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The Knife Thrower’s Wife

Picture the setting of a peaceful suburban neighborhood with the perfect family, the perfect house with the perfect neighbors. A mirage for the American dream. Julia Green is in a marital rut. As she struggles to put the pieces of her happy life back together, she finds things are not as picture-perfect as they may seem. Oblivious to her husband’s true nature, she starts to unintendingly dig up the dirt on a life she thought was full of love and bliss. To cope with her failed marriage, Julia starts painting scenes from her daydreams that unexpectedly turn her into the prime suspect in her husband’s death.

Author Sheila McGraw takes us through an unconventional murder mystery in The Knife Thrower’s Wife. We follow an average American family whose life turns upside-down when plots of murderous intent and scandalous affairs come to light. This inventive story takes off when Julia is arrested, and her trial begins. This twist in the plot is a beautiful example of the nail-biting anticipation McGraw expertly executes all the way to the climax of this mystery. The author builds suspense for readers as the story races towards the finale. McGraw leaves readers second-guessing Julia’s innocence, and the much-anticipated climax reveals who the killer really is. The story’s rising action created an opportunity for the author to completely surprise her readers.

This psychological thriller is a character study in Julia’s personality. Who she is at the beginning of this complex novel is a complete 180 from where she ends up. Readers will cheer for her as she finds her voice and stops being overlooked and walked over.

The Knife Thrower’s Wife is a riveting murder mystery that will keep you on your toes and have you wondering just what will happen next. The action and suspense are thrilling and make for a page-turning experience readers can not put down till the end.

Pages: 346 | ASIN : B08FHBKPH9

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Literary Titan Book Awards January 2022

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Award Winners

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Storm Front 8 by Steven Paul Germane

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

Escapade

Unexpected events are occurring, rumors are spreading, and the Granstadt Police Department is doing everything they can to get to the bottom of it all. Escapade by Margery A. Neely is a mystery novel centered in a small town in Missouri. Two deaths are being investigated, an unlikely connection between them. A lady has been found drowned. The body of an unidentified male has also been found inside a tarp, just after allegedly being run over by a plane. Sergeant Phil Tyler is trying to solve both of the mysteries as he connects the dots and discovers secrets concerning the military service, civilian politics and the Korean conflict.

The book starts right away with an enigma, as the officials first realize the recent, strange murders that have occurred in their town. A group of young boys from the JROTC also cause some commotion after inappropriately and rudely interrupting the General’s salute. The book follows the style of detective stories, and shows chapter by chapter the varied links and assumptions that the people in the town make about the recent events.

The story accurately portrays the dynamics between people in an American town and makes important references surrounding American politics. There are talks about the upcoming election, the Korean conflict, spies and communism, all of it connected to the recent crimes and to the culture of the town. It’s interesting following along the dynamics shown between the different characters, as they try to make sense of what’s been going on. Is it all just an accident or is there something more sinister behind it all?

The narrative style is detailed and allows the author to cover all the possible links and intricacies of the plot. The slow-burn style allows readers to fully get to know what’s going on. A few hints are given alongside the chapters, the relevant connection between the murders and the world of politics being revealed as new clues appear. There’s certainly a charm in seeing the people of such a little town be involved in an event that could potentially be connected with spies, a war and international politics.

Escapade by Margery A. Neely is a engaging thriller with an immersive plot set in 1950’s America. This riveting novel will attract the attention of readers that have a passion for alluring crimes and mysteries.

Pages: 362 | ASIN : B07C135DCS

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Paradise Harbour

Paradise Harbour : A Noir Horror Thriller by [Alexander Semenyuk]

Paradise Harbour by Alexander Semenyuk is a riveting noir thriller about a missing med school student. A private detective is hired and tasked with finding her. Her father is wealthy and influential and avails to the detective the resources he needs. It turns out there is a serial killer in Rhode Island, coupled with a few more unsavory suspects – the KKK, a sea god cult, a banker and a Madame who both double in prostitution. As he narrows down the search, the story takes a harrowing twist.

Paradise Harbour is a captivating thriller that takes readers on an unpredictable but deeply intriguing investigation.

I like the way the author uses songs to tell the stories of both the cult followers and their survivors. I also enjoyed the pacing of the novel. While the novel takes some wild turns, readers are given enough time to take in the details and appreciate the subtly in the story, characters, and scenes, all of this makes this mystery easy to follow, however complex it seems to get. 

