Tag Archives: thriller

Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond – Book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond to review. For more information on the author, you may see her website.

Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond

Here is the book blurb.

Two men from two different generations, both initiated into a powerful organization that throughout history has sought control and uses their power for destruction. They leave behind a wake of murder, manipulation and ancient secrets. The first man wreaks havoc in and around the Whitechapel district of London, England in the 19th century. While the other stalks his victims in the cosmopolitan city of Seville, Spain in the 21st century; knowing that only he could uncover the true motives of one of the world’s most infamous serial killers—Jack the Ripper.

Most of the story takes place in Seville in 2010 but it also includes flashbacks to Annabella’s childhood and to earlier incidents featuring the bad guys. Plus the tale of Jack the Ripper is another main element and Freemasonary plays a part too.

Annabella is deaf due to a childhood injury, but she is able to read body and facial expressions. Her flatmate Celestina is the first girl to disappear, which she reports to the police.

Meanwhile the police start receiving anonymous gruesome packages. Detective Valero is called back in from sabbatical leave to work on the case with Detective Rivero. As more girls disappear, the link appears to be that they all attend Seville University. The detectives call upon Annabella’s skills in reading people and hide her behind the glass when interviewing their first suspect.

Lots of twists to come in this story.

Although I’m a huge thriller fan, I did find this one rather too graphic, in its descriptions of dismembering victims’ organs.

After finishing reading the book, I did feel compelled to look up the tale of Jack The Ripper and I saw that the name mentioned in this story was one of the possible suspects for the unidentified serial killer.

Initiated To Kill is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.18 in paperback or £2.99 in Kindle format. A thrilling mysterious read with an interesting weaving of the storylines.

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

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to 1 lucky winner, who may choose whether they wish for their prize to be signed by the author or not.
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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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MamaMummyMum

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

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Shark Bait by Matt Walker

I have received a free e-copy of the book Shark Bait by Matt Walker to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Shark Bait by Matt Walker

Here is the book blurb.

“I’m no hero. I’m a Licensed Vigilante. And I kill people for a living.” Government hitman John Steele has just completed his current contract, and has the bullet wound to show for it. That’s when he meets a vicious criminal loan shark called Gary Brooker. But Brooker has got his own problems. He’s picked on the wrong guy.

I was drawn into the story just by the opening line “The worst time to get pulled over by the cops is when you have a body in the boot”. However John Steele is able to show the police his LV (licensed vigilante) ID card and drive away with the bad guy banging from inside the boot.

But the Carlucci drug gang that he has just busted are not the only baddies in town. On his way to hospital, he spots a man, Jeremy in some distress in the road. John lends him his phone to call his wife and then drives him home, where a goon is waiting outside in a van. From what he has overheard both on the phone call and from the goon speaking, John works out that Jeremy has a loan shark Gary Brooker on his back and he is not happy when he sees Jeremy hand over his Dad’s war medals. John decides to follow the goon to get the medals back. He waits until the goon has handed them to Gary, then follows Gary’s Porsche and deliberately rams it at the traffic light, before punching Gary and another goon Baz and robbing Gary of the medals.

When John finally gets to the hospital, he sees Jeremy being wheeled in unconscious. Looks like Gary has been back again. So John gets further embroiled into this when he should be hot-footing it out of town, since more of the Carlucci clan are after him now. Meanwhile Gary has other problems, so lots more to the storyline.

I really liked how the different parts to the story aren woven together, along with John’s background too.

Shark Bait is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A good thriller with lots of twists.

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MamaMummyMum

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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MamaMummyMum

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

All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance

I have received a free e-copy of the book All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance

Here is the book blurb.

Charly Bloom’s life took a wrong turn that has left her alone and frustrated. When she gets a call from an old flame, she returns to her hometown to investigate the disappearances of four children. The abductions are eerily similar to a set of previous crimes.

Two decades ago, Charly and her two friends decided to play amateur detectives and help find a girl who was stolen from her home. Then, another girl went missing. Clues overlooked by the inept sheriff left only one child to survive: Charly. She managed to fight back and kill the Snatcher. Or so everyone thought…

Is the Snatcher back, or is there a copycat? Charly must face her past and her own personal demons in a race against time to save the latest victim.

