Keep Your Friends Close

Paula Daly

@pauladalyauthor

★★★★

September 2015

Well-written and enjoyable, the plot moved along briskly and kept me wanting to read more. I did start thinking about the movie, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle half-way through, but there was enough variation and suspense to set any notion of similarity aside. My only other critique is that the characterisation of the husband/father was a little shallow given the ease and circumstances in which he was seduced and the subsequent resumption of his work and family life as if not much had really changed...

★★★★★

August 2015

Having read the prequel novella, Social Engineer, I had high expectations for the full-length follow-up. I wasn't disappointed.

Diamond Jubilee

Kevan Jones

@murdermystory

★★★★★

May 2015

Terrific read from shocking start to provocative finale.

Forget the English villages of the fictional Midsomer; in the sleepy Kentish seaside town of Sandwich, there hasn't been a savage murder in over two hundred years... until the evening of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June 2012. Against a backdrop of quaint English celebrations and typical British summertime weather, Kevan Jones delivers up a gruesome murder of shocking proportions. What follows is a forensic examination by Detective Chief Inspector Matt Sanderson into the backgrounds of a group of ageing misfits who share a secret so awful that the effects still fester beneath the surface of the ordinary lives of those whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time many years before. It seems one of the group of old contemporaries has returned to reap revenge but what can be gained from such a meticulously planned yet brutal killing? And why now? The shock of the hideous crime begins to fade in the public memory, as their thoughts turn once more to events of national pride with the London Olympics looming. But DCI Sanderson must race against time to maintain momentum in an investigation that threatens to fracture the ranks of past and serving officers as much as the lives of those who start to emerge through the veil of suspicion for the recent death and several seemingly unrelated cold-case missing persons. By blending a rich tapestry of local history, realistic characters and the author's first-hand knowledge of methodical police procedure, Jones has produced a highly impressive debut.

★★★★★

April 2015

Think Stephanie Plum with gastric issues!

Among all the indie author works I've read this year, the quality of the writing of this novel is second to none. The characters are well-drawn and engaging and the story zips along without a pause. If I said there's a chick-lit feel to the opening don't write it off as stereotypical. Think Stephanie Plum with gastric issues! It's smart and entertaining, at times very funny and others quite alarming. With locations you could reach out and touch and tension that builds to a dramatic conclusion, I thoroughly recommend this first instalment in the Josie Tucker series.

★★★★★

April 2015

A new kind of sleuthing.

As an indie author, what I liked about this novella was the way it introduced us to Brody Taylor in a readily digestible format. As a reader, I liked the way it took something as geeky as hacking and turned it into something a lot cooler that can be developed into a new kind of sleuthing. It certainly made me think twice about how much information I give openly when approached by someone who rather than being charming or generous of spirit might just be pressing all of my right buttons! A great Deep Web Thriller prequel to the full-length Invasion of Privacy that I have every intention of buying based upon this excellent freebie!

★★★★

March 2015

An imaginative and intense plot.

Born into the cruel and barbarous world of the arena, denied even an identity, a child is born and conditioned to survive in the dark; punishment and reward teaching him to respond only to basic needs and commands. Forged through adolescence into an efficient killing machine using only the natural weapons of a truly honed body, he survives into adulthood against all odds to claim his destiny and ultimately a freedom he is incapable of comprehending much less embracing. So starts the rise of a different kind of hero. Set in a dark fantasy of warring clans and divided realms, brutal violence and ruling arachnids, an imaginative and intense plot builds from a narrative-laden opening to an intriguing study in super-human endurance and the fundamental instincts of survival. This opening book in the Followers of Torments series is a strong start to what I'm sure will develop into a fascinating and entertaining journey.

★★★★★

March 2015

Another compelling novella in the Inspector Richter series filling in some of the background to this unorthodox cop and his special gift. Leaves me intrigued to see how his career develops.

The Sea Witch

Alexander Laing and

David Bennett Laing

★★★★★

February 2015

This is an epic tale set in the mid-19th century during a glorious decade at the height of the prowess of American clippers, setting and breaking truly global speed records in the transoceanic China tea trade. Whilst written in the modern age, the style, prose and dialogue hark back to an era of gallantry and sensibilities balanced precariously with the contradictions of a life harsher, both ashore and at sea, than any of us can now imagine. Having captured the essence of a time then still in living memory, Laing Sr. delivered a classic novel comparable with the best written in the time it depicts; think Melville and Collins. In editing it sensitively for a modern audience, Laing Jr. offers a highly authentic insight into a world now long-forgotten that trumps all the polished romanticism of O'Brian. A near-excessive attention to detail coupled with the original author's self-confessed objective to set the ship itself as the primary focus belie a very human story of love, duty, suffering and, above all, single-minded ambition. It richly deserves five stars from me for its sheer scale, authenticity and depth. I learned much in the reading of this impressive tome.

★★★★★

January 2015

Gritty, authentic dialogue, confidently written.

An excellent novella of strong, polished prose and gritty, authentic dialogue, confidently written in a contemporary narrative with just the hint of a dark fedora contemptuously doffed to the style of Raymond Chandler. Vividly descriptive and shockingly true to character from the irreverent banter of colleagues letting off steam and the trust and camaraderie of partners, to the manipulative deception and cynicism of the guilty. The action moves along quickly and it's a real joy to get a concentrated dose of pure entertainment in such a short read. Polygraph is a stunning introduction to a fascinating partnership that I'm sure will tackle many terrific cases in the future. I'm really looking forward to reading more.

★★★★★

January 2015

Terrific first novel in the series - authentic, well-researched and thought-provoking.

Having read The Cyclist a few years ago, I now realise Fredrik Nath's greatest talent lies in the way he explores the tensions and conflicts arising when an occupying force holds the upper hand but everyday life among the oppressed must go on. The Caucasus Campaign is a terrific first novel in the Roman Amulet Series. Already I can tell this is just the start of an epic tale that will see unlikely hero, Aulus Veridius Scapula emerge from his inauspicious beginnings to become a character of depth and strength who will surely fulfil his destiny as a great Roman. Written in a realistic narrative, reflecting the confidence and sense of superiority of a conquering army, the details are authentic, well-researched and thought-provoking. The plot is well-constructed and the action moves along apace as the years roll past. I really enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to Book 2.