Blog Archives

Need for Revenge

Shannon Condon Author Interview

Subterfuge finds Maggie and her team hunting a Russian crime boss who took a contract out on her two years ago. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

Maggie is given the unique opportunity to assassinate the very person who ordered her death two years ago. Valdev Belevich, the Russian crime boss, has never seen Maggie, which gives her an advantage. Still, because of the nature of casinos, the criminal element they attract, and facial recognition software, she must change her physical appearance as much as possible. The team is acutely aware the longer this mission takes, the longer Maggie is in danger of being recognized. Shep’s government contact told him the mission is not an option, it is a demand and they don’t want to know details. For Maggie, this is a personal job. Not only was she Belevich’s target two years ago, a hit he believes was successful, but he is the last link to the murder of a loved one. She is seeking revenge. It isn’t long upon the team’s arrival that Maggie finds the mission is more intricate than originally thought. It turns into a life changing event for her and Shep.

Maggie continues to be an intriguing character. What were some new angles you wanted to explore about her character in this book?

At 26, Maggie is now an adult and the mother of two children. Prior to this mission, she had re-enrolled at a university to finish her music degree. Her life is going in a positive direction until the assassination orders come down from Shep’s government contact and she must rejoin the team to go undercover. I wanted readers to see more of Maggie’s fragile side in this book. She has been through tremendous trauma in the previous books which were never fully resolved. As a black ops assassin, Maggie could always get through a mission with emotions in check. Because of the personal nature of this assignment and her driving need for revenge, it takes a toll on her emotionally. I wanted readers to see what happens when Maggie’s two worlds collide and how she copes with it.

The team go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Why did you choose this location for your novel?

By locating the casino near Oviedo, in Northern Spain, it adds an extra level of stress and melancholy for Maggie. Her mother’s birthplace, Malaga, in Southern Spain, is where Maggie found her extended family and where she lived for over a year and a half. Because she and her team brought down the Brotherhood, she had to cut all contact with her mother’s family. It also creates another level of danger for her being back in Spain, a country that is no longer welcoming to her. From a logistic standpoint, it made sense geographically for Belevich’s drug route to pass through the Oviedo area on its way to the Bay of Biscay. This ties him to the largest criminal family in Spain, the head of which resides in Oviedo.

What can readers expect in book five in the Magdalena series?

Without giving away the ending to Subterfuge, Maggie encounters a man more evil and more dangerous than any previous foe. He is relentless and it will not be easy for her or Shep to escape him. Book five will find Maggie pitted against him. What he wants from her and what she discovers will be at the center of the plot.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | FacebookWebsite

Another ghost returns when Maggie and her team are ordered to assassinate Russian crime boss Valdev Belevich, the man who took out a contract on Maggie’s life nearly two years ago. The team must go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Once there, the landscape quickly changes, and Maggie finds herself making a promise she should never keep.

In the House of Night

In the House of Night (A Martin Preuss Mystery Book 7) by [Donald Levin]

When there’s murder, there’s mystery. When there’s secrets, there’s truth. What’s in the dark will always come to light. No matter how hard you try to suppress it justice will rise.

In The House of Night, by Donald Levin the reader is immersed into the gruesome murder of Charlie Bright, who was a history professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. PI Martin Preuss is hired by Bright’s friends to find out who killed him. Preuss is taken on a wild chase throughout the metropolitan Detroit region. Intelligent, observant and tenacious, will Preuss have what it takes to find the killer?

Levin has done an impeccable job building the suspense in this book. Making the reader feel as if they’re the protagonist in the book trying to solve a gruesome murder. The secrets that were revealed shocked me and made me want to continue reading on. Be prepared to be taken on a wild first hand chase into the depths of the investigation. The tone of this book can be really dark and heavy.

The author’s writing is concise and methodical. I was able to feel the tension and anger between characters. Each character has a distinct personality and you start to connect with some and dislike others. I was anxious to find out who was Charlie Bright’s killer.

