🕵️‍♂️’The seamier side of London is brought to the fore here’🕵️‍♂️@SueBavey reviews supernatural #mystery Eat The Poor by @TomCW99

Today’s team review is from Sue.

Sue blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review team

Sue has been reading Eat The Poor by Tom Williams

Book cover for supernatural mystery, Eat The Poor by Tom Williams, set against a picture of a gargoyle, from a free photo from Pixabay.
Eat The Poor by Tom Williams

Eat the Poor is the second supernatural detective fantasy featuring the unlikely pairing of Chief Inspector John Galbraith and the vampire, Chief Inspector Pole, following on from Something Wicked which I read and reviewed last year. This time Pole and his mysterious police department “Section S” are on the trail of a creature that has been attacking deer in Richmond Park, dogs and more recently a human. Could the offender be a werewolf?

Once again I enjoyed the unlikely camaraderie of the two main protagonists, thrown together by the unusual nature of the local murder case. They are very different characters, Pole a 500 year old strait-laced vampire with refined tastes and Galbraith a down to Earth middle-aged detective whose waistline is spreading and hair is greying, beginning to consider his next steps within the police force. Seconded to Section S for the duration of this peculiar murder case, he soon finds himself dining with Pole at his abode most nights as they go over the particulars of the case and the body count begins to rise.

In addition to this fantasy series, the author is a writer of historical fiction and he often includes historical details in the story which make it richer and lend authenticity to the world in which the story is set. The seamier side of London is to the fore here, with murder victims coming from the ranks of the serial unemployed, their bodies being unceremoniously dumped in the garbage areas of the tower blocks of the seedier neighbourhoods in which they live.

We are told fairly early on who the perpetrator of the crimes is and are then able to watch the detectives follow clues until they figure it out for themselves and the pace speeds up until the final “edge of the seat” confrontation. What happens after this confrontation, I found to be quite surprising – it was not what I expected in terms of a conclusion to the case at all. This light-hearted police procedural and its surprising ending was a breath of fresh air and since it is a novella and therefore fairly short, it was quick to get into the action of the story and to grip my attention. I particularly liked how odious the Conservative MP Christopher Garold was. Anyone following British politics lately will not find the idea of a murderous werewolf that far-fetched when it comes to the dirty little secrets of those in power:

“…though the staff were good at turning a blind eye to peculiar behaviour from MPs, the sight of a wolf strolling through the corridors of power would, he thought, be too much for them to ignore.”

Anyone who likes a detective story with a little supernatural edge should give this book a try!

Book #1 Something Wicked was previously reviewed on Goodreads by Sue.

Orange rose book description
Book description

A werewolf is on the loose in London.

Chief Inspector Pole, the vampire from the mysterious Section S, teams up once again with his human counterpart to hunt down the beast before the people of the city realise that they are threatened by creatures they have dismissed as myths.

Time is short as the werewolf kills ever more recklessly. Can Galbraith and Pole stop it before panic spreads through London?

Galbraith and Pole start their search in Pole’s extensive library of the arcane, accompanied by a couple of glasses of his excellent malt whisky. All too soon, though, they will have to take to the streets to hunt the monster by the light of the moon.

But the threat is even greater than they think, for in its human form the werewolf is terrifyingly close to the heart of government.

This is Tom Williams’ second tongue-in-cheek take on traditional creatures of darkness. Like the first Galbraith & Pole book, Something Wicked, this will appeal to fans of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London.

