#BlogTour Maltese Steel by Stuart Field

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Maltese Steel by Stuart Field.

About the Author

Stuart Field is a veteran who now works in security after serving twenty-two years in the British Army. As well as working full time he writes in his spare time. Stuart was born and raised in the West Midlands in the UK. His love for travel has been an inspiration in some of his work with his John Steel thriller series. As well as future John Steel novels, Stuart is working on a new series and standalone novels. Follow @StuartField14 on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreads, Visit stuartfieldcrime.com

About the book

A woman is found dead on the island of Gozo. The cops say she fell from the Azure Window tourist spot, but her father thinks otherwise. CIA Section Chief Foster needs help to prove it was murder, so he turns to the only person he knows can get the job done: John Steel.

The Hive, securely seated under the US Embassy on the island of Malta, is an operation that monitors all passage from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe and the US. A platform that requires the latest in technology and facial recognition.

In seven days, that software will be updated. In two days, all hell will break loose. And the clock is ticking for an attack on American soil. Together with the beautiful Sammara Malk of Mossad, can Steel find out who killed Lucy – and stop whoever is behind the impending attack?


In this book I think more than ever the reader gets to see the two sides of Steel. The man he was before his own life was turned upside down and the man he subsequently became. The cold unfeeling expert only lets his warmer side shine through now and again. It just won’t do to let anyone perceive any weakness on his behalf. Not even old friends.

Saying that he is also incredibly loyal and when his comrade-in-arms calls in his hour of need Steel doesn’t hesitate to rush to his aid. He pulls out all the stops to discover whether his goddaughter fell to her death of her own accord or was she helped?

It’s a crime come espionage story with a main character who really doesn’t give two monkeys what people think of him. The end justifies the means, right. I guess that is what makes Steel such an interesting character, the fact he completely ignores all the rules to get results. His enemies underestimate his tenacity – he is like a dog with a bone. A bone he is willing to set fire to if needed.

It’s in need of a really good edit. I can see readers getting hung up on that and not being able to enjoy the story because of the mistakes, flow and structure. It could possibly just be a question of the wrong kindle edition being uploaded though, because I have read others by Field and not encountered any problems.

It’s a fast paced crime series with a bite. Field appears to be letting Steel drift into a more sinister, dark and ruthless direction, which is fine when it comes to the perpetrators and them getting what they deserve, but it would be a pity to see what’s left of his humanity disappear. 

Buy Maltese Steel at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Terminal Velocity – A Next Chapter Imprint; pub date 20 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#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?


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 A Question of Country by Sue Parritt

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour A Question of Country by Sue Parritt.

About the Author

Originally from England, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written short stories, articles, poetry, a short TV drama script and seven novels:

Sannah and the Pilgrim, first in a trilogy of a future dystopian Australia focusing on climate change and the harsh treatment of refugees from drowned Pacific islands. Odyssey Books, 2014. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2014.  Pia and the Skyman, Odyssey Books, 2016.  Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2016. The Sky Lines Alliance, Odyssey Books, 2016.  Chrysalis, the story of a perceptive girl growing up in a Quaker family in swinging sixties’ Britain. Morning Star Press, 2017

Re-Navigation recounts a life turned upside down when forty-year old Julia journeys from the sanctuary of middle-class Australian suburbia to undertake a retreat at a college located on an isolated Welsh island. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

Feed Thy Enemy, based on Sue’s father’s experiences, is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma as a British airman embarks on a plan that risks all to feed a starving, war-stricken family. Creativia Publishing, 2019. A Question of Country explores the migrant experience through the protagonist’s lifelong search for meaningful identity. Next Chapter (formerly Creativia Publishing), 2020.

Sue’s current project, working title: Twenty-eight Days, first in The Doorkeeper series, is set in Southern Australia in 2100. It deals with overpopulation and extended life expectancy in an increasingly climate-challenged world and the inhumane solutions adopted by a government determined to rid Australia of unproductive citizens.

Passionate about peace and social justice issues, Sue’s goal as a fiction writer is to continue writing novels that address topics such as climate change, the effects of war, the treatment of refugees, feminism and racism.  Sue intends to keep on writing for as long as possible, believing the extensive life experiences of older writers can be employed to engage readers of all ages.

Follow Sue Parritt on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit www.sueparritt.comBuy A Question of Country

About the book

On Christmas Eve 1969, a letter from Australia House, London, brings welcome news for newly-weds Anna and Joseph Fletcher.

