#BlogTour The Family Man by Kimberley Chambers

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Family Man by Kimberley Chambers. ‘A brand-new series from the queen of gritty crime.’

About the Author

A truly unforgettable character, Kimberley injects authenticity into her gritty gangland crime novels set around the east end. She came to writing later in life, having worked as a street trader (being promoted from tea girl to sales when she rugby-tackled a shoplifter), a DJ and a cabbie. Fed up of scraping a living, she set her mind to writing a novel, despite being laughed at by friends and family, who dubbed her ‘a female Del-Boy’. 

But with her creative mind, colourful life experiences and memorable covering letter (‘Take a chance on me, you won’t regret it. This time next year I’ll be wearing Prada, not Primark’), she quickly had five agents knocking at her door and a publishing contract. Fifteen novels and three Sunday Times number ones later, she’s top of her game and an incredible inspiration.

Join Kimberley’s legion of legendary fans on facebook.com/kimberleychambersofficial and @kimbochambers on Twitter.

About the book

Meet The Bonds… Kenny Bond is finally out of prison after doing a long stretch for killing a copper, and is determined to get back to life on the straight and narrow. He’s got a lot of time to make up for, he’s missed his beloved wife, Sharon, and his family is growing up fast.

A Family Like No Other… Kenny’s son Donny might lack his father’s edge but his twin grandsons, Beau and Brett – well, they are Bonds through and through. Like him, they won’t let anyone stand in their way.

But They’re About to Meet Their Match… Family comes before everything else for Kenny. There’s nothing he won’t do for them. But there are enemies from his past he can’t shake off, and a family feud is brewing. Kenny’s determined that nothing, and no one, will threaten his family. But can the Bond family stick together when someone’s out to take them down?


Kenny Bond and his family of conveniently criminally inclined loved ones – give or take a few, those who swim against the stream are likely to clash with the head of the family. He is finally out of prison after a bit of a stretch and it’s back to business as usual, but there are certain people who are determined to throw a spanner in the works.

There is no candyfloss and unicorns when it comes to rephrasing the hard parts for sensitive ears and eyes. Chambers does her gangland in a brassy, gritty and unforgiving way. No such thing as easing your way in or a romantic interlude – more like wham bam thank you mam. Put your big girl/boy panties on and pull ’em up yourself. Trigger warnings are for the faint of heart, then again I’m not a fan of those myself.

So, we are clear on the tone of the story, which is family orientated as only British gangland can be. Loyalty in the most peculiar of situations and yet brusque dismissive disloyalty in the next breath, depending on who is on the short end of the stick. The voice, well I had a constant combo of harsh Del Boy turned gangster in my head ( can’t wait to hear this in audio version).

I think the author has definitely brought the odd boundary issues of British urban crime to the table. You feel connected and empathetic at times, and yet simultaneously completely angered and/or disgusted by the characters. The Bond family is certainly memorable, that’s for sure.

Buy The Family Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins pub date 16th September 2021│ £14.99│HB EB Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Pauper and Prince in Harlem by Delia C. Pitts

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Pauper and Prince in Harlem by Delia C. Pitts.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB Copies of Pauper and Prince in Harlem (Open to USA Only)About the Author

Delia C. Pitts is the author of the Ross Agency Mysteries, a contemporary private eye series including Lost and Found in Harlem, Practice the Jealous Arts, and Black and Blue in Harlem. She is a former university administrator and U.S. diplomat, who served in West Africa and Mexico. After working as a journalist, she earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. She has published more than sixty fan fiction titles under the pen name Blacktop. Pauper and Prince in Harlem is the fourth novel in the Ross Agency Mystery series. The fifth, Murder My Past, will be released in 2021. Learn more at her website, deliapitts.com/

Follow @blacktop1950 on Twitterdeliapitts50 on Instagramon GoodreadsBuy Pauper and Prince in Harlem

About the book

A vulnerable kid. A brutal enemy. An addled ally. Blood runs cold on Harlem’s hottest summer night when Drive-by assassins shoot up a crowded playground, killing the teenaged friend of private eye SJ Rook. Only fourteen, the kid was smart, affectionate, and alive with potential. His sudden death strikes the cynical Rook through the heart. Was this boy the victim of a cruel accident? Or was he targeted by gang hit men in a ruthless display of power?

