Thursday, 26 December 2013

Death Surge by Pauline Rowson

Death SurgeDeath Surge by Pauline Rowson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this a difficult book to rate. In the end I have decided on 4 stars as it merits more than 3. DI Andy Horton the main character in this Portsmouth based police detective story, has a background which is not fully explained as this is the most recent in a series of mysteries by Pauline Rowson. The story line is based round the sailing fraternity on the south coast and how sailing is a major part of their lives, and are willing to kill for it. One of Andy Horton's colleagues nephew goes missing and starts an investigation that has a growing body count.

Overall this is a good story but is slow to gather pace with the detectives guessing rather than working with solid clues. It does speed up concluding well. Lingering in the background however is the thread from the series which is not answered or even makes much progress, this could have been handled better. Otherwise a good book.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Paris City of Night by David Downie

Paris City of Night: A Jay Grant ThrillerParis City of Night: A Jay Grant Thriller by David Downie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jay Grant son of a CIA agent is a journalist turned photography historian / expert uncovers some strange happenings, his journalistic instincts take over, and starts to investigate, drawing himself and girlfriend Amy further and further into danger. Set in Paris this spook thriller has the feel of actually being set in Paris a hundred years earlier. The description and detail of early photography creates this effect, even although the mobile phone and other present day devices are ever present. This is a book you have to work at, as the action does not really grip you until well into the second half. Overall it is an okay book but, could have been much better with less photography lesson and more action.

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Top 5 Books of 2013 by Basingstone Book

As a new reviewer at the beginning of this year I have found it difficult to select my top 5 books of 2013. My list is simple, it is the books I have read, and the top 5 are the best, as they offer what I want in a book. They must have entertainment in abundance, they must keep you involved and most of all it cannot be a chore to read. All of my top 5 meet this criteria easily and in my reviews they have been awarded either 4 stars or the rare 5 stars.

I have great admiration for the authors, as I find it difficult to write an interesting page, they write hundreds and most of the time it all makes sense. So here is my personal top 5 of 2013 in reverse order.

5. Deep Deception by James North

This is an excellent thriller by James North, in my headline on retail site review I used " Climate change extreme measures". With all the Greenpeace protests in the Russian polar regions it is a very topical subject and highlight real world problems that need to be addressed. Read my full review

I must mention however the book pushed to number 6 by Deep Deception. The German Suitcase by Greg Dinallo was very good and only just missed out on the top 5. Review

4. Target Churchill by Warren Adler

Transported back to a post war era this book so well written you would think it was a historical novel. The title hides nothing, this is about an attempt to assassinate Winston Churchill. The author also explores relationships in politics and tough times. Read my full review

3. Critical Reaction by Todd M Johnson

Todd M Johnson has produced an outstanding story of the nuclear clean up of a old plutonium factory a relic of the cold war or is it? A worker starts litigation against a corporate giant for over exposure to radiation, calling on an old college friend to help. The author has done a great job in keeping technicalities easy to understand allowing concentration on the story that unfolds. This is a superb thriller. Read my full review.

2. Vanishing Trail by Stephen Kosa

When I wrote my review for this book I said it was one of my fastest reads ever and this is still the case. The writing is excellent everything is connected and not a piece of flab in sight. I was hooked from the very beginning and was entertained throughout with believable characters, sound plot and twists and turns to the end. Read my full review.

1. Excessive Entanglement by Nick d'Arbeloff

Star Trek and The West Wing what could be better? This book combines two my favourite TV shows with a storyline of colonisation of a distant world.  Nick d'Arbeloff  has obviously researched his material well, as all the future events fit well with the Sci-fi we all love. The politics highlights the many problems of mixing religion with anything requiring collaboration across communities and borders, very relevant today and in the future. Read my full review.

Congratulations to Nick d'Arbeloff for getting my number one choice, it is thoroughly deserved. I hope next year will produce at least the standard as this year which I have enjoyed enormously. Thanks to the authors, publishers and Netgalley for supporting me in this first year as a reviewer.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Deep Deception by James North

Deep DeceptionDeep Deception by James North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Environmental issues are never far from the headlines, with real life stories like the Greenpeace protest in the Russian polar region. James North now brings us an excellent thriller, which has our environment central to the storyline, is combined with corruption, greed and of course Deep Deception. Caroline Dupre's husband, the head of a worldwide organisation he founded, is killed during a climate change protest in Kuala Lumpur. Is it just over zealous police efforts in crowd control or is it something more sinister? This is the start of a challenge for Caroline to find out who and why her husband Francoise was killed. Pulled into a clandestine world surrounding climate change and it supporters and detractors. Can she find out what exactly happened without endangering herself and son Nicolas?

