Tag Archives: crime

Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Past Deeds by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. I’ve now read a number of Carolyn’s books, so I was very much looking forward to reading this one, particularly as it stars FBI Agent Brandon Fisher just like the first of her books I read. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

The sun was just coming up, and the sniper’s hands were sweaty as she looked through the rifle’s scope to the streets eight stories below and point eight miles away. In mere minutes, the target would be dead.

A prosecuting attorney is murdered in a sniping that takes place in Arlington, Virginia, less than fifteen minutes from Washington. FBI Agent Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit are called in to investigate the threat level and to determine if the lawyer was targeted. The FBI hadn’t anticipated previous victims stretching from coast to coast.

The team splits up across the country, but more than jet lag is getting to Brandon. As their profile on the shooter takes shape, their one theory on motive strikes too close to home and has him battling with regret over a past decision. He comes to discover some choices not only haunt us but can have long- and far-reaching repercussions we couldn’t even begin to imagine. Will Brandon be able to set aside his personal issues for long enough to stop a serial killing spree before there’s another victim?

Past Deeds is a gripping psychological crime thriller that will have you flipping the pages as you try to put the clues together faster than the FBI. To stand a chance, you’ll need to unravel the psyche of a killer. This mystery will also make you think and reflect—and you just might wonder if any past decisions you’ve made are stalking you, ready to strike.

Become addicted to an international bestselling series that will take you into the minds of the most heinous and disturbing serial killers the world could ever imagine.

This is book 8 in the series featuring FBI agent Brandon Fisher, but works fine as a stand alone read. The dynamics of the team have changed as Zach left at the end of book 7, replaced by Kelly. And now Jack is mentoring Kelly, so Brandon has been reassigned to partner with Paige. This is somewhat awkward as they have history. However I haven’t read whichever book they had a relationship in, and didn’t find this detracted from the overall read.

The story starts in Arlington, Virginia with a skilled sniper killing her target, a lawyer, Darrell Reid across town from 8 miles away. What an opening to lure you in. I can’t even begin to imagine a shooting like that. Chapter 2 moves forward just over an hour to the start of the FBI investigation, as we follow the ideas of different team members in turn, with intermittent chapters focussing on the sniper, so the reader always knows a bit more than the FBI, although of course not the whole picture.

About a quarter of the way into the book, the investigation widens across the country once similarities are matched to earlier victims. We have a serial killer, across a chain of different towns. Will they find the killer before there is a other victim? How come the earlier killings weren’t linked up before?

This book had me on the edge of my seat, turning the pages, as they follow the trail of breadcrumbs.

But one small point. I did grumble about this in book 7, but the author is still using acronyms like BAU – Behavioural Analysis Unit. But maybe these are more widely known in the US than over here.

Past Deeds published today, is available on Amazon, currently priced at £13.99 in paperback or £5.55 in Kindle format. Once again, Carolyn keeps us on the edge of our seat with this gripping story. A real page turner.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Remnants
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
On the Count of Three
Shades of Justice
Exercise is Murder

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Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves by Samuel W Reed

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves edited by Samuel W Reed to review. You may find out more about Samuel on his website.

Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves by Samuel W Reed

Here is the book blurb.

Take a tour through the minds of thirteen of today’s most talented independent authors in a crime anthology like no other. Miscreants, Murderers, and Thieves hosts a cross-section of indie writers from all across America in a unique compilation of diverse stories set to take you on a journey beyond your wildest imagination. From aging detectives trapped in a magic house of hell, to a doctor with a fascination for the macabre, to New Century City, where superheroes and super villains battle it out for supremacy, this is a genre-bending short story collection guaranteed to thrill you in ways you never thought possible.

This is a book of 13 short stories all by different independent authors, including one written by Samuel W Reed, the editor who has put together this collection. The common theme linking all the stories is devious behaviour, although not necessarily criminal in all cases.

Biographies and links have been included for each author at the end of their story so that the reader can easily look up their other work if they so desire.

I have to say that not all of them were to my taste, but that can often be the case with an anthology. But there certainly should be plenty to suit most readers. Luckily the first story “The Temperature at which Love Freezes” hit the spot for me, so that got me hooked ready to read the rest. And even with those that I was not so keen on, as they were short, I did read them in their entirety.