To find the killers, Rook must enlist the help of another teen, Whip, a mysterious runaway witness. Whip is a transgender boy whose life on the streets has drawn him into the realm of a violent mob kingpin. Damaged by his mother’s rejection, Whip doesn’t want to be found. Not by the cops or by community do-gooders. And certainly not by Rook, a resolute stranger with vengeance on his mind. Rook’s search for the elusive kid becomes a dangerous trek through the meanest corners of his neighborhood.

Racing from desolate homeless camps to urban swamps, from settlement houses to high-rise palaces ruled by greed and corruption, the determined Rook pursues his quarry. An unexpected twist in the detective’s relationship with his crime-fighting partner, Sabrina Ross, threatens to derail his mission. Noble tramps, vicious thugs, and a pint-sized trigger woman also complicate Rook’s efforts to protect Whip. When a mob prince and a hobo hold the boy’s life in the balance will Rook’s grit and imagination be enough to save Whip and bring the killers to justice?


This is the fourth book in the Ross Agency Mystery series. I haven’t read the others in the series, but absolutely feel this can be read as a standalone novel.

Rook is caught up in a drive-by shooting, which targets a crowded playground of all places. The shocking event is even more tragic because Rook sees someone he knows gunned down. There one minute gone the next. Simultaneously he sees something odd that makes him think that one person in particular knows more about the tragedy than they should.

Rook is determined to find out what Whip has got to hide, especially as it pertains to the crime and mystery he is trying to solve. Whip is just as determined to stay hidden and elusive.

It’s contemporary noir and urban crime which combines the feel of cosy crime characters with important social topics of our era.

Pitts shines a light on the plight of transgender teens, who are more prone to experience violence, targeted abuse and become homeless. They often experience rejection by family and friends, which then leads them down some dark paths, especially when it comes to mental health issues. The lack of respect and acceptance can weigh heavily on their self-esteem and self-image.

It’s a pacy series which delves into the uncomfortable areas society likes to gloss over and often tries to pack into little boxes full of misconceptions. The author gives Rook this element of helping the vulnerable and the rejected to feel recognised and empowered. I see you – I feel you, which in itself is a huge part of the story and character development.

Buy Pauper and Prince in Harlem ( A Ross Agency Mystery #4) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: BookBaby; pub date 18 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB Copies of Pauper and Prince in Harlem (Open to USA Only)

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*Terms and Conditions –Only USA 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 be 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.*

#BlogTour Ride or Die by Khurrum Rahman

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Ride or Die by Khurrum Rahman. It’s the third book in the Jay Qasim series.

About the Author

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1975 Khurrum moved to England when he was one. He is a west London boy and now lives in Wraysbury with his wife and two children. Khurrum graduated with BSc Honours and has been working in IT for a Local Authority for over 18 years.

His keen interest in fiction initially drove him to write screenplays and write for an independent film maker. However, his true passion lies in reading crime thrillers which have inspired his current work. He has employed his unique perspective and careful study of great writers to develop a fresh voice that crackles with originality.

About the book
Two sworn enemies. One deadly mission.

Jay Qasim is trying to lay low after nearly being killed, for the second time. But then he gets word that notorious terrorist and his father The Teacher is still alive. And finally bringing him down means Jay breaking his vow never to work with MI5 again and turning to the person who has sold him down the river before.

Imran Siddiqui may have tried to kill Jay but now they have a common adversary. The one thing worse than death is watching the people closest to you die. And after the happiest day of Imran’s life becomes the most tragic, he vows to take revenge on the people who’ve caused him and Jay so much pain.

But when everyone has their own agenda, who can you really trust? Your most deadly enemy is about to become your closest ally.


This is the third book in the Jay Qasim series and although all three books can be read as standalone novels I would recommend reading the previous ones in the series if only because they are really good reads.

Life is turned upside down for Imran. Tragedy overshadows anything that went before. It also catapults him into decisions and actions that he can never come back from, although one could argue that his actions give him a certain level of satisfaction and justice. Then again they won’t turn back time.

