Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT BLIND SIDE by @Jennie_Ensor #London setting #Thriller

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Blind Side by Jennie Ensore

31200537

BLIND SIDE by Jennie Ensor

4 out of 5 stars

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

This is the debut novel from Jennie Ensor, and it’s one of which she should be proud. Set in mid-noughties London, it’s a fairly standard spurned-lover-as-stalker plot, but with a lot more to it.  Middle class marketing exec Georgie only ever wanted to be friends with Julian, but when she starts a relationship with Russian immigrant Nikolai, she discovers that she never really knew Julian at all.  Alongside this storyline is the dark shadow of terrorism relating to the London bombings of the time – and Georgie’s growing fears that Nikolai might be involved.

I admit to being slightly underwhelmed by the beginning; both dialogue and narrative are rather bland, with opportunities for more ‘colour’ missed, and, when Georgie succumbs to sex with Julian after a drunken evening, I never got the impression that she was drunk; I actually forgot she was meant to be.  Happily, the pace and intrigue stepped up very quickly, and I began to really enjoy it.  I thought Julian was revolting from the outset, and I didn’t begin to warm to Georgie until later on; Nikolai, on the other hand, was lovely.  The characterisation was very good all the way through. I cared what happened to the two main characters, which is all important.  

The novel is extremely well structured, planned and edited.  I particularly liked that the backstory about both Georgie and Nikolai appeared in dribs and drabs, all the way through, which kept my interest.  There aren’t many surprises, but certainly enough suspense to call this book a thriller, albeit quite a low-key one.  But it’s a love story, more than anything, I think.  It’s intelligently written, with much background about the war in Chechnya and Nikolai’s experiences, which were shockingly fascinating and made the book so much more than just a stalker story.

I was glad that Georgie was not portrayed as a victim, though I found it unrealistic that she didn’t guess, immediately, that Julian was behind threats to Nikolai, too (this isn’t a spoiler, it’s fairly obvious!).  The only other bit that niggled me was minor – Georgie displays a shock-horror attitude when her lover suggests they go camping together, and is, apparently, ignorant of all such practices.  Yet she’s supposed to be a keen, fairly long distance hiker… 

The ending was pleasing, though the odd surprise or revelation wouldn’t have gone amiss; the last few chapters were little more than a wrapping up.  I’d say that Ms Ensor is a talented writer, for sure, and I enjoyed this book.  I felt that it could have done with a little bit more spark, but it’s very well written, and a fine debut.

Book Description

Can you ever truly know someone? And what if you suspect the unthinkable? 
London, five months before 7/7. Georgie, a young woman wary of relationships after previous heartbreak, gives in and agrees to sleep with close friend Julian. She’s shocked when Julian reveals he’s loved her for a long time. 
But Georgie can’t resist her attraction to Nikolai, a Russian former soldier she meets in a pub. While Julian struggles to deal with her rejection, Georgie realises how deeply war-time incidents in Chechnya have affected Nikolai. She begins to suspect that the Russian is hiding something terrible from her. 
Then London is attacked… 
Blind Side explores love and friendship, guilt and betrayal, secrets and obsession. An explosive, debate-provoking thriller that confronts urgent issues of our times and contemplates some of our deepest fears. 

About the author

Jennie Ensor

Jennie Ensor is a Londoner descended from a long line of Irish folk. She has worked as a freelance journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to the fate of Aboriginal Australians living on land contaminated by British nuclear testing. 
Ms E lives in London with her husband and their cuddle-loving, sofa-hogging terrier. When not chasing the dog or dreaming of setting off on an unfeasibly long journey with a Kindleful of books, she writes novels, short stories and poetry (published under another name). Her second novel, to be finished in 2017 with any luck, is a dark and unsettling psychological drama.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

 

Advertisements

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE SILENT KOOKABURRA by @LizaPerrat #TuesdayBookBlog #Thriller

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat

The Silent Kookaburra by [Perrat, Liza]

THE SILENT KOOKABURRA by Liza Perrat

5 stars

Every so often I find a real gem in the review team submission list, and this was one of them.  I thoroughly enjoyed it; Liza Perrat is an excellent writer.