Fans of mystery and suspense will not be disappointed because this book covers it all. The plot of In The House of Night is engaging and the author has done a fantastic job building each character. This is a thrilling crime novel with twists and turns that will keep you enthralled.

Pages: 336 | ASIN: B08JRN7HVL

Buy Now From B&N.com

Betrayed – Book Trailer

Integrity is protecting someone who betrayed you. Courage is keeping a promise even though it might mean death.

A late-night phone call turns what was to be a fun hunting trip into a deadly showdown. Fifteen-year-old brothers George Tokay, Brian Evans and Brett McGovern face death on top of a mesa on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona. They have no idea why men are intent on killing them.

Betrayed is a contemporary psychological thriller and an exploration of the heart and of a blended family of adopted kids, their relationships to each other and their parents woven into a tight mystery-thriller.

Buy Now From B&N.com

Hot Ice, Cold Blood – Book Trailer

For Victor Sykes, business is good. His illegal diamond importing business is thriving, and circumstances require that he bring more people to his team. His niece and nephew, Rubi Lee and Zeke, are as dangerous as they are desperate, and they follow orders to make sure everything goes right. But when the shipment of diamonds-sewn into the inner lining of a sweatshirt-is mistakenly confiscated, the entire operation is put at risk.

Ever since she moved to the heart of Washington, DC, Daisy’s life has been fabulous. While in graduate school, she enjoys tending bar at the Black LaSalle, one of DC’s most popular bars. After a chance encounter with her childhood friend NT-now called Nick-her future is bright. But one cold night when Daisy wears a left-behind sweatshirt home from the bar, she sets in motion a domino effect that leaves some of her friends in danger and others dead.

Soon, Daisy and her friends are thrust into an elaborate heist involving the higher echelons of government-and when they come face to face with the criminals, not everyone will survive.

Buy Now From B&N.com

Old Sins Never Die: An Emmeline Kirby & Gregory Longdon Mystery – Trailer

While in the Lake District, journalist Emmeline Kirby and jewel thief/insurance investigator Gregory Longdon overhear a man attempting to hire international assassin Hugh Carstairs, a MI5 agent who went rogue. They race back to London to warn Philip Acheson of the Foreign Office and Superintendent Oliver Burnell. But it’s a devil of problem to prevent a vicious killing, if the target is a mystery.

More trouble brews as Emmeline pursues a story about shipping magnate Noel Rallis, who is on trial for murder. Rallis is desperate to keep the negative publicity from exposing his illicit schemes, especially something sinister called Poseidon. Lord Desmond Starrett, whose dark past made him easy prey for blackmail, is getting cold feet about their dubious partnership. Hovering in the shadows of this ugly secret world is a Russian mole buried inside MI5. Scorned prima ballerina Anastasia Tarasova makes the fatal mistake of threatening to reveal all she knows. The hunt for the answers takes Emmeline and Gregory up to Scotland, where they learn that the truth has lethal consequences.

Buy Now From B&N.com

Death of a Bully (Polish Dragon P. I.)

Death of a Bully (Polish Dragon P. I.) by [Steve Zimcosky]

A reunion is supposed to be fun, right? A lovely time to speak with friends you haven’t seen in far too long. Not this time. In Death Of A Bully, a reunion turns deadly, and everyone is wondering who did it. John is a well-respected attorney and philanthropist who gets murdered. An investigation starts and the search for the killer is on. While trying to locate the real killer, we learn that John was the high school bully. Everyone has a motive so the reader is left wondering who, out of all the possible suspects, could it have been!

Steve Zimcosky has written a page-turner with an unexpected twist that I was not prepared for. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I was wrong. I felt sorry for certain characters, particularly Mark and Tom. I felt sorry for Mark because he was wrongly accused of something he didn’t do. I felt sorry for Tom because I liked his character and I empathized with him in certain parts of the book. I was a little surprised that Jack forgave his mother as quickly as he did. It was still an interesting twist added to the story, and I couldn’t put the book down because I was eager to see what would happen next. In the end, I didn’t agree with the reasoning that Emily had, but I know that everyone has their own way that they feel about things, and it didn’t stop me from finishing the book.

Death of a Bully is a short, but thrilling read. The writing style is engaging and the book is easy to follow and alluring. This is more of a suspenseful whodunit novella, Steve Zimcosky is able to deliver a riveting tale in under 100 pages. If you are new to Steve Zimcosky’s work than this is a good starter book for you that will introduce you to his literary style.

Pages: 87 | ASIN: B08DSL6GK8

Buy Now From B&N.com

 

Demons of Divine Wrath

Demons of Divine Wrath by [Edward Izzi]

Demons of Divine Wrath by Edward Izzi is a fiction thriller about two murders tied to works of art stolen from the Uffizi Museum in Florence 75 years ago by the Nazis during World War II. Hermman Kalkschmidt dies in his apartment in Munich of an apparent gas leak. But the police detective soon suspects that things are not as they seem. Then six months later, another man is found dead in a hotel suite in Chicago. It is clear from the start that Don Carlo Marchese’s assassination is not a contracted mob hit. When newspaper reporter Paul Crawford begins to dig into the matter, he discovers an unexpected Vatican connection. Can Paul uncover why the mobster was killed, and what happened to the stolen artwork?

This book had a complex story line with many different threads that all tied back to the discovery of the stolen artwork. It was interesting to read the part that took place in 1943 Florence. I liked learning how all the pieces of the story fit together and how the mobster’s assassination in Chicago was connected to the murder of an eighty year old man in Germany. I was surprised by who had ordered the hit on Hermann Kalkschmidt when that person’s identity was revealed. I was intrigued to find out what happened to the hidden artwork after it went missing again. The ending of the book had a surprise twist that I didn’t expect.

The story started out a bit slow with a lot of description of settings and characters. For the first couple of chapters we’re introduced to new characters but no connections are yet made between the characters making it feel a bit disjointed. I felt that there were a lot of unnecessary detail throughout the book; such as airline flight number, seat assignment number, and street addresses.

Otherwise, I thought Demons of Divine Wrath is a riveting crime thriller with an engrossing plot that is propelled by captivating characters. This is yet another suspenseful whodunit novel by Edward Izzi.

Pages: 405 | ASIN: B07VMZJHM9

Buy Now From B&N.com

Potential Vengeance

Mike Mallow
Mike Mallow Author Interview

In The Country Dark follows a journalist and a childhood friend as they become targets of a reclusive rural crime lord. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

My wife was working as a Human Resource Manager at a nursing home. She aways had tons of framed pictures of our family on the walls. It made me uneasy since this was a room where she regularly terminated people. This sometimes generates bad blood, and our pictures were all there to select for potential vengeance.

Cabel and Troy are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

I had two childhood friends who passed away in their 20s. Both had somewhat of a reckless streak, which inspired the main flaw behind Troy’s personality. Cabel became somewhat of a surrogate to have the conversations with his old friend that I no longer could. As their development progressed, I was able to really drill down on the nostalgia the fuels reunions later in life.

The novel explores the darker side of rural West Virginia communities. What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?

The main thing I wanted to focus on are the more realistic aspects of rural life. Lack of opportunities in employment, a community that turns their back to young struggling residents, and the fatalism engrained in family legacy. Those things together breed the resentment and desperation that gives birth to the drugs and crime that are rampant across Appalachia today.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

“Burning Without Knowing” – another Appalachian Crime Novel. This one is about copper thieves exposed in southern West Virginia. It’s still in the outline stages, but is promising enough to start composing this winter. Hopefully it will be ready for an early 2022 release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Darkness is everywhere. It lurks just below the surface, waiting to rear its ugliness, even in small serene West Virginia communities. The darkness of murder and drugs puts a disenchanted journalist and recently reunited childhood friend in the crosshairs of a reclusive rural crime lord. The unlikely pair, navigating a trail of past traumas, broken dreams, and small victories, try to find a way to shine a light on the dark underbelly of their community before the darkness becomes their own.
%d bloggers like this: