Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Doug reviews The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

Today’s review is from Book review Team member Doug

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He chose to read and review The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

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Here is his review.

RR Gall — The Wrath Inside (Ezera’s run 1)

I am not given to any spoiling of a story so I will keep to generalizations with very few specifics

The setting was a small agricultural town Nares in a provence some 100Km from Jerusalem with it’s close knit community, a narrow view of the world as they knew it, and of course the inevitable problems that ensue.

The main character is Ezera a 16 year old boy whose father is a carpenter and an unconventional zeast for life, the family home has a sloping roof which stands out among the prolieration of flat sunbaked dwellings.

The writer dropped some clues as to the threats and situations these span out later in the Story Much of the story occurs in the town square close to the Synagogue and a tall tree is centre stage some of that time, that make me chuckle!

There are some side stories involving family and strangers, the impact of a visit from a high status pharisee. The main issue is a conflict caused by the death of a roman soldier in the narrow streets of the town, when a census was implemented, the latter was a tactic often used by the officious regime to subjurgate the populus and extract taxes.

The Roman commander wants restitution at any cost so he asserts his authority and ensures his command are not undermined. But he reminds his second in command to count the olive trees

I enjoyed the story and related to the group of boys, or young men as they would have been considered in the days of the Roman occupation. Afterall whats wrong with some rebellion!

I read the entire novel without any hindrance there were no particular issues with style or grammar, it flowed neatly without any glaring obstacles.

The one and only criticism for me was the historical backdrop could have been enhanced greatly with some suitable description to set the scene because it could have been anywhere in time, apart from the presence of the Romans.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Susan reviews The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

Today’s book review is from book review team member Susan, she blogs at http://www.susanmariemolloy.com

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Susan chose to read and review The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

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Here is Susan’s review.

BOOK REVIEW:  “The Wrath Inside” by R. R. Gall

By Susan Marie Molloy

 

This is a novel about intrigue, mystery, and action set in the ancient world.  Fifteen-year-old Ezera is at the centre of this action, complete with a mysterious man, violence, Roman soldiers, and missing twins.

 

As good as the premise is, “The Wrath Inside” is complex and sluggish – at least it was for me.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t gripped by the narratives, nor by the action through the chapters.  I do give kudos for the author setting this novel within true historic events which took research, although it distracted from much of the fictional story.  For me, the focus kept beckoning me to put down this novel and dig out my ancient history books to refresh my knowledge of real events.

 

I give 3 of 5 stars to “The Wrath Inside” by R. R. Gall.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT – Barb reviews A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

Today’s book review comes from team member Barb. She blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb chose to read and review A Different Place to Die by RR Gall.

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Here is Barb’s review.

How do you get a damaged detective? Of course, you start with Raymond Chandler’s advice: “A really good detective never gets married.” Then you balance every one of his (and yes, it’s usually a man) godlike intuitive abilities with a personality and/or medical flaw so overwhelming that their oracle-like abilities are wiped out by their shortcomings. Oh, and it helps if it’s really cold where they live. So you have Kurt Wallander in Sweden (wife left him/diabetic/borderline alcoholic/and—as if that’s not enough—Alzheimers), or Arkady Renko in Russia (politically cynical, chain-smoking, workaholic), or even the wizard detective Harry Dresden in Chicago (most of his girlfriends get mind-raped and he occasionally has to kill them).

Or you go straight for the holy grail of damaged… put the detective in Scotland like Rankin and the rest of the Tartain Noir writers do. Preferably in winter.

RR Gall takes this one step further in his new police procedural, A Different Place to Die. He splits the detective into two. Neither are married, both live in Scotland, and both are very damaged. One half is Inspector Tom Quiss, who has lost his nerve for hard crime and moved to head up the Glasgow Police Department’s newly formed civilian support group, which was downsized almost before it began. The other half is very young Shona Bally, one of his two civilian employees. Their assessment of each other is brutally pithy. “He thinks she is too young for the job. She thinks he is too old for the job. She wears too much make-up. He needs to comb his hair.” The appalled Quiss and delighted Shona are soon called in assist the overworked police with an apparent suicide, one with an unusual twist. An older couple have left a polite note and taken a horrific poison—after breaking into the house of complete strangers. As the unlikely duo attempt to identify the dead couple only to have each clue lead to new bodies, they find themselves in a race to prevent even more deaths.

A Different Place to Die should have so much going for it. The premise of two unlikeable and flawed characters forced to work together is good. But they were so initially unsympathetic that it was hard to maintain interest in either one for the length of time it took to establish backstories that would explain their issues. The book started slowly, with an extended description of Quiss’ obsession with lawn bowls, in which sport he fantasizes about representing Scotland in the next Commonwealth Games. There is just one problem. “But to represent Scotland, no matter the sport—what a dream, what an honour. The only thing is—Tom Quiss has never played an actual game of bowls in his life.” We are told very little about Shona, who is like Tom in that she seems to be emotionally frozen.