His relationship with Jay is thrown into disarray and the two of them know that guilt, blame and shame will link them together forever. One decision made with the best intentions causes an act of revenge that breaks one of them forever.

It’s a fast-paced urban crime read with elements of terrorism and spydom.

Rahman captures the world within the world – the cultural differences that draw boundaries, which then creates a domino effect when suspicion, paranoia and stereotypes are the norm and the truth becomes irrelevant. His characters aren’t exactly of the squeaky clean persuasion, which is perhaps part of the charm especially when it comes to Jay.

I really enjoy the gritty urban feel of this series. Rahman writes with brutal honesty and calm fluidity, despite the violent and dangerous subject matter. He has his finger on the pulse and interprets the sign of the times with an intense authenticity.

Buy Ride or Die at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 9 July 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of East of Hounslow (Jay Qasim #1) by Khurrum Rahman

#BlogTour Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz, translated by Rachel Ward.About the Author

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

About the book

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…

Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect. Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty.

The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide. Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…


I can’t heap enough praise on the author for the intricate well-researched plot. She has outdone herself when it comes to explaining the complexity of the immigrants and the gang culture that exists in Germany. How the cultural differences come to a grinding halt in regards to acknowledging Western culture. There is no comparison, but more importantly where one side is open to change and cultural assimilation – the other is not.

The lack of respect or acknowledgement for the rule of law plays the biggest role in this story, because the Bremen clan has their own antiquated system, which is mired in ancestral myth and deeply embedded in the male dominated society. Violence begets violence. Women are belongings. You break the rules and you’re out. Nouri Saroukhan isn’t just out, he is dead, and his family doesn’t give two monkeys.

It’s up to Chastity, who is still as tough as old boot nails by the way and only ever one Schnapps and a beer away from not quite fit for duty, and her colleagues to find out why someone wanted Nouri dead.

Buchholz writes a vicious urban crime thriller, and just in case there is any misunderstanding by vicious I mean excellent. She really knows how to write about the grit, decay, corruption and captures the Beton-Dschungel element of city life. The way the cement has encroached upon life and the living. The authenticity and realism in the plot always overshadows the fiction, which is very much trademark Buchholz style, as is the snarky self-deprecating humour.

As always it is a cracking read.


Buy Mexico Street at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.Publisher: Orenda Books; Pub date 5 March 2020 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Blue Night and Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz.

#BlogTour A Song for Bill Robinson by C.E. Atkins

Today it’s my turn on the Blog Blitz for A Song for Bill Robinson by C. E. Atkins.

About the Author

Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to reading, writing and music and writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love.

Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life and has now been developed into a 6 book series. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere and award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels, plus a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories. The award-winning Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing in October 2018. Her next YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson will be released in December 2019. Chantelle has had multiple articles about writing published by Author’s Publish magazine.

About the book

Tensions are building on the notorious Holds End estate. The local community centre is fighting for survival and the murder of 15-year-old Lewis Matthews remains unsolved…

Wannabe teenage singer, Bill Robinson, just got out of hospital after surviving a vicious attack. He thinks he knows who attacked him…and why. When a violent feud escalates between him and local thug Charlie McDonnal, Bill vows to find the killer and help save the community centre by taking part in the local singing contest.

How can music bring a shattered community together? And can Bill keep his own demons at bay long enough to win the singing contest and find out who killed Lewis Matthews?   Review

There are lot of things going on in this young adult story, whether it be homophobia, knife violence, working through trauma after a vicious attack or living in an economically poor area. When you combine all of these aspects they become a recipe for disruption, division and disaster.

It starts with Bill being released from hospital after a particularly violent attack by persons unknown. Bill has his suspicions though. He believes a local thug called Charlie is behind the attack, which is confirmed as far as he is concerned when he watches a video of the attack. Perhaps he is also responsible for the death of a local lad, an as yet unsolved crime.

His suspicions lead to an ever growing conflict between the two of them, which culminates in a nasty tit for tat between the young men. Other people get dragged into the mind games and there are lasting consequences for both families.

