#Blogtour Redspace Rising by Brian Trent

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Redspace Rising by Brian Trent.

About the Author

Brian Trent’s speculative fiction appears regularly in the world’s top speculative fiction markets, including ANALOG, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, Apex, Escape Pod, COSMOS, Galaxy’s Edge, Nature, and more. Trent lives in New England. Follow @BrianTrent on Twitter, Visit briantrent.com

About the book

Harris Alexander Pope is the man who ended the Partisan War on Mars. All he seeks now is solitude and a return to the life that was stolen from him. Yet when he learns that the worst war criminals are hiding in other bodies, he is forced into an interplanetary pursuit.

Teaming up with other survivors eager for their own brand of vengeance, Harris begins to suspect a darker truth: Maybe what he remembers about the war isn’t what happened at all…

Review

This is most definitely the kind of book that needs a ‘be careful what you say review’ – don’t want to give anything away.  Saying that I’m not sure I could do the truth of the plot real justice even if I did.

Harris is notorious for being a warrior, for changing the course of a volatile war. Now he is on a mission that can only be considered impossible, but that’s why he is the man for the job. The only problem is he isn’t quite sure whether he is the man he thinks he is. 

The information he is given seems to jar an instinct, a subconscious thought process – a resurfacing of memories perhaps. The problem is that they don’t gel with what he is being told in the moment, so what to do? Go with the information you think is correct or with the information that is trying to reach the surface. Who can you trust when your inner self doubts motives and memories, and more importantly when the people around you might not be who they seem to be.

This starts with an awakening and goes full throttle till the very last page. Of course, after that ending the real question is whether readers will get another taste of the world inhibited by survivors, deceivers and those willing to use anyone to get what they want – oh, and let’s not forget the others.

It’s a riveting sci-fi and speculative read – the author definitely deserves a seat at the table with the big guns.

Buy Redspace Rising at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Flame Tree Press pub date 13 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon com

#BlogTour The Heron Kings’ Flight by Eric Lewis

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Heron Kings’ Flight by Eric Lewis.

About the Author

Eric Lewis’ debut novel, The Heron Kings, is a grimdark adventure exploring rebellion and the dangers of obsessive revenge. Avoiding the monsters and magic common to high fantasy, the monsters here are all too human, and extraordinary groups of ordinary people can make their own kind of magic when they’ve finally had enough. The Heron Kings’ Flight is the second book in the series.

Eric has also written several works of speculative short fiction published in various venues including Nature, Cossmass Infinities, Electric Spec, Bards & Sages Quarterly, as well as the anthology Crash Code, the short story collection Tricks of the Blade, and others detailed at ericlewis.ink. Follow @TheHeronKing on Twitter

About the book

The Heron Kings have been betrayed. A century after their formation from a gang of desperate peasant insurgents, the shadowy band of forest rangers suffers a rare defeat when a skirmish turns into a bloody ambush. Their shaky truce with the crown is tested as young members Linet and Aerrus work to track down their enemies. When reluctant peacetime soldier Eyvind reveals a conspiracy to welcome the charismatic invader Phynagoras, the trio must convince a weak king and pitifully few allies to stand against the storm.

Their only hope lies in the forgotten tactics of their own guerrilla past, and a terrifying new alchemical weapon the likes of which the world had never imagined. The only question is which side will be destroyed by it first…

Review

This is the second book in the Heron Kings’ series, although this can absolutely be read as a standalone book, I would highly recommend reading the first one.

There is massive twist at the end of the book, so I shall tread carefully with as little info as possible, whilst simultaneously trying to do the book justice. It’s a heck of a ride, an intricate plot with plenty of room to expand further with more books.

When Aerrus returns from his duties alone and without the rest of his faithful companions and fierce fighters he enlists the first person he encounters to return to get a bit of blood and revenge. Linet and Aerrus stumble upon something that points towards betrayal and a sense of impending doom. Their hidden community is at risk – the question is who is behind the insidious attack and why, the real question is why.

I think it’s fair to say the author is willing to pull out the big guns to keep readers captivated and coming back. Just a wee bit ruthless, but effective. I look forward to seeing where this series goes next – it has to, you can’t just leave a reader hanging after such a tumultuous read.

Buy The Heron Kings’ Flight at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Flame Tree Press,  pub date 17 May 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Flame Tree Press.

#BlogTour Land of the Dead by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

It’s my turn on the Blogtour Land of the Dead by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi, the third book in the Stoker’s Wilde series.