The story takes place in the early 1970s in a quiet town in New South Wales called Wollongong, and is narrated by eleven year old Tanya, who lives with her alcoholic but not unlikable father, Dobson, her disturbed mother, Eleanor, who has miscarried many children, and her grandmother, Nanna Purvis.  It’s sad, tragic and funny, all at the same time.  Behind the story of everyday life lurks the shadow of child abuse, madness and murder, but these are dealt with so cleverly that the book doesn’t seem particularly dark.  If you can imagine that.

Eleanor finally manages to carry a child to term and Tanya is sure their family life will improve, but events take several turns for the worse, and she has to deal with great uncertainty about her future.  I wouldn’t have thought I’d like a whole novel written from the point of view of such a young girl, but one reads so much between the lines as Tanya reveals more to the reader than she understands herself.  Danger and intrigue is added by the appearance of the mysterious, seedy Uncle Blackie, the various nosy neighbours, the girls who tease Tanya for being fat, and her Italian friend Angela’s are-they-drug-dealers-or-aren’t-they family.

On the verge of adolescence, Tanya veers between excitement about becoming a woman, and comfort eating her way through her disintegrating family life.  One question remains in her mind, and is still there at the end of the book, an epilogue that takes place forty years later.

The characterisation in this book is brilliant.  Nanna Purvis is hilarious, a real old Aussie matriarch, and the atmosphere of the family’s slightly backward way of life of 45 years ago is so well portrayed.  I notice from the Author’s Note that Liza Perrat lived in Wollongong, and there are many popular culture references to the time, including items of food that Ms Perrat must have eaten back then, but, unlike other books in which this occurs, I didn’t find it contrived, or as if it was a deliberate strategy to press nostalgia buttons.  It worked (I particularly liked Nanny Purvis and her Iced VoVos).

It’s really, really good.  You won’t be disappointed.

Book Description

All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom.

Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.

Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web. 

Embracing the social changes of 1970s Australia, against a backdrop of native fauna and flora, The Silent Kookaburra is a haunting exploration of the blessings, curses and tyranny of memory. 

Unsettling psychological suspense blending the intensity of Wally Lamb with the atmosphere of Peter James, this story will get under your skin.

About the author

An image posted by the author.

Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.
Several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.

Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the historical “The Bone Angel” series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series, Wolfsangel, set during the WWII German Occupation of France, was published in October, 2013. The third in the series, Blood Rose Angel, set during the 14th century Black Plague years was published in November, 2015.

The Silent Kookaburra, a dark psychological suspense novel set in 1970s Australia, was published in November, 2016.

Friends, Family and Other Strangers From Downunder is a collection of 14 humorous, horrific and entertaining short stories set in Australia, for readers everywhere.

Liza is a co-founder and member of Triskele Books, an independent writers’ collective with a commitment to quality and a strong sense of place, and also reviews books for Bookmuse.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter Available on kindle countdown until March 30th just 99p/99c

 

THE HERETIC (Templar Chronicles #1) by @Jnassise #Paranormal #Thriller #fridayreads

The Heretic (Templar Chronicles, #1)The Heretic by Joseph Nassise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Heretic is book #1 of The Templar Chronicles, a paranormal urban fantasy series.

The Knights Templar have long been documented throughout history and many stories woven about their survival in the modern world.

In this book, a Templar stronghold in Connecticut is mysteriously attacked. There are no visible signs of; entry, skirmish or attack, but all the Knights are killed.

Cade Williams and his elite team are called in; a Templar Knight known as the “Heretic”, Cade has the power of sight which he has used on many occasions during military operations. To his trusted team he adds Sean Duncan.

More Templar strongholds are attacked. Cade can read spiritually from recent people or places, but his team find few clues until Cade visits the “beyond”, a place where spirits dwell. He asks the shade of a Knight for help.

Duncan’s eyes are opened to a whole new form of combat—this new enemy employs paranormal entities as soldiers. Cade has been fighting these beings for some time; his wife was taken from him during a violent attack by a supernatural being. Cade was left with deep permanent scars, his psychic powers woken and revenge driving him forward.

Cade’s team discover that a secret group of Knights are protectors of precious relics owned by the Vatican. The Necromancer leading these attacks is after a spear renowned for the power it gives to its master. With the target known, an exciting battle unfolds for the reader.

