#BlogTour The Beijing Conspiracy by Shamini Flint

It’s my turn and the last day on the BlogTour The Beijing Conspiracy by Shamini Flint.

About the Author

Shamini Flint was born and brought up in Malaysia. Having studied law at Cambridge University, she travelled extensively throughout Asia for her work as a corporate lawyer, before becoming a writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist. Shamini now lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Inspector Singh mystery series.

Follow Shamini on Facebook, Visit shaminiflintbooks.com

About the book

A long-lost daughter. An explosive secret. A lethal conspiracy.

Ex-Delta Force soldier Jack Ford is trying to put the past behind him. But when he receives a letter from someone he hasn’t spoken to in thirty years, claiming he has a daughter, he can’t resist investigating for himself.

Soon he’s on a plane to China, a country he hasn’t returned to since witnessing the atrocities of the Tiananmen Square massacre. But on his search he stumbles upon a document which both the Chinese and American governments are desperately chasing. Now Jack is trapped in an impossible dilemma: save his daughter or prevent a new world war where thousands will lose their lives.

Review

Jack Ford has never really put the events of the Tiananmen Massacre behind him. The images, the flashbacks and the decisions of those days still haunt him. They are brought back to the forefront of his daily life when he receives a request for help from someone he left behind in China and his alleged daughter. It means having to immerse himself back into the ruthless political machinations of a regime that doesn’t stand for any opposition – ever.

This book is especially poignant given that the anniversary of the Tiananmen Incident is looming. It’s hard to believe it has already been over three decades. I recently watched an interview with one of the leaders of the protesters who was lucky enough to survive and escape. He hasn’t seen his family in three decades, can’t return to China – for obvious reasons – and his family isn’t allowed to leave China.

He made a really important point – the young protesters were absolutely convinced they would be able to sway both public and government opinion by standing up for their rights and against the oppressive regime. Instead the protest and subsequent massacre was used as a tool to instill fear and even more oppressive measures on the country. It signaled a significant change in the way the authoritative rule governed and controlled the people of China.

It’s a captivating political thriller with aspects of espionage, which is based on the factual events of the Tiananmen Incident and the mystery of the Tank Man, who becomes the centre of this story. I actually enjoyed the way the author took this Kodak moment in history and built a story around the identity and mystery of said man.

Buy The Beijing Conspiracy at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback format by Black Thorn Books on 4th March 2021. Buy at Amazon comAt WaterstonesAt Foyles. At Hive.

#BlogTour The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow.

About the Author

Dominic Brownlow lives near Peterborough with his two children. He lived in London and worked in the music industry as a manager before setting up his own independent label. He now enjoys life in the Fens and has an office that looks out over water. The Naseby Horses is his first novel. It was long listed for the Bath Novel Award 2016.

Follow @DominicBrownlow on TwitterVisit and buy Louise Walters Bookson Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Naseby Horses

About the book

Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.

Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?

Drawing on philosophy, science, and the natural world, The Naseby Horses is a moving exploration of the bond between a brother and his sister; of love; and of the meaning of life itself.

Review

Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing and Simon also suffers frequent epileptic seizures. Both of these storylines are important because they become interwoven to the point of not being able to separate the two.

The seizures leave him with lost moments and memories. Blank spaces where memories should be. He isn’t even sure he doesn’t know what happened to his sister and other people are definitely starting to get suspicious. Is it just all too convenient that he can’t remember anything? Did he hurt her, kill her and just forget? Does he know where she is?

Now and again it suffered from moments of hyper-intellectual moments, ergo trying to either outsmart the reader or create a scene or atmosphere without sharing enough information for the reader to enjoy it the way it was intended. On the flip side perhaps that was the intention – keep everyone in the dark including Simon. Very much the kind of read that should have a visual representation sometimes.

I liked it though. I was trying to recall what it reminded me of from a stylistic point of view. It has this very specific atmospheric element that Brownlow evokes through surroundings, visceral responses, myths and local folklore.

