blog tour · Giveaways · promo · thriller

Blog Tour – Under the Cloud (plus a giveaway – UK only)

Under The Cloud

They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing Americans with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Under The Cloud is a chillingly plausible new thriller by B.R. Erlank. With a plot ripped straight from the headlines, readers warn this book delivers a “roller coaster ride right up to the final pages.”

Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3nH9JNa

Author Bio

Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa and Namibia. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time.

He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, “Under the Cloud”.

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. In his spare time, he likes to cycle, hike, sing in a choir, and listen to audiobooks.

Social Media Links

https://brerlank.wordpress.com

(2) Boris R Erlank | Facebook

(99+) Boris Erlank CIPM, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, FIP | LinkedIn

Giveaway to Win a £20 Amazon Gift Card (Open UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below the above graphic.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

For more news and reviews,

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
blog tour · book review · crime · police procedural · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Santa Killer

The Santa Killer

The Santa Killer is coming to town…

One night less than two weeks before Christmas, a single mother is violently assaulted. It’s a brutal crime at the time of year when there should be goodwill to all. When DI Barton begins his investigation, he’s surprised to find the victim is a woman with nothing to hide and no reason for anyone to hurt her.

A few days later, the mother of the woman attacked rings the police station. Her granddaughter has drawn a shocking picture. It seems she was looking out of the window when her mother was attacked. And when her grandmother asks the young girl who the person with the weapon is, she whispers two words.

Bad Santa.

The rumours start spreading, and none of the city’s women feel safe – which one of them will be next?

He’s got a list. It’s quite precise. It won’t matter even if you’re nice.

https://amzn.to/3n7JMG5

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3n7JMG5

Author Bio

Ross Greenwood is the author of crime thrillers.

Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years.

He lives in Peterborough.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RossGreenwoodAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenwoodross

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rossg555/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/RossGreenwoodnews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ross-greenwood

My Review

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series but didn’t find it an issue at all, which considering this is book six goes to show how well the author presents his characters and their backstory.
A series of attacks on women points to a workplace issue, but the attacker is dressed as Santa which ties in with another investigation into threatening letters from Santa too. The letters suggest Santa has a list, but the attacks on these women skew the investigation.
DI Barton and his team have their hands full as the two Santa threads overlap, and just when they think they have the culprit there’s another twist to the tale.
Barton is a great character, and his home life features in this story as much as his working life. The blend is well done and highlights the stresses of his role and its impact on his family life.
For me, the story sagged in the middle with one of the threads, but it gathered pace for an ending that was well worth waiting for. 

For more news and reviews,

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
blog tour · book review · psychological suspense · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Lodger

The Lodger

She’s in your home…

Leigh Simons can’t say for sure what made her do it. A moment of madness, perhaps, but when the young, loud and gorgeous waitress at her favourite coffee shop reveals she is homeless, Leigh offers her the empty room in her house.

In your head…

Gina is the perfect lodger; Leigh, lonely and frustrated with her life, becomes infatuated with the woman – her boldness, her zeal. If only Leigh could be more like Gina…

And missing without trace.

So when Leigh returns from a work trip she’s shocked to find Gina missing. Where could the young woman have gone…and why?

Leigh fears that something terrible has happened – why else would Gina leave her?

But as she sets out to find her missing lodger, what Leigh discovers changes everything she knows about Gina….and her own life, too.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3aPOkOg

Author Bio

Valerie Keogh is the internationally bestselling author of several psychological thrillers and crime series, most recently published by Bloodhound.

She originally comes from Dublin but now lives in Wiltshire and worked as a nurse for many years.

Her first thriller for Boldwood will be published in August 2022.

Social Media Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/2913036085376315

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ValerieKeogh1

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/valeriekeogh2/

Newsletter Sign Up:https://bit.ly/ValerieKeoghNews

Bookbub profile:https://www.bookbub.com/authors/valerie-keogh

My Review

The Lodger is a story that drags you into the plot, if only to scream and shout at the main character, Leigh, about so many things. She should have stood up to the creep at work and reported him sooner; she should have not let the boyfriend walk all over her …and she should never, never, never have taken in a lodger on a whim, no matter how kind of her it was to do so.

