Sunday, 28 June 2020

Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds

Today it's my stop on the tour for Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds and you can find my review below. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me and to Orenda Books for my review copy.

The Blurb:

Video footage of an apparent murder on a London train thrusts crusading journalist Lydia into a terrifying web of money, politics and power, in sophisticated, shockingly believable contemporary thriller

A witness but no victim. A crime but no crime scene…

When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts – until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime.

Michael Stringer deals in information – and doesn’t care which side of the law he finds himself on. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows.

When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect … and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet.

Blood Red City was published by Orenda Books as an eBook on 11th April 2020 and will be released in paperback on 23rd July 2020. You can buy/pre order from the publisher, Hive, Waterstones and Amazon. Or do check with your usual independent bookseller as most are now reopening.

My Review:

Investigative journalist Lydia is confined to the night time showbiz desk writing articles about meaningless celebrities when an ex colleague sends her a shocking video of an attack on a tube train. She senses a story and uses her own time to pursue it. But she has so little to go on - no crime has been reported. Nevertheless, her enquiries bring her to someone's attention...

Lydia is a great character - she's tenacious and hard working with a strong sense of right and wrong. And she's determined to chase down the story, even though she's afraid of where it might lead her. I felt her determination, frustration and fear. Her colleague Stephen and friend Tammy are both brilliantly written too - I loved Tammy particularly. She's wounded and fragile, but with a real strength to her.

Stringer is suitably enigmatic. We see hints of his early back story but his more recent past isn't fleshed out until much later on. Dealing with corporate crime and corruption, he has no compunction about doing what needs to be done regardless of the legality, but we see plenty of moments where he does the right thing, and there are flashes of real emotion. I couldn't help but be drawn to him.

The story is complex and I needed to stay alert to follow it, but that's no bad thing. Banking, big money, and betrayal at the highest level. With some murder along the way.

In Blood Red City, Reynolds has crafted a wide ranging corporate crime thriller.  It takes in big business, politics,city trading, kidnapping, murder, lies and deception. It fizzes with nervous energy and tension, leading to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. And was that a wee hint of a follow up? I'm not sure whether there is any more planned but I, for one, would love to read more Lydia and Stringer.

The Author:

Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books 'Pitch-perfect American noir.' A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Hunted by Alex Knight

I want to wish a huge happy publication day to Alex Knight for the fabulous Hunted, out today.  You may have seen my interview yesterday with Alex - if not, you can read it here - and today it's time for me to share my review with you. But before that, in case you didn't see it yesterday, here's the book information:

The Blurb:

You're woken early by the doorbell. It's a young girl, the daughter of the love of your life. She's scared, covered in blood, she says her mother is hurt.

You let her in, try to calm her down, tell her you're going to get help. You reach for your phone, but it lights up with a notification before you touch it.

It's an Amber alert - a child has been abducted by a dangerous suspect.

The child is the girl standing in front of you.

The suspect? You.

Hunted is published by Orion tomorrow and you can pre-order it at HiveWaterstones and Amazon. Or why not check out your usual independent bookseller?

My Review

Hunted opens with a bang, hitting the ground running. Molly turns up at Jake's door - bloody, scared and upset. She doesn't know him that well, but he's her mum's boyfriend, her mum's hurt and she doesn't know where else to go. But Jake's just had a notification on his phone  saying that Molly's been abducted. By him. What an opening!

Jake does the only thing he can - he runs. And the hunt for him truly begins. He is determined to find out what's really going on. But with a massive manhunt on for him, very little cash, nowhere to go and maybe only one friend that he might possibly be able to turn to for help, his chances aren't great. Oh, and there's also the small fact that everyone in the San Francisco area with a mobile phone now knows what he looks like and that he's wanted by the FBI. Phew!

