Assassins Vengeance by Rachel Amplett @RachelAmphlett

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Author : Rachel Amphlett
Title : Assassins Vengeance
Series : The English Spy Mysteries #2
Pages : 186a
Publisher : Saxon Publishing
Publication date : January 14, 2018

aboutthebook

Eva and her fractured team are on the run, desperate to find answers and uncover who has betrayed them from within the shadowy government organisation known only as the Section.

Evading assassination in Berlin and Prague, Eva has had time to regroup and try to solve the mystery behind the attempts on her life.

But her enemies are one step ahead of her, eliminating anything and anyone who stands in their way.

Hell hath no fury like a woman who’s been shot at and survived … twice.

mythoughts

Cor, this story is not letting up or giving you a chance to breathe!

In case you were wondering, no, you can’t read this as a stand-alone and it’s obviously quite hard to review this since it’s basically the middle section of a book and pretty much anything I can tell you will be spoilers for the previous episode.

Eva is on the run, trying to keep herself and Alex safe, while also attempting to figure out who’s after them. But traveling around Europe, it seems someone is a step ahead of her and there are few people left to trust. Meanwhile, Miles is questioning the loyalty of those around and above him and sets out on his own investigation which also has a few surprises in store.

In this episode, we get some information about how Eva ended up with the Section and the assignment that forced her to go into hiding. There are some fabulous reveals in this episode that I didn’t see coming at all. I felt the pace was a little slower in this one but there was still enough action to keep me hooked. And once again, the story cuts off at the perfect moment, leaving you wanting more which is exactly what a great cliffhanger should do.

I said it in my review for Assassins Hunted last week and I’ll say it again now : I absolutely love this concept that Rachel Amphlett is exploring. These episodes are relatively quickly to read and yet so much happens that you feel like you’ve read an entire book. All in all, a brilliant spy story by a fantastic thriller author. I can’t wait to read the final instalment next week!

My thanks to Rachel Amphlett for the review copy!

Assassins Vengeance is published today! Episode 3 will be available next Sunday!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Goodreads

 

Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks @annecater #DeepBlueTrouble #blogtour

I’m delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb today! Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join and my review copy!

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Author : Steph Broadribb
Title : Deep Blue Trouble
Series : Lori Anderson #2
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 5, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT—Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything—alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson “The Fish” Fletcher, and JT walks free.

Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything.

mythoughts

Around this time last year, I read Deep Down Dead, the first Lori Anderson book. I remember it left me absolutely exhausted from the relentless action but also thrilled to know there would be more from Lori and that time has finally come. So, yes, once again I had insanely high expectations and I was not disappointed because this one is even better!

Deep Blue Trouble picks up one week after events from the previous book. With JT in jail, Lori cuts a deal with Special Agent Alex Monroe. He needs her to bring back an escaped convict, Gibson Fletcher. If Lori is successful, JT will be set free. But things are a lot murkier than they seem.

Lori has little choice though. JT is hardly safe in jail, especially with The Old Man still intent on revenge for the murder of Lori’s husband, Tommy. Lori needs to deal with the distraction and the worry while doing her job. Things don’t go so well for her when she’s forced to work with a team. As JT always tells her, don’t trust anyone. But when things get dangerous, will anyone have Lori’s back?

It’s so refreshing to have such an amazing protagonist as Lori. Mom and bounty hunter, kicking ass and taking numbers and fiercely standing her ground in a predominantly male environment, never giving up even when the odds aren’t in her favour. And all the while making sure her daughter is safe. She’s the kind of woman every little girl should look up to, a far better role model than some I won’t name. Sure, she makes mistakes but that just makes her more realistic and very little warms my heart as much as her relationship with Dakota.

Steph Broadribb has delivered another cracking story. Deep Blue Trouble is an incredibly hard-hitting and action-packed adventure that had me on the edge of my seat. The suspenseful plot had me hooked from start to finish, trying to unravel the threads and fearing for the lives of those involved. These books would make such great movies! They’re exciting, an adrenaline rush and yes, totally exhausting but in the most satisfying way. The ending is set up perfectly for a follow-up and I for one can’t wait!

Deep Blue Trouble is out now in ebook format and UK paperback.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA.

As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases.

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.

Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts.

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Assassins Hunted by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett

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Author : Rachel Amphlett
Title : Assassins Hunted
Series : The English Spy Mysteries #1
Pages : 186
Publisher : Saxon Publishing
Publication date : January 7, 2018

aboutthebook

Mother. Widow. Spy.

Eva Delacourt has been in hiding for three years after her fiancée was assassinated in cold blood outside the British embassy in Prague.

