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

Bodies In The Water
By AJ Aberford

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Bodies In The Water cover

Blurb

An unwilling hero

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

A powerful crime family

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

Troubled waters

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Headshot
By Otho Eskin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

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

Headshot

Blurb

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

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

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

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

Perfect for fans of David Baldacci and Daniel Silva.

Review

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

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

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

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

 

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

Lights Out
By Natalie Walters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

 

Lights Out

Blurb 

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

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

State of Terror
By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

State of Terror Graphic 9

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

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

State of Terror Graphic 1

Blurb

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Writing Together

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

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

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

 

About the authors:

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

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

State Of Terror BT Poster (1)

#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.

#Reviews etc By Lou – Happy 1st Anniversary to Hobeck Books @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thrillers #PsychologicalThriller #ScottishNoir and more @HobeckBooks @RobertDaws @mark_wightman @istheauthor @KerenaSwan @AliMorgan2304 @antony_dunford @MHollingdrake

Hobeck Books is a publishing company run by husband and wife team – Adrian Hobart and Rebecca Collins. Today is the first anniversary of this team who are passionate about super crime fiction in all its forms and cats. I am also proud to be on their Advanced Readers Team and read through as many books as I can, to submit feedback, before I write a blog review.
Please note that I have not been asked to write a blog post or anything about it being their first anniversary, so, what I am writing is completely unbiased. I’ve felt I’ve wanted to put something together for awhile and now seems an appropriate time to do so to celebrate such an achievement from afar.
I have included some links to Hobeck Books and some of my reviews and you should check out the eye-catching covers too. There have so many books and authors that I just want to give you a taste of some here and bundle up a small selection of my reviews and also find out a bit more about this Indy publisher.

Hobeck Books have published police procedurals, thrillers, psychological thrillers, political thillers, quirky crime, Scottish Noir and more…There really is something for everyone who likes crime within fiction that also has a wider scope into people’s lives and so much more. Their authors are writing more than one book with them and they are often signing up authors from all over the UK.
They publish Paperbacks, Audiobooks and E-books, sometimes free E-books too. They also have their own Podcast (Hobcast), details can be found on their website. It has been quite a year from them.

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

Hobeck Books is doing tremendously well for year 1. Not only have they learned about publishing (before Hobeck was official of course, as there’s always a lot going on in the background to businesses etc) and made connections with various people from authors to bloggers to other readers, but they have a book in the Shortlist for Crime Book Festival – Bloody Scotland – Waking The Tiger by Mark Wightman. It’s no mean feat as there are hugely popular authors on that list and yet, they’ve found and published a great debut that’s reached (so far), these heady heights. Luckily they all leave the killing to just being on the page. They’re all nicer than their culprits.

Their Flagship Author is the ever popular and hugely successful actor, podcaster and author – Robert Daws, who transferred all his books in his excellent Broderick and Sullivan Murder Mystery series to them and has another being released soon.
All are set in Gibraltar, may well make you want to go there and are twisty and compelling to read. They are also 99p over on Amazon to celebrate this magnificent achievement is such climes.

Links to Reviews
The Rock and Poisoned Rock Reviews
Killing Rock Review  

Waking the TigerWaking The Tiger by Mark Wightman has made it to Shortlist at Bloody Scotland, a prestigious and ever growing festival in Stirling, Scotland.

Waking The Tiger Review

The Angel of WhitehallLewis Hastings has a trilogy of books – the increasingly popular Se7en series.
Here is a book with Jack Cade returning, but more standalone and works well with its twists and big plotlines to be gripped by.

The Angel of Whitehall Review

Blood Loss


Blood Loss is the first in the DI Paton Investigates series. It’s twisty and hard to put down.

Blood Loss Review

Hobeck Throttled

Throttled is humourous, with some big themes and is part of The Quirk Files. This is book two. Book one is Over Her Dead Body.

                             Throttled Review

Hobeck Hunted

Hunted takes readers to the heart of nature and the dark world of wildlife crime. It’s books like these that also bring something different to crime fiction.

                                                                                                            Hunted Review

Catch As Can Catch As Catch Can by Malcolm Hollingdrake is in the dark and brooding underworld and has quite a hook to it, that then makes you want to read the next book -Syn.
Catch As Catch Can Review

That was just a few, keep a look out for more and also keep an eye out on the Hobeck Books media and bloggers posts for more… Check out their website for what’s coming and for free books too and more info.
Hobeck:  Website  www.hobeck.net   Twitter: @HobeckBooks Instagram: @hobeckbooks 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hobeckbooks10