Book Review: Death before Coffee @RealDesmondRyan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #MikeOShea

Book Review: Death before Coffee @RealDesmondRyan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #MikeOShea

Death Before Coffee

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By 2:27 on a Thursday afternoon, the one-legged man from Room 8 at 147 Loxitor Avenue has been beaten to death with a lead pipe. Twenty-eight minutes later, Detective Mike O’Shea is testifying in a stuffy courtroom, unaware that, within an hour, he will be standing in an alleyway littered with beer cans and condoms while his new partner—the man who saved his life thirteen years ago—flicks bugs off of a battered corpse with a ballpoint pen.

When a rogue undercover copper prematurely hauls in the prime suspect, Mike blows a fuse, resulting in an unlikely rapport developing between him and the lead homicide detective sergeant, a woman known for her stilettos and razor sharp investigative skills. At the end of his seventy-two-hour shift, three men are dead and Mike O’Shea is floating in and out of consciousness in an emergency room hallway, two women by his side.

Death Before Coffee, the second book in the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, weaves a homicide investigation through the life of an inner-city police detective intent on balancing his responsibilities as a son, brother, and newly single father with his sworn oath of duty. When faced with death, Mike is forced to make decisions that stir up old memories, compelling him to confront his demons while fighting the good fight.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book, especially the characterisations

The portrayal of the character of Amanda Blacks who is in a high ranking role in a Male dominated world. How she has to appear harder than she is and not show any signs of weakness or they’d eat her alive. Also the amount of sexist abuse she suffers from those who work for her. But also members of the public.
I also liked the character of Ron Mike’s new partner. Who at times provides comic relief. Because this would never happen in traffic.

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For almost thirty years, Desmond P. Ryan worked as a cop in the back alleys, poorly-lit laneways, and forgotten neighbourhoods in Toronto, the city where he grew up. Murder often most unkind, assaults on a level that defied humanity, and sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the victims were all in a day’s work. Days, evenings, midnights–all the same. Crime knows no time.

Whether as a beat cop or a plainclothes detective, Desmond dealt with good people who did bad things and bad people who followed their instincts. And now, as a retired detective, he writes crime fiction.

Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.

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Book Review: Arbitrage @ColetteKebell @rararesources #selfpublished

Book Review: Arbitrage @ColetteKebell @rararesources #selfpublished

Arbitrage

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Ryan Logan thinks he has it all… A young attorney specialising in finance and tax law, Logan has earned an impressive reputation and commands a hefty fee for his services. But when he advises his corporate employers against a merger with a shady financial institution, he soon finds himself caught up in a web of betrayal and deceit. Framed for the murder of his wealthy boss, Logan is forced to accept a plea deal, to keep his own dark secrets from coming to light…
Arbitrage is a fast-paced, stand-alone financial thriller. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, sweet revenge, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, you’ll love this eye-opening look into the world of financial crime.
Can a burned out lawyer outwit an army of con artists and killers?

My Thoughts:

Though Logan didn’t come across very well at the beginning of the novel (intentionally?), I really felt sorry for him after failing in love, being an expecting father to have it all so cruelly ripped away.

I also really like Amelia, my kind of girl she came across smart, independent and though she was about to inherit a bank she wasn’t about to be taken for a ride.

Though I work in insurance, when I read the blurb to this book, I was keen to learn more about financial crime and how they were going to pull it off. I found myself google “Arbitrage” but was also glad that in the book the author broke it down and had a character who has to have things explained to her bit by bit.

Though I need to re-read the end of the book again now I am not so enthralled in the story to understand the ending. I really enjoyed arbitrage, it was one of those books where you think you’ve got it all figured out when in fact you haven’t. It also very much reminded me of the BBC tv programme Hustle that my mum and I used to enjoy.

Is it just me or does the gentleman on the front of this cover look like Tom Ellis as in Lucifier?

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Colette Kebell is an eclectic author, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational.  She publishes mostly for the English speaking market and the Italian one.  Colette Kebell does not stick to just one genre when writing though, as you shall discover from her latest book to be launched on 5th April 2019

As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant.  After few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.

Colette has two adorable dogs and, when not writing and marketing her books, she likes cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home.  Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.

 

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Book Review: Perfect Harmony by @K_RhodesWriter @Bloodhoundbook #Review

Perfect Harmony

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Adrian Stone believes he is a genius. A narcissist, with a psychotic desire to pursue his ambition to become the world’s most revered pianist, Stone joined London’s Royal College of Music as a child prodigy, believing his path to fame was secure. But when his parents decided to send him back to school, he slaughtered them and his older sister in their Richmond home, landing himself in Rampton’s high security unit.

 

Nine years later Stone escapes with two goals in mind: to kill those who denied his destiny and pursue his musical ambitions.

