#BlogTour A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan

It’s really is a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan. I really enjoy this series. Khan is a gem of a writer.About the Author

Ausma Zehanat Khan is a novelist, human rights lawyer, lecturer and commentator. She holds a PhD in international human rights law with a research specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. After graduating from Trafalgar Castle, Ausma completed her B.. in English literature and sociology at the University of Toronto. She went on to complete her LL.B. and LL.M. at the University of Ottowa.

Previously, Ausma served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine to reshape the conversation about Muslim women across North America. Her debut novel, The Unquiet Dead, won the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. It is followed by The Language of Secrets, Among the Ruins and No Place of Refuge in the Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty mystery series. She is a longtime community activist and writer. Born in Britain, Ausma lived in Canada for many years before recently becoming an American citizen. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

Follow @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit ausmazehanatkhan.comBuy A Deadly Divide

About the book

In the aftermath of a mass shooting in a mosque, small town tensions run high. Clashes between the Muslim community and a local faction of radical white nationalists are escalating, but who would I have motive and opportunity to commit such a devastating act of violence?

Detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty are assigned to this high-profile case and tasked to ensure the extremely volatile situation doesn’t worsen. but when leaked CCTV footage exposes a shocking piece of evidence, both sides of the divide are enraged.

As Khattak and Getty work though a mounting list of suspects, they realise there’s far more going on in this small town than anyone first thought.

Review

I can’t say it often enough about this series and the author – Ausma Zehanat Khan should be on your radar. The writing is spectacular, the characters and storylines are culturally aware and authentic. The politics, religion, culture, ideologies and just in general the socio-political topics she weaves into the crimes and the lives of her characters, are astute and relevant.

This story is absolutely in keeping with the problems in the world at the moment. The rise or re-emergence of the far right, white supremacists marching the streets, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have become the norm instead of rare glimpses of hatred and ignorance.

Khattak and Getty land in the midst of a nest of simmering hatred, bigotry and racism. A local mosque becomes the scene of a mass shooting. The local police are quick to point the finger at a young man who fits the stereotypical prejudice they often fall back on when it comes to solving crimes.

Esa and Rachel are alarmed to find there has been a build-up to this incident, things that show a pattern of escalation – one the police chose to ignore. This implies systemic hatred and the fact they haven’t brought an active neo-Nazi group to heel puts all the events in a different light.

It’s a crime thriller with culture, race, religion and ideology at the centre. A brutally honest account of ignorance and hatred in our day and age, which the author pinpoints which frightening accuracy.

Khan doesn’t want her stories, perhaps this one in particular, to come across ‘as message books or as didactic’, which they don’t but they are an eye-opener. There are many words, sentences and paragraphs that are quote worthy. This book has a different feel to it. There seems to be an awareness of how important each word is, perhaps because the topic is so divisive and controversial. The fast-paced action is replaced with reflection and a head-on confrontation with the truth.

Don’t be surprised if some of the dialogue is difficult to read. It’s vile, ignorant and frankly unworthy of a world that is very much aware of how the persecution of a specific race or people can end in genocide. It’s important to speak up. Too many look the other way or laugh things off as minor irritations. They aren’t. Tell that to Holocaust survivors being confronted with swastikas and ‘Juden Raus’ again. Tell the Muslims being told to go home, spat at and all thrown in to the same category as terrorists, to just forget about it. We are all accountable when we choose to ignore hatred, because confronting it is too uncomfortable.

Once again Khan gives readers a compelling and driven read. A fantastic writer I wouldn’t hesitate to buy or recommend.

Buy A Deadly Divide at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: No Exit Press; pub date 6 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of The Language of SecretsAmong The Ruins and  No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan.

#BlogTour A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald.

About the Author

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

Follow @cmacwritescrime and @RedDogTweets on Twitter, on Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit macsbookreview.wordpress.comBuy A Wash of Black

About the book

It’s not life that imitates art. It’s Death.

Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

When the body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago, DI Erika Piper must find the culprit; the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer.’

Having recently returned to work after suffering a near fatal attack herself, she must once again prove her worth. But when another body is found, and the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must put her demons aside and crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.

Review

DI Erika Piper is hesitant to step back into her job and career. After a vicious attack she is still uncertain, and what’s more important is the lack of trust between herself and the person she feels is partly responsible for her being subject to the attack. Resentment can fester, especially if one of the parties believes they are beyond reproach.

