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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

ROF = Romance and Other Fiction Authors

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» Listings for January 2014


  1. Sean Black PostI recently interviewed Sean Black and asked him about his new book Post. I finished his new book Post yesterday and was blown away!

    MY RATING: 5/5

    Available: Online now on Kindle

    Synopsis: THE WAR IS COMING HOME

    Exhausted by years of combat, and haunted by the ghosts of his past, nothing is going to stop special forces operative Byron Tibor returning home to the woman he loves. But is Byron who he appears to be, and why is American government determined to stop him?

    From the blood-soaked mountains of the Hindu Kush to the glittering lights of Manhattan, via the dark underbelly of the Las Vegas Strip, POST is the story of one man's struggle to retain his humanity - before it's too late.

    Kat;s Review: I am a huge fan of the Ryan Lock series by Sean Black and was looking forward to testing the waters with his new stand alone thriller Post. I have to be honest and say that when I read the synopsis I was a little worried. You see I’m not particularly a fan of the kind of war books that this one seemed to be on the surface; especially not the ones that involved Government type conspiracies. <BIG sigh> how wrong could I have been?

    Byron Tibor has spent years in Combat and serving his country. The first few chapters of this book kind of took my breath away. We fall straight into a combat situation where Byron is working as a lone operator. The sheer energy and exhilaration I went through when reading this reminded me of that feeling you get when you watch a really intense film! I was amazed (and I don’t mean that to sound disrespectful), a woman that doesn’t read this type of book and I just HAD to carry on reading.

    When I did carry on reading I began to get a little confused. Had Sean Black made a major error in the storyline? Why didn’t it make any sense? Well, I now realise that’s the whole point in the beginning; you need to question it as you go along. This whole book centres on the US Government and their new programme which involves inserting an implant into their best soldiers to create a ‘guilt free and enhanced’ soldier. I know that some people will be shaking their heads at this description. Believe me, I am normally one of them so I totally get that. However, this story is one of those that will get your brain ticking. I’m certainly not somebody who believes in far fetched ideas; however there is a real ‘Big Brother’ syndrome with this book.

    Aside from that aspect of the book we get to see Byron Tibor, who is by the way an awesome lead character, fight his way through his battle to get to the truth about himself. I went through varying emotions when reading this, but the overlying emotion was one that meant I didn’t want to stop reading. I was actually pretty sad to get to the end and couldn’t believe how amazing I thought this book was. Yep, many people will think ‘well the author gave her a copy so she would say that’. I need you to understand something though. I review because I love books, I don’t get paid one single penny to do it, and I’m certainly not shy in coming forward (which I’m sure some authors will happily confirm). I can be very critical when needs be, but in this case Sean Black put me firmly in my place.

    Finally, I just wanted to touch on the genre of this book. It’s pegged as a thriller and it certainly falls into that category. But some people may say it should fall into Science Fiction. If that’s the case I need to change my standard “I don’t read Science Fiction” line, to “I don’t read Science Fiction, but I do read Sean Black”.

    Sean Black has proved that you need nothing and nobody to produce an amazing book, just the talent. For the price of this book (less that £2 on Kindle) you really should give it a try. This was an amazing book that took my breath away and left me with more questions than answers. I sincerely hope that this is the start of what looks to be an amazing series. 

  2. J A Kerley The Death Box

    My rating: 5/5

     Synopsis: Carson Ryder thought he’d seen everything …

    A specialist in twisted crimes, Detective Carson Ryder thought he’d seen the lowest depths of human depravity. But he’s barely started his new job in Miami when called to a horrific scene: a concrete pillar built of human remains, their agony forever frozen in stone.

    Finding the secret of the pillar drags him into the sordid world of human trafficking, where one terrified girl holds the key to unravelling a web of pain, prostitution and murder. 

    There’s just one problem: Ryder’s not the only one chasing the girl. And the others will kill to keep the secret safe.

  3. Karen Robards ShiverMy Rating: 5/5

    Released: January 2013 available in paperback and Kindle

    Synopis: When she swore off love, he was the last man she imagined would steal her heart.

    If driving a tow truck through the seediest part of town with a gun beside her means putting a roof over her son's head; then single mother Samantha is going to be the best repossession woman on the books. But when she hooks her truck up to a flashy BMW, the last thing she expects is to find a beaten, bloody man in the trunk - or to be catapulted into a terrifying fight to survive.