I’m always interested in stories involving the Knights Templar; throw in a good paranormal mix of ghosts, demons and psychometry to the thriller storyline and it works for me. The military battle scenes were of less interest to me, but I can see their use in opening the book to a wider audience. There are plenty of loose ends for the series to continue, and I shall look forward to more visits to the “beyond” and more adventures against The Adversary.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

Boston SWAT officer Cade Williams didn’t believe in the supernatural until a chance meeting with a fallen angel left his wife dead and him hanging on to life by the thinnest of margins. When he was discharged from the hospital he discovered that not only was he scarred, body and soul, but that the encounter had left him with a few otherworldly talents of his own.

Now, several years later, Knight Commander Cade Williams runs the elite Templar combat unit known as the Echo Team, which puts him in the perfect position to search for the creature that so viciously attacked him and his family that night. His efforts yield little success, however, until a cabal of necromancers attempts to seize an ancient Templar artifact for their own nefarious purposes and gives him the first real lead he’s had in ages. Cade sets out to find the necromancers and, through them, the Adversary, only to encounter something much worse…

About the author

Joseph Nassise

Joseph Nassise is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than a twenty-five novels, including the Templar Chronicles series, the Jeremiah Hunt trilogy, and the Great Undead War series. He has also written several books in the Rogue Angel action/adventure series from Gold Eagle. He is a former president of the Horror Writers Association, the world’s largest organization of professional horror writers, and a multiple Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Award nominee. 

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

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

DEAD HOPE by Nicky Wells @WellsNicky Suspense #Romance / #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Dead HopeDead Hope by Nicky Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dead Hope is a romantic suspense/ thriller. Thirty one year old Cat Hope, spoilt socialite daughter of rock star legends, finds herself in front of a judge when caught in possession of class A drugs. She’s been in and out of rehab for years, so when the judge enforces a sentence which entails her getting a proper job, supporting herself and doing five hundred hours of community service rather than the expected prison sentence, Cat is rather shocked.

Sent immediately from the hearing to a small northern town with a new identity, Cat finds herself living her life as Annabelle Smith. With no educational qualifications the only job she can find is a lowly job in a digitisation company. Fellow worker Kay takes pity on her and helps her get settled, she intrigues him, it is obvious to him that she’s running away from something. Not that he can judge, his own background isn’t very rosy.

Kay helps Annabelle after a heroic day at the office and a stiff drink for the shock turns into a deeper conversation about the past. Annabelle tells Kay about her parents and together they decide to find out more about an event which happened more than twenty years ago and which has been haunting lives ever since. However soon their search triggers red flags amongst others who have been keeping secrets and as events unfold, Cat is exposed to danger and Kay will do anything to rescue her.

An easy read, slight twist on a rags to riches storyline. A well paced suspense probably more for romance readers looking to spread their reading wings a little wider than those into deep dark thrillers. The rock theme which this author is known for is thread throughout the storyline. Enjoyable read.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

DEAD HOPE is the new thriller by Nicky Wells, bringing you a delicious cocktail of crime, suspense, and romance:
Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. She needs a job, and she needs it fast: judge’s orders.
Kay Mahon, office worker by day and hacker by night, is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember.
When their paths cross, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of Cat’s parents, the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger.

About the author
Nicky Wells

About Nicky Wells: Love & Thrills

Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course of 2017 and 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.

Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas

| Fallen for Rock | Fairy Tale in New York | Seven Years Bad Sex

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

Question: You’ve been a bit quiet this past year or so. What’s been happening? Where have you been?

Nicky: After the release of my last novel, the romantic comedy “Seven Years Bad Sex,” I decided to take a little breather and to allow myself some time to think about where I was going to go next, writing-wise. I took a whole six months off, and I spent that time with family and decorating a part of our house. Wouldn’t you know it, six months flew by, and I found myself brimming with ideas for not one but several books, and I got busy writing and planning and writing again.

Question: Tell us about DEAD HOPE. How did you come up with the idea?

Nicky: DEAD HOPE was born with the working title of “Deep Cover”. When the idea came to me, I was still planning to write a romance featuring rock stars, and the key nugget is: what would happen if you transplanted a world-famous rock star into an office job like you and me might hold down? Moreover, what would happen if you removed that rock star from their natural habitat, the glittering metropolis, and placed them into a sleepy rural town? Romantic and comedy ideas flowed galore.

