#Review By Lou – Silenced By Jennie Ensor @Jennie_Ensor @HobeckBooks #Thriller #CrimeFiction

Silenced
By Jennie Ensor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour, thanks to Hobeck Books who invited me, with my review of the powerful thriller – Silenced by Jennie Ensor. Take a look at the synopsis and my review below, as well as the stunningly creepy, dark, yet atmospheric cover. Find out after all that, a little about the author too.

Silenced cover

Synopsis

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

DI Callum Waverley of the Met’s Major Investigation Team 55 is put in charge of his first murder investigation after a 15-year-old girl is stabbed outside a council estate controlled by the Skull Boys gang. Callum believes that the gang leader, V, ordered the murder. Witnesses are scared to come forward and he struggles to make headway.  Luke, who lives in the estate’s shadow, is drawn into the Skull Boys. Excluded from school, he befriends Jez, a troubled girl being exploited by the gang’s hitman, Zom. Callum becomes the target of escalating intimidation, seemingly from the Skull Boys. He suspects someone in his team may also be involved. Silenced is a gritty crime novel set in north London which delves into the heart of gang culture in 21st-century Britain.

Review

A teenage girl is brutally and shockingly murdered, shaking up the North London community to the core and becomes DI Callum Waverley’s first case. All the teenager was trying to do was try to get home. This a book with pace and so many layers. On the face of it, it’s a standard police procedural, but when you really get into it, there’s much, much more. This is about a community that feels silenced from talking to the police, not even the victim’s own mother wants to. They are all perpetually scared of the Skull Crew and what they might do to silence them. It takes a lot of work for the new DI to penetrate through the wall of silence and unravel the clues as to what happened. DI Callum Waverely also has his own demons to battle and has to push through them to solve the case.

There are themes of exploitation too and as well as exploring this, it also explores people within families who just don’t seem to care enough that their kids are being taken in by gangs when they are at their most vulnerable or acting out or thinking this would be a better way of life etc. This really goes deep into the depths of society, not just with this aspect, but also just how easy it can be for some to fall into being used by gangs and how hard it is to change your life around and escape, once so deep into them. There’s so much depth into the behaviours, morals and injustices that are created by society and are still in existence in Britain in 2021.

There are also themes of love, family, betrayal, violence, alcoholism, loss. The writing is dark, yet has an air of sophistication in all that it deals with, including the impact of crime, not just on the victims and witnesses, but also on those working in the police force, especially those investigating it, which brings a different angle to a police procedural. 

This is one powerful and intensely gripping and gritty book!

#Extract of Extreme Prejudice By Gordon Bickerstaff @GFBickerstaff @ZooloosBT #Espionage #Thriller #BlogTour

Extreme Prejudice
By Gordon Bickerstaff

Today I am on the blog tour for Extreme Prejudice and have a little bit to whet your appetite for the espionage thriller. So, follow down to the blurb and then an extract from the book.

A foreign embassy official warns the UK government of a bomb attack on London. Zoe Tampsin’s Lambeth Group team is launched into a race against time to find the terrorists.
​​​​​
As Zoe unpicks the details, she suspects the informant didn’t tell her the whole story. With time running out, her team chase a promising lead only to have it wrenched from their grasp
Either the bombers were incredibly lucky​​​​​, or they received a tip-off.

One of her team infiltrates the bombers. She discovers the attack has started, and her colleague Gavin Shawlens is missing, presumed killed by the terrorists.

While searching for Gavin, a massive disaster unfolds.

Can Zoe stop colossal loss of life in a small community and prevent the collapse of a key pillar of society.

Extract

Carver emptied a bottle of water over Liam’s mouth. He woke, coughing, spluttering, and spitting. Liam discovered his hands and feet were bound, and he lay on his back on the floor of his camper van. Carver towered over him.

He looked all around. ‘Where are Kacey and Jeff?’

Carver said, ‘We have questions and we’ll do them separately, then compare the answers.’

‘What questions?’

Carver pulled a stool and sat beside Liam. ‘You know how this works. I ask you the same questions as Peaty asks Kacey. Every lie you tell me will be punished.’

Around Liam’s bare left arm, Carver fitted a band like a blood pressure cuff, except this one had red and blue wires leading to a black box.

‘Who do you work for?’

Liam peered anxiously at the band on his arm. ‘I’m a driver for Consolidated Northern News Corporation.’

‘Does Kacey and Jeff work for you?’

‘They are freelancers. They contact an editor and outline the scope and likely outcome of a proposed investigation. If agreement is reached, the paper will provide expenses and some support such as a driver. That would be me.’