Literary fiction is sometimes a marmite read, perhaps more so when the author adds a noirish element to the mix. For me it also wandered into the realms of magical realism, mystery and strong emotional connections between siblings. Not necessarily what we all experience with siblings, but apparently it’s a real thing and absolutely does happen. (Yes, that is sarcasm)

Buy The Naseby Horses at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback, hardcover and digital formats by Louise Walters Book on 24th August 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at WaterstonesAt Book DepositoryAt Blackwell’s. At Foyles.

#BlogTour Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun by Pete Adams

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun by Pete Adams.

About the Author

Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

Follow @Peteadams8 on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazonon GoodreadsBuy Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun

About the book

Cataclysmic events have occurred in the decorous upper middle class enclave within Southsea, Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.

But what were the circumstances that contributed to this violent clash involving a Sherman tank and a bazooka? The strange occurrence is Investigated by Lord Everard Pimple, a naive, upper class twit who not only inadvertently opens a can of worms, but has an introduction into the world of womanly wiles.

Everard’s life is about to blow up like an atom bomb… he just doesn’t know it yet. But after the dust settles, will he still be standing?

Review

This is a kind of a spin-off of the Kind Hearts And Martinets series, a life after scenario for certain characters. Characters who aren’t bound by the rule of law as much as in the KHAM series, which takes it from a very much police procedural to a character driven experience of unfortunate mishaps and oddities, as the DaDa Detective Agency attempt to solve their first case.

Adams takes a slightly different approach this time in regards to writing style and voice. It has a more quirky and eccentric tone with intermittent dialogues with the reader or listener. As if someone were pausing a play to gossip alongside about the characters and the events.

In fact the story often reads like a staged play with characters straight out of a combo between a Poirot episode, where the crimes are all set in one grand place and an Agatha Raisin comedy of unfortunate events.

I think it could have done with more clarity, less assumption that the reader will get the gist and comprehend both mood, style and the flow. It’s a read that fits into the category of cosy crime with an emphasis on the quirk and eccentricity.

It’s filled with dark British humour, which might be a bit of a Marmite read for some, but others will find hilariously entertaining. Sharp wit and typical awkward class system structures.

Buy Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and digital formats by Next Chapter Publishing on 19th August 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review Irony in the Soul by Pete Adams.

#BlogTour Utrecht Snow and Utrecht Rain by Jonathan Wilkins

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour for the Utrecht Murders – Utrecht Snow and Utrecht Rain by Jonathan Wilkins. Book 1 and 2 in the Utrecht Murder series.

About the Author

Jonathan loves to write. He is a retired teacher, lapsed Waterstones’ bookseller and former Basketball Coach. He taught PE and English for 20 years and coached women’s basketball for over 30 years. He regularly teaches creative writing workshops in and around Leicester.

Follow @WriterJWilkins on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit jonathanwilkins.co.ukBuy Utrecht Snow Buy Utrecht Rain

About Utrecht Snow (Utrecht Murders book 1)

Utrecht police inspector Caes Heda leads a team looking into the disappearance of young women. Meanwhile his daughter, Truus, bored with University takes up a job with disgraced former police office Thijs Orman at his Private Detective Agency and finds herself looking for yet another missing girl, this time it’s her bosses own daughter. are they all linked?

At the Kroonstraat Police station the team Caes has put together look into the normal run of the mill cases and try to overcome the weather as much as the crime in the city as snow envelopes the streets of Utrecht. We meet twins Freddie and Maaike Meijer who patrol the streets together with colleagues Adrie and Danny. The team is made up by Madelon Verloet and man mountain Ernst Hougewood. Together they investigate car theft, street crime, assault and finally murder. We look at the everyday lives of the police involved, Caes still traumatised after his wife’s early death and Truus falling for Maaike.

Review of Utrecht Snow

Caes just happens to cross paths with an unfortunate old woman who insists her daughter is missing. He dismisses it from his thoughts, probably because Truus takes up a lot of space in his head. Another chance encounter makes him wonder just how crazy the old lady is.

Meanwhile Truus is discovering a side of herself she wasn’t previously aware of and delving into a new career, which inadvertently brings her into her father’s world of crime.

This is very much a story that is driven by police inspector Caes Heda, his relationship with his daughter Truus and they way both of them have come together after the tragic death of his wife and her mother. The police procedural side, which features a diverse team of investigators, is perhaps a little overshadowed by the aforementioned Caes and Truus at times.