Quirky characterization can carry many books, and is especially helpful in mysteries. But ultimately, a mystery story lives or dies on the strength of its plot. Unfortunately, for me that is where A Different Place to Die is less successful. It’s difficult to talk about detective plots when you want to avoid spoilers. But the central mystery of why the deaths occurred in stranger’s houses is actually… not answered. Plot-wise, there just isn’t really a reason for it. Even more problematical is the list of plot holes that grows steadily. If there is one thing that detective fiction does need to do, it is to wrap those up at the end. So to have the final explanation be that there must be some far-reaching and high-level conspiracy is just not on.

Because of the quality of the writing and premise of the characters, I would stretch up to three stars for A Different Place to Die. But I’m frustrated because I think it could have been so much more. On a personal note, because I live in Glasgow I was disappointed that there wasn’t a more intimate look at the city. But I also would have liked more emotional connection with Quiss and Shona. For example, if these publicly unsympathetic characters had given us sympathetic glimpses into the reasons for their damage early on, it would have made it easier to take their persistently unpleasant bickering and fairly egregious nastiness. If the giant conspiracy is being seeded as backstory to a continuing series for this pair, then hints should have been dropped throughout the book. Or frankly—and I know this is Scotland but bear with me—if there had been a little comic relief from the unrelentingly depressing interactions between almost everyone in the entire book, it would have moved it to four or more stars immediately.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Alistair reviews A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

Today’s book review is from Alistair.

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He chose to read and review A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

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Here is his review.

A Different Place to Die

Review

Bit of a mixed bag

Very slow start, lots about lawn bowls, applying make-up, then long winded witness who spoke for 3% of the book but said very little.

Suddenly it’s all go. Bodies turn up everywhere, investigators rush here and there, theories abound and everyone seems to have an issue with everyone else. At least it is action.

Characters are well drawn but what they do is not very professional. DI Quiss will end up in jail and on the Sex Offenders Register if his way of helping Audrey is discovered.

Nice cover showing my University but I did not really enjoy this book. Sorry because the plot is very clever but a terrible way to encourage more organ donations.

Three stars.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Karen reviews A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

Today we bring you a review from Book Review Team Member Karen. She blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

rosie3Karen chose to read A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

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The book introduces you to Inspector Tom Quiss, 52 years old, obsessed with bowling, who is forced to return to the murder team. Additionally he leads a newly founded civilian support group, consisting of Shona Bally and Elspeth Brown. This team is also drawn into the murder investigation. These very different characters are cleverly elaborated, and very believable due to their flaws and actions. It is easy to relate. It is more than a simple Scottish mystery; it is a story of coping with personal needs and conflicting points of view, cooperating, and solving a series of strange crimes. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Amazon plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With A Different Place to Die, RR Gall has created an intriguing mystery. A Different Place to Die is an entertaining, gripping, and not too fast read – I would love to read more about this team. I was drawn into the story right away. I felt quite close to the protagonists and everything that happened. All characters were believable with all their virtues and flaws. A Different Place to Die is a great story not only for Scottish mystery lovers; it consists great twists – making your inner sleuth rethink.

This is a book to read again.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Jessie reviews The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

Today we have a review from book review team member Jessie. She blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

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Jessie chose to read and review The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

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Here is Jessie’s review.

Often it starts with a setting that interests you, then the characters paint their lives full and rich, the plot hooks you for good and there you are engrossed in a good book.

As a story set it AD 15 The Wrath Inside certainly interested me and perhaps that was the problem. I was so busy being analytically interested I never became emotionally involved. So much of my inner dialog was saying things like; “Ha- of course teenagers were still smart alecs.” “Is that what their houses are like?” “Are those wood working tools really as old as all that? I wonder what they looked like?”  ” Wait, what are they eating?” “Should I know this person?” “How much of this is real?” I was Googling, and defining and learning… and completely missing getting wrapped up in the character and plots.

I missed connecting with the young boy who was sucked into schemes he knows little about and the angry Roman commander who has come to take the census of his town. And as for the many plot lines that were being woven, well, I was too busy wondering over cooking tortoises to puzzle over any mystery. Finally when the different plots started weaving together near the end, promising more action in the following book, I was surprised at all that had been going on while I was marvelling over roofing design!

Would I recommend it? The book was interesting but not captivating. Of course, that said, I’d like to read the next one. I think I need to know what happens next!

This honest review was given in return for a free copy of the book from its author.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Fran reviews A Different Place to Die by RR Gall

Today we have a book review from Fran. She blogs at http://disappearinginplainsight.com/

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Fran chose to read  “A different Place to Die” by RR Gall.