She thought she was safe.

But someone in the mysterious Section has betrayed her, and now she’s on the run for her life, sworn to protect the six-year-old boy she adores.

Her enemies are closing in, and the odds are not in Eva’s favour. For Eva, the nightmare is just beginning…

mythoughts

If, like me, you are a huge fan of Rachel Amphlett’s Kay Hunter series, then you are probably eagerly awaiting book five. Not to worry, it’s coming but for now Rachel Amphlett is exploring an entirely new concept with The English Spy Mysteries and I must say, I quite like the way she’s decided to tackle this. It’s a bit like a tv show, where you get a new episode every week with a massive cliffhanger that will make sure you keep coming back for more.

In this first novella, Assassins Hunted, we meet Eva Delacourt. She’s a widow, a mother and a spy who, due to events in the past, has been laying low with her son. But her whereabouts have been compromised and she’s forced to go on the run as it seems someone in the Section has betrayed her. Who is after her and why? My lips are sealed. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. 😉

I can tell you that this has everything you’d expect from a gripping spy thriller and once again proves the author is a fantastic thriller writer! (If you haven’t yet done so, you should check out her Dan Taylor espionage series.) It’s action-packed from the very first page and with nail-biting tension and a relentless pace, it had me hooked from start to finish. Like Eva herself, it’s hard to know who can be trusted as she navigates a world full of lies, deceit and secrets. Some of which are her own. And just like her, you barely get a minute to catch your breath.

Now, of course it’s up to you to figure out how you want to set about reading these novellas. You can choose to read them as the author intended or all in one go, as if you’re having a binge-watching session on Netflix. I decided on the first option because apparently I quite enjoy torturing myself but this exciting and fresh approach really lends itself to it. And at a 186 pages, you can absolutely read this in one sitting, which is a good thing because you won’t want to put it down!

Episode 1: Assassins Hunted was published on January 7th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Goodreads

The two other episodes, Assassins Vengeance and Assassins Retribution will be available on Sunday January 14th and 21st. I can’t wait!

My thanks to Rachel Amphlett for the advanced ebook copy!

 

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKracken @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour

I am thrilled to bits to be able to share my thoughts with you on Hydra by Matt Wesolowski on my stop for the blog tour. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the tour and my review copy!

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Author : Matt Wesolowski
Title : Hydra
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 15, 2018

aboutthebook

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the “Macleod Massacre.” Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden “games,” online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.

mythoughts

Oh … my … word! My brain can’t compute this level of awesomeness! How do you even review something like this?!

When I started reading Six Stories last year, it only took a few pages to make me realise I had something rather extraordinary in my hands and I had no doubt the book would end up in my Top 5 list of the year. So Hydra was one of my most anticipated books of this year and, rather unfairly perhaps to the author, my expectations were somewhere near the end of our solar system. However, I’m guessing you can already tell I absolutely loved it and I am utterly convinced this book too will be in my list of books of the year by December.

When I read Six Stories, I was completely unfamiliar with the concept of podcasts and I thought it would throw me off. It didn’t but upon reading this one, I felt even more comfortable with the concept and the way the story is presented. You may think, but well, it was original and unique at first but it’s been done now. Believe me, it’s every bit as refreshing and fantastic. Dare I say, it’s even better! This story will hook you from the first page and not let go. By the end, I felt utterly wiped out and unable to string sentences together.

In Hydra, Scott King sets out to investigate the “Macleod Massacre”. Back in 2004, Arla Macleod murdered her stepfather, mother and younger sister. There was never any doubt Arla was the killer but as the murders were completely unprovoked, what lead her to do these atrocious acts? Was her responsibility as diminished as her legal team made it out to be? Should she be held in a mental institution, a place many feel is not the right punishment for her, or should she have been in prison? Scott King is determined to find out the truth behind these acts but when he is targeted by a relentless online troll, will he admit defeat and let the story go?

What I love about these stories, is that I know it’s fiction and yet it feels so incredibly real that I’m left reeling as much as I would be if I’d been watching a true crime documentary. There’s no end to the level of suspense and creepiness. At times I took a little break after a podcast, desperately in need of a little breather while also checking to see my doors and windows were locked. Arla’s story is utterly disturbing and harrowing. Between her interview with Scott and the tapes she records for her psychiatrist, my heart just broke for her.  Throw in the presence of the Black-Eyed Children and I didn’t sleep for days.