You never know when the forces of darkness may be released and there will be no time for reading then. Buy Eat the Poor before it’s too late.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

‘An action packed tale’. Terry reviews THE GRIFTER by Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading The Grifter by Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn

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3.5 stars

An action packed tale about James, whose life was ruined by crooked financier Kent Bancroft, and his plans to retrieve his lost half a million pounds.  It’s also about Kent himself, and how the life of a rich man does not always run as smoothly as you might think.
What I liked about this book:

  • The structure – ever since reading Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel decades ago, I’ve adored alternate POV books, especially when, as with this, the lives are poles apart.
  • The pace – the book marches along with just the right amount of inner narrative versus events – there are no boring waffle bits, the characters are well-developed, and all the backstory is nicely woven in at just the right time.  This is something that you may not notice unless it isn’t right (like how you don’t notice if something is clean, but you do notice if it isn’t) – getting it spot on is an art.  
  • The writing style – flowing and so readable, so much so that I wasn’t tempted to skip-read even when I wasn’t too sure about the content itself.  
  • The quality of the research that had clearly taken place, about the financial detail, life as a homeless person, the art world and other aspects throughout the book.
  • The basic storyline, which appealed to me as soon as I read about it.

What I was not so sure about:

  • There were way too many errors that editor/proofreader should have picked up on, such as the phrase ‘the gig is up’ instead of ‘the jig is up’, Marlborough cigarettes instead of Marlboro, multiple instances of the word ‘invite’ that should have been ‘invitation’ (unlikely to occur at this level of society), numerous backwards apostrophes at the beginning of words. 
  • I wasn’t convinced that an exclusive gym patronised by the aristocracy would be called ‘MuscleBound’, which sounds more like an establishment owned by Phil Mitchell from EastEnders.  It’s only a small thing but it really stood out to me.
  • The story development, which I thought needed more thinking through; many developments/details seemed a tad unfeasible.  An example: a rich financier sharp enough to con thousands of people out of millions but doesn’t have an efficient alarm and CCTV system at his house.  

To sum up, if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, it’s a jolly good, fun book that zips along, entertains and keeps you turning the pages, and for this I commend it; being able to tell a story that amuses and keeps the attention is indeed a talent worthy of note.  Everyone has different levels of belief suspension, and mine are particularly low; most of the reviews for this book are very positive indeed.

Desc 1

One will rise. The other will fall.

Kent Bancroft’s rise to fame and fortune was nothing short of meteoric. Once a simple teacher in London’s East End, he’s now on course to become Britain’s youngest billionaire.

But his success has come on the back of those he’s trodden upon to get there. Among them is a man whose fall was as swift as Kent’s rise. He used to be a sparky until a freak accident robbed him of one leg.

And then Kent Bancroft robbed him of everything else.

Forget forgiveness. Forget turning the other cheek. And forget waiting for karma.

This is a victim who won’t stand idly by.

He wants revenge.

And he’s going to get it.

Kent Bancroft will never see him coming.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Financial #thriller The Grifter by @GunnCrime and Sean Campbell @DCIMorton

The GrifterThe Grifter by Ali Gunn

4 stars

The Grifter is a financial thriller, set in London.

James is homeless and lives on the streets; he lost all of his money after he put it into a financial scheme run by ‘Mr Safe Hands’: Kent Bancroft.

Kent is extraordinary wealthy; the media is calling him a billionaire. He has risen from the life of a humble school teacher to a famous stocks and shares trader. His daughter’s wedding is so extravagant that it is called ‘The Wedding Of the Year’, and no expense is spared.

However, beneath this shiny façade lies a fraud; Kent cheats people like James out of their life savings.  This is the story of his revenge.

The story is told from dual points of view; James and Kent. It dots back and forth between them as the narrative takes the reader through two very different lives.

I would describe this as a mild thriller; not really edge of your seat stuff, as I could guess where the story was heading, it was more about the journey than the destination. I didn’t particularly empathise with either character; I was just happy to watch from afar as their lives wound towards each other and the denouement.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Desc 1

One will rise. The other will fall.

Kent Bancroft’s rise to fame and fortune was nothing short of meteoric. Once a simple teacher in London’s East End, he’s now on course to become Britain’s youngest billionaire.

But his success has come on the back of those he’s trodden upon to get there. Among them is a man whose fall was as swift as Kent’s rise. He used to be a sparky until a freak accident robbed him of one leg.

And then Kent Bancroft robbed him of everything else.

