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.

Today is Paperback Publication Day for Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers

It’s Launch weekend for Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers! Today is Paperback Publication Day for this fast-paced riveting action thriller.

Follow @jackleavers on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit jackleavers.com, Buy Appetite for Risk

About the book

A fast-paced action thriller inspired by real events in the aftermath of the Iraq War.

With Saddam Hussein deposed and an entire country in need of rebuilding, former Royal Marine John Pierce hears the siren call of adventure and opportunity. His fledgling UK business is struggling to support his young family and he has connections in the Iraqi capital – fate seems to point one way.

In early 2004, Pierce rolls the dice when he jumps into a taxi in Jordan and heads for the turmoil of postwar Baghdad to grab a share of the reconstruction gold rush. But when Iraq spirals into the hell of a full-blown insurgency, he must rely on his wits and his local friends if he’s to evade the rampant bloodshed.

As the action rolls across the blood-stained Iraqi landscape and embraces London’s seedy underbelly, Pierce tangles with the authorities at home and finds himself thrust into the heart of British and American covert operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Having set out with little more than ambitious goals and an appetite for risk, can a determined ex-bootneck survive the mounting chaos unscathed and succeed in hitting the jackpot?Review

I think I was somewhere between fascinated and thrown off by the way John has whole conversations with himself inside his head during the majority of the story. It’s written in a constantly flowing and updating journalistic report kind of way, and appears to be an ongoing thought process.

At first John appears to be a man with no threads or connections. The perfect person to move between all parties without inviting too much interest or attracting any for that matter. Not a spy, a silent asset or a company man. He is just someone who will use his expertise and excellent gut instinct to navigate dangerous situations for people who would rather remain hidden.

It’s very much a Jack Reacher kind of read, but with a more grounded family guy, who unfortunately appears to have a voracious appetite for dangerous situations. He is always smack bang in the middle of the action.

What Leavers does spectacularly well is to capture the tension between foreigners and the native inhabitants of Iraq. He doesn’t sugar-coat the volatility, the mistrust or the disdain towards foreign nationals. He straight up gives it to the reader in a brusque manner. Look, this is what happens when the dissidents capture you. Your life has no meaning to them other than honour for relieving the world of an infidel.

It’s a fast-paced riveting action thriller. The main character has a certain charm, which is directly linked to his need for speed and adventure.

Buy Appetite for Risk at Amazon Uk – Paperback – Kindle or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd; Paperback pub date 28 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com – Paperback – Kindle, Buy at Barnes&Noble.

#BlogTour The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins

Today it’s also my turn on the BlogTour The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 copies of The Kompromat Kill (Open INT)About the Author

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.

Follow @FailSafeQuery on Twitter, and FailSafeThrillers on Facebook, on Goodreads, Visit michaeljenkins.orgBuy The Kompromat Kill

About the book

They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down.

When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

Review

This is the second book in the Sean Richardson series, fast-paced action spy thrillers.
I really like the way Jenkins swoops in with the first chapter and then flies right back out again. I was genuinely surprised, but no worries the beginning drives the rest of the story in a low-key way to the very end.

An important part of the story is the way Sean, who has followed in the footsteps of his mother, comes to terms with the fate of his mother. It’s a well-balanced plot of closure and closet, backdoor and raincoat spies. Neither overshadows the other, which makes for a more compelling story in my opinion. As a reader you can enjoy the more emotional moments, whilst simultaneously indulging in the cut-throat and ruthless spy game.

It’s an intriguing espionage thriller. Jenkins captures the bold audacity of spy warfare over many decades and the victims that fall prey to the machinations of secrets and missions. Think Spooks with an international flair with a cold war mystique.

Jenkins is honing his craft. There is a clear difference between this second book in comparison to the first. Aside from that I also wonder how much of Sean is based on what the author has experienced himself. Its probably the reason the character is balanced, despite being a live action hero.

I also wouldn’t mind if Jenkins returned to the scene of the crime and East Berlin. Perhaps even back to what comes before the end of the first chapter.