I’m still lost for words, to be honest. I could mention things like compelling, addictive, engrossing, gripping and they’re all true but none really accurately convey the sheer brilliance and genius that is Matt Wesolowski and his latest offering. It’s just impeccable, an incredibly crafted masterpiece, a true gem which stands out effortlessly. I feel incredibly proud and honoured to have Hydra sitting comfortably on my bookshelf. While I’m not entirely sure my review does it any justice, I do hope it will convince you to pick up a copy. All that’s left for me to say is, please can I have some more, sir.

Hydra is available in ebook format. The UK paperback release is set for January 15th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Matt Wesolowski is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie

Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio.

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Hydra blog poster 2018 FINAL

 

 

Know Me Now by C.J. Carver @C_J_Carver @BonnierZaffre

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **

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Author : C.J. Carver
Title : Know Me Now
Series : Dan Forrester #3
Pages : 448
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : December 14, 2017

aboutthebook

A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 agent, is connected to them both.

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

But as the pair investigate, they unravel a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past and uncover a terrible secret.

A secret someone will do anything to keep buried.

mythoughts

Gah! How did I not know about this series? Seriously? I’ve been missing out massively!

Know Me Now is the third instalment in the Dan Forrester series and the author shows no signs of letting up as it’s every bit as mind-blowing as the previous two books. Which you should totally read, if you haven’t already. Just saying. It’s been an absolute treat for me to be able to read these three phenomenal books one after the other in a matter of days. I’m feeling rather exhausted from all the excitement!

Dan’s father has passed away unexpectedly after a golf session in Germany. As if dealing with that isn’t enough, he also gets word his godson has died all the way up in Scotland. All the signs point to Connor having taken his own life but Grace isn’t convinced. When Dan discovers his father and godson may have been murdered, he brings in the help of Lucy to investigate further. But someone is going out of their way to keep a longstanding secret buried and nobody seems safe.

Obviously I can’t talk about what that secret is as that would ruin the entire plot but it has to be one of the most harrowing and horrifying things I’ve ever read about! It kind of wormed its way into my brain and I can’t stop thinking about it. As with the previous books, C.J. Carver manages to grab my attention from the first page and after having read the previous two books in quick succession, I felt completely safe in the author’s hands, knowing that I was yet again in for an absolutely fantastic time and C.J. Carver didn’t disappoint me.

Know Me Now is another well-paced addition and I found myself unable to put it down. Even when I had to, I found myself thinking about it, trying to figure out the connections and the culprits and as per usual, failing miserably. I was left guessing until the end as to what was going on or who was behind it all. There was a massive curveball I didn’t see coming at all, making me think I missed clues along the way.

I adore Dan and Lucy but it was such a treat to see Grace return. I hadn’t realised how much I missed her. This entire cast of characters works like a charm for me. The only one I still have problems sympathising with is Jenny. I can’t put my finger on it as to why I have issues with her, as her actions and attitude seem perfectly reasonable considering the circumstances, but I do. However, that has no effect on my enjoyment at all!

Terribly exciting, hugely entertaining, incredibly gripping and compelling, a thrill a minute  … What more can I say? I’m a fan! The Dan Forrester series has shot right up to the top of my favourite series list and I can’t wait for more! Do yourself a favour and check this series out!

My thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for the advanced copy, which I received via Netgalley and chose to review honestly.

Know Me Now is available in ebook format. The paperback release is set for January 11th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Tell Me A Lie by C.J. Carver @C_J_Carver @BonnierZaffre

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Author : C.J. Carver
Title : Tell Me A Lie
Series : Dan Forrester #2
Pages : 496
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : January 12, 2017

aboutthebook

A family in England is massacred, the father left holding the shotgun.

PC Lucy Davies is convinced he’s innocent.

A sleeper agent in Moscow requests an urgent meeting with Dan Forrester, referencing their shared past.

His amnesia means he has no idea who he can trust.

An aging oligarch in Siberia gathers his henchmen to discuss an English accountant.

It’s Dan’s wife.

mythoughts

Bloody hell!

I knew from the second I finished the previous book, that I’d drop everything and jump right into book 2 of this incredible series. I may have mentioned before this series is just made for binge-reading and I’m thrilled to bits that a break in my otherwise hectic schedule gave me the opportunity to do exactly that!

One month after events in “Spare Me The Truth”, a sleeper agent in Moscow urgently seeks contact with Dan Forrester. But of course, due to his amnesia, Dan has no idea who they are and if they can be trusted. Meanwhile, Lucy is convinced a man arrested for the murder of his family is innocent but is finding it hard to prove it. Somehow these two things are connected and soon I found myself completely engrossed in this web of lies, deceit and family secrets.