Question: So, DEAD HOPE was going to be a romantic comedy?

Nicky: A romantic comedy-slash-suspense, yes. That was the plan.

Question: How did you get from romantic comedy-slash-suspense to thriller? That’s quite a leap.

Nicky: It might look that way, but it was actually a gradual progression. I’m an OCD planner. I can’t write if I haven’t got the book planned out in minute detail, so I sat down and started weaving all my wonderful ideas together. But there was one central question I couldn’t answer: Why. Why would this whole thing happen? What would bring the rock star to the office job in the middle of nowhere?

Question: And?

 Nicky: I did a spider map of all the possible scenarios that could have got the rock star into his unusual circumstances, and I got a bit carried away. I allowed myself to really think out of the box, and suddenly one scenario jumped out at me that turned the plot entirely on its head. Funny how a small idea can prompt a cataclysmic change! My hero turned into a heroine, and while she’s the daughter of a famous rock star couple, she isn’t a celebrity in her own right. But at that point, the romance theme was still dominant.

Question: What happened next?

Nicky: I finished planning and started writing. And as soon as I started writing, the thriller and crime ideas just took off. This baby wanted to be something completely different from what I had envisaged, so I had to abandon writing and re-plan. I went deep on the logistics of my core crime, my mystery, and I learned quite a bit about court and police procedures and forensics, more so than is evident in the story but lots of stuff that’ll come in handy in my next stories. In this way, DEAD HOPE turned from a romantic suspense into a crime thriller with a strong romance subplot.

Question: But there is still some romance?

Nicky: There is still some romance. J

Question: What about blood and gore?

Nicky: That, not so much. I don’t like blood and gore and while there is some—it is a crime story, after all—the novel is all about solving the mystery. I guess I’m trying to follow in the tradition of Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton, not that I could ever hope to aspire to match their genius.

Question: Go on then, sell it to me. What’s DEAD HOPE all about?

Nicky: All right… here goes the elevator pitch!

A unique and delicious cocktail of crime, suspense and romance, “DEAD HOPE” is a compulsive page turner.

 Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. Kay Mahon is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember. When their paths cross, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of Cat’s parents, the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger…

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter also available free from kindle unlimited

#NewRelease ONE LITTLE MISTAKE by @emmacurtisbooks @RosieMargesson #Thriller #SundayBlogShare

One Little MistakeOne Little Mistake by Emma Curtis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One Little Mistake is a psychological thriller. The main setting is the London area, the year 2010. Running alongside is another story, set in 1992, which ties in at the end. The book chapters alternate between the two.

The story opens with baby Josh having a morning nap, the third child of Vicky Seagrave. Sleepless nights and a fractious baby leave her strung out, so she’s vulnerable when little distractions occur.
A moment of a poor decision, a break-in and the quick action of her friend leads Vicky down a path of destiny she would not have chosen in hindsight. Vicky and Amber met at anti-natal classes; they’ve become best friends, but the friendships is not without problems, mostly based around Amber’s complex emotional issues.

In the second storyline, Katya was in the care of social services, but her social worker, Maggie didn’t listen when she tried to tell her that Luke was abusing her.

When one lie leads to another Vicky’s life begins to spiral out of control. Others have seen something in Amber they don’t quite trust, but Vicky has been blinded by their friendship. Can she turn things around and keep control? Or will one tiny error be her downfall?

I thought the author portrayed really well the stress new mothers feel when they have demanding babies who don’t sleep at night, and when they also feel they have to cope with social pressure to do everything ‘right’. The story was well developed, with small cracks in the relationship between Vicky and Amber slowly drip-fed to the reader. The pull of a thriller or a mystery, for the reader, is to try to solve the mystery themselves, and this gave a satisfying balance between mystery and clues.

The building of Amber’s character was stealthy, taking her full circle from devoted best pal to jealous friend, and, finally, to shocking stranger. Revelations about her past were a great surprise, and gave another, fascinating angle to the reader’s understanding of her.

Closing messages from the book will have readers thinking about the friendships they currently have and perhaps some they’ve lost on the way, and made me think about how little we know, sometimes, about those we consider friends. The playground gossips at the school of Vicky’s older children had me nodding in recognition, as they will with most mothers.