As bodies start to appear around London Dr Alice Quentin is brought in from the Met’s Forensic Psychology Unit. But when she realises her name is on Stone’s list of potential victims, the case becomes personal.

Working alongside her boyfriend, DI Don Burns, London’s most successful murder investigator, Alice must stop Stone to save her own life.

Alice realises that there is logic to the music left at each murder scene, and thinks she’s cracked the case, but little does she know what Stone has in store for his grand finale…

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Perfect Harmony and it’s different take on the police procedural I read, write and enjoy.

The story follows Dr Alice Quentin and her place in the investigation as to where convicted psychopath Adrian Stone has escaped to. But Alice has a problem he might be also after her.

I liked a lot of the characters in this book and also found myself liking Adrian and the relationship he forms with X a nurse he meets and begins to manipulate to only find himself failing for her and her pure innocence.

I also enjoyed the fact that Alice’s boyfriend, DI Don Burns, London’s most successful murder investigator, is also working on the case, at times in the novel he was there to explain the “police stuff.” We also got a peak at how being related to or in a relationship with a DI affects his family and how Alice tries her best to pick up the pieces.

The murders themselves weren’t written in a gruesome way and left a lot to the interpretation of the reader and description of how the bodies were found.

I really enjoyed this book and plan to seek out further Alice Quentin books in the future.

 

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Kate was born in London and tried many jobs before starting to write. She spent time as a cocktail waitress, a theatre usherette, and more recently as an English teacher before writing two prize-winning collections of poetry. Her crime novels have been translated into ten different languages, and have received high acclaim from the press. The Guardian described her books as ‘beautifully written and expertly plotted, a masterclass in crime fiction.’ Her Hell Bay series set in the Isles of Scilly has been optioned for TV.

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Kate Rhodes Writer

Book Review: Toys In The Dust @normthewriter @Bloodhoundbook #Review

Toys In The Dust

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Two seven-year-old girls, Tina and Suzy, are playing in a dusty creek when a stranger appears and strikes up a conversation. He is sad that he doesn’t have a doll to play with, like the girls do, so Suzy hurries home to fetch one. When she returns, Suzy discovers both Tina and the stranger have vanished.

A short while later, traffic officer Leighton Jones, who is fighting his own demons, is driving home from the scene of a near-fatal accident. When Leighton sees a young girl race out in front of his car and vanish into the countryside, he reports the sighting. Unfortunately, his superiors, who are increasingly concerned about Leighton’s mental health, doubt the child exists.

But after Tina’s mother confirms her daughter’s disappearance, Leighton risks his job by pursuing his own investigation of the case.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Californian countryside, a child killer is relentlessly searching for the one who got away.

Leighton has his work cut out. Can he prove his sanity and find Tina before the stranger does?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading “Toys In The Dust” which is told from 3 / 4 points of view. Tina, The Stranger, Angela Tina’s mother and Detective Leighton, a traffic officer whose juggling work and a young daughter, on top of struggling with the lose of his wife and unnecessary concerns for his daughters safety.

After being taken Tina manages to escape from the strangers car and a cat and mouse game begins as the Stranger hunts Tina.

While Leighton struggles to convince his captain that he did see Tina run across the road and it wasn’t his over active imagination. He ends up conducting his own search for Tina.

The book kept me interested all the way through, and when I read another review by accident that said they were disappointed with the ending, I failed to see how they were disappointed until I read the epilogue….

I did kind of feel things should have been left up to reader’s interpretation.

A good solid read while communing to and from work.

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Norman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always considered a combination of decent fiction and good coffee as providing the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.

Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.

More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jones at least two more outings.

Aside from his family, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his stories.

 

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Book Review: One Last Prayer for the Rays by @MarkinWes @Rararesources #Review

Book Review: One Last Prayer for the Rays by @MarkinWes @Rararesources #Review

One Last Prayer for the Rays

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One Last Prayer for the Rays

DCI Michael Yorke faces his most harrowing case yet.

When 12-year-old Paul disappears from school, Yorke’s only clue is a pool of animal blood. Fearing the worst, he turns toward the most obvious suspect, recently released local murderer, Thomas Ray.

But as the snow in Salisbury worsens, Ray’s mutilated body is discovered, and Yorke is left with no choice but to journey into the sinister heart of a demented family that has plagued the community for generations. Can he save the boy? Or will the evil he discovers changes him forever?

One Last Prayer for the Rays introducing DCI Michael Yorke.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novel but at times found it very slow at getting to the point.

For most of this novel we are reading the story through DCI Yorke’s his point of view. I liked that how the disappearance of Paul Ray had a knock-on effect to the whole community, not just those involved.