After finishing book one in the series, my expectations for Tell Me A Lie were somewhere right up in the stratosphere. It was soon obvious though that I wasn’t going to be disappointed as C.J. Carver takes us to Scotland and Russia and made my head spin so hard with revelations, I almost felt dizzy. Once again, this is a taut and intricately plotted storyline that kept me hooked until the end. With an international conspiracy, an intriguing investigation and a brilliant cast of characters, I found it really hard to put this one down.

A multi-layered and well-paced thriller, Tell Me A Lie is an excellent addition to the Dan Forrester series and I can’t wait to catch up with the third instalment!

Tell Me A Lie was published in January 2017.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Spare Me The Truth by C.J. Carver @C_J_Carver @BonnierZaffre

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Author : C.J. Carver
Title : Spare Me The Truth
Series : Dan Forrester #1
Pages : 528
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : April 7, 2016

aboutthebook

Dan Forrester, piecing his life back together after the tragic death of his son, is approached in a supermarket by a woman who tells him everything he remembers about his life – and his son – is a lie.

Grace Reavey, stricken by grief, is accosted at her mother’s funeral. The threat is simple: pay the staggering sum her mother allegedly owed, or lose everything.

Lucy Davies has been forced from the Met by her own maverick behaviour. Desperate to prove herself in her new rural post, she’s on the hunt for a killer – but this is no small town criminal.

Plunged into a conspiracy that will test each of them to their limits, these three strangers are brought together in their hunt for the truth, whatever it costs. And as their respective investigations become further and further entwined, it becomes clear that at the centre of this tangled web is a threat more explosive than any of them could have imagined.

mythoughts

I have no idea whatsoever how this series managed to slip under my radar! As it is, I stumbled upon it accidentally when I requested “Know Me Now” on Netgalley, not realising it was the third in a series. So, true to form, I bought the previous two and started at the beginning. I can tell you right now, this series is totally made for binge-reading!

Sometimes you start reading a book and before you’ve even finished the first page, you just know you’re onto a winner. That’s what happened to me when I picked up “Spare Me The Truth”. It took less than a minute for me to realise I was in for a treat and an incredibly eventful afternoon. Hook, line and bloody sinker!

The story starts when Dan Forrester is approached by a woman in a supermarket. She knows everything about him and needs his help. The problem is Dan has no idea who she is because he’s lost a huge chunk of his life after a traumatic experience. But the seed has been planted and Dan can’t stop himself from finding out some answers. What happened to him? Why can’t he remember? How did his son die? Can he trust anyone?

Lucy Davies used to work for the MET but when her attitude got her into trouble once again, she was transferred to a post in the country. She desperately wants to prove herself and find a way back to London. But when a young girl goes missing, Lucy quickly finds herself entangled in something far bigger than she bargained for.

This is one of the most fabulous thrillers I’ve ever read. With a thrill a minute, at times it felt like I forgot to breathe. C.J. Carver has created an exceptionally intricate plot and a web of lies and deceit that had me utterly enthralled. I won’t say any more because you need to read this book yourself and learn what happened to Dan.

Spare Me The Truth is the kind of thriller that grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let go. The kind of book you can’t put down, the kind of book where any interruption or distraction makes you want to throw a temper tantrum. So incredibly chilling, compelling and spine-tingling (in the best way possible), this action-packed and fast-paced story could easily be turned into a movie or a tv series. The various layers held my attention throughout and when all the pieces of the puzzle came together, you could have knocked me over with a feather! Absolutely loved it and I highly recommend you give this one a go! I promise it’s a corker!

Watch out for my reviews of the other two books in the series next week! Told you at the beginning, perfect for binge-reading. 😉

Spare Me The Truth was published in 2016 and is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

 

The Liar’s Promise by Mark Tilbury @MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour

It’s such a pleasure to join the blog tour for The Liar’s Promise by Mark Tilbury today! Many thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books! I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this spine-tingling book right after I tell you a bit more about it.

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Author : Mark Tilbury
Title : The Liar’s Promise
Pages : 310
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : November 28, 2017

aboutthebook

How does a mother protect her child from the unknown?

During a visit to a local theatre, four-year-old Chloe Hollis becomes hysterical. But her mother, Mel, doesn’t realise that this is just the beginning of the nightmare. In the coming weeks, Chloe talks of The Tall Man – Of death.

At her wits end, Mel confides in Charles Honeywell, the headmaster at the school where she works. But what Mel doesn’t know is that Charles is linked to what is happening to her daughter.

Will Mel learn the terrible truth? And can she overcome her own tragic past and save her daughter before it’s too late?

mythoughts

Have I mentioned yet that paranormal and supernatural things aren’t really my cup of tea? But you guys, this is Mark Tilbury, who completely won me over at the start of the year with the absolutely brilliant The Abattoir of Broken Dreams! So when the opportunity to join the blog tour for his latest book came up, there was no way I was going to sit this one out!