About the Author/s

Steven Hopstaken was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his formative years watching and reading science fiction and horror. He has a degree in journalism from Northern Michigan University and spends his free time traveling; writing screenplays, short stories and novels;and practicing photography.

Melissa Prusi was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She’s been a video editor, a semi-professional film reviewer, a three-time champion on the quiz show Jeopardy!, and a Guinness world record holder (1990 edition, for directing the longest live television show).

They met in a college screenwriting class and married three years later. They spent a brief time in Los Angeles, where they both worked for Warner Bros. television, and sold two screenplays. They eventually ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they love the arts scene but dread the winters.

They’ve indulged their fascination with Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde through trips to Dublin and London to research their lives and visit sites mentioned in Stoker’s Wilde.

They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with their two cats. If they’re not writing, you can usually find them at a movie, local theater production, improv show or pub quiz. Follow @StokersWilde on Twitter

About the book

Science and the supernatural collide in this terrifying tale of witches, reanimated corpses and spirits invading our world from beyond the grave.

Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde have returned to their lives in London after their adventures in the American West. Bram is managing a theatre and Oscar is rising to fame and planning his upcoming wedding when they are once again called upon to battle supernatural evil.

Grief-crazed scientist Victor Mueller needs Bram’s unusual blood for his mad quest to bring his dead wife back to life, and he’ll resort to kidnapping to get it. Meanwhile, a young medium named Lorna Bow runs fake séances in London under the thumb of an abusive uncle. When her mother Endora returns, Lorna learns the truth: they come from a long line of witches, and soon Endora has awakened Lorna’s dormant powers.

When the scientist and the witches combine forces, all Hell breaks loose. Long-dead souls find themselves back in the land of the living, and some of them have scores to settle with our heroes. But as Mueller’s ambition and her mother’s desire for vengeance against the men who imprisoned her become clear, Lorna soon finds herself questioning the morality of their work. Bram and Oscar must team up with American secret agent Cora Chase to protect all they hold dear. Only a mission into the Land of the Dead can stop Mueller and Endora from bringing back more souls.

Bram’s wife Florence must call on the monster-fighting skills she honed in America, and even Oscar’s bride Constance has to face new challenges as she learns how the supernatural has shaped her own history.

Review

This is the third book in the Stoker’s Wilde series, featuring Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker as they battle the supernatural and those who wish to use it for evil.

We have a bit of a longing to understand the secret of vampirism and in doing so to gain power, kind of crazy going on in this story. Unfortunately Stoker becomes the target of a scientist, who is willing to do anything to find out the secrets he carries. The beginning, a break in the sphere of the norm, an opening to evil.

It’s an interesting journey that takes the reader through known connections to historical events, literature and figures, who are reinvented through the eyes of the supernatural aspects of this series. Perception is everything – imagine if what you know to be true of the past was only a quarter of the truth. What if the world of secret unimaginable threats has been hidden away in an attempt to keep the world safe, and perhaps even sane.

It certainly makes you ponder certain things and people, whilst enjoying the adventures of this merry band of warriors against evil, and the power in the darkness. The power we like to deny, to ignore and to explain away.

The writing and dialogue could be a bit tighter, but overall it’s a series with a lot of potential. Very Poe meets demon hunters. I enjoyed the way the book ended, the way each entry leads into the concept of the diary and simultaneously gives an inkling of where the characters are and could potentially be going.

Buy Land of the Dead at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Flame Tree Press pub date 26 April 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Flame Tree Press.

#BlogTour The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro

My turn on the BlogTour The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro.

About the Author

Violet Castro is a Mexican American writer originally from Texas now residing in the UK with her family. When not caring for her three children, she dedicates her time to writing. Follow @vlatinalondon on Twitter,  @vlatinalondon on Instagram

About the book

2018 – Belinda Alvarez has returned to Texas for the wedding of her best friend Veronica. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras – The Queen of The Cicadas.

In 1950s south Texas a farm worker – Milagros from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacíhuatl. The goddess hears the dying cries of Milagros and creates a plan for both to be physically reborn by feeding on vengeance and worship. Belinda and the new owner of the farmhouse – Hector, find themselves immersed in the legend and realize it is part of their fate as well.

Review

Folklore, mysticism, myth and magical realism are combined with this undercurrent of horror, of evil lurking in the shadows. A presence always listening, sometimes reacting and always knowing. Seeping under through the slits in the doors and hovering in the corner.