But that’s where we’re at now. Leigh has a lodger in Gina, a selfish boyfriend in Matt, and an anger management course to attend as a result of finally showing Bernard Ledbetter that his leery ways are not acceptable.
At this point, Gina seems to be the least of her problems. That is, until she returns from the anger management course to find Gina gone, clothes all packed up, and the briefest of notes saying, “I’m sorry.” Matt is in Salisbury where his teaching job is based, acting very oddly and cutting her phone calls short. So, Leigh returns to work to face Ledbetter, only to find he has not been in since she called him out, and everyone seems to have taken his side, blaming her for upsetting the ‘poor man’.
Is there any wonder she feels angry? She has so many unanswered questions: Why did Gina leave? Why is Matt being such a jerk? And why would anyone believe Ledbetter over her?

Things go from bad to worse when she hears movement in her house overnight, finds a disembodied hand in her garden, discovers Matt is lying to her about being at school, and questions are being raised about the missing Ledbetter.

So many twists, so many secrets … just when you believe one thing happened, along comes a swift change of direction to send you into another rabbit hole. If you don’t get giddy from all the twists, then are you even human? 😉

The Lodger is a fantastic thriller in the vein of “if it can go wrong, it will”. Leigh’s self-doubts and insecurities lead her to imagine all sorts of scenarios, and she feels that she’s being mocked for simply thinking those things could be possible. I think this phrase sums it up best:

Sometimes, the brain can overload, decide it’s not going to process anything else. And so it was with Leigh. This last week was the end of her capability.

Getting to the truth is complicated as there are so many layers to peel back, yet Leigh is left with a dilemma –to do the right thing or take the easy way out. Her decision might surprise you, but it will leave you believing in the ability to turn your life around … and if it means wearing more purple, then so be it.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and now I’ve learnt she has a vast back catalogue that I’m going to check out.

For more news and reviews,

As always,

blog tour · book review · murder mystery · suspense · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Murder List

The Murder List

When Mary receives a blank diary as a present, she thinks nothing of it. Until she opens the diary, and sees it’s not blank after all…

1st January MURDER LISA, OXFORD
1st February MURDER JANE, BIRMINGHAM
1st March MURDER DAVID, CARDIFF
1st April MURDER MARY, CHELTENHAM

Is this some kind of sick joke? But…it’s the end of January now. And a woman named Lisa was murdered in Oxford on 1st January.

Does that mean there really is a killer out there, planning to commit a new murder on the first of each month? And is the Mary due to be killed on 1st April her?

The clock is ticking for Mary to uncover the truth, before she becomes the next victim on the killer’s list…

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-List-incredible-psychological-bestselling-ebook/dp/B09KZ9FR2T

US – https://www.amazon.com/Murder-List-incredible-psychological-bestselling-ebook/dp/B09KZ9FR2T

Author Bio

Jackie Kabler is an internationally bestselling author of psychological thrillers including The Perfect Couple, Am I Guilty? and The Happy Family. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV news, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports shows on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She now combines her crime writing with her job as a presenter on shopping channel QVC. Jackie lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.

Social Media Links

Twitter @jackiekabler

Instagram @officialjackiekabler

My Review

Mary Ellis is a journalist / crime writer who prefers to work from rented office space – The Hub – with other self employed people. Her father was a famous crime novelist who died in a house fire that also killed Mary’s best friend, and left Mary scarred both mentally and physically, although thanks to her grandmother she has received the best care to heal her wounds.
The story begins with the Christmas holidays about to begin and Mary is home with her best friend and housemate, Pete Chong. After New Year, Mary begins the task of clearing out things for the charity shop and finds an unopened gift she’d been given – a diary – which she assumes came from one of the publishing companies she works with. She looks for a sign as to who it is from and finds the disturbing reference to the murder of someone called Lisa in Oxford on Jan 1st. The date has already passed, and to make it more disturbing the TV news is covering the murder of a woman named Lisa on New Year’s Day in the city of Oxford. Further entries – each a month apart – suggest more victims, including one called Mary on Apr 1st in Cheltenham – where she now lives.
She has to tell the police. Will they take her seriously? Might they even suspect her?
Well, the answers are in the book …

The premise of this pulled me right in and it was compelling reading throughout.
What if Mary hadn’t read the diary before she planned to donate it to the charity shop? There were so many ways in which this story could have collapsed and not been as twisted or surprising as it was, yet the author had it all under control, even throwing out spurious red herrings like confetti. But, boy, was it engaging and hugely addictive. No wonder so many characters came under suspicion. As a reader, I formed an opinion early on, but my ideas were soon quashed when along came Mary’s big secret – could she really use it to thwart the killer come April 1st? It was difficult to imagine how that scene would unfurl, but it did … and it was completely out of the blue. Kudos to Ms Kabler for a fabulously suspenseful read.