    Daniel knows the drug runners who kidnapped him from protective custody will stop at nothing to see him dead. With his life on the line, his only option is to take his pretty saviour hostage and force her to help him. 

    Sam and her four-year-old son are in too deep. With ruthless killers on their trail, she must reluctantly trust this handsome, menacing stranger. And as Sam relinquishes control, she feels an unmistakable desire. But what is the price of falling for a man who operates on the edge of danger - her heart, her life . . . or both?

  4. Louise Mensch BeautyMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Dream Big. No Limits. Be Bold. Manhattan is there for the taking .

    Blend it. Sculpt it. Shape it. Use it...

    There isn't a woman on earth who doesn't have her beauty secrets. But for Dina Kane, beauty is more than just business. It's power. And it is the secret. She's dragged herself up from poverty to Park Avenue. She's rolled with the punches. And she's learned how to win.

    Now someone is out to destroy her, and all she's built. They've underestimated Dina Kane. She's staying at the top - and she's happy to wait for the perfect moment to exact her revenge...

    My Review: I haven’t read many of Louise Mensch (better known as Louise Bagshawe) books, but the last one I read was pretty good. If I’m honest I didin’t realise for a while that Louise Mensch and Louise Bagshawe were one and the same. When I picked this up I hadn’t bothered reading the synopsis, and just dived right in. It didn’t take long for the story to drag me right down with it and before too long I realised that I had read half the book in one sitting. I started to figure this book was going to be a good read.

    The story centres on Dina Kane and trust me the girl does not have an easy start in life. As opposed to a loving and positive home she is born into a world where her father works all the time and her mother resents her. With that in mind the story unfolds and we see Dina struggle in her childhood. The book is set over a few years and as the chapters flew by I couldn’t help loathing Dina’s family. On the other hand I can’t honestly say that I warmed to Dina that much either. She is a tough girl and although I didn’t dislike her, it was hard to warm to a young woman that has to play hardball to get where she wants to be in life.

    The story had me gripped as we see Dina grow up and try to conquer the business world. The story is weaved in a way that makes you want to read more and although Dina wasn’t maybe my favourite character, I just couldn’t help but will her on in her quest. The story is certainly worthy of a read and for fans of Bagshawe I don’t think they will be disappointed. I for one, will certainly be continuing to read her work as I thoroughly enjoyed this and literally couldn’t put it down. My only reasoning for the 4 out of 5 rather than the maximum is the fact that I just didn’t like Dina as much as maybe I should have. Other than that this was a fantastic read.

  5.  Lisa Gardner Fear Nothing
    My Rating: 5/5
     

     Synopsis: My name is Dr Adeline Glen. Due to a genetic condition I can't feel pain.

    All Boston Detective D.D. Warren remembers is walking the crime scene. Next, a creaking floorboard, a voice in her ear... Now D.D. is seriously injured and unable to return to work.

    My sister is Shana Day, a notorious child murderer. She has killed more people in prison than as a free woman.

    Then a second victim is found with the same calling cards left at the scene: champagne and a single red rose. Only D.D. may have seen the killer, but she recalls nothing from the night that may have cost her everything.

    Our father was Harry Day, an infamous serial killer dead for over forty years. The Rose Killer knows things about my father he shouldn't. All I know is my family still has the power to hurt me.

    Now D.D. is back on the hunt. Because the Rose Killer isn't just targeting lone women, he is targeting D.D. And D.D. knows there is only one way to take him down:

    Fear nothing.

  6. Susan Lewis The Truth About YouMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Lainey Hollingsworth has spent her whole life on the outside of a secret. Her mother would never discuss the reasons she abandoned Italy when Lainey was a new born, nor has she ever stayed in touch with the family she left behind.

    Now Lainey's mother is dead, taking the secret with her, and leaving Lainey free to find out about her roots. Her husband, Tom, appears supportive, until he hits her with a bombshell that shatters the very foundations of their marriage. Another secret Lainey never knew anything about.

    Shaken, but more determined than ever to find out who she really is, Lainey takes her children to Umbria in search of answers. What she finds in the sleepy, sunbaked village of her birth turns her world inside out.

    My Review: Susan Lewis has always been an author who I enjoy and I can normally guarantee a brilliant read. With this latest book there was no exception and I demolished the book in one day. The only downside for me was that I read a book only a couple of months back with a similar storyline. That aside, it was again another fantastic book by SL.