Erika is thrown head-first into the very deep end of a bloody and brutal murder when a body is found slaughtered to the tune and direction of a book and film scene. A film star with no lack of obsessed fans and perhaps also one who decided to take it too far.

Erika, who is dealing with a lot of disruption in her private life, finds herself drawn into the world of film, which isn’t as fun as it sounds. Anger, jealousy and petty rivalry. A film student who obsesses about the inaccuracies of the film, a disgruntled boyfriend and a hostile working environment.

It’s a police procedural crime thriller. A fast-paced crime read – a possible series with plenty of potential for development. The author keeps everything to a bare minimum. Less is more and has the added bonus of being able to take both the characters and the stories in any direction.

This is a solid beginning for a debut novel and crime series. Going forward I hope McDonald trusts in his own talent to give the readers a great story. Open the doors and let loose. There is a lot more in there and I want to read it.

Buy A Wash of Black (DI Erika Piper #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Red Dog Press

#BlogTour Blood on His Hands by Ian MacFadyen

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Blood On His Hands by Ian McFadyen.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 x Paperback copies of Blood on His Hands (UK Only)

About the Author

Ian McFadyen lives in Bishops Stortford, Herts and has published seven books in the Carmichael series so far. McFadyen has built up a strong following and is particularly well supported by library borrowers – being positioned in the top 10% of most loaned authors in the last few years. Favourably mentioned alongside Wilkie Collins and Colin Dexter, McFadyen’s titles are all available in paperback and on kindle.

Follow @IanMcFadyen1 on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook, Visit ianmcfadyen.webs.com,  Buy Blood on His Hands

About the book

When a stranger enters DI Carmichael’s local church, with blood on his hands claiming to have committed a murder, Carmichael and his team are quickly summoned.

And when the man disappears, as mysteriously as he arrived, with few clues to his identity, where he came from and where he went, Carmichael quickly realises that all may not be as it seems. The conundrum becomes even more puzzling when, in less than 24 hours, a corpse is discovered in the boot of a Bentley car down a quiet country lane.

As the body count rises Carmichael and his team remain confounded as to who is behind the murders and what motive they have for taking so many lives. In this, the eighth gripping murder mystery from the pen of Ian McFadyen, the author once again captivates the reader with an array of beguiling characters tightly woven within an intriguing, skilfully scripted plot.

It will keep you guessing right until the end…

Review

A stranger walks into a church looking like he is in the middle of some sort of bizarre religious hallucination. Instead he tells the local Reverend that the blood on his hands is due to the fact he committed a murder. By the time Barney has called the police the man has vanished. Carmichael and his team are confused but on the case.

Simultaneously Carmichael’s daughter Natalie has been skipping school, which comes to light when the school finally informs her parents. She is the victim of vicious bullies. I have to say whilst this storyline is one that needs more light shed on it, due to the extremely high number of children suffering at the hands of bullies, there were parts of the dialogue I din’t agree with. Her mother is very sanctimonious when it comes the bullies reasons.

This is the eighth book in the DI Carmichael series. It’s a police procedural crime read with a close knit team and family feel to it.

McFadyen creates smaller subplots, which don’t appear to be connected other than through the characters, but ultimately brings all of them together and to a conclusion in the end.

He also has a very specific style, which is very drawn out and laid back. The minutiae of the story can make it seem too long, however I can’t fault the ideas or structure, just perhaps the fact editing could make it more concise. Again, this style could be a cup of tea kind of thing.

Based on the way it ends readers can expect to read more about Carmichael, his team and his family. He has secrets that could ruin his idyllic comfortable life. i wonder what they could be?

Buy Blood On His Hands at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd; pub date 28 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Book GuildWaterstonesFoylesBlackwellsWHSmithBook Depository.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x Paperback copies of Blood on His Hands (UK Only)

Click Here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour Payback by R.C. Bridgestock

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Payback by R.C. Bridgestock – the brand new series from the writers of DI Fylan and script advisers to TV’s Happy Valley and Scott and Bailey.

About the Author

R.C. Bridgestock is the pen name of writing duo Carol and Bob Bridgestock. Between them they have nearly 50 years of high level experience in West Yorkshire Police. The couple are storyline consultants on Happy Valley and Scott and Bailey and appear regularly on TV, radio and in the press.

Follow @RCBridgestock @TheDomePress on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit rcbridgestock.comBuy Payback

About the book

Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back and she’s in charge and the area’s first young female DI. Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive.

When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex- reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.

