#BookReview: Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold @BooksSphere @LittleBrownUK #TwelveSecrets #damppebbles

A SMALL TOWN. A SHOCKING CRIME.
YOU’LL SUSPECT EVERY CHARACTER. BUT YOU’LL NEVER GUESS THE ENDING.

Ben Harper’s life changed for ever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s family and their idyllic hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.

Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.

Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will do anything to keep the truth buried . . .”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold. Twelve Secrets was published last week (Thursday 3rd March 2022) and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow later this year. I chose to read and review a free ARC of Twelve Secrets but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Millie at Sphere Books for sending me a proof copy.

Ben Harper is a crime journalist but his own traumatic story is the biggest draw in recent history. Because Ben’s brother, at the tender age of 14, was killed alongside his best friend by two classmates. The tragedy shook the small town of Haddley and will never be forgotten. Now, 20 years later, another murder has been committed, miles away from the small town, but with links back to Haddley and the deaths of Nick and Simon. Suddenly Haddley is in the spotlight again and everyone is a suspect. When there’s a killer in your midst who can you trust? And just how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay buried…?

I do love a small town claustrophobic thriller and Twelve Secrets delivers on that front in spades. As the story builds the suspicion and intrigue mount and I found myself questioning every single character. I read a lot of crime fiction so I’m always on the lookout for where the story is heading, how the threads will eventually connect. But I wasn’t able to do that with Twelve Secrets. It’s cleverly and intricately plotted ensuring the reader can’t predict where the story is headed.

Ben is a great lead character, very well-written and multi-layered, and I’m pleased to see this is the first book in a new series featuring him. I enjoyed that in this first outing, we really got to know him well. I also really liked PC Dani Cash who is one of the officers investigating the most recent murder. She has a fascinating backstory and I hope we get to meet her again in future books.

The plot is well paced and intriguing throughout. I will admit that with the various characters (there are quite a few) who are all linked to each other in a variety of different ways, I did get a little confused at times but that might just be me. I took to writing down the names and making brief notes to help connect the dots. It did help. Having a number of characters who ‘couldvedoneit’ helped increase the suspense and intrigue though, widening the pool of suspects, which worked well. I’m just easily confused, lol!

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Twelve Secrets is a compelling mystery which I enjoyed reading. There are many twists and turns along the way which kept me on my toes. Very little about the story was obvious, it felt fresh and exciting. I loved the setting, I loved the lead characters (Ben and Dani), I loved the way author throws twist after twist at the reader as the story reaches its climax. An assured solo debut from an author to watch. I’m looking forward to being reacquainted with Ben Harper on his next outing soon. Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free ARC of Twelve Secrets. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold was published in the UK by Sphere Books on 3rd March 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow later in the year (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesBook Depositorybookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shop |

Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer ASDA, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert now lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016, he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series.

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Fox Hunter by Zoë Sharp (@authorzoesharp) #CharlieFox

‘The dead man had not gone quietly … There was a time when I would have given everything I owned to be the one responsible for that.’

“Charlie Fox will never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but she vowed a long time ago she would not go looking for them.

Now she doesn’t have a choice.

Her boss and former lover, Sean Meyer, is missing in Iraq where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.

Sean’s partner in their exclusive New York close-protection agency needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for is in ruins. He sends Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions:

Find Sean Meyer and stop him. By whatever means necessary.

At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. As the trail grows more bloody, Charlie realises that unless she can get to Sean first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.”

I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the Fox Hunter blog tour.  Fox Hunter is the twelfth book in the Charlie Fox series and oh my gosh, I am absolutely kicking myself for not finding this series before now!  This high octane, international thriller was written by Zoë Sharp and is available to purchase in print, eBook and audio formats now.

Coming to a series part way through is always a risk.  I do consider myself quite the expert though and rarely find myself reading the first book in a series (the fourth, yes.  Or even the seventh!).  However, at no point, while reading Fox Hunter did I feel I had ‘missed something’.  The author does an excellent job of providing her reader with all the necessary background information to keep the story flowing and the reader engaged.  Does that mean that I will pass on the opportunity to read the first eleven books in this series? No, I would jump at the chance to read more (even if I’m breaking all the rules by reading out of sequence!).

Charlie Fox is my kind of character.  I always swoon a little over a strong, kick-ass, female protagonist and Fox ticked all the boxes for me.  I was glad to see Sharp hadn’t taken the route other authors seem to feel is necessary and given her feisty lead an equally tough male partner of the romantic sense.  I expect that may have been the case in previous novels as a relationship with her intended target, Sean Meyer, is referred to on several occasions.  It all feels very much like ancient history though and Fox is a realist, knowing to leave the past in the past.  Plus Sean’s traumatic accident and head injury mean he’ll never be the same man again.

The plot was fast-paced with some wonderfully choreographed gunfights.  I could easily picture the action in my mind and was drawn into the dangerous world of close protection.  There are several well-written characters who really stood out for me.  Particularly Fox’s newbie sidekick, Luisa Dawson, their loyal escort and driver, Moe and the mysterious Aubrey Hamilton.

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Charlie Fox and Sharp’s writing.  I don’t read enough of this type of crime fiction, tending to stick to my serial killer thrillers and police procedurals – what a mistake!  I will be making of point of adding more of the Charlie Fox series to my TBR in the future.  Thrilling, fast paced and well written.  What more could you want!

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review a copy of Fox Hunter.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Fox Hunter by Zoë Sharp was published in the UK by Zace Ltd on 12th September 2017 and is available in print, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

2017 Book Tour Blog.pdf

about the author3

ZoeSharp-copyrightNickLockett2015

Zoë Sharp was born in Nottinghamshire, but spent most of her formative years living on a catamaran on the northwest coast of England. After a promising start at a private girls’ school, she opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve in favour of correspondence courses at home.

Zoë went through a variety of jobs in her teenage years. In 1988, on the strength of one accepted article and a fascination with cars, she gave up her regular job to become a freelance motoring writer. She quickly picked up on the photography side of things and her photo-journalism took her as far afield as the United States and Japan, as well as Europe, Ireland and the UK. She is now a full-time fiction author and creator of the Charlie Fox series of crime thrillers.

Zoë wrote her first novel when she was fifteen, but success came in 2001 with the publication of KILLER INSTINCT − the first book to feature her ex-Special Forces heroine, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox. The character evolved after Zoë received death-threat letters in the course of her photo-journalism work.

Later Charlie Fox novels − FIRST DROP and FOURTH DAY − were finalists for the Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel. The Charlie Fox series has also been optioned for TV.

As well as the Charlie Fox novels, Zoë’s short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, and have been shortlisted for the Short Story Dagger by the UK Crime Writers’ Association. Her other writing has been nominated for the coveted Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, the Anthony Award presented by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the Macavity Award, and the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers’ Association.

A keen library supporter and public speaker, Zoë blogs regularly on her Blog page. She also witters on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fools about on Facebook (ZoeSharpAuthor). She was formerly a long-term contributor to the acclaimed Murderati blog—alas, now defunct. She’s a regular blogger at MURDER IS EVERYWHERE and also has a presence on goodreads.

Zoë lives in the English Lake District. Her hobbies are sailing, fast cars (and faster motorbikes), target shooting, travel, films, music and reading just about anything she can get her hands on

Author bio © http://www.zoesharp.com/meetsharp.htm
Author image © Nick Lockett