A good, well-written debut novel. In order to give this book 5* I would have needed to see some really unexpected twists of the jaw-dropping kind to keep the reader on the edge of their seat in this popular genre, but I was impressed with what I read.

A thriller to pull at the heartstrings of mothers, and, perhaps, to make others question their closest friendships.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she risks everything she holds dear on a whim, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them . . . 

About the author

Emma Curtis

Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and brought up in London. Her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to write One Little Mistake, her first psychological suspense. She has two children and lives in Richmond with her husband.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

DOMINION by C.J Sansom #WW2 and 1950’s Alternative historical timeline #Thriller #wwwblogs

DominionDominion by C.J. Sansom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dominion is a thriller in an alternative timeline. It opens in the war cabinet room at 10 Downing Street, London on the 9th of May 1940, a meeting of the chiefs and a decision to be made, Prime minister Chamberlain is stepping down, there are too candidates for the job, Churchill and Lord Halifax.

The storyline then continues as an alternative world for Britain, Churchill was sidelined, Britain signed a peace treaty with Germany. The book then jumps to 1952. Germany dominates Europe has a strong hold of Britain and has been pouring men and resources into a long battle with Russia.

Churchill has gone to ground and is rumoured to be leading the resistance, more and more people are angry and there is much civil unrest. Jews are still being rounded up and sent to secret extermination camps.

David Fitzgerald works in the Dominions office as a civil servant, he organises meetings between representatives from international governments, disillusioned he is recruited by the resistance to leak secret documents.

Doctor Frank Muncaster is a scientist, his brother a scientist over in America returns for their mother’s funeral. Fueled by drink he tells Frank secrets about atomic bombs that he is working on. Shocked at the potential threat to man, Frank and his brother fight. The police are called and Frank is placed in a lunatic asylum, but he has become a man of great interest because of what people believe he has been told. Both the resistance and the German high command want that valuable knowledge.

David and Frank shared rooms at University and he is the ideal man to speak to Frank, but time is short with the German’s wanting Frank too. Supported by the Americans the resistance swipe Frank from under the noses of the Germans and a cat and mouse game of chase begins.

This is a huge book coming in at nearly 700 pages, a well laid out land of possibilities if Churchill really had not taken office on that fatal day back in 1940. The setting was suitably bleak, and the choking smog from all the heavy industrial work was dramatic. I’m late coming to read this book, it was first published in 2012, but I’m glad I made the time to read it.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers, and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House.

Defiance, though, is growing. In Britain, Winston Churchill’s Resistance organisation is increasingly a thorn in the government’s side. And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle forever.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, is given by them the mission to rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country. Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, will find themselves fugitives in the midst of London’s Great Smog; as David’s wife Sarah finds herself drawn into a world more terrifying than she ever could have imagined.

And hard on their heels is Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth, brilliant, implacable hunter of men . . .

At once a vivid, haunting reimagining of 1950s Britain, a gripping, humane spy thriller and a poignant love story – with DOMINION C. J. Sansom once again asserts himself as the master of the historical novel.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT ARDENT JUSTICE by Peter Taylor-Gooby @PeterT_G #WeekendBlogShare

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Ardent Justice by Peter Taylor-Gooby

33355973

Ardent Justice is a novel that brings to light the corruption in the financial world of the City.  After a brutal rape by a rich financier, tax inspector Ade becomes involved with Paul, an activist who works with homeless people.  Together they become modern day Robin Hoods, determined to expose the fraud within the City and help the poor, fighting the power of money and influence of back-hander paid officials.  The novel is billed as a character-led feminist thriller.  

I found the explanation of how fraud works within the city fascinating, and certainly confirmed much that I suspected; alas, this is how business has been done for hundreds of years, after all, the only difference being that today it is on a much larger scale and has more devastating and widespread consequences.  There is no doubt that the book brings to light societal problems that will be an eye-opener for some, but I’m afraid that, for me, it didn’t work as a novel.  The characters were one-dimensional; Ade came over as bitter towards the world rather than feminist, though aside from this she was never more than words on a page for me; I didn’t believe the characters as, on the whole, the portrayal of emotion was not convincing, dialogue was unrealistic, and I found the narrative disjointed.

The proceeds of the book will go to Shelter, the charity for the homeless, so I am sorry not to be able to be more positive.

Book Description

Ade is a tax-inspector. She hates the City of London. She hates the endless corruption, the bland assumption that tax is for the little people. She hates the casual sexism, the smug self-assurance, the inviolability of the men she deals with, and the cold certainty that nothing you can do will ever touch them.
She finds herself in the world of the rootless, marginal street homeless who live meagre lives in the shadow of the office blocks that house the rich. She meets Paul, an Occupy activist who works with homeless people. As their love for each other grows, they find real fulfilment in fighting for the rights of ordinary people, such as Gemma, a homeless single parent.
Ardent Justice is a gripping feminist thriller, endorsed by Polly Toynbee, the leading Guardian columnist. It tells the story of Ade’s struggle against the City and for her own integrity, and of her love for Paul, and of how hard it is to live a morally good life in a corrupted world. It has been inspired by Zoe Fairbairns and Lionel Shriver and will appeal to fans of character-led thrillers. Profits will be donated to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.

“Good to find a novel with a strong social message about the way we live now”

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

About the author

Peter Taylor-Gooby

My novels deal with how people live their lives in a diverse globalised capitalist world. In ‘Ardent Justice’, Ade struggles against the corruption of the City of London, where high finance and street homelessness flourish cheek by jowl. In ‘The Baby Auction’ Ed and Matt struggle to lead a passionate, humane and generous life in a world dominated by the market.
In my day job I’m an academic. My research shows how market capitalism generates inequalities between haves and have-nots and promotes a corrosive individualism that stunts our capacity for empathy, charity and love.
I enjoy hill-walking, riding my bike, holidays and looking after my grand-daughter (not in that order). I became interested in social policy issues after working on adventure playgrounds, teaching, claiming benefits and working in a social security office in Newcastle. I’ve worked in the UK, most European countries, Canada, the US, China, Korea and Japan, Australia and South Africa.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT ARDENT JUSTICE by Peter Taylor-Gooby Financial #Thriller

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

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Ardent Justice by Peter  Taylor-Gooby

33355973

My Review:

It could be seen churlish to be in any way negative about Ardent Justice, especially as the reader is told up front that the book is  endorsed by Polly Toynbee and that the book is inspired by such eminent authors as Zoe Fairbairns and Lionel Shriver. And that all profits will go to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. But the mention of this somehow grated on me; it was as though I was being challenged to find any fault in the novel.

So, gripe over and having said that I will try to be as balanced as I can in this review.

Starting with the Blurb. There are too many small details in the second paragraph that is more or less repeated in the last. I’m not sure the second paragraph is needed. Hmm…

I enjoyed parts of the book. It’s an interesting, intricate  plot and, on the whole, I did like the author’s writing style.

Endorsed as a  feminist thriller, I can see why Ade is the strong protagonist and Paul a secondary character. But, for me, these characters didn’t come to life as I would have liked them to. Told from the perspective of Ade, I didn’t feel the anger in her that was warranted, with all that happens in the story.

There is also a lot of emphasis on how small and vulnerable Paul is which would have been all right but constant reference to this felt odd in comparison with him being portrayed as a protector of the homeless and a trouble maker by the police.

And I didn’t feel that the two characters formed a realistic relationship.

The dialogue attributed to Ade felt more like ‘telling’ instead of her talking and the internal dialogue was too stilted, too correct in the structure of the syntax, although the dialogue of other characters was good.

The descriptions of the settings gave a good sense of place and although the dreams sections slowed the action they were evocative and did sometimes reveal the turmoil of the protagonist’s mind.

I was in two minds about the ending; the hope that the two characters would be finally able to provide care for the homeless was uplifting but the knowledge that there would still be corruption and sexism in the City of London and that nothing could stop it was depressing.

I think the book would benefit from tighter editing.

All in all this book wasn’t really a book for me but will, I think, appeal to readers who enjoy, the cut and thrust of a city’s financial shenanigans.