‘Doing well, Liam. What was the outline that your paper agreed?’

‘Documented and verified exposé of medical deception and fraud by Cartwright’s company New Lifestyle and Destiny, operating out of Serennity House. Kacey is following up a raft of complaints already on file.’

Carver looked up and down the camper. ‘I’ve rummaged around your van. No-one was living here. Where did Kacey go went she went home after her shift?’

‘We rent a cottage.’

‘Where?’

‘Howwood. The address is on an invoice in my wallet.’

Carver smiled. ‘Good. Keep this up and you’ll be home free without a mark on you. What about side issues?’

‘What?’

‘Teenage boys attending a prayer group What did she get out of them?’

Liam’s face paled, and he showed the whites of his eyeballs. ‘Look. I wasn’t there. I stayed here. I don’t know about the stuff with the boys.’

Liam didn’t lie well under pressure. Not even an average liar. He transported people and documents, and didn’t need lies or deception while driving.

Carver lifted the black box similar to a TV remote control. He pressed a few buttons to activate the arm cuff. ‘This will jog your memory.’

He pressed a red button to send a single high voltage, low current charge through Liam’s arm.

Liam screamed and his whole body shuddered.

Carver leaned closer to Liam’s face. ‘That’s setting one. Next lie will move to setting four. Setting 12 will stop your heart.’

Carver examined Liam’s phone. ‘Your phone shows she called you twelve times over the week. Does she have a fetish for grubby old tossers in seedy vans? Or did she tell you about her progress?’

Liam struggled to say the words. ‘Part of the agreement. I receive progress reports to keep the editor in the loop.’

Carver smiled. ‘Now we’re getting somewhere.’

‘What did she tell you, and what did you pass on to the editor?’

‘Cartwright is—aagh!’ Liam squealed as another charge seared through his body, setting his nerves on fire.

A faint smell of burning hair drifted out from the cuff on Liam’s arm. One side of his trousers became soaked with urine. In a few minutes, the smell of urine would overcome the smell of burning.

Carver said, ‘I don’t have all day. I’ve cranked the setting to six. The next shock will do some internal damage to your organs. Think before you answer. I’m not interested in Cartwright.’

Perspiration ran down Liam’s face and his voice cracked with an edgy tone. ‘She met a group of boys from a prayer group.’

‘Correct. What did they tell her?’

‘She said one boy was upset because he was made to watch other boys attack an unbeliever. Kacey comforted him and he confided in her. He told her about clients being blackmailed. A lot of people have been blackmailed.’

‘Much better, Liam. The boy’s name?’

‘Peyman… I think. Pay-something. I don’t remember exactly.’

‘What did Peyman tell Kacey about the attack?’

‘I don’t know. She was going to give me the story after we left Lochwinnoch.’

‘What did you pass on to the newspaper?’

‘Nothing. I told them the story was coming later today, and as soon as Kacey told me I would pass it on to the editor.’

Carver held the remote in one hand. The fingers of his other hand hovering over the keypad. ‘Think carefully. Did you pass anything the boy told her to the paper?’

‘What the boy told her is in a video they captured today. I haven’t seen it so I have nothing to report.’

‘What about names? Did Kacey mention names to you?’

‘Only his first name, Peyman. The paper told me they wanted the name of the boy and his father. I told Kacey the paper wanted names—we need full names. It happened this afternoon. That’s as far as we got.’

‘My boss needs to know if his name will appear in the paper. Did Kacey name him?’

‘No. The only name she’s got is Cartwright.’

Carver knew he heard the truth and put the remote on the floor. ‘That wasn’t too bad.’

He climbed out of the camper to make his report to Omar.

Extreme Prejudice By Gordon Bickerstaff @GFBickerstaff @ZooloosBT #Espionage #Thriller #BlogTour

Extreme Prejudice
By Gordon Bickerstaff

Today I am on the blog tour for Extreme Prejudice and have a little bit to whet your appetite for the espionage thriller. So, follow down to the blurb and then an extract from the book.

A foreign embassy official warns the UK government of a bomb attack on London. Zoe Tampsin’s Lambeth Group team is launched into a race against time to find the terrorists.
​​​​​
As Zoe unpicks the details, she suspects the informant didn’t tell her the whole story. With time running out, her team chase a promising lead only to have it wrenched from their grasp
Either the bombers were incredibly lucky​​​​​, or they received a tip-off.

One of her team infiltrates the bombers. She discovers the attack has started, and her colleague Gavin Shawlens is missing, presumed killed by the terrorists.

While searching for Gavin, a massive disaster unfolds.

