Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT DCI Jones Casebook: CRYER’S VIEW by @KerryJDonovan #Crime @CathyRy

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading DCI Jones Casebook: Cryer’s View by Kerry J Donovan

32738530

Detective Sergeant Phil Cryer is recuperating from a serious knee injury sustained in a rooftop chase during a previous investigation. He’s feeling frustrated and helpless at being on sick leave, so when he has a visit from Chief Superintendent Knightly from the National Crime Agency who has reasons to suspect corruption, Cryer jumps at the chance to go undercover.

When Detective Sergeant Richie Juno is killed in a hit and run while tailing a suspect, just after he arranged to meet with CS Knightly on an urgent matter, questions are raised. Was DS Juno targeted and murdered and, if so, why? Unable to place his trust with anyone in the NCA until the double-dealing is exposed, Knightly contacts his old friend DCI David Jones, Cryer’s boss. Jones believes Phil Cryer has the perfect talents for undercover work – incredible IT skills and an eidetic memory.

This is number four in the DCI Jones series and an excellent addition. The story begins in the third person with Ritchie Juno, then moves to the first person from Phil’s perspective as he takes centre stage. The covert operation gets off to a bad start with an antagonistic attitude directed at Phil from one of the members of the NCA team. Added to that he has to downplay his skills while keeping his cover intact. With no immediate back up, Phil faces a difficult and dangerous task.

I’ve enjoyed all the books in the DCI Jones series and this is no exception. The story unfolds with a timeline heading each chapter, giving an awareness of the increasing tension and suspense. Kerry Donovan creates a very credible and convincing picture of the procedures within a specialist police unit.

I liked Phil Cryer from the start and enjoyed getting to know him, and David Jones, more. It’s a refreshing change to have a well-adjusted, easy-going and easy to relate to family man as the protagonist. And one who is able to voice his feelings, whether they are for his wife and children, or apprehension and concerns about the situation he’s in. He and DCI Jones compliment each other, both are engaging in their own ways and are developed skilfully, creating an attachment with this reader. I also very much enjoyed the addition of the ‘villain’ from the first book.

The storyline is written and structured extremely well, character driven with lots of action offset by Phil’s surreptitious desk investigations into the team members using his formidable skills via the internet. The explosive culmination was a complete surprise. A really strong addition to the series.

Book Description

The explosive fourth instalment in the DCI Jones Casebook series of crime thrillers—this is CRYER’S VIEW. 

For more than five years police operations in the southeast of England have been failing. Chief Superintendent Knightly, a senior member of the National Crime Agency, suspects that someone is selling police intelligence. When one of his junior officers dies before he can attend clandestine meeting with him, Knightly is certain—there’s a dirty cop inside his organisation.
Unable to trust anyone under his command, Knightly turns to an old friend for help—Detective Chief Inspector David Jones.
When Detective Sergeant Phil Cryer, answers his doorbell to find CS Knightly and DCI Jones on his doorstep, he knows things are about to get interesting—and dangerous. 
Phil Cryer, on sick leave after suffering an injury in the line of duty, soon finds himself deep undercover inside the NCA hunting the dirty cop, codename Alpine. He faces his most difficult and dangerous assignment. 
Alone, injured, and armed only with his phenomenal memory, Phil must identify the rogue cop before he escapes … or kills again. 

About the author

Kerry J. Donovan

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.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

THE WINNERS! #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT Bookreview team presents: The Gold & Silver 2016 Book Awards

The Winners!#RBRT Rosie’s Book Review Team presents: The Gold & Silver Rose Awards 2016

2016-book-awards

 

*Cough* … On behalf of my team, I’m delighted to announce the winners and runners-up in the #RBRT 2016 book awards!

Books were selected from the several hundred submitted to our team for review over the past year, with the 24 finalists voted for by the reviewing team. These finalists were then offered up to the public for voting. Congratulations to the 8 winners and runners up!

A click of the book’s title will take you to Goodreads, where you can see reviews, and also leads to the Amazon, etc, buy links.

