#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 The Vault by Mark Dawson

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Vault by Mark Dawson.

The Berlin Wall – 9 November 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the 20th Century’s most notorious structures. Built in 1961 to divide East and West Germany, by the late 80s it was 156 km long with a 15m ‘death strip’ guarded by 11,500 border guards under shoot-to-kill orders. At least 140 people lost their lives at the Wall. The last in 1989 just months before it fell.

About the Author

Mark Dawson is an award-nominated, USA Today bestseller, with more than 20 books published and over 2 million books downloaded in multiple countries and languages. Mark was born in Lowestoft, in the UK. He has worked as a DJ, a door-to-door ice cream seller, factory hand and club promoter.

He eventually trained as a lawyer and worked for ten years in the City of London and Soho, firstly pursuing money launderers and then acting for A-list celebrities suing newspapers for libel.

Follow @pbackwriter on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit markjdawson.comBuy The Vault

About the book

In the dying days of the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall still casts a long and deadly shadow in 1989.

MI6 agent Harry Mackintosh embarks on an audacious plan to exfiltrate a valuable asset through a tunnel under the Berlin Wall. But things go badly wrong and what could have been a brilliant coup  ends in a bloody failure, with Mackintosh only just escaping with his life. Now he wants revenge.

Mackintosh returns to London for help. He asks for seasoned professionals but gets Jimmy Walker, a bank robber blackmailed into working with British intelligence. Walker has been given a stark choice: a long stretch in prison or a trip behind the Iron Curtain. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the resourceful robber – desperate to keep his liberty and lured by tales of Stasi gold – might just be the right man for the job after all.

Review

There’s nothing quite like a good old Cold War spy thriller. It’s exactly the right amount of subterfuge, politics, history and action. Dawson manages to accurately capture the atmosphere of the silent war.

I got about three quarters in and wondered how many readers would see Mackintosh as the villain of the piece and not just the protagonist – the British intelligence officer with an axe to grind. There is no doubt about the fact that he uses and treats Walker with contempt.

Mackintosh is ruthless, reckless and not particularly interested in keeping Walker alive, despite the fact he is actually the key to his entire scheme. Again I would make the point that he perhaps isn’t so different than the man he wants to bring to his knees.

It’s a spy thriller – a combination of Kelly’s Heroes meets The Lives of Others. You get the audacity of a man fuelled by greed, and perhaps by the thrill of the impossible task, which is balanced by the lack of compassion and heavy atmosphere of the Cold War scenario.

The Stasi is a chapter in history that is often overshadowed by the events of Nazi Germany and World War II, and the uplifting event of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Those oppressive years of Stasi rule tend to rear their head in books and movies – it’s easy to forget how many lives were controlled and destroyed during those decades.

I can’t decide whether I was more intrigued by the spy storyline or the fact Walker was all gung-ho and I’ll deal with the consequences later. Either way as a reader I definitely want more.

Buy The Vault at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unputdownable eBook – 31 Jan. 2020. Paperback Ind pub 31 Jan 2020 – Audio available 31 October 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 The Profit Motive by David Heckler

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Profit Motive by David Beckler.About the Author

David Beckler – ‘I write fast-paced action thrillers populated with well-rounded characters.

Born in Addis Ababa in 1960, I spent my first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia where my love of reading developed. After dropping out of university I became a firefighter and served 19 years before leaving to start my own business.

I began writing in 2010 and use my work experiences to add realism to my fiction.

The Mason and Sterling series centre on two ex-Royal Marines, Byron who now runs a security company and Adam who is a firefighter. A strong cast of characters support my protagonists. Long Stop Books published Brotherhood, the first novel in the series, in September 2019 and will be publishing the second, The Profit Motive, on December 16th 2019. Brotherhood is set in Manchester and The Profit Motive in Manchester and Wenzhou, China.

I live in Manchester, my adopted home since 1984. In my spare time I try to keep fit—an increasingly difficult undertaking—listen to music, socialise and feed my voracious book habit.’

Follow @DavidBeckler1 on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Bookbub, Visit davidbeckler.co.ukBuy The Profit Motive

About the book

How do you deal with an implacable foe in an alien land…?

Manchester, England, and Wenzhou, China, 2001

When firefighter Adam Sterling arrives at the scene of a horrific car crash, little does he imagine it will lead him back to his mother’s homeland.

Kate, the woman he pulls from the wreckage, needs his help. Her father has been left for dead after a hit-and-run, in Wenzhou, China. She suspects it wasn’t an accident and so does Jie Gang, the senior policeman investigating the case, and whose efforts are obstructed from on high. When events escalate, Kate employs Adam and Byron Mason, Adam’s best friend and fellow former Royal Marine, to go with her to China.

Catapulted into an alien environment, and unable to trust anyone, Mason and Sterling face escalating challenges. The struggle becomes personal, and Adam has to confront a ruthless enemy determined to destroy him and Kate.

The Profit Motive is the second crime novel in the Mason & Sterling thriller series: gritty, hard-boiled page-turners with an urban setting.

Review

This is the second book in the Mason and Sterling series, both can be read as standalone novels.

The contrast between their experience, training and the reality of their normal every day problems serves as a reminder of their humanity. They are just men who have their Achilles heels and vulnerable moments too. It gives Mason and Sterling, and the series, a more humane side. It’s also a bit of an anchor in a story that starts with a tornado like gusto and and continues on throughout with the same speed.