For more news and reviews, check out these blogs:

As always,

Audiobook · Giveaways · psychological suspense · thriller

Book Tour – Future Skinny (plus giveaway)

Today is my stop on the Future Skinny tour! Check out this gripping psychological thriller and enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of five audio editions of the book!

Future_Skinny_Cover

Future Skinny Publication Date: May 24th, 2022

Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Suspense

TW: Body Dysmorphia/ Addiction

Casey Banks is a devoutly anorexic man who discovers he can see the future by binge-eating. His new plan? Perform visions for cash while staying thin by any means necessary. Reading futures proves to be lucrative, but when he ignores a vision of his girlfriend committing a grisly murder, it sets Casey on a dangerous path toward a destiny he’ll do anything to avoid.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

There he is.

The hotel room is dim, but Casey isn’t hard to find.

His body is a beacon of desperate protest underneath a forgiving silk tee. Bone thin. Skin bagging from every corner of his six-foot frame. A good guess would be one-hundred and twenty pounds. He has more hair, just not on his head. Fuzzy wisps of keratin on his arms and thick on the nape of his neck. Inky around the eyes, a dire pigmentation that frames the focus he is straining to hold on the stranger at the other end of the makeshift dining table.

Casey is binge-reading still, and by the look of him, he has been binge-reading far too often.

The spread between the two men is huge, was huge, most of the food has already been eaten.

The client’s eyes are wide but unmoved by the brittle hands Casey is using in lieu of utensils. The fingers clutching each next bite are topped with nail beds of blue. The knuckles on his index and middle are callused to the point of deformity. This client’s indifference is nothing new. Like all customers, he is there to hear his future. It has never mattered how the pig is slaughtered so long as the bacon tastes good.

Lylian is there too. She hasn’t left Casey yet, though their age difference looks as if it’s somehow doubled. Longer hair now, green eyes still bright, the only authentic shines in the room. Her arms are firmly folded atop a roadblock stance halfway between the client and the front door. At her size, her posture is hardly intimidating, but for someone so small, she can explode big.

The air stinks. It isn’t just the food. Beyond cooling grease and the chemically crafted scents of take-out littered about the table, the odors turn human quick. Inhale like you mean it and you can smell the sin. A half-century’s worth of intimacy baking in the manufactured heat of the room’s lone window unit.

The repugnant bouquet is married to the chomp, smack, and slurp of Casey’s consumption. He is eating hard. He is swallowing fast. Wet. In fact, everything feels wet. Rooms like this one have a squish to them that is everlasting. Stray spit won’t make much difference.

The bathroom door behind Casey is open. For now, the smell of upchuck is faint, maybe imagined. There is a beige sink, a matching toilet, and a poky little tub with a basin too small for anyone un-elfin. Any of the three are good for vomit. If Casey were to make sick prematurely, the carpet underfoot would hide it well: it’s a synthetic jumble of colors expertly designed to disappear manmade soils. Casey has a twenty-three-gallon Rubbermaid imitation at his side, just in case. Its corner-store price tag hasn’t been removed. Accidents happen. The only thing closer to Casey than this emergency bin are his and Lylian’s bug-out bags.

The client begins to fidget, he can’t keep his focus on the spectacle in front of him. He looks to the television, then to the table lamp, then back to the black screen of the TV. He actively works at fixating on anything that isn’t the redundancy of Casey eating and eating. There isn’t much to distract a person in this by-the-hour room. Perhaps inadvertently, he lands his gaze on the open black duffle at the end of the bed. The stacks of money define the bag’s canvas. The stranger’s attention sits on the opportunity, hanging there just long enough to visibly concern Lylian.

It starts with a twitch. Her arms uncross and she takes one step forward. Her eyes reach for Casey, but he is lost in his gorge, oblivious to Lylian’s subtle just-in-case preparations.

