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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On My Life by @TheAngelaClarke @MulhollandUK ⁩ #Review #youneedthisbook

On My LifeOn My Life by Angela Clarke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!

This book is written from Jena’s POV after she is arrested for murder of her step daughter to be and the disappearance of her then partner.

This book is HEART BREAKING, this is no doubt about that! I cried so much no matter where I was…

Angela has crafted words so well that you can feel Jena’s pain, torment and at times humiliation! As she finds herself locked up in a women’s prison sharing a cell with someone she has never met. Most of the way through the book she is hiding the secret of what she is in for and then that she is Pregnant.

During the novel we get snap shots of her life prior to her arrest. This book was centred on Jena, there are no details of the police investigation, what her family, solicitor are doing it is solely centred on Jena. At time I missed this element and wondered if Angela would be writing a sequel of what went on behind the scenes returning to her natural genre.

Jena gets to spend a lot of time reflection on her life and her relationship with Robert and his family. As a reader it also made me doubt hers and Robert’s relationships as I looked for signs of domestic abuse.

I did guess who the bad guy was in the end, but this novel made me analyse Jena’s relationships and her explanations.

The back drop of this novel is the prison system, and the challenges that it is facing in this day and age. Which Angela manages to show and write about exceptionally well.

I am a massive fan of Angela Clarke and this book has only extended my love for her and her work.

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Sorry this is away from my standards of reviews…

Book Review: Calamity in Camberwell – @DDsDiary @CrookedCatBooks @rararesources #review #giveaway

Book Review: Calamity in Camberwell – @DDsDiary  @CrookedCatBooks @rararesources #review #giveaway

Calamity in Camberwell

Calamity in Camberwell

Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets married and moves to Camberwell.

Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway?

As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

My Thoughts:

Oh what a palaver!

I wasn’t sure what I was taking on when I read the blurb for this book, I realised hadn’t read the two books before hand so I was intrigued.

It turns out that not all Crime novels are the same they just vary in the amount of gore. I have landed upon what they call Cozy crime, that at times made my journey to work a whole different experience! I became lost in a novel that at times I wondered if we were ever going to make it to the point but did that matter because I was enclosed in loveliness of it all! Like a big quilt on a winter evening!

Yes Beth’s best friend Jen is not returning her calls or answering the door, and Beth’s son might not get into the “best” school in the town as there is little chance he will pass the entrance exams. Beth’s friends think it’s time for her to start dating again,  while she is trying to keep a lid on feelings for a certain DI that at times makes her so mad! But oh what a lovely story I am reading.

The author cleverly sprinkles domestic violence into the story, but she does it in such a way that it leaves our imaginations minds to fear the worse! But oh what a lovely story. I felt the sorriest for Jessica the daughter of Beth’s missing best friend, no body seemed interested in her wellbeing or how she felt about the whole situation! Though the characters never found out about the violence, I am sure Jessica would have been very aware of what was going on with her mum? But this after all is a lovely story and we are not delving into those depths.

Yes I enjoyed the book, and how the author made me dislike some of the characters without going into paragraphs of detail about their characteristics and I wasn’t contently checking how much more of the story I had left to read.

If I was more experienced in this type of crime novel I might of enjoyed it more. But I did feel at the end of every journey to and from work and the snatched moments on the sofa.  Oh what a lovely story I was reading and but isn’t that the aim of Cozy crime?

A big thank you to Rachael at Random Resources and Alice Castle for my advance copy of Calamity in Camberwell.

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Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019.  Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

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Dortmund Hibernate by @c_j_sutton @rararesources @crookedcatbooks

Dortmund Hibernate by @c_j_sutton @rararesources @crookedcatbooks

Dortmund Hibernate

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Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.

Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.

As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…

The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.

It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.

As my blog is called Story About A Girl I asked C J Sutton to tell me a story….

So over to C J….

Losing my Mind

Travelling alone through South East Asia in 2013 shaped me as a person and as a writer. As a 25-year-old questioning what was next, I did that typical “stranger in a strange land” trip to see what I was missing out on. I would consider myself as a bit of an introvert (most writers are) but travelling alone means you either eat at the table yourself while everyone looks at you, or you join the table that looks at everyone else. I tried both. You learn a fair amount about a person, watching them eat. While I made new friends, travelling alone lets you see things that you wouldn’t normally see. The reactions of people, their psychology. It was like being a video camera on legs.

There was a day in Cambodia where I was dropped off outside a temple by a driver that couldn’t speak a word of English. As I walked beneath the towering trees, there was not a single soul around me. Usually at these temples there are hundreds of tourists climbing structures and taking photos with their fingers in a peace sign; but on this day, I was alone. It was eerie at first, but after twenty minutes it became soothing. I sat up against a tree, deep within the temple grounds, and just wrote. I probably spent a good three hours in that spot until a kid scared the living shit out of me. We’ve got it all wrong, working in offices from 9-5 expecting the best of ourselves to come out on screen. Sometimes you just need that pure solitude to discover your worth and to validate your ideas.