Miscreants, Murderers, & Thieves is newly published today and is available to download in Kindle format for FREE for a limited time only on Amazon and is also available in paperback. An interesting collection of short stories. Also I understand that this is the first book in a longer series.


About the author / editor

Samuel W Reed is a screenwriter, film director, producer, and novelist, best known for his work on the decade-long production of the groundbreaking disability-rights documentary CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion (Jamie Foxx, Marlee Matlin, Ben Affleck). He also wrote narration for the SXSW Audience Award winning film Take Me To The River (Terrance Howard, Snoop Dogg) and has ghostwritten projects distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment. His first novel, The Fabulist, was released in 2017, and the follow-up, Foolhardy, is slated for late-summer 2020.

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The Me Too Girl by Lance & James Morcan plus giveaway

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Me Too Girl by Lance & James Morcan to review. You may find out more about the authors on their website.

The Me Too Girl by Lance & James Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

Young Los Angeles public relations exec Suzie Fox is being blackmailed for sex by a bad cop, a senior officer of the LAPD no less. Suzie fights back the only way she knows how, and, in the process, unwittingly becomes a beacon, a shining light, for America’s Me Too movement and for abused women everywhere. But will justice be served?

The story starts by introducing Suzie who has recently turned her life around, reflecting back over the past week from hell. We then flashback over the course of that week to discover that a face from her past has caught up with. This is Heck Williams, Deputy Chief of Police in LA, but he was and still is a bad cop.

In the past, he had sexually abused Suzie and now having found where she lives, he is trying to blackmail her for sex again. He threatens to pull her in for heroin possession, using a packet of heroin from his own pocket and to tell lies to her employer, accusing her of being a hooker and a junkie.

When a junior officer appears with a message for Heck, she uses the interruption to negotiate a week’s grace to give him an answer. But what can she do in a week to avoid her world being turned upside down?

This clever short story then follows the course of that week and beyond.

The Me Too Girl is available on Amazon. Another nice short story from father and son duo, and certainly a switch from their previous book The Heathrow Affair. Very versatile authors as quite a different genre to their brilliant full-length Silent Fear novel that I absolutely loved, plus they also write non-fiction.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a kindle copy of The Me Too Girl to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
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I’d love to hear about your favourite book.

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The Side Job by Don Lubov

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Side Job by Don Lubov to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Side Job by Don Lubov

Here is the book blurb.

This is the story of Maggie Gomez — an unwed, unskilled mother of a sickly daughter. She lives a hardscrabble life on the underside of Las Vegas. As her daughter’s health deteriorates, Maggie’s need for money for an operation skyrockets. Maggie was vulnerable and defeated early in life. Her long-suppressed strength blossoms and Maggie becomes “La Femme Nikita”. As Maggie gets more involved with her loan shark boss and his crew, her world begins to spiral out of control. Her simultaneous involvement with a gangster and the detective investigating him turns her life into a soap opera of emotions. She must figure out how to escape her underworld life, protect her daughter, and live happily ever after.

This book is set in Las Vegas. It starts with Maggie and Ben going to their high school prom together. But Maggie gets pregnant whilst Ben hightails it out of town. With baby April, she struggles to make ends meet on a succession of minimum wage jobs. Nothing seems to go right in her life and she needs over $12,000 in order for April to have an operation for her worsening asthma.

In desperation she takes on a side job as a hit-woman to earn $15,000 for killing someone. Easy money. More hit jobs follow. But as life starts to improves for her and April, things get more complicated.

The plot line of this book was great, but sadly the way it was written, just didn’t flesh out the characters and left me feeling let down.

The Side Job by Don Lubov is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. An ok short read.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Dark Inheritance by P B Lawson – book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Dark Inheritance by P B Lawson to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Dark Inheritance by P B Lawson

Here is the book blurb.

A serial killer is on the loose and a prominent doctor discovers she is not the person she grew up believing herself to be. These seemingly unrelated characters find themselves drawn together by an ancient lineage.

