#BookReview of One Eye Open By Paul Finch of a fast-paced, excellent #CrimeFiction #Thriller book. @paulfinchauthor @orionbooks @gigicroft @LeanneOliver1

One Eye Open
By Paul Finch
Rated: 5 stars *****

Incredibly gritty and fast-paced! Prepare to be plunged into a world of high-speed, fancy cars, a mysterious road-traffic incident; which all leads deep into the underworld of crime. It’s a thriller you won’t want to miss! See more about the author, the blurb and full review below.
Thanks to the publisher, Orion and Paul Finch for allowing me to review this book.

About the Author

Paul Finch is a former cop and journalist now turned best-selling crime and thriller writer, and is the author of the very popular DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg and DC Lucy Clayburn novels.

 Paul first cut his literary teeth penning episodes of the British TV crime drama, The Bill, and has written extensively in horror, fantasy and science-fiction, including for Dr Who.

 However, he is probably best known for his crime/thriller novels, specifically the Heckenburg police-actioners, of which there are seven to date, and the Clayburn procedurals, of which there are two. The first three books in the Heck line achieved official best-seller status, the second being the fastest pre-ordered title in HarperCollins history, while the first Lucy Clayburn novel made the Sunday Times Top 10 list. The Heck series alone has accrued over 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Paul is a native of Wigan, Lancashire, where he still lives with his wife and business partner, Cathy.

One Eye Open cover

Blurb

YOU CAN RUN
A high-speed crash leaves a man and woman clinging to life.
Neither of them carries ID. Their car has fake number plates.
In their luggage: a huge amount of cash.
Who are they? What are they hiding?
And what were they running from?

YOU CAN HIDE
DS Lynda Hagen, once a brilliant detective, gave it all up to raise her family.
But something about this case reignites a spark in her…

BUT YOU’LL ALWAYS SLEEP WITH…
What begins as an investigation soon becomes an obsession.
And it will lead her to a secret so dangerous that soon there will be nowhere left to hide.

ONE EYE OPEN

One Eye Open cover

Review

With a By-line of “If The Lies Don’t Kill You. The Truth Will”. It already is attention grabbing.
One Eye Open is vivid and bold from the first word in this stand-alone book. No hanging around, the action begins within the first 4 sentences. It’s a fast-paced, immersive and gritty read. It shows that the lines can be blurred and nothing is as black and white as it may first seem.

It begins on Monday, 6th January. It is as far removed from any Monday I know. It isn’t a Monday anyone would wish to have at all. Blood isn’t what Alan anticipated when he started his day. All he wanted to do was set off with the dog he didn’t see too much. The opening chapter would get any reader sitting up and taking notice.

Lynda, is a police officer with Essex Police in CID,  isn’t having the best Monday morning either, but better and more normal than Alan’s. Her children don’t want to start school again (let’s face it, staff don’t always want to either), for the spring term. It also isn’t good news on the traffic reports, which then gets her involved in a case with Detective Constable Clive Atkins, as Chief Superintendent Templeton looks on and applies the pressure to get traffic and the case moving alone from the mysterious incident, which leads onto a bigger crime scene than was anticipated and readers are plunged into a very gritty and gripping plot.

The book goes between January, with the case and December where readers meet Elliot Wade and the atmosphere feels darker as he is introduced to Ray Lonegon and some pretty fancy, expensive cars, which Elliot test drives. If you fancy burning some rubber in fast cars, these parts would definitely interest you. It isn’t all about posh cars though, there is the crime that and the family side in what unfolds to be very slick writing indeed, that takes readers also into quite the underworld. It is well-written, going between what the police are doing and the criminals. The tone also changes accordingly as everything builds up to create the bigger picture as it is a case of quite some magnitude that needs to be solved, which excites and intrigues as it takes you in deeper into this criminal world, which is masterfully written from beginning to end.

The domestic and work life are all intertwined to some extent, which works so well. It gives a deeper understanding of the characters. Don and Lynda have a stormy time in their marriage, over the effects of that work/life balance, something I am sure many people can understand. As the book unfolds, there is a realism to it all that does make it relatable. The way domestic and professional lives connect is done expertly, making it such a full dimensional story.