The book starts in 1982 when four young girls have been abducted in Temperance, North Carolina. It sounds very similar to another series of abductions in the town back in 1959, when Charly was a young girl herself. Charly, now a private investigator, agrees to return to her hometown to help the sheriff, Kit, an old flame, with the case.

The book switches back and forth between 1959 and 1982. So first time round, Charly had managed to evade her mum keeping her home and do some amateur sleuthing with her best friends, although it almost got Charly murdered herself. But she fought back and killed the Snatcher.

So why are there so many similarities this time? And how is it affecting Charly, bringing back all the horrific memories?

All the Lovely Children is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.39  in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A good read which weaves the two timelines together well.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Cold Flood by R J Corgan

I have received a free e-copy of the book Cold Flood by R J Corgan to review.

Cold Flood by R J Corgan

 

Here is the book blurb.

For geologist Kea Wright, when a volcano erupts under an ice cap, it isn’t just a good time, it’s a living. Camped at the base of an icecap in southeast Iceland, Kea and her team are investigating landforms created by catastrophic floods. With only days left in the field season, bad weather on the way, and the volcano due to erupt at any time, the team is struck by a tragedy that threatens to shut down the entire project. As the team rushes to complete their work, the expedition continues to be plagued by setbacks, leading Kea to wonder if the initial tragedy was an accident after all. During her reluctant – and inept – attempts to investigate, Kea inadvertently stumbles upon a secret. One so valuable, someone is willing to kill to keep it hidden.

This book is set in Iceland and I’ve been meaning to try reading an Icelandic thriller for ages. In fact we have a shelf full of this genre at home, as my other half loves both reading and watching this type of mystery.

Dr Kea Wright is an American geologist working in Iceland alongside Marcus, they are both assistant professors, with 2 graduate students Julie and Tony. They are camping at Skaftafell National Park. She has been left in charge for the last 10 days of the season when Professor Carlyle left early. A new bunch of eco-tourist volunteers are arriving today. They are teams from 2 companies T3 and Corvis Engineering and they are also providing some specialist equipment like a laser probe.

The next day they head out onto Skeiðarárjökull glacier to do some research, but one of Kea’s team, Gary has a diabetic attack. Whilst keeping an extra eye on Gary, they fail to notice they are one person short until back at the jeeps. It is Bruce, one of the T3 team, who was at high school with Kea.

Kea and a small team head back on to the ice to search for Bruce, whilst Zoe sends a drone. But tragedy has already struck – Bruce is found floating face down in the water. Was it an accident, suicide or something worse? Kea tries to investigate herself, but what else may follow? Certainly plenty of twists and turns.

Good to study the maps at the beginning of the book to see whereabouts in Iceland, the story is set, a long way from Reykjavik. And I felt the author had really researched the Icelandic setting excellently. I enjoyed the storyline, but did struggle with some of the scientific terms, although did eventually discover a glossary at the back of the book.

Cold Flood is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.92 in paperback or £5.22 in Kindle format. A thrilling story in an unusual setting.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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The Outcast Son by Jacobo Priegue

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Outcast Son by Jacobo Priegue to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Outcast Son by Jacobo Priegue

Here is the book blurb.

Laura Costa, a charity worker settled in London, tries to escape from her dark past by travelling to Cusco, Peru, where she hopes to find the redemption she seeks. When she discovers Jaime, an abandoned two-year-old boy injured and on the verge of starvation, Laura thinks she has finally found a purpose, and decides to devote herself to saving the child. However, what looks like a case of neglect turns out to be something much darker, and Laura finds out very soon that to save Jaime she will have to fight ignorance and superstition, not only in the slum in Cusco but also back in England. In her search of happiness for her and her family, Laura’s life becomes an eternal struggle against prejudice and ignorance that makes her doubt about everything she knows, only to discover that the greatest obstacle in her way is none other than she herself.

The book starts with Laura encountering a neglected injured malnourished toddler in the market square in Cusco, Peru. The superstitious locals have abandoned him, fearing that he is a reincarnated witch. He is near death and with the help of her boss Mark, she takes him to the hospital and subsequently adopts him. The timeline of the story moves back and forth many times, so we discover that Laura is in Peru escaping from her past in Spain. After another time-jump, we realise she is now married to Mark.