This is a very fast moving entertaining thriller, highlighting some of today's real issues but with some fantasy attached. I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers.

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Candidate: Luxembourg Thriller by Daniel Pembrey

The Candidate: Luxembourg ThrillerThe Candidate: Luxembourg Thriller by Daniel Pembrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you have a two to three hours spare and want to be entertained forget TV or the movies, read this short thriller. Nick Thornycroft is working in Luxembourg when he suffers an overnight memory loss, unable to discard this as just an over indulgent night we have all suffered from, he starts to follow his journalist instincts and tries to discover what really happened that night. Who is involved, is it linked to his latest assignment and why can't he remember anything at all? This is a great story full of intrigue and unexpected danger.

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Critical Reaction by Todd M Johnson

Critical ReactionCritical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We all know about the Fukushima disaster following the tsunami and how it clearly shows how dangerous the nuclear industry can be. Now go back a few decades and imagine the mess left by the Cold War and it's race to have weapon superiority. Covington Nuclear is charged with clear up of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in north west of USA, the site of US Defence Department's plutonium production facility. One of the staff on site Kieran Mullaney believes he has been overexposed to radiation and resorts to litigation for the truth. At the last minute he has to find a replacement lawyer and calls on his old college friend Emily Hart to help.

The author has done an excellent job, in explaining nuclear physics part very clearly and in simple terms, allowing you to concentrate on the thrilling story as it unfolds. Emily must try and mend her relationship with her father, if she is to succeed and win the battle against the corporate giant and uncover the truth of Kieran's exposure. As the story is told familiar problems arise in the shape of greed and corruption.

This is Todd Johnson's second novel with the legal profession as his subject matter however, the court room scenes have been minimised but they do add greatly to overall effect of the book. Overall I think this is an excellent thriller. I will be looking out for his first book and adding to my reading list.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Troop by Nick Cutter

The TroopThe Troop by Nick Cutter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boys generally join the scouts for adventure and gaining experience in survival skills, but here Nick Cutter has conjured up a nightmare of epic proportions for the scout troop led by Tim Riggs. Not only are they propelled into learning survival for themselves but are subjected to horrors developed by a mad scientist nicknamed Mengele 2.

It is very difficult to give a preview without stealing some of the books thunder so I will only say keep an open mind. The source of all this horror is mans' vanity and desire for power through military strength. As the scout troop progress through their visit to Falstaff island you are drip fed information on the background to this horror. Good book which has been likened to Lord of the Flies - nothing like it, the only similarity is the story is about youngsters.

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Montalbano's First Case by Andrea Camilleri

Montalbano's First CaseMontalbano's First Case by Andrea Camilleri
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great short novel, very entertaining police detective story. If you seen some of the TV programmes then you will enjoy this even more. The Salvo Montalbano character is cool and totally unphased by the day to day frustration of police work, he is also driven by food and is easily seduced by good food. Based in Sicily the story has some involvement with the families, a girl is found with a gun and leads to the investigation - Montalbano's first case.

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Trigger by L. J. Sellers

The TriggerThe Trigger by L.J. Sellers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A high rating at 4 stars but worth it. A slick fast paced thriller that keeps you entertained the whole way through. The fact this is short book confirms the fact that author has written story without all the padding you have to endure in some other novels. Jamie Dallas is an undercover FBI agent sent to try and discover the whereabouts of a women abducted from a "Prepper" community, and discovers a lot more than she was expecting. The Clayton brothers are preparing for civilisation's collapse or are they? I will be looking out for more of this authors work, very enjoyable.

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cartwheel: A Novel by Jennifer DuBois

Cartwheel: A NovelCartwheel: A Novel by Jennifer Dubois
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have concluded that my book selection swayed by the PR was totally wrong. This is not the type of novel that I enjoy or even find interesting. Having read other reviews now I would still have made the same mistake. Jennifer DuBois must be very pleased with the feedback from readers but unfortunately I am not one of them. This book mysteriously forced me through to its end, whilst just giving me crumbs of hope that it may just turn the corner, and provide some excitement and entertainment.

Cartwheel was an odd name for this book and until this was explained, you could be forgiven for linking to the speed of an old wooden cart. The writing style may suit a lot of people who scan and don't actually read all the words, as it is crowded with a great excess of text that perhaps adds only a little to characters and atmosphere, but nothing for the overall story - it could have forty percent shorter and would have moved along more quickly.

