Tag Archives: psychological thriller

If She Dies by Erik Therme – book review

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book If She Dies by Erik Therme to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

If She Dies by Eric Therme

Here is the book blurb.

How far would you go to right a wrong?

Nine months ago, Tess’s five-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. The driver, Brady Becker, was sentenced to two years in prison. It didn’t make Tess’s pain go away.

Brady also has a daughter: A twelve-year-old named Eve who walks to Chandler Middle School every day. Tess knows this because she’s been watching Eve for the last three weeks. It isn’t fair that Brady’s daughter gets to live, while Tess’s daughter does not.

When Eve goes missing, all eyes turn to Tess, who doesn’t have an alibi. But Tess isn’t guilty.

Or so she believes.

The story starts creepily with Tess stalking a 12 year old girl Eve, persuading the reader to think the worst of her. Eve is the step-daughter of the driver responsible for killing Lily, Tess and Josh’s five year old daughter in a car accident, which Tess cannot come to terms with.

Meanwhile who is sending Tess anonymous mail? Who has desecrated Lily’s grave? Who is spying on her? And who is snooping around outside their house? Why is she lying to Josh? Has he moved on? Is he hiding something from her? Is Tess getting paranoid about everything?

This book is very much a slow burner as we gradually get introduced to other characters integral to the story. And then Eve disappears…….

If She Dies is available on Amazon in hardback, paperback, audiobook and kindle formats. A compelling read indeed..

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Guest post: Spotlight on Justice Gone plus giveaway

Guest post by Nick Lombardi.

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr

WINNER OF FIVE AWARDS

2020 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD

NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD 2019

2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD

NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD – Best Legal Thriller of 2019

SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS

Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers

20 ipa logo Gold Award

The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written…the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader…Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite “thumbs-up.” Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.
Kim M Aalaie, Author’s Den

One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.
The Eclectic Review

The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact…a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works…a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.
Crime Review 

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr

An act of police brutality hurls a small town into a turmoil of rage and fear, igniting a relentless witch hunt and ending in the trial of the decade.

“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”

You may see Yet Another Blogging Mummy’s review of this book here.

Book Links
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Waterstones
Kobo

About the author

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit his goodreads page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_Jr_

Author Nick Lombardi

And we have a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Justice Gone to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

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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Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr to review.

Justice Gone by Nicholas Lombardi

Here is the book blurb.

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

This book is dedicated to Kelly Thomas who was beaten to death by police in California. This event inspired Nick to write this novel which is set in 2006/7.

The story starts in Bruntsfield, New Jersey where a bar-owner doesn’t like the fact that there is a homeless man outside. In order to get him moved on, he gets his bartender to call the police and falsely suggest he is trying to break into cars. The homeless guy is Jay Felson, a decorated veteran of the war with Iraq. Two cops arrive and start giving Jay a hard time. They call for back up and ultimately, there are 6 cops who beat Jay to death.

Previously Jay had been attending a veterans trauma clinic in Manhattan for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with his best buddy Donald Darfield. Their counsellor there is Dr Tessa Thorpe, supported by Casey Hull. Tessa and team are utterly horrified when they see the pictures on TV. But then Tessa realises Donald has gone missing. And Tessa goes to see Jay’s father, Colonel Marshal Felson, to discuss how they will get justice for Jay.

Meanwhile Bruntsfield council are holding an emergency meeting and decide the best course of action is grand jury, no indictment rather than a long drawn out trial, as they believe the public will get tired and dust will settle. I had to look up the word indictment, and discovered no indictment means no formal charge. But wrong decision, the public outcry continues to grow, especially after footage of a protest after Jay’s funeral and of the huge bloodstain surrounded by flowers. Ex-chief of police, John Garson comes to see Tessa.

Things get even worse after a video of the beating goes viral, so a public forum is scheduled for three days later. But before we reach that point, three of the cops are gunned down. Who has taken matters into their own hands? Prime suspects are the missing Donald Darfield and Jay’s father, Marshal Felson.

Darfield is tracked down and arrested. Is he innocent or guilty?

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr. is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. An interesting read with a twist at the end, although somewhat confusing.


About the author

Author Nick Lombardi Jr. has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and he speaks five languages. An event in California in 2011 in which a homeless man was beaten to death lead Nick to write his newest novel, Justice Gone. Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Update – July 2020
See here for a Spotlight on this book following all the awards it has won, plus a giveaway.

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

AntiAmerica by T K Falco

I have received a free e-copy of the book AntiAmerica by T K Falco to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

AntiAmerica by T K Falco

Here is the book blurb.

AntiAmerica stands at the center of the largest US anarchist uprising in 100 years.