    The characters in this book are easy to relate to as on the surface it seems like thousands of other families you may know. Lainey is married to Tom, and they have like that for around16 years. They have two kids, one a teenager. Tome has a third grown up son who lives with them too, and in addition they have Lainey’s father Peter who is sadly suffering from Dementia.

    Lainey’s life is taken up in the most part with caring for her children and father, as well as managing her husband Tom’s diary. Her friend Susan also adds another dimension to Lainey’s life and this makes for lots of interesting characters. In the beginning we get to know everybody involved and I couldn't help but like everybody. The situation concerning her father was very sad, but dealt with in a lovely way. Lainey’s one wish is to find out about her roots and who her biological father was. Although Peter had raised her as his own, she has a yearning to find out more about what really happened with her Mother, and the secrets she held back from Lainey right up until the day she died.

    We see Lainey arrange the trip to Italy to find out more, when her life starts to unravel. The good thing about this story was that there were so many elements to it constantly keeping you from wondering. There were threads to this story which involved more than one of her kids, then she gets a bombshell from her husband and before she knows it her life doesn't resemble anything it should do. The book all in all was pretty emotional and manages to touch on a lot of sore subjects, but Susan Lewis has managed to craft them into a sensitive tale rather than anything that made me uncomfortable.

    I was so taken with the story that I didn’t really want to put it down. The only thing which I thought was maybe a little far fetched was the element concerning her daughter Tierney and a ‘secret man’. Other than this I was once again thoroughly immersed into another great book by Susan Lewis.

  7. James Patterson Gone
    My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Forced into hiding from a mass murderer seeking vengeance, Detective Michael Bennett must decide whether to stay and protect his family, or hunt down the man who is hunting them.

    When Bennett arrested Manuel Perrine, he thought he had brought an end to the drug cartel boss's reign of terror and would get justice for the murder of his best friend. But then, during the trial, Perrine escaped.

    In a bloody shoot-out, Bennett killed Perrine's wife. Now he wants nothing more than to make Bennett suffer, to make him pay.

    The whole family are moved to a safe-house in California. But as Perrine's attacks on US soil become more vicious and more daring, it's clear there is a war coming.

    No one, anywhere, is safe.

    My Review: Well, at last it seems that James Patterson is returning to form, or is it Michael Lledwidge that’s responsible for that? Who knows, but I for one am extremely glad. The Cross series, the Women’s Murder Club and some of the stand alones have been woeful of late (although the latest Cross was much better). Thankfully the Michael Bennett series also seems to be staying strong. Michael Bennett, his nanny Mary Catherine, Seamus and his ten kids make for an unusual family set up. However, if you have followed the series from the beginning it will be perfectly normal!

    This story picks up from where the last one left off, meaning the Bennett’s are actually living in Protective Custody. For the 13-strong clan this means living in the back end of beyond which is quite a struggle to get to grips with. It is nice however, to see more of the Bennett kids, each with their own difficulty in the adjustment to life in the countryside. The reason for their situation is that the big drug cartel boss Manuel Perrine has escaped, and Bennett is his number one target.

    The story has pretty reasonable pace from the very beginning as we see the brutal crew who work for Perrine start to make attacks. I was caught up in the story and knew it wouldn’t be long before Bennett had to come back into play. As predicted Bennett is landed once again back in the thick of it and between Bennett trying to help the case, and his kids trying to lead normal lives things heat up in no time. Although this is still a far cry from JP’s early books, this series is fast becoming my preference over Alex Cross. I like the characters and the story always seems to follow along at a good level. Overall I enjoyed this latest Bennett book and will actually look forward to the next one. I can only hope that this series doesn’t suffer the same fate as the Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club has!

  8. I have read a lot of great books this last year, but I sifted through and picked my favourite ten. They aren't in any order (that's just TOO hard a job), but if you haven't read them then I would highly recommend them. 

     Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Jill Mansell

    Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Swetshop of Dreams - Jenny Colgan

    Calling Mrs Christmas - Carole Matthews

    Killer Queens - Rebecca Chance

    Younger, Thinner, Blonder - Sue Watson

    Necessary Lies - Diane Chamberlain

    About A Girl - Lindsey Kelk

    Me and Mr Jones - Lucy Diamond

    The Longest Holiday - Paige Toon

    Not Without You - Harriet Evans