Other reviewers have suggested Cartwheel is based on, or inspired by the Amanda Knox story, to me that sounds about right, as here we are several years on and we still don't know for sure who killed the victim. The characters painted by the author were all very troubled, in particular Sebastian who was a great irritation whilst reading, his language forcing you to stop and ponder what was actually said. This character could have been easily used to spice up the plot creating some exciting diversions for the reader.

If like me you like a fast paced exciting thriller my recommendation is give this a pass.

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Border Angels by Anthony Quinn

Border AngelsBorder Angels by Anthony Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Starting off well with all the intrigue of the comings and goings of a brothel, this novel for me just petered out. It did not maintain my interest to the end, nor did it reward me with a good ending, everything was a bit flat. It is okay, but don't expect any thrills or exciting action, it is not there.
The main character Celius Daly strikes me as one of the most incompetent police inspectors I have read. He doesn't seem to get the picture of the crime he is meant to solve, and in this episode he is diverted by his own circumstances. Set in the borderlands of Northern Ireland it does however paint a good picture of the economic downturn, and the problems created by an increasing immigrant population.
I would set this low in your priorities to read.

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Monday, 16 September 2013

Paradigm by Helen Stringer

ParadigmParadigm by Helen Stringer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With the world devastated by wars and economic collapse, Sam Cooper in his faithful GTO tours the Wild Lands with his friend Nathan eking a living from selling household appliances. This all changes when they are attacked and meet New Zealander Alma.

Imagine Mad Max in a world where the cities are largely run by a single computer, almost big brother, this is how the world has changed and where Sam has to work out how to save himself from a fate worse than death. Very good book gives it all a plausible feel which is essential for a good Sci Fi.

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Kennedy Imperative ( Berlin ) by Leon Berger

The Kennedy Imperative (BOOK 1 OF A TRILOGY: BERLIN 1961)The Kennedy Imperative by Leon Berger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A political spy thriller set in 1960's Berlin, CIA agent Phillip Marsden is caught in the middle of a political stand off, whilst trying to get some answers to his own family issues. The author has cleverly woven historical fact with fiction to present a glimpse of the life in Berlin when the wall was erected, and an brief insight into the Cold War as seen from the Kennedy White House.

Those were dangerous days during the Cold War and Leon Berger has clearly shown how fragile political and international relationships were. This backdrop to the spy element of the story adds all the necessary tension and drama required to make a very good novel.

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Perfect People - Peter James

Perfect PeoplePerfect People by Peter James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Child parent relationships are always very emotive subjects, but add in a bit of Sci Fi as in Logan's Run, mix it with current affairs in the way of religious mania and you get this riveting novel.

This the first book of Peter James I have read and I am very impressed by the way he has taken a tragedy from everyday life and turned out this highly recommended story. The main characters are secondary to the great storyline, they are there to provide the glue for the story and could be swapped out for a new set and still have the same impact.

The Klaesson family suffers tragedy with the loss of their son to a rare genetic borne condition. Seeking to avoid this happening again they buy the services of a controversial scientist who claims he can eradicate the problem genes from their next child. I cannot describe any more as I don't want to spoil your enjoyment

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In the Company of Wolves by James Michael Larranaga

In the Company of WolvesIn the Company of Wolves by James Michael Larranaga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quin Lighthorn starts his new internship at Safe Haven, a company buying life insurance policies. This is a tale of lies and corruption and fraud from start to finish, with its murders, drugs and alcohol thrown in. It may have been written some time ago, but I am very glad the author decided to let us read it. As it is full of lies, deception and drug induced hallucinations, you are kept on your toes till the end with the outcome never certain.

The author must be congratulated for a very well executed novel, very easy and compelling read. The analogy with wolves which runs through the story is clever and cements the "Indian" theme in place. My only question is, as it took twelve years for this to publish, will we ever see book two?

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No Way Out - A Karen Vail Novel by Alan Jacobson

No Way OutNo Way Out by Alan Jacobson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very good action thriller with all the normal fight scenes, car chases and James Bond type action. Good story line of CIA/FBI/MI5 operatives saving Britain from a terrorist attack. The main character Karen Vail I believe has been overworked as to me she was very unlikeable, gobby, know it all, with ego to match. She could have been toned down a little to make her acceptance with her peers more believable. Written for an American audience the author added various references to the differences between English and American English, one or two of these changes in language use is fine and makes the point, overuse makes them irritating, as does calling police cars "cruisers" .