Jake is a brilliant character, really well drawn. I didn't know about Amber alerts before reading this book, other than hearing them mentioned on the tv occasionally, so it was interesting to learn about them and such a great way of getting information out quickly. But I can't imagine what it would be like to be innocent, and have everyone look suspiciously at you. When it happened here I was reminded of the scenes in the John Wicks movies - if you've seen them you'll know what I'm going to say - where John Wick himself goes back on the books as a target, a notification goes out and suddenly every assassin in town (and there are a lot of them) is on the look out for him. There's a real conflict going on with Jake - he's clearly a good guy who wants do the right thing, but not without being able to prove his innocence. I felt for him, particularly his loneliness which is beautifully described. And he is wound so tight for much of the time that I was anxious for him! I could feel the tension coming off the page.

There are some fab, strong characters in Hunted. FBI Special Agent Catherine Lark is in charge of finding Jake. I liked her - she's no nonsense, firm but fair. And has one heck of a job. We follow her as, ably assisted by Kelly Paxon and the rest of the team, she starts to build a bigger picture and a convincing case. Outside of the emergency services there are more great characters - I was particularly fond of Eleanor Grace. You'll see why when you read the book - no spoilers here! And it would be remiss of me not to mention Molly. She is so well written - her fear, shock, anxiety and vulnerability all brilliantly described. She's an outstanding kid, mature beyond her years in many ways. And you can tell the author has experience of being around teenagers - there were plenty of details that rang true!

Knight has clearly done his research for this book around the technical details of the American police, FBI etc but the also the locations used. Everything feels authentic and he's found some small towns with brilliant names. I loved the descriptions, the imagery.

Hunted is a cat and mouse chase, a search for truth and justice. It grabs you, pulls you in and doesn't let go. The action doesn't let up at all and neither does the tension. The storyline is full of lies, betrayal and cover ups with twists, shocks and red herrings aplenty. If you're looking for a fast paced, action packed, intelligent and rewarding crime thriller then this is the book for you. I flipping loved it!

The Author:

Alex Knight is a British novelist who lives near Glasgow with his wife and three children. As Mason Cross he has written five books in the Carter Blake series and last year released standalone What She Saw Last Night as MJ Cross.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Hunted by Alex Knight Q&A

I am absolutely delighted to have author Alex Knight on the blog today. The name might be new to you but the author himself probably won't be as Alex Knight is a nom de plume of the very excellent Mason Cross (also MJ Cross)! Alex's new book, Hunted, is out tomorrow and it's a cracker! I'll be sharing my review of it for publication day tomorrow.

Alex has kindly answered some questions I put to him and also written a wee piece about how lockdown has been for him. But before I share those, let's find out a bit about the book.

The Blurb:

You're woken early by the doorbell. It's a young girl, the daughter of the love of your life. She's scared, covered in blood, she says her mother is hurt.

You let her in, try to calm her down, tell her you're going to get help. You reach for your phone, but it lights up with a notification before you touch it.

It's an Amber alert - a child has been abducted by a dangerous suspect.

The child is the girl standing in front of you.

The suspect? You.

Hunted is published by Orion tomorrow and you can pre-order it at Hive, Waterstones and Amazon. Or why not check out your usual independent bookseller?


So my first question will come as no surprise - why publish this book under the name of Alex Knight rather than Mason Cross? Or MJ Cross? 

It's a standalone, and has a slightly different feel from the Mason or MJ books, so my publisher thought it would be a good idea. And apparently gender-neutral names are good to have in today's market. I plan to publish more as Mason (and maybe even MJ).

Who chose the title Hunted? Did you have it in mind from the beginning? I love the red/orange title against the black and white picture on the cover - it really pops.

I was going to call it HUNTER/HUNTED because it's kind of a two-hander between Jake and Lark, but somewhere along the line it just became HUNTED and I can't remember whose decision that was. It does what it says on the tin. I'm not a fan of figures on covers, but I think the female figure on this one works quite well, it's supposed to be Agent Lark.

I'm interested where the idea for this book came from. Did you have a single image/moment in your mind? 

