#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.

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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.

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#BookReview by Lou of False Truth – A Joe Wilde Investigation by C.D. Steele #CDSteele @BookGuild #CrimeFiction #PrivateInvestigatorFiction

False Truth
By C.D. Steele

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

False Truth is a book full of mystery and just when you suspect what happened, something else does, creating the most unexpected twists that grip in a sensational story.

Thanks to C.D. Steele for contacting me to review and gifting me his book – False Truth.

False Truth

Blurb

Private Investigator and former MI6 agent Joe Wilde is hired by Sally Devlin to investigate her son’s disappearance. Liam Devlin was a rising football star. His car was found abandoned at Lea Bridge in Hackney, a known suicide spot, six weeks prior. With help from friend and retired MI6 Data Technician Mark Thompson, Joe uncovers a huge secret in Liam’s life. Putting the pieces together, he starts to suspect that this case is far more complex than he originally envisioned. Falling ever deeper into his own investigations, Joe meets with the detective in charge of the case, D. I. Carl Whatmore, who does not take kindly to Joe getting involved. As Joe and D. I. Whatmore go head-to-head in their own investigations, more lives are put in danger. But who will crack the case? Only time will tell…

Review

Joe Wilde is a Private Investigator who is a former MI6 agent, which makes him intriguing from the outset. He has other friends from MI6 who help him in cases. This time, a meaty case turns up, one that isn’t trying to find out whether a lover is cheating on their partner or not. Sally Devlin hires him because her son, Liam, considered a rising star in football has disappeared, all they’ve got is his car that turns up at Lea Bridge.

There’s also a political element to the book as Joe’s friend Phil Harkes works for MI5 in counter-terrorism, after much time in MI6 and had been working on a case where an MP was murdered.

Working relationships are often interesting to read about and there are certainly differences between Joe Wilde and Detective Inspector Carl Whatmore, who’s path he has to cross as he wonders what he wants with the Liam case.

Readers really get a sense of walking in the shoes of a P.I. as he knocks door to door (readers certainly won’t forget Joe Wilde’s name with the number of times he has to introduce himself. At first I thought this was exessive, until I thought about it and it actually gives a real sense of realism), to try and find people who knew something and to piece bits of info together. It’s worth staying with…

The case gets more intriguing the more the leads build and even takes Joe to Paraguay, where the mystery to his disappearance continues and the intrigue notches up as there appears there may be more than meets the eye. Then the mystery racks a further notch and the twists and turns that come, become tight and the pace quickens.

The Angel of Whitehall by Lewis Hastings @istheauthor @HobeckBooks #Thriller #Bookreview by Lou

The Angel of Whitehall
By Lewis Hastings
Rated: 4 stars ****

Lewis Hastings, an author I had not heard of before until he started following me on Twitter and then Hobeck Books, wonderfully asked me for feedback on his book for them and the Lewis. I must say, he is an author to watch out for. He has books out already and The Angel of WhiteHall is his latest.
Take a look further for the blurb and the review to whet your appetite for Jack Cade. Buy links are included below.

The Image of Whitehall

Blurb

Jack Cade returns in this explosive thriller by Lewis Hastings, author of The Seventh Wave trilogy.

Twelve women hunted by a deadly enemy

A young African woman’s body is found slumped in a London side street. Her stomach slashed open, a single diamond hiding within.

A shameful secret that must remain hidden

An elderly sailor with just weeks to live harbours a dark secret that he has to share before he dies. The only problem. His memory is failing through dementia.

What’s the connection?

Former British police officer Jack Cade is the only man who can help unravel the mystery. Piecing together the fragments of information that the old man’s fragile memory reveals, Cade unearths a people trafficking conspiracy with links to the heart of the British Establishment.

They want his source silenced. Cade is the only person who can protect him. But who can Cade trust?

The Angel of Whitehall is the fourth brilliant Jack Cade thriller by bestselling author, Lewis Hastings.

Review

From the first few pages, I was hooked. It has a certain rhythm, within the writing of the book, which creates a certain, strong, almost heavy atmosphere. This isn’t to say it is a heavy read, it certainly is far from that, it’s an atmosphere and pace that keeps intrigue and the need to know more, going.

Jack Cade is the main character and is rather enjoyable to read about and the capturing of historical years and modern times is succinct and so easy to follow and seems necessary in this book to tell a complete story. The capturing of the historical years is done so well and eases readers into them, without it sounding textbook like in nature, but gives just enough for a basis of understanding.