The story was told at a fast pace with action in every chapter. This is the kind of story ideal for making into a movie, however I not sure Karen Vail would have the same appeal as James Bond. Although I have some misgivings the book is very enjoyable and therefore meets my criteria for recommendation.

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Sunday, 15 September 2013

Vanishing Trail by Stephen Kosa

Vanishing Trail: The Taking of Jonathan BishopVanishing Trail: The Taking of Jonathan Bishop by Stephen Kosa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my fastest ever reads, not because it was short, but because it gripped me from start to finish. Extremely well written and none of that very frustrating padding used by some authors. This author does not dwell on items not central to the storyline, everything is connected. Stephen Kosa has included everything you need for a thrilling read, believable characters, sound plot and twists and turns to the end.

Jake is an attorney in a the small town of Maple Creek who has suffered the tragedy of losing his wife and having to raise their son without her. Jonathan as the title suggests is abducted just as a another death hits the family. Will Jake get Jonathan back and can he get back some normality into his life? The answers are all there and you won't want to stop reading until the end. Highly recommended.

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Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol

The Land of DreamsThe Land of Dreams by Vidar Sundstol
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The attraction of this book was it genre and its award collection, for me this was very misleading. The story got off to a good start with the central crime described early on, however from then it turned into a history lesson on Minnesota and Lake Superior Indians. This lesson was broken with self analysis of the main character forest policeman Lance Hansen. I think the author has missed an opportunity to engage and entertain the reader, the plot is sound but is not developed, staying on a very narrow course and the book is bulked with the history and self appraisal. On a positive note the translator has used easy to read language, just a pity it was not more exciting. This book can stay low on your reading list.

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Cold Tuscan Stone by David Wagner

Cold Tuscan Stone: A Rick Montoya Italian MysteryCold Tuscan Stone: A Rick Montoya Italian Mystery by David Wagner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Steady but not thrilling, this adventure into the criminal art world takes in Tuscany, one of my favourite places in Italy. Translator Rick Montoya works undercover to lure out the criminals stealing precious artefacts of Tuscan history. Working with the local police chief it starts to get nasty. Who is the mastermind behind the stealing and how will it end? Good questions and you are kept guessing until the end. Worth reading but not high priority.

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Painted Ladies by P. R. Ellis

Painted Ladies : A Jasmine Frame StoryPainted Ladies : A Jasmine Frame Story by P. R. Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story line is more than just your regular ex-cop working with the police to solve a gruesome murder case. The author PR Ellis takes you into the life of a transgender trying to establish her new identity as first and foremost a women and then an investigator. As first in the series you get some of Jasmine Frame's history but it is necessary to set the scene and establish the relationships with her ex colleagues. We are also educated as to the clear differences between transgender and transvestism and the trials they endure to gain acceptance. The book could well have been written for a TV series ( no pun intended ) as it has that feel, nether the less it is an exciting and gripping thriller especially for a debut.

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Never List by Koethi Zan

The Never ListThe Never List by Koethi Zan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A topical story with all the recent news bulletins about young abducted girls held captive. The terror and despair is very apparent in this captive turned detective story, you live through Sarah's, Tracy's and Christine's collective ordeals with Jack Derber. At times, I warn you may wince at their experiences. Jack is behind bars but eligible for parole and Sarah feels she cannot rely on the FBI to stop this happening. Overcoming all her fears she leads her cellar mates in finding the truth about her friend Jennifer. An excellent book and thoroughly recommended.

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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Going Home by A American

Going Home (Going Home, #1)Going Home by A. American
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An "event" leaves Morgan a keen survivalist stranded miles from home. The story describes the adventure, danger and the gear he uses during his journey home. I have rated the book with 3 stars normally it would be a 4 star book but the overuse of acronyms and branding has killed off that star. Morgan joins forces with some others also seeking to go home, building friendships and together confronting all the hurdles placed along their route. Very little background is given as to how the event happened and the causes, I suspect this maybe reserved for the second book "Surviving Home". Overall it is a good story however you are distracted by the specialist indulgence.

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Waiting for the Storm to Pass by Bill Johnstone

Waiting for the Storm to PassWaiting for the Storm to Pass by Bill Johnstone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very easy and enjoyable read. Mike McCabe a journalist returning to Washington, resurrects his interest in an old story and gets more than he bargained for. As the body count starts to rise, we are introduced to the other main character, the investigating detective Lieutenant Kovarik. They conduct two separate investigations which eventually converge to provide the full picture. This is not a book full of twist and turns, nor is it gripping but it does deliver a well constructed and interesting story. Recommended.

