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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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» Listings for December 2015

  1. Synopsis: 'I'm going to do you a favour: I'm going to tell you my name and then I'm going to give you thirty seconds to turn and run. If any of you are still here after those thirty seconds, then we're going to have a problem.'

    Jason Green's life is changed for good after he is saved from a mugging by crime boss, Harry Irwell. He is then drawn into Manchester's notorious underworld, where smash and grab is as normal as making a cup of tea.

    But Jason isn't a casual thug. He has a life plan that doesn't involve blowing his money on the usual trappings. That is until a woman walks into his life offering the one thing that money can't buy - salvation.

    Kat’s Rating: 3/5

    Kat’s Review: After finishing this book I am still a little undecided but have gone with a middle of the road rating because I’m still unsure. I have never read any Kerry Wilkinson books but do have a couple of his books in the Jessica Daniels series to get started on. This one was a standalone so I thought it may be a good place to start.

    Okay, so why the middle of the road rating? Well essentially the writing was excellent in terms of story flow and getting into the book quickly. What didn’t work for me were the characters. I tried and persevered but even towards the end I still wasn’t entirely convinced of the main character Jason as well as his ‘boss’ Harry.  Jason was saved from a pounding when he was a young lad living on a rough estate. What he didn’t realise was that the man who saved him was Harry Irwell, a man who he would end up working for.

    Jason was a pretty average character to read about, and even towards the end I didn’t like or dislike him, I was just indifferent. In addition to that there were a couple of occasions which involve Harry which also didn’t feel right. Harry came across as a very bland and stereotypical ‘Crime Boss’. The story itself was okay and there were times when I became engrossed, it just didn’t have enough of a pull for me to rate it any higher.

    Overall I can certainly see Kerry Wilkinson’s talents as a writer, but think that maybe I should start the series featuring Jessica Daniels. If the reviews on this series are anything to go by, it should be a hit! 

  2. Synopsis: Best friends tell each other everything… right?

    Sam and Louise have been best friends since they hung their coats side by side on the first day of primary school. Now in their thirties, they’re just as close, but life is a little bit more complicated…

    On the outside, thirty-something Sam seems to have it all; the gorgeous husband, the beautiful home and the flourishing business. But things are not quite as rosy as they seem. So when handsome stranger, Dan, walks into her life, Sam finds his attentions hard to resist. Louise might seem like life and soul of the party, but her outgoing exterior hides her sadness about the heartbreak in her past. She just wants someone to love – but all Louise gets left with is a quick fumble with an ex at the end of the night. When a glamorous face from the past returns to shake things up, things get even more complicated for Sam and Louise. And just when they need each other the most, they’ve reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all.

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

    Kat’s Review: For those that maybe don’t know Marcie Steele is actually a pseudonym for the Crime Writer Mel Sherratt. Her first book under this name was released only 3 months ago and I really enjoyed it. I was surprised at how quickly book 2 has materialised but was looking forward to getting stuck in. Thankfully this new release was just as good as the last one (if not marginally better).

    Sam is an easy character to like, along with her best friend Louise. There is also Louise daughter Charley who most definitely added to the storyline. Sam was my preferred character and on the surface it seems she has it all. However, her marriage is seemingly floundering and her life seems mundane in comparison to others. In contrast, Louise is the clear wild child of the two and although they are both now adults it soon becomes clear that these two ladies have a lot of history together.

    The storyline was easy to get swept along with and the characters likeable and pretty normal. As per usual, irrelevant of genre, and more to do with the writing you get taken along with the story and I read this in just two sittings. Mel Sherratt has an easy flow to her stories and it doesn’t take long before you realise you have read quite a few chapters.

    Some people may misconstrue the type of story as the cover is beautiful but erring on the ‘girly’ side if you will. This is certainly not a sickly sweet type of book, more one to delve into ordinary friendships and secrets. It’s another engaging read and one that I enjoyed. Another great read by Marcie Steel and I will really look forward to what she comes up with next. 

  3. My Rating: 4/5

    Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Audio, Kobo and Nook

    Synopsis: Detective Inspector January David has always put his professional before his private life, but now his two worlds clash horrifically as he visits his latest crime scene. Confronted with a ghostly figure suspended ten feet above a theatre stage, blood pouring from her face into a coffin below, it's clear this gruesome execution scene is the work of an elusive serial killer.

