#Blogival: Soho Honey by A W Rock (Review)

41NSZsaON9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“This contemporary crime story takes place over three weeks in November and unfolds against the multi-cultural backdrop of Soho, London.

Branen had to leave the UK six years before to escape his complex clandestine history and the consequences of a crime that achieved worldwide notoriety. When his daughter is brutally murdered in Soho he believes that he could be the reason. He returns to his old hunting grounds to find the killer. His search brings him into conflict with the British Secret Service and Soho’s underworld. He is forced to flee Soho again after a tragic meeting with his ex-wife. His past has caught up with him and the hunter becomes the hunted. Now forty years old Branen wants to stop running and to remove forever the continuing threat to his life. In an effort to get rid of his pursuers he is faced with the prospect that his only chance of survival could lead to his death.”

I am thrilled to be taking part in the Clink Street 2016 #Blogival today with my review of the gripping Soho Honey by A W Rock.  I had decided to read this book before I had a chance to look at the blurb.  That was all thanks to that stunning cover, absolutely gorgeous!  If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will!

Ex-secret service operative Branen is called back to action following the horrific death of his only daughter, Carrie.  He is tasked with finding her killer which means returning to the stomping ground of his youth, notorious Soho in the West End of London.  During his investigation he puts several high powered noses out of joint.  Not that they needed much encouragement.  Branen is a wanted man, on the hunt for a killer.  The bodies pile up as he gets closer to the truth, can Branen avoid being one of those bodies…

I enjoyed this book, it’s a fast paced thriller with lots of action, but I was quite confused by the end of part one.  There is a lot of information (locations, jobs, hierarchies, names etc.) which I felt came flying at me.  I wanted the story to slow a little to give me time to absorb what I was reading.  It all felt a little too much, too quickly and as a result it took me a little while to enjoy A W Rock’s style of writing.

Once I had gotten used to the author’s style, I found myself completely submerged in the story.  A W Rock paints a very vivid picture of Soho and it’s darker side.  The characters are well written and the action flows from start to finish.  It’s a dark, gritty tale about the criminals of Soho’s underbelly and I’m looking forward to reading book two in the series, particularly as book one left us on such a cliffhanger!

Three and a half out of five stars.

Thanks to Rachel at Authoright for my copy of Soho Honey in exchange for an honest review.

Soho Honey by A W Rock was published in the UK on 5th May by Clink Street Publishing and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones |

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Photograph by Jonathan Knowles

Based in London A.W. Rock has been a regular in Soho working in various sectors of the entertainment industry.

Graduated Hornsey College of Art with a BA degree.

Worked in design and graphics, co-owner of Mighty Mouse Studio designing for many companies and theatres including the Royal Court Theatre and The Roundhouse.

He then became a professional photographer based in England and working all over the world, for most of the major advertising agencies in stills and film. These include J. Walter Thompson, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, McCanns, Bogle Bartle & Hegarty and many others.

A.W. Rock has directed a wide range of music promo films and over two hundred TV commercials worldwide. Working in a variety of locations he has made commercials for General Motors in New Zealand, American Express in New York and Dyson vacuum cleaners in England. A commercial he made for The Royal Tournament was nominated for a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. He also directed several thirty minute commercially financed dramas.

He made his first theatrical drama – Deux ex Machina – a short film which won 2nd prize in a national competition sponsored by Channel One TV – Prize Shorts. It was also chosen by the British Film Institute, from over 300 shorts, as one of eight international films to tour the country in the Brief Encounters Festival. It later was shown by the BFI on a worldwide tour.

This film received critical acclaim and was judged

” Very accomplished and remains in the memory ” by Derek Malcolm the Guardian film critic.

This film has appeared in several other international film festivals.

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Play Dead: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller by Angela Marsons

51bWR1ciXAL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_“The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?”

When you hear on the blogger grapevine that the new Angela Marsons book is up for grabs on NetGalley, you drop everything.  EVERYTHING!  There is something so appealing, so special about this series.  It’s addictive and we all need our next DI Kim Stone fix!

DCI Woodward offers Kim and her team an extra special treat.  A visit to the local body farm, a place were they study the effects of weather and insect activity on long-dead corpses.  Not everyones idea of a treat!  Whilst on the guided tour Kim discovers a more recent addition to the body farms residents, the freshly deceased body of a woman.  Can Kim find the killer before anyone else meets the same grisly fate…?

This is a fabulous book.  I have grown to love Kim Stone and her team in a way I haven’t with other characters in other series.  I feel a fondness for Stone, Bryant, Stacey…even Dawson!  Don’t get me wrong, this is not a warm fuzzy story.  It’s a dark and scary read. Some parts I found quite harrowing and some parts my heart ached for one particular character.  I loved it.

I found the story very gripping and hard to put down.  I was drawn in from start to finish.  I loved the body farm setting, it really appealed to me and isn’t the kind of location you read about every day (ignoring Patricia Cornwell!).  It is clear that Angela Marsons has done a lot of research for this book.  Parts of the body farm content are truly fascinating and I learnt a few things that I didn’t know before.

