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

 

strange book of jacob (1)

 

 

 

 

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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Review of Hands Up by Stephen Clark @StephCWrites @widopublishing #HandsUp #crimefiction #fiction #BlackLivesMatter #journalist #Review

Hands Up
by Stephen Clark
Rated 5 stars *****

This is an important book. It was at the time I was first approached, just last year by Stephen Clark to review it. It feels only right now to re-publicise this book and my review of it again, given the terrible injustices and the events we see daily now on our tv screens. The book may be fiction, but it is rooted in a reality. It’s a brave book and is a story that still needs to be told. Find out about the author and what the book is about in this blog post.

About the Author

Stephen Clark is a former award-winning journalist who served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and as a politics editor for the D.C. bureau of FoxNews.com.

As a reporter for the Utica Observer-Dispatch, he won a New York Newspaper Publishers Association Award of Distinguished Community Service for his investigation into the financial struggles of non-profit service. He also won a Society of Professional Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting at the Stamford Advocate.

Stephen is also the author of critically acclaimed Citizen Kill, which explores the dangers of Islamophobia through a government conspiracy to end the domestic war on terror…

Stephen grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now lives in North Jersey with his wife and son. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Arcadia University and a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

Hands up cover

Blurb

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighbourhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story that the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness whilst mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade and Kelly – three people from different worlds – are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

Hands up cover

Review

I was excited to be contact via my blog by Stephen Clark to review his book. He kindly sent me a physical copy from the USA (I am based in the UK) and told me a little about his book. This piqued my interest because it is about issues that are still being talked about and happening now. With him being a journalist (and award-winning), I figured he would really know what he was talking about. I am honoured that after coming across my blog that he has chosen me to review for him. This has not in any way swayed my opinion of his book. My review is not biased.

From the first few lines of readers know what has happened. This book focuses on the aftermath of a shooting. I like that. It really works for this book as instantly Officer Ryan Quinn is met and clearly not only trying to convince himself he is not a murderer, but also the tone and the doubting himself is so convincing and brings a bit of humanity to him and instant intrigue as to what really went on, on the fatal day he shot an unarmed black man, but felt his life was in enough jeopardy at the time. I like that it isn’t quite a simple as that. There are complexities to this story that has a black man shot in traffic. It gives a realism to the story.

The book alternates its chapters to bring each character into the story. This really works. The first is Ryan, who then gets interviewed about the incident. The second introduces Jade who has just broken up with her boyfriend and works in Mac’s Tavern and comes across the police and shot man. There is Kelly, who readers meet a little later, who hopes to reunite with his family. It’s well laid out and instantly readers can get a feel for the main characters and the story. It soon becomes clear how all their own lives are interconnected.

Officer Ryan’s world is turned upside down. He was supposed to be planning his wedding to Kaylee, his career was being fast-tracked and now things were not looking so rosy for his present or future.

The contrast between Ryan Quinn, Jade and Kelly is brilliantly done as there is the story from the officer’s point of view, but also his life out of work and then there is the story from Jade’s point of view – the one that even in the UK, we are becoming accustomed to seeing on the news with what happens in the US with the press being around wanting to know what happened and people wanting justice for the person who was shot. Then there’s Kelly’s who shows the scene, again one that we all see on our tv screens of what has now become sadly becoming known as “the usual reaction” and similar, with the prayer vigils, teddy’s, flowers, candles.

The book continues with a shooting of the cop’s house and depicts, what sadly seems to be the cycle of revenge by violence, that is just as sad as the death of Tyrell.

The chapters with Officer Ryan in therapy are also very poignant and adds depth to his character.

Part Two of the book takes the story to the aftermath of the trial of Ryan Quinn. The format is the same as part 1 and there is still the emotion, but the story takes the characters even further and there are some unexpected turns of events and I was still hooked, as I am sure others will be too. This second and final part is as well written and as well-paced as the first part. The twists and turns keeps it all going very well and it has a good, well-written ending.

The book gives a great insight into the aftermath of American life when a shooting happens and the lives of people. There is a depth throughout this book, with issues people face, lives being complicated. There is emotion and characters to care about. This story is one that I feel anyone reading it will want to read to the end to see how it all concludes. I certainly did. It is an absorbing book and one that I didn’t want to put down.

Whether readers are American or not, this is an important and thought-provoking story that Stephen Clark is telling. I really get the sense that he is telling it like it is. News like this is sometimes international, so no matter where you live in the world, there will be recognisable parts. There will be some parts of the story that are just part and parcel of the character’s day-to-day lives may also be relatable to people, wherever they live. The book, although fiction, fits in well with current affairs from all the different angles.

The book would be great for everyone to read and would be one that would be very good for a book group too as it would really spark conversation about the subject matter raised within this book (so long as it didn’t get too heated of course as civil conversations are always best).