Can Zoe stop colossal loss of life in a small community and prevent the collapse of a key pillar of society.

Extract

Carver emptied a bottle of water over Liam’s mouth. He woke, coughing, spluttering, and spitting. Liam discovered his hands and feet were bound, and he lay on his back on the floor of his camper van. Carver towered over him.

He looked all around. ‘Where are Kacey and Jeff?’

Carver said, ‘We have questions and we’ll do them separately, then compare the answers.’

‘What questions?’

Carver pulled a stool and sat beside Liam. ‘You know how this works. I ask you the same questions as Peaty asks Kacey. Every lie you tell me will be punished.’

Around Liam’s bare left arm, Carver fitted a band like a blood pressure cuff, except this one had red and blue wires leading to a black box.

‘Who do you work for?’

Liam peered anxiously at the band on his arm. ‘I’m a driver for Consolidated Northern News Corporation.’

‘Does Kacey and Jeff work for you?’

‘They are freelancers. They contact an editor and outline the scope and likely outcome of a proposed investigation. If agreement is reached, the paper will provide expenses and some support such as a driver. That would be me.’

‘Doing well, Liam. What was the outline that your paper agreed?’

‘Documented and verified exposé of medical deception and fraud by Cartwright’s company New Lifestyle and Destiny, operating out of Serennity House. Kacey is following up a raft of complaints already on file.’

Carver looked up and down the camper. ‘I’ve rummaged around your van. No-one was living here. Where did Kacey go went she went home after her shift?’

‘We rent a cottage.’

‘Where?’

‘Howwood. The address is on an invoice in my wallet.’

Carver smiled. ‘Good. Keep this up and you’ll be home free without a mark on you. What about side issues?’

‘What?’

‘Teenage boys attending a prayer group What did she get out of them?’

Liam’s face paled, and he showed the whites of his eyeballs. ‘Look. I wasn’t there. I stayed here. I don’t know about the stuff with the boys.’

Liam didn’t lie well under pressure. Not even an average liar. He transported people and documents, and didn’t need lies or deception while driving.

Carver lifted the black box similar to a TV remote control. He pressed a few buttons to activate the arm cuff. ‘This will jog your memory.’

He pressed a red button to send a single high voltage, low current charge through Liam’s arm.

Liam screamed and his whole body shuddered.

Carver leaned closer to Liam’s face. ‘That’s setting one. Next lie will move to setting four. Setting 12 will stop your heart.’

Carver examined Liam’s phone. ‘Your phone shows she called you twelve times over the week. Does she have a fetish for grubby old tossers in seedy vans? Or did she tell you about her progress?’

Liam struggled to say the words. ‘Part of the agreement. I receive progress reports to keep the editor in the loop.’

Carver smiled. ‘Now we’re getting somewhere.’

‘What did she tell you, and what did you pass on to the editor?’

‘Cartwright is—aagh!’ Liam squealed as another charge seared through his body, setting his nerves on fire.

A faint smell of burning hair drifted out from the cuff on Liam’s arm. One side of his trousers became soaked with urine. In a few minutes, the smell of urine would overcome the smell of burning.

Carver said, ‘I don’t have all day. I’ve cranked the setting to six. The next shock will do some internal damage to your organs. Think before you answer. I’m not interested in Cartwright.’

Perspiration ran down Liam’s face and his voice cracked with an edgy tone. ‘She met a group of boys from a prayer group.’

‘Correct. What did they tell her?’

‘She said one boy was upset because he was made to watch other boys attack an unbeliever. Kacey comforted him and he confided in her. He told her about clients being blackmailed. A lot of people have been blackmailed.’

‘Much better, Liam. The boy’s name?’

‘Peyman… I think. Pay-something. I don’t remember exactly.’

‘What did Peyman tell Kacey about the attack?’

‘I don’t know. She was going to give me the story after we left Lochwinnoch.’

‘What did you pass on to the newspaper?’

‘Nothing. I told them the story was coming later today, and as soon as Kacey told me I would pass it on to the editor.’

Carver held the remote in one hand. The fingers of his other hand hovering over the keypad. ‘Think carefully. Did you pass anything the boy told her to the paper?’

‘What the boy told her is in a video they captured today. I haven’t seen it so I have nothing to report.’

‘What about names? Did Kacey mention names to you?’

‘Only his first name, Peyman. The paper told me they wanted the name of the boy and his father. I told Kacey the paper wanted names—we need full names. It happened this afternoon. That’s as far as we got.’

‘My boss needs to know if his name will appear in the paper. Did Kacey name him?’

‘No. The only name she’s got is Cartwright.’