I highly recommend this book. It’s an incredibly good and impressively captivating and vivid stand-alone book.

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.

#Review of the gritty – Snatched From Home by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @NightsBooks @RandomTTours #CrimeFiction #blogtour

Snatched From Home
By Graham Smith
Rated: 4 stars ****

A kidnapping that leads to blackmail and the first case for DI John Campbell to solve before time runs out is the crux of this gripping case.
Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me and for her and Graham Smith and Caffeine Nights Publishing for sending me a copy of the book.
Discover the blurb and review and a bit about this crime fiction author in Scotland, below.

Snatched From Home

Blurb

DI Harry Evans – Book 1

What would you do to save your children?

Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas’ gambling debts. Penniless and desperate the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom.

Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. Evans is fighting against enforced retirement and his replacement – DI John Campbell – is foisted upon him along with other cases. If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes.

In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. If they don’t pay up on time the kidnappers have threatened to amputate their children’s limbs with an oxy-acetylene torch.

Can they save their children before time runs out?

Review

From page one, the action begins and spirals into any parent’s worst nightmare of a child being abducted in this gritty, fast-paced crime book. The setting is Carlisle, around the Lake District and the Scottish borders.

Victoria is left in tears but with a grit and determination to get her children, Samantha and Kyle back. It wasn’t a chance kidnapping either. It was all planned to force her into repaying debts that her husband – Nicholas, has and it takes a toll on the family.

DCI Peter Grantham and DI Campbell and DI Harry Evans are the detectives on the case. There’s no “pussy-footing” around with these guys and they certainly don’t “mince” their words. DI Campbell got the transfer he wanted out of Glasgow to Cumbria. Apart from dealing with crimes, there’s the more sociable side to them too, like talk of ‘pop-culture’. They’re definitely not a fan of the ‘pen-pushers’. They’re pretty rough and ready.

Every so often, in a manner that flows well, the book goes back to the children and their captives.

The characters that are created are engaging and pretty hard-hitting and no-nonsense. There are degrees of tension that ascends throughout.

About the Author

graham-smith-author-photo- (1)Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder. His ‘Lakes’ series which has three novels featuring DC Beth Young has received much critical acclaim.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Graham can be found at:

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor
Twitter
https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
Website
http://www.grahamsmithauthor.com

snatched-from-home-bt-poster-

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

 

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Exciting Crime Fiction News @HobeckBooks @RobertDaws #CrimeFiction #TheRock #KillingRock #EchoRock

The Broderick and Sullivan Murder Mystery Series 
By Robert Daws

Sun, sea, island life, scenery and murder….

There is more than just lovely scenery in Gibraltar. Meet the police team –  Broderick and Sullivan, as they take readers on a journey of intrigue, mystery and murder…

Find out why Tamara Sullivan was seconded to Gibraltar, the many crimes that need solving and what secrets the island holds, within these compelling, twisty tales.

Discover a link to the reviews at the bottom of this article, for reviews of the first 2 books – The Rock and Poisoned Rock. Then watch out for reviews of Killing Rock and Echo Rock.

There are exciting things afoot! Robert Daws has now partnered up with the publishing company – Hobeck Books, who are publishing The Sullivan and Broderick Murder Mystery series, set in Gibraltar. He has fabulous new cover art and is writing more of this series.

It is with thanks to Rebecca Collins and Adrian Hobart at Hobeck Books, that I am currently working on a review for the book – Killing Rock and soon will be also reading and reviewing Echo Rock.

The book – Killing Rock will be available soon to pre-order and Echo Tunnel – a short story –   will be available for free as an E-book soon.

To whet your appetite for what’s to come, here are those covers, reflecting Gibraltar and the sinister, murderous goings on…. I have also included cover art for The Rock and Poisoned Rock.

Look out in the coming days for my reviews of Killing Rock and Echo Rock…..

See a slideshow below and  here is the link to the reviews – The Rock Reviews
Social Media Links:
Robert Daws: 
Website www.robertdaws.com Twitter @Robert Daws    Instragram @RobertDawsOfficial

Hobeck:  Website  www.hobeck.net   Twitter: @HobeckBooks Instagram: @hobeckbooks 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hobeckbooks10

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