It is available to buy on Amazon. It is available as both an E-book and Paperback.

Links:

Click here for Stephen Clark’s Website

Click here for Stephen Clark’s Twitter

Write up of a Virtual Book Launch for two highly successful authors – William Shaw and Elly Griffiths @william1shaw @QuercusBooks @ellygriffiths @HatchetteKids @HGCFiction #CrimeFiction #Mystery #Adventure #GravesEnd #AGirlCalledJustice #VirtualEvent #BookLaunch

Virtual Event with: William Shaw and Elly Griffiths

Happy Publication Day (yesterday) to both William Shaw and Elly Griffiths, first of all on the new books, published Thursday 14th May. William Shaw’s latest book is – Graves End (for adults) is available now on Kindle and audio and later in phyical book copy.
Elly Griffiths book for children is Justice – To the Smuggler’s Secret.

Elly Griffiths, who has written many crime fiction books for adults, such as The Stone Circle and The Lantern Men with her detective – Ruth Galloway, has now written a book for children, which is also now available to buy and was published yesterday… More about that below. First, I will present William Shaw’s new book, which is highly rated by Val McDermid and Peter May and The Financial Times.

                                                            

William Shaw has written 8 crime books, such as Salt Lane and Deadland, the 8th being Grave’s End. This is actually book 3 in the Cupidi series. He has written 2 different series to date – The DS Alex Cupidi series, The Breen and Tozer series and a stand-alone called The Birdwatcher.

There was a reading from it, cleverly put together by many people reading a bit, giving a lovely sense of comaraderie amongst crime writers, . It sounds atmospheric.

It was discussed that the crime book, set in Dungeness, has environmental themes and issues within Dungeness. It is written from the badger’s point of view, in the third person. He knew right away that underground was a great place to write from. It starts really well and powerful and is such an original point of view. It was talked about it is a plot with twists. This is absolutely an adults fictional book.

William Shaw likes that we know so little about badgers and yet have been living for such a long time, which makes them good for writing about. It is tense and also deals with issues surrounding badgers.

It was also mentioned that it is a book interspersed with emotions of love and loss. William Shaw, interestingly, also talked about how crime fiction investigates more than just the murder.

Gravesend picThe Blurb is:

A BIZARRE DISCOVERY

An unidentified cadaver is found in a freezer in an unoccupied luxury house. No-one seems to know or care who it is or who placed it there. When DS Alexandra Cupidi is handed the case, she can have no idea it will lead her to a series of murderous cover-ups and buried secrets. Namely the discovery of the skeleton of public-school boy, Trevor Wood, beneath a housing development.

A HISTORIC CRIME

His disappearance twenty five years earlier had almost passed unnoticed. But as evidence surfaces that his fate was linked to long suppressed rumours of sexual abuse, Cupidi, her teenage daughter Zoe and her friend Bill South find themselves up against powerful forces who will try to silence them.

A BURIED LIFE

Digging deep into the secrets that are held underground leads to Cupidi’s realisation that crime and power are seldom far apart. There are dangerous connections between the two cases, which are complicated by Constable Jill Ferriter’s dating habits, a secret liaison and the underground life of Trevor Grey’s only friend.

A Girl Called Justice – To The Smuggler’s Secret by award winning author Elly Griffiths. This is the second in the series for children about a girl called Justice Jones and sounds like it is full of mystery and crime and perfect for those enjoying Enid Blyton.
Elly has written many books for adults and now has also crossed into writing for children, which is available to buy now as it is launched today too. Justice is a corageous girl. It includes issues of the time and is set in 1937. It is based a bit on her mum who went to a boarding school.
She talked a bit about how in the 1930’s, people of course called it The Great War because they didn’t know it was just the first one of course.

It is available in paperback, e-book and audiobook now.

The blurb is

Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, is back for her second spine-tingling adventure! For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton.

A Girl Called JusticeWhen Justice returns for spring term at Highbury House, it’s not long before murder is back on her mind. Assigned to look after the elderly Mr Arthur in Smugglers’ Lodge on the other side of the marshes from school, Justice is initially dismayed. But dismay quickly gives way to intrigue as she finds herself drawn to Mr Arthur and his stories of piloting in the First World War – and especially when Dorothy, who lives nearby, tells her that the lodge is haunted.

But when Mr Arthur dies in mysterious circumstances, Justice soon has a list of questions in her journal: why hasn’t he been given a proper military funeral? Why does the new Matron not seem to know much about First Aid? And what secrets does Smugglers’ Lodge really hold?

Justice sets out to uncover the deadly truth in this brilliant follow-up to A GIRL CALLED JUSTICE.

This is the last broadcast that William Shaw wil be doing for the time being as he has been doing them over many weeks, but may do some more occasionally. They have been great interviews. I couldn’t watch them all, due to time, but what I have seen have been good and creative.