The murder scene is particularly gruesome, perhaps because the visualisation and description of the event is so exact that is conjures up the kind of mental images you aren’t likely to forget. You can feel it burn, hear her mental screams of anguish and you can even feel her meld into her surroundings. The pain summons the ancient power that flows through her veins.

Belinda is almost obsessed with the story of Milagros. She is determined to lay her and the legend to rest. A murder that has become a myth unto itself, but Belinda as no idea what she is really dealing with. She is stirring the waters and doesn’t realise how much truth and horror is connected to the tragedy of the young farm worker.

I would love to read something by Castro with strong political, historical, feminism or cultural vibes. Those elements are already partly there but are drowned out by the fear, the chaos and the darkness. That doesn’t mean it is any less of a good read, but there is so much more waiting to be heard beyond the genre of horror.

It’s an engrossing read with its gruesome moments and it certainly manages to raise the hairs on the back of one’s neck.

Buy The Queen of the Cicadas at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Flame Tree Press pub date 22 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour In Darkness, Shadows Breathe by Catherine Cavendish

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour In Darkness, Shadows Breathe by Catherine Cavendish.

About the Author

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Cat is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels and novellas. She lives with her long-suffering husband and black cat in a 260 year old haunted apartment in North Wales.

Follow @Cat_Cavendish on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit CatherineCavendish.comBuy In Darkness, Shadows Breathe

About the book

You’re next… Carol and Nessa are strangers but not for much longer. In a luxury apartment and in the walls of a modern hospital, the evil that was done continues to thrive. They are in the hands of an entity that knows no boundaries and crosses dimensions – bending and twisting time itself – and where danger waits in every shadow. 

The battle is on for their bodies and souls and the line between reality and nightmare is hard to define. Through it all, the words of Lydia Warren Carmody haunt them. But who was she? And why have Carol and Nessa been chosen? The answer lies deep in the darkness…

Review

Carol and Nessa are two women who appear to have nothing in common except perhaps their suitability as a vessel. The opportunity to channel evil that is as deep as the ocean and as twisted as a pretzel should be welcomed right? Maybe not so much. It’s an insidious ancient presence that is moved throughout the years by loyal acolytes, who find said vessels

This time they might have been a little overeager on the vessel compatibility side of things though, and evil finds its path may not be as simple as it usually is. Both women experience the same advancement and invasion of evil differently, and ultimately through their own frame of references and memories – with the same result.

For me this went into the more speculative fiction genre with an emphasis on the occult and spirituality. Very much a story that plays with time and the fact it isn’t linear in this read. The horror and creepy vibe the author usually brings to the table was lost a little in the sheer magnitude of situations, emotions and storylines. I think it’s best to leave the preconceived ideas about previous bodies of work behind and embrace the concept as is.

Given that this is quite a busy read I do want to mention how much I enjoyed the last few pages. Aside from leaving a door open for a possible sequel for certain characters, it was an almost poetic end for another. In fact I wonder if that venture into prose is something we can look forward to again, perhaps in another genre?

Buy In Darkness, Shadows Breathe at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 19 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstones.

#BlogTour Sins of the Father by J.G. Faherty

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Sins of the Father by J.G. Faherty.

About the Author

JG Faherty is the author of 6 novels, 9 novellas, and more than 60 short stories. His latest novel is Hellrider. He has been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award® and the ITW Thriller Award.

Follow @jgfaherty on Twitteron Amazonon Goodreads, Visit jgfaherty.comBuy Sins of a Father

About the book

Henry Gilman has spent years trying to separate himself from his father’s legacy of murder and insanity. Now he has the chance – all he has to do is figure out who’s been killing people in Innsmouth. Then he’ll be a hero and win the heart of the woman he loves, Flora Marsh. But soon he’s caught in a web of danger, with the undead stalking the streets at night, a terrible monster lurking below the city, and a prophecy of destruction about to come true. In the process, his actions cause unwanted consequences and to save Flora he has to do the very thing he’s spent his life trying to avoid: follow his father’s footsteps into madness.

Review

Innsmouth has become a city where the dead are stalking the living. The police are on the hunt for a vicious murderer, but it isn’t until Henry stumbles upon a killing in process that he realises there is something more nefarious happening.