I liked the way the two storylines, set respectively in China and England, seemed to have no connection at first and yet intersected cleverly as the read progressed. Heckler also takes the time to weave in the often subtle cultural differences in both countries, which often determines both action and reaction in the story.

Also the juxtaposition of the crime in China and the trouble in England, and the way Mason and Sterling cope with both of those. It was a little bit like ex-pats suddenly being surprised by the fact colonialism doesn’t automatically insert itself into each country they enter.

It’s a fast-paced thriller with greed at the core.

The author has a certain stoccato style when it comes to writing – it can seem disjointed and confusing when the story goes from one storyline to the other. It depends on whether you like that kind of feel to your reads.

Buy The Profit Motive at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Long Stop Books; pub date 16 Dec. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Witch of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox.

About the Author

Hester Fox lives near Salem, the location of the historical Salem witch trials. She is a keen painter and has a masters degree in historical archaeology, as well as a background in Medieval studies and art history.

Follow @HesterBFox on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit hesterfox.comBuy The Widow of Pale Harbour

About the book

A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that hunt him after his wife’s death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

Review

Gabriel Stone is a man with many secrets. The kind of secrets that can destroy the life he is intent on carving out for himself in the community of Pale Harbour. Perhaps that is why he connects instantly with Sophronia Carver – a woman with secrets.

She has become the target of malicious rumours and a concentrated effort to malign her character and to scare her. Is she a witch? Did she have something to do with her husband’s demise? Is someone in her inner circle guilty of the worst betrayal?

Gabriel is surprised when rumours and reputation don’t line up with his personal experience and encounters with Sophronia. What is it about this woman that evokes such negative reactions and has set someone on a murderous course of action?

Fox uses the works and myth of Poe to insert a macabre and gothic vibe to the story. Each moment of fear or horror is woven through the fabric of his work. Although this isn’t a new angle per se, I liked the idea of a perpetrator who is influenced by the words of an author, but in a historical context, ergo not the modern era. Nowadays criminals are allegedly influenced by what they watch, read and play, which is a common theme to us. Taking that perspective on criminality, and perhaps even accountability, and creating the same kind of stepping stone was interesting.

It’s mystery, murder and crime, a psychological thriller in a historical setting. Fox balances romances, fear and mystery meticulously to create a gripping read.

Buy The Widow of Pale Harbour at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 17 Oct. 2019.Paperback £7.99 – Available in eBook and Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday Mooney Wore Black by Kate Racculia

In my mind’s eye Tuesday is a goth girl without the goth, an intelligent quick-witted Wednesday Adams with plenty of snark. She is also a young woman who is haunted by the past, especially by the unknown variable in the equation she calls her life. The disappearance of her best friend when they were both teenagers has left her vulnerable and damaged.

Fortunately the fact she has a constant open dialogue with said friend is what keeps her sane and on the straight and narrow. Talking to her ghost or what she interprets as the ghost is also what keeps Tuesday ticking while she is dealing with the grief.

Her life and relationships are redefined when she is drawn into a mystery devised by a recently deceased billionaire. The money she could win is an interesting enticement, but it turns out there is more to the hunt than she expected.

I enjoyed the way Racculia made it more than just a mystery. It’s about loyalty, friendship, mental health, loneliness, murder, dysfunctional families and above all a good old fashioned treasure hunt.

It’s a mystery thriller with sort of an Eleanor Oliphant meets a Dan Brown mystery with a literary vibe. The Poe-esque flair melds perfectly with Tuesday’s eccentric attitude and yet oddly charming personality.

I admit I am left with questions though, perhaps enough to warrant the author bringing Mooney back. What happened to her friend – I need to know.

Buy Tuesday Mooney Wore Black at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins pub date 1 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow @kateracculia on Twitter, Visit kateracculia.com

#BlogTour Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks

Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks. It’s a domestic noir thriller with elements of a psychological thriller.

About the Author

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-east England. her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she’s had eighteen international bestsellers. She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa and is a keen supporter of The National Literary Trust. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband and son.

Follow @adeleparks @HQStories on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit adeleparks.com

About the book

Lies, Lies, Lies explores the darkest corners of a relationship in freefall in a mesmerising tale of marriage and secrets.

After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. A happy little family of three.

And so what if Simon drinks too much sometimes – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And that happy little family of three will never be the same again.

Review

Leave it to Parks to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute. She has this talent for sliding in the unexpected and catching her readers unawares.

The lie that turns Simon and Daisy’s marriage on its head is a big one. The kind of lie you can’t come back from and the kind that changes lives forever. It’s not the cause of Simon’s drinking problem, but it certainly exacerbates it. He becomes paranoid and suspicious. The trust between himself and Daisy is non-existent.

Meanwhile Daisy is putting on a brave face in front of family and friends. She has no idea Simon has caught her in a lie – blissfully unaware. What she does know is that his drinking is out of control and something has got to give. And it does, but not in the way either of them expect it to.

Whilst the two of them are so engrossed in their own brand of ego-trip and type of self-flagellation they do something unthinkable, which changes their little family forever.

Parks dives straight into the nitty-gritty of relationships and married life. Specifically what happens when the fragile balance between two people is thrown off-kilter by trust issues. Once there is an element of doubt in a relationship it grows like a weed.

It’s a domestic noir thriller with elements of a psychological thriller. As usual Parks combines the controversial with the more normal everyday situations we have to deal with in life to create a captivating read.

Buy Lies, Lies, Lies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ – Harper Collins Uk pub date 5 September 2019 – Paperback £7.99 – EBook £5.99 – Audiobook £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of I Invited Her In by Adele Parks.