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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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Category: CTM - Phil Martin

  1. Kat's Review of The One They Couldn't Bury by Phil Martin (Amy Walker #3)

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    Phil Martin The One The Couldnt Bury 3My Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis: With her life expectancy ticking close to zero, Amy Walker’s journey to discover the life she was stolen from has been replaced by a struggle to just keep breathing. Vitali knows Chechnya will provide their next clue but with Amy bleeding heavily she may not even last that long. As they journey across the vast wastelands of Russia the couple have become the number one target for a criminal brotherhood stretching from London to Chechnya and everywhere in-between. The bounty on her head has never been so high but the Moscow Police aren’t after a payday; they just need her dead at any cost. Two death squads are despatched but, motivated by the money, will the gangs get to them first? 

    Superintendent Needham’s obsession with Walker sees the girl’s origins become the focus of New Scotland Yard. If her instinct is right, Walker’s truth is far darker than she could have ever imagined. But solving crime is only part of Needham’s motivation. What she wants to uncover has the potential to finish off Amy Walker more brutally than any gang member ever could. Needham is convinced that three unsolved cases, linked to dead, London crime lord Vyacheslav Khasbulatov ultimately hold the key to unlocking her dark secrets. She is convinced too that Child No. 3 is on a vigilante quest to murder anyone connected to her abduction, twenty three years ago. 

    As Amy’s plight moves into ever darker territory, Needham is convinced her secrets lie closer to home. Both routes to Amy’s past are set to collide with each other as well as with the London, Russian and Chechen underworlds.

    My Review: Please note if you intend to read the first two books, please don’t read my review as there will inevitably be spoilers in it, I finished the second book in the trilogy and had to continue on with the third just to find out what happens to Amy Walker. The only thing that I noticed is that unless you have read the first two books, it may not be that easy to start in with the third in the series. The only reason I say this is that somebody may well pick this up as a one off book to read, and I feel it might be a little difficult to get into the story. Thankfully, I didn’t have that problem and was following on from book 2.

    The book starts off at a breakneck speed as Amy’s life is on the edge at the very start of the book. With Vitali at her side, they are making a perilously dangerous journey through Russia to answer the questions Amy has about where she came from. It’s a tense few chapters and I found myself reading quicker that I usually do. There is a lot of action, even as the pair reach what should be relatively safer ground. Pretty soon, they both realise that their actions has angered what seems like every bent politician, Underworld member and gangster in the face of the planet.

    Sadly, me reading the book was put on hold doe to work but a couple of days later I finally got time during a lunch hour and relished the thought of more reading this action packed book. Sadly, I soon realised that reading the book and eating at the same time was not recommended. The book contains some highly graphic, and particularly violent scenes which actually put me off my lunch! I’m not particularly that squeamish, but Phil Martin has done a Stellar job in recreating some particularly horrendous torture scenes (so be warned it may not be for everybody).

    This story and the plot, becomes more elaborate as time goes on. Ordinarily I may have said that it stretched to the unbelievable, but for some reason in this book it worked! I found myself becoming toe-curlingly impatient and nervous about the pairs journey and what would happen. There are certainly a lot of plot twists and numerous threads to the story but it kept my interest throughout; literally from the first page to the last. This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed (even though I didn’t particularly like the ending with one particular character) and if you want something very fast paced, then read this trilogy in order. There was also a noticeable difference between the first book and this current one. This latest one was brilliant and certainly hit the spot. First Class read Mr Martin!

  2. Kat's Review of The One They Couldn't Silence by Phil Martin (Amy Walker #2)

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    Phil Martin The One They Couldnt Silence 2My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Having discovered she was third on a sinister, coded list of children, stolen to order over two decades ago, Amy Walker travels to Monza to meet the blood parents revealed to her in the final breath of the female gangster who snatched her. 