This client could be one of David’s thugs. Then again, any human being could: all ethnicities, a child, a senior citizen, religious or agnostic. David is an equal opportunity criminal, a true champion of diversity in the workplace.

Lylian puts a hand on the table lamp, wraps her fingers around its base. If this stranger decides to go rogue, she has all she needs to bash the back of his skull.

There is a mumble. It’s enough to break the client’s fixation on the bag of cash. He looks back to Casey, but Lylian remains committed.

“Did you say something’?” the client asks, the words passing through what is left of his jagged, flaxen teeth.

Casey struggles to form a comprehensible answer. His response works its way around the saliva-soaked mass he hasn’t stopped chewing. “How will the world know you?” he repeats.

“Are you askin’ me? You should be telling me.”

The loss of confidence in the client’s voice doesn’t go unnoticed by Lylian. Her grip tightens on the lamp’s base.

With his eyes shut tight, Casey goes adrift on his own question. He silently mouths it a few more times. Then, through quivering lips, he repeats it aloud, changing just the last word.

“How will the world know me?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

5818195

Peter Rosch is what happens when a Polish drag-racing varsity bowler and a beautiful, but über paranoid, French Canadian Air Force brat get together on a disco dance floor in glorious Albuquerque, NM. An award-winning writer whose decades in advertising, music, and film introduced him to more than a few bad habits. He hopes it wasn’t for naught. Kirkus called his first novel, My Dead Friend Sarah, “a gripping story” in which “Rosch skillfully renders a unique story of a missing woman.”

Level9Paranoia | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Win an audiobook edition of Future Skinny! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

cover reveal · psychological suspense · thriller

Not one but two cover reveals: What Lies Beneath & The Prodigal Mother

Banner image for two covers by Stephen Edger

What Lies Beneath

Grieving father Joe Irons wants nothing but justice following daughter Lydia’s abduction and murder. But when police release prime suspect David Calderwood due to a lack of evidence, Joe feels compelled to act. In the dead of night he weighs up the moral implications of whether doing a bad thing for a good reason is justifiable. With Calderwood abducted and imprisoned in a cell beneath the stairs, Joe intends to obtain a confession no matter the cost.

When Joe learns that another child has been taken, he’s certain David is involved, and is in a race against time to break his prisoner, but wanting to hurt someone isn’t the same as physically doing it.

Invading David’s home, Joe begins to piece together how his captive thinks, picking up the investigation the police have left open. With a child’s life hanging in the balance, will Joe have what it takes to find the truth?

WHAT LIES BENEATH is an adrenaline-fuelled, high concept thriller that will appeal to fans of Adrian McKinty’s The Chain, and CJ Tudor’s The Other People.

What Lies Beneath

Pre-order Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B0057HQTHE

US – https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B0057HQTHE 

Publication Date – 6th June


The Prodigal Mother

Five years ago, Abbie’s son Josh died during delivery. It’s taken this long for her and husband Mark to even think about trying to restart their family. Now eight months pregnant, Abbie won’t dare dream of a happy ending in case it is snatched away again.

When a stranger tells Abbie that Josh was switched at the hospital and is living under a new identity, Abbie desperately wants to believe it’s a second chance, but Mark isn’t as easily convinced, especially when the stranger’s mental health issues come to light. 

Abbie can’t find Josh without the stranger’s help, but she can’t risk the life of the child she is carrying. And she doesn’t know how far Josh’s new family will go to keep their secret buried.

Told at a breakneck pace, and with twists on every page THE PRODIGAL MOTHER is a gripping psychological suspense, perfect for fans of CL Taylor, Louise Jensen, and CJ Tudor.

The Prodigal Mother

Pre-order Links –

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09VMB4H59/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VMB4H59/ 

Publication Date – 5th September


Author Bio

Stephen Edger is the Amazon bestselling author of psychological and crime thrillers, including Snatched, and the Kate Matthews series. Born in the north-east of England, he now lives in Southampton where most of his stories are set, allowing him to use his insider knowledge to deliver realistic and unsettling suspense on every page.

Away from writing, Stephen loves to read anything that will keep him awake at night. He’s also a passionate advocate for contemporary cinema and binge-watching the latest offerings from streaming services. He is married with a son and a daughter, and two dogs.