The author describes quite well how the need to block out and dull the pain begins with a can of alcohol here and there. As the anxiety and need to forget grows the use of alcohol becomes more frequent, thereby demonstrating how the descent into alcoholism begins for so many people.

It’s a YA urban crime story and it’s also a story about coming-of-age. Atkins doesn’t let her main character be dictated by labels and demonstrates what sexual fluidity looks like when it isn’t defined by society for a young person. The story is very on point in regards to sexuality, knife violence and abuse issues in younger generations in our day and age.

Buy A Song for Bill Robinson (Holds End #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Pict Publishing; pub date December 6, 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Unprotected by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Today it is a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Unprotected by Sophie Jonas-Hill.

About the Author

Sophie has had what might be politely described as a varied career, which has seen her be a black-smith, silver-smith, jewellery designer, pattern-cutter and wedding dress designer, home help, teacher, extreme knitter, burlesque performer, artists and various combinations of the above. Her one abiding passion alongside drawing has always been writing, from her early work in year four producing hand bound novellas mostly written in crayon to the inevitable fantasy epic which pushed 500 pages, and thank goodness has never seen the light of day.

She began focusing on her writing after the birth of her first child, and has been working on it ever since, losing hand’s down to the publishing industry’s gatekeepers and Gorgons, until she met fellow traveller Amanda Saint, who as the name suggests, was something of a shining light on the path.

She is currently studying an MA in illustration and discovering how much she hates academic writing, and what a wise move it was to give someone else the task of designing the cover for her first book with Retreat West, Unprotected. She lives in Kent with her long suffering husband, two children and a very handsome cat.

Follow @SophieJonasHill and @RetreatWest on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook,Visit sophiejonashill.com , Buy Unprotected

About the book

She’s fighting to save everyone else, but will she have anything left to save herself?

Witty, sharp and sarcastic tattoo artist Lydia’s life is imploding. Her long-term relationship has broken down after several miscarriages and she’s hiding from her hurt and loss in rage. After a big night out she wakes beside a much younger man who brings complications she could really do without.

As her grief about her lost babies and failed relationships spirals out of control, she obsesses about rescuing a wayward teenage girl she watches from her window and gets more involved than she should with her charming but unstable young lover.

Unprotected is a raw and punchy story of love, family and accepting yourself for who you really are.Review

It’s raw, unfiltered and brutally frank at times. The author lays her main character bare and autopsies her mind, body and soul right in front of the reader. There is no unicorn fluff to bolster the hardness or any candy floss moments to make you melt inside. It’s just life as it happens to be for many people – sometimes it’s bleak and full of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Lydia is probably her own worst enemy when it comes to enjoying what she has achieved, as opposed to dwelling on what she considers to be her failures. She feels isolated, misunderstood and quite frankly often patronised by those who are supposed to be her friends and family.

When her boyfriend demands a break, because he he is unable to cope with her obsession and need to have a child, which is exacerbated tenfold by her history of miscarriages, she feels abandoned. Lydia spirals and ends up picking up a romp buddy who turns out to be just on the right side of legal and dealing with his own baggage.

Simultaneously her instincts, as the mother she would like to be, start to scream when she notices something odd going on with a young girl in her neighbourhood. Everything starts to escalate and culminates in a conclusion Lydia could never have anticipated.

It’s women’s fiction and urban crime, it shines a light on the children who fall through the cracks of the system, which makes them vulnerable and targets for predators. At the same time the author presents the hypocrisy of society when it comes to motherhood, ageism and women embracing their sexuality and desires.

I enjoyed the honesty and the lack of need for approval. This is Lydia and she isn’t even going to try to be sorry for embracing herself. Why should she? Why would anyone want her to? Kudos to the author for this captivating and daring piece of work.

Buy Unprotected at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Retreat West Books; pub date 24 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Retreat West.

#BlogTour Death Of An Angel by Derek Farrell


Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Death of an Angel by Derek Farrell. It’s highly entertaining crime fiction, urban crime with a solid set of characters.

Derek-FarrellAbout the Author

Derek Farrell is the author of the Danny Bird Mysteries, ‘Death of a Diva,’ ‘Death of a Nobody’ ‘Death of a Devil,’ and ‘Death of an Angel.’