The kernel of the idea came from my editor Francesca who had just come back from New York. She mentioned the presidential alert system that uses the phone alert technology, and suggested it might be a good idea for a story. I looked into it and decided an Amber alert would work better as a story device, as it focuses on one suspect rather than a terrorist attack or natural disaster. I wondered what would happen if an alert went out to millions of people targeting an innocent man. The opening chapter basically wrote itself after that.

I've asked you this before but humour me - why set your books in America?

I like reading American thrillers, so I guess that was what I naturally gravitated towards when writing a book. The USA gives you a lot more freedom in terms of geography, the availability of guns, the tradition of lone wolf characters.

Do you have a method/system for choosing character names?

I usually have temporary holding names for characters and come up with something better towards the end. A good tip for budding writers is to use the 'random article' feature on Wikipedia to find interesting names. 'Molly Donaldson' in this book was the name of a lady who lived next door to my gran and died in the 80s, and the name always stuck with me for some reason. I hope she wouldn't mind coming back as a 13-year-old Californian.

How do you go about your research?  The stuff like what information goes on an Amber Alert, Boards of Supervisors, police workings, etc!

Local newspapers and Google. And making shit up. I also took a trip to San Francisco and drove the same route north from the city as Jake and Molly take in the book, just to pick up on the things you can't get from the internet.

Is Molly based on anyone?

No, but my oldest daughter is about that age, so I borrowed some of her interests and attitude.

Hunted is being made into a movie. Give me three songs or pieces of music that would be on the soundtrack.

San Francisco - Scott McKenzie
Vertigo - Bernard Herrmann 
Landslide - Dixie Chicks

If you were being hunted, how successful do you think you'd be at evading capture?

I think I might be okay at it, particularly because I've just spent a year trying to think of all the things you would need to consider. It would be challenging without time to organise cash, a place to stay etc.

You're stranded in a desert island. You have one essential item, one luxury item and one book. What would they be?

A knife, a coffee machine, and the complete short stories of Ray Bradbury, which is about a thousand pages long and I'm working through at the moment.

And finally... what would your spirit animal be?

Is there a kind of sloth that's really active at the last minute?


Lockdown with Alex Knight:

The good thing about lockdown for a writer is… it hasn’t really changed all that much.

We spend most of our time sitting alone in our homes staring at a screen anyway, so being formally required to do so by the government hasn’t been a big change. The biggest adjustment has been having the kids at home all day, but luckily they’re old enough that they don’t need constant attention. Like everyone else I found it quite hard to focus on writing (and reading) in the first few weeks, simply because the news was so distracting.

I managed to get back into writing by forcing myself to write a little every day, even if it was on a different project to the book I’m working on at the moment. That helped me get back into the groove. Normally, I write a lot on the move: in trains, in hotel rooms, in coffee shops, so that’s one aspect of normal I’m definitely missing. I usually book myself into a hotel for a couple of days in the spring to get time to really focus on finishing off the first draft, and that’s not been possible either.

But overall, we’re really lucky – I haven’t been laid off, and everyone at home is healthy and staying safe. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to be in this position, so any minor inconveniences I’ve experienced are achingly trivial in the scheme of things.

Even within the broader entertainment industry writers are lucky – movies and television can’t shoot, musicians can’t play concerts, theatre productions can’t go ahead, but we can still write (and publish) books. I guess there’s a responsibility there to make sure the books keep coming.

Hopefully, in a small way, we can make it a little easier to get through lockdown. I know I would have found it much more arduous without good books to read.

The Author:

Alex Knight is a British novelist who lives near Glasgow with his wife and three children. He also writes as Mason Cross and MJ Cross.

Huge thanks to Alex for visiting the blog, answering my questions and sharing his lockdown experience with us. If all of that has whetted your appetite (and if not, why not?), you can read the first chapter of Hunted on Alex's website. And be sure to check back here tomorrow for my publication day review! 