Unfortunately it reminds him all too much of the atrocities his father committed, but his inside knowledge also gives him a better idea of what is going on. Simultaneously his love for Flora, and the underlying jealousy he feels because she favours another man, drives him deeper into the evil that lurks in the town.

What he eventually finds or is drawn to makes him question everything he knows about his father and indeed the concept of evil, whether the eyes of the beholder are a true measure and comprehension of what the world understands it to be.

One of the threads of the story I found quite fascinating was the evolution, or is is the devolution of Henry? Is his path a result of nature or nurture, perhaps a combination of both, despite the fact he tries to resist said path. A self-fulfilling prophecy driven by fear of rejection, failure or enhanced by the expectation given his relationship to the man who raised and influenced him. His resistance to the public opinion of himself runs alongside his actions and decisions.

And the question of who judges what is evil, and whether that judgement is more a case of those in charge dictating and choosing the people or groups to be placed under the category of ‘evil’ depending on the era. Evil now, the norm in the future. Evil in the past and now the norm.

Faherty plays with the perspective and concept of good and what society deems unacceptable. When does science and invention cross boundaries or is it just crossing a boundary because it’s not the norm?

It’s a horror with a gothic vibe that draws inspiration from Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Buy Sins of the Father at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 11 Aug. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The CWA Vintage Crime edited by Martin Edwards

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Crime Writers’ Association Vintage Crime edited by Martin Edwards.

The CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) was founded in 1953 by John Creasey,and organises the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards which celebrate the best in crime writing. The CWA is a pro-active, thriving and ever-expanding community of writers based in the UK but with a reach that extends worldwide.

Buy The CWA Vintage Crime

About the Editor – Martin Edwards is the author of eighteen novels, including the Lake District Mysteries,and the Harry Devlin series. His ground-breaking genre study The Golden Age of Murder has won the Edgar, Agatha,and H.R.F. Keating awards. He has edited twenty eight crime anthologies, has won the CWA Short Story Dagger and the CWA Margery Allingham Prize,and is series consultant for the British Library’s Crime Classics. In 2015, he was elected eighth President of the Detection Club, an office previously held by G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie,and Dorothy L. Sayers.

About the Authors

Sins of Scarlet by Robert Barnard – Robert Barnard (1936–2013) had a distinguished career as an academic before he became a full-time writer. His first crime novel, Death of an Old Goat, was written while he was professor of English at the University of Tromso in Norway, the world’s most northerly university. Under the name of Bernard Bastable he also wrote novels featuring Mozart as a detective. He regarded Agatha Christie as his ideal crime writer and published an appreciation of her work, A Talent to Deceive, as well as a book on Dickens, a history of English literature. He received the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award in 2003.

The Nuggy Bar by Simon Brett – Simon Brett OBE is the author of over one hundred books and many plays for radio and the theatre. He has published four series of detective novels (the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering, and Blotto & Twinks mysteries) as well as stand-alone novels such as A Shock to the System, which was adapted into a film with Michael Caine in the lead. Visit simonbrett.com

Footprint in the Sky by John Dickson Carr – John Dickson Carr (1906–1977) is widely regarded as the most gifted of all exponents of the locked room mystery. A native of Pennsylvania, he relocated to Britain after marrying an Englishwoman, and pursued a career as a detective novelist with a taste for the baroque. His first Great Detective, the French examining magistrate Henri Bencolin, was succeeded by Dr Gideon Fell, a rumbustious character modelled on G.K. Chesterton, whom Carr much admired. As Carter Dickson, he wrote primarily about Sir Henry Merrivale, a baronet and barrister who shared Fell’s penchant for solving baffling impossible crimes. Carr also created Colonel March, and a television series, Colonel March of Scotland Yard, ran from 1955-56, with Boris Karloff cast as March.

In Those Days by Liza Cody – Liza Cody is an artist trained at the Royal Academy Schools of Art as well as a crime novelist. Dupe, her first novel, won the John Creasey Memorial Dagger, and launched a series about the female private investigator Anna Lee, which was televised with Imogen Stubbs in the lead role. She has also published the Bucket Nut Trilogy featuring professional wrestler Eva Wylie, as well as stand-alone novels such as Rift, Gimme More, Ballad of a Dead Nobody, and Miss Terry. She has won a CWA Silver Dagger, an Anthony award, and a Marlowe in Germany. Visit lizacody.com