Generations of the Ray family have gone on to commit crimes in some way or another. In the novel the author seemingly tries to answer the question of is evil produced through nature or nurture.

This story shows how what has happened in the past and family history can affect those members of family who are still alive today.

This family has had such a big effect on the community that one of the officer’s has history with one of the suspects who comes back to haunt him and attempts to break up his fragile marriage that is seemingly on the rocks.

I kinda of felt that the guilty party, let themselves down at the last minute. Having planned the kidnapping and putting everything else into place they failed to prepare adequately for the show down with Lacey.

Can our main character DCI Yorke keep everything together and a grip on his young DC and stop him doing anything stupid?

This book was enjoyable and a fast paced read with hint of Thomas Harris “Hannibal” (the film) added into the mix.

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Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.
​Having released One Last Prayer for the Rays he is now working on the second instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride, The Repenting Serpent. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.​​

​Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.​

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Book Review: Reach of Shadows by @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #DIBliss #Review

Reach of Shadows

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Recovering from injuries sustained in a road collision, DI Bliss is taken directly from hospital to a fresh crime scene and ordered to investigate the vicious stabbing and murder of Jade Coleman.

When Bliss realises the victim had reported being stalked, and that two of his own team had been drafted in to take her statement, he is given the unenviable task of interviewing both of his detectives.

Increasingly it appears that the stalker may be their killer. However, several other people soon become part of the team’s suspect list.

Bliss also finds himself being questioned about his own past, and has to battle to defend himself whilst continuing to investigate the murder.

Soon more questions arise.

Why would anybody target Jade Coleman?

Why are the team unable to identify the victim’s close female friend?

And why did Jade recently leave her job without any explanation?

With his work cut out, and his team under pressure, can Bliss solve the case before more victims show up?

Or will the shadows of his own past reach out and drag him under before he can succeed?

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Tony J Fodler and I enjoyed it, through reading it I felt that this book was the ending of a series. Tying up lose ends so I’ll be interested to know if the author plans to continue this series?

I liked and could relate to the characters. Though DI Bliss is going through a tough time his team rally around him and almost carry him through the case. I could feel the depression and almost desperation the character felt when things were starting to spiral out of control. Part of me wished that the DI would take the offer of help from his team but I guess he is stuck in his own ways.

I especially enjoyed the relationship between DI Bliss his partner Penny Chandler. At times they came across more as father and daughter than partners but it works.

One criticism I did have though was at times the book seemed to drag on. Whether this is because I am more used to more “action” lead novels I don’t know. The novel served its purpose in passing time on the way to work especially since my change in transportation.

I will certainly be looking out for more books from Tony  and I’m certainly tempted to get hold of past DI Bliss and Detective Penny Chandler books.

 

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Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed, internationally best-selling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, and If Fear Wins, are now joined by The Reach of Shadows, published in January 2019.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone novel. Another book that was written as a stand-alone was Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. Before it had even been published, Tony had decided to write a sequel, and Cold Winter Sun was published in November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author.

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Book Review: The Ring of Gilly Wood by Ruth Bainister @SilverWoodBooks @rararesources #Middle-Grade

Book Review: The Ring of Gilly Wood by Ruth Bainister @SilverWoodBooks @rararesources #Middle-Grade

The Ring of Gilly Wood

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‘There he is,’ whispered Vixen. ‘It’s true then,’ said Buck Rabbit. ‘He’s just a small mole,’ said Doe Rabbit. ‘He’s not just a mole,’ said Vixen.  A great queen loses a ring. Hundreds of years later a ring slips onto the paw of a young mole. The mole grows to be a wise and trusted leader of Gilly Wood and all the animals that live there. But a great threat is coming. Can one small mole save a whole valley? Mole sets out to do just that with friends he makes along the way and the strange thing on his paw…

 

 

Our Thoughts

I liked the historical element at the beginning of the book, the story oof the ring and the queen visiting the town and just randomly swimming in the pond. You wouldn’t see that happening now days!!!!! How one of the character’s stole the said ring and as karma would have it never got to benefit from it.

The author also managed to show in the earlier parts of this novel how the food chain works out in the woods. There was a reason the moles were born to early, a reason why the vixen attacked the nest, that is how nature works. I was glad this wasn’t glossed over in getting to the point of the story of the mole and the ring.

Though this book is slow to get started which I think put my two off, if you stick with it you can see how the author hasn’t just given the mole the ring, the ring has been on a journey to get to the mole and he had to fight for survival himself.

A nice read, Sadly my two weren’t taken by the story but I enjoyed it all the same.

 

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Ruth was born on a hot August day on a farm in Sussex. Her English teacher once made her write a story about wasps after one landed on her during a lesson. She still hates wasps but she loves writing. Ruth now lives in Kent with her family and their strange dog.

 

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Ruth Banister