Book Description

Ade is a tax-inspector. She hates the City of London. She hates the endless corruption, the bland assumption that tax is for the little people. She hates the casual sexism, the smug self-assurance, the inviolability of the men she deals with, and the cold certainty that nothing you can do will ever touch them.
She finds herself in the world of the rootless, marginal street homeless who live meagre lives in the shadow of the office blocks that house the rich. She meets Paul, an Occupy activist who works with homeless people. As their love for each other grows, they find real fulfilment in fighting for the rights of ordinary people, such as Gemma, a homeless single parent.
Ardent Justice is a gripping feminist thriller, endorsed by Polly Toynbee, the leading Guardian columnist. It tells the story of Ade’s struggle against the City and for her own integrity, and of her love for Paul, and of how hard it is to live a morally good life in a corrupted world. It has been inspired by Zoe Fairbairns and Lionel Shriver and will appeal to fans of character-led thrillers. Profits will be donated to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.

“Good to find a novel with a strong social message about the way we live now”

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

About the author

Peter Taylor-Gooby

My novels deal with how people live their lives in a diverse globalised capitalist world. In ‘Ardent Justice’, Ade struggles against the corruption of the City of London, where high finance and street homelessness flourish cheek by jowl. In ‘The Baby Auction’ Ed and Matt struggle to lead a passionate, humane and generous life in a world dominated by the market.
In my day job I’m an academic. My research shows how market capitalism generates inequalities between haves and have-nots and promotes a corrosive individualism that stunts our capacity for empathy, charity and love.
I enjoy hill-walking, riding my bike, holidays and looking after my grand-daughter (not in that order). I became interested in social policy issues after working on adventure playgrounds, teaching, claiming benefits and working in a social security office in Newcastle. I’ve worked in the UK, most European countries, Canada, the US, China, Korea and Japan, Australia and South Africa.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT DARK FRAGMENTS by @RSinclairAuthor #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has ben reading Dark Fragments by Rob Sinclair

32745377

 

There are likeable and unlikeable characters in fiction and Ben Stephens is one of the latter, although it wasn’t always that way for me. At the beginning of his story we meet a family man who dotes on his children and loves his wife.

Quite rightly Ben is still grieving the death of his first wife, Alice, the love of his life, who, now being dead, is lifted up to the level of sainthood which must be difficult for the second wife, Gemma, with whom he was having an affair while Alice was alive. And it is here that the first of the cracks starts to appear.

When Dani, Ben’s estranged twin sister who is a detective and was Alice’s best friend turns up out of the blue and starts asking questions the strain deepens. Ben works for Gemma’s father which is another source of pressure and he has also become involved with a local gangster in some dubious business venture and now owes him a lot of money.

The initial sympathy I had for Ben didn’t last long as he began to show his true colours. He makes some terrible decisions and it soon becomes apparent that he does whatever suits him, no matter what the cost to others.

Throughout the story there are chapters where Ben is talking to someone else and these conversations clearly show his lack of taking responsibility for his own actions, blaming everything and everyone around him for the situation he finds himself in.

This is a fast moving and suitably violent thriller which I highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from the author but this has not influenced my review one iota.

Book Description

Dark Fragments: an edge of your seat thriller from the best-selling author of The Enemy Series

Murder. Money. Revenge.

Outwardly, Ben Stephens appears to be a normal, hard-working family man. In reality, his life has been in turmoil since the murder of his wife, Alice, seven years ago. The killer was never caught.

Now re-married – to the woman he was having an affair with while still married to Alice – Ben’s life is once again spiralling out of control, and he’s become heavily indebted to an unscrupulous criminal who is baying for Ben’s blood.

When Ben’s estranged twin sister, a police detective, unexpectedly returns to his life, asking too many questions for comfort, it becomes clear that without action, Ben’s life will soon reach a crisis point from which there will be no return.

In order to avoid falling further into the mire, Ben must examine the past if he is to survive the present – but just how much pressure can one man take before he breaks?

Dark Fragments is a fast-paced thriller with a blend of mystery, suspense and action that will appeal to readers of psychological thrillers, as well as a broad section of crime, thriller and action fans. If you like authors like Mark Edwards, Robert Bryndza and C.L. Taylor you will love this unforgettable thriller.

About the author

Rob Sinclair

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan.

His explosive debut, Dance with the Enemy, was published in 2014 and introduced the world to the enigmatic Carl Logan. The second novel in the series, Rise of the Enemy, was released in April 2015 with the third, Hunt for the Enemy, released in February 2016. 

His latest thriller, the pulsating Dark Fragments, was released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016.

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.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Goodreads | Twitter