On a day in Malaysia I ventured to the Batu Caves, a very popular tourist spot littered with thousands of people and monkeys. Groups were taken into the caverns, but I waited until nobody was watching and went alone. I kept about 20 metres away from a leader holding a torch to still have a source of light. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, so when he turned off the torch I was surrounded by complete darkness. Not the darkness of when you hop into bed and turn off the lamp, but pure gut-wrenching darkness for more than ten minutes. My phone had died so I was at the mercy of the man with the powerful torch. I couldn’t walk, as on either side there was a vast drop. It’s funny what the mind does when you’re presented with endless nothing. It’s as though your eyes are closed and you can’t open them. It’s blindness, and it was fear. It assisted in creating the characters in Dortmund Hibernate, to know how a lack of control feels. I would also add the Cu-Chi tunnels in Vietnam to this sensation. That feeling of claustrophobia still haunts me. Being underground at a height that you need to bend at right angles to remain upright, blocked on either side by people, that pure darkness finding a way within once more…

Cambodia hangs heavy with a history of evil dictators. Seeing the skulls of slain Cambodians and the marks on the trees where babies were beaten demonstrates the hatred of man. I craft sick minds in my writing. I need to see the capabilities of evil not just on screen, but in person. This trip provided countless examples of humans doing horrible things to other humans. If you ever want to learn about evil, I suggest you venture to the killing fields.

While my education and love of reading is credited for my life as a writer, this experience as a curious 25-year-old sharpened the edges of my craft. It may not have impacted my words or my stories, but it altered the way I write people and atmosphere. Not all is rosy, not all is sane. This world has dark pockets that are completely accessible to tourists, but it is what they take out of it that matters. This trip will never be forgotten, and I still drift to it in my quieter moments. One day I hope to write a book on some of the crazier parts of those few months, but for now Dortmund Hibernate will serve as a reference for darkness.

***

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C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.

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Blog Tour: Dead in the Water @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles

Blog Tour: Dead in the Water @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles

Dead in the Water

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Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police.

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.

Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him.

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

My Thoughts

Dead in the water starts with a bang, with a character floating in the Mediterranean and we read her last dying thoughts until she sinks to the bottom. We then zip five months back and we are introduced to the story through the character Charlie who seems to be telling the story. The chapters then go on to introduce the other characters Chrissie, Ana, Scot, Len, Mia and Agent Fournier.

The story jumps around a bit between the characters, locations and where we are in the timeline of the story. I found the beginning of the book a bit confusing as I struggled to grasp what was going on and who was who. Once I worked out what the formula of the book was I began to enjoy it more and tore through the pages.

The story is told in 1st person through Charlie’s eyes and 3rd person for the other character’s. Simon has carefully woven a novel out of seven different strands, seven character’s stories and their views on the what happened and why they did what they did. Simon has more or less written seven different stories and then spent time weaving them into a novel. Simon makes you feel that you were there with the character’s and at every location in the story.

This book involves some time invested in the beginning but once you get used to this unique and different way of story telling you’ll be flying through the book. I am very interested and keen to see what Simon does next.

***

SIMONBOWERSimon Bower is a British and Canadian author born in Berkshire in 1973. Since 1998, he’s adopted a global lifestyle, setting up home at times in Europe, Africa and North America.

In 2016 Simon turned to writing full time, which led to his first published work, Dead in the Water, being released in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press in 2018.

Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief.

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Blog Tour – Just – @jmortonpotts @rararesources #giveaway

Blog Tour – Just – @jmortonpotts @rararesources #giveaway

Just

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How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.

 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.

My Thoughts

How far would you go to save someone life?

Before starting this novel I pondered the same thing and I guess I would go to the end of the world for my children.

This book is beautifully written and while reading it, I often felt like I was reading poetry. It feels like the author has carefully decided on which words to put on the page to get the maximun effect. The description in some of the scenes such as the boat ride with the traffickers, the dead bodies on the beach made me feel like I was right there and also educated me and made me want to know more.

The different POVs tell the story between Scott, His mother and Dr Fiyori Maziq who Scott fails in love with. At the beginning of this book Scott almost comes across as a stalker and a predator and Fiyori is his prey.

There are many complex relationships in this book that seemed to get very tangled together and at times I wondered how things could ever become untangled.

Life and Death feature very heavily in this book that at times made it a very difficult read. This book at times leaves you to fill in the gaps since you were last reading the character’s POV. Which added to the reasons for me of why you need to be able to invest the time in this story. It is most certainly not a book that can be picked up every now and again, you need to invest time and as a reader when I commute this was often hard to achieve in the time between getting on the bus and arriving at work.

This isn’t the all action book I hoped it would be. Though this might have been due to my expectations when I answered the original tag line question.

I enjoyed this book but I think it should come with the warning that you will need to invest the time to read this book and be completely immersed into the story.

 

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Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.

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