Carver knew he heard the truth and put the remote on the floor. ‘That wasn’t too bad.’

He climbed out of the camper to make his report to Omar.

Dead Mercy By Noelle Holten @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity #CrimeFiction A #DCMaggieJamiesonNovel #Thriller #BlogTour

Dead Mercy
By Noelle Holten

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am very pleased to be on the blog tour for the dark, gritty, visceral thriller – Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten. Discover more in the blurb and my review below. Opinions are my own. Thanks to One More Chapter for gifting me the book and to Books on The Bright Side for inviting me to review for the blog tour.

Dead mercy cover

Blurb

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside

A brutal murder…

When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

Review

Visceral and spine-tingling from the start – Dead Mercy sees DC Maggie Jamieson in an awkward situation. There is a  murder is brutal as brutal can be where the victim may be related to a probation officer under her wing. Then the bodies really start to rack up. It’s dark, harrowing and yet, perhaps because you’re at home or somewhere safe and the writing is strong, it’s not only going to give you a shiver down the spine with the dark tension created, but pulls you into its twists and turns as Maggie really digs deep and pushes hard to track down the killer.

There’s also a journalist digging around the investigation, which almost displeases Maggie as she is concerned that she will say or do something that will tip off the murderer that the police are onto the person who is committing such heinous crimes. There are pretty dark secrets that start to emerge. It’s an enthralling rollercoaster read that has much grit within it.

The veil is pulled back on the criminal justice system in the UK in a fictional sense, but gives readers a sense of it through some of the details and plot drive.

The book, although part of a series can be read as a stand alone too. All in all, it’s a strong book!

About the Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt    Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/  Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @author_noelleholten          Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

                            Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

dead mercy tour poster

#BookReview By Lou – Good Cop, Bad Cop By Simon Kernick Happy Publication Day @simonkernick @headlinepg @RandomTTours #GoodCopBadCop #Thriller #BlogTour

Good Cop, Bad Cop
By Simon Kernick

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Firstly – I wish Simon Kernick a Happy Publication Day! Today I am pleased to review Good Cop, Bad Cop by Simon Kernick on the Random Things Blog Tour.

Good Cop Bad Cop Cover

Don’t forget to breath whilst reading this high octane book!

Check out the blurb and my full review below. Thanks to Headline for gifting me Good Cop, Bad Cop and for Random Thing Tours for inviting me to review.

Good Cop Bad Cop Graphic (2)

 
  Good Cop Graphic 3 Good Cop Graphic 4

Blurb

COURAGEOUS HERO OR COLD-BLOODED CRIMINAL? TONIGHT WE FIND OUT.

It’s 14 years after the worst terrorist atrocity in UK history and, with the perpetrators either dead or missing, the motive remains a mystery.  But Dr Ralph Teller, a wealthy industrialist who lost his wife in the attack, never gave up hope of justice.  He thinks he knows the real identity of the mastermind responsible.

Only one person can help him put together the final pieces of the puzzle – retired police officer Chris Sketty, who infiltrated the terrorist group and was wounded trying to prevent the attack. But Cleverly thinks Sketty is a liar…and possibly far worse He has a dossier on all the former cop’s dark secrets and will make them public unless Sketty tells the truth.

So, over one night, Sketty will share his brutal tale of betrayal, ruthlessness and corruption, finishing with a revelation so terrifying and unexpected that it will change everything. Is Sketty a brave hero, crippled in the line of duty, or the most ruthless mass murderer the country has ever seen?

Good Cop Graphic 6 (1)

Review

Mr Chris Sketty is an interesting character you will want to know. He has a deeply shocking story to tell. It’s about a shocking time of terror that he recalls from 15 years ago. You’re absorbed into Counter Terrorism and the events that happen round about. The book however starts in present day with a heart in your mouth, seriously emotional moment, before whisking readers back. It feels like Chris Sketty, now seriously injured in the line of duty, is sitting beside you giving his account of what happened. It’s clever, involving writing. Simon Kernick revs up the pace very quickly for a a high occtaine, adrenaline driven book.

Chris, with the horrors he sees in his work to contend with, also has major relationship issues. Then there’s the fact he is also lauded a hero, and perhaps on the face of it he may be, but this is twisty book that keeps you guessing and questioning if he really is a hero or not and whether all is as black and white as it first seems. One moment it’s easy to see why he is praised for being all heroic, but the next moment, raises questions as all starts to spill out, like a statement that you’re witnessing as to what really happened, but you never know for sure until the very end what is the real truth and whether he is hero or criminal. 
There is so much that Sketty gets embroiled in as well as the manipulative people he has to deal with. It’s the darkest of places where terrorists lurk and carry out their evil acts. Each page that turns is edge of your seat writing; the pages can’t turn fast enough!