He was educated in Dublin, and, whilst waiting to become a writer of fabulous crime novels has passed his time being a burger dresser, bank cashier, David Bowie’s paperboy, and an Investment Banker in New York’s World Trade Centre (a bit like The Wolf of Wall Street, only with fewer hookers and more midgets, since you ask).

He is married and divides his time between London, West Sussex and Dublin. Derek loves to hear from his readers, and can be contacted at his sparkly new website Derekfarrell.co.uk

His books can be purchased as paperbacks or ebooks direct from the publisher Fahrenheit Press at: fahrenheit-press.com/books

Follow @DerekIFarrell on Twitter, on Amazon, on InstagramBuy Death of an Angel


About the book

A woman is found dead in a London street – the evidence suggests she plummeted to her death from a nearby tower block – but did she fall or was she pushed? And why does she have Danny Bird’s name written on the back of her hand?

So begins this 4th magnificent outing for Danny and the gang from The Marq.

In the frame for a murder he didn’t commit, London’s self-proclaimed Sherlock Homo has no choice but to don his metaphorical deerstalker one more time to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about the tragic death of Cathy Byrne.

With the indomitably louche Lady Caz by his side, Danny plunges headlong into a complex investigation while at the same time trying to be a dutiful son to his increasingly secretive parents, and still find the time to juggle his frustratingly moribund love-life.


It’s not easy to write crime and make it snarky funny. A lot of authors let it veer into cheese, slapstick or crudeness for instance. Farrell hits the perfect balance between compelling crime story and an amusing sleuthing duo.

This is crime upon crime woven together to present a bigger picture of corruption, neglect and murder. Accidents, suicides and a host of other crimes all begin to show a connection, when Danny starts to investigate the death of a woman. A possible suicide, except nobody believes it was suicide.

Why is he investigating? Well, because the local police think Danny had something to do with her death. He seems to be their go-to scapegoat for the majority of crimes that come their way.

I’ll admit I laughed quite a lot, especially at the dialogue between Danny and Caz. Lady Caz has a very acerbic tongue. She is a bit like Tuppence (Christie) or Mrs Bradley with the connections of a Kray gal and the temerity of a street fighter. She is bold, smart and you can always expect the unexpected.

It might say Danny Bird on the sign above the mysteries, but Lady Caz plays a leading role. In fact she gives the series an edge and many comedic moments. The combination of the two makes this a really good read.

It’s highly entertaining crime fiction, urban crime with a solid set of characters. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy or recommend the series.

Kudos to the author for the beginning of the book. I loved the imagery of the scenery.

Buy Death of an Angel (The Danny Bird Mysteries #4) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Fahrenheit Press in paperback and eBook formats on 27th February 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Fahrenheit.


Buy Death of a Diva (The Danny Bird Mysteries #1

Buy Death of a Nobody (The Danny Bird Mysteries #2)

Buy Death of a Devil (The Danny Bird Mysteries #3)

Death of a Diva is also available as a deluxe edition Hardback limited to only 50 Copies worldwide. Purchase it here.

#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?


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 Brotherhood by David Beckler

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Brotherhood by David Beckler. It’s fast-paced urban crime fiction combined with military exploitation.

About the Author

David writes crime thrillers full of fast-paced action.

Born in Addis Ababa in 1960, he spent his first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia where his love of reading developed. After dropping out of university he became a firefighter and served 19 years before leaving to start his own business. He began writing in 2010 and uses his work experiences to add realism to his 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 supporting characters support his protagonists. Sapere Books are publishing Brotherhood, the first novel in the series, in late 2018.

David lives in Manchester, his adopted home since 1984. In his spare time he tries to keep fit—an increasingly difficult undertaking—listens to music, socialises and feeds his voracious book habit.

Follow @DavidBeckler1 @SapereBooks on Twitter,Visit davidbeckler.com

Buy Brotherhood

About the book

An ex-Marine is forced to confront his troubled past…

Manchester, England, 1998 – When Byron Mason’s estranged nephew, Philip, rings him out of the blue in desperate need of help, he knows he must put his personal feelings aside to protect his family.