The dialogue needs to be tightened up a wee bit – a good edit will catch things like the superfluous and excessive use of the word Pappy for instance. The Utrecht Murder series is infused with the flavour of its namesake city it takes place in. I think Wilkins should draw upon that element of the series more instead of just a few Dutch affectations use of language and places. Draw creativity, depth and the culture and give readers more than just a taste. It’s essentially what makes the read and gives it the kind of flair that makes it stand out.

Although it appears to be more of psychological thriller it actually has more of an urban crime vibe as the story evolves.

Buy Utrecht Snow at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Utrecht Snow published by lulu.com in paperback format on 6th March 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

About Utrecht Rain (Utrecht Murders book 2)

Maaike Meijer is attacked in a senseless outbreak of violence at the Dom Tower in Utrecht. Her brother, Freddie, fights off the assailants, but how is the brutality linked to a series of violent threats, cyber crime and the Dutch Secret Service? Truus Heda continues her work as a private investigator whilst caring for her lover before finding the missing link. As the nightmare unfolds we enter the world of Serbian gangsters and Utrecht Goths and see how Hoofdinspecteur Caes Heda and his overworked team tackle a crime that could consume the city.

Review of Utrecht Rain

Maaike is the victim of a vicious attack. Unprovoked, wrong place at the wrong time or is there more to the violent assault? It sets her girlfriend Truus on a dangerous path of finding the culprits and getting revenge or at the very least some kind of justice for Maaike.

Further events rattle Maaike and her feeling of peace is distorted forever, which has implications for herself and everyone around her. You can be as cool as a cucumber on the surface and doing your job, but alone behind closed doors it may be a different picture entirely.

Wilkins writes a character driven story, the threads of family and relationships are woven tightly together throughout. This time the story ventures deeper into the dark underworld of criminal gangs, cyber crime and ruthless killers willing to rid themselves of anyone stood in their way.

I’ve made this point previously – I think the author needs to draw more on the foreign aspect of the series, as opposed to small details here and there. Give it more of a Van der Valk feeling and go full throttle.

Given the way Utrecht Rain ends, especially the poignant last few pages, I expect to see another episode in the Utrecht Murders. It’s an urban crime read with a psych thriller vibe, actually it reminds me of Scandi-Noir, but set in the Netherlands.

Buy Utrecht Rain at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Utrecht Rain published by lulu.com in paperback format on 17th March 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Tempus Project by Antony Johnston

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Tempus Project by Antony Johnston – the second book in the Brigitte Sharp series.About the Author

Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer. The Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde is based on his graphic novel; his Brigitte Sharp thriller novels are critically acclaimed; and his first videogame, Dead Space, redefined its genre.

Antony’s books, graphic novels, and videogames include The Exphoria CodeThe Tempus ProjectThe FuseDaredevilShang-ChiShadow of Mordor, the Alex Rider graphic novels and the adaptation of Alan Moore‘s ‘lost screenplay’ Fashion Beast. He also hosts the podcast Writing And Breathing.

Follow @antonyjohnston on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazonon Instagram, on Facebook, Visit antonyjohnston.comClick here to sign up to receive Antony Johnston’s newsletterBuy The Tempus Project

About the book

In The Exphoria Code, MI6 officer and elite hacker Brigitte Sharp foiled a terror attack on London that used stolen military drone software to deliver a ‘dirty bomb’.

Now Bridge is back, battling a series of hacks and ransom-ware attacks, masterminded by a hacker known only as ‘Tempus’, who is targeting politicians and government officials with impunity.

Discovering that this campaign is linked to a cyber-attack on the London G20 summit, she is drawn into the dark-web world of crypto-currencies, Russian hackers and an African rebel militia.

In another compelling cyber-thriller from the creator of Atomic Blonde, Bridge races against time to prevent a disaster that could alter the balance of global power forever.

Review

Brigitte Sharp is a hacker who likes to ignore the chain of command, which usually ends with herself and others being in a lot of danger. Her impulsiveness has consequences, and yet it still doesn’t change her approach to her job, which is protecting her country from cyber threats.

