Wednesday, 28 March 2018

End Game by Matt Johnson

A couple of weeks ago, I received very exciting #bookpost! All book post is exciting, but this was especially so, as it was End Game by Matt Johnson, and I'm in it!


Last year, I was lucky enough be the winner of Matt's lot in a huge author auction to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Part of the prize was to have my name used in Matt's new book and my copy arrived recently. I read (devoured) it as soon as I could, but have only just has chance to post up my review. So, I'll get on with it.

The Blurb:

The final instalment in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay series, as his past continues to haunt him...

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it's clear that Finlay's troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he's being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who's behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK's security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who'd sooner have him dead than be exposed.

My Review:

I have been looking forward to this book for ages, having loved the first two in the series, Wicked Game and Deadly Game. And I wasn't disappointed. Time has moved on a bit from the second book, Robert Finlay has a second daughter, and has settled in at work. But then his friend Kevin's girlfriend is murdered and everything goes haywire! Once the action gets going, it doesn't let up.

It can easily be read as a standalone, although there are references back to previous events, but you would enjoy it if you came to it fresh. However, if you get the chance to read the first two then do, because they are well worth it.

I love Finlay. He is such a well written, well rounded character. His love for his wife and daughters shines through, as does his commitment to the job. And his relationship with Kevin is brilliant - complete trust both ways. It was good to see Toni Fellowes back with her no nonsense approach. One of my favourite characters in this series has been Toni's assistant, Nell - a very bright, focused young woman, possibly with autistic tendencies who is incredibly good at her job of researching pretty much anyone or anything. She's a really interesting character.

I don't want to say too much about the story itself for fear of spoiling it. Suffice to say, we meet some slimy individuals and some downright nasty ones, as Findlay fights to help his friend, and himself. And the action doesn't stop til the end.

What makes this series stand out is that it oozes authenticity. Matt Johnson is an ex policeman and has drawn on his own experiences when writing. His story is a really interesting one, and you can find out more at his website https://mattjohnsonauthor.com

I am sad that this is the last in the trilogy, and hope this doesn't mean we've heard the last of Bob Finlay. But whatever comes next from Matt, I can't wait to read it.

And my character? Well, that would be telling... You'll need to read it to find out.

You can purchase the book here (the e-book is out now, the paperback will be released on 31st March):

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Robert-Finlay-Matt-Johnson/dp/1912374099/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522273709&sr=8-1&keywords=end+game+matt+johnson

US https://www.amazon.com/Game-Robert-Finlay-Matt-Johnson/dp/1912374099/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522274046&sr=8-1&keywords=end+game+matt+johnson

And in all good bookshops!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Abel's Revenge by Ross Greenwood



The Blurb:

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.
This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace. 
An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in. 
Will Abel's reign of terror ever end?
Who will live, and who will die? 

My Review:

This book didn't grab me as I thought it would. It is told from various perspectives, but mainly Dan, his partner Olivia and Abel, a killer terrifying a city.

I really enjoyed Abel's chapters (and would have liked more of them), and those from other minor characters, but, for me, the chapters from Dan and Olivia's points of view broke the rising tension (and I would have liked less of them). That said, Dan and Olivia's characters are well fleshed out and their struggling relationship is well described. I found Dan quite annoying though! Abel remained mysterious through most of the book. I also enjoyed the descriptions of a city in chaos and freefall, caused by the fear of Abel, as more and more crimes are attributed to him, regardless of whether he has committed them or not.

For me, this book was saved by the ending. The action increased and then there was a surprise twist that I just didn't see coming, and it helped explain some of the earlier story.

There is potential for a follow up book, and I would certainly be interested to read it, if that was the case, to see how  things develop.

You can purchase Abel's Revenge here:



And in all good bookshops!

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The Glasgow Mural Trail


Something a bit different today. I had friends visiting for the weekend, and between the wine and cocktails, we decided to do a bit of sightseeing with a difference.

