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Unring the Bell: The captivating new Verity Spencer thriller (A Verity Spencer crime thriller Book 3)

Unring the Bell: The captivating new Verity Spencer thriller (A Verity Spencer crime thriller Book 3) by [Trudey Martin]

Full of action and vivid detail, Unring The Bell is a thrilling crime novel that was hard to put down. Trudey Martin uses a uniquely engaging writing style throughout this story, slowly unraveling an enigmatic mystery that’s easy to follow but hard to crack. With short and engaging chapters, the story is plot-focused but builds an emotional connection to characters that seem grounded but alluring, especially our memorable protagonist Verity.

Verity Spencer as a character is quite intriguing and I find her to have a personality that is well defined, which I suppose should be as this is the third book in a series. There is more than what meets the eye with her character and she is definitely someone I would idolize in my teen years. What Verity dives into is a grisly murder mystery that, we come to find out, has many moving parts and a complexity that puts Verity to a nail biting challenge.

Unring The Bell by Trudey Martin is an emotionally charged story reminiscent of the Netflix show The Killing with a compelling investigate style and grim look at crime. This is a story that has a solid grasp of where it wants to go and its just taking readers along for the ride. With an almost dizzying complexity to the story, I relied on Verity’s skills to solve the crime.

Author Trudey Martin has written a thriller mystery novel that is perfect for fans of crime fiction looking for a story with a strong female lead solving a controversial crime with unconventional skills.

Pages: 309 | ASIN: B08JKTBSTK

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The Reader Can Feel Her Pain

James E Smith
James E. Smith Jr. Author Interview

1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge is a haunting crime thriller that follows a woman who is determined to find the man that murdered her husband. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to create this vision of accomplishment and happiness, while also providing some background for Nicole, to get the reader to feel the joy and happiness that she felt at the beginning of the book, so when she finds her husband dead, the reader can feel her pain and understand why she went on this journey.

I also, wanted show how his death not only affected her, but how it impacted his partner as well. I wanted to show that not only was Sgt Allen close to Marcus, but how he was equally, if not even closer to Nicole. The goal was to show the internal struggle as he dealt with not only the death of his friend, but also the re-emergence of the Penny Murderer, and a new partner who doesn’t trust him.

Nicole is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

She is a combination of both fictional characters and people I know. I wanted her to be both strong and vulnerable. I wanted to showcase her strength and determination, while also showing that she is a “real” person, hopefully creating someone that readers could relate to. I wanted her to be a “normal” person, someone readers would leave saying, I know someone like her or could see how she could be real. This was the same model I applied to all my characters.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was the mystery planned or did it develop organically while writing?

It was a combination of the two. I started with a general outline, it was pretty basic, because I didn’t want to write myself in a corner. I wanted to give myself the ability to adapt the story as I went along. The story ended up playing out in real life. Every event that occurred, did so from the characters perspective. I tried to immerse myself in them and take on their behaviors and tell their story not how I thought it should, but how I thought they would react and act.

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

I am working on the follow-up to 1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge. This was just the beginning, there is still so much more left of the story to be told. It will potentially be available towards the end of the year.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

For three years a serial killer known as the Penny Murderer terrified Monroe, Georgia. His signature was leaving a note on the body starting with “A penny for your thoughts.” Detective Mike Allen and his team tracked down and arrested Samuel Johnson for twelve murders. Throughout the trial and even after his conviction Johnson always proclaimed his innocence. The controversial trial divided the city, and things exploded when he was found dead in his cell shortly afterward. A cover-up?
Old ghosts are awakened almost thirty years later when Allen’s original partner on the Johnson case, Marcus Jones, is found dead. Attorney Nicole Jones, Marcus’s wife, starts to be suspected of his murder, so she goes on a dark journey to find out who really killed her husband and why. She experiences a roller coaster of emotions upon learning that both he and former partner Mike Allen had kept many disturbing secrets from her.
Meanwhile, Allen’s own investigation takes him in a different direction as he tries to solve who murdered Marcus, all while dealing with a new partner who not only questions his every move, but also the actions taken during the original investigation. Is this a new killer? Or did they get it wrong all those years ago and send an innocent man to jail…?
In this page-turning novel, complex characters and unexpected plot twists will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what will happen next.