They return to England, but Jaime frequently gets into serious trouble at school, even getting expelled. When he was 7, they took him back for a visit to Peru, but Laura gets freaked out by a family who keep pointing at them in the airport, and then by a scary tale that Mark’s friend in Peru, Patrick tells them.

Their family is complete when Laura has a baby. Jaime loves his baby brother Marcus, but his misbehaviour at school is escalating. Mark gives an ultimatum, but that is all I’m going to say.

Plenty more excitement to come in the story. However I did find all the jumps in the timeline very confusing.

The Outcast Son is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.99  in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. An interesting read with some unexpected twists and turns.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

I loved reading the first two Madam Tulip titles, so I was very pleased to receive a free e-copy of the third book in the series “Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance” by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager – each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
      
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

This is the third in the series of thrilling and hilarious Madam Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

The story starts with actress Derry being unemployed again but a movie opportunity comes up in Scotland where they want her to play Madam Tulip with no audition. She doesn’t wish to do this but agrees to play a gypsy fortune-teller instead. Her friend Bruce also gets a role in the movie.

Meanwhile her artist dad Jacko has purchased a ruined castle and her gallery owner mum Vanessa is opening a new a gallery in Edinburgh.

Derry arrives on set to be asked by Jessica, PA to executive producer Jim Carson if she would come and tell his wife’s and daughter’s fortunes that evening. She is annoyed but can hardly say no, since he is funding the movie. Rab, the very charming estate manager drives her there and Sally, Carson’s wife begins by asking Derry if Hamish who has disappeared is dead.

Also millionaire Alex Dunbar keeps inviting Derry out and then cancelling. And then Derry gets harassed by the press, who are accusing Madam Tulip of being a fraud.

So lots of different threads to this story to which the reader keeps asking why? But they are all drawn together as the story progresses and things heat up.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.87 in kindle format. Another far-fetched mystery. It didn’t hit the spot for me quite as much as the first two titles, but still a great read which I am happy to recommend. I am certainly looking forward to book 4.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous two Madam Tulip titles.
Madam Tulip
Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts


About the author

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter

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MamaMummyMum

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

Briguella by Vicki Fitzgerald

I have received a free e-copy of the book Briguella by Vicki Fitzgerald to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Briguella by Vicki Fitzgerald

Here is the book blurb.

After seven women fall victim to a serial killer, journalist Kate Rivendale becomes embroiled in the manhunt. The authorities have no suspect, only one forensic link dating way back to the 1930s.

Detective Chief Inspector William Beckley needs to salvage his career; he has too many deaths on his conscience. Beckley entices Kate to go undercover, a decision which backfires with devastating consequences.

While DCI Beckley reaches a horrifying conclusion about the murderer Kate enters a desperate fight for her life… while battling to keep her own secrets buried.

Vicki told me that her novel is the result of her time spent as a Journalist in the South West, UK and is based loosely on real events that she covered involving a serial attacker.

The book starts with the police examining the crime scene where a young woman has been discovered murdered. She is the second body in 10 days, but the police believe there are 2 more undiscovered corpses out there. This is because the killer is taking fingers as trophies, 4 of hers and 3 from the previous victim. DCI Will Beckley is in charge of the case to find the serial killer. Meanwhile Kate Rivendale, journalist from the Southern Chronicle is looking on from beyond the police cordon, here to report on the incident.

A few days later the killer is interrupted and his latest victim Hannah survives in a coma, but dies a few days later without regaining consciousness. Another body is discovered on Christmas Eve badly decomposed with 2 fingers missing who could have been the second to be killed. Meanwhile the killer strikes again. Kate is persistent in trying to get the story and Beckley gives her the scoop in advance of a press conference. Also the police discover their first forensic clue which is fibres of a material not made since the 1930s, perhaps an old blanket is used by the killer to wrap the murder weapon.

The killer reacts to Kate’s exclusive news report by attacking again. But now things are getting personal. It is Louise, a close relative of Kate’s who lies badly injured in hospital, and who blames Kate for her situation. Beckley asks Kate to go undercover for them. She isn’t keen but agrees after seeing Louise.

The story gets even more thrilling, but I’m stopping now to avoid spoilers.

The title of the book is based on the mask the killer wore.