    But Girl 4 is different: she is alive - barely. And January recognises her.

    Three women from three different London suburbs, each murdered with elaborate and chilling precision. And as January stares at the latest body, the most beautiful corpse he's ever seen, he detects the killer's hallmark. If he wants to save his own neck and prevent there being a Girl 5, January must get inside the mind of a serial killer and beat him at his own game...

  4.  

    Synopsis: Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver. Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it's the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level. DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into turmoil too. 

    Kat’s Rating: 3/5

  5. Guest Reviewer Johnny really didn't have much to shout about in November. Here is his round up for the month with the only book making any kind of impact being Numero Zero by Umberto Eco.

        

     

     The Angel by Mark Dawson

    Johnny’s Rating: 3/5

    Johnny’s Review: Pulsating thriller about co-ordinated terrorist attacks in London and the subsequent attempts to apprehend the perpetrators. There are many things to like about the book. It was very realistic and thrilling account of the build-up and execution of the attacks and, in general, well written and researched.  Characters, for the most part, were well drawn and realised with goodies and baddies suitably heroic or craven. Now comes the "but" for which you've been waiting. The book ends incredibly abruptly, almost as if a few chapters have been lopped off. Also the idea of a fifteen year old girl (no matter how well qualified) being roped in by British intelligence services stretches credulity to breaking point. That said, this is a very exciting read and resonates because of its close resemblance to real life events. A South American man shot dead by British authorities on the tube by mistake - a manic Muslim preacher with one eye and one hand? Yes you know who these people reference. With a properly structured, complete story this would merit five stars. As it is this is still recommended and well worth reading.

  6. Synopsis: Introducing private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas 'Po' Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers. When her local District Attorney offers her a considerable sum of money to track down state witness Crawford Wynne, private investigator Tess Grey is in no position to refuse. Wynne is one of the few men still alive who can help the State nail vicious drug lord Alberto Suarez. But Tess is not the only one trying to track Wynne down. Suarez's psychotic brother Hector has been hunting and butchering anyone who is a danger to his brother. Tess needs help and there's only one man she can turn to: Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas Villere, known to all as Po. Po always gets his man, but he has never been teamed with a woman before. Both have their own agenda for taking on this case, and neither fully trusts the other. But of one thing they are sure: if they don't cover each other's backs, they are both going to die.

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

  7. Synopsis: Secrets. Scandal. Betrayal. In Paradise, pleasure comes at a dangerously high price…

    Three couples each receive an exclusive invitation to the fantasy holiday destination of a lifetime…

    The host: Martin McKenzie, global billionaire and media mogul. Charismatic, powerful and always gets what he wants.

    The location: A breathtakingly beautiful undiscovered island, nestled in the Aegean Sea. Private, secluded and not quite as it seems.

    The details: Seven days of pure hedonism, five-star luxury tailored to every desire, also includes… secrets, lies, and infidelity.

    As the guests begin to enjoy everything the luxury island has to offer, cracks begin to surface between the three couples. But that is not all. Someone is watching them. When they discover the truth – it will be explosive in more ways than they can ever imagine.

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

  8. Guest reviewer Johnny is back with a round up from September and October 2015.

         

    The Blissfully Dead by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards

    Johnny’s Rating: 3/5

    Johnny’s Review: This book is a bit of a curate’s egg, good in parts. The basic premise is the murder of girl fans of the latest boy band sensation and the subsequent police investigation. On the plus side there is decent plotting, some snappy dialogue and an exhaustive knowledge of social media platforms used by teenage girls. The hero is the usual good looking, tough but vulnerable copper- D.I. Lennon. His colleague, and rival, is the unlikely named D.I. Winkler and this is where the problems start. Whilst our hero is being, well heroic, in his pursuit of the killer the Winkler character, besides having a stupid name, is portrayed as a vain, ambitious and with the intellectual capacity of an ant, who inadvertently hinders the investigation at every stage. How anybody like that can rise to the rank of Detective Inspector seems very unlikely. This is a pity as some of the supporting characters are well drawn and believable, which makes the pantomime villain copper so jarring. My only other problem is that the book is by two authors and sometimes that is apparent as the styles may be complementary, but they are noticeably different. In conclusion a decent police procedural that is worth reading, but could, with a few tweaks, could have been very, very good.