Forget forgiveness. Forget turning the other cheek. And forget waiting for karma.

This is a victim who won’t stand idly by.

He wants revenge.

And he’s going to get it.

Kent Bancroft will never see him coming.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Thriller Ryan Kaine: On The Defensive by @KerryJDonovan

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Ryan Kaine: On The Defensive by Kerry J Donovan

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This is the third in the Ryan Kaine series by Kerry Donovan, and it’s been interesting to see how the main character and his story evolve through the books. This one is quite a change from the first, which left me out of breath by the end, with its fast and furious pace, and the second, where the pace had slowed marginally but gathered steam as it went along.

On the Defensive opens in a small Greek bistro in London, where the owners, Justina Constantine and her husband Orestes, struggle to keep the business open. Justina’s father-in-law, Papa Onassis, had been killed when a missile exploded the plane he was on to Europe – a missile fired by Ryan Kaine, who didn’t know at the time he’d been set up to do this. The Constantines now owe thousands of pounds to the bank and business is way off because a developer has bought the block where the bistro is located and is systematically forcing the tenants to leave. This day Justina is visited by two men, who smash up the restaurant, rough her up and threaten to harm her daughters if her husband won’t sign papers selling their place to the developer. A terrifying opening and a great hook.

What bothered me about the book is what came next: a long, long digression to a villa in France. There Ryan Kaine lives with the veterinarian Lara, who is introduced in the first book when she rescues him from the people sent to kill him. She must now remain with him for her own safety. Filled with their badinage, the story drags while Kaine, who has promised to make restitution to the families affected by the deaths on the plane, is informed of the Constantines’ situation. His plan to help them, his interactions with Lara, and the arrangement for a backup for him in London occupy the next seven chapters and to me, the story dragged here.

Admittedly, the author needs to fill in information about Kaine, Lara, and the mechanism by which Kaine is told when and where he might be needed. There is also Kaine’s internal struggle not to fall in love with Lara – a struggle he is losing – because of the mortal danger their relationship brings. However, this long a digression from what I’ve come to expect – a fast-paced story – detracted from my enjoyment.

Once the story returns to London, the pace picks up and the reader becomes engrossed in how Kaine inserts himself into the Constantines’ lives, identifies and finds their tormentors, manages to wreak justice on the man at the top, and rescue the bistro and the family. This is pure Donovan.

As usual, the author’s descriptions of places are succinct but well-wrought and the villains are loathsomely three dimensional. All the characters are clear and identifiable, with quirks and foibles. There are the usual twists and turns along the way, leading to a satisfying ending, with more foreshadowed to come.

All in all, a good, fun read, but maybe not up to the level of the first and second books. Nevertheless, for Ryan Kaine fans, this latest adventure will please.

Book description

A simple act of vandalism. A victimised family. One man will protect them.

When Ryan Kaine, former Royal Marine and current fugitive, learns of the Constantine family’s problems, he leaves his coastal hideaway and rushes to their aid. The only problem is, he is the most wanted man in the UK and his face is on every billboard and news bulletin.

Choosing his vow of protection for The 83, the eighty-three families of the people he killed on Flight BE1555, over the pleas of his friends, Kaine risks his life and takes the first plane to London.

Fully recovered from his recent injuries and with a London safe house full of toys at his disposal, Kaine won’t stop until the Constantines are safe.

Can Kaine find out why the family are under attack, neutralise the threat, and make it out of London without being recognised?

About the author

Internationally bestselling fiction author, Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in the heart of rural Brittany with his wonderful and patient wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren (so far), all of whom live in England. An absentee granddad, Kerry is hugely thankful for the advent of video calling.

The cottage is a pet free zone (apart from the field mice, moles, and red squirrels).

Kerry earned a first class honours degree in Human Biology, and has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences. A former scientific advisor to The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, he helped UK emergency first-responders prepare for chemical attacks in the wake of 9/11. This background adds a scientific edge to his writing. He is also a former furniture designer/maker.

Kerry J. Donovan

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