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Giveth and Taketh by Rota - Cover Reveal

It's been a while since I featured any poetry on here so I'm delighted to be taking part in today's cover reveal for Giveth and Taketh, a poetry collection by Rota covering politics, race and religion. Thank you to Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group for the invitation. 

The Blurb:

Was Donald Trump able to become President because God abandoned us? Are Jews white? Does Hell have better weather than Heaven?

In Giveth and Taketh, Rota addresses all of these questions, discussing his own experience and political theology as a Jewish person in the Trump-era while also exploring broader issues of race, mental health and grief.

Giveth and Taketh was published by Wild Pressed Books on 25th May 2020. 

Purchase Link:

The Author:

Rota is a poet and public interest lawyer living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

His work has been featured by Button Poetry, Entropy!, FreezeRay Poetry, Alternating Current (February 2020), Jet Fuel Review, and elsewhere. He is a proud member of the MMPR collective and the Assistant Executive Editor of Knights' Library Magazine.

By day, he supervises law students who provide free legal services to veterans. You can't miss him. He's the tallest Jew for miles.

You can find him on Twitter @TheMCRota

And now the cover ...

I think this sounds really interesting, and look forward to reading it. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Snow Light by Danielle Zinn

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Snow Light by Danielle Zinn. Donna and Jessica are also sharing their reviews today so do see what they have to say too. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy at Book on the Bright Side Publicity & Promo for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for my review copy.

The Blurb:

When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Crottendorf, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again.

However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park incident re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village.

For Thomas, the situation gets worse when Detective Sergeant Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question.

Who is the victim? And why was he murdered?

Whilst Thomas and Collins find themselves trying to solve the unusual case, they may have more in common than they could have ever imagined. 

Snow Light was published by Dark Stroke Books on 1st June 2020 and you can buy it here.

My Review:

Traumatised policeman Nat Thomas has quit his job and take  himself off to the Ore Mountains to become a village constable in Crottendorf. All is quiet for a year before a violent murder takes place in the village triggering terrible memories for Thomas. He must put them to one side if he is to catch the killer.

I liked Thomas. Although clearly haunted he has worked hard to get himself into better shape, both physically and mentally. He's likeable, relatable and easy to care about. His living situation is unusual but it endeared him to me. His former colleague, Ann Collins, assigned to work with him here, is another matter. She's cold, spiky and tactless. She is very hard to like but much is explained later in the book, with one particularly heart tugging moment. All of this makes the relationship between Thomas and Collins an interesting one. But my favourite character was 11 year old Sky - funny, smart and sassy. Brilliantly described. 

The setting of Crottendorf is beautiful. I loved the village traditions - the lights in the windows, the pyramid in the vsquare. It's also very cold, at least it is when this drama takes place. The winter weather definitely plays its part in this story - short days, dark nights and thick, thick snow. I could feel the cold through the pages! But there is warmth here too, both in the village  fireplaces and in the personalities of many of the characters.

The storyline itself is complex and covers events over 30 years or more. It starts quite slowly but builds momentum, mirroring the police investigation. There are some red herrings and a few gruesome moments along the way as we move towards a conclusion that I didn't see coming.

I did find the writing occasionally a little clunky and put that down to English not being the author's first language. I was also curious as to why the characters had English names, rather than German ones. But overall I found this to be an engaging slow burner of a read and a fine debut. An intriguing, well thought out story of hidden identity, old wounds, new pain, murder and revenge.

The Author:

Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham/UK and has settled down in Leipzig/Germany, where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.

Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country with her partner as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting friends scattered all over the world.

Mix everything together and you get Snow Light, a detective mystery combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: @DanielleZinn4
Facebook: Danielle.zinn.7

Monday, 15 June 2020

Jack Janson & The Storm Caller by Andrew Marsh

Today I am pleased to be shining a spotlight on Jack Janson & The Storm Caller, the first book in a planned series from author Andrew Marsh. This is a fantasy book aimed at young adults from age 12 upwards but can be enjoyed by all ages, as evidenced by the Amazon reviews. You can see the book information together with a wee extract below. You can also read a little about Andrew. 