 

Fantasy / SciFi/ Horror

2016-book-awards-winner-fantasy

Winner: The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

19077903

runner-up-fantasy-scifi

Runner-up: Passing Notes by D G Driver

24745610

Historical Fiction

2016-book-awards-winner-histfic

Winner: The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James

29011518

runner-up-histfic

Runner-Up: Back Home by Tom Williams

27133963

Mystery Thriller

2016-book-awards-winner-mystery-thriller

Winner: On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

28588716

runner-up-mystery-thriller

Runner-Up: Rack & Ruin (previously titled Murder & Mayhem) by Carol Hedges

Contemporary

2016-book-awards-winner-contemporary

Winner: The Disobedient Wife by Annika M Stanley

26256488

runner-up-contemporary

Runner-Up: Scotch On The Rocks by Lizzie Lamb

25849896

 

Congratulations to all the following finalists:

The Black Orchid by Celine Jean-Jean

Blood Of The Sixth by K R Rowe

Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence

When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory

Jasper by Tony Riches

The Code For Killing by William Savage

Trust Me I Lie by Louise Marley

Wings Of Mayhem by Sue Coletta

Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

Trust Me by Earl Javorsky

What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

The Bad Girl by L Donsky-Levine

Silent Water by Jan Ruth

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE DCI JONES CASEBOOK: ELLIS FLYNN by @KerryJDonovan #Thriller

Today’s Team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn by Kerry J Donovan

25460893

THE DCI JONES CASEBOOK: Ellis Flynn by Kerry J Donovan

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I’ve read a couple of this author’s other books, and still like On Lucky Shores best, which I recommend highly. This one is a standard sort of British detective crime thriller, generally well planned out. I liked the plot itself, and thought the baddies were suitably horrible, very convincing. From what I can see, Mr Donovan certainly knows his stuff about police procedures, no problems there. Some reviews say the plot is a bit far-fetched, but this is fiction, isn’t it? It wasn’t a problem for me.

I thought where this book fell down was the characterisation/dialogue, which was, at times, almost like a something out of a comic book, or a spoof; Captain Jean-Luc, the French detective (‘Jean-Luc, the same as your Captain Picard in Star Trek’), came across like something out of 1980s comedy series ‘AlloAllo; he and Jones’s sidekick Alex, a Swedish Brigitte Nelson type, preface their English phrases with ‘how do you say‘ every five minutes, not forgetting Alex’s ‘ja‘ at the end of too many sentences, and their misunderstandings of English phrases ‘is this what is called in England being a butter-fingers?’ and something about uncovering ‘the Ring of the Vice‘. We know they’re French and Scandinavian; it’s not necessary to remind the reader every time they open their mouths. I couldn’t decide if it was meant to be spoof-like or not; I just found it irritating.

The book begins with the wonderfully depraved Ellis Flynn’s grooming of young teenager Hollie Jardine; this made for an excellent opening to pull the reader straight in, but was, alas, was let down by poor proofreading, and by the fact that part of the initial detective work hinged on the discovery of some photo booth pictures of Hollie and Ellis. Hollie was so excited about these, persuading Ellis to have them taken. This leapt out at me: do teenagers do the photo booth thing any more? I thought that was more something of 15 or 20 years ago; these days, teenagers take photos and videos on their phones, constantly. I know this is set in 2011, but virtually all teenagers had camera phones/smartphones by then.

I’m sorry not to give a better review, because Mr Donovan is a jolly good writer in so many ways, and I can see by others that this book has been received very well, so perhaps it’s just me! As far as the plot and suspense go it’s fine; it’s just the dialogue and proofreading that let it down—and I’d still read another book by him, especially if he wants to revisit Chet Walker from On Lucky Shores!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com available free from Kindle Unlimited

 

Rosie’s Team #RBRT THE DCI JONES CASEBOOK: ELLIS FLYNN by @KerryJDonovan #Crime #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s second team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn by Kerry Donovan

The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn by [Donovan, Kerry J]

Another excellent instalment in the DCI Jones Casebook series. When young Hollie Jardine goes missing DCI David Jones, head of the Midlands Police Serious Crime Unit, is on the case along with his partner DC Alexandra Olganski. Jones is near to retirement, but his determination to find Hollie is absolute, although he finds missing child cases very difficult. His friend and colleague, Phil Cryer, has a daughter who could look just like Hollie when she reached her teens and that makes the case hit home even more so.

Luckily CCTV caught some footage and he and Alex risk more than their jobs when they follow Hollie’s trail over the channel. What they discover there defies description. Both their lives will be affected.

Hollie has been groomed and persuaded to go away for a holiday by the loathsome Ellis Flynn. When Hollie arrives to meet Flynn and sees another man with him she becomes suspicious, having second thoughts, and is taken by force. From the start the indication is there’s a paedophile ring at work. These characters are portrayed brilliantly, even though they’re hateful, and the beginning of the story, coming from Flynn’s point of view is chilling. More so because it’s a scenario that could be all too real.

The procedural was fascinating to follow and David Jones is a compassionate and very likeable protagonist, regardless of his almost OCD tendencies. He hates mess anywhere but most especially in his own space. A sad past is hinted at and with his time as a father cut cruelly short, he has a solitary air, although certain of his colleagues are good friends. Kerry Donovan has given a good balance between the logistics of working the case and the individuals’ thoughts and feelings. It’s a multilayered story with a great cast of characters. I really enjoyed the interaction and working relationship between Jones and his French counterpart, Colonel Jean-Luc Coué, a great character. Both of them are firmly on the same page regarding the abduction, and worse, of young girls and the way the offenders should be dealt with.

