thriller

Featured Author – Nicole Fitton

Here at Mystery Authors International we always have a great story to tell.

This month is no exception, since our featured author is none other than Nicole Fitton, and we’re going to be looking at her book, Forbidden Colours. 

Before we delve into the details, let me just add that Nicole is having an awesome spell as an author.

Not only has she been nominated for an author of the year award, but the cover of her novel was a front-runner in Cover Wars too.

As this is such a wonderfully imaginative cover, I feel the need to display it in full resolution – as a piece of artwork it merits its own spot of glory.

So, well done, Nicole. This is just the start of a successful writing career and we’re supporting you all the way.

You’re no doubt wanting to know what the novel is all about, so without further ado, Nicole tells me how the story came to be.

Forbidden Colours was the evolution of a question that had been rattling around in my brain. You know, those annoying questions that wake you at 4am and won’t let you rest until you’ve written something. Well, that’s how it was for me. I had read a newspaper article about the complexity of the human brain and well, it all started from there. Forbidden Colours is a gripping love story which contains elements of psychological suspense. It has enough adrenaline fuelled drama to power the national grid! Once I had the protagonist Midori Yates firmly fixed in my mind’s eye she took charge and dictated the direction of travel. I have a passion for science and being able to incorporate that into a book is very exciting. The story centres around a new drug being brought to market that does not quite do what it is supposed to…. I shall leave it at that. As I said earlier I started Forbidden Colours with a question and everything flowed from there. So, I know you want to know, what was the question? It’s a question I often ask myself but seldom has it led me in such an unusual direction…… ‘ What if?’

A thriller that offers suspense and romance must be bound for great things – next stop, Hollywood, Nicole?

Check out the blurb for greater insight into the plot:

What if your memories were not your memories? What if the drug hailed as a cure becomes your curse and ultimately your destruction?

Forbidden Colours is a gripping tale where nothing is quite as it seems. Neurologist Nick Campbell is all set to believe in new drug Centoria, but when his patients start turning up dead he starts to wonder whether his faith has been blind.

Determined to uncover the truth, pharmaceutical employee Midori Yates and Dr Nick Campbell find a conspiracy that is to have devastating consequences for both of them. Forbidden Colours is a clever contemporary thriller that has numerous twists and turns that will make your head spin! A book for bedtime? Maybe but don’t expect to get any sleep!

Powerful stuff, I think you’ll agree, and most definitely unique in its concept and intriguing to boot! Who needs sleep, anyway? 🙂

Fancy a snippet? (Of course you do, and what the reader wants, the reader gets …)

Katzuko Yates eyed her daughter thoughtfully. A sense of apprehension gripped her. Those years in Japan were long ago; she wondered if she could be clear with her explanation. Even though buried, her memories continued to breathe under the mountain of life she’d lived. Dare she even speak of them? Could she speak of them? Their place of residence had become an unmarked grave in her history. Her family had a right to know, after everything that had happened. His world was dark and full of shadows; where would she begin? For over 25 years she had told no one. Now she was being drawn back into his world. It was a time she wanted to forget. The tie that had been bound to her so tightly was about to be broken.

Wow! You must be tempted to one-click this now – so here’s the all-important link you need.

Pardon me, where are my manners? Let me introduce you to Nicole and provide all the links so you may stalk – I mean follow – her 🙂

Author Bio:

Nicole Fitton is an author and freelance writer who has lived in such glamorous locations as London, New York and Croydon! She currently reside in Devon, UK with her family. Forbidden Colours is her second novel. Her career has spanned over 3 decades working in PR and marketing within the music industry. She currently works within healthcare in the UK.

Alongside her novels Nicole has a passion for writing short stories. This year has seen her short ‘Soaring’ featured in an anthology by the Black Pear Press. Her stories always have a happy ending, but, the way in which they get there will keep you guessing right up until the last page! She admits she gets bored easily and can often be found enjoying new adventures!

Links:

Website 

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Before I go, let me share another tidbit – Forbidden Colours is on Kindle Countdown until May 4th – so time to grab your own copy and enjoy the bargain!

No more fingernails left to bite!

Manicures would be wasted on me.

Yes, it’s true – I’m a nail-biter.

This time it’s because my latest WIP is about to leave the nest.

The Untruth Hunters is ready for critiquing and the (un)lucky reviewers are those wonderful authors in my writing group. Whilst they’ve been there for my revenge stories, questioned my evil streak and cheered at my fantasy excerpts, this one is a little different – darker and conspiratorial.

the-untruth-hunters

Travis Hunter is existing, nothing more. Having lost his parents and wife in separate, tragic accidents he is prone to depression and self-harm.

When an invitation to avoid the Christmas hullabaloo comes his way, he grabs it without thinking and embarks upon a strange journey with sinister undertones.

On learning his parents did not die, but were instead kidnapped, he is recruited by a secret organisation to bring them home. 

Government conspiracies, ungodly terrain and a killer sleeping disease force Travis to raise his game – no longer can he be a Hunter in name only. 

I guess I’ll have to resort to caffeine and chocolate to calm my nerves and wait for feedback.

Book Review – The Good Girl

good girl

The Good Girl – Mary Kubica

4/5 stars – Aside from the unusual style of writing, which took some getting used to, this story had me gripped until the end – with an ending that I did not expect in the slightest. Written from a variety of perspectives, it is both a suspenseful mystery and a tender romance.

Definitely an author to follow.

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”
Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.
Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

 

 

 

 

 

Journey’s end (still on the bus!)

The final journey for today takes us to France. It’s an international bestseller and another fast.paced crime thriller.

The 7th Woman

by Frédérique Molay, translated by Anne Trager

Summa7th womanry: There’s no rest for Paris’s top criminal investigation division, La Crim’. Who is preying on women in the French capital? How can he kill again and again without leaving any clues? A serial killer is taking pleasure in a macabre ritual that leaves the police on tenterhooks. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky—a super cop with a modern-day real life, including an ex-wife, a teenage son and a budding love story—races against the clock to solve the murders as they get closer and closer to his inner circle. Will he resist the pressure?

My thoughts: Nico Sirksy is the kind of cop that gets things done. Sleep is overrated and even the onset of a nasty stomach ulcer does not slow him down. He has a complicated family set-up, but is clearly devoted to his son, sister and mother. A serial killer has come to Paris and is killing women of a certain type – 30ish, brunette, successful and pregnant. Their deaths are gruesome, as the killer engages in a cruel and sickening process of torture, pain and humiliation. When the killers actively seeks out Nico and threatens to hurt the women in his family, Sirsky ups his game in order to catch the murderer before the seventh victim – potentially one of his own family – falls victim.

Unfortunately I worked out who the killer was quite early on, but still had to keep reading to confirm my suspicions. There were even times that I thought I had got it wrong, leaving me more intrigued and keen to read on. Molay creates plenty of tension as the plot builds, the desperation of the officers is clear to see and the emotional pressure they are under is beautifully depicted. As with many books that are not written in English, there is a definite style difference in that there are many long descriptive passages. In this case, the author clearly feels the needs to make sure that the reader understands the procedures and the mindsets of his characters. I particularly enjoy these ‘info dumps’ and want to know as much as I can about the setting, the scenery, the history. I appreciate that many others will find this a little excessive, but this is definitely not a case of style over substance. The plot flows very well, the characters are fully developed and the reader is invited into their world, warts and all!

I’ve read many books by foreign authors and this one, from Le French publications, is by far one of the best so far. I’ve come to realise that I prefer the style of European writers and will actively seek out these authors from now on.

All aboard!

Well,I am nothing if not persistent (annoyingly so, some might say!!)

Bus number 2 poses plenty of twists and turns as it veers towards what could have been a very disturbing truth for mankind. It alternates between the present day and the 1940s, detailing the extent to which Hitler’s leading men were prepared to go to ‘create’ the perfect human specimen.

The Bleiberg Project by David S Khara

is a fivebleiberg star thriller, filled with intrigue and conspiracy theories. It will make you question how such atrocities could happen and indeed, why were they so obsessed with the need to create a superhuman?

Summary: Jeremy Corbin is a trader on Wall Street, currently he is in a very depressive after a drinking bout led to the death of a child as he drove home one night. He grew up without his father in his life, believing him to have abandoned his family. When Jeremy is told of his father’s death by the CIA and that he was actually killed, he also learns his father did not want to leave his family, but circumstances meant he had to go away in order to keep them safe. Armed with this news, he tells his mother, who then hands him a locket, containing a key bearing the Nazi emblem – the Swastika. More than a little confused, Jeremy then gets the news that his mother has also been killed and he finds himself heading for Europe with a CIA agent and a Mossad agent. Can his life get any more complicated? Well, yes, it can …. and does!!

