assassin in the World Versus D.C. Homicide Detective Marko Zorn

Washington, D.C. homicide detective Marko Zorn is investigating the murder of an actress—an old love—when he is assigned to protect the visiting prime minister of Montenegro, the beautiful Nina Voychek.

Political enemies are planning her assassination—this, he knows—but now it’s apparent that he, too, is a target. As he foils the initial attempts on his life, he pulls out all stops—deploying his sometimes nefarious resources—to hunt whoever is targeting him and prevent an international tragedy on American soil.

Decoded messages, Supermax prisoner interviews, mafia lawyers, and an ancient Black Mountain curse swirl among the icons of D.C. Marko and his young partner, Lucy, face down what may be multiple assassins with diverging agendas. Or are they facing one assassin—the deadliest and most elusive on the international stage?

Perfect for fans of David Baldacci and Daniel Silva.

Review

Political, rivetting and a fast-paced, nail-biting page turner right from the start. The stakes are high and it packs a punch.

It’s highly visual and spine-tingling with a street built around the 1920’s and an aria by Mozart playing in car; it suddenly all sounds interesting and lovely and like all should be well, except it is not. There’s a shooter on the loose.

 There are spies, mafia, hitmen, foreign dignitaries, and a famous actress to come across in this action-packed thriller. Marko Zorn has a lot to contend with and dangers are around many corners. There is also Lucy Taneka, a homicide detective, who helps in a case that Zorn is doing on the side as he is called because there’s a death at the theatre.

There are many characters interwoven into this story at various points, adding to its complexity, yet compelling plots that come at quite a pace, including one of revenge.

 

#BookReview By Lou of Lights Out By Natalie Walters @nataliewalterswrite @revellbooks @lovebooktours @igbooktours #SNAPagency #RevellBooks

Lights Out
By Natalie Walters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have a review on Lights Out. It is Romance/Suspense. There’s terrorism, spies, betrayal and more in this first book in the series… Discover more in the explosive blurb. Thanks to Love Books for inviting me to spotlight.

 

Lights Out

Blurb 

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn’t at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It’s hard to trust a woman who’s already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning—the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn’t trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world—and their hearts—hangs in the balance.

Review

Lights Out is packed full of suspense. It is gripping with characters that will keep many readers glued. Brynn and Jack pull you in so much that you end up so invested in what happens to them at each stage of the book.

Brynn is ambitious and career is just about everything to her. It means relationships outside her work for the CIA is hard.

Jack leads SNAP – a private agency assisting in government agencies.

Romance is sparked between these 2 characters, but there’s the question of can they trust each other or not. Jack isn’t too sure. They find themselves in so much danger though and attraction to each other is clear to see as magentism pull between them attracts.

There is suspense right to the end as there isn’t much time to stop a plan of terror coming into being as prospects of devastation looms and tension, away from some of the humour within the book, increases to keep readers hooked, after the initial scene-setting, which means you can begin to get to know the characters well.

#BookReview By Lou of State Of Terror By Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny @HillaryClinton #LouisePenny @panmacmillan @RandomTTours #StateOfTerror #Thriller #PoliticalThriller

State of Terror
By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

State of Terror Graphic 9

Today I am excited to reveal my review of this close to the bone, absorbingly good, chilling and terrifyingly realistic political thriller that is State Of Terror.  Check out the blurb and the rest of my review to find out more about the book and my thoughts. Discover more about what Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton thought of writing together and a bit more about them, below as well as what I and 4 authors think of the fictional thriller that is – State Of Terror.

I thank Random T Tours for inviting me to review on my blog and Pan MacMillan for gifting me a hardback book.

State of Terror Graphic 1

Blurb

State of Terror CoverWhen an ingenious #1 bestselling novelist, known for her rich themes, riveting plots, and empathetic characters, and one of the world’s most experienced leaders with inside knowledge on the global power players from top to bottom, team up to write a novel, the result is STATE OF TERROR, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny.

STATE OF TERROR is an explosive, never-seen-before thriller.  Set in locations around the world, there is edge-of-your-seat suspense, breathtaking action, ride-or-die friendships, unlikely allies, even a blush of romance—plus all the heart and humanity you can expect in a Louise Penny novel. With a behind-the-scenes perspective that only an insider could know, STATE OF TERROR is a unique thriller that has a beating heart, plus plenty of female characters at the fore.

After a tumultuous period in American politics, a new administration has just been sworn in, and to everyone’s surprise the president chooses a political enemy for the vital position of secretary of state.

There is no love lost between the president of the United States and Ellen Adams, his new secretary of state. But it’s a canny move on the part of the president. With this appointment, he silences one of his harshest critics, since taking the job means Adams must step down as head of her multinational media conglomerate.

As the new president addresses Congress for the first time, with Secretary Adams in attendance, Anahita Dahir, a young foreign service officer (FSO) on the Pakistan desk at the State Department, receives a baffling text from an anonymous source.