Young and idealistic, Anna falls passionately in love with their adopted land. Seven months later, an unexpected event causes their life to take a stressful turn.Years pass, and Anna retreats to a fictional world she has created. But when a different challenge presents itself, does she have the courage to take the risk… or will she take refuge in fantasy?


Anna and Joseph are on the edge of a precipice – a new life. They decide to leave their families behind and carve out a life for themselves in Australia. It means possibly never seeing their families again, because it’s expensive and a long way to travel, but the couple is looking forward to building a life without interference from anyone else.

That in itself is sort of naive because the one thing you need when you are alone on a different continent is people who help you to get both feet on the ground. People who have already been there and done that.

I think plenty of people assume, wrongly so by the way, that moving to another English speaking country on the other side of the globe is easy because the language is the same. It isn’t. The climate, the culture, the traditions and the whole way of life is different. It takes patience and adjustment.

It’s a migration novel – a story of self-discovery and perseverance.

I think the voice of the story was very distanced at times and lacked emotional connection, perhaps because it often had a semi or autobiographical air to it. As if it were being told in a factual way. I would have liked to have seen more emotional depth in the characters.

The isolation of Anna when it comes to experiencing new roles in her life is perhaps the most poignant element of the story. The pressure she puts on herself to succeed when it comes to being a mother and wife, thereby realising that the part of herself that craves something that belongs solely to herself will remain beyond reach unless she becomes determined to capture and hold on to it. Very much the story of many women who have gone before her and those who will come after her.

Buy A Question of Country at Amazon Uk. Publisher: Magnum Opus – A Next Chapter Imprint; pub date 30 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Re-Navigation by Sue Parritt.

#BlogTour A Prison in the Sun by Isobel Blackthorn

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour A Prison in the Sun by Isobel Blackthorn.About the Author

Isobel Blackthorn is an award-winning author of unique and engaging fiction. She writes dark psychological thrillers, mysteries, and contemporary and literary fiction. Isobel was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019 for her biographical short story, ‘Nothing to Declare’. The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is the winner of the Raven Awards 2019. Isobel holds a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on the works of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey, the ‘Mother of the New Age.’ She is the author of The Unlikely Occultist: a biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey.

About the book

After millennial ghostwriter Trevor Moore rents an old farmhouse in Fuerteventura, he moves in to find his muse. Instead, he discovers a rucksack filled with cash. Who does it belong to – and should he hand it in… or keep it? Struggling to make up his mind, Trevor unravels the harrowing true story of a little-known concentration camp that incarcerated gay men in the 1950s and 60s.


A man on trip to find himself and his muse. Trevor is intrigued by his surroundings at first even if they are bleak and dusty, but is appalled when he finds the bedroom window of his holiday dwelling would have had a first hand view of the unlawfully detained prisoners at work in the stony desolate earth. He is reluctant to embrace it as an inspiration, because of what he has been through with his ex-wife.

Built in a stony desert, on the wasteland of an abandoned old airport, without water or the basic minimum conditions needed to sustain life – the remains of the Agricultural Penitentiary Colony of Tefia, which is on the island of Fuerteventura, stand. It is a symbol of the brutality of the Franco regime, one I am sure many of the descendants of those in charge still try to gloss over or deny, as they do with the majority of the atrocities committed during the Franco regime.

Dozens of men were beaten, humiliated and forced to work hard labour for years. Why? Because Franco believed a regime of hard and healthy work would cure them of their sexual preferences. Arrested under a law that liberally encompassed everything from troublemakers, pimps and vagrants – they were condemned and punished for their homosexuality.

Trevor is still struggling with the fact his ex-wife is living with a woman, which is quite a bizarre obstruction to his writing, because he himself appears to struggle with attraction to the same gender. So it’s fair to say confronting one would actually mean confronting oneself, which he is reluctant to do.

Whilst searching for a muse or some sort of inspiration he accidentally, as only an overweight middle-aged white guy on holiday abroad can do, stumbles upon a rucksack that contains something valuable and something unique and irreplaceable.

I’m glad Blackthorn worked this into the plot, because although I am aware of many of the atrocities during this period I wasn’t aware of the prison on Tefia. Kudos to her for that. Once again the author works her trademark talent for describing the surroundings into the story.

It’s urban crime, well perhaps rural crime which delves into history and more importantly crimes against the homosexual community. As always a story that delivers more.

Buy A Prison in the Sun at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Magnum Opus – A Next Chapter Imprint; pub date November 19, 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of The Unlikely OccultistA Perfect Square and A Matter of Lattitude by Isobel Blackthorn.

#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.


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 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.