Detective Doug McKenna is baffled by a series of bizarre killings that have shocked the city of Toronto. All the victims have had their throats brutally slashed, yet there is little blood at any of the crime scenes.

Dark Inheritance questions the concept of good and evil and looks at how an ancient predisposition for evil might be genetically passed from generation to generation.

This story, mainly set in Toronto starts with a few short chapters introducing the mysterious killer and detective Doug McKenna. The killer has murdered a prostitute on a path between 2 houses in a residential area. We are then introduced to journalist Jodie Sommers, who is after a scoop, and the residents, who are now suspects.

We then seem to go off at a tangent, as we meet Doctor Stephanie Salkind who has just discovered via paperwork in an old suitcase that she is adopted. From this point onwards, I realised there were several stories entwining with more main characters yet to be introduced. Plus it includes narrative from the fourteenth century, which blends in surprisingly well.

Lots more twists and turns to come in this tale including further deaths.

Dark Inheritance is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.93 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A gripping thrilling plot.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to 1 lucky winner.
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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

I have received a free e-copy of the book Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith to review. You may find out more about the author on his Amazon page.

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

Here is the book blurb.

Military contractor Kyle Logan’s luck has gone from bad to worse ever since he returned home to Philadelphia following an injury by an IED in Iraq. First, his marriage crumbles, then his career after he’s pushed to the brink and assaults his wife’s lover, who is also her divorce attorney. When Kyle’s shady best friend turns up and offers him a “once in a lifetime” chance to regain his job and his life, all for just a couple night’s work, Kyle figures he’s got nothing to lose. The police, Philly Irish Mob and a couple of drug cartels all think otherwise. Now forced to fight for his life, and those around him, Kyle must turn to allies from his old neighborhood in a desperate effort to stay alive and out of prison. Quick Fix is one man’s fall into a world of unintended consequences that seeks to tread the razor-thin lines between right and wrong, loyalty and treachery.

This story starts in Fishtown, Philadelphia with Kyle being served his divorce papers in the bar. He sees red and punches Fenster, his ex-wife Beth’s lawyer boyfriend, but with an assault charge against him, he then loses his job too.

A week later, Kyle’s shifty best friend Ryan turns up with a proposal to rob three statues from a police station and replace them with fakes. Ryan wants Kyle to be the driver for a $50k cut plus the promise of pulling strings to get the assault charge dropped. Then part two of the plan will be to sell the statues for a cool $2m.

What could go wrong? Plenty! And lots more characters still to be introduced.

However I do find jargon somewhat off-putting. What with IED in the blurb and then KOed and POed in chapter 1, I was in two minds whether I wished to carry on reading. But certainly glad I did.

Quick Fix is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.57 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great crime read.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Taking Care of Business by J. D. De Roeck

I have received a free e-copy of the book Taking Care of Business by J. D. De Roeck to review.

Taking Care of Business by J. D. De Roeck

Here is the book blurb.

When Paul Smith travels to the south of France for a sales conference, events conspire to drag him into a world of kidnappings, blackmail and murder. Following a violent incident, Paul instinctively offers refuge to a girl he believes to be a vulnerable lost soul in a desperate situation, only to find that all is not as it appears. Unwittingly, he finds himself caught between competing international crime syndicates as they go to war, and two powerful Russian families as they fight for control of a vast Russian conglomerate. What begins as a routine business trip to Nice, turns into a journey of self-discovery that takes him to some of the most glamorous locations on the Cote d’Azur. Paul is compelled to confront each new escalating threat in turn, while his neatly ordered world spirals relentlessly out of control. As events unfold, he is forced to challenge everything he thought he knew about himself, before finally embracing the danger and brutal violence he encounters along the way. Can Paul get to the truth, and does he have what it takes to keep those he cares about safe, and himself alive?

This book is mainly set in 2014, but it starts 3 years previously in St Petersburg to give some background to the story. The initial chapters swap back and forth between interesting background material and what feels quite dull introducing Paul, an average guy and his associates Gary and Doug who are all attending a sales conference in Nice. As a reader I was left thinking, come on there must be more to this story.

