April 2014

Thrillers Of The Month - April 2014

The Thrillers Of The Month are:

- Brenscombe by RR Gordon

- American Crow by Jack Lacey

- Driving Jaimie by Ben Morris

- Gentleman Traitor by Alan Williams

- Mind Games by Polly Iver

- The Truth Will Out by Jane Isaac

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

 Brenscombe by RR Gordon
Review by Femi Martens …

Twelve months ago there were constant stories in the news about the possible economic collapse of Greece which would trigger the fall of Spain, Italy and other countries. Brenscombe starts from the interesting premise that this actually happened and follows one family in a small Cotswolds village in England.

Society has collapsed, money no longer exists, there is no electricity, no food in the shops. The Strachan family are fortunate that they live in a small village surrounded by farmland but they realise they need to get organised before hordes of people start pouring out of the cities. They appreciate that food and security are the only important concerns in the new world.

I like stories about desert islands because I like to think I would survive and I imagine what I would do in that situation. I like stories about prisons for a similar reason, imagining myself doing hundreds of press-ups in my cell every day. And I like post-apocalyptic stories because, once again, I put myself in their shoes and imagine how I would cope.

What I enjoy about RR Gordon’s writing is his simple, uncomplicated style. He is not trying to create a literary masterpiece, just an excellent story which cracks along at pace, fuelled by plenty of dialogue and interesting characters.

What sort of book are you looking for? If you want a simple, fast-paced story that keeps you turning the pages then Brenscombe is the one for you.

Rating: A page-turner to beat all page-turners!

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 American Crow by Jack Lacey
Review by Leslie Gardner…

Blake’s suffered a devastating loss and he blames himself; his teenage daughter forgot her meds and drowned. And in his work, he’s a PI looking for missing teenagers, he’s been keeping his head down; it’s all too raw. But when his former boss knocks on his door, insisting he’s the only one for the new well-paid job looking for a millionaire’s missing daughter, he gets drawn in.

He’d had trouble in the US in an earlier book in the series, so he has to be smuggled back in, and troubles dog him every step of the way from edgy lorry drivers, to corrupt bartenders and admiring, lethal females – as he uncovers a psychopath and his artist girlfriend who uses humans in her paintings – but the momentum and sheer entertainment value of this book – as it moves at breakneck speed into US heartlands from Europe is breathtaking.

Okay, it’s not always entirely credible, and I wish Blake didn’t feel too sorry for himself all the time (he’s a bit of a poseur), and there are some loose ends around but in the end, all gets overlooked for sheer bravura in plotting and, i’d say also, in an authentic take on a dimension of an underworld in the US that includes activists and psychopaths in the same boat. This is one of a series, I note, and if the others are as stunning, Lacey’s got something good going here.

Rating: Recommended

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 Driving Jaimie by Ben Morris
Review by Jane Brown …

I really enjoyed this book despite my initial thoughts that the going might be a little slow. However it moved along at a good pace, making me savour the words in almost hypnotic fashion.

The story centres around Jaimie, an artist who is becoming forgotten. He sets out with his driver Francis to Turin where his is planning to exhibit his paintings. In Turin, on a misty, foggy night, things become violent.The two characters Jaimie and Francis are interesting and unusual. Francis’ love life is described in a beautiful way.

The book is very well written and descriptive, having a real poetic feel to it. I found it compelling all the way through to the end of the book.This is the first book from Ben Morris and I am eagerly awaiting the next book. This is a new author to look out for.

Rating: Compelling

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 Gentleman Traitor by Alan Williams
Review by Wendy Cartmell …

Gentleman Traitor is a spy novel mixing the styles of Ian Fleming and John le Carre. Always a sucker for this type of book, I was intrigued and looking forward to the read. I was not disappointed. Mr Williams creates an explosive opening to the book with a massacre in South Africa. However, the reader has to keep reading to find out the relevance of this attack within the plot.

The story centres around the legendary spy Kim Philby, in exile in Russia and wanting to come in out of the cold, as it were. The book examines Philby’s relationship with journalist Barry Cayle who wants to write a book about Philby. But Philby is more interested in using Cayle to explain to the British public his thoughts and reasoning behind his defection. Philby’s ace card is that he knows the names of high ranking officials within the British establishment who are also Russian spies. Philby is described in somewhat sympathetic terms so much so that the reader actually begins to feel sorry for the old spy. It examines his daily life in Russia, the things he misses from England and the power he has in Russia, being a high ranking officer in the KGB.

Throughout the story is the additional thread of the British Intelligence contingent who are more than a little jittery about Cayle’s involvement with Philby. There is a great deal of politics in the book, but that doesn’t make it a dry read. If anything the examination of the figures in MI5 and MI6 help build an understanding of the attitudes and ideas of the day, greatly enhancing the plot.

There are many twists and turns, with the pace in keeping with the setting, the 1970’s. This is not a high octane read, but a complex plot, with the emphasis on strategy rather than violence, with character always at its heart.

Mr Williams has done a fine job with this novel and clearly writes from a position of knowledge and firsthand experience, making it a powerful read.

Rating: A powerful read

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 Mind Games by Polly Iver
Review by Leslie Gardner…

Diane’s psychic gift has dominated her and her parents’ lives since she was a little girl – its overwhelming physical effects lead her to stop helping the police which she’d done as a 12 year old – she can sense from their personal items where a corpse is.

Using the gift now to put on stunning shows, she’s developed a world-class reputation and any help she offers police now is dismissed, since she’s suspected of being a publicity hound – except she meets a gorgeous cop who takes her seriously. Women are being killed, and the killer is making sure Diane knows; the torturous route to finding him links into past events that draw her in deeply – and then she and the cop start to fall in love.

This is a frequently violent and intense story with excellent and precise writing – some repetitions and cliches in the romance and characterisations, but that’s not the point of the novel and it delivers what it does best on the crime and on the psychic elements in totally entertaining ways.

Rating: Unputdownable

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK

 The Truth Will Out by Jane Isaac
Review by Jane Brown…

This is Jane Isaac’s second novel, highly awaited after An Unfamiliar Murder, and it gripped me from page one: a psychological thriller set between the Midlands and the Scottish Highlands.

Eva witnesses the horrific attack on her friend Naomi and thus begins a murder inquiry. Eva flees for her life and DCI Helen Lavery begins the investigation. The story unwinds and both Eva and Helen’s past catches up with them. Someone is on their heels.

The book is written at a fast pace and the reader gets caught up in the story always wanting to know more. A great novel from a great new crime writer. This will go straight into the top ten.

Rating: Captivating

Where To Buy:

Click here for Amazon USA

Click here for Amazon UK