November 2012

Are you looking for a good thriller to read on your Kindle or other e-reader? is the leading reviewer of e-thrillers from major publishers and independents. Each month we have dozens of submissions for review from the largest publishers around the world – and just as many from independent publishers and authors. Each of our review panel selects a number of books to read and then puts forward the very best as their Book Of The Month. At the start of each month our publicity goes out to around 50,000 readers and our site receives hundreds of visitors per day.

Thriller Of The Month – November 2012

This month featuring
- The Zul Enigma by JM Leitch
- All The Young Warriors by Anthony Neil Smith, published by Blasted Heath
- The Soldier’s Story by Bryan Forbes, published by Quartet Books
- Death in Bordeaux by Allan Massie, published by Quartet Books
- The Hiding Place by David Bell, published by NAL (Penguin)

We are always open to new submissions from authors/publishers – click here

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The Zul Enigma by JM Leitch
Review by Debbie Cullen of
The life of a fairly ordinary man, in an important job caring for the planet, is turned upside down when he is visited by ‘Zul’. The message Zul brings is more than incredible, and who is this Zul anyway?
Thus Carlos, the main protagonist, is thrown on an incredible journey that will leave you wanting to ignore everything else in your life so you can find out what happens. The book is well written, full of beefy dialogue with believable characters that you’ll have no problem getting to know.
The frightening thing about the storyline is its plausibility. A lot is taken from fact; the amount of research the author must have done is phenomenal, the rest could be factual or fiction, that’s up to you to decide! Possibly a bit too intensive for those who don’t have much of a clue about psychology or science as it could leave you scratching your head, but if you have any understanding of these things you’d be forgiven for thinking you were reading a factual book, which could leave you a little shaken.
The only negative is it’s a bit long winded in places and I felt frustrated at having to read so much, some of it repetitious, to get to the point. None-the-less, this will stay with me for a long time to come.
Rating: Science Fiction? Plausible!
Where To Buy:
Author website:
All The Young Warriors by Anthony Neil Smith
Who will make it home again, alive? Review by Sophie Scott
Two dead cops. Two Somali boys on the run. A grieving father searching for his son. A grieving lover seeking revenge.
From Fargoesque, wintry beginnings in Minnesota this becomes a tale of heated ideologies in war-torn Somalia, where there’s not much humour, dark or otherwise. Anthony Neil Smith treads a fine line as he weaves tales from two continents, but, with the few inevitable wobbles while walking a high-wire, tread it he does.
Ray Bleecker isn’t a ‘good cop’ or a ‘bad cop’ but a washed out has-been of a man failing at life and seemingly only energised into existence by the death of his pregnant girlfriend. Adem and Jabril are two young men hunting meaning and purpose: Jabril is sucked into the heady, deliciousness of his authority while Adem struggles to align his ideals with his survival. The novel is laced with truly horrifying scenes: a stoning, beheadings, shootings, drawing and quartering, acid attacks… Here are men seeking power via threatening and violent control, and a woman chillingly enthralled to educated reasoning of her beliefs.
The complexities of faith and fear and ignorance are stitched into the narrative. It excels in submerging the reader completely in the world of the terrorists where business transactions and bloodshed are one and the same, and apathy towards rigorous thought is a skill. There are difficult questions here about loyalty, heritage, faith, and morality, but, in what could have become an epic sprawl of a book, Anthony Neil Smith zones in on different men searching for significance and honour in leadership, whether achieved through fatherhood, gun-toting, or life-and-death negotiation.
Rating: Repulsively compelling
Where To Buy:
Author’s Website:
The Soldier’s Story by Bryan Forbes
Review by Mike Smith
Bryan Forbes new novel is a thoroughly enjoyable story set in the chaos of Germany after the D-Day landings. It is a thriller and a love story that captures the imagination. And yes, this is the same Bryan Forbes who wrote International Velvet, A Spy At Twilight and others – as well as being an actor and director.
The Soldier’s Story is inspired by Forbes’ experience in the Intelligence Corps from 1945 to 1948 and follows a soldier, Alex, who is investigating Nazi war criminals in Hamburg – and who then falls in love with the daughter of a German professor. As he delves into the professor’s past, he becomes caught in a dilemma between his love for the girl and bringing out the truth about her father.
I read The Soldier’s Story in just a few days and kept wanting to return to savour the next few chapters. I would sometimes find myself watching television in the evening, wishing I was reading The Soldier’s Story instead – so I would turn the box off, pick up Bryan Forbes book and ‘watch’ it unfold in my mind. He paints a vibrant picture of post-war turbulence in Germany and weaves his characters into a sophisticated story which encompasses history, war, crime and love. This book is simply a thoroughly enjoyable read and I was disappointed when it was finished – watching telly just isn’t as vivid!
Rating: Eminently Readable
Where To Buy:
Currently only available in hardback! E-book version will be available shortly.
Click here for Amazon UK
Publisher’s Website:
Death In Bordeaux by Allan Massie
Review by Emlyn Rees
Diving into any historical thriller is always a gamble, I think. There’s a danger that the author might assume you know more than you do. And a correlating danger that you might end up confused as a result. An equal worry is that the actual history on show might end up swamping the novel’s more thrilling elements, whereby pace and engagement become victims of research.
Robert Harris, for me, has always walked this line extremely well. His characters really do feel like they belong to the period and settings into which they’re written. At no point does the writing feel expositional and, always, Harris remembers he’s writing a thriller first – in a way that weaker practitioners of this art, such as, say, Kate Mosse, often forget.
Thankfully, Massie is very much in the Harris camp. Reading this exciting, fast-paced, and often moving, thriller, I found myself fully engaged right from the start, not only by the extraordinary period in which its set, but also by the characters themselves, who felt every bit as real. Death in Bordeaux is set in France during the German invasion and occupation in the Second World War, and its protagonist is Frenchman Jean Lannes, Superintendent of the Police Judiciare. The body of a murdered homosexual throws Lannes into an investigation from which he’s then warned off. But will he bow to the new political forces tearing his country apart? Or will he instead follow his own moral compass and do his job?
This is a great hook, insofar as it’s impossible not to ask the question, How would I have coped if I’d been there myself? And Lannes, stubborn, humane – and deeply sane in comparison with many of the other characters we meet – is easy to sympathise and identify with, as well as exciting to follow as he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a world of divided loyalties and moral and political snares.
Where To Buy:
The Hiding Place by David Bell
Review by Paul Morris
A pretty decent thriller from a writer I had not read before. Fans of mystery/murder thrillers will soon see shadows of first-rate thriller writer, Harlan Coben in this book. That said this author is no Coben copycat and ploughs his own literary furrow.
The plot seems solid and the well-written book soon draws you in to the mystery of a child murder, a possibly wrongly accused murderer and a host of unresolved past memories.
The use of strong female characters is also refreshing and makes for entertaining reading. On the downside the characters for me feel a little two dimensional and I failed to feel any real empathy for them. Additionally, I found the ending came a bit too swiftly and left me a bit disappointed in what otherwise is a good read. If you’re looking for a new writer in this genre I would recommend giving it a read and drawing your own conclusions…
Where To Buy:

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