There is a definite strength in creating a deep, almost heavy atmosphere. Mixing fact and fiction in a creative, yet informative way throughout was done in such a way that kept me reading as it weaved the plot together to create intrigue. It really captured the historical and the modern times so they flow together very well.

By the end I was left feeling very satisfied and making me realise that Lewis Hastings has a lot to give and is an author to watch out for and indeed you can find his books on Amazon and on the Hobeck Books website in their shop.

Buy Links:           Hobeck                Amazon

#Review of In the Know by Dougie Brimson @dougiebrimson #CrimeFiction #Thriller

In The Know By Dougie Brimson Rated: 5 stars *****

Crime meeting the world of journalism at its best! There are excellently conceived concepts within this very accomplished, fresh feeling thriller. It is an enjoyable read that I highly recommend. I thank Dougie Brimson for getting in touch with a request for me to review and for sending me a physical copy of the book, all of which I am grateful for. Below you can discover more about the author, the blurb and my review.

About the Author

‘The most famous author you’ve probably never heard of!’

Bestselling Author, Award Winning Screenwriter, Public speaker, Finalist in the English Armed Fores Awards 2020

With just over one million books sold worldwide and three multi-award winning feature films on his CV, former serviceman Dougie Brimson has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s most diverse writers.

Perhaps best known for penning the cult movie Green Street (Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam) his first book Everywhere We Go (first published in 1996) remains a firm favourite amongst football fans the world over whilst his debut novel, The Crew, has enjoyed an almost unbroken nine year run at the top of the soccer charts of both Amazon and iTunes.

 This website contains details of all Dougie’s fifteen books and three feature films as well as information on future projects including In The Know, the third book in the The Crew/Top Dog trilogy, the forthcoming feature films The Gentle Sex and Three Greens as well as the forthcoming TV drama, Kathy.

in-the-know-cover

Blurb

In The Know…Revenge is a dish best served quickly  

From the writer of the cult hooligan film, Green Street and the best-selling thrillers The Crew and Top Dog comes the third and most explosive book yet in the most successful hooligan thriller series ever written.

It’s been over a decade since gang leader Billy Evans stepped away from his life on the wrong side of the law to mourn the murder of his beloved wife.

Yet when he is hit by a second tragedy, his first thoughts are not of more loss, but of revenge. Violent, bloody revenge. However, even before he can make his first move, Billy is presented with an alternative method of extracting vengeance. One so intriguing that he quickly finds his past passion for organised violence reinvigorated. And as Britain heads toward a future defined by Brexit and the political right wing, he realises that he’s stumbled upon the opportunity he’s been waiting for. The chance to wield genuine power within the very establishment he’s fought his entire life. The only question is, will he be allowed to survive long enough to grab it.

in-the-know-cover

Review

“Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Quickly” is the by-line. My first impression is that it sounds chilling! I do actually like that concept for the book. It intrigues and creates interest. Graham Hawkins is the main protagonist. He has a heightened sense of trouble ahead, which may come with his anxiety. What makes it worse is that he doesn’t know why he feels this way, not on this particular day, as he recalls days of football and his dear friend Billy, whose wife was murdered 12 years previously. Quite a spectrum of emotions, which inhabit the characters is displayed well. Instantly, sympathy for the characters for what happened 12 years ago and how it manifests, would embody any reader. I hadn’t quite expected this and I mean that in a good way. It’s a good hook into the characters.

The tone then changes pretty quickly as full force action takes place and the tension of whether Graham survives or not, builds. The sensitivity mixed with raw emotion is impressively written and with a sense of realism.

There are references to football – predominantly West Ham, which gives a sense of atmosphere and a bit more about the characters and the scene.

 Pete Goodwin and Jamie Brown are journalists and sarcasm is strong in their working partnership and these are the folks in the know, as they research and investigate the latest stories. It makes for a great read as it is a whole different perspective on an unfolding crime story. The discussion points within the interviews between politicians and journalists are relevant and intelligently conceived and highly relevant topics about policing comes into it. The investigative journalism gives this thriller a refreshing feel to it. There seems to be a highly readable grasp of adding social aspects into both the focused story of the crime and also showing a wider picture of opinions and actions of the day, through the journalist’s part in the story.

It’s all in all, a dark book with some brutality, with current affairs and characters that seek revenge. It has enough tones of voice and plots to it that I think would keep a wide spectrum of readers enthralled.

I’ve enjoyed this book from beginning to end and highly recommend it.