There are so many revelations, even in part 2, which was only 6 weeks ago from part 1. There are so many deaths and you can’t tell instantly who to trust and who are totally untrustworthy. The writing is masterful and so skilled. The thriller is never lost and increasingly builds until you’ve reached the end and closed the book.

Good Cop Bad Cop BT Poster

 

#Review Psychopath’s Anonymous By Will Carver @Will_Carver @OrendaBooks #WelcomeToTheClub #PsychopathsAnonymous #Thriller @RandomTTours

Psychopath’s Anonymous
By Will Carver

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Having read a few books by Will Carver now, you realise that as chilling the titles may be, there is often a point being made for the greater good of society that is compelling and to read in his thrillers. Psychopath’s Anonymous has got this too, through its dark tones. These may be some of this most important fictional books ever that never cease to amaze me.
Find out more in the blurb and my full review below.
Firstly, thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review on the blog tour and Orenda Books for gifting me the book.

Psychopaths Anonymous

Blurb

When AA meetings make her want to drink more, alcoholic murderess Maeve sets up a group for psychopaths.
Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters.
She’s also an addict: a functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men.

When she can’t find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve.

Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve’s drinking spirals out of control. She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group. But Maeve can’t seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man…

Review

Psychopath’s Anonymous is a book where every word has strength in tone and matters so much that it grips every part of your being until the end, where it only loosens its grip every so slightly, but leaves part of its astonishing text and feeling/aura to live on within you.
The book is in 5 parts with some sentences written in a most unique way, with a score through them that holds so much poignancy and relevance. There is no detective, rather an exploration of part of society in fictional thriller form. Each part is cleverly separated into steps, like you find steps to recovery in a support group. This instantly sets up the story that unfolds. Will Carver invites readers into the h..ead of an addict and the inner sanctum of support groups, depicted by Maeve, who you enter into an AA meeting with and meet other addicts. It packs a punch! It tells a raw truth of various people sitting in this circle. The book is unique. Books don’t often have the same sentence typed out and then scored out. This one does, within its seering paragraphs about humanity and some people’s minds. It’s also about other addictions within society, such as social media, egos etc.
There is also the exploration in how people watch tv, especially the news (good versus bad news) and soaps. Then there is an even starker fact that lots of people watch reality tv. The sort where the unlikeliest of people are forced together to create entertainment. The book explores this in a way that it hasn’t been before. It could change perceptions on them and see them in a different light, or perhaps clarify what you perhaps already thought of them. It’s also an interesting way of showing how strangers are put together in what is perhaps unnatural situations, whether it be an AA group or a reality tv show, both showing egos, attitudes, behaviours in one way or another in the stories that are told or shown from lives lived.

The book delves into the mind and about God in a very matter-of-fact way and becomes a recurring theme throughout the book.
There is also an interesting part that splits a wider  into 3 types of addict too, showing that stepped programmes, thoughts go beyond AA meetings in some ways. It doesn’t question anyone’s motives or beliefs. What it does is make you see things in a different perspective. A psychopathic alcoholic’s manner of thoughts. It also has an instruction at the beginning of each step.  Maeve later creates her own group – Psychopath’s Anonymous. Like AA meetings, it has steps to support and give direction, but there are differences within those steps.

Maeve has a sponsor – Gary, who is in no doubt in a precarious position with her as warped, dark thoughts go through her mind, that takes you to the edge of your seat, whether you want to be pulled in that far or not. Sex is never far away, nor is alcohol, nor death that swirl around in this women’s mind and then on the other hand, nor is support and how it’s administered.  Then right when you don’t expect it, the book makes you cast your mind back to an earlier book – ‘Nothing Important Happened Today’; in one breath-taking moment! Certain things trickle through from Nothing Important Happens Today, such as an action, a character, an image (but take note, it is okay if you’ve not read this yet).

As the book goes on, readers find out more about who Maeve has harmed and what she has done. It’s written in a chilling fashion as it delves into her world and what it is to be a psychopath and how behaviours and thoughts are displayed. It looks like research has been done and isn’t like how some films portray a psychopath. There seems to be a lot of consideration to this, as well as encouraging people to examine other elements of society.

It’s an amazing book and one you’ll have to read to see what, if any, improvements are made within lives and see how it ends.

All books written by Will Carver leaves like a residue behind like no other. It seems that every book I’ve certainly read of his sticks for a very long time afterwards.