And there is, but it isn’t until chapter 11 that things start to heat up. Paul wakes in the night, hearing someone being attacked in the next hotel room. He rescues a terrified girl Anna, when she is thrown into the corridor naked by a huge brutal man, hiding her in his own room.

Starting with little things like going out to buy Anna something to wear, Paul gradually gets pulled from his everyday sales world, hardly attending any of the conference. Not all is as it seems with Anna and Paul finds himself immersed in a very different violent world of kidnapping.

The story develops into a real page turner, and Paul becomes such a different character as he faces dangerous challenges. Wow what a thrilling read. And how many people can you squeeze into one hotel room, as we get introduced to other good characters in the story. Of course we meet plenty of baddies too.

This book is available on Amazon currently priced at £11.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. It is a long book, but a gripping read once it gets going. Highly recommended. Plus the ending allows for a possible follow-up.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Summer Blogival – Soho Honey by AW Rock

I have received a free e-copy of the book Soho Honey by AW Rock to review, as part of Clink Street Publishing’s Summer Blogival.

Soho Honey by AW Rock

Here is the book blurb.

This contemporary crime story takes place over three weeks in November and unfolds against the multi-cultural backdrop of Soho, London. Branen had to leave the UK six years before to escape his complex clandestine history and the consequences of a crime that achieved worldwide notoriety. When his daughter is brutally murdered in Soho he believes that he could be the reason. He returns to his old hunting grounds to find the killer. His search brings him into conflict with the British Secret Service and Soho’s underworld. He is forced to flee Soho again after a tragic meeting with his ex-wife. His past has caught up with him and the hunter becomes the hunted. Now forty years old Branen wants to stop running and to remove forever the continuing threat to his life. In an effort to get rid of his pursuers he is faced with the prospect that his only chance of survival could lead to his death.

The story starts when 17 year old Branen got a job in Soho as a doorman at Ronnie Scott’s. A couple of years later he met Jane and they had a daughter Carrie. However a few years later he is also seeing Rita, when he narrowly avoids being set-up for Rita’s murder. But by now, he is hooked on adrenalin rushes, so he agreed to be driver for a gang who are planning to steal a consignment of heroin. However they get grassed up and he ends up in prison. It is the final straw for his relationship with Jane and when he gets released on parole, he only manages to keep one parole appointment before he breaches his parole by going back to Soho where is supposed to be excluded from. So he runs away to France and joins the Foreign Legion for 5 years.

As soon as he arrives back at Heathrow, the Secret Service approach him with an offer and he trains as a photo-journalist. This is his cover for when they request his involvement in a mission in Paris in 1997 to eliminate Princess Diana. After this, he wants out of the world of violence and he buys a small-holding in Italy.

The story then moves to the present day. Branen’s daughter Carrie is aged 20 when she is approached by the Secret Service. They dangle a carrot saying they can put her in touch with her father, train her up and she moves into a flat in Soho. But things go wrong and she is murdered. The Secret Service call Branen via satellite phone and request his help to solve the crime. He heads to the UK via a false trail. He arranges a meeting with Jane in Soho, so that he can tell her the awful news about their daughter’s death, but Jane is mistakenly shot in front of him. The bullet was meant for him.

Meanwhile we meet characters from Soho’s seedy underworld and many of the chapters are from their point of view, as well as following what Branen is up to. Can he escape?

Soho Honey is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. This is a very dark gripping story with plenty of twists and turns which I highly recommend.

This book is recommended for adult readers only, due to its graphic content.


Here are three extracts from the book for you to read.