#Review of Betrayal by Adam Croft and Steven Moore @AdamCroft #StevenMooreAuthor #CrimeFiction #PoliticalThriller #Thriller #ReadingCommunity #WritingCommunity #NewBook

Betrayal
By Adam Croft and Steven Moore
Rated: 4.5 stars

I am delighted to be reviewing again for Adam Croft, after receiving an email from his wife Joanne Croft. This time I return to the writings of Adam Croft and Steven Moore in their political thriller series, featuring the detective Sam Barker (the first being Absolution, which is a gripping read). They do act as stand-alone too. I thank Adam and Joanne Croft for inviting me to review again and for providing me with a book.

Adam Croft Betrayal

 

Blurb

In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.
After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.
As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.
But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.

Review

Sell your land! Promise of a better life! Promise of an exciting job! Hidden Secrets, Betrayed!
That’s what Obefemi’s family is confronted with.  Obafemi is  promised – a new life in Dubai, with a job to build a geothermal plant with Mr Riley. Not all is as it should have been. There lies a secret within the company.

The setting is between  Sub-Saharan Africa and Edinburgh, Scotland, which is wanting greener energy and to do deals with the company EcoHope and have the treaty, which would include them, all signed off at the climate change summit. This is incredibly current as this is what is happening in Scotland. Locations, names and groups have been changed, but the fact that is cleverly weaved through the fiction is all there and is recognisable. There are a few real people mentioned, such a Greta Thunberg, Emma Thompson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all in context of climate change activism on the grander scale and the good that they had been doing, sort of a bit of a nod to them.

Sam Barker is then invited to re-locate from London to Edinburgh, which he is delighted about as his son Benji lives there. Early on I also get the feeling Sam Barker is in for an education about Scotland to debunk the myths he believes about the country. It really doesn’t always rain in Scotland and as I write this, it is dry, although the week before, there were hailstones and that’s a whole other thing. I’m expecting glorious sunshine this weekend, just like last. Back to the book…

Bridget Hazelwood is the new PM fronting the summit at Edinburgh Castle and all eyes or on it and climate change activist group Eyes on Extinction as well as green energy group EcoHope. They have a darker streak, threading its way through all the eco-friendly mantra that’s got them to the summit and to be the company that’s the player in the treaty. Professor Mctavish also seems to know more than he is letting on. It’s the curiosity and the entire plausibility of companies that may be unscrupulous that keeps the need to read further, going. There is also a death and the killer could be one of the climate change activists or someone connected to EcoHope. The further and deeper Sam Barker investigates, the more the book picks up pace, the more gripping it becomes.
As the investigation takes Sam around Edinburgh, readers will get a good sense of the city and some of the geography of it. I found myself being just a bit impressed by what was included. For readers of my blog, who don’t know, I do actually live in Scotland and under normal circumstances, I visit this city.

Sam and colleagues also have a real need to keep Benji (Sam’s son) safe as there’s a real threat something could happen to him. It just adds to the twists within this story even more.

Adam Croft and Steven Moore have brought a very-well observed, current climate situation to life in this book with flair and shows all the murky sides, as well as the good.

About the Author

With almost two million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past few years, having sold books in over 120 different countries.


Adam Corft and Hobart
His 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has seen huge popularity worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached storewide number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada. The new edition of Her Last Tomorrow also reached storewide number 1 in Australia over Christmas 2016.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

In February 2017, Only The Truth became a worldwide bestseller, reaching storewide number 1 at both Amazon US and Amazon UK, making it the bestselling book in the world at that moment in time. The same day, Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In January 2018, Adam’s bestselling book to date, Tell Me I’m Wrong became a worldwide bestseller and quickly went on to outsell Her Last Tomorrow.

Adam has been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World ServiceThe GuardianThe Huffington PostThe Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his services to literature.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast Partners in Crime with fellow bestselling author Robert Daws.

Click below for links to websites:
Adam Croft Website

Partners in Crime

Steven Moore Website

Steven Moore

Steven hails from the south east of England, where he grew up (the jury’s still out) surrounded by the North Sea on one side and the Norfolk broads on the other.

As well as writing fction, Steven is an amateur painter and photographer, though his frst love is the great outdoors.
Restless and unfulflled by his late teens, the travel bug bit early, and to date Steven has lived and worked on fve continents and has visited close to sixty countries, combining that age-old writing adage with his own mantra: ‘Write not onlywhat you know, but where you know.’

A late entry into further education yielded a degree in Anthropology, Archaeology and Art History, and those disciplines, as well as the travelling and the endless adventures, all feature prominently in Steven’s bestselling action thriller series featuring Hiram Kane.

When not on the road with his travel-writer wife Leslie,
they call San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, home, where they live
with their two cats, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald
(Ernie & Fitz).

You can find more of Steven’s books at: stevenmooreauthor.com