    However nothing is as it seems in north Milan and Amy will have to fight once more just to stay alive. Only one man can save her. Superintendent Needham and Detective Flowers have all but exhausted the list of stolen children that Amy discovered with each sorry case leading to nothing. Only the details behind one final snatch remain to be discovered. 

    Zurich provides their last chance to unearth anything positive, could there be another Amy Walker out there; another child snatched but still alive?

    My Review: Okay the first thing I need to tell you is that this book is part two of a trilogy. If you intend to read the first in the trilogy, then it’s probably best not to read my review and read that book first. I read the first book some time ago but found it didn’t take me long to get back into the crazy world of Amy Walker. In a nutshell she has discovered that she was part of a stolen list of children to order more than twenty years ago. She is determined to uncover her past and discover her real parents.

    From the very beginning of the book Amy’s world once again turns sour. The story takes us quite literally across the waters featuring London, Italy and Russia and the storyline is just as complex. From the outset Amy’s plan goes wrong and once again people’s lives are on the line; only now its people she cares about. The violence is graphic enough to be descriptive, but not too graphic to put me off my food! The one thing I struggled with was the pronunciation of names. I know that sounds ridiculous but when characters have names I can never pronounce I end up re-naming them in my head (ridiculous I know, but otherwise it ruins the flow).

    There are loads of plot twists and I found myself not knowing where to look next in terms of who was behind what. The one thing I really enjoyed was her match up with Vitali (can’t say too much) but it worked well and I have to read on to know what happens. Phil Martin managed to leave the second in this trilogy on a complete cliff-hanger, meaning there will be no wait for me and I HAVE to move on to part 3. I enjoyed this book a little more than the first, maybe because I feel like I’ve had the character history, but have a feeling that the next book will be the best yet.

    I only have one criticism and that is the covers! I know, a lot of people aren’t bothered as long as the content is good. I just don’t feel like they do the books justice.*Note since this review the covers have been re-done and look much better* I must say that as self-published books go, this is a winner and to be frank at the time of this review all three books are less than £1.60 (with the first being only £1) on Kindle so a bargain as well. A book I really enjoyed but can’t stop, as I must read book 3.

  3. Kat's Review of The One They Couldn't Steal by Phil Martin (Amy Walker #1)

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    Phil Martin The One They Couldnt Steal 1My Review 4/5

    I have literally hundreds of books at any one time in my `to read' list. It's normally a mixture of my long time favourites, some newbie's and some self published stuff. The One They Couldn't Steal written by Phil Martin was a self published book and the synopsis sounded right up my street. Like most books or authors I haven't read before I always hope they will be great and thankfully Phil Martin's most certainly was. Amy Walker is the main character in this rather dark book and we are introduced to her life and the fact that she has been very aware of the fact that she was adopted from a very young age. With her father having passed away and he mother being ill, Amy is insistent on finding out more about her birth parents.

    Once she has completed medical school, she follows leads on her birth after being told by her parents that she was adopted following the death of her birth parents following a coach crash in Tuscany. What starts out as an innocent search turns into something much more sinister. Amy starts to uncover lies about her birth which leads her down a very dangerous path.

    The character of Amy is very likeable, and although maybe not anything other than ordinary she is likeable. As a reader you empathise with her need to find the truth. It's also got a more authentic ring to the story as the path she chooses to take is led by her need for information. It means that the more danger she approaches, the more inquisitive she gets. The story starts in Manchester where Amy is living but before long sees her visiting the shanty towns in Morocco and uncovering links to the Chechen underworld.

    The story grabbed my interest and to be quite honest kept it up throughout. The nearer it got to the end the more tense things were. This book only annoyed me towards the end. Obviously being part of a trilogy meant that the ending had me annoyed that I didn't have the next book to read immediately. Thankfully that can be remedied in a matter of days in this case. For a self-published debut novel I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Not quite a 5 star read but a solid 4, and one that made for an unusual and very engaging read. Can't wait for the next one and to be frank priced at £1.32 on Kindle it's a bargain to boot!