The Glasgow Mural Trail was officially launched in 2014 to promote the growing portfolio of works adorning buildings within Glasgow city centre. The murals showcase a diverse range of talent and are now recognised as unique pieces of art in their own right. There are currently 22 murals on the trail.

We concentrated on the ones closest to the centre - it was a very chilly day and there were drinks to be had! We did struggle a bit with the map, but found several that we loved. There were a couple we couldn't see properly, and one I couldn't get a decent picture of, but we loved the ones we saw.

Spaceman by Recoat & Ali Wylie

The Clutha by Elik & Rogue One

Badminton by Guido Van Helten
Installed as part of the promotion for the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Dr Connolly, I Presume? by Jack Vettriano & Rogue One
One of a number of commemorative Billy Connolly murals. This was installed by Rogue One and is a reproduction of a Jack Vettriano painting.

Honey I Shrunk The Kids by Smug

Billy Connolly by John Byrne & Rogue One
Another Billy Connolly installation by Rogue One, this time based on a piece by John Byrne

Fellow Glasgow Residents by Smug
This was our favourite mural of the ones we saw, and it's huge. It shows all types of animal and plant life that can be found in Glasgow's parks and green spaces, and it's painted to look as though you are peering through a hole in the wall.



We loved finding these amazing pieces of art, and are looking forward to seeing the rest.

If you would like to find out more about the Glasgow Mural Trail, please visit:
https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/things-to-do/city-centre-mural-trail

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Dead Gone by Luca Veste


I recently read Dead Gone by Luca Veste, the first book in the Murphy and Rossi series. This was my first book by Luca, but it certainly won't be my last!

I had the good fortune to meet Luca recently, at the Glasgow launch of his new stand alone novel, The Bone Keeper, which is rapidly rising to the top of my TBR pile. We also went to the pub, but that's a while other story (I was completely led astray, although not by Luca)! Anyway, I can testify that Luca is a thoroughly lovely bloke, who laughs a lot, which is always good as far as I am concerned! He is also the bass player in the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers band, who you must see if you get the chance.

The Blurb:

The young girl you have found isn’t the first experiment I’ve carried out. She won’t be the last.
A tense, unpredictable crime debut that will not only have you gripped, but will chill you to the bone. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and Mark Billingham.
A serial killer is stalking the streets of Liverpool, gruesomely murdering victims as part of a series of infamous, unethical and deadly psychological experiments.
When it becomes apparent that each victim has ties to the City of Liverpool University, DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi realise they're chasing a killer unlike any they've hunted before – one who doesn’t just want his victims’ bodies, but wants their minds too.
With a series of psychological twists Dead Gone will keep you guessing until the very end.

My Review:

This is the first book I've read by this author. It's also the first in a series featuring DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi. A great start - I will certainly be seeking out the others in the series.
A serial killer is murdering victims who have a connection with the university, and Murphy and Rossi are tasked with solving the case.

It becomes apparent to them, and us, that the victims were part of highly dubious psychological experiments carried out by the perpetrator. The experiments are described in letters left on the bodies for the police, but are also seen through the eyes of some of the 'subjects'. It's all very chilling and has obviously been well researched.

The book moves along at a cracking pace. I really enjoyed Murphy's relationship with Rossi, and also with his best friend Jess. He has clearly has some issues, both personal and professional, in the past, and these are touched upon in the book.
I thought it was a highly original story, that played out really well. I was partly right in guessing who the perpetrator is, but there was a big twist regarding that, that I didn't see coming at all. Looking forward to reading more by this author.

You can buy Dead Gone here:




And  all good bookshops!


Thursday, 22 March 2018

Dead North by Joel Hames


I was lucky enough to the selected to read and review this book through the TBC Reviewers Request Group on Facebook. And I am so glad I was, cos I loved it!