When hacktivist group AntiAmerica hacks the nation’s largest banks, the financial industry is left teetering on the brink of collapse. Hacker and teen runaway Alanna Blake is forcefully recruited by the government to track down the only link to AntiAmerica, her missing ex-boyfriend Javier. She relies on every bit of her social engineering cunning to navigate a conspiracy of lies and deceit, which imperils both the lives of everyone closest to her and the secrets to a past she longs to remain locked away forever.

This book contains content surrounding drug abuse, mental illness, physical abuse, and suicide.

Although I love thrillers, I have to admit that I am not really into the cyber crime genre, but I was willing to give this book a go.

This book is set in Miami with the main characters being young hackers. Alanna’s ex-boyfriend Javier is missing and the story starts with Alanna going to check out Javier’s flat, having received a text saying “Alanna, I’m in trouble. Come find me”. Alanna is mainly into identity theft, but she turns her hand to picking the lock and finds the place ransacked but no sign of Javier. As she leaves, the FCCU (Federal Cyber Crimes Unit) arrive. She runs but they catch her. The Secret Service are also involved.

Turns out they have also searched her apartment and discovered evidence of her phishing attacks on her laptop. But it is Javier they are really after as they believe he has links to AntiAmerica, an anarchist group, who are hacking into banks. They offer Alanna a deal as an informant. She reluctantly agrees, but she has another plan up her sleeve.

The story continues with plenty of twists and turns, some of which I would never have guessed. A good psychological thrilling book, but just not one for me, mainly because I’m not particularly interested in cyber crime, but also I found it somewhat confusing. Perhaps it would appeal more to those who enjoy the YA genre too.

AntiAmerica by T K Falco is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback and audiobook formats. A good cyber crime book for those who like that sort of thing.

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

Beneath The Surface by Heidi Perks – 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 advance PDF copy of the book “Beneath The Surface” by Heidi Perks to review. This is Heidi’s debut novel. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Beneath The Surface

Here is the book blurb.

I don’t know where you are…

I don’t know what I’ve done…

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone.

Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters’ room is completely empty. But the police think she’s trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there’s no choice other than face the future – alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth – and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

The book starts with a short introduction from 14 years ago in 2001 when 17 year old Abigail finds that her mum and 2 year old twin sisters have disappeared from their London home.

We then move forward to 2015 and introduce the rest of the main characters. The twins Hannah and Lauren, now aged 16 are living with mum Kathryn in Mull Bay, unaware of Abigail’s existance. Grandmother Eleanor is in a care home suffering from dementia.

Abigail’s husband Adam wants a baby, but Abigail is secretly still on the pill. Adam books them an appointment to see a fertility doctor. Things spiral from that point on and Abigail tells her past in the format of a letter to Adam. She also wants to find Hannah and Lauren.

Meanwhile we see how unable Kathryn is at making decisions for herself, always relying on her mother. For instance, Hannah wants to know who her Dad is, a question Kathryn can’t cope with.

As a reader, I could tell we were heading for everything to collide, but there were plenty of interesting twists. And I needed my box of tissues when I reached the end. I won’t say any more, so as not to spoil it for you.

Beneath The Surface willl be published on March 24th and is available to pre-order on Amazon, currently priced at £7.99 in paperback or £3.99 on Kindle. I loved it and highly recommend it, Looking forward to Heidi’s next novel.

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Mumsnet Book Club review – Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria

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

They say buses always arrive in twos. Well so do books from the Mumsnet Book Club. Before I had even finished reading “Fallout“, I received another free book to review. This time it is Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria. Exactly the same happened last year with the two previous books from the club.

Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria

This is what it says on the back cover.

An ordinary family. A devastating betrayal.

Evie has been away from home long enough to bury the pain that shaped her childhood. Now, with the sudden death of her father, she must return. Back to the same house. Back to the memories. Back to her mother.

At first, coming home feels unexpectedly comforting. But, as she goes through her father’s files, Evie uncovers a secret that opens old wounds and changes her life forever.

That’s only the beginning.

As Evie’s world starts to shatter around her, she realises that those she loves most are also those capable of the deepest betrayal.

Without giving out any spoilers, the book starts with Evie living in Dubai, receiving a phone call from her Mum to say her Dad has died. She flies back to England and we follow her memories and discoveries, interspersed with flashbacks to 20 years ago when her brother died in childhood.

Coming Home” is the first novel by Annabel Kantaria and is published by Harlequin MIRA. The paperback edition is currently on sale on Amazon for £7.99. It is also available in kindle format. I do thoroughly recommend this book. It is a very good riveting read that I didn’t want to put down and I do hope Annabel will be writing a second novel.

Last year I also read the following books from the Mumsnet Book Club.
Falling by Emma Kavanagh
The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

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