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Friday, 5 July 2013

Death Canyon by David R Bertsch

Death Canyon: A Jake Trent NovelDeath Canyon: A Jake Trent Novel by David R Bertsch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jake Trent a retired attorney turned fishing guide just can't leave his old investigative job alone, and looks into some strange deaths in Jackson Hole where he lives, one of the victims he finds himself. Jake is not alone, Noelle Klimpton a park ranger is also curious and teams up with Jake to try and solve the mysterious deaths. All the time minor earthquakes continue to increase in frequency and intensity, adding tension to the already tense situation. The author builds up suspense very well producing an excellent page turner with no dull chapters. He also explores the concept of governments working on projects behind the public's back, starting with good intentions but losing the plot. I recommend you read this and be well entertained whilst exploring the countryside of Wyoming

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Target Churchill by Warren Adler & James C Humes

Target ChurchillTarget Churchill by Warren Adler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book transports you into the post war era just before the Cold War. It is difficult to separate the fiction from fact, as this is very well written to the point you believe it is a historical novel. Churchill our wartime hero is targeted by an assassin during a visit to the USA, accompanied by Truman the current president, you are presented with many options on how the attempt will play out. The author explores Churchill's long time relationship with his bodyguard to prove that even in politics simple and trusting friendship are possible. Excellent book and is recommended as a must read.

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst

Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12)Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

World War II is just round the corner and Frederic Stahl a Hollywood star is sent to Paris to make his latest movie. The book follows the day to day life of the star from the start of the movie to the end, shooting in studio and on location. During this period it is made very clear what is coming for everyone in Europe. The author Alan Furst paints a very vivid picture of the pre-war conditions in Europe. This is the main event of this novel as the storyline in its self is not very exciting, but he adds atmosphere that makes this a very fascinating and entertaining read.

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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Bottom Line by Marc Davis

Bottom LineBottom Line by Marc Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Corporate story line, title gives a strong clue, Nick Blake is working for a business consulting firm, led by a self made successful business man with an ego to match his wealth. The relentless pursuit of riches, it's consequences and how it can affect the lives of others is the main theme. Nick ends up playing detective in pursuit of his mentor. It sets off at a good pace, however the steam is running out by the time the book concludes, but still holds my attention to the end. More could have been done by adding some twists and turns making an excellent story rather than just a good one.

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Stonefly by Scott J Holliday

Stonefly (Jacob Duke, #1)Stonefly by Scott J. Holliday
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once in a while you read something that is a totally new concept, this is one of those books. Jacob Duke spends a fishing trip near to where he spent his early years in a special unit. The trip turns into a six day challenge to save a young lad he meets at the fishing hole. The book would be very difficult to follow however the author runs the story in tandem with an early history of the main character, allowing you to make sense of everything. Jacob's condition is very unique having to grant wishes to avoid dire consequences. All of this makes an intriguing read holding your interest from start to finish. This book one of a series, hopefully the follow on books will maintain the momentum. Recommended.

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Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Bleiberg Project by David Khara

The Bleiberg Project: A Consortium ThrillerThe Bleiberg Project: A Consortium Thriller by David Khara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a good book, starting slow it builds up pace as the author introduces the characters and gets on with the plot. Nazi experimentation is chasing city trader Jeremy Corbin's family through history to the present day where he finds an unexpected friend in a Mossad assassin who along with his CIA minder battle to stay alive. Well worth a read.

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Friday, 3 May 2013

Blood Game by David Lyons

Blood Game (Jock Boucher #2)Blood Game by David Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book two of a series but don't be put off if you have not read book one, I didn't and I got straight into the characters, without having to wade through any "previously" narrative. David Lyons character Jock Boucher is a New Orleans Federal judge but not a conventional one. You are entertained throughout the book by Boucher's different and unpredictable approach to his judicial role.

The story unfolds with series of violent attacks and ends with the same however although the path of the story is easier than most to work out, it is enthralling stuff but with interludes of humour and virtuosity. Recommended

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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones by Andy Straka

Dragonflies: Shadow of DronesDragonflies: Shadow of Drones by Andy Straka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book one of series and that is why I have only rated it with 3 stars, you are left hanging at the end wanting to read on to the next book "Visible Means". Hopefully I won't have to wait to long as I have really enjoyed this story of ex army types tracking down a date rapist with micro drones. It is a straight forward, easy to read with high tech thrown in. Roll on book two.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Die for me by Nichole Severn

Die For MeDie For Me by Nichole Severn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Some books you just have to persevere with. Very difficult to read and all over the place, however after about quarter way through it started to come alive, and make more sense concluding without loose ends. The story is about a former hit man searching for his serial murdering twin sister! So yes there is a lot of killing.