Nowhere to be Found by Mat Coward – Mat Coward writes crime fiction, SF, humour and children’s fiction. He is also gardening columnist on the Morning Star newspaper. His short stories have been nominated for the Edgar and shortlisted for the Dagger, published on four continents, translated into several languages, and broadcast on BBC Radio. Over the years he has also published novels, books about radio comedy, and collections of funny press cuttings, and written columns for dozens of magazines and newspapers. Visit matcoward.com

The Egyptian Garden by Marjorie Eccles – Marjorie Eccles is the author of a series of thirteen contemporary novels about Inspector Gil Mayo; the stories were adapted for television by the BBC in 2006 with the impressionist and actor Alistair McGowan cast as Mayo. A prolific short story writer, she has won the Agatha award, and currently writes crime novels set in the first half of the twentieth century.

Melusine by Martin Edwards – Martin Edwards’latest novel, Mortmain Hall, is a sequel to Gallows Court, which was nominated for both the 2019 eDunnit award for best crime novel and the CWA Historical Dagger. He was recently honoured with the CWA Dagger in the Library for his body of work and has received the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Poirot awards, two Macavity awards, the CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Prize, and the CWA Short Story Dagger. He is consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics, a former chair of the Crime Writers’Association, and current President of the Detection Club. Visit martinedwardsbooks.com

Top Deck by Kate Ellis – Kate Ellis’s first novel, The Merchant House, launched the long-running DI Wesley Peterson series set in Devon. She has also written five crime novels featuring another cop, Joe Plantagenet, set in fictionalised version of York, and a trilogy set in the immediate aftermath of the First World War as well as many short stories. She won the CWA Dagger in the Library in 2019. The Devil’s Priest is a stand-alone historical mystery set in Liverpool. Visit kateellis.co.uk

Turning Point by Anthea Fraser – Anthea Fraser’s first professional publications were short stories. Her first novel was published in 1970, and she wrote books with paranormal themes and romantic suspense stories before turning to crime fiction. She has created two mystery novel series, the first featuring DCI David Webb, and the second featuring Rona Parish, a biographer and journalist. She has also published novels under the pseudonym Vanessa Graham.

The Woman Who Had Everything by Celia Fremlin – Celia Fremlin (1914–2009) was born in Kent and educated at Berkhamsted School for Girls and Somerville College, Oxford, where she read classics and philosophy. During the Second World War she worked for the Mass Observation project, an experience that resulted in her first published book, War Factory, which recorded the experiences and attitudes of women war workers in a radar equipment factory outside Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn, which won the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe award for best crime novel in 1960. Over the next 35 years she published a further eighteen titles, including three collections of stories.

Cold and Deep by Frances Fyfield – Frances Fyfield worked as a solicitor for the Crown Prosecution Service, thus ‘learning a bit about murder at second hand’. Later, writing became her vocation, although the law and its ramifications have influenced many of her novels. Her Helen West books have been adapted for television, and she is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4. Her non-series novel Blood from Stone won the Gold Dagger. Visit francesfyfield.co.uk

Money is Honey by Michael Gilbert – Michael Gilbert (1912–2006) received the CWA Diamond Dagger and was made a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. His experience as a prisoner of war in Italy provide background material for Death in Captivity, one of the finest British “impossible crime”stories of the post-war era, and filmed as Danger Within. By the time of its appearance, Gilbert was well-established as a partner in a prestigious law firm, and had also made a name for himself as an author of considerable talent. His urbanity is reflected in the smooth, readable prose of his whodunits, thrillers, spy stories, legal mysteries, and police stories. He was equally adept at writing novels, stage plays, radio plays, and television scripts.

The Perfect Alibi by Paula Gosling – Paula Gosling is American, but moved to England in the 1960s. A former copywriter, she received the John Creasey Memorial Dagger for her debut, A Running Duck (which has been filmed twice, once as Cobra, starring Sylvester Stallone), and the Gold Dagger for her first Jack Stryker novel, Monkey Puzzle. She is also the author of the Luke Abbott and Blackwater Bay series, and of several stand-alones.

Cuckoo in the Wood by Lesley Grant-Adamson – Lesley Grant-Adamson gave up her job as a feature writer on the Guardian to write fiction. Her first novel, Patterns in the Dust, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’Association’s John Creasey award for first crime novels. Like several of her early novels, it featured newspaper folk and their ailing industry. She has written further crime novels of various types, and her wide experience of writing crime fiction, led to a commission for Writing Crime and Suspense Fiction, subsequently updated as Writing Crime Fiction.

