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Thriller Of The Month – December 2012
This month featuring
We are always open to new submissions from authors/publishers – click here
The Penhaligan File by Kristen Stone
Journalist Mark Andrew seeks the answer to why a drug was withdrawn at the cost of his own sight.
|Sedition by Tom Abrahams|
|Review by Paul Morris
Beginning with the title itself ‘Sedition’ I like this book. A fast paced conspiracy thriller, the reader is taken on a whirlwhind journey which oscillates between the Washington corridors of power and a pub where a group of patriots plot the downfall of the democratic order. The author’s credentials as a member of the press shine through demonstrating his acute knowledge of the Washington power elite and the process of how American politics really works. With echoes of heavyweights like John Grisham, Abrahams rolls out the plot with precision and attention to detail giving us believable characters unlike so many of the other post 9/11 cookie cutter thrillers that clog the genre. In Mattie Harold he develops a strong female character pitting her against the impeccably dressed Moriarty type Sir Spencer Thomas. Giving the reader a great plot with a more thought provoking treatise on what ‘freedom’ really means, Sedition is a great read. Perhaps my only critique would be more explanation of why the Englishman wants to seize power in the US? Hopefully, Mr Abrahams has a sequel in the offing? If he has I’ll be first in the queue to buy it!
Rating: A solidly written début novel from a new author.
Where To Buy:
Author website: http://seditionbook.com
|Telling Stories by Beverley Jones|
|Review by Helen Hayes
This is just the sort of intriguing storytelling peppered with characters that hook you in that I love in a thriller. Friendships formed during halcyon university years; freedom, boozing and the optimism of youth. For Lizzie, her best friend Cora, Cora’s childhood sweetheart Mike and Mike’s best friend Stevie, their circle was their surrogate family. So far so ordinary, but Jones has really defined the characters, all are intriguing, and you want to know more about their relationships. Having kept in touch – albeit sporadically – after university, the group find themselves reunited and living in Cardiff, Mike and Cora by now married. The foursome lose no time picking up where they left off and are back out on the town repainting it red. One evening out celebrating Stevie’s birthday through a hazy cocktail of shots and nostalgia, a young, beautiful red-head appears in their midst. Jenny recognises them, she knows their names, snippets about their lives – but they don’t know her… do they? Then Mike and Jenny vanish from the bar; and he does not make it home that night. His next day seemingly innocent explanation doesn’t quite ring true.When Jenny is later found dead, in dubious circumstances, Lizzie, the aspiring and tenacious journalist, is assigned to the story. She soon finds herself caught up in an expanding web of uncertainty, lies and mutual suspicion as Jenny’s death is traced back to that fateful night, and to the four of them.This is a promising debut from Beverley Jones and not chick-lit type of story you might expect; it’s not as formulaic, nor is it a standard thriller. This is more of an unsettling tale, one that makes you question the complexities of friendship and love. At its heart is a good old fashioned murder mystery – with a contemporary twist.
Rating: A compelling story with deftly drawn characters that will keep you turning the pages
Where To Buy:
Author’s Website: https://bevjoneswriting.wordpress.com
|Nightshade by Jonelle Patrick|
|Review by Leslie Gardner
Jonelle Patrick’s warm humanity shines through in characterisations that might have been caricatures – she ingeniously ties their hearts to the crime thriller element, and has created a sexy and smart detective; I am vastly impressed and suggest that Kenji will roll on and on.Patrick has created a rich, good story line with only minor longueurs; literally, as I read on, I could not put it down! The Japanese patina is lightly done, and adds to the overall intrigue. Internet and dongles, fashion models, dolls and clothing add glamour and exotic frisson to it all! Underlying it is a heady mix of fatality and Asian honour that is at the core of the plotting.Our heroine, Yumi, is caught in a bind about marrying the wealthy son of an important family; she is both committed to tradition and knows Western ways too; her stubbornness and independence engages us in her plight.I loved everything about this, and I cannot wait to read the next one; a snippet of the opening is appended to this; and there are some great photos of things we read about.
Rating: I loved everything about this book
Where To Buy:
|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: