Once a victim, she’s now a vigilante. An addictive and suspenseful thriller for readers of Candice Fox and Sarah Bailey.
Lexi Winter is tough, street-smart and has stood on her own two feet since childhood, when she was a victim of notorious paedophile the Spider. All she cares about now is a roof over her head and her long-term relationship with Johnny Walker. She isn’t particular about who she sleeps with … as long as they pay before leaving.
Lexi is also an ace hacker, tracking and entrapping local paedophiles and reporting them to the cops. When she finds a particularly dangerous paedophile who the police can’t touch, she decides to gather enough evidence to put him away. Instead, she’s a witness to his death …
Detective Inspector Rachael Langley is the cop who cracked the Spider case, 18 years earlier – but failed to protect Lexi. Now a man claiming to be the real Spider is emulating his murderous acts, and Rachael is under pressure from government, media and her police colleagues. Did she get it wrong all those years ago, or is this killer is a copycat?
Lexi and Rachael cross paths at last, the Spider in their sights … but they may be too late …
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Havana Brown, written by Lynn-Steven Johanson is a fast-paced mystery suspense novel that is part of the Joe Erickson mysteries. The novel has well developed characters, is well structured and has an interesting setting. All the elements of a great read!
The characters in this novel are well developed and authentic. Characters are described in detail, from their physical appearances to their personality traits. Homicide detective Joe Erickson is the main character in the story. He is supported by his partner Sam Renaldo on a hunt to find a serial killer. Joe meets someone along his journey and starts to develop a romantic relationship with her. Joe’s character is kept grounded and relatable by the way in which he deals with difficulties both in his work and personal lives.
Havana Brown is a compelling crime novel that kept me coming back to see the unique ways in which Joe pieces the mystery together. The dramatic opening ensures readers will be immediately engaged in the story and perpetually guessing as the novel twists in wild directions. There are almost two story lines in Havana Brown – the journey to catch the serial killer and Joe’s journey as he navigates his personal life. There are plenty of twists in both storylines to keep the reader engrossed, but the combination of these two parallel stories serves to provide a respite from each one when needed, provide more depth to Joe’s character, and ultimately keep the reader immersed in this riveting story.
This is a contemporary crime thriller set in Chicago. Buildings such as apartments, gyms, medical offices, basements, police stations and funeral homes all feature in the story and feel real and like they are part of the story, rather just the background.
Havana Brown is a murder mystery that will appeal to readers who enjoy police procedurals, or anyone looking for a dramatic crime novel with authentic characters. This book was difficult to put down! I look forward to reading more books in the Detective Joe Erickson series.
Pages: 288 | ASIN: B09138DYHC
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Tyranny Reborn by Daniel Greenwell tells the stories of multiple people throughout a crisis in the UK government, caused by the exchange of a deadly virus between dangerous criminals, as well as rising global tensions. We follow Joshua Price, Prime Minister Wallop, Johnny and Benny, amongst many others, throughout this story, exploring all sides of the conflict. It is a tale of intrigue and fear, with twists and turns that make the story impossible to predict and keeps things wildly entertaining.
One of the strength of Tyranny Reborn is definitely its humor. Despite the heavy subjects and the threats made throughout the story, there was always a lightness to be found with the characters’ dialogue, although that came mostly from Josh Price. His harshness and difficult temper were mixed with such an amusing way of expressing himself that his flaws were curbed by his speeches. I enjoyed reading about the different conflicts that were present throughout the story. With a varied cast, I felt that the story sometimes loses track of the main conflict, but it doesn’t disappoint in the end. The global conflicts, whether with Korea, Iraq, or even the US were intriguing. The side characters also brought more layers and depth to the story, whether it be Josh’s secretary, Maureen, reduced to her role of sweet old lady giving away candies and bearing her boss’ tantrums, or Mrs. Black, the femme fatale who sells the virus. Characters who are usually given little to no voice in other novels are given a chance to be real people in this tory.
I laughed more than I expected, the dialogue is what really pulled me into this story, and I found myself trying to guess what would happen next. Tyranny Reborn is a riveting political thriller filled with engaging characters and an intriguing central mystery.
