Tag Archives: crime

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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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter

And you may see my other giveaways 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.

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.






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.


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.

The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell

Here is the book blurb.

Violet Winters—a professional thief born of a good, honest thief-and-con-artist stock— has been offered the heist of a lifetime. Steal a priceless Salvador Dali from the security-obsessed chairman of the Kilchester Bank and replace it with a forgery.

The fact that the “painting” is a signed, blank canvas doesn’t matter. It’s the challenge that gives Violet that familiar, addicting rush of adrenaline. Her quarry rests in a converted underground Cold War bunker. One way in, one way out. No margin for error.

But the reason Violet fled Kilchester is waiting right where she left him—an ex-lover with a murderous method for dumping a girlfriend. If her heist is to be a success, there will have to be a reckoning, or everything could go spinning out of control.

Her team of talented misfits assembled, Violet sets out to re-stake her claim on her reputation, exorcise some demons, and claim the prize. That is, if her masterpiece of a plan isn’t derailed by a pissed-off crime boss—or betrayal from within her own ranks.

I wasn’t sure why chapter one with Violet and Katie procuring blank canvas was out of chronological order, but the story then progresses with Fegan asking Violet to steal a blank Dali from a highly secure underground location. We then meet the other 3 members of Violet’s team as she recruits them in very individual styles, Zoe, Lucas and Barry. And Damien is lined up to create the forgery.

But Violet’s ex Percy soon hears she is back in town. And crime honcho Big Terry finds out his henchmen have bought a fake X-ray of Marilyn Monroe. He traces it back to Lucas. Uh oh.

The odds seems to be changing against them as timescales change, a car chase ensues, critical items are lost. You need to read the book to see whether they can get back on track.

The Dali Deception is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.99 in paperback or £2.99 in Kindle format. A great read with a fab twist at the end. Highly recommended. And I see from Amazon that this is book one of The Kilchester Caper. I shall certainly be keeping my eye out for book two.

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

S5 Uncovered by James Durose-Rayner

I have received a free e-copy of the book S5 Uncovered by James Durose-Rayner to review.

S5 Uncovered by James Durose-Rayner

Here is the book blurb.

Based around a series of true events. The BBC’s current affairs programme ‘Panorama’ undertook a sixty minute documentary / exposé surrounding an elite government task force that went undercover in Sheffield over a period of twelve months. Their remit was to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to fill up the police federations coffers using illegally gained intelligence, on one hand overlooking – and in some cases encouraging – major criminal activity such as murder, kidnap and torture; whilst on the other, surreptitiously acquiring pre-bargained guilty pleas from defendants then reneging on deals, which culminated in some of the heaviest sentences ever handed out in the UK. But the programme was never aired.

As I read this book, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t a story, but based on true events. I found this really hard to believe, with everything going on. I certainly didn’t know that there was such a seedy underworld in Sheffield, a city I have visited occasionally. And I thought it had a clever title based on the postcode area S5.

Don Chaps of SOCA (Senior Organised Crime Agency) sets up an under-cover team to tackle certain elements of crime in Sheffield. They use unorthodox methods like bugging devices to monitor their primary markers. Conversations that they listen to lead them to intercepting other criminals, in particular busting some huge drugs hauls. They even bug other police officials, overhearing some of the conversations with grasses. A very interesting read from both sides of the coin. And staggering to find out the operation raked in over a billion pounds.

S5 Uncovered is available on Amazon, currently priced at £19.99 in paperback and is published by Clink Street Publishing. It is a very long book at 908 pages so took me quite a while to read. I did enjoy reading it but would have preferred the strong language to be toned down somewhat. There is very frequent use of both the F and C words. I can understand why, since it is based on true events and the characters would have been speaking like that, but I don’t like to read those words.

Here is an extract from Episode 10 of the book. (Language warning – does include B word).

We were monitoring the Pakistani heroin dealers, but heroin was different from other drugs and rather than gain intelligence from a long drawn out surveillance, we decided that it would be best all-around if we hit them with immediate effect, which pleased Mad Tony immensely, as he was going absolutely ‘squirrels’ monitoring all the phone activity, but that was not to say he didn’t like it, as it put him in pole position on a lot of intelligence, especially on the link with the Singh Brothers over in Scunthorpe.