Social Media Links – www.facebook.com/AuthorStephenEdger 

https://twitter.com/StephenEdger

www.stephenedger.com 

As always,

Cute Pomeranian with reading glases and a very good book!
book review · surviving · suspense · thriller

Book Review – The Lucky Eight

When the plane crashed, 160 people perished. Now someone is killing off the survivors.

Five years ago, a horrific airline disaster made headlines around the world. On the anniversary of the fatal crash, a number of those who were spared gather to mark the occasion. By morning, Nick Gilbert, a celebrity chef and one of the party, lies dead. Detective Rachel Lewis leads the investigation and within days another survivor is stabbed to death. It seems certain that a killer is targeting the lucky eight.

Clodagh Kinsella recovered from the injuries she sustained in the crash, but lost her sister that day. The bereavement shared by Clodagh and her sister’s husband led them to a romance of their own. Yet lately, Clodagh knows something isn’t right. As the noose tightens on the group and Rachel comes across more questions than answers, it’s only a matter of time before Clodagh will have to face the consequences of a mistake she made before the plane went down…

A tense and gripping crime thriller, perfect for fans of Lesley Kara and Mari Hannah.

My Review

Can you imagine surviving a plan crash that has killed 160 people? Such is the position for the eight who do just that, and who are then dubbed “The Lucky Eight” from that point onwards. Each of them lost a loved one that day, as well as incurring life-changing injuries, if not physical then the mental and emotional strain would be immense. That crash changed their lives, and with it came a lot of guilt for having survived.

Each year, they gather together to honour those who died and to support each other going forward. It’s not been easy for any of them, but some are struggling more than others.

Clodagh Kinsella lost her sister that day, and also suffers from a lapse in memory of a few hours of that day, hours in which she feels instinctively that something important happened. Now, living with her sister’s husband, those niggles are more apparent than ever. It is she who finds the dead body of victim number one, a man who had texted her because he had something to tell her, and now she’ll never know what he had to say. Was it about those missing hours? Did he know something?

For someone supposedly called “lucky”, poor Clodagh would dispute that claim, especially when she finds a second body, also from a fellow survivor who had texted her with something important to tell her. Now both people who wanted to tell her something are dead, and she is reliving those moments over and over, catching mere glimpses of memory but, frustratedly, not enough to make any sense. Why were Nick and Tara killed? Will she be next? Or is she to blame? These are the questions that now haunt her as her relationship falls apart – as if she didn’t have enough to worry about.

Leading the investigation, and in charge of a major case for the first time, is Rachel Lewis. She doubts herself, and worries she’s not up to the job, despite her team having the utmost confidence in her. As she and her officers unravel the clues, they are led in many directions and under significant pressure to close the case. At one point, they seem to have the culprit in custody, but something doesn’t feel right about it. Rachel has to trust her instincts to catch the killer before another of The Lucky Eight becomes victim number three.

This is a page-turning read with many twists along the way. The main characters are well fleshed out and the reader gets to know them quite well and, in so doing, wants them to succeed. There’s one bugbear for me, and that is being told so many times that there’s “something important” for Clodagh to know, and then for that snippet of information to be unforthcoming at every opportunity – that felt a little convenient for the plot rather than a natural consequence of the story. Whether this annoying drip, drip of info made me purposely look elsewhere for the killer, I don’t know, but I did work it out early on.

Even so, it’s a well-paced read that quickly becomes hard to put down.

As always,

blog tour · book review · journalist · thriller · war

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Shot

An aspiring TV journalist faces a shattering moral dilemma and the prospect of losing her career and her life, when she joins an impetuous photographer in the Middle East. A shocking, searingly authentic thriller by award-winning ex-CNN news executive Sarah Sultoon.

Samira is an up-and-coming TV journalist, working the nightshift at a major news channel and yearning for greater things. So when she’s offered a trip to the Middle East, with Kris, the station’s brilliant but impetuous star photographer, she leaps at the chance

In the field together, Sami and Kris feel invincible, shining a light into the darkest of corners … except the newsroom, and the rest of the world, doesn’t seem to care as much as they do. Until Kris takes the photograph.

With a single image of young Sudanese mother, injured in a raid on her camp, Sami and the genocide in Darfur are catapulted into the limelight. But everything is not as it seems, and the shots taken by Kris reveal something deeper and much darker … something that puts not only their careers but their lives in mortal danger.