Pages: 380 | ASIN: B08JKQTPVG
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Left for Death follows a seasoned detective on his last case that turns out to be connected to a child trafficking with connections to the police department. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I wanted to create a story that was dark and emotional. I’ve read many cozy light-hearted Murder She Wrote kind of mysteries, but that’s not my writing style. I wanted it to be something that would hit the reader hard and make them wince a bit. Some reviewers have stated they felt the story was a bit too dark, and too much like real life, but that’s exactly what I was aiming for.
Detective John Sandes is an intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?
He is loosely based on my late father Joseph D’Aquisto Sr. who died in 2002. Much of his back story is similar minus his career as a police detective. Both of their personal experiences with family members draw certain parallels. He had always talked about moving to Seattle when he was alive. That never happened for him. Funny enough, it was actually me who ended up living in the Pacific Northwest for several years in Vancouver, B.C. and spending lots of time in Seattle as well.
I kind of created this character using my father as a base. As I write a follow-up to Left For Death, I have to remind myself that John Sandes is not my father, and there are differences between the two. Sometimes I think to myself “Would my father really do something like this?”, well maybe not, but that’s okay because this character isn’t actually my father. I’m become more accepting of the fact that the characters are splitting a bit. The character of John Sandes will become more of his own in future books.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I think child trafficking is a huge problem today, and has been for a very long time. It was important for me to look at a serious crime. I didn’t want a reader to pick up my story to read about something petty.
Another theme that was important to me was family issues. I think many people assume that people have relatively normal upbringings. One of the most important lessons is not assuming everyone has similar upbringings and home-life situations
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a sequel to this book. John Sandes will once again be the main character. It takes place a few years after.
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The Circle follows a man who’s inducted into a secretive group who have everything they want but must hunt or be hunted to keep hold of their power. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
This story was loosely based on the game “Assassins” I played when I was younger. Each player got a random name and a water gun and they had to hunt their target and “assassinate” him/her. If successful, you then take your vanquished foe’s target and hunt that person down until there is only one left standing. I was never very good at the game but always felt there was a greater story beneath the surface.
Doug is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Doug had to be relatable, so it was important that he was well grounded and had a good heart. Otherwise, he may not have resisted for as long as he did. I don’t believe, at least I hope, that the readers have the same tendencies as the seasoned members of the Circle, so it was important to take the reader along for the ride with Doug as he fought for his life. Doug is all of us when we have our backs to the wall and don’t know what we’re capable of. He is the living embodiment of fight vs. flight. But for him, the flight part was not an option.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I would say the main theme in The Circle is self-preservation. My hope is that the reader is constantly asking themselves, “How far would I go to preserve my way of life?” My guess is that we all would be surprised by our answers, and that’s what I love about the world of The Circle. It forces us to ask ourselves tough questions.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Currently, I’m working on the next installment of the Circle Series called “Legends of the Circle.” It is a prequel and it dives deeper into the Circle, some familiar characters, and their sacred rules. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it’s due out on October 5th. Kindle and e-reader users can pre-order it now on Amazon.
I also will be releasing a series of short stories that center around The Circle called the “Beyond the Envelope” Series. The first installment of those, “Mr. Star’s Story” follows a minor character from The Circle whose story, despite wanting to, I couldn’t tell in the book. It is available now on Amazon for $0.99, or a PDF version can be downloaded for free on my website, mjepublishing.com/beyond-the-envelope.
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Writer William McGinnis says that Adam Weldon is his favorite character, and indeed he does feature in a number of McGinnis’s action tales. Weldon is a MacGyver type – an ex-Navy SEAL who can turn any tricky situation to his advantage. Unlike MacGyver, however, he does so with a gun in one hand and in the other, an encyclopedic knowledge of how to kill someone bare-handed, Jack Reacher style.
In Cyclops Conspiracy, Weldon teams up with his girlfriend, Tripnee, an FBI sharpshooter, and an alluring drone expert called Sophia. Together, they set sail to prevent World War III.
The action takes them around the Greek Islands and, eventually, all the way to the White House as they attempt to foil the plans of Islamic extremists set on jihad. McGinnis clearly knows his way around a yacht, and most of the action takes place in and around boats, either theirs or those of the terrorists. The limited space on the boats makes for claustrophobic and interesting fight scenes, and clever escapes which the author takes full advantage of.
There is little description of the islands or the coastlines as seen from the water. The plot could be set just about anywhere there is a sea. McGinnis draws on the Cyclops / Greek mythology connection as well.