Would I recommend this book?  Oh yes, but start with Silent Scream (DI Kim Stone, Book 1) and work your way up.  Only because all of Angela’s DI Stone books are fabulous and I wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Five out of five stars.

Many thanks to Bookouture, Angela Marsons and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Play Dead in exchange for an honest review.

Play Dead by Angela Marsons was published in the UK by Bookouture on 20th May 2016 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com |

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Via Goodreads.com

Angela discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.
Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.
After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.
She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.
After many, many submissions Angela was signed in a 4 book deal to http://bookouture.com as their first crime author.  Connect with Angela Marsons on Twitter @WriteAngie

 

*Blog Tour: Review* Anything For Her by Jack Jordan

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“Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.

Louise Leighton’s life has fallen apart, all because of one fateful night. Her husband is an adulterer, her sister is his mistress, and soon, Louise will lose everything she owns. But she never imagined she would lose her daughter.

Eighteen-year-old Brooke Leighton is missing. It’s up to Louise and the Metropolitan Police to find her. Has Brooke run away? Or has she been taken against her will? And can Louise aid the investigation without mentioning the night where all of her troubles began?

If she mentions that night, she will incriminate her daughter for heinous crimes. But if she doesn’t, she may never find Brooke; and if she has been abducted, the person who took her may come for Louise, too.

Sometimes the past comes back to kill you.”

I am delighted to be part of the Anything For Her blog tour today.  Many thanks to Jack Jordan for asking me to participate.  Anything For Her is Jack’s debut novel with his second, My Girl, published in July 2016.

The sense of foreboding in this book is spine tingling.  As soon as you start reading you know that something about these characters, something they’ve done, is catastrophic. From start to finish my heart rate increased by a few beats a minutes and I felt tense, waiting…

Louise Leighton’s life is falling apart.  Everything that can go wrong is, and it’s going wrong with bells on it!  Her husband has been cheating on her, with her sister. Her husband is about to be arrested for tax evasion and fraud (seems the husband is to blame for most of her misery!).  She and her family are about to lose everything they own in order to pay her husband’s debts.  But worst of all, Louise has a secret.  Now her daughter is missing and deep down Louise knows it’s all because of THAT night. The night life changed forever for the Leighton family…

This book is chock full of suspense.  It’s an ‘edge of your seat’ read and very hard to put down once you start (I read it in a day which is very quick for me).  The only character I really warmed to was the lovely Dominic, Louise’s young son.  Everyone else has a slightly sinister edge which makes it a challenge to like them.  I really wanted to like Louise but she is so flawed that I failed, miserably.  Plus I’m really not all that sure about her style of parenting!  I’m definitely not a perfect mum myself but, oh my!

I found certain parts of the story quite creepy.  There is one scene (I’m trying very hard to not give anything away for those that haven’t read it yet) where Louise wakes up in bed after a heavy night on the wine to find she is not alone.  Just thinking about it now makes me shudder!

I have Jack Jordan’s new book, My Girl, to read and I’m very much looking forward to it. Even more so after reading this his debut novel.  Oh, and did I mention that I’m on the blog tour for My Girl too?

Four and a half out of five stars.

Many thanks to Jack Jordan for providing me with a copy of Anything For Her in exchange for an honest review.

Anything For Her by Jack Jordan was published in the UK on 21st June 2015 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com |

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Photo by Titus Powell

Jack Jordan lives in East Anglia, England. He is an introvert disguised as an extrovert, an intelligent person who can say very unintelligent things, and a self-confessed bibliomaniac with more books than sense. ‘Anything for Her’ is Jack Jordan’s debut novel.

Connect with Jack via Twitter @_JackJordan_

 

 

 

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Fade To Dead by Tara Moore

51fLCDE9GpL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_“A serial killer, The Director, is on the loose in South London. He’s snatching young women off the street to ‘act’ in his movies. He’s got a type: barely legal, blonde and beautiful.

Newly promoted DI Jessica Wideacre is tasked with heading up the investigation. But with few clues to go on and a rising body count, Jessica begins to fear she isn’t up to the job. Her boss is breathing down her neck. Her marriage is in jeopardy and the pressure is driving her to drink.

Meanwhile, The Director has another victim in his sights. He’s rolled out the red carpet, he s got a killer script, and now he s got his star. It’s a dream role, but not for her.”

When I first read the synopsis of this book I was hooked.  Simple as that.  I had to read it, there were no other options. And I’m so glad I did as this is a totally absorbing serial killer thriller with shed loads of punch.  It’s my kind of book.

Thanks to a killer who calls himself ‘The Director’ the body count in South London is on the rise.  Young girls with a very specific look are being targeted, only to meet a horrific death at the hands of a deranged killer.  Ballsy, newly promoted DI, Jessica Wideacre, is in charge but the clues are few and far between and progress is slow.  The situation is not helped by her DCI keeping a very close eye on her progress and thinking her not up to the job (a man would be much more suited). But Jessica has her own problems; her marriage is on the rocks and her family are THE family from hell!  Can Wideacre and her team piece together the flimsy evidence and stop The Director before the end credits roll on his leading lady..?  (Sorry, cheesy pun. I couldn’t help myself!).