All She Wrote by Mick Herron – Mick Herron is a novelist and short story writer whose books include the Sarah Tucker/ Zoë Boehm series and the standalone novel Reconstruction. He is the author of the acclaimed Jackson Lamb series, the second of which, Dead Lions, won the Gold Dagger. His novels have regularly appeared on award shortlists and Spook Street won the Steel Dagger and the Last Laugh Award. Visit mickherron.com

Inspector Ghote and the Noted British Author by HRF Keating – H.R.F. Keating (1926–2011) published five stand-alone novels before introducing the Indian policeman Inspector Ghote in The Perfect Murder, which won the Gold Dagger. The Ghote series continued for over forty years. Another novel set in India, The Murder of the Maharajah, also won a Gold Dagger, and Keating received the Diamond Dagger in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the genre He was also a leading critic and commentator, whose books include Writing Crime Fiction and studies of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. Visit hrfkeating.com

The Service Flat by Bill Knox – Bill Knox (1928–99) was a Scottish author, journalist and broadcaster, best known for his crime novels and for presenting the long-running STV series Crimedesk. He began writing crime novels in the 1950s and often wrote under pen-names such as Michael Kirk, Robert MacLeod and Noah Webster., especially for the American market. He published over fifty crime novels, notably the “Thane and Moss”series. His final novel, The Lazarus Widow, was unfinished at the time of his death, and was completed by Martin Edwards.

The Hand That Feeds Me by Michael Z. Lewin – Michael Zinn Lewin is an American-born author perhaps best known for his series about the private detective Albert Samson, based in Indianapolis. Lewin himself grew up in Indianapolis, but has lived in England for more than forty years. Much of his fiction continues to be set in Indianapolis, including a secondary series about the cop Leroy Powder. A series set in Bath, England, features the Lunghis, who run their detective agency as a family business. Visit michaelzlewin.com

With Corpse by Peter Lovesey – Peter Lovesey had already published a successful book about athletics when he won a competition with his first crime fiction novel, Wobble to Death, which launched a series about the Victorian detective Sergeant Cribb. Since then, his many books and short stories have won or been shortlisted for nearly all the major prizes in the international crime writing world. He has been presented with Lifetime Achievement awards both in the UK and the US. Visit peterlovesey.com

Moving On by Susan Moody – Susan Moody’s first crime novel, Penny Black, was published in 1984, the first in a series of seven books featuring amateur sleuth Penny Wanawake. She has written a number of suspense thrillers, and in 1993 introduced a series of crime novels with a new central character, Cassandra Swann. Misselthwaite was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’Association Award in 1995, while The Colour of Hope, the story of a family struggling to cope with the loss of their daughter in a boating accident, was written under the name Susan Madison, as is her most recent title, Touching the Sky.

Strolling in the Square One Day by Julian Symons – Julian Symons (1912–1994) was an eminent crime writer and critic of the genre as well as being a biographer, poet, editor, and social and military historian. His early detective novels were relatively orthodox, but he soon became dissatisfied with the conventions of the classic form and began in the early 1950s to develop the British psychological crime novel. He received the Gold Dagger for The Colour of Murder and an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America for The Progress of a Crime. In 1990 he received the CWA Diamond Dagger in recognition of his outstanding career in the genre and he was also a Grand Master of the MWA. He wrote an influential history of the genre, Bloody Murder.

The Woman Who Loved Elizabeth David by Andrew Taylor – Andrew Taylor’s crime novels include a series about William Dougal, starting with Caroline Miniscule, which won the John Creasey Memorial Dagger, the Roth Trilogy, which was televised as Fallen Angel, the Lydmouth series, stand-alone novels such as The American Boy, and much else besides. He has won the Historical Dagger three times and also the Diamond Dagger, as well as earning awards in Sweden and the US. Visit lydmouth.co.uk


About the book

Vintage Crimes is an CWA anthology with a difference, celebrating members’ work over the years. The book gathers stories from the mid 1950s until the twenty-first century by great names of the past, great names of the present together with a few hidden treasures by less familiar writers. The first CWA anthology, Butcher’s Dozen,appeared in 1956,and was co-edited by Julian Symons, Michael Gilbert, and Josephine Bell. The anthology has been edited by Martin Edwards since 1996,and has yielded many award winning and nominated stories in the UK and overseas.