The Singhs were apparently headed up by a Harjminder Singh, or ‘Jammy’ to his friends. Unlike most Asians, Harjminder was an imposing man, around 6’ 5”, smartly-cut and who wore tinted rims. His ‘family’ comprised a series of brothers, cousins and the odd mate, none of whom were really cut from the same stuff as the main man. If you watch the film ‘American Gangster’ with Denzil Washington, you could possibly see where I am coming from. The Singh Brothers were Harjminder Singh full-stop. All we knew is that Harjminder ran a hash ring that served his immediate area, which he had locked-down as the sole operator. You wanted hash or cannabis in that area, ninety-nine per cent of the time you had to go through the Singh Brothers. The surveillance on him was complex though, as although they spoke in English, they communicated mainly in some poxy Sikh dialect, which I for one couldn’t understand. I never gave a rat’s-ass about hash or cannabis, and to be honest neither did the police, unless of course it was imported en-masse or indeed mass cultivated, which meant large denominations of currency and something for us to seize. I nearly fell over when I got wind that these guys turned over around one million pounds a month on hash alone, I mean the guy lived in a terraced house at the back of Frodingham Road and even counted up coppers to pay for a lamb kebab. He certainly wasn’t anything like the flash bastards that most Asian dealers were. A twelve million pounds per annum drug ring meant big business and a massive amount of credit for us, as these boys were sailing under the radar of both the HU2 satellite office and the regional police force.

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

S5 Uncovered blogtour

About James Durose-Rayner

James Durose-Rayner has over twenty years’ experience in journalism. He is a member of the Writer’s Guild and the editor of NATM, the UK’s leading specialist civil engineering journal. His writing has been featured in over 210 magazines and his debut indie-novel, S63: Made in Thurnscoe, published in 2001, received positive reviews. In 2015, I Am Sam (Clink Street Publishing) and itv Seven (New Generation Publishing) followed to more affirmative acclaim. Durose-Rayner currently divides his time between the UK and Cyprus.

For more information please visit james-durose-rayner.co.uk or follow him on Twitter at @natm_mag.

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

End As An Assassin by Lex Lander

I have received a free advance PDF copy of the book “End As An Assassin” by Lex Lander to review. This is the first book in the Manhunter series.

End as an Assassin

Here is the book blurb.

This time it’s not for money.
This time it’s for blood, pure and simple.

André Warner is a professional killer, ex-British Secret Service. Thirty-nine contracts have made him a wealthy man, and his fortieth is to be his last.

The hit goes smoothly enough, and the victim – a degenerate drug baron – is dispatched with minimal fuss and no traces left to incriminate Warner. He drives off into the sunrise to hang up his gun and retire to his home in Geneva.

Then into his life comes Gina, a hauntingly beautiful divorcee, fugitive from a bad marriage. The timing is perfect, coinciding as it does with Warner’s new beginning. They soon become lovers, and all seems set fair for a life together.

Their idyll is shattered when a former associate turns against Warner, and he faces exposure and arrest. Accompanied by Gina, he flees his Geneva home, only to run from the clutches of the Swiss police into the far deadlier embrace of a Marseilles crime syndicate whose boss has a score to settle on behalf of Warner’s last victim. Suddenly Gina is at risk through her association with him, and in trying to protect her he only makes matters worse.

His retirement plans in shreds, his life on the line, Warner is forced to stage a comeback. Only this time it’s not for money. It’s for blood, pure and simple.

This story is the opposite to most in that André, the lead character is an assassin rather than a typical good guy hero. The book starts by setting the scene with André’s fortieth contract killing of Tillou, which at face value appears to have gone smoothly. Having now earned buckets of money from being an assassin, he retires at only age 38.

Six months later, bored in retirement, André heads south from his Geneva home to his yacht in Monaco. But he thinks a car and a motorbike are tracking him. At this point, I started to identify with him as the hero of the story, even though he is a bad guy really. Also you build a picture of how he views women as sexual encounters, not for relationships, that is until he falls for Gina.

Meanwhile the tracking escalates into attacks and André decides to draw the attackers out by returning to Geneva. However the first people to turn up on his doorstep are the police and they appear to have linked him to his last contract killing. A few days later this is followed by a phone call from Bonhomme, the man who paid André to carry out that killing. Shortly afterwards Gina arrives in Geneva. André discovers from Bonhomme that Tillou’s father knows he was the killer and wants revenge. The attacks have been from his henchmen.

I won’t say any more except to let you know there are plenty of twists. This story certainly kept me turning the pages and the nearer I got to finishing the book, the more I was beginning to wonder how the story would end. However I did find the ending rather abrupt. Not sure if this is due to it being the first book in a series. And I also had a few unanswered questions, which I can’t detail here, as they could spoil it for you.

End As An Assassin is newly available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.99 on Kindle and is published by Kaybec Publishing. I loved it and highly recommend it, Looking forward to the next book in the Manhunter series.

This is Lex’s second novel. His first book is Another Day Another Jackal, a political thriller.

End As An Assassin Blog Tour

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

And look out this afternoon for a guest post on my blog by Lex.

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Family Fever

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