The story explores a variety of themes in creative ways that give this story surprising depth. Themes such as the occult, racism, gender-based violence, prostitution, gangs, psychopathy, immorality, and corruption all come together to uniquely describe this secretive town’s traits and gives readers a relatable depiction of the most corrupt societies. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. They were intriguing and well developed and fit within this dark and moody thriller in unique ways.

Paradise Harbour is an enthralling crime thriller that fans of noir novels will easily devour. With slick story telling and a compelling plot, this is a mesmerizing horror story that I highly recommend.

Pages: 137 | ASIN: B09JXP1BV6

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The Demon In Disguise

The Demon in Disguise: Murder, Kidnapping, and the Banty Rooster by [Ashley Elliott]

The Demon In Disguise, by Ashley Elliot, is the captivating true story of Ashley’s lengthy journey to obtain justice for the murder of her father. On May 18th, 2002, Carter Elliot and Timmy Wayne were the first double-homicide in the history of Conway, Arkansas. With no evidence, DNA, witnesses, or fingerprints this case goes on for years. Not only is Ashley fighting for justice for her father during this time, she’s then dealt another blow when her mother is kidnapped.

Author Ashley Elliott does an excellent job recounting her turbulent journey. Detailed and cerebral, the author’s way of writing makes the reader feel like they are living the story with her. By being written in first person, we feel the emotions Ashley feels throughout this book. The manner in which it is written is clear and direct which helps make the chapters containing legal matters and criminal investigation easier for the average person to understand, and more engaging because we can connect on a human level rather than being taken through dry legal procedures.

This is an eye-opening murder mystery that is heart wrenching at times and intriguing when you’re able to overcome the emotional obstacles inherent in this harrowing story. While I was reading, I felt angry, mainly by how her family treated her, and the reality of how criminal law works.

The Demon In Disguise is a riveting true crime story that is emotionally turbulent and persistently intriguing. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy emotional and gripping crime stories. The insight into criminal law alone is enough of a reason to read this book. The Demon In Disguise was such a mysterious case and the story does a great job of slowly unraveling that mystery to readers. This is a crime thriller that I got lost in and had to keep reminding myself that the narrator really had this happen to them; so chilling.

Pages: 225 | ASIN: B09B4DK8V9

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Enough to Make the Angels Weep

Enough to Make the Angels Weep by Ernesto Patino is the story of a private detective investigating a murder case that has been cold for four years. Detective Joe Coopersmith follows the trail which leads to several more dead bodies and a conspiracy over 150 years in the making.

A hidden diary recounts the little-known events of Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine, eager to make a new life in America. They joined the US Army for the promise of good pay and found themselves in a war with Mexico which pitted them against members of their own Catholic faith.

This book reads like an old gumshoe novel. I kept picturing Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon. I heartily enjoyed reading this riveting historical fiction novel. While the bulk of the story is fiction, there really was a St. Patrick’s Battalion made up of Irish soldiers who fought on the side of the Mexicans during the Mexican American War. This is a fascinating true story told in a very interesting way, which kept me turning the pages as I read with great interest to see how the author was going to tie these events to the murder Detective Coopersmith was investigating.

The author remains focused on the Irish soldiers, highlighting their contribution to history throughout the story. This is certainly a fascinating piece of history that I didn’t know about and appreciated learning about. I felt that the mystery driving the story forward could have used a stronger motive to explain the murders, but it serves as a decent vehicle to deliver an intriguing murder mystery in a historical setting.

Enough to Make the Angels Weep is a captivating war fiction novel with fantastic historical elements that color the entire novel. This enthralling murder mystery is filled with compelling characters that will entertain any fans of crime fiction or historical fiction novels grounded in reality.

Pages: 218 | ASIN: B09FJ4Q136

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Redemption Versus Revenge

Malcolm Tanner
Malcolm Tanner Author Interview

Redemption 2 finds Mike Parsons facing a vengeful person who has crafted and intricate plot to exact revenge. What inspired the riveting setup to your story?

I always wanted the story to be a trilogy. Making the story into three parts was a challenge but what inspired me was the complicated relationship between Mike Parsons and his antagonist, Allison Branch. They both have psychological issues, which really makes it interesting. It reveals how each chooses to resolve their issues. Allison uses revenge and violence, Mike uses logic and dreamlike experiences to seek redemption. So, it was more like redemption versus revenge in a three part series.

This is book two in the Mike Parsons trilogy. What were some ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?