This new edition includes an array of incredible and award-winning authors: Robert Barnard, Simon Brett, Liza Cody, Mat Coward, John Dickson Carr, Marjorie Eccles, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Anthea Fraser, Celia Fremlin, Frances Fyfield, Michael Gilbert, Paula Gosling, Lesley Grant-Adamson, HRF Keating, Bill Knox, Peter Lovesey, Mick Herron, Michael Z. Lewin, Susan Moody, Julian Symons and Andrew Taylor.

Review

This is another fantastic anthology by the Crime Writers’ Association, this time it comes under the title of Vintage Crime and includes old masters of crime, new ones and those well on the path to being masters of their craft.

It’s hard to do an anthology and its stories real justice, because reviewing each short story leaves little for other readers to discover and would make for a massive review, so instead I have just picked a few to focus on.

All She Wrote by Mick Herron – This story is what I would call the brutal cynical truth about working for those in charge of keeping us safe. People, their lives and their dignity, are expendable. The greater good they will say – sacrifice a few to save many. Also excellent note to end the book on.

The Perfect Alibi by Paula Gosling -This short story has the vibe of a Hill Street Blues police episode. Vintage policing with a moral at the end of the story – there is no need to act dodgy unless you have something to hide.

Strolling in the Square One Day by Julian Symons – Old school Tinker Tailor, Soldier Spy with a pigeon whisperer PI as the main character. It has the vibe of a Chandler in a class distinction setting.

Footprint in the Sky by John Dickson Carr – The way grief can drive emotions, even in those who seem quiet and timid, and yet those are the ones most likely to surprise everyone with a sudden act of aggression, revenge or perhaps even murder. Or is this just a case of wrong place at the wrong time and someone waiting in the wings for the perfect patsy?

There isn’t a common theme that plays throughout, other than crime obviously, but rather a glimpse of the art of writing through the eyes of each writer. A story for every reader.

Buy The CWA Vintage Crime at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 11 Aug. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy Vintage Crime at Flame Tree

Go to cwa.co.uk to read more about Vintage Crime 

#BlogTour Tomb of Gods by Brian Moreland

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Tomb of Gods by Brian Moreland.

About the Author

Brian Moreland writes a blend of mystery,action adventure, dark suspense,and horror. His books include Shadows in the Mist, Dead of Winter, The Witching House, The Devil’s Woods, The Seekers,and Darkness Rising. An adventure seeker and lover of world travel, Brian is currently living in various places and writing books and short stories.

Follow @BrianMoreland on Twitteron Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit BrianMoreland.blogspot.comBuy Tomb of Gods

About the book

Deep inside the tomb exists a hidden world of wonder and terror. In 1935, British archaeologists vanished inside an Egyptian cave. A year later, one man returned covered in mysterious scars.

Egyptologist Imogen Riley desperately wants to know what happened to the ill-fated expedition led by her grandfather. On a quest for answers, she joins a team of archaeologists and soldiers in Egypt. Inside a mountain tomb, they’ve found a technologically advanced relic and a maze of tunnels. Dr.

Nathan Trummel believes this tomb leads to the most guarded secrets of the pharaohs. When the explorers venture deep into the caves, they discover a hidden world of wonder and terror.

Review

Egyptologist Imogen Riley is determined to find out what happened to her grandfather. What drove him insane, where did he get those scars and disappear to for over a year? The answers lie deep inside a cave her grandfather found whilst searching for Egyptian tombs.

Dr Nathan Trummel is just as determined to find the same cave, but for much more selfish reasons. Recognition, riches and at the core of it all an insatiable need to uncover the secrets the past left behind.

It’s a combination of horror, history and mythology.

Imogen wants in on the hunt, which isn’t what Nathan wants, but she has something he needs to be able to find what they both want. Neither of them have a clue what they are heading towards.

The darkness and horror of being trapped inside a tomb full of booby traps and mysteries pales in comparison to the unknown entity stalking beating hearts. On top of that each one of them is confronted with hidden fears and mistakes best forgotten. Moreland uses inner fears and secrets to compound the element of the unknown. It creates doubt, chaos and uncertainty.

I’d like to have a good motz about the ending, but that would give everything away. Suffice to say I disagree with the overall sentiment in regards to a certain sister and the last chapter. Aside from that it is the kind of read that builds upon the fear of both the known and the unknown.

Buy Tomb of Gods at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher:  FlameTree Press; pub date 21 May 2020. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Flame Tree Press.