This is a compelling and tension filled read, the timelines at the beginning of each chapter adding to the ‘race against time’ feel of the storyline. Just when it looks like the case is almost wrapped up, the plot escalates again with a completely unexpected twist. Then again, when it seems like everything has been in vain, another surprise. There’s one question left unanswered for which I have my own, hopefully right, guess. I’ll have to wait and see!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team THE DCI JONES CASEBOOK: SEAN FREEMAN by @KerryJDonovan #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Cathy she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading The DCI Jones Casebook: Sean Freeman by Kerry J Donovan

25457591

The story begins eighteen months previously when Digby Parrish, criminal mastermind, is looking for a locksmith with particular skills. He finds what he’s looking for in Sean Freeman, who is biding his time working in a specific locksmith’s shop for his own reasons. Sean has an agenda. Parrish visits the shop and sets Sean a test – making a perfect copy of a one-off, damaged key.

Back to present day and DCI David Jones has just returned to work after a weeks break and is catching up with his team’s caseload. A spate of unsolved diamond thefts are brought to his attention, involving millions of pounds and someone who is an obvious expert when it comes to locks and electronics.

Ultimately the two storylines merge into a complex, detailed and well thought through plot, incorporating offshoot cases that keep the team on their toes. It kept me guessing too. Great writing, believable dialogue and engaging, well portrayed characters, particularly DCI Jones and his partner, Detective Sergeant Phil Cryer.

I like the slant of knowing who the offender is from the start, and also that there’s more to his story than is, at first, apparent. Hints are dropped as the story progresses, until the full extent of Sean’s story is revealed. Sean Freeman is a likeable rogue and I found myself hoping there would be a favourable outcome for him. Not so much for Digby Parrish and his cohorts, however, who are a combination of the worst aspects of human nature.

Lots of action, unexpected twists and great pacing keeps the story moving forward towards an excellent ending.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT ON LUCKY SHORES by @KerryJDonovan #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

28588716

Singer/songwriter Chet Walker has been running from his past for the last eighteen months, hitchhiking from town to town, singing for his supper and hoping for inspiration along the way. As he heads towards Lucky Shores, a little town in the Rockies, after seeing a billboard advertising an open mic night, he witnesses a terrible car accident. The only occupant of the car is in a very bad way and as Chet does what he can to help, the dying man whispers a few words, a mysterious message for his daughter which he wants Chet to deliver.

Chet has no idea of the developments which await him in Lucky Shores, or how delivering the message and meeting Joey Dolan will change his life. He is met with distrust, unfriendliness and aggression from some of the residents. Chet has his work cut out to get Joey to listen to what he has to tell her, until he comes up with a novel way of getting the message across.

Michael Dolan is despised by most people in Lucky Shores, injured or not, and by association Chet is unwelcome. The small town sheriff is suspicious and the two local thugs take exception to Chet, their blundering attack thwarted by some great moves, leaving them injured and embarrassed.

The puzzling message from Michael Dolan to his daughter involves both Joey and Chet in a years’ old mystery, which puts lives in danger, most notably their own. The mixture of action, suspense, mystery and a dash of romance is combined really well and I love the song verses at the beginning of each part of the story.

The plot is well paced with lots of action, romance and mystery, well drawn and credible characters, both main and secondary, and set against the evocatively described, imposing and impressive backdrop of the Colorado stretch of the Rocky Mountains. I really like Chet and the way his back story and depth of character is revealed as the story progresses. It gives an appreciation of his complex personality, versatility and an understanding of why he responds as he does to certain situations.

I enjoyed this book very much, great writing, characterisation and story structure. It’s packed with vivid imagery and I’m looking forward to more adventures with Chet Walker.

Find a copy on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE DCI JONES CASEBOOK: SEAN FREEMAN BY @KerryJDonovan #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading The DCI Jones Casebook: Sean Freeman by Kerry J Donovan

25457591

The DCI Jones Casebook: Sean Freeman by Kerry J Donovan

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I read another of Kerry Donovan’s books, ‘On Lucky Shores’ for Rosie’s review blog, which I liked a lot, so chose to review this one as soon as it was submitted. Whereas ‘On Lucky Shores’ is an all-American mystery thriller set in Colorado, this is a traditional British detective type story. I think Donovan’s American mode has the slight edge, but this one also stands up well next to the best in its genre.

The first part of the novel consists of two storylines: DCI Jones and his merry throng in the present day, and locksmith turned jewel thief Sean Freeman’s journey into the dangerous criminal underworld of Digby Parrish. Eventually, the two threads collide….