Sarah Sultoon brings all her experience as a CNN news executive to bear on this shocking, searingly authentic thriller, which asks immense questions about the world we live in. You’ll never look at a news report in the same way again…  

My Review

Samira (Sami) has issues with her dad – he was a photographer in war zones and died on the job. Her mum hasn’t been the same since, and she and Sami are no longer close. Sami wants to prove herself to her mum and to make sense of her dad’s death, so when the chance comes to accompany one of the team’s most experienced photographers she cannot quell her excitement. This is her chance to break away from the night shift of graphic design for the international news organisation in London and see for herself the true horrors of war. Sami’s need to prove herself, and her family connection form her personal motivation, yet it is her ability to speak Arabic that marks her out to her bosses as a valuable asset – and, besides, it’s just a quick in-and-out visit to capture the visit of US dignitaries to the region. However, Sami has something more to offer, a human touch and the ability to seek out a story on behalf of those without a voice, those who are suffering as the pawns of war. Sami wants to tell it as it is and speak up for those people.

Kris, the photographer, is more than intriguing. His home life is in tatters as he chooses to work rather than spend time with his wife and kids; only the dog seems to be pleased to see him when he does venture home. On the job, he can be blunt and brash, but he has an eye for detail and can zoom in to capture the poignancy of a situation like no other.

As you’d expect, any story set in such an environment is going to portray the devastation of war, and its brutal repercussions on the civilians caught in its wake. Consequently, readers can expect an emotional roller coaster and some exceptionally stark reactions. The ending is shocking and you’re left to determine for yourself whether some deaths were mercy killings or something more sinister. (You’ll have to read for yourself to find out what I mean).

The Shot is a story that will stay with me, it gives fascinating insight into war reporting, the horrors and the impact on those reporting the news and is all the more impactful given the situation in Ukraine. As viewers, we see journalists giving their reports against the backdrop of sirens and burning buildings, we see civilians fleeing – if they can – and others injured or killed. Sami’s story obliges us to see the human effect, to uphold humanitarian values and see the people behind the headlines. A powerful read indeed.

About Sarah Sultoon

Sarah Sultoon is a novelist and journalist, whose prior work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate degree in languages, chosen mainly so she could spend time itinerantly travelling the world. She likes running, Indian food, cocktails, playing sport with her children and throwing a ball for her dog, order dependent on when the cocktails are consumed. The Source is her first novel and is currently in development for television with Lime Pictures.

The Source

‘A brave and thought-provoking debut novel. Sarah Sultoon tackles a challenging and disturbing subject without sensation, and her sensitive handling, tight plotting and authentic storytelling make for a compelling read’ Adam Hamdy

‘Delving into corruption, abuse of power and the resilience of the human spirit, The Source is a taut and thought-provoking book that’s all the more unnerving for how much it echoes the headlines in real life’ CultureFly

‘Carly and Marie’s stories are about to collide, the secrets of the past are devastating, the investigation in the present urgent. This is a tense thriller, a remarkable debut, heartbreaking, but ultimately this is a story of resilience and survival’ New Books Magazine

‘A powerful, compelling read that doesn’t shy away from some upsetting truths … written with such energy’ Fanny Blake

‘Tautly written and compelling, not afraid to shine a spotlight on the darker forces at work in society’ Rupert Wallis

‘So authentic and exhilarating … breathtaking pace and relentless ingenuity’ Nick Paton Walsh, CNN

‘A powerful, intense whammy of a debut that is both uncomfortable and exhilarating to read … Thought-provoking, tense, and expressive, The Source is an utterly compelling debut’ LoveReading

‘A gripping, dark thriller’ Geoff Hill, ITV

‘A cleverly constructed story that offers an authentic view behind the scenes in a British newsroom … an original and wholly engaging debut. Definitely a name to watch’ Crime Fiction Lover

‘My heart was racing … fiction to thrill even the most hard-core adrenaline junkies’ Diana Magnay, Sky News 

‘Unflinching and sharply observed. A hard-hitting, deftly woven debut’ Ruth Field

‘With this gripping, fast-paced debut thriller, it’s easy to see what made Sultoon such a great journalist’ Clarissa Ward, CNN 

‘A hard-hitting, myth-busting rollercoaster of a debut’ Eve Smith

‘I could picture and feel each scene, all the fear, tension and hope’ Katie Allen

As always,

book review · NetGalley · suspense · thriller

Book Review – The House Fire

Play with fire and you’ll get burned …

Who can you trust in this brand new edge-of-your-seat thriller?

