#BlogTour Hidden Steel by Stuart Field

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Hidden Steel by Stuart Field. It’s the second book in the John Steel series.About the Author

Stuart Field was born in the UK, in the West Midlands. He spent his early years in the army, seeing service in all the known (and some unknown) hotspots around the world. He now lives in Germany with his wife Ani. When not engaged in highly confidential security work, he writes thrillers which perhaps mimic his life-experience more than the reader would like to believe.

Follow @StuartField14 on Twitter, on Facebookon GoodreadsBuy Hidden Steel

About the book

In the UK, Detective John Steel is investigating the organization who killed his family. When he comes across information that something big is going to happen on the cruise ship Neptune, Steel goes undercover. He has fourteen days to figure out what is going to happen – and to stop it.

In New York, Steel’s NYPD partner, Detective Samantha McCall, is investigating a series of deaths. All seems run of the mill for the homicide detective until they find out that the deaths are somehow connected to the cruise ship John Steel is on.

McCall is convinced there is a mole in the department, but can she figure out who he is – and who he’s working for? Meanwhile, Steel is running out of options… and the clock is ticking.

Review

This is the second book in the John Steel series, both books can be read as standalone novels.

The book seems to be split into two storylines with no apparent connection, aside from the fact John Steel and Sam McCall know each other. Steel is on a cruise ship playing his – my name is Steel, John Steel – role. He does have a wee bit of super spy aura going on. He is everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

He is working undercover chasing something based on information that the Neptune is linked to a possible crime in the making. He isn’t sure what he is looking for he just knows that something wicked this way comes.

Meanwhile Sam McCall and the rest of the NYPD team are dealing with a series of deaths. What appears to the inexperienced to be accidental is something more nefarious to the more weathered eye of McCall.

I like the way the author creates this imperfect perfect and almost mystical figure in Steel. His reputation proceeds him as he appears to save people and situations with such ease and power. Then Field balances the story by giving readers the normality of his police colleagues. The banter, the crime and the personalities, it all gels really well.

It’s a fast-paced thriller, a combo of police procedural and action thriller. Field presents both storylines as separate entities at first, which makes for a split read, but not a disjointed one. The two are woven together naturally as the read progresses.

Buy Hidden Steel at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and digital formats by Next Chapter Publishing on 25th December 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster.

About the Author

Neil was born in Liverpool in the 1960s. He recently left the Metropolitan Police where he served for over twenty-five years, predominantly as a detective, leading and conducting investigations into some of the most serious criminals across the UK and beyond.

Neil acted as a surveillance and covert policing specialist, using all types of techniques to arrest and prosecute drug dealers, human traffickers, fraudsters, and murderers. During his career, he successfully prosecuted several wealthy and corrupt members of the legal profession who were involved in organised immigration crime. These prosecutions led to jail sentences, multi-million pound asset confiscations and disbarments.

Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police, Neil has relocated to the Scottish Highlands with his wife and son, where he mixes freelance investigations with writing.

Follow @neillancaster66 on Twitter, on Amazonon Facebookon Instagramon Goodreads,Visit neillancastercrime.co.uk

About the book

Tom Novak is back.

When a spate of deadly terrorist attacks hit the streets of London, Tom finds himself thrust into the middle of a fight for the survival of all he holds dear.

When the attackers hit closer to home than he could ever imagine, Tom is forced to make a choice between his duty or his conscience. In doing so, he enters a series of increasingly dangerous worlds, in the darkest corners of humanity.

Can Tom and his colleagues get to the bottom of a plot which threatens the very fabric of society? Will they stop the terrorists before it’s too late? When faced with the ultimate choice, which way will Tom go? After all, as Cameron always says: “Always do right, boy…”

Going Rogue is the follow-up to the hugely successful thriller, Going Dark: the book that introduced Tom Novak as the hero who, in the words of best-selling author Tony Parsons, “makes Jason Bourne look like a vegan Pilates teacher”.

Get Going Rogue today, and start a rollercoaster ride of a thriller that you won’t ever want to put down.

Review

This is the second book in the Tom Novak series. A few adjustments in his working life make for a more content Tom and certainly an eclectic team, which in turn makes the read.

His task force investigates corrupt figures and in this case the person pulling the strings behind the scenes of an organised terror group. The Aryan Defence Group targets Muslims. The purpose of their attacks is maximum damage and division. They hope to cause more racial tension and more traction with their groups ultimate goals.

Novak has a hands-on let’s not wait approach to investigations. He slips easily into his undercover work, perhaps a little too easily. He is also quite happy to go to extreme measures to secure the information he wants, ergo rogue.