The Blurb:

Once the brightest star in the legal firmament, Sam Williams has hit rock bottom, with barely a client to his name and a short-term cash problem that's looking longer by the minute. So when he's summoned to Manchester to help a friend crack a case involving the murder of two unarmed police officers and a suspect who won't say a word, he jumps at the chance to resurrect his career. In Manchester he'll struggle against resentful locals, an enigmatic defence lawyer who thinks he's stepping on her toes, beatings, corrupt cops and people who'll do anything to protect their secrets. On its streets, he’ll see people die. But it's in the hills and valleys further north that Sam will face the biggest challenge of all: learning who he really is and facing down the ghosts of his past. He’s working someone else’s case and he’s in way over his head. But sometimes you need the wrong man in the right place.

My Review:

This was my first book by Joel Hames, but it certainly won't be my last. I really enjoyed it. Sam Williams, a down in his luck lawyer from London, is summoned to Manchester by a cop friend, Gideon Roarkes, to help with a case. Two police officers have been gunned down, and what at first appears to be an open and shut case turns out to be anything but.

I loved Sam's wit, but also his tenacity, his determination to follow even the most obscure, flimsiest leads until they are completely exhausted. He is very negative about Manchester and the surrounding area, which I am sure isn't that bad, but maybe that's just because he's a Londoner through and through. But crisp butties! Yes please!

The pace keeps up all the way through, as the story twists this way and that way following leads, often provided via Sam's slightly murky contact, Maloney until the surprise (for me at least) at the end. I loved Sam (although I thought Claire deserved a medal for putting up with him!), Roarkes intrigued me and irritated me in equal measure. And Charlie Gaddeston broke my heart.

Can't say much else without giving away too much. But it's well worth a read. I can't wait for Sam's next adventure!

You can buy Dead North here:

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-North-Sam-Williams-Book-ebook/dp/B079RJC732/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1521762043&sr=1-1&keywords=dead+north+joel+hames

US https://www.amazon.com/Dead-North-Williams-Joel-Hames/dp/1980269637/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521762095&sr=8-1&keywords=dead+north+joel+hames

And all good bookshops!



Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper



My favourite type of book is a crime or psychological thriller and I read heaps of them. But I am always up for reading something different. And, to be honest, I need to as crime books can be very dark and I need some light occasionally!. Anyway, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from the author. It's a love story, with a difference, and I loved it. And I love the simplicity of the cover - it's really impactful.  The Pursuit of Ordinary is released on 27th April.

The Blurb:

After witnessing a fatal car accident, a homeless man wanders the streets of Brighton, trying to ignore the new, incessant voice inside his head. But he cant forget the crash, can't get the face of the woman cradling her dying husband out of his mind. She stared into his eyes, his soul. He has to find her. Is Dan mentally ill or has he really been possessed by the spirit of Natalie's dead husband, Joe? If he hasn't, why does she let him into her home so easily? Does she have secrets of her own? The Pursuit of Ordinary is a twisting tale of modern life and mental health where nothing is what it seems... Following the success of debut novel Beat the Rain, Roundfire introduces the second book from bestselling author Nigel Jay Cooper.

My Review: 

My go to genre is crime and psychological thrillers, but this book looked too good to miss. And it was.

It tells the story of Dan, a homeless man who comes across Natalie at the moment her husband Joe is killed when a car hits him. Dan can't get Natalie out of his mind and goes in search of her, but he is also hearing another voice in his head.

Dan is obviously damaged, which immediately makes him interesting, and Natalie has her own demons. I don't even know where to start with Joe!

The same episodes in the story are told from different perspectives which could easily have led to lazy storytelling, but it doesn't, because there is always something new.

I loved that the story is set in Brighton as it's a place I know. I love that it name checks one of my favourite books (you'll need to read it to see!). And I really love that it sensitively deals with some difficult issues - mental health and emotional abuse.

This is a book about loss, hope, trust and ultimately love. But I doubt it's like any love story you've read - it's highly original, brilliantly written and definitely worth a read.