Too late, she realizes the message was a hastily coded warning.


What begins as a series of apparent terrorist attacks is revealed to be the beginning of an international chess game involving the volatile and Byzantine politics of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran; the race to develop nuclear weapons in the region; the Russian mob; a burgeoning rogue terrorist organization; and an American government set back on its heels in the international arena.

As the horrifying scale of the threat becomes clear, Secretary Adams and her team realize it has been carefully planned to take advantage of four years of an American government out of touch with international affairs, out of practice with diplomacy, and out of influence in the places where it counts the most.

To defeat such an intricate, carefully constructed conspiracy, it will take the skills of a unique team: a passionate young FSO; a dedicated journalist; and a smart, determined, but as yet untested new secretary of state and her best friend and counsellor.

Review

A critically acclaimed author (Louise Penny) and Former First Lady in the US collaborating to write a book has worked even better than imagined. It’s pretty close to the bone at times and there are certain characters you may recognise the traits of with real life people, but it does then have a way of absorbing you, so you then concentrate on the actual characters as just that, fictional people. It’s the sort of book, I can only imagine, may have taken courage to write. It works so well because Louise Penny is critically acclaimed for writing thrillers and Hillary Rodham Clinton, although has the knowledge behind the story told in State Of Terror, she has also written books before. It turns out it seems a formidible collaboration and really hits the mark.

Ellen Adams is Madam Secretary and the fabulous thing is that it is refreshing that here is a high-powered ambitious woman who ends up rushing like so many people do to get ready for work and with moments of doubt. The authors have skillfully written a high-powered woman with some details that everyone the world over will be able to relate to. Then there is the gritty work of trying to build alliances and being strong to do such a job as Secretary of State.

The newly elected President is President Williams and has a dislike of Ellen. He’s also pretty full of himself with narcisstic tendencies, then there is also the Defence Secretary, Tim Beecham, a loyal supporter of the president, but at times sits between that and occasionally being okay in attitude towards the Secretary of State. It shows the quick-fire lines that have to be ready at any given moment to give back to colleagues after their rubukes, in the corridors and rooms of such immense power. There is also Betsy, who is quite the friend within this story. The working relationships may come across as relatable to many, wholly or partly and are also interesting in the way they are weaved into the book and you really get to know the pressures and their personalities.

The book is very gripping and most pages are a tense read, with terrorists and so much life at stake. There is also the question for Ellen to work out who she can trust within the world and within the political sphere, including the administration she works for. The book has smaller details of diplomacy within it, which gives this book something quite unique and something new to perhaps learn, after all, even fiction has a base of fact to it, to bring its believability, which this has lots of, as you think about what happens in the world and see the scenes (albeit fictional ones), playing out on the page. It does somehow feel like fiction and reality rapidly colliding, with readers pulled into different parts of the world where the Secretary of State sees where diplomacy is required and terrorists try to hide and plot their next attack with deadly weaponary. Behind the scenes of the locations always seems to be movement, more evidence found, coded messages to crack.

The book also digs really deep and not just into terrorism as such, but also whatelse threatens the world and its population, some of it far away from America, but some of it within the States and it shows some attitudes that are within them. The only thing is, there is a bit of repetition that goes on, which is a pity, but it keeps certain parts of the story fresh in people’s minds as it is so complex. This doesn’t detract too much for it being a fast-paced, breath-taking read.

It’s a chilling read and one that is so close to the bone, but one that all the way through you hope the White House team behind Ellen, wins through, as the clock ticks down, that makes you want to hold your breath…
I think readers who liked Homeland on TV would enjoy this book.

 

Writing Together

“When it was suggested my friend Hillary and I write a political thriller together, I could not say yes fast enough,” said Louise Penny. “What an incredible experience, to get inside the State Department. Inside the White House.  Inside the mind of the Secretary of State as high stake crises explode.  Before we started, we talked about her time as Secretary of State. What was her worst nightmare? STATE OF TERROR is the answer.”

Hillary Clinton added, “Writing a thriller with Louise is a dream come true. I’ve relished every one of her books and their characters as well as her friendship. Now we’re joining our experiences to explore the complex world of high stakes diplomacy and treachery. All is not as it first appears.”

Filled with real-life international figures, unforgettable characters, as well as wonderful cameos that will thrill the most ardent Louise Penny fans, STATE OF TERROR is a unique and utterly compelling international thriller co-written by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 67th Secretary of State, and Louise Penny, a multiple award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling novelist.

 

About the authors:

Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny Authors PicHillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman in US history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. She served as the 67th Secretary of State after nearly four decades in public service advocating on behalf of children and families as an attorney, First Lady, and US Senator. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and No 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of seven previous books, all published by Simon & Schuster.

Louise Penny is an international award winning and bestselling author whose books have hit #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail lists.  Her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels, published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of the St. Martin’s Publishing Group, have been translated into 31 languages.  In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise Penny lives in a village south of Montréal.

State Of Terror BT Poster (1)