Once again, the author effortlessly combines crime, suspense and the paranormal which had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Mark Tilbury’s brain must be quite the scary place as he keeps coming up with the most vile, disturbed and despicable characters I’ve ever come across. From someone who reads a lot of crime fiction, that’s saying a lot! And yet at times, I also felt myself chuckling. I don’t know how he does that and I keep thinking it shouldn’t work, but it does somehow.

I don’t want to talk too much about the plot. The book description doesn’t give much away and neither will I. The less you know when you start reading, the better. Suffice to say though, the plot is incredibly clever and left me utterly horrified at the games an evil genius plays. Cryptic, huh? 😄

This is one gripping paranormal thriller. It’s actually kind of sick and insanely twisted and I mean that in the best way possible. Yet there are also moments that are truly sad and heartbreaking. The Liar’s Promise just has everything! It had me glued to the pages and I couldn’t flip them fast enough. I may be a total paranormal sceptic, but I’m a firm Mark Tilbury believer and I so can’t wait for whatever he comes up with next! I highly recommend you check out this book and his other work too, if you haven’t done so already. I promise you won’t regret it for a second!

The Liar’s Promise is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryGoodreads

abouttheauthor

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his fourth novel, The Liar’s Promise, along with The Abattoir of Dreams, published, and The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused re-launched, by Bloodhound Books.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar,
and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads

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The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard MacDonald @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard MacDonald! Thanks to Rachel for inviting me. I have an extract to share with you today, right after I tell you what the book is all about.

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Author : Gerard MacDonald
Title : The Prisoner’s Wife
Pages : 320
Publisher : Socciones Editoria Digitale
Publication date : June 20, 2017 (first published in 2012)

aboutthebook

Living in Paris in 2004, former CIA spy Shawn Maguire accepts a freelance job to find an Iranian named Darius Osmani. Abducted by the CIA after claiming to have information about a nuclear device, Osmani is being interrogated in one of its secret “black prisons” as a suspected terrorist. Maguire’s efforts to track him and avoid his own downfall are complicated by his attraction to Osmani’s wife, Danielle. …

As spies go, Maguire is a decent, straight-shooting soul—and not only when he’s putting his skills as a sniper to work. He searches for Osmani, on a road that takes him and Danielle to Morocco, Egypt and the political danger zone of Pakistan—where U.S. intelligence has secret plans for the soon-to-be-reinstated female prime minister.

extract

It was basic with AA meetings, rule one, they weren’t pickup places. Shawn had never hit on Anita, or any other woman in the rooms. But then, he was new to this recovery gig. He’d thought about a pickup. Of course he had. Down the line, maybe. But tonight?

Anita was weeping now. The room was quiet. ‘We were drinking,’ she said. ‘This guy. I took him home. I – we – I mean – ’ She stood, pushing herself up off the table. ‘And I’d worked so hard. Like, I’d been clean for months.’ Someone slid toward her the half-empty box of man-size tissues. ‘That’s, I mean, that’s all, that’s all I want to say right now, but thank you for – ’

Another ragged chorus: ‘Thank you Anita. Thank you for your chair,’ – an expression which puzzled Shawn the first time he came to one of these coffee-bar meetings. Her chair?

Cedric, the man who’d laughed, stood on tip toe, mouth open, ready to speak.

But Anita, her breathing slower, pointed at Shawn. ‘I’d like Shawn to share.’

Snap. She remembered his name.

Cedric, put out, sat slowly down. Shawn bent his head. This was a moment he’d hoped to avoid. The three English meetings he’d been to, he’d listened to others tell their histories – alcohol, drugs, sex – all, it seemed, in miniature, scaled down for England. This odd little island.

He’d not yet spoken, and hoped he’d never have to. Now they watched him. Waiting.

Anita found a seat at the end of his row. ‘Go,’ she said.

Shawn wouldn’t, couldn’t stand. He said ‘My name’s Shawn. I’m American. I guess you hear that. Born in Alabama. Been living in England a while. Unemployed.’ That was the easy part.

Another chorus: ‘Hi, Shawn.’

‘I’m an alcoholic.’ Silence. Waiting. ‘I’m not what you call clean. I’m still drinking. Less than I did. Still, too much. You know what they say – eases the pain.’

Again, silence, in which Shawn felt undercurrents of feeling. Among the saved, a soul impenitent; a man without strength.

‘I’m also a sex addict.’