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Here is the review.

4 star Amazon Review – A Different Place to Die by R.R. Gall

Quirky Glasgow Investigators in a Mystery that Twists and Turns

The first thing to hook me in R.R. Gall’s mystery/thriller, A Different Place to Die, was the characters. From the start, it is obvious Inspector Tom Quiss is struggling with his work. He thinks of just jacking his job in and taking up lawn bowling with dreams of playing on the Scottish National Team – even though he has never played on a team. The way he seeks escape makes him the type of character a reader can bond with.

The author’s descriptions of the man are fresh and catch the reader’s imagination. “Quiss has become slightly more handsome with age: his features finally gathering together after decades of gawky detachment. They have collected to bring a touch of distinction, a hint of appeal.” There is something so human about Tom Quiss

Next up is Shona Bally, a civilian investigator for the Glasgow police. The reader meets Shona as she goes through her daily makeup rituals. She is preparing to start a new job that will bring her into conflict with Inspector Quiss. Shona would never want to appear unfashionable and it is a stroke of writer’s genius to introduce the reader to her as she painstakingly deals with her appearance. One of Quiss’ ongoing observations of Shona has to do with her makeup. Whenever she blinks he imagines her eye lids like blinking semaphore flags sending out some mystery message.

The final character who will figure prominently in the mystery is Elspeth, Shona’s civilian investigator partner. We first see Elspeth through Shona’s eyes – a frumpy middle-aged woman dressed like she’s off to Church. Shona can’t help but think some makeup would help.

The novel is off and running and the reader is often given brief asides as to how the three main characters view one another. These asides serve to tell as much about the character in question as the one doing the assessing. Shona sees Quiss as teetering on the edge of casual and unkempt. She thinks, “Straighten up, man.” Those three words set the stage for all the interactions between Quiss and Shona. She pushes him continually to straighten up and do his job.

“He thinks she is too young for the job. She thinks he is too old for the job. She wears too much makeup. He needs to comb his hair.” And so it goes, back and forth in a delightful string of inner dialogue.

Elspeth’s take on Quiss is about the only thing she and Shona have in common. “She noted the crumples in his shirt – a match for his rumpled trousers – and wished he would see to his appearance. An image of him in his underwear came to her; an image of him standing beside her ironing board at the start of the morning, waiting for her to finish pressing his clothes. And she thought of the comb sitting in her handbag right now: wondering how he would react if she handed it to him one morning. A quick pull through would make all the difference.” Again, the author has masterfully foreshadowed just what makes Elspeth tick – she wants to be needed.

The second thing that hooked me was the actual mystery. This book is a page turner with a number of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. When the actual motive for the bizarre string of murders is revealed, I freely admit, I never saw it coming. Enough is held back, and more than a few red herrings are tossed out along the way to make readers feel as though they are involved in the actual investigation.

R. Gall has managed to write a mystery/thriller that is both character and plot driven and one aspect never overshadows the other. Through snappy dialogue between the characters much is revealed about each without the author feeling the need to elaborate on their backstories. We see them as they are for the period of time it takes the novel to unwind and are left to speculate about the details of the rest of their lives. On a couple of occasions, I felt I had to speculate too much – Elspeth and her mystery husband’s fate really left me pondering. There were a few too many threads left dangling with the crime resolution for my liking. But hey, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for an author to leave a reader wondering.

Kudos to R.R. Gall for the ability to create characters with broad brush strokes who came alive to the point that the reader craves to know more. Double kudos for placing those characters in a mystery that kept the heat turned up page after page.

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

Guest Author R.R. Gall

Today our guest is Richard, R Gall, author of yesterday’s book The Wrath Inside, here is a link to the post if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-51U

RR Gall

Let’s find out more about Richard and his writing.