When A Rook Takes The Queen

When a Rook Takes a Queen is a fascinating high-steaks political thriller following intriguing characters trying to gain control of Chicago. When the progressive mayor of Chicago is murdered just outside her home, the hit is a mystery. Nonetheless, the race is on between the most powerful members of Chicago’s society to gain control of the city and its inhabitants. Another high stakes race is also on to figure out who killed the mayor and the violence plaguing the city. Intrepid reporter, Lawrence McKay is on the case with his sharp-witted staff, but it seems there is also another brave journalist competing for the same story, one beautiful Talia Bowerman. As if there was not enough trouble in the city, mob boss, Tony DiMatteo, has big plans for his territory and with the help of a crooked priest at his side, he might succeed.

When a Rook Takes a Queen is full of wonderful details and twists that haunt the reader through every page. The details and small nuances are not too wordy, yet provide essential pieces of atmosphere and mood that allow the reader to feel as though they are observing events in real time with the characters. One of the additional aspects of the novel that makes it so unpredictable is that all of the characters appear to believe themselves to be making the best choices or doing the right thing, which makes it difficult to determine who is a “good guy” or not. There are many storylines woven together in the book that are told in exquisite detail, weaving together a narrative with just enough dramatic irony to excite the reader without giving the plot away.

The novel also shows a surprising reflection on the real world of politics and policing in large cities such as Chicago. The book showcases the strained relations between minority groups that have been systematically oppressed and officials who too often are not held accountable for their actions without villainizing either side. Although the conflict between these two groups is not the heart of the book, it is addressed with respect and understanding in these relevant times.

When a Rook Takes a Queen is suspenseful, enrapturing, and at times, humorous. It will surely keep readers up at night as I was. It is a book that examines both the cold cruel world of politics and the very human and vulnerable people in that race. I highly recommend this book for a bit of escapism and intrigue.

Pages: 403 | ASIN:  B08RY8G4L3

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Of Bread And Wine – Book Trailer

Chicago criminal attorney Michael Prescott is in Rome, visiting his best friend, Monsignor Robert Cavalieri, a Special Diplomat to the Vatican. He is informed that Giovanni Cardinal Masellis, the “Mafia Cardinal”, who was once the most evil cardinal in his day, has made a deathbed confession regarding the details of the poisoning murder of Pope John Paul I. His confession is secretly recorded by the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” and their ambitious editor, Max Gianforte, who is desperately trying to confirm the Cardinal’s deathbed revelations. The dying Cardinal also reveals specific details regarding the circumstances of the Pope’s death, and the missing “Coins of Gregorio” which was a priceless gift donated by the influential Italian mobster, Don Giancarlo Cesario on the night before his murder. This gift was an attempt to bribe and influence His Holiness in the Vatican investigation of the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, his family was involved. Meanwhile, wine master Marco DiVito, the former Vatican Head of Security in 1978, now oversees his vineyard near the foothills of Rome. He meets his long lost daughter, Sienna, an investigative journalist with the Washington Post, whom he abandoned as a little girl in Boston. The Post has asked her to investigate “one of the biggest stories to come out of the Vatican in decades.” Michael Prescott meets Sienna at a local café, and originally tries to temper her investigative efforts before falling in love. As rumors swirl around Rome after the death of Cardinal Masellis, Italian crime boss Calogero “Don Charlie” Cesario believes that DiVito, who may be the actual murderer, also possesses these missing, priceless coins. He is unhappy with the implication of his family in this Vatican Confession Scandal, revealing total corruption and instability of the Vatican Church. His search will only end with the return of these rare coins or DiVito’s slow, painful death.