My thoughts: I am fascinated (possibly too much so) by this period of history and I soaked up this story like a sponge. Jeremy Corbin is a bit of a dullard, very much wrapped up in his own problems and not trying too hard to help himself. He has a tendency to feel quite sorry for himself and is forced to learn to think and act differently when he embarks on his escapade with the secret agents. The female CIA agent is a tough cookie, but she grows to like Jeremy, inspite of his poorly timed one-liners and ‘woe is me’  attitude. The Mossad agent is the most interesting character of the three, and what develops for his character is truly riveting. The pace is fast, but without losing the details. Highly recommended to anyone who finds this subject matter as compelling as I do, and thankfully there is more to come as a series is underway 🙂

Just like the buses ….

You wait forever and then three come at once ….

Not that I expect anyone is waiting for these book reviews, but that’s never stopped me before!

So, bus number 1 will take you on a journey to the other side of the grave.

This book is called The Midnight Side by Natasha Mostert. It’s an intricate psychological thriller and has the kind of ending that will leave you stunned. Four stars from me and I’ll be reading more from this writer.

the midnight side THE MIDNIGHT SIDE is a chilling tale of a seductive woman who, even from the grave, is able to manipulate events to her satisfaction. A haunting story of revenge and obsessive love gone wrong. Isabella (Isa) de Witt gets a strange call in the early hours from her cousin Alette, but there is just one problem…Alette is dead. When she returns to England to handle Alette’s estate, she gets embroiled in her cousin’s plan to right a wrong done to her as she is left three letters with very detailed instructions to be carried out. With little realisation as to the impact of her actions, based on these instructions, Isa starts to think that these plans are a waste of time. Until she meets Justin, Alette’s ex-husband. It appears that Alette had been exaggerating her lifestyle and had twisted the truth to make her husband seem to be the wrongdoer in their marriage. Isa continues to follow Alette’s instructions, but become increasingly uneasy over what she is asked to do, as she witnesses Justin’s life unravel as a result. She begins to question her relationship with Alette and needs to know how Alette died. Was it really an accident?

The Midnight Side is a gripping page turner from the beginning to the end. It is a complex psychological thriller with elements of lucid dreaming, African folklore and the possibility of a vengeful woman manipulating events from the grave. Filled with mystery, suspense and characters who are not always likeable, but they are very believable – in their own ‘distorted’ way! , it’s a great ride (yes, I’m still with the bus analogy!!)

Book Review – Operation:Genocide

Operation: Genocide

operation genocide 

by Yvonne Walus

Rating 4 stars.

Summary:

In 1982, Annette Pretorius lives a life of privilege afforded to those of European descent in South Africa, but when her husband is murdered, she discovers a shattering secret: he’d been commissioned by the whites-only South African government to develop a lethal virus aimed at controlling the growth of the black population–already oppressed under the cruel system of apartheid. Not only that, but her life may also be in danger from a clandestine organisation who threaten her to keep their secrets.

The detective – Watson –  in charge of solving the mystery was once involved with Annette, but their relationship was frowned upon by her parents and she was ‘persuaded’ to marry the more ‘suitable’ Gordon Pretorius. With emotions running high, Watson struggles to keep a clear head and refuses to accept Annette as a suspect. His investigation takes him to a very dark place, where racial tension rears its ugly head and the prospect of exposing the secret work of the scientists would have serious ramifications.

Setting:

Set in 1980’s South Africa, a time when the colour of one’s skin determined their lifestyle, Apartheid was very much the order of the day. Whilst I am aware of Apartheid, I cannot account for the accuracy of the points addressed, but the issues raised do seem to be relevant to that point in time.

Writing:

The story is full of twists and turns, constantly changing POV’s – sometimes at whim, with no obvious reason. It was a very interesting read, both from the point of understanding the tensions of the times, but also due  to the identity of the killer remaining unknown until very near the end. There were many possible suspects and motives which kept the story flowing. The additional sub-plot about the victim’s ‘coloured’ sister being alive and well – even though he had been told she had died at birth – only increased the reader’s awareness of a population divided by colour.  It’s an enjoyable thriller with a good pace and lots of unexpected twists.

Other thoughts:

I received the book via NetGalley.com – a site for professional readers (yes that’s what they call us book lovers!) I downloaded it to my Kindle and there were several formatting issues. Chapters did not start in a ‘clean’ manner, frequently the text changed size mid-sentence, with no real uniformity. On many occasions, sentences were jumbled up, causing me to hunt through the paragraph for the correct ending to the phrase. Other sentences were duplicated, in general there were too many frustrating incidents which made the story lose its impetus. In spite of this I still rate it highly, without such mistakes I would have given 5 stars.