I think it’s an itriguing dilemma, whether the end justifies the means. There are rules, laws and boundaries for a reason, if not chaos and vigilantism would ensue. However I wonder if we would all stay within those boundaries if the possibility of saving one life or many were the result of breaking a rule and going rogue. Clearly Novak doesn’t suffer from the same hesitancy or struggle with his conscience. Saving lives and catching the mastermind is his number one priority.

It’s an action thriller – police, military, government come save the country or world thriller. Lancaster is honing his craft, which is evident is this more structured, polished and compelling novel. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Buy Going Rogue at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in ebook and paperback formats by Burning Chair – burningchairpublishing.com – on 21st November 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Foyles Waterstones

#BlogTour Operation Large Scotch by Bill Flockhart

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Operation Large Scotch: O.L.S. by Bill Flockhart.About the Author

‘Operation Large Scotch’ is my first book and at my age (71) possibly my last. it reflects on my life in many respects having worked in a distillery in my early working life before digressing into financial services.

My interests are sport (especially golf, swimming and basketball, (the latter through my two sons who played at international level) and current affairs in our ever changing world.

I have always enjoyed a challenge, which producing a book has certainly proved to be, but I would recommend writing to the retired population as it certainly keeps your brain active.

Two years after publishing ‘operation large scotch’ I am delighted to release my second novel ‘She’s Not a Lovely Girl’ which is a sequel to my first book. I only hope it gives everyone the pleasure ‘O.L.S.’ did judging by the favourable reviews it received.

Follow on Amazonon Facebookon Pintereston Instagramon BookBubon LinkedInBuy Operation Large Scotch

About the book

Fearing the Good Friday Agreement will effectively end the lifestyle his IRA terrorist cell has enjoyed for years, Michael Caldwell the leader of the 1972 Club (named after the Bloody Sunday Massacre) decides to turn his attention to targeting the UK Government economically. He launches an attack threatening to bomb the Scotch whisky industry unless the British Government pay the terrorists a £20m ransom.

Armitage Brown, Assistant Controller of MI5 is given the task of stopping the terrorist attack but is unable to get any information on the assailants as to how, where and when they are going to deploy their explosives if their demands are not met. He co-ordinates a strategy, using all the emergency services, to thwart the terrorists under the code name ‘Operation Large Scotch.’

Both the military and the intelligence services have been guilty of murderous acts going back over the previous eighteen years. John Johnston, a young Ulsterman, living thousands of miles away in South Africa, is determined to get revenge for the killing of his father in Belfast. With the assistance of Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service he releases information that will haunt both the British Military establishment and the terrorists.

Will MI5 succeed in preventing mayhem in various towns around Scotland?

Review

When tackling the conflict between the IRA and the British military it’s important to give a balanced account, especially when trying to make a point about two wrongs not making a right. I can imagine neither side would agree and believe the other is more at fault. I’m not going to get into the politics of it, because the bad blood goes back too far and deep.

When young John inadvertently becomes a witness to a heinous crime his father realises that the only way to keep him safe is to whisk him away to a completely different continent. Little does he know that he will delve back into the nightmares of his childhood later in life in an attempt to avenge the loss of a loved one.

The language and transitions could do with being a little smoother – less abrupt, although one could argue that it’s a style, as opposed to the misfires of a debut novel. Flockhardt clearly writes with passion, both for his premise and the topic.

It’s a spy come military thriller – an explosive story that wades into controversial topics. The author balances the controversy with an attempt to create a bridge to close the rift by acting as the observer. Simultaneously he delivers a fast paced read, whilst reminding readers that just because one group acts in the name of an honourable institution it doesn’t make some of their deeds any less deadly or wrong. It also serves as a reminder that terror committed in the name of an honourable goal doesn’t make the havoc and death it causes any less of a crime.

Buy Operation Large Scotch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in ebook and paperback formats on 11th December 2017. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Murder in Lima by Mats Vederhus

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Murder in Lima by Mats Vederhus.

About the Author

Mats Vederhus is a journalist and author from Norway, born in 1988. He’s written several books, and has interviewed many of Norway’s greatest stars such as Nicholai Cleve Broch, Jonas Alaska, Vebjørn Sand, Unni Wilhelmsen and Mathias Eick.

Follow on @Afr0 Twitter, on Goodreadson Instagramon Facebook, Visit matsvederhus.com, Buy Murder in Lima

About the book

Kurt Hammer ends up in Lima, Peru to escape his demons and put an end to his alcoholism. The holiday soon takes a sinister turn though, when Kurt witnesses the brutal murder of an old friend.