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The Case Of The Golden Helmet

Tom Thomas is nothing if not dedicated to his job with the Canada Revenue Agency. He devotes most of his life to ensuring taxes are paid, laws are obeyed, and citizens hold up their part of the bargain as tax-payers. When he is given a case that would have stumped any lesser investigator, Tom vows to bring the perpetrator to justice no matter how long it takes or how much groundwork he must put into the case. As he begins to follow the trail, Tom finds his way thwarted at almost every turn. Not one to give in, he digs in and applies every principle and resource to which he has access and sets out to pin one Harold Gerber.

The Case of the Golden Helmet, by Ted Ballantyne, is the story of one man’s investigation into a quite complicated case of tax evasion that spanned two countries and required the resources of multiple offices. To complicate matters, the perpetrator, Harold Gerber, engaged in a well-thought out money laundering scheme in order to avoid paying taxes. Gerber, the mastermind behind the complicated string of events, has his own simple reasons for refusing to pay taxes. His reasons are quite simple and straightforward, but they aren’t enough to keep him from paying his dues.

I was truly amazed at all of the background knowledge that went into the construction of what could have been a very basic plot. From cover to cover, Ballantyne details every phone call, connection, and favor called in in order to bring Gerber down. The author writes in a style that is technical and specific to the profession of tax investigation but manages to keep the dialogue from becoming bogged down in verbiage above the reader’s head.

This is quite a different style of realistic fiction and isn’t for all readers. I can’t say the book is anticlimactic, but readers who are looking for a book with drama or action will not find his particular style up their alley. Ballantyne has put a lot of work into creating a very specific type of read, and he has succeeded in creating a book for fans of technical writing–not drama.

Ballantyne’s characters are well written, his plot engaging, and the technical way in which he writes about tax laws is thoughtful and shows an unmatched dedication. The Case of the Golden Helmet is a compelling crime novel with a unique mystery that will hook fans of crime procedurals.

Pages: 143 | ASIN: B08KHCYTBP

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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.

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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.

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The Cowboy

Don’t judge a book by its cover–or its title either. ‘The Cowboy’ immediately makes me think of a Western, but it is most definitely not. Manuel A. Melendez weaves a frightening tale. He brings to life a shadowy character known as The Cowboy who is killing nurses and doctors. Detectives Jon Delgado and Bill Crocitto realize there is a link between the victims. They must solve the case and get The Cowboy off the streets. Initially they only have the word of a drunk who says he knows who The Cowboy is. More clues start to lead to the Cowboy, that’s when things start getting really interesting.

This story is set in New York, I felt like I didn’t get a proper sense of the setting itself, but that didn’t detract from the book because this was all about the characters for me. The Cowboy is a frightening character, a true bogeyman. Initially, when we read a little about his background and how he was breathed into life, I had some sympathy for him, for everything he had to go through. As we learn more about his upbringing, the reasons he kills doctors and nurses, I gave some thought to the nature/nurture theme. I know which side of the fence I fall on with that debate, but the author did a superb job of making me think.

The two detectives were, in some ways, portrayed as a comedy duo, but they had a serious side. I loved the relationship they had with each other, seeing how they balanced each other out. Sometimes I felt the outcome of their arguments with their superior was a little contrived but overall it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.

The last character was Rebecca. Her description and how she deals with The Cowboy made me think of the phrase ‘though she be but little she is fierce’. That I think is an appropriate description of Rebecca. She was my favorite character, perhaps because I’d like to think I’d behave as she does in the face of fear.

The Cowboy is riveting hard-boiled mystery with a haunting antagonist. If you’re looking for a Western, this isn’t the book for you. If you want something gritty, with a blood-curdling crime, then don’t wait. Pick this up today.

Pages: 393 | ASIN: B084QLMVPB

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