1) Where is your home town?
   I live in Dumfries, Scotland.
2) How long have you been writing?
   As I’m getting on a bit now, it’s been quite a long time. I’ve dabbled away since my twenties but only started properly when the big 50 hit me for 6.
3) What genres do you enjoy writing?
   Usually murder/mysteries: the crime giving a peg to hang everything on.
4) Where did the idea for The Wrath Inside come from?
   It started by wanting to know what life was like at that time. Just basic things like: what they ate, how they made a living, their views, and how much, or, indeed, how little they knew of the world. With that in mind, I decided to set the story in a small, ordinary town.
   Also, as part of the research, I read old and modern translations of The Bible and was surprised by how the resonance changed with the language. So I tried to write something that would feel contemporary: hopefully showing that people have changed little through the years and that events in the book are no different to ones going on in places round the world today.
5) Tell us some of the historical background to the area which this book is set in at the time of AD 15
   There had been many different conquerors over the years (Persians, Greeks, etc) and now The Romans were in charge. But unease was growing – people wanted to be free from oppression. Revolts flared up, only to be sharply quashed.
6) What illnesses were both Ezera’s parents suffering from?
   There is more in the next story.
7) What jobs did Ezera and his friends have in their day to day life?
   In the area where the story is set, most would have worked the land. There would be set chores in the home as well. They would also be expected to study Scripture and Law.
8) Joseph Caiaphas had a lot of power over the people, how would Rome have dealt with this threat?
   I doubt if the Romans would have been all that bothered by the priest – as long as he did not overstep the mark. Similarly, High Priest Annas wielded great power for a long time but was only deposed after taking things a bit too far – perhaps sentencing people to death. However, he remained influential, in the background, for many more years to come.
9) Tell us about your trilogy.
   The Dumfries Detective Trilogy is a murder/mystery set of stories. It consists of: The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit, The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts, The Case of the Hermit’s Guest Bedroom.
   As the titles suggest, there is supposed to be some fun in them but, also, enough thrills and spills to keep the tension going right through to the last book.
   Unusually, this amateur detective, Jin Johnstone, is not very good at what he does – although he is well-intentioned. Nevertheless, as the trilogy progresses, it is possible to see him improve as a detective, and, almost as importantly, as a man.
   All the action takes place in and around the Scottish town of Dumfries – taking in its sights and its colourful characters.
10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have an expected publication date for fans?
    I’m writing a (slightly different) police procedural murder/mystery, set in Glasgow. It will be out at the summer.
The Wrath Inside
Find a copy on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

The Wrath InsideThe Wrath Inside by RR Gall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wrath Inside is set in the town of Nares, Palestine in AD15. Roman occupation of the land and the aggression of the Roman soldiers add to the hostile attitudes of the nation. The people of Nares lead a simple life, their highlight is the traders who pass through on the road to Jerusalem.

The book centres around 15 year old Ezera, his home life, his friends and his upbringing. These are all set into turmoil when a stranger attacks Ezera with a knife while he sleeps, falsely accusing him of kidnapping his children. Ezera helps the man called Khalil to find his children, on route they discover a cohort of Roman soldiers not far from the village.

The Romans demand a census takes place in the town, but a scuffle causes a soldier to be wounded and the situation becomes more threatening. Ezera and his friends become embroiled in the conflict. The morals of the town are put into question when they allow an innocent man to die as revenge for the Roman soldier.

When an important priest and his entourage arrive in town the Roman power authority is lessened, highlighting some of the trouble there was at the time between the religious leaders and the occupying forces. Yet the leader of the Romans has come to this town for more than one reason.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Author Richard Gall will be our guest here on the blog tomorrow.

Guest Author Leti Del Mar

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Leti Del Mar is doing a blog tour to promote her book Land of the Unaltered, today she is a guest author on my blog talking about herself and giving us her writing tips. Please join me in welcoming Leti.

1)Tell me your name  Leti Del Mar

2) Where do you live?

Sunny Southern California, USA

3)When did you start writing?

I’ve tinkered around with writing for most of my life but i wrote my first novel in 2009

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?

I like to write something with a good mix of romance and adventure.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.

1- Never give up.  The only one who can prevent your words from reaching readers is you.

2-Pace yourself.  If all goes well, you’ll be doing this for decades to come so don’t freak out if things aren’t happening as fast as you would like them to.

3- Learn the business side of writing but keep it in its place.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?

I just finished the Dumfries Detective Trilogy by RR Gall.  It is a collection of detective stories set in Scotland and I gave the first two a four star rating and the last one five stars.  They are great detective stories that kept me guessing until the very end.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.

Land of the Unaltered.

Contact Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/leti_delmar

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/leti.delmar

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/111644809414835262757/posts

Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=258928705&trk

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/AqHVX

Book Links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Land-Unaltered-Confederation-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00DD158FK

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Land-Unaltered-Confederation-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00DD158FK/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1371542814&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=land+of+the+unaltered+by+leti+del+mar

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/325731

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17875009-land-of-the-unaltered

Barnes & Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-the-unaltered-leti-del-mar/1115766942?ean=2940044586048

Blog tour tab on my website (contains tour schedule):

http://wordswithletidelmar.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html

Here is your chance to win a $25 gift card from the tour;

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you missed my earlier review of her book, here it is;

Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy of this book from the author and was delighted to read the story. A young adult romance set in a futuristic world where there is a liking to have repeated medical alterations. However there are people who don’t want the high life of the city, Rose goes to live with her aunt to escape the world that her parents live in. She meets Flynn, but he refuses to be friendly. A romance blossoms, but what will become of their future? A great story with the promise of its continuation in the next book.