DI Wideacre is a mess.  She’s aggressive, she’s unpopular  and the way she treats her team puts her on the cusp of a disciplinary hearing.  But she’s also driven and determined to get results.  If that makes her even more unpopular then so be it, she doesn’t give a rat’s bottom!  Wideacre is the type of character that I normally adore but for some (still unknown) reason, I didn’t really warm to her.  Saying that, I didn’t dislike her.  It’s just that there were other characters in the book I liked more than our heroine.

Having pondered on this conundrum it for a few minutes, I have come to the conclusion that I liked Wideacre more towards the end of the book when her relationship with arch nemesis and superior officer, DCI Beckwith, started to mellow.  I think throughout the book I was more a part of #TeamBeckwith than #TeamWideacre.

The investigation is slow and the body count is high.  There are lots of red herrings along the way to keep you guessing and I didn’t see the twist coming (that always gets extra points from me).

I enjoyed Tara Moore’s style of writing. The plot progressed well and at a enjoyable pace. Would I recommend this book?  Heck yes.  Even though my relationship with DI Wideacre has started off a little on the tentative side, I hope to read more about Jessica and team in the future.  This is a brilliant start to a great new series.

Four out of five stars.

Thanks to Matthew at Urbane Publications for providing me with a copy of Fade To Dead in exchange for an honest review.

Fade To Dead by Tara Moore was published in the UK by Urbane Publications on 11th May in eBook format and 19th May in paperback format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones |

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Born into a military family in Co. Kildare, Ireland, Tara spent much of her childhood moving around the country, as well as spending a period in the Middle East. During that time, she lived in Damascus and Jerusalem, where the family had a house on the Mount of Olives. For a short while she attended school there, learning rudimentary Arabic. After that, the family moved to Israel, where she attended a convent run by French nuns. At the commencement of the Six Day War, they returned to Ireland and settled in Dublin. She is one of six children. In 1985 she left Dublin for the brighter lights of London and within a year met and married her first husband, a fiery Spanish Moroccan. The marriage produced two sons, but ended in 1999. She relocated to the pretty harbour town of Ramsgate on the East Kent coast in 2005 and, within months, met her second husband, Dr David Moore. They married in Sorrento on 2008.

Although previously published under the pseudonyms Tara Manning and Emily Sage, she did not commence writing full time until 2010, working ‘for her sins’ in a series boring but stable jobs, including insurance, banking, accountancy and law.  Connect with Tara on Twitter via @TaraMoore2.

Last Light: an edge-of-your-seat crime thriller by C J Lyons

51LvVBATMCL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_“1987: Lily Martin is horrifically murdered along with her young child in Texas.

Today: Life should be easy after leaving the FBI –  but not if you’re detective Lucy Guardino. Lucy has always seen herself as a normal mum who happened to have a job chasing the worst of the worst. But after a violent predator targets her family and she’s injured, Lucy sacrifices her career at the Bureau.

She joins the Beacon Group, a firm that specializes in cold cases. Lucy fears she’s traded the elite for shepherding a team of amateurs.

She is sent to rural Texas to investigate a case that’s already been closed with the killers behind bars for twenty-nine years.

But who really killed Lily Martin and her infant daughter? Why was an entire family targeted for annihilation? What price will Lucy pay when she fights to expose a truth people will kill to keep buried?”

 

What a fantastic concept and a great, great book.  This is book one in the Beacon Falls series but it brilliantly features one of CJ Lyons existing characters, Lucy Guardino.  Lucy was part of the FBI until her family were targeted and Lucy was badly injured.  So instead of (woe betide) retiring or killing her off, CJ Lyons has moved her away from the FBI to the slightly more relaxed Beacon Group investigating cold cases.

Lucy and her team are thrown in at the deep end on her first day in the office and asked to investigate the murder of a young family dating back to 1987.  Having never really travelled with the FBI she soon finds herself waving goodbye to her family and boarding a plane to Texas, with sulky colleague TK.  On arrival they meet David, the reason for their being in Texas and the son of one of the accused.  He believes whole heartedly that his father is guilty but his mother is dying and it’s her wish to have the case investigated one last time.

The murders were the biggest thing to happen to the small town so everyone who was alive then remembers what happened 29 years ago.  The Sheriffs Department and the deputies stand by their investigation – they sent two evil, murderous men to jail.  But that was then, this is now…could the two men accused of this terrible crime be innocent after all??

The characters make this book.  Lucy is fantastic but she’s a well established character so that came as no surprise.  TK got on my nerves to start with but I really warmed to her towards the end of the book.  She’s quite full of herself and arrogant but she’s an ex-Marine and I guess that’s how they are made.  Most of the other characters in the book really appealed to me (I won’t say which ones didn’t otherwise I could give the game away).

For a novel about solving a 29 year old cold case the plot was fast moving and engrossing.  I found this book hard to put down and heartily recommend it.  I better go and start downloading the first six books in the Lucy Guardino series!

Four out of five stars.

Many thanks to Hayley at edpr, the team at Canelo and CJ Lyons for providing me with a copy of Last Light in exchange for an honest review.

Last Light by CJ Lyons was published in the UK by Canelo on 3rd May 2016 and is available in eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com