1. The Associates is a secret cadre which the Government will resort to in extremis… 

All governments carry out secret operations and they must be more savvy and brutal than the criminal gangs and terrorists who inhabit their countries. The more democratic a government, the more illicit its operations have to be. Despite sophisticated technology, the government also employs deniable operation officers and their agents for covert assignments, without the knowledge of politicians or the public.
The Associates is a project run by the Senior Civil Servant within the Home Office and total secrecy is essential to its existence. He is known as the SCS, is answerable only to the Home Secretary and is protected by the Public Interest Immunity Certificate.
The Associates’ employees are known only to the SCS and his personal assistant, and are usually ex-Home or Foreign Office. They set up small legitimate businesses and employ agents assigned to them by the SCS; these agents are usually former SIS officers, security screened mercenaries or retired special forces soldiers.
The Operations Officers and their agents are given backup personnel when necessary. These operatives are only given case-specific information on a need to know basis.
In the 1970s and 80s a similar secret cadre called Group 13 was set up by the SIS to infiltrate the IRA and execute Margaret Thatcher’s alleged ‘shoot to kill’ policy. It was hidden within an organisation known as the Increment or ‘Inc’ and employed a dozen ex-Special Service soldiers to carry out assassinations and deniable operations in Ireland. When a controversial mission became compromised, it had to be disbanded before its activities became public knowledge.
Two Group 13 agents were then employed by the SCS as Operations Officers to set up The Associates. In the UK there is a photographic bureau, an Indian travel agency and a Chinese fruit wholesaler, employing in total seven agents.
The SCS can brief the Operations Officer or an agent directly by secure satellite phone. The agent validates the operation with his catch-word, known only to his Operations Officer and the SCS.
Simple but effective.

2. Branen meets Jane for the first time… 

He first saw Jane a couple of years later at the Marquee in Wardour Street when he went to see a punk band called Ferking Nouveau. She was wearing a thin sweater and tight leather trousers. She was sex on legs and dancing with a man who didn’t have a lot of natural rhythm. Ben sat in the shadows and waited nearly an hour for a chance to talk to her. Eventually she went up to the bar and he slid in beside her.
“Hello… can I, er… buy you a drink?” he asked her.
“No thanks… but maybe later,” she said.
“What’s your name?” Ben asked.
“I’ll save that for later too…” she said, smiling.
“Will there be a later?”
“You’ll know later…”
“I can hardly wait…”
“I hope that doesn’t apply to everything you do,” she said, turning back to the dance floor.
Ben was left hanging. He kept making eye contact, which left him with a permanent wooden smile and his mind frozen in the flashing lights. He was infatuated and completely at her mercy.
He went out onto the street. He had been set up by the most desirable woman he’d ever seen and his nerve had given out. But if he went home now he would never forgive himself.
The rubber stamp on the back of his hand, proving that he’d paid to get in, had faded.
The guy on the door, who was only slightly smaller than an elephant, blocked his way.
“C’mon… you remember me…” said Ben, “…I only just left.”
“Let me see the stamp on your hand…”
“C’mon man… don’t be a…”
“I can’t see no stamp… I can’t let you in without the stamp, so you can piss off, mate.”
She appeared from behind the bouncer.
“He’s with me,” she said, smiling.
“What’s her name?” the doorman asked Ben.
“I’ll tell you later,” said Ben.

3. Carrie is Branen’s and Jane’s 20 year old daughter…

Carrie’s earliest memories of her father were vague.
She was fourteen when he had unexpectedly turned up again. She had been excited to see him but her mother told her that he couldn’t stay and he was soon gone again. She remembered him as a quiet man who had swept her up in his arms and held her close. As she grew up she began to understand how sometimes relationships didn’t last, but she missed her father. His visit had made a deep impression on her and she couldn’t forget him.
She didn’t hold any resentment towards him and because her mother never said a bad word about him she realised Jane still held a candle for him. Her mother rarely mentioned him after that, but if she did it was always with affection.
Carrie left school at eighteen and went to a provincial university to study psychology. College life proved to be a difficult time for her. Her self-possession alienated the other girls who were wary of her, while the male students were never comfortable in her presence. Although it was nearly seven years since she had last seen her father, she still held a deep desire to see him again. It affected her attitude towards men and instead of dating her contemporaries she became involved with one of her tutors. Their affair came to the notice of the Principal and in the summer of her second year, at twenty years old, she left university. She convinced herself it was all too boring. She wanted results now, not years in the future.


About the author

Based in London, AW Rock has been a regular on the Soho scene since the 1960’s working in various sectors of the entertainment industry.