In the shadow, someone sighed.

‘I didn’t know that term,’ Shawn said. ‘If I’d heard it a couple of years back, I would’ve laughed. I mean, I thought that’s what you did. Like, excuse the language – I thought, if you’re a man – survival of the fittest – you go tomcatting round, grab whatever tail’s on offer. Meet someone hot, a girl gets your attention, hey, do your damnedest, get her into bed.’ He paused, then said, ‘Actually, with me, not that simple. Looking back a couple of years, I’m telling myself, whoa, boy, enough already. I’d gotten married to a woman I always wanted to be married to. Took me twentysome years to do it. When I put a ring on her finger, I figured she was all I’d need – why’n hell would I go chasing some other broad? But, we’re addicts here, you know how it is. I didn’t stop. I slowed down, didn’t stop. I guess – someone told me – that’s what addiction is. You want to stop, and you don’t stop. It’s not easy. You do it that one last time, and it’s never the last time.’ He was quiet a while then said, ‘Now, my wife’s gone. I can’t tell her I’m sorry’ He stopped, took a breath. ‘I think that’s all I want to say.’

***

The Prisoner’s Wife is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Author Gerard Macdonald lives in West London and is currently working on a short series of political fiction books

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The Silver Wolf by Rob Sinclair @RSinclairAuthor @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour #extract

It’s my absolute pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for The Silver Wolf by Rob Sinclair today! Many thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for inviting me. I have an extract to share with you but first, here’s what the book is all about.

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Author : Rob Sinclair
Title : The Silver Wolf
Series : James Ryker #3
Pages : 473
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : November 17, 2017

aboutthebook

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

extract

CHAPTER 1

Lake Maggiore, Italy

Looking out over the edge of the pool to the serenity of the crystal lake  below, he could almost believe he was in paradise. Thomas Maddison would defy anyone to spend just a few days at Villa Mariangela and not feel the same way. But underneath the glitz of the lavish setting, the place was far from idyllic, he knew. Scratch the blissful surface, and lies, deceit and blood would ooze from the many cracks and warts.

Maddison pushed the forbidding thoughts aside and swam across the infinity pool to the other side, turned, then went more slowly back the other way. The water seemed to suspend unnaturally in the air, as though conjoined with the glistening blue of the lake below. He grabbed the disguised edge at the far end where the water teasingly cascaded over and down into a small gully, and then he stopped and took a minute to look out across the view as the warm morning sun beat down on his face.

The villa behind him, on the southern tip of the long, winding lake, faced north. Although he couldn’t see from his high perch, around the twists and bends in front of him the lake wound its way between the spectacular hills of Lombardy, at the northernmost points of Italy, and on into the alpine scenery of southern Switzerland. Villa Mariangela was not just a beautiful and extravagant home; it was a location of strategic importance for Maddison’s employer.

Employer? Was that the right word? It was the simplest way to describe their relationship, Maddison reckoned, though it didn’t really explain much.

‘Maddison,’ came a man’s voice.

Maddison spun around in the water, still grasping the edge with one hand as his legs bobbed up and down below. He spotted Clyde approaching the pool. Clyde Montana. The name didn’t fit the man at all. To Maddison the name brought with it the image of a nineteenth-century cowboy in the American Old West. Chiselled jaw and stubble and a squint that Clint Eastwood would be proud of. This Clyde, however, was a product of some of England’s most expensive educational institutions, which was evident in his stiff manner and old world accent. He was tall, wiry, with closely cropped hair. Always clean-shaven. Always sporting designer and smart casual garb. He basically looked like a rich and weedy geek, inoffensive, and not in the least bit dangerous.

How looks can be deceptive.

‘He wants to see you,’ Clyde said.

He. Names weren’t needed. Not where he was concerned.

‘Okay, give me five minutes.’

‘He’s in the guest house.’

Clyde turned and walked off without further elaboration. Maddison let go of the edge and swam back across to the other side of the pool where he pulled himself out. The morning air sent a wave of goose pimples over his wet, tanned brown skin and he grabbed a towel from the pool edge and wrapped it around himself. In front of him was the main villa. The modern pool was a stark contrast to the classical structure which looked like a miniature Renaissance palace. The villa’s grounds, rising into the hills behind the lake, extended to over three acres. As well as the main villa, whose history stretched back over three hundred years, there were two other separate living spaces within the grounds: the building Clyde had referred to as the guest house – originally a boat house – and the more modern, glass-rich pool house, which Maddison headed into to get changed.