#BlogTour The Heron Kings by Eric Lewis

Today it’s also an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Heron Kings by Eric lewis.About the Author

By day Eric Lewis is a PhD research chemist weathering the latest rounds of mergers and layoffs and still trying to remember how to be a person again long after surviving grad school. In addition to subjecting his writing to one rejection after another, he can be found gathering to himself as many different sharp and pointies as possible and searching for the perfect hiking trail, archery range of single malt Scotch. Don’task where, because he’s never lived anywhere for longer than five years.

His short fiction has been published in Nature, Electric Spec, Allegory, Bards and Sages Quarterly, the anthologies Into Darkness Peering, Best Indie Speculative Fiction Vol.1 and Crash Code, as well as other venues detailed at ericlewis.inkThe Heron Kings is his first novel.

Follow @TheHeronKing on Twitter, on Amazonon GoodreadsBuy The Heron Kings

About the book

Aftera warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. Her roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.

Review

Alessia is no longer able to stand aside and watch the innocent be slaughtered, and the less than innocent of course. As a physic she must save lives, regardless of their affiliations. Not everyone agrees with her, which is why she decides to try and help to the tide of the war.

Ulnoth is scarred and a victim of the war-ton land he resides in. He wants revenge and blood. There is no space for forgiveness in his torn and bleeding heart. Together the two become a force to be reckoned with along with a merry bunch of renegades who fight with them.

It’s a conflict driven fantasy, a compelling read.

Lewis gives us plenty of rage and violence. Battles and slaying galore. Instead of having the band of warriors lean towards one side of the conflict, the Heron Kings take their own path. It’s very much one determined by personal pain, grief and a fierce will to see change. To set people free from this tedious and needless slaughter and constant battle for power.

Lewis gives us two damaged main characters who are forged together by the common denominator of anger. Loss and rage pave the way for both Alessia and Ulnoth. I would have like to have seen a little more fleshing out of the secondary characters, especially because in a fantasy world built on war the probability of death is pretty high. More depth for the merry band of followers.

Aside from that Lewis pens a riveting driven read, which often shows glimpses of light in the extreme quagmire of darkness.

Buy The Heron Kings at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press: April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Boy in the Box Marc E. Fitch

Boy in the Box BT Poster

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Boy in the Box by Marc E. Fitch.

About the Author

Marc E. Fitch is the author of the novels Old Boone Blood, Paradise Burns and Dirty Water,as well as the books Paranormal Nation: Why America Needs Ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot and Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science. His short fiction has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Best Horror of the Year vol 10.

Marc received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University and has worked as a bartender, psychiatric technician for inpatient behavioral health hospitals, and most recently as an investigative reporter for a public-policy organization. He was the recipient of the 2014

Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship and the Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize. He is the father of four children and lives and works in Connecticut.

About the book

Ten years ago a mysterious and tragic hunting accident deep in the Adirondack Mountains left a boy buried in a storied piece of land known as Coombs’ Gulch and four friends with a terrible secret.

Now, Jonathan Hollis and brothers Michael and Conner Braddick must return to the place that changed their lives forever in order to keep their secret buried. What they don’t realize is that they are walking into a trap — one set decades earlier by a supernatural being who is not confined by time or place:a demon that demands a sacrifice.

Review

When Gene, Jonathan, Conner and his brother Michael travel up to an isolated cabin in the Adirondack Mountains to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of one of them, the plan is to hunt and spend his last moments of single freedom with his mates and doing manly things without any distractions.

Things don’t go exactly as planned and the four of them leave with the kind of secret that burdens the soul and psyche. Killing a child and burying him in the forest isn’t really something you can just get over, right? Well, some of them seem to deal with it better than others.

It becomes necessary to return to the forest to remove the clues of their crime, which thrusts the men back into the nightmare that has been following them around for years.

It’s a tense horror read that creeps and swirls like a malignant fog.

Fitch lets the more sinister side of this story seep in gradually, as if the demon were playing a game of distraction. Is this a story about a murder, about deviants trying to kidnap children or something more nefarious? The misdirection is actually what makes the story so compelling, because you don’t actually put all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together until the end.

Talking of the end – it throws up this horrific moral dilemma, which gives the book and the reader this last hefty slap of evil. It’s an interesting walk on a very fine line between the instability of minds burdened by guilt, the supernatural and a darkness that exists all around us.

Buy Boy in the Box at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 23 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.