Buy The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Failsafe Thrillers; pub date 19 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 copies of The Kompromat Kill (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the  Rafflecopter giveaway

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

#BlogBlitz MBA by Douglas Board

Today I am hosting the second book on this three book Blog Blitz. MBA by Douglas Board. It’s a thriller come tongue-in-cheek satirical story on the convoluted hand in hand world of business and business schools.

Get 30% off MBA with discount code BLOGTOURMBA at Lightning Books eye-books.com

3c967-douglas-4About the Author

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

Follow @BoardWryter on Twitter, on Amazon, Visit douglasboard.com

Buy MBA

About the book

Why is so much of the world managed by arseholes? When workaholic business school hot shot Ben Stillman is fired, he has the chance to find out. Not a guy to sit still, Ben jumps head first into turning his former business school into a world-class madrassa of capitalism.

Ben has ten days to rescue the launch of its spectacular glass tower, and his own career – ten days during which he will have to confront terrorist plots, undercover police, the extravagant demands of the super-rich, and the only woman who can save him from this madness.

A satirical thriller, a love story, and a wry look at modern management ideology all rolled into one – MBA is a piercing yet hopeful enquiry into the meaning of success.

Review

MBA stands for Managed By Arseholes. It certainly seems as if this a common theme nowadays. Managed by them, governed by them and often betrayed by them. This is a fast-paced thriller set around a ‘fictional’ business school.

Let me digress here for a minute, as I am wont to do.

People with a high number of psychopathic traits often end up in certain professions. An alleged 21% of CEOs are psychopaths (probably more – just saying, the study was based on a mere 261 senior professionals in the US), 1 in 5 CEOs. These traits are seen as favourable in the corporate world, and whilst I understand it means the endgame of profit, wealth and power is being achieved, there is definitely an argument to be made for the damage left in the wake of decisions made by those with said traits.

That doesn’t mean corporate leaders or people in business can’t make hardcore decisions that equate to a tidal wave of damage on the economy and common man, but one would hope their empathy would make them ponder longer on said tidal wave. Recently I was doing a test with a friend, we discuss data and results ect of certain areas, this time of narcissistic personality traits. Studies show there is a rise in those tendencies in undergraduates.

Where am I going with all of this? The mindset of men and women in the industry, and that of the those teaching them and defining the future senior leaders in economy, commerce, politics, government and business. Then, as is demonstrated quite well in this story the collusion between the teaching institutes and the big businesses who wield the power, and correlation between decisions and actions which are detrimental to the common man.

It’s both ironic and amusing that the word ethics is used in combination with business and this premise is an example of how some people have no moral compass at all.

Towards the end the plot becomes a wee bit outlandish and perhaps hard to follow, because it seems bit disjointed. Board has a very specific style though. Short rapid bursts of info, dialogue and actions. Look here, look over there, listen to this, whilst reading another thing. It’s a clever way to conceal the information he wants to impart with his audience, whilst lulling the reader into a false sense of security with the more fictitious aspect of the story thereby distracting them. The result is you come away with tidbits of info that burrow in like moles and create connections you may previously have been unaware of.

It’s a thriller come tongue-in-cheek satirical story on the convoluted hand in hand world of business and business schools.

Buy MBA at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books: pub date 7 Sept. 2015. Buy at Amazon com.

Watch a Promotional Video for MBA:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=hUOs5YqqkBg

Read my review of Time of Lies by Douglas Board here

Buy Time of Lies

#BlogTour Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Breakers by Doug Johnstone. It’s a captivating fast-paced thriller that has the brusque authentic feel of life and not of fiction.

About the Author

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines.

His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors.

He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Follow @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks on Twitter, Follow Doug on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit  dougjohnstone.com

Buy Breakers

About the book

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Whilst trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addicted mother, he’s also coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings.

One night whilst on a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead. And that ’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because they soon discover the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in terrible danger, Tyler is running out of options, until he meets posh girl Flick in another stranger ’s house. Could she be his salvation? Or will he end up dragging her down with him?