Website – http://sohohoney.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SohoHoney
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sohohoney
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sohohoney/
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbobu4S36R9CSMklBZ4AEMA


I’m participating in the Clink Street Summer Blogival. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of reading tastes.

Summer blogival

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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I Kill by Lex Lander

Earlier this year I reviewed End As An Assassin, the first book in the Manhunter series by Lex Lander. I have now received a free e-copy of book two “I Kill” to review.

I Kill by Lex Lander

Here is the book blurb.

When she was taken from him he went after her and sealed her fate – his too

Racked by guilt over his accidental killing of a young Italian girl, contract killer André Warner has effectively retired himself from his ‘profession’ and taken to drink and other palliatives, while sinking slowly into a mire of depression.

A contract in Tangier to assassinate an Arab drug trafficker lures him out of retirement and self-pity. Soon after his arrival he encounters attractive American widow, Clair Power, and her precocious sixteen year-old daughter, Lizzy, who bears such a striking resemblance to the girl Warner killed that his waning anguish is instantly rekindled. He attempts to assuage it by embarking on a fling with Clair which brings him into conflict with a mysterious Dutchman named Rik de Bruin, who also appears to have designs on her.

The contract on the drug merchant is cancelled with no explanation given, but Warner, now seriously involved with Clair, is more relieved than disappointed. Their budding romance is not destined to blossom however. Clair disappears and Warner is landed with the role of de facto guardian to Lizzy.

In tracking down Clair, Warner crosses a line that brings him into conflict with the local police and he is deported from Tangier with a distraught Lizzy in tow. Back at his Andorra villa she slowly recovers from her mother’s disappearance and launches an assault on Warner’s good intentions. Her increasingly provocative behavior disturbs yet excites him, and when Rik de Bruin pitches up in Andorra and begins to take an interest in Lizzy too, Warner gets possessive the only way he knows.

Too late, alas, to save Lizzy from an unspeakable fate.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so was looking forward to getting reacquainted with André again. And I wasn’t disappointed. Once again the story starts with André in retirement from his lucrative professional killer role. But he is tempted back out of the monotony of sex and drinks for a job in Tangier. He assumes a pseudonym, Alan Melville. There he meets Clair Power and daughter Lizzie. Clair is being pestered by Rik de Bruin but is only too happy to have a holiday romance with “Alan”.

De Bruin asks “Alan” to meet him at the Chico Bar to offer him a partnership in his porn movie business. All he wants in exchange is for “Alan” to cease contact with Clair and Lizzie. “Alan” turns down the offer, even with 200,000 euros included, (see extract below).

The next day “Alan” glimpses Clair and Lizzie in trouble by the roadside. Some thugs are bundling them into a car. “Alan” trys to give chase but only catches up when Lizzie jumps from the moving vehicle. “Alan” kills one of the kidnappers, but the others drive off with Clair. Meanwhile “Alan” attempts to convince the police with his version of events and then ends up with the British Consul.

“Alan” searches for de Bruin but finds he has returned to Holland. No leads. He and Lizzie are then mugged, by apparently the same gang as who kidnapped Clair. The police ask them to leave Morocco for their own safety. “Alan” attempts to take Lizzie to live with her uncle but on discovering that he is a drug addict living in squalor changes the plan and takes Lizzie home with him to Andorra.

However de Bruin tracks them down in Andorra and kidnaps Lizzie. I won’t tell you how or what happens next, but there are plenty more twists. I loved this book. A real page turner. Also it is a stand-alone story. No need to have read End As An Assassin.


Here is an extract from the book to give you a taster.

Mysterious Dutchman, Rik de Bruin, is pestering Clair and Lizzy, Warner’s new love and her daughter, and convenes a meeting to try and buy Warner off.strong>