I wanted to delve into the cartel’s relationship with Branch and her low level dealers as well as the high level members of the cartel and how they control the others. I wanted for Mike in book 2 to develop more as a person and start to get better, not totally of course, but to edge closer to his recovery as a human being. I also wanted to explore Andy Marx as a detective trying to struggle with the idea of wanting to retire or to keep going. It is something that I really get into in book 3 of the trilogy. I was also hoping to explore the world of of low level dealers and how they are caught with the idea of staying in or getting out of the drug business. The characters Jake and Carrianne are very conflicted with that issue.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

The first one I really enjoyed was the dance scene when Mike and Joanna were out to dinner. Allison being there in disguise to view them as she did was spooky, yet realistic in the way damaged minds can see things that others don’t. Having visions, per se. The second scene I liked was the big man, Andres Montoya taking care of business outside of the hotel. I wanted to make that scene very spine-tingling, raising the hair on the neck of the reader. I think I did that.

What can readers expect in the final book in the Mike Parson trilogy?

This book is the final chase and hunt for Allison Branch, or for that matter her hunt for Mike and Andy! It is a cat and mouse game that goes back and forth like a ping pong match. Marx will be at his most skillful, Mike at his most self-aware, and Allison Branch at her deadliest. This was a great mix for book three, and my innermost description of all the characters came to life. I think the reader will enjoy the fast pace of the action.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The quote goes, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. However, the minute the prison door clanged shut behind Allison Branch, she began to plot her revenge. Allison knew she would need a new face, a new identity, and new friends to carry out the intricate plan she was forming. She would eliminate all the people who had wronged her and her list was getting longer.

With a new face and identity, she could be anyone, anywhere, even your neighbor next door.

The reader will be gasping at the lengths that Allison will go against Mike Parsons and his friends.

The Truth Is More Sinister

Chris Kelsey
Chris Kelsey Author Interview

Ain’t Nothin’ Personal follows a suspended police chief who is pulled into an old unsolved case that turns into a murder investigation with ties to powerful people. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In a somewhat oblique way, the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre inspired this one. I grew up in Oklahoma in the 1970s, a time when explicit racism in the south (and I consider Oklahoma part of the deep south) was a way of life. I was in my 40s before I ever heard of the Tulsa massacre. Can you imagine something like that being covered up for so long? The coverup in Ain’t Nothin’ Personal is similar. The only African-American family in town has their house burned down. They disappear and people think they just moved away. No one talks about if for years, until an old racist makes a death bed confession and everyone realizes the truth is more sinister.

Emmett Hardy is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

Emmett’s a mixture of crime fiction/film archetypes: the plain-spoken dispenser of frontier justice in the tradition of Will Kane in High Noon or the title character in Shane; the enigmatic, emotionally tortured detective in Phillip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels; the socially conscious righter of wrongs that you find on Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowell’s Beck mysteries. I should also mention Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn in Tony and Anne Hillerman’s books, Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire, as well as all the classic hard drinkers in noir literature, from Sam Spade to Phillip Marlowe to the twisted misfits found in every Jim Thompson story. What they all have in common (with the exception of Thompson’s creations), is their drive to do what they think is the right thing, regardless of the consequences to themselves.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Do the right thing. Love each other, love yourself. Greed is not good. Power corrupts. Be kind; we’re all in this together.

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

My next one is the fourth Emmett Hardy mystery, Junker Blues. It’s in the hands of my beta readers as we speak. It fast-forwards from where Ain’t Nothin’ Personal ends in the late ‘60s to the day Richard Nixon resigns the presidency in 1974. The OPEC oil embargo has rejuvenated the oil industry. Emmett’s Burr, Oklahoma is now a boom town. With the boom come ingredients for the inevitable bust, however—not least, an illegal drug problem and attendant violence the small rural community is ill-equipped to deal with. It’s scheduled to be released in June 2022 by Black Rose Writing.

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After a kidnap-for-hire plot results in the death of a young boy, Burr police chief Emmett Hardy blames himself and has an alcohol-fueled breakdown. His life at a crossroads, Hardy checks into the hospital for treatment, only to discover upon his release that he’s been suspended from duty. When a dying prisoner contacts him about a long-forgotten unsolved case, Emmett-temporarily at loose ends-begins an informal investigation.

Soon he becomes a target of violence himself, as his investigation becomes a murder probe implicating the most powerful men in town. Hardy is forced to relive one of the most traumatic events of his childhood, and faces the possibility that members of his own family may have been involved in the crime.

Ultimately, with Emmett’s tenuous grasp on sobriety slipping and his moral foundation shifting beneath his feet, the answer to the question, “Who do I trust?” becomes a matter of life and death.
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