He slicked back his dark brown hair as he went to the downstairs bathroom then, as he stared at his pile of clothes, he ran his fingers through his speckled grey stubble. No, he’d shave tomorrow. He dressed in the pair of khaki trousers and cotton shirt. He slipped on his loafers then headed back out into the sunshine, across the deep green lawns, through the glorious floral gardens, and finally down the twisting stone steps that led to the lake edge and the guest house.

As he was descending, Maddison saw one of the housekeepers climbing the steps from the bottom, clutching a bundle of white bedsheets. Adriana. She was twenty-three and from one of the local villages. Maddison had taken quite a liking to her since she’d joined the villa’s extensive domestic crew some three months previously. He liked that she seemed disinterested in the money and the glamour of the host’s lifestyle. He’d seen her spurn advances from some of the men – champagne and rides in fast boats and faster cars didn’t seem to appeal to her. He was determined to find out what did.

Buon giorno,’ Adriana said as they reached each other and both of them stopped.

Buon giorno.’ Maddison gave her a warm smile.

‘Another early morning swim,’ Adriana said in her thickly accented English.

‘Best way to start the day,’ Maddison said. Adriana continued past him. ‘You should join me sometime.’

She glanced around then looked away coyly. ‘Maybe another time.’

‘I look forward to it. You have a good day, Adriana.’

‘You too. Ciao.

She carried on up the steps and Maddison watched her for a moment before he turned his focus back to the guesthouse. The once-basic wooden structure, which hovered over the edge of the lake, had been converted some ten years earlier when it became too small for its original purpose. Which Maddison understood to mean it wasn’t big enough to house the gleaming yacht which was moored alongside it on the purpose built jetty.

The guesthouse was used frequently, but Maddison hadn’t realised anyone had been staying there the previous night. Or maybe Adriana was just getting it ready for someone to stay that night? Maddison felt a fleeting pinch of suspicion as he made his way to the front door, but it quickly disappeared. There was no reason to suspect his cover had been blown after all this time.

He stopped at the front door and reached out to knock, but before his knuckle could rap on the thick wood door, it was opened from the inside. Dean, a squat and heavily muscled man, would have looked out of place in any other job but security.

‘Morning,’ Maddison said.

‘He’s in the kitchen.’

Maddison carried on through into the expansive open-plan space. There was nothing much classical in the room. Everything was sleek, modern and pricey.

Sure enough his illustrious boss, Draper, was there, standing by the kitchen counter with his back to Maddison.

‘You wanted to see me?’ Maddison said.

Draper spun around and gave a half smile. He ran a hand through his long silvery slicked-back hair. Together with his sparkling blue eyes, wide toothy smile and prominent cheekbones, he had a face that drew people in. Perhaps a contrast to his plain and casual attire – a pair of scraggy deck shorts, sandals and blue V-neck jumper.

‘Damn thing’s broken.’ Draper turned his attention back to the pristine looking coffee machine and banged it hard on the top. It rattled and gurgled to life. He huffed. ‘Can you believe that? Five thousand Euros this thing cost me. It should be faultless, yet it still responds best to a heavy hand.’

Maddison swallowed hard at Draper’s offish tone, the first glimmer of doubt fighting to take hold in his mind. He pushed it away.

‘You want one?’ Draper asked.

‘Yeah. An espresso please.’

‘Here, you come over and do it.’

Draper grabbed his drink and moved past. Maddison took a small cup from the counter and placed a black capsule into the top of the machine. He looked around the room as the machine gurgled away. No sign of Clyde or anyone else. Maddison and Draper were alone.

‘Everything still on for this afternoon?’ Maddison asked.

‘What? Oh, yeah, that. It is. But I’m not sure I’ll need you to come with me.’

‘Really?’ Maddison pulled the small cup out from under the machine’s nozzle. He turned to face Draper who was leaning against a cabinet by the edge of the kitchen area, his head just a couple of inches from the wooden beam above him. At six feet four, he was several inches taller than Maddison.

‘That’s what I needed to speak to you about,’ Draper said. ‘Come and take a seat. There’s someone I need you to meet.’

Maddison raised an eyebrow but said nothing. He sipped the treacly liquid in his cup and enjoyed the moment as the strong vapour worked through his sinuses. He moved out of the kitchen and across to the oak dining table where he sat down on one of the eight chairs.

Moments later, he heard footsteps coming from the hallway and he turned to see an unfamiliar man walking into the room.

At least, Maddison’s first impression was that the man was unfamiliar, but as he stared into his uncaring, knowing eyes, a distant memory tugged away in his mind.

Or was it simple déjà vu?

‘So who’s this?’ Maddison asked, not bothering to hide his agitation. He kept his eyes on the new arrival as he placed his espresso cup down onto the table.