The Blurb:

Jack Janson is nearly fourteen, an only child living with his parents who hate him almost as much as they hate each other. The only good things about his life are the girl next door, Sarah-Jane Farmer, whom he adores, and his Granny Jean in Cornwall who he spends the summer holidays with.

His gran is cool but she is hiding a HUGE secret. As her health fails, she decides to share the secret with Jack.

Gran leads Jack to a cave.

“Boom Tom tum” a loud voice echoes and a rock opens up to reveal a young giant called Winfred Storm Caller. Gran has been looking after the friendly giant since pirates killed his mother, but she needs Jack to care for Winfred.

Sarah-Jane arrives to help and they uncover The Book Of Lore hidden in the cave.What magic does it possess?

Have they found a way to get Winfred home to his own lands?

Are Sarah-Jane and Jack brave enough to use the book to save Granny Jean’s life?

Jack Janson & The Storm Caller was published on 15th September 2019 and is available in eBook and paperback

Extract from Jack's first encounter with the giant:

Turning, he took his first proper look at the giant. He must have been twenty feet tall with a large round head, soft wispy brown hair and piercing green eyes. His neck was thicker than a barrel and the veins stood out like iron bars. His thin cotton shirt fell over his chest, gaping enough for Jack to see his firm muscular features. But the thing that he stared at the most were his huge tree trunk legs sticking out from beneath his shorts and his arms as thick as girders. This fella could life a mountain.

From the corner of his eye he saw something and made another connection with something that happened recently. Realising he was staring, he blurted out, “The lantern!” his shrill voice echoed from the cave walls. “The other night in the storm, it was you waving that lantern back and forth,” Jack pointed to a lantern in the corner of the cave.

“By boom Tom tum it were me, save shippy ships from big rocky rocks in the sea,” Winfred smiled back.

“And why is the cave lit up like the daylight outside when there are no doors or windows?”

Jack saw Winfred shoot a look at Gran and he noticed her small but perceptible nod in return.

“Be giant magic Jack Janson, by boom Tom tum it be.”

“And the fire over there. I see it burning bright but I don’t see a chimney for the smoke to go up. We should be choking on smoke but the air is clean and fresh,” he pointed to the large fire cut into the middle of the cave wall.

“Clever be, Jack Janson, by boom Tom tum he be. Things work by giant magic, so they do. No smoky smoke in Winfred’s home, by boom Tom tum no.”

“Giant magic, like wow!” Jack stood in awe and looked across at Gran who was smiling at him. “This tops everything Gran, it really does.”

The whistling of a kettle on the fire broke the moment.

“Boom Tom tum. Manners?” the giant exclaimed. “Tea My Lady and little Jack have.”

“I’m not little, I’m quite tall for my age,” Jack chuckled, realising the irony of his statement.

“Be Jack Truth Sayer now it be. By boom Tom tum it will.” Winfred bowed to Jack and reached for some battered metal mugs on a shelf at the back of the cave.

“Winfred, I’m puzzled by something. Well, many things actually. But the biggest of them is this, how come no one else knows you are here? You live in a cave, have a big fire and if I may say so, you are rather large. Surely someone else would have discovered you or your home by now?”

Winfred shot another glance at Jean who shook her head back.

“Question good be. By boom Tom tum it be.”

“You seem to be forgetting that I know he’s here.”

“I got that one real quick, Gran. But you know, I doubt many others do, otherwise he would be big news, very big news. It intrigues me.” Jack smiled knowing that he had pulled out a really good question. The one thing he knewfor sure is that SJ would not believe it until Winfred stood there in front of her. No sir, she wouldn’t. “Then, if Gran is the only one who knows, why has she brought me here to meet you?” Jack asked.