Review

There is no mistaking the experience this author duo brings to the table both in policing and script-writing. You can easily lift the dialogue and plot, and imagine the series it could become.

DI Charley Mann returns home after a promotion places her back in an environment full of memories and nightmares. This time she is in charge and she isn’t about to let anyone forget it, especially those who let her down in the past.

Of course there is nothing that shows the strength and weaknesses of an ambitious SOI more than a brutal murder the top brass want solving asap.

With her own secrets kept closely guarded, she finds herself confronted with friends and foes of the past – sometimes there is a fine line between the two.

Charley is an intriguing combination of straight-laced professional and a good ol’ born and bred country lass. A stickler for the rules, a superior to look up to, and yet also a firm believer of local folklore.

It gives the character a real sense of authenticity. Readers can relate to the strength, the fears and the almost nonchalant way Charley also adheres to certain rituals, which are said to keep certain elements at bay.

Whether or not Bridgestock explores that element of superstition further in the future, well I certainly hope so – it adds an extra layer of uncertainty to the plot.

It’s a police procedural with a strong and yet often conflicted main character.

I think it’s fair to say that Bridgestock ends this book in a way that suggests Charley has only just begun to scratch at and peel away the levels of evil and corruption around her, which hopefully means this is the first of many.

Buy Payback at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Dome Press; pub date 9 January 2020. Available in Paperback – 8.99 and Ebook. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Dome Press.  Buy at Waterstones.

#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 Right Behind You by Rachel Abbott

Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Right Behind You by Rachel Abbott.About the Author

Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again, The Sixth Window, Come a Little Closer and And So It Begins. Her most recent novel, The Shape of Lies, was released in February 2019.

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language.

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter.

Follow @RachelAbbott on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit rachel-abbott.com and rachelabbottwriter.comBuy Right Behind You

About the book

Some doors should not be opened.

Some can never be closed.

Jo Palmer’s peaceful and happy life is about to end.

Ash – the man she loves – will be arrested by the police.

Millie – her precious daughter – will be taken from her.

She will lose her friends.

She will doubt her sanity.

Someone is stealing everything Jo loves, and will stop at nothing.

But right now, Jo is laughing in her kitchen, eating dinner with her family, suspecting nothing.

It’s raining outside. There’s a knock on the door. They are here.

Review

I can imagine plenty of people making a resolution to double-check credentials and call the police for confirmation if they are ever placed in the same situation as Jo. Being confronted by the possibility that your husband has done something heinous is one thing, but having to hand over your child because of it is quite another matter altogether. Then finding out you have been cruelly tricked by the people you trust the most, well it changes life as Jo knows it – forever.

The realisation that her child has been taken is so much worse than the fact her husband has gone too. Her vulnerable frightened little girl must be terrified, that’s all Jo can think about. When it becomes clear that her husband and perhaps even one of her friends could be involved, Jo starts to get paranoid.

DCI Tom Douglas and Becky are on the case, but it’s fair to say that Tom is a little distracted. He is about to become a father again and his brother muddies the waters for Tom again, both professionally and personally. It leaves Tom in a position of having to make a choice.

It’s a psychological and domestic crime thriller. The author uses the intense and complex emotional ties within patchwork families to lay the groundwork for this read. Tom and his family always play some part in the Douglas series, however the main storyline would have survived without so much emphasis on them. If you’ve never read anything by Abbott before then I can only highly recommend you give her a try.

Buy Right Behind You at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Black Dot Publishing; pub date 16 Jan. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Loot & I’m with the Band by Barry Faulkner

Today it’s my turnon the BlogTour Loot & I’m with the Band by Barry Faulkner. This is book 3 and Cases 5 and 6 in the DCS Palmer and the Serial Murder Squad series.About the Author

Faulkner was born into a family of petty criminals in Herne Hill, South London, his father, uncle and elder brothers running with the notorious Richardson gang in the 60s-80s, and at this point we must point out that he did not follow in that family tradition although the characters he met and their escapades he witnessed have added a certain authenticity to his books. He attended the first ever comprehensive school in the UK, William Penn in Peckham and East Dulwich, where he attained no academic qualifications other than GCE ‘O’ level in Art and English and a Prefect’s badge (though some say he stole all three!)

His mother was a fashion model and had great theatrical aspirations for young Faulkner and pushed him into auditioning for the Morley Academy of Dramatic Art at the Elephant and Castle, where he was accepted but only lasted three months before being asked to leave as no visible talent had surfaced. Mind you, during his time at the Academy he was called to audition for the National Youth Theatre by Trevor Nunn – fifty years later, he’s still waiting for the call back!