Throughout the book, the people are beautiful and the bad guys are very bad; the men are tough and resourceful, the women are mesmerizing. Tripnee and Sophia can little more than tolerate each other, a friction caused by jealousy over the attention of Weldon. This is a cliché that offsets the two strong female protagonists. Where there are scenes featuring Sophia attractively tinkering with her guns, I would have enjoyed seeing them be more integrated and vital to the plot.
While the characters were engaging and perfect vehicles to deliver entertaining action scenes, I look forward to seeing them developed further in future novels as they’re interesting characters, but I feel we’re only scratching the surface.
For fans of action-adventure novels there is plenty of violence and threat and lots of shooting with heads disappearing into red mists and a clever twist at the end. Cyclops Conspiracy is a thrilling action novel that will appeal to fans looking for a straightforward story with relentless action.
Pages: 179 | ASIN: B08YXDYB7N
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Last Night in Sturgis written by JJ Spain is the first book in a Mike Salas detective series. The novel follows Salas’ journey as he hunts for a killer who is attending the largest motorcycle rally in the world with over one million riders.
The eventual setting of Last Night in Sturgis is predictably, Sturgis, South Dakota. Prior to this, the setting rolls through various towns and cities across the United States on the way to Sturgis. The descriptions are rich and colorful and immediately draw the reader into the story. Author JJ Spain describes the natural landscapes and cities in detail; however the most vivid descriptions are saved for the numerous motorcycles in the book! Descriptions include visual sights, smells and sounds, which all serve to give this contemporary mystery novel an authentic feel.
There are a large number of characters in Last Night in Sturgis including vivid descriptions of all the characters physical appearances and even their clothing. The free flowing dialogue also helps to differentiate the many varied characters. The two main characters are described in complete detail, which really delivers a complete portrait of our protagonist. Detective Salas’ character is further developed through his somewhat dubious actions, his sharp dialogue and interactions with other characters – particularly his partner – a new police officer named Ronnie. Albert, the character Salas is searching for is also well developed, and I really enjoyed the insight we get into his dark and disturbed mindset. This is given through monologue in the chapters he narrates which provides variation to the tone and atmosphere of the story. His motivation and fixation on the past lead him on a journey with far reaching consequences.
The storyline is easy to follow, which is a benefit since the various colorful characters pull you in many directions, but the mystery at the heart of the story is still alluring.
Last Night in Sturgis is an entertaining crime fiction novel. The setting is richly described with numerous intriguing characters and a plot that follows a traditional structure but has enough twists and turns that transforms this standard murder mystery into a riveting crime thriller.
Pages: 241 | ASIN: B08WJKQDG1
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Mann in the Middle is Malcolm Boyd’s second book in the A Mann Walker Adventure crime fiction trilogy. Follow the wild and fast-paced life of Mann Walker and his gang. Dangerous and street-smart, Mann Walker involves himself in a series of dramatic events that will leave readers on edge. The characters that we meet are intriguing but far from perfect; corrupt cops and government officials, manipulative teenagers and drug dealers. All of them do the craziest of things just to get what they want or to get to the top of one of the country’s most dangerous professions. All of this ensures the action and risk remain high throughout this thrilling novel.
Among the set of criminals that are described in this book, Mann Walker immediately sticks out and gains the reader’s support. Despite the fact that everything that they do is outside of the law, Walker’s loyalty for his group of friends and his capacity to maintain his morality and integrity makes him a very likable and relatable character. Each of the characters feel very real, and even the antagonists are entertaining to read about.
The best thing that this book has to offer is the action and intrigue that punctuates this story. From the very first page the plot is gripping, and the readers will want to immediately find out what’s about to come next. Every gang has different rules and limits, and each of their characters have different personalities and moral compasses. Some of them are more dangerous than others. Some are deadlier. And many of them will see their entire world fall because of their greediness. Where does Mann Walker’s group belong? That’s a question that even he might not know the answer to.
The book is long, but this gives the characters and scenes room to breathe and develop, and it helps that the story is easy to read. Many things happen, the characters get to travel and move through different locations, pursuing criminals or running away from them, but I appreciated how this all flowed well and was easy to follow.
This is a story with a lot of movement and twists, everything keeps building up and the book ends up being as enjoyable as a Guy Ritchie action movie. Mann in the Middle by Malcolm Boyd is a gripping crime thriller with a riveting storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Pages: 512 | ISBN: 0998616435
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