A tired old seaside town hiding a series of unsolved arson attacks.

A derelict mansion in the woods with a long-buried secret.

A bundle of old love letters that mask a dark story. 

When Jamie’s documentary investigation gets too close to uncovering the truth behind a series of deadly arson attacks that tormented Abbeywick in the 1980s, her family might be the ones who pay the price. 

But for her younger sister Cleo, the secrets Jamie uncovers have the potential to get exactly what Cleo wants: to remove her mum’s toxic new husband from their lives, forever. 

All it takes is one spark to send everything up in smoke . . .

Early readers are gripped by this edge-of-your-seat thriller

‘This book was hands down amazing, I read it in one sitting. I thought I had it figured out but wow was I wrong’

‘A great well written thriller, I was guessing from start to finish

‘Suspense, intrigue [and a] great whodunit’

‘A must read

‘A fantastic domestic thriller . . . the ending gave me chills’

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My thoughts

Initially, The House Fire is about incidents of arson in the locality where sisters Jamie and Cleo grew up. Jamie wants to produce documentaries for a living while younger sister Cleo just wants her mum back after. From the outset it’s evident there’s an undercurrent of abuse here, a darker history to the events and an inevitable yet well-disguised connection to the family.

The story is told from three viewpoints: Jamie, Cleo and the arsonist. It quickly makes you question whether the arsonist has returned … and, if so, why? That tenuous thread seems fragile and a little convenient until it grows stronger and bolder and impossible to ignore. And here begins the great suspense: who is the arsonist?

Jamie’s boyfriend, Spider, soon seems to want to spin the tale of the the past fires into a new story, his eyes lighting up as new fires ignite and new victims come to the fore. Cleo, and her best friend Lucasz, are otherwise engaged – Lucacz in his love of historical research and facts after they find letters in an old burnt-out house, and Cleo in her hatred of her new stepfather, Ant, and what she sees as his control over her mother … which she (rightly or wrongly, you’ll have to read for yourself) means he wants her, Cleo, out of the family home as soon as possible.

Pace-wise, it’s a slow-burner (pardon the pun) but it quickly builds to a more suspenseful tale particularly when Jamie finds gets threats that are soon followed by an incident that sees her hospitalised.

The twist in the tale is well delivered albeit open-ended, leaving the reader to ponder how things might develop from there. Trust me, the possibilities are quite worrying.

I imagined at first that Cleo was the main character, and she was for much of the beginning. But, for me, Jamie’s role developed better and stay firmer … maybe I just prefer a peace-maker to a rebel, though I doubt that. I guess it’s mor because Cleo’s outbursts are quite over-the-top at times and requires a suspension of belief that didn’t quite resonate with me.

Jamie had more impact for me in that she was forced to make decisions based less on emotion, though I did wonder whether she’d be strong enough to be as bold as she wanted to be.

Ant, the stepfather, was a conundrum. It was easy to follow Clew’s thoughts on him and see him as the baddie; he certainly didn’t help himself in that respect but ultimately, I did begin to see through Cleo’s exasperated pleas and see another side to Ant, though it wasn’t until near the end that the truth became clear.

I found The House Fire to be a fascinating read that certainly left me thinking one thing before being found to be completely wrong. Thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for the ARC which I’ve reviewed voluntarily.

As always,

Featured Author - Phyllis Entis · Mystery Authors International · series · The Damien Dickens Mysteries · thriller

Guest Post: Phyllis Entis

I’m often blogging and writing reviews about books and authors I’ve never connected with in real life, but not today. Phyllis is a good friend and fellow mystery author, and I’m thrilled to say she’s just released the sixth book in The Damien Dickens Mystery series … and it’s a corker, heading more into the thriller category than her past books.

So, let’s hear it for

THE SILVER STAR CAPER

Genres: Mystery/Husband-and-wife private investigators/Woman Sleuth/Thriller

Check out the blurb and tell me you’re not hooked!