His early writing career was as a copywriter with the major US advertising agency Erwin Wasey Ruthrauff & Ryan in Paddington during which time he got lucky with some light entertainment scripts sent to the BBC and Independent Television and became a script editor and writer on a freelance basis. He worked on most of the LE shows of the 1980-90s and as personal writer to Bob Monkhouse, Tom O’Connor and others. During that period, while living out of a suitcase in UK hotels for a lot of the time, he filled many notebooks with DCS Palmer case plots and in 2016 he finally found time to start putting them in order and into book form. nine are finished and published so far, with number 10 at the editors.

Faulkner is a popular speaker and often to be found on Crime Panels at Literary Festivals which he embraces and supports wholeheartedly. He has recently been seen on screen in the Channel 5 Narcos UK series, Episode 2 The London Gangs and his DCS Palmer book ‘I’m With The Band’ has just been serialised in 16 parts by BBC Radio Bristol. He has been a subject of Corinium Radio’s Writer’s Room programme, Manchester FM’s Hannah Kate Book show, Hawkesbury Upton Lit. Festival ‘Best of British’ panel, Evesham Festival of Words Crime Panel and Bristol Crime Fest Indie Author Panel amongst others

Faulkner is a member of ALLI (Alliance of Independent Authors) and publishes a blog about the ‘geezers’ of his youth, the criminals and their heists. It goes in depth about the Krays, Brinks Mat, Hatton Garden ‘Nipper’ Read and all the other major heists and who ‘dun ‘em’.  Take a look at  geezers2016.wordpress.com

He also speaks about that era in illustrated talks for social clubs, WI and others. As a crime writer Faulkner is quite particular about ‘getting it right’ and as well as his own Facebook page he publishes a page called ‘UK Crime Readers and Writers Page’ which has lots of information about the forensic crime detection methods, police procedurals and other facts of use to both reader and writer of crime and detective books. Faulkner now lives in the glorious Forest of Dean with his wife and three dogs

Follow @crimewriter1 on Twitter, on Goodreads, Check out his top rated crime blog at geezers2016.wordpress.comBuy Loot & I’m with the Band

About the book – Loot

Two bodies turn up, one in London and one in Brighton but both are in similar bags. With only this clue to go on the Serial Murder Squad are led through a series of twists and turns involving a villain from DCS Palmer’s past, a hoard of Nazi gold, a Member of Parliament and some very feisty females all intent on keeping the gold for themselves. But Palmer has other ideas.

About the book – I’m with the Band

The 70’s rock band Revolution are still touring and packing the major venues. But their worried manager asks for help when his band members appear to be being murdered one by one. Palmer is skeptical until the manager himself is killed. The trail leads the Serial Murder Squad into the band’s past and the many people who could harbour a long held grudge. It’s a needle in a haystack job checking them all out until the killer shows himself on Facebook and defies Palmer to find him before the last band member is murdered.

Review

This book contains Case 5 and 6 of the Serial Murder Squad.

Loot – I had to smirk when Palmer and Harry Robson first interacted. The criminal on the path of redemption. Living the life of a good citizen. What a wonderfully cooperative man he has become, right? As soon as Palmer is out the door the real face of Robson makes an appearance. Once a crook always a crook.

It’s urban crime with a gangster vibe. The old police vs criminals schtick of prior decades when the sides had a grudging respect for each other, regardless which side they were on. The lines were clear and drawn with a fierce determination. Now times have changed and so has the type of crime and criminal the squad has to deal with.

There is no reluctant admiration for the naughty criminal – it has been replaced by disgust at the lengths some people are willing to go to make a profit nowadays. A new breed of criminal has risen from the ranks of the old guard, and the squad has to adjust their expections in order to deal with them.

I’m with the Band – the band members of a 70s rock band are being picked off one-by-one, at least that is what the manager says, because it just appears to be a coincidence. A series of accidents perhaps? The police aren’t really inclined to believe that a very smart killer is at work until the manager proves his own point.

The two stories are quite different. Loot has more of an old school throw you into a river with cement boots kind of feel and I’m with the Band has a more modern criminal psycho killer vibe to it. Faulkner caters to more than one type of crime reader by using the squad to veer off into different sub-genres of crime.

Buy Loot & I’m with the Band at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: BSA Publications; pub date 2 Dec. 2017. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Burning Ambition and Takeaway Terror by Barry Faulkner.