Available to pre order here:

UK
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pursuit-Ordinary-Nigel-Jay-Cooper/dp/1785358065/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521586323&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Pursuit+of+Ordinary

US
https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Ordinary-Nigel-Jay-Cooper/dp/1785358065/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1521586362&sr=8-3&keywords=the+pursuit+of+ordinary

Monday, 19 March 2018

'Shoeless Child' by J A Schneider

Recently, I was lucky enough to read 'Shoeless Child' by J A Schneider.  I got my copy through TBC Reviewers Request Group on Facebook, and I thank them for the opportunity to read it.  This is the fourth book in a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.


The Blurb:

A little boy has seen a horrific murder but is too traumatized to speak. Detective Kerri Blasco struggles to connect with him... Charlie Sparkes peeks out to see his mother and another young woman brutally shot. Hysterical, the brave child bolts into the cold November night for help. He screams and cries, only to fall into more trauma. Homicide Detective Kerri Blasco is called to the murder scene. One woman lies dead next to the blood soaked rug where Rachel Sparkes was seriously wounded. With little memory of the attack, she has been taken to the hospital - but where is her child? He too, Kerri discovers, now lies in a hospital bed, mute and traumatized in a fetal position, refusing even food and water. Charlie must have seen what happened. Kerri's heart aches for this piteous little boy and she struggles to help him; struggles, too to find the monster who did this horrible crime. "It's your kind of case," Sergeant Alex Brand, Kerri's boss and partner tells her, stepping up police urgency when another innocent is shot, and then another... Kerri Blasco finds herself more emotionally obsessed with this case than with any other, despite clear and onrushing danger to herself...

My Review:


OMG, I loved this book. It broke my heart at times, mind. Charlie sees the attacker who injured his mother and killed her best friend, but is too traumatised to talk about it. Kerri Blasco and Alex Brand are the police tasked with solving the murder, and trying to get Charlie to open up about what he saw.


I could have cried for wee Charlie (and his poor mother) and celebrated every little breakthrough that Kerri made with him. He is absolutely the heart of this story.


With pressure from their boss, Kerri, Alex and the team work long frustrating hours trying to break the case. Bodies mount up and so do suspects. But I was completely shocked by who the 'baddie' turned out to be, and their reasons.


The characters are beautifully drawn - I felt I was really getting to know them. There was a real sense of atmosphere - I could picture myself in the apartment block where the attack happened. I loved Kerri and Alex, but was a little confused by their relationship,work not personal. Alex is Kerri's superior, but it mainly seemed to be Kerri calling the shots. But this is a teeny tiny niggle.


This was the fourth book in a series, but my first, and it read brilliantly as a standalone. That said, I certainly want to read the others now! Highly recommended.


To Buy 'Shoeless Child':


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shoeless-Child-Detective-Kerri-Blasco/dp/1979842744/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521495839&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Shoeless+Child


https://www.amazon.com/Shoeless-Child-Detective-Kerri-Blasco/dp/1979842744/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521496375&sr=8-1&keywords=shoeless+child


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Hello!

Hello Everyone!

Yep, I've decided to bite the bullet and start a blog! I've taken heed of the warnings that this might well take over my life, but I'm gonna do it anyway!

I am  single, and share the care of my two fab (most of the time) teenage boys. I am a part time administrator and I have a freelance proofreading business - Suze Clarke-Morris Proofreading Services (https://www.facebook.com/SuzeCM/).  In my free time, I like to catch movies, listen to music, craft (particularly crochet) and most importantly read books!  Yes, lovely reader, this is the main motivation for this blog.

Now, I have no problem rambling on about pretty much anything, but thought I should probably try to focus my thoughts,  I am an avid reader.  I will read almost everything, but particularly enjoy crime and psychological thrillers. So the blog will mainly consist of book reviews, but there will be some other stuff thrown in.  But be warned, the majority of that will probably be book related too!

So that's it in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy my musings and do feel free to comment or get in touch. I'm brand new to this, so be gentle with me!

Laters! xx

Without Rules by Andrew Field #blogblitz

I am delighted to be shining a spotlight on Without Rules and its author Andrew Field today on the opening day of the blog blitz. Thank you ...