A teenage boy has been murdered, and Philip is one of the suspects.Worse than that, the dead boy was the nephew of Ritchie McLaughlin – a local thug who Byron has clashed with in the past – and Philip has now gone missing. Desperate to clear Philip’s name, Byron enlists the help of his old friend Adam Sterling to track down the real killers.

Is Philip in danger? Can Byron and Adam find him before the police do? Or has Byron’s violent past with McLaughlin come back to haunt him…?

This nail-biting new thriller series will have you on the edge of your seat! Perfect for fans of Lee Child, J. B. Turner, Mark Dawson and David Baldacci…


The first chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book. It is non-stop conflict and action from the very beginning. Adam Sterling and Byron Mason work diligently to try and save a young man, who sees his friend being brutally slaughtered and becomes the next potential victim.

Although the focus is on Philip, the young nephew of Byron Mason, there is a second storyline in the book, which influences the first one. The story of Mugisa, the child soldier from Africa.

Nearly every chapter has a flashback to Mugisa’s life before he became the criminal he is today. The boy who sees friends, loved ones and innocent people tortured and slaughtered. The child who is taken and trained to kill without compunction, to live as a killer and to disassociate himself from the violence he condones and perpetrates.

It’s an interesting way to go about it, because the author wants readers to see and experience the child, and not just the brutal killer who wants to eliminate the witness to his heinous deeds. You get an extreme contrast between the helpless child and the ruthless killer. The reader feels compassion for the child and simultaneously disgust for the machete wielding man.

It’s fast-paced urban crime fiction combined with military exploitation. In a way Beckler shows the parallels between Mugisa’s life as a child soldier and how he has become the adult who recruits the young to become his urban foot soldiers. Doomed to repeat his own tragic history, but with himself in the position of power this time. The Brotherhood continues on different soil with new soldiers, but with the same ruthless mindset.

Buy Brotherhood at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Sapere Books: pub date 7 Feb. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read an extract of Brotherhood


A six-foot-high steel spike fence topped off with coils of razor wire guarded the scrapyard. A gap in the fence made room for a pair of gates fashioned from a frame of scaffolding poles bolted into rough rectangles. Random pieces of sheet steel welded together in a patchwork of rust filled the spaces between the poles. The gates stood open, a heavy chain and padlock hanging from the centre of one of them. Piles of crushed and rusting vehicles occupied the yard, its patched concrete surface covered in a thin layer of mud infused with old motor oil.

The Range Rover rolled forward through the gap. A chorus of barking and snarling broke out. Behind the fence, two large, unkempt Alsatians leapt to their feet. Separated from the rest of the yard by a wire barrier, they threw themselves against it, showing their canines in greeting.

Summoned by the barking, a grey-haired figure strode out of the opening at one end of the container. He advanced, wearing a scowl. The men in the car waited until he came closer, then, at a signal from their leader, all four threw their doors open and leapt out.

The grey-haired man hesitated for an instant before he recognised them and ran to the container, shouting a warning.

In response to his shout, two younger men emerged from the container. Each carried a scarred baseball bat with thick tape covering the business end. Although outnumbered, they didn’t appear cowed. One of the men from the car produced a sawn-off shotgun. The two parties faced each other across the filthy concrete.

The dogs became more frenzied until the larger of the two leapt the fence. The gunman swung the barrel of the shotgun towards the snarling animal.

The discharge ruptured the morning air and the dog, hit in mid-leap, yelped before bouncing off concrete and landing in a heap in the muck. Shot in the chest, it lay twitching in a spreading pool of blood. The boom of the shot echoed off the surrounding buildings.

The leader of the invaders cursed and checked the street, then led his men back to the car. He paused at the car and shouted, “This isn’t over.”

The car reversed and shot out of the yard before spinning its wheels and, tyres screeching, raced away.

 One of the younger men threw his baseball bat at the car; it fell short, clattering on the road. The other helped his father to his feet. The older man shook off the helping hand and went to his dog, cradling its head as its eyes filmed over. He glared at the receding car, muttering, “I’ll make you pay.”