Facing the most difficult case of his life, can Kurt find the killer – and avoid succumbing to his demons?Review

Whilst this is predominantly a murder mystery/thriller, it is very much also about recognising the way people can be swallowed up by their inability to deal with the stress, friction and problems life tends to deal them. Kurt is no stranger to slipping into the deep end of any bottle of alcohol that comes his way to avoid having to confront the tension and people he would rather avoid.

Avoiding any emotional depth or response is the reason he ends up travelling and finding himself in the midst of a dangerous game of murder and violence. When he becomes a witness to the murder of a friend the events take Kurt on a journey he wasn’t quite expecting to make. Not sure it’s very therapeutic to recommend a trip and banter about the alcohol being cheap there though. Just saying.

It also bandies around with the suggestion that sometimes it takes an epiphany resulting from tragedy, close calls and events that make one reconsider what is really important in life and worth living for, to be jolted into confronting addiction. It depends on the addiction and the addict of course.

It’s a murder mystery come thriller. Vederhus keeps the story and narrative short choppy and doesn’t dwell on moments, emotions or details. This particular style can make the story a wee bit discombobulated, however if it is indeed a style it also lends itself to a bullet point/news info fiction approach.

I wonder whether the translation does the story justice, because the English is basic. It sounds amateurish, which doesn’t really gel with the experience one would assume Vederhus has as a journalist and author. This isn’t uncommon in translations of foreign language origin books, which can be lacking when it comes to idioms, structure and level of the language they are translated from and/or into.

Buy Murder in Lima by Mats Vederhus at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and ebook formats by Terminal Velocity, an imprint of Next Chapter Publishing on 13th November 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Something to Tell You by David Edwards

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Something to Tell You by David Edwards. It’s a smorgasbord of speculative fiction, science fiction, philosophy and theology.

About the Author

David Edwards previously published two anti-romance books under the pseudonym of Jack George Edmunson. He then published the historical novel, The Ebb & Flow, before moving over to children’s fiction with The Black Hand Gang. He currently lives in Switzerland. For more information visit davidedwardsauthor.com.

About the book

Something to Tell You follows the two families of Bert Leinster and his best friend Sam Murray, as the earth comes under bombardment by a Higgs Boson particle storm. The Central Control of the World council insists that survival depends on living underground, protected by The Envelope. As CCOW persuades humankind to hide in the Deeps, Bert cannot challenge CCOW nor comprehend why people cannot see the truth behind the lies.

Everything changes when he meets Her. Lily, a plant who becomes his enemy in the battle to save humankind, to save you… although 99.9% of you is empty space. Do you deserve saving?

Review

Speculative fiction can often be a marmite kind of read. It depends on how much a reader is willing to ride with the author whilst they bend boundaries, re-imagine the known norm and spread tentacles into every area of the universe and beyond. Expect your grey cells to be bounced around like flubber on a freefall from space in this read.

In essence it’s an end of the world scenario from the point of view of Bert, his family and friends. The way those who control the world, or rather those who own the media, manipulate the people in an attempt to console and defraud. To what end? To lead the flock like lambs to the inevitable slaughter.

Positive and negative – good and evil – god and the devil. All of these are two sides of the same coin. Energy and reactions equal the actions of both good and evil. God and the devil co-exist in some screwed up semblance of what we regard largely as life. To kill one is to automatically also extinguish the other and we are destined to repeat this cycle ad infinitum.

It’s a smorgasbord of speculative fiction, science fiction, philosophy and theology.

One could argue that less is often more and that clarification is better than an assumption of understanding. It depends on what you want to impart, how you do that and whether or not you are interested in the emotional resonance.

I can imagine quite a few readers walking away from this read and asking themselves, especially after reading the ending, what was the intention and/or what did I take away from this read.

For me it was the sense of powerlessness, because fate is dictated by an ever-turning and self- regenerating cycle, This also means we are programmed, whether by scientific fact or theological premise to make the same choices. mistakes or take certain paths over and over again – fifth, sixth or seventh world..

Buy Something to Tell You at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in hardcover and ebook formats by troubadour Publishing in May 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Troubadour. Buy at WHSmithBarnes & Noble.

#BlogTour Rage by Suzanne Lowe

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Rage (Seventeen #2) by Suzanne Lowe. It’s the second part of the dystopian YA series Seventeen.

About the Author

Suzanne was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult grew up in the small country town of Tom Price situated in the outback of Western Australia. Her current home is in Perth with her husband, two daughters and cat Abby.

Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sports Science. Her interests include watching movies, particularly sci- fi, travelling, photography and reading. She also enjoys going to the occasional comic book convention!

Like the young women in her stories, Suzanne has had the opportunity to experience many exciting adventures in her life so far including being part of the Australian Army Reserves, climbing to Mt Everest base camp, descending into one of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, flying in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, parachuting from a plane at 12000 feet in York and sitting on the edge of an active volcano on Tanna island in Vanuatu.

Suzanne has won the award for best Sci fi/Horror in an e-book in the New Apple literary awards for her YA novel Seventeen and received a bronze medal from Reader’ Favorite International writers’ literary competition for her children’s novel The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket.

Suzanne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Australian Society of Authors.

Her published works include;

Seventeen, book one in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia. Rage, book two in the Seventeen Series. The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket, a pirate adventure story for middle grade children.

Follow @Suzanne_Lowe_ on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazonon Goodreadson Instagram, Visit Suzanneloweauthor.comBuy Rage

About the book

“Revenge. It was all he could think about.

His body ached for it, burned for it like a relentless fire waiting to be quenched. It was all he wanted.”

With the KV17 virus now in its mutated form and the older children infected, Jasper’s Bay faces an uncertain future as they attempt to find a cure.

When old enemies return, causing tension and turmoil throughout the town, Lexi must face her fears and suppress the rage building inside her. Will the virus take hold or can she maintain control? How can you defeat an enemy when it is part of who you are?

The exciting and compelling YA series set in the harsh Australian outback.

Review

This series reminded me of The Tribe, a television sci-fi series from the late 90s, and Gone by Michael Grant. The face of humanity has been changed by a virus called KV17, which has wiped out all the adults. Now the virus has mutated and is infecting the older children or those nearing adulthood.

Although this is the second in the series it can be read as a standalone novel, because Lowe gives readers sufficient information without rehashing the entirety of the last book. In the first book of the series, Seventeen, the small group has no choice but to send three of their group into exile, because they are starting to show signs of the infection. This causes disruption and perhaps a wedge between some of the children.

What it does do without a doubt is enrage the exiled, who are out for revenge, but to do so they need to ensure their ranks grow. They approach another small community of children struggling to survive and persuade them to help get revenge on Lexi’s group.

It’s a YA dystopian story suitable for both older and younger readers, an apocalyptic adventure series. The author plays into the anxiety of many adults by presenting the vulnerability of children if they are put into a position of having to feed, clothe and keep themselves safe. That’s the bit that tugs on the heartstrings.

The flipside of the coin is the correlation between adulthood, a lack of empathy and more aggressive behaviour. It begs the question whether those elements are driven by coming-of-age or by the virus itself.

Buy Rage (Seventeen #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and ebook formats by Silvergum Publishing on 2nd September 2019. Buy at Amazon comAt Amazon AuAt BlackwellsBuy at BookDepository. At Waterstones.

#BlogTour The Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Bowery Sluggery by Leopold Borstinski.About the Author

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow @borstinski on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit leopoldborstinski.com, Buy The Bowery Sluggery

About the book

A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into the gangs of New York.

When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?

The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.

Review

Let’s be honest – Alex Cohen aka Fabian Mustard isn’t exactly the kind of character the reader feels any kind of empathy with or sympathy for. Does he have any redeeming qualities? I think the one consistent positive quality is the way he supports his family and ensures that they stay both safe and have a roof over their head.

It certainly isn’t loyalty to his fellow comrades, because his loyalty only reaches as far as his own financial gain or territory, and when they are under threat he doesn’t play nicely at all. He is very adept at forging his own path in the world, regardless of the obstacles. It has made him hard, callous, unpredictable and violent.

It looks as if readers will be able to follow Alex Cohen through the years. One wonders whether and how his propensity for violence and lack of compassion will determine the rest of his life. Whether he will experience love with an emotional bond and perhaps somewhere along the line discover the Alex who lives beneath the shadow of the Slugger.

It’s a piece that reminded me of Boardwalk Empire and Gangs of New York. Borstinski builds his character around the factual historical background of the era and place. The feeling of displacement that causes the different nationalities to draw their own invisible walls and boundaries in the melting pot of a city.

It’s historical urban crime with the flavour of mob, the mentality of man on the street and criminal brutality that remains consistent throughout time.

Buy The Bowery Sluggery at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Sobriety Press; pub date 10 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. At GoogleAt Barnes & Noble.

Read my review of Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski

Read my review of The Case by Leopold Borstinski