This book’s plot is quite a masterpiece, so well thought out, with plenty of nice little twists that I didn’t see coming at all. I was most impressed by the research that had obviously taken place to make the details authentic, but this is woven artfully into the storyline and is never obtrusive. The characterisation is terrific, in particular Digby Parrish (wonderfully scary!) and Detective Charlie Pelham, the latter of whom is a stereotypical 1970s throwback type of crime fighter – very funny! I liked DCI Jones, who is a little eccentric in a mild sort of way, and Sean Freeman is one of those criminals who you find yourself rooting for – I always admire a writer who can make you root for the ‘baddie’! I must applaud the dialogue all the way through the book, too.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a good, current, British crime thriller. Kerry Donovan is a most talented wordsmith and I hope to read more from him soon.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT ON LUCKY SHORES by @KerryJDonovan #FridayReads

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith has been reading On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

28588716

Kerry Donovan’s writing style is admirable; his method of telling a story is easy to read but gives a depth to a plot that keeps the reader interested.

The book is set in a small town called Lucky Shores in the Colorado Rockies, a town struggling in poverty.  But rich in disparate characters.

 I loved the protagonist Chet Walker, a musician travelling around the country, looking for gigs to perform in wherever he can find them. The author has created a many-sided character with a mysterious background that if deftly revealed as the story progresses. And Joey (Josephine) Dolan is a perfect foil for him; yet another rounded character. In fact there isn’t one character in the book, whether I liked them or not, that I didn’t believe in.

The dialogue differentiates all these characters, it’s easy to work out who is speaking without the attributions and although the author uses American euphemisms, syntax and slang it was easy for me to read; in fact it would have been wrong not to stay true to the setting of the book.

And the descriptions of the settings are evocative and full of imagery. All create a picture for the action.

I don’t easily follow fight scenes; they’re as difficult for me to envisage as they seem to be awkward to write for many authors. But Kerry Donovan makes them both visible and (dare I say?) funny. The descriptions of the protagonist’s use of martial arts are brilliantly depicted

The pace of the plot moves steadily but with many surprising twists and turns, building the tension as the story reaches the denouement. Yet is this the end of Chet Walker? Somehow I think not.

This is a thrilling mixture of adventure, crime, mystery, romance; a real cross genre of a book. I enjoyed the read and don’t hesitate to recommend i

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review  as a  member of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT

Buying links here:

Amazon.co.uk:

http://amzn.to/1KxxPmK

Amazon.com:

http://bit.ly/214uByg

Rosie’s #Book Review Team #RBRT ON LUCKY SHORES by @KerryJDonovan #Mystery #Thriller

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

28588716

On Lucky Shores by Kerry Donovan

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

Well, this was a cracking good yarn! Not the sort of book I’d usually choose at all, but I enjoyed it.

It’s set in hick town Lucky Shores in the Colorado Rockies, in winter. All I know of Colorado is Dynasty and South Park, and Lucky Shores is definitely more Skeeter’s Bar, South Park, than Krystle and Blake Carrington. The story starts when drifter musician Chet Walker (what a great name!) wanders into town, looking for a gig and a place to rest his head. Lost on a lonely road, though, he sees a motorist suffer a crash, and he runs to save his life – and so his trouble begins.

This is an adventure story, a crime mystery whodunnit thriller, with a nice little bit of romantic suspense to keep Chet from wandering back the way he came. The action picks up on a mountain hike when Chet and his female companion can’t work out who their enemies are…

Kerry Donovan has done ‘slightly scary American hick town’ very well indeed. The characterisation is extremely good, the plot totally works, and the dialogue rips along, tight and realistic, often sharp and funny, too. Oh, and as for Chet Walker – well, you know a character’s come to life on the pages when you start to fancy him, don’t you?

Well written, a proper page turner. Nice!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT ON LUCKY SHORES by @KerryJDonovan #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Francis, she blogs at http://disappearinginplainsight.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Francis has been reading On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

28588716

I loved the setting – a small town nestled in the Colorado Rockies. Main character Chet, is finely drawn from his back story that informs his current actions and reactions to his multi-faceted personality – the musician, the martial arts fighter, the drifter, to say nothing of his mysterious knowledge of firefighting and medicine. It takes some time for Chet to come completely into focus – another master stroke of storytelling! A line like, “… focused on the pain and the rain and the water running down the drain.” as Chet observes his surroundings and turns them into a tune captures the reader’s imagination. A mysterious sheriff, a small town doctor who seems anything but and a damsel in distress round out a team of secondary characters who all hit the right notes. Solid writing – an enjoyable read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com