‘This is your replacement,’ Draper said, looking at the man, who simply smirked. The man came up to Draper’s side, both of them remaining a few feet away from Maddison. Maddison said nothing to the statement, despite all of the thoughts that suddenly ballooned in his mind. Draper didn’t need to explain further. Maddison understood what was happening. What his confused mind couldn’t understand was why.

Had Draper found out?

As Maddison continued to stare at Draper and the man, almost not daring to look away, he heard a creak somewhere behind him. Another person, coming out of the lounge?

So this was how it was going to end. A stab in the back.

Maddison knew in that moment that, for whatever reason, the game was finally over. There was no need to play along anymore. The best course of action was for him to leap up, tackle the man behind him – was it Clyde? – and take whatever weapon he was carrying. Then Maddison would launch himself at Draper and the new arrival. After that, he would attack any other man, woman or beast that got in his way as he made his escape from the secured compound.

He knew the best exit route. Which vehicle to take. Which direction to head. It wasn’t as though he hadn’t planned for this moment.

But Maddison did none of those things. He couldn’t. No matter how much his brain willed him to jump up from the seat and begin the counter-assault, his body felt disconnected. The room was swirling in front of him. Sweat droplets were quickly forming on his head. He felt nauseous and plonked his elbow down onto the table to try to keep from falling off the chair. He stole his eyes from Draper and glanced down to the small cup on the table.

A second later, a leather-gloved hand whipped in front of him from behind, and thrust a metal tent peg into Maddison’s hand. He shouted out in pain as a spatter of blood squirted out onto his face. Another gloved hand came forward, clutching a hammer. The head of the tool was slammed down onto the hooked top of the peg, over and over, purposeful strikes that drove the metal further and further through Maddison’s hand and securing it firmly to the oak table below. Maddison’s hand, arm, his whole body was now shaking in agony.

‘It’s a muscle relaxant,’ Draper said, coming forward toward Maddison, sounding unmoved. ‘Clever, isn’t it? You can’t move a thing right now. But the pain? The pain is still there, raw and strong.’

‘What is this?’ Maddison tried to shout out, but his words were slurred, his tongue and his jaw barely moving.

‘What is this!’ the man standing by Draper mocked, deliberately slurring his speech to the point of incomprehension.

Draper gave the man a heartless look before turning his attention back to Maddison.

‘Sorry about him,’ Draper said. ‘He’s not like you and me. A bit rough around the edges, you could say. I have to admit, there’s a lot about him that I’m not so in tune with. Me and you… we were similar. I think that’s why we got along so easily.’

The man grated his teeth, and Maddison could see he’d taken real offence at Draper’s words. Not that it helped Maddison’s position.

The same sense of déjà vu flashed in Maddison’s mind again.

‘I know you,’ Maddison tried his best to say.

The man narrowed his eyes. Then he moved forward, anger on his face, though Maddison wasn’t sure why. He headed past Maddison, then a second later, came back to his side clutching the hammer and another metal rod.

The two gloved hands from the unseen attacker came around Maddison and grabbed at his free arm, pinning his hand to the table. The man at his side, eyes full of menace, held Maddison’s stare as he put the metal in position.

‘No,’ he said. ‘You don’t know me.’

He brought the hammer down and the metal crunched through flesh and the delicate bones on Maddison’s hand. His body spasmed as pain consumed him, but he let out nothing more than a moan. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

‘You don’t know anything about me,’ the man spat. He brought his snarling face closer to Maddison’s. ‘The problem though is that I know you.’

‘Which, I’m sure by now you realise, means that I know everything you’ve told me about you is a lie,’ Draper said, folding his arms. ‘Whoever you really are, you won’t leave my villa alive. It’s up to you how many pieces we take before you talk.’

Draper moved forward and grabbed hold of one of the metal rods sticking out from Maddison’s hands. He yanked it back and forth, a squelching sound coming from the stricken hand as the flesh was pushed, pulled and torn. Maddison grimaced and shook in his chair, trying all the tricks he’d been taught many years earlier for channelling away and ignoring the pain.

They didn’t work. Not when faced with agony like this.

Draper crouched down. His face was placid, no hint of anger, and when he spoke it was with warmth and comfort that made Maddison, for all his strength and determination, seriously question just what this man was capable of.

‘It’s time for you talk now, my friend,’ Draper said. ‘And, one way or another, you can be damn sure you’re going to tell me everything.’

***

😲 Well, I don’t know about you but I need a minute to recover here. Yowza!

If this extract has left you wanting more, you’re in luck as The Silver Wolf is available for purchase right now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

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