Damien and Millie take on their most dangerous assignment yet.

After a string of arson fires drives migrant farm workers from their homes and threatens Millie’s daughter-in-law, Damien agrees to go undercover to infiltrate the white-supremacist, neo-Nazi militia responsible for the fires and unmask the identity of their leader.

Millie covers his absence by spreading the news that they have separated, while he travels back to Atlantic City. When Damien reappears in California, it’s in the guise of a former cop with neo-Nazi sympathies.

Left alone to run their detective agency while maintaining a brave front, Millie dives into an investigation of a friend of the new mayor of Carmel-by-the Sea, a local resident she suspects of being a Nazi war criminal in hiding.

The action is non-stop as Damien and Millie risk their lives to eradicate the spectre of violence and racism from their community.

You need more?

Then the prologue will have you one-clicking for sure.

Thursday, March 20, 1986

We were seated on the patio of the Hog’s Breath Inn, the downtown Carmel restaurant owned by Clint Eastwood. The place was packed with a lunchtime mix of tourists and locals, most of them talking about the upcoming municipal elections and the likelihood that Clint would be the town’s next mayor. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a couple of friendly waves, but I ignored them, focusing my attention instead on Millie, who was slowly crumbling a sourdough roll into pieces small enough to feed to the birds.

The last few weeks had been hard on her as we engaged in an ever-rising tide of public displays of discord. Our friends had started asking what was wrong. Had wondered out loud whether our marriage was on the rocks. Today, they would have their answer.

This morning, it was Millie’s turn to pick the fight. She did so in my office, her accusations about my excessive drinking loud enough to carry through the walls to the dental offices next door. I followed through by giving my wastebasket a noisy kick, sending its contents flying, and punctuated my angry retorts by slamming my fist into the wall so hard that the plaster cracked. Millie retreated into her own office, slamming the door with such force that Hershey, our 60-pound labradoodle, took shelter under the reception counter.

A few seconds later, she emerged from her office, a grim smile on her face. “That should about do it, especially since Malvina was scheduled for a dental check-up this morning. Let’s go to lunch and get this over with.”

Now, you want the buy links, don’t you? 😉

Amazon Buy link: mybook.to/TSSC

Amazon Buy link for Damien Dickens Mystery series: mybook.to/DDMSERIES

Author Bio:

Phyllis Entis is the author of the Damien Dickens Mysteries series, which includes The Green Pearl Caper, The White Russian Caper, The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper, The Gold Dragon Caper, The Blue Moon Caper, and The Silver Star Caper. She was the recipient of the 2019 Top Female Author award (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller).

Phyllis is a free-lance writer and retired food safety microbiologist with degrees from McGill University and the University of Toronto. In December 2020, she released TAINTED. From Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, Fifty Years of Food Safety Failures, an exposé of the shortcomings of the food manufacturing and foodservice industry sectors on which we all rely to supply us with safe food.

Phyllis lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their Australian Cobberdog, Shalom. When she’s not writing, Phyllis usually can be found walking around town, baking bagels and pastries, or enjoying her garden.

A message from the author:

Writing fiction is a very intense experience, at least for me. Once a story starts to develop inside my brain, I feel as though I am simply a reporter, taking dictation from the main characters.

In December 2019, I bade a temporary farewell to Damien and Millie Dickens and shooed them out of my head while undertaking a non-fiction project.

The dynamic detective duo started clamoring to return late last fall, and have been with me ever since.

The first draft of this novel wrote itself in only four months—an extremely fast pace for me. There were nights when Damien and Millie entered my dreams, and days when the emotional content of the plot was so overwhelming that I had to stop and open a fresh box of Kleenex tissues. At times, I was afraid of shorting out my keyboard!

Although set in the mid-1980s, The Silver Star Caper embraces themes that are relevant today: racism, domestic terrorists, white supremacy militias, and neo-Nazi movements. Although fiction, the story is grounded in history.

I’ll be sharing pieces of that history from time to time on my blog. I hope you’ll drop by and read the stories behind the story.

Website and blog: phyllisentis.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PromptProse

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DamienDickensMysteries/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/PhyllisEntis

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/phyllis-entis-1697a849/

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Entis/e/B001JRZM1K/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1750852.Phyllis_Entis

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/phyllis-entis


As always,