Review

As far as I am concerned this is Johnstone’s best book yet. Absolutely, without a doubt, hits the nail on the head, and he has just uncovered his own literary deposit of gold.

This story takes place predominantly in one of the most deprived areas of Edinburgh. Seventeen-year-old Tyler is forced to take part in break-ins and robberies with his two half-siblings. His brother Barry is violent, abusive and high the majority of the time. The only reason Tyler participates is because he will do anything to keep his younger sister Bean safe, and out of the the grasp of social services.

There is no support coming his way, as he navigates being both mother and father to Bean. Taking her to school, feeding and dressing her, and making sure she sleeps at night. His, their mother, the drug and alcohol addict can’t even take care of herself let alone any of her children.

This story follows Tyler after a simple enter-grab-scarper turns into a deadly nightmare, when they pick the wrong house and people to steal from. Barry goes too far and Tyler finds himself stuck in a nightmare in the midst of his own personal daily one.

I came away from this read thinking about the overall feel of it and a possible comparison to be able to describe it to other readers. I’m not sure these pop culture references will make sense to non-Brits, but perhaps a few will get where I am going with this.

There are Brit films that achieve a certain status of fame, because they hit and portray the reality of life in such an authentic way that the audience connects and never forgets, hence achieving cult status at some point. Think Trainspotting, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and even Rita, Sue and Bob Too.

Each of those capture a certain element of life on the front-line of economic depravity and or the criminal Brit gangster world, which Johnstone brings together in this story in a perfect collusion of truth meets fiction.

It’s urban crime with a strong message about socio-economic deprivation and its impact on our young people and children. It’s a captivating fast-paced thriller, urban crime that has the brusque authentic feel of life and not of fiction.

Buy Breakers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 16 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone

#BlogTour Eye for Eye by J.K. Franko

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Eye for Eye by J.K. Franko. It’s a suspense thriller with the vibe of a psychological thriller. Is it still considered the corruption of the innocent when the innocent weren’t exactly squeaky clean to begin with?

About the Author

J.K. Franko was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder.

After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a PhD. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, Eye for Eye became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Follow @jk_franko on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,

Buy Eye for Eye

About the book

Leave no singing bones…

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

Review

Roy and Susie are on holiday to take a step back from life and to come to terms with the death of their daughter. They meet a couple dealing with their own tragic circumstances. A proposition is made from one couple to the other, a deal of sorts. The kind of deal that will eliminate any moral boundaries a person has. A decision to go against the system.

This reminded me of a film I watched about 23 years ago. I connected so strongly with the main character and the premise that I never forgot about it. A parent who has to listen to her child on the phone, as she let’s someone into her home, who rapes and subsequently murders her. The mother is powerless on the other end of the phone. It was all about the mother who was not willing to let the rapist and killer of her daughter go until she had gotten her version of justice, his death. An eye for an eye. It made me wonder what I would do in a situation like that. Would I go to extreme lengths if I felt the legal system hadn’t done its job?

In essence this is what Franko wants the reader to do. To think about whether they would commit a murder or crime for someone else, so they could have justice or closure, and finally feel safe and at peace with the world again.

Although I am certain the majority would be happy to let the official system punish the criminal, there will be another large group of people who will be very vocal and loud about exacting their own type of revenge, but never actually do anything. Those two groups aren’t the ones I am talking about. A small percentage will without a shadow of a doubt, be willing to kill, maim or torture to ensure that the tormentor, abuser, rapist and/or killer of their loved one is annihilated.

There is a lot more to this plot than just the top layer and the initial suggestion of an arrangement. It’s much more deadly and twisted the further you go down the rabbit hole of murder and vengeance.

It’s a suspense thriller with the vibe of a psychological thriller. Is it still considered the corruption of the innocent when the innocent weren’t exactly squeaky clean to begin with?

Buy Eye for Eye at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Talion Publishing; pub date 1 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.