He noticed her facial expression change for a split second. Another thought ran through him like a lightning bolt making him blush and get angry. He had to ask that question, even though he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know the answer. He just had to ask it.

The Author:

Author, speaker, story teller, coach.

Andrew is a 56 year old former geologist from the construction industry who discovered a passion
for writing inspired by things that happened at work, on sites, and in life generally.

With the winnings from his appearance on The Weakest Link in 2003, he self-published his first novel, The Long And Winding Road in 2004. In 2014 he self-published his second novel The Truth, an adult crime thriller which is still available in Amazon in both formats.

Since then he has written a fantasy trilogy, which is still being worked on and his current Young Adult WIP, the Jack Janson series, the first book, Jack Janson and the Storm Caller was published in
September 2019.

Four years ago, Andrew was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which has brought great understanding to his life and this has also prompted him to write poetry on a number of topics,
including his Asperger’s.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Lies I Tell, the latest book from Joel Hames. Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for my invitation and to the publisher for my review copy. 

The Blurb:


From the bestselling author of Dead North, a tense, claustrophobic psychological thriller perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Claire McGowan and Clare Mackintosh.

Meet Polly. Meet Emily. Meet Belinda.

They're all me. My name is Lisa and I’m an identity thief. If I’m not inside your system stealing your money, I’ve probably already stolen it. I’m your friend. I’m a thief. I’m gone.
I’m in control.

Only now, the tables have been turned. I’m in danger. My son is in danger. And I don’t know where that danger’s coming from.

Any friend.
Any enemy.
Any stranger.

Anyone from the past I’ve been trying to outrun for years.


The Lies I Tell was published by Ffs Publishing on 9th June 2020 and you can purchase it here

My Review:

The Lies I Tell focuses on single mother Lisa, who isn't only Lisa but a host of other people - mainly online but sometimes in person. In fact, she's not even Lisa. Being an identity thief is a complicated business! After preying on countless people, Lisa now finds herself a victim has she is targeted by an unknown person who seems to know her every secret, even the darkest ones. Lisa fears for herself, but mostly for young son Simon. 

Being an identity thief looks exhausting! And incredibly complex. Lisa has so many balls to juggle at the same time, trying never to let one fall. And almost succeeding. Hames has clearly done his research into the kind of work required for this kind of scheme, all the magic techy stuff, as the details feel authentic.

I wanted to hate Lisa, but it was impossible to do anything but like her. I was rooting for her. Her story is told over a dual timeline, swapping between the present day (2016) and her growing up. The tales of her early childhood tugged at my heartstrings, and I felt so much for her as I watched her struggle, and these events shape her life. Now I thought I was someone who catastrophised, but I have nothing on Lisa! In every situation she finds herself, every single worst case scenario runs through her head. I can't imagine how wearing that is, but Hames describes it so well.

So many characters in this book are versions of Lisa herself I imagine the author had fun creating them. But I must mention Billy and Ida, two very different characters but both of whom I loved.

This is a very different cat and mouse chase as the hacker pursues Lisa and Simon, and Lisa tries to discover who it is that wants to do her harm. We see her vulnerabilities. Much of the action in this book is computer based but that doesn't stop it being exciting. The tension increases as Lisa and her tormentor edge closer together and towards a denouement which is exciting, shocking, sad and unexpectedly bloody.

This book is very apt for the current time when so many of us are active on social media and conduct much of our day to day business online. It's a warning for us to look at what we're doing, what information we share, who we let into our lives.  It's a tense, exciting story, with an interesting, engaging central character, which I really enjoyed. 

The Author:

Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist.

After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out "Belgian chocolates going cheap over 'ere" in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him).

Joel's first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK's Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Joel's website can be found at, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at or Twitter at @joel_hames. Joel has never seen the word "Joel" appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.

Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds

Today it's my stop on the tour for Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds and you can find my review below. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Th...