Briguella is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.99  in paperback or £2.99 in Kindle format. What a page turner. A really gripping read. This is Vicki’s debut novel, so I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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The Seven Sorrows by Gregg Kuehn

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Seven Sorrows by Gregg Kuehn to review.

The Seven Sorrows by Gregg Kuehn

Here is the book blurb.

Oh, how they flew from wave to wave, when the devil came to our blessed shore
And with smoke and fire defiled the cave.
The Abyss now bare, spears no more, they lie below her most sweet soul
That, stabbed with seven sorrows.

A set of still-lethal handheld tactical nuclear weapons, stolen from the United States Army during the Cold War, has been hidden deep in a cave on the island of El Fortunato, British West Indies, since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now terrorists are plotting to dig them up. The only clue to their location – a riddle written over fifty years earlier.

KC Jameson, a 33 year old marine biologist, is living a fairly care-free life on the West Indies island. That is until his boss, an exotic weapons collector, orders him to find the nuclear weapons. KC and his reluctant assistant, Nikki Colt, a squad of rogue Russian commandos, and a special operations unit from U.S. Military under orders from a corrupt politician finds themselves in a race to retrieve the weapons. Can KC and Nikki decipher the one clue to the missles whereabouts before they fall into the wrong hands? And exactly whose hands are the wrong hands?

The book starts in Moscow where elderly Alexei is about to die. But before he does, he tells his nephew Pyotr about how he stole and hid nuclear weapons back in 1962. Pyotr thinks this could be his ticket to America, and he passes the sketchy information to Colin Farthington, an American weapons collector, who puts an escape plan in place for Pyotr. However the plan to escape Russia goes wrong and Pyotr is captured and tortured for the information and then killed by Chuikov. Additionally Colin and Pyotr’s conversation was intercepted by ISA (the US Army Intelligence Support Activity) who work for Vice President Gordon.

Colin works out that the weapons are on the island of El Fortunato, where it just so happens that he already has an employee, KC Jameson. KC teams up with visiting climber Nikki.

The race is on for the weapons between KC and Nikki, the Russians and VP Gordon’s team. But whereabouts on the island are they? So many twists and turns, plus lots of double-crossing.

The Seven Sorrows is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.28 in paperback or £5.32 in Kindle format. A gripping storyline that really has you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Blue Monday by Nicci French

I have had this book waiting on my “to be read” list since last summer when Penguin invited me to review a later book in the series free via NetGalley. Instead I opted for Blue Monday, the first title in the Frieda Klein series by best selling author Nicci French.

Blue Monday by Nicci French

Here is the book blurb.

Monday, the lowest point of the week. A day of dark impulses. A day to snatch a child from the streets …

The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew.

Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson doesn’t take Frieda’s concerns seriously until a link emerges with an unsolved abduction twenty years ago and he summons Frieda to interview the victim’s sister, hoping she can stir hidden memories. Before long, Frieda is at the centre of the race to track the kidnapper. But her race isn’t physical. She must chase down the darkest paths of a psychopath’s mind to find the answers to Matthew Farraday’s whereabouts. And sometimes the mind is the deadliest place to lose yourself.

The story starts with a flashback to a child Joanna going missing in 1987 before moving to the present day. It then goes for a slow start. Alan is referred by his GP to see a psychiatrist and he ends up seeing Dr Frieda Klein, a psycho-analyst to whom he confesses his fantasy dreams of a son.

Meanwhile the papers are full of the case of missing 5 year old Matthew. Frieda ponders over the similarities between the boy of Alan’s dreams and Matthew before eventually going to report it to DCI Karlsson.

Karlsson has been comparing the case to the unsolved disappearance of Joanna and sits up when he hears Frieda say that Alan had similar dreams in his early 20’s about a daughter, but soon rules out Alan as Matthew’s abduction took place whilst Alan would have been seeing Frieda.

Frieda discovers that Alan was adopted. Then Alan mentions a mystery woman kissing him whom Frieda asks student Jack to track down. Interesting facts start to emerge and I can’t say any more for risk of spoilers.

Blue Monday by Nicci French is available on Amazon, at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in hardback and Kindle format and is published by Penguin. A long slow first half of the book followed by a much more gripping second half.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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