De Bruin was holding a handkerchief to his flattened ear and hadn’t moved from the table. Beefcake slowly turned his head towards him, seeking guidance.
‘All right, all right,’ de Bruin shouted, flapping the handkerchief like a flag of surrender. ‘We let you go, Melville.’
Big of him. Being let go wasn’t enough though. I took a backward peek at the station wagon pair. They were behaving themselves, even to the extent of clasping their hands behind their necks, unasked. Arabs have a lot of respect for guns.
I beckoned de Bruin. ‘Come here. The rest of you, on your bellies.’ I repeated the instruction in French.
De Bruin stayed put. The rest, taking their cue from him, stayed vertical.
I lifted the gun and ripped off a three round mini-burst, a hacking cough of gunfire. Birds erupted by the hundred from every ledge and crevice, dimming the sun and blotting out all sound with their cries. The blizzard of thrashing wings took a while to disperse. When quiet was restored I lowered the long barrel to fire a second burst, a fraction above head height. To a man, and in concert, the minions hit terra firma, and de Bruin started walking towards me, albeit on dragging heels. Amazing what a little lead slinging will do.
De Bruin stopped, leaving a metre of so of space between us. He licked his slug-like lips.
‘Two hundred thousand euros,’ he said. ‘I will give two hundred thousand. A hundred and fifty now, the rest later today.’
‘You never give up, do you?’
I went up to him, and we stood there, a foot apart, breathing hard, glaring at each other. Then I lashed him across the bridge of his nose with the gun barrel, so abruptly he had no hope of avoiding the blow, and so violently that the jolt travelled all the way to my shoulder. A shout of pain, a gush of blood, and he fell to his knees in the gravel.
I stepped away from him, panting a little.
‘Let that be the end of it, de Bruin.’

I Kill is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.49 on Kindle and is published by Kaybec Publishing. I loved it and highly recommend it, Looking forward to the third book in the Manhunter series.


About Lex Lander

British-born thriller writer Lex Lander was raised in France, earned his degree in French and Italian in New Zealand and currently lives in Montreal. Lander is the author of political thriller ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER JACKAL, published by Kaybec in 2013. Vol III in the series, THE MAN WHO HUNTED HIMSELF, will be published by Kaybec in the autumn. The first two volumes in the André Warner series, END AS AN ASSASSIN and I KILL by Lex Lander (published by Kaybec 1st May 2016) are available to buy online from retailers including amazon.co.uk. and all good bookstores including WHSmiths.

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

I Kill by Lex Lander

And you can read a guest post by Lex Lander that I published previously on his inspiration for the Andre Warner series here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt

I have received a free e-copy of the book Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt

Here is the book blurb.

Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais. She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor or Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

Within a week, Jesse has three separate clients, each with his, or her, own desperate need to have the murder solved. He assembles a motley team of compadres, including rock band members, a tie-dye psychic and his rousing girlfriend, Angele Boucher, to help him with the case. While the FBI and the Maine State Police investigate political motives, Jesse looks for the woman—Cherchez la Femme—as the trail draws him through the lives, and DNA, of the governor’s former mistresses.

Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is both clever and stylish. It’s an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you’ll love Dead Down East.

It took me a little effort to get into this book as the first chapter is mostly about Jesse’s fishing trip, but once Cynthia Dumais calls to ask for Jesse’s help, I was hooked. She wants Jesse to pick her up from an address nearby where the governor was murdered the previous evening. Jesse is a private investigator and Cynthia is a former client. He agrees, but has to navigate a police roadblock near the murder scene, at which he pretends he is picking up his girlfriend. Together, they come up with a plausible story to get back past the road block again, as Cynthia believes her life to be in danger as she was the governor’s mistress and witnessed his murder. Jesse takes Cynthia back to his own home. During a quick nap, he dreams of his friend Kathleen saying “Cherchez la femme” that very morning, which is to be one of the prime focuses of his investigation along with DNA samples.

Jesse sets up surveillance at Cynthia’s home, whilst Cynthia arranges a meeting for Jesse with Richard Merrill, the governor’s closest friend. Richard also wants the crime solved and becomes Jesse’s second client on the case. Then Travis, Cynthia’s ex is arrested and becomes Jesse’s third client.

DNA reveals a very interesting match, which convinces Jesse of who was involved in the murder. Next he has to prove it.

Dead Down East is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.96 in paperback or FREE in Kindle format. A great read. Highly recommended, although sadly the cover design didn’t do anything to pull me in. This is the first of three Jesse Thorpe novels. I hope there will be many more to follow?

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.