Bridge is an interesting person when it comes to her personal life. She tends to see things one-sided and never from an outsiders perspective. She makes decisions whilst angry that result in the kind of mistakes that are unforgivable.

This time she is dealing with a very clever cyber criminal called Tempus who appears to be targeting government officials. Blackmail via ransomware. A popular and profitable cyber crime.

It’s a fast-paced cyber crime thriller – techno thriller at its finest.

This is what the world of crime has evolved into. Something you can’t see, smell or hear- insidious in nature with repercussions that cause huge tidal waves of destruction. Technology has allowed us to connect, work and make progress in a way that allows communication and development across borders and continents. The downside is that the technology also makes us vulnerable. Every device connected to the web can become a target and a weapon, which is a pivotal part of this plot.

Johnston gives his readers the reality of the threats without wading too much into paranoia, fear or the common lackadaisical attitudes of the layperson when it comes to cyber threats. Instead it is hardcore cyber language, attacks and crimes, but simultaneously written in a way everyone can understand.

I thought it was fascinating and an eye-opener, especially in regards to how the world of spydom has had to adjust to this new era of crime. Johnston writes a captivating thriller and manages to keep the reader engrossed, despite the subject matter being very technical. Brigitte Sharp is a spy to watch out for.

Buy The Tempus Project at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 25 May 2020 in paperback and digital formats. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Lightning BooksAt Waterstones. At FoylesOn GoogleOn Kobo.

#BlogTour Watermarks: Life, Death and Swimming by Lenka Janiurek

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Watermarks: Life, Death and Swimming by Lenka Janiurek.About the Author

Lenka Janiurek was born in York. At the age of 17 she won the prestigious Young Writer’s Competition at the Royal Court Theatre and subsequently had three plays on at the Royal Court Theatre, a platform play at the National Theatre, and one at the Other Place with the RSC in Stratford-on-Avon. She has facilitated workshops in writing, drama, art, and well-being, in schools, colleges, at camps, and in a women’s prison. And worked as a baker, fundraiser, caretaker, green builder and researcher. She has four children. She lives close to the sea in Wales.

About the book

Lenka Janiurek’s story really begins with the death of her mother when she was nine. She is the daughter of a Polish immigrant father, and one of eight children. Across the years she is plagued by the rage, addiction and despair of the controlling men she is closest to. This memoir grapples with identity, of trying to find a place in a world and within a family, that don’t feel like your own.

This remarkable story from the 1960s to the present day, describes the loss of her mother to her relationships with 2 stepmothers, early success as a playwright, extensive travel, and encounters with both extreme wealth and poverty. Throughout Lenka explores and celebrates the beauty and tragedy of living life to the full.

Watermarks is a stunning evocation of alienation, searching, and the restorative power of nature. Review

This is an autobiographical story, a story from womb, to childhood, teenage and adult years. Filled with experiences that change her life and outlook on it. Tribulations and trials, but most importantly it’s about the connection she makes with nature -with water to be more specific.

There are studies on the epigenetics of trauma, whether trauma can be passed down like a legacy from generation to generation. This story made me wonder about the silent impact it had on Lenka, and then in turn whether her own personal trauma – the loss of her mother – is also a factor that may impact her descendants.

Although the story is written in first person, which in itself always gives the reader a closer emotional connection and experience with an autobiographical account, the narrator remains at a distance. The overall style and voice often seems cold, displaced and without any emotional connection.

Then again what is the easiest way to cope with the most traumatic things in our lives. The moments that drive us to our lowest points, and yet somehow we have to move beyond those moments.

The most beautiful and intriguing aspect of this read was the emotional and almost spiritual link Lenka makes to the water throughout. From the childhood memories of family holidays on the beach filled with joy, to swimming in storms, the source of the light from the pond, relaxation and strength by swimming during pregnancy and at the end becoming the giver instead of the taker. Becoming the person who strives to protect the one constant in her life that has always given her peace without asking anything in return.

It’s an introspective and reflective read.

Buy Watermarks: Life, Death and Swimming at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Allison & Busby on 21st May 2020 in hardcover and digital formats (paperback to follow in October 2020). Buy at Amazon comBuy at Hive co.ukAt Foyles.co.uk. At WaterstonesBuy at Allison and Busby.

#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.