It is a short book and I believe could be a lot shorter if some of the flowery language was omitted. Would I recommend it? , if you don't have anything else to read - yes.

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Excessive Entanglement by Nick d'Arbeloff

Excessive EntanglemenExcessive Entanglemen by Nick d'Arbeloff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before selecting this book, I got quite excited by the synopsis and reviews I read, as scifi and West Wing politics are two of my favourites. Was I premature?, not a bit, this was a great book and met all my needs in one. This is a must for scifi fans that like political thrillers - Star Trek meets the White House.

From the start I was hooked, the author Nick d'Arbeloff in his first novel has worked some real magic. The book is such an easy read and keeps you interested throughout. He has obviously researched his material well as all the future events fit well with the scifi we all love. The politics illustrates the problems of mixing religion with anything that requires collaboration across communities and borders, very relevant today and in the future.

Strongly recommend you set aside the time and read it, you won't be disappointed, I certainly was not.

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Thursday, 4 April 2013

Coldwater by Diana Gould

Coldwater: A NovelColdwater: A Novel by Diana Gould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Normally a debut novel I avoid however this is one I am glad I did not miss. Diana Gould has made a great start and more like this will be extremely welcome.

A story of an addict and the struggle to get clean and all the emotions and hardships that come with it. Set in Hollywood's tv and film business, Brett Tanager script writer falls from grace and battles back motivated by her step daughter. It is a gripping thriller in the Hollywood tv detective style, written in a way that keeps you wanting to turn the pages. Apart from the story the book effectively highlights the plight of drug and alcohol addicts, by detailing some of damage done to others connected and unconnected. This is a serious topic but handled well.


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Friday, 22 March 2013

Treachery in Bordeaux by Jean Pierre Alaux

Treachery in BordeauxTreachery in Bordeaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part one of a series about detective work in the French wine industry. As a starter it was short and had a very simple plot however this did not spoil my enjoyment of the book and was obviously laying down the groundwork for other more in depth stories to follow. Benjamin Cooper and his sidekick Virgile are well introduced and although new colleagues have struck a mutual respect relationship.
An impressive first story and impressive translation from French. Recommend you try it.

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Tower by Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman

TowerTower by Ken Bruen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Started out encouraging but eventually lost interest three quarters the way through. The mob culture described here did not really have any substantial story line and without that I gave up.

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Murder below Montparnasse by Cara Black

Murder Below MontparnasseMurder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A reasonable read, French detective Aimee Leduc chasing artwork getting involved with murder. For me the format on my ebook version was off making it a little more difficult to read. The plot however was telegraphed very early on and I kept going hoping there would be a twist. Some sideline stories with no connection to the main story appeared to be there as a filler, omitted it would have made no material difference.

The author whose books are set in Paris ( as per the title) seemed to be trying to give a French flavour by quoting the character in French language but only for isolated words ( "alors", "non" ), this was totally unnecessary as you know it is France but most of all it was irritating. If you could put that aside then it was okay.

This is my first Cara Black story but although I would read her again, it would not be at the top of my list.

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Thursday, 14 February 2013

The German Suitcase by Greg Dinallo

The German SuitcaseThe German Suitcase by Greg Dinallo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not really my normal read, but it kept my attention from start to finish like a good wartime movie. The suitcase was a very clever link to the story told in the present and the past. In the past a tale of love and extreme hardship during the Nazi war years, in the present business and ethics. It also deals with some moral issues related to the Holocaust, in that you cannot tar everyone with the same brush, some people are different and do not conform to their label. Recommended

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Thursday, 7 February 2013

London Bridges by James Patterson

London Bridges (Alex Cross #10)London Bridges by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoy the Alex Cross series, however get confused as I have read some out of order, difficult to remember who Alex is with or not with. Good book

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The Beach House by James Patterson

The Beach HouseThe Beach House by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

James Paterson nearly always turns in a good read and The Beach House fits the bill. Exciting with lots of twists, turns and a happy ending.

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The Lake House by James Patterson

The Lake House (When the Wind Blows, #2)The Lake House by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Totally different to the other Paterson books I have read. This dips into fantasy but for me it just worked and provided the thrills and excitement you would expect from the author.

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