Detective Hanlon is addicted to violence. She likes the rush, the danger, the losing control…
When Hanlon is suspended from the force for assaulting a suspect, she escapes to the remote Scottish island of Jura, home to the mysterious Corryvreckan whirlpool.
But wherever Hanlon goes, violence is sure to follow.
As soon as she checks into The Mackinnon Arms, Hanlon senses something isn’t quite right about the staff at her home for the week.
Sure enough, within days of arriving, the body of a member of staff is found floating in the sea. While police believe she was claimed by the local whirlpool, Hanlon isn’t so sure.
As she pieces together the evidence, dark secrets begin to unravel. Can Hanlon work out what is going on before another floating body is found…?
This is one heck of a twisty ride, guys! We follow DCI Hanlon as she takes a much needed break from London and the accusations of police brutality. She travels to the remote island of Jura off the Scottish coast to focus on an upcoming Ironman Triathlon only to find that violence is everywhere, even in the middle of nowhere.
There is no real reason for DCI Hanlon to doubt the official ruling of accidental death in the hotel staffer’s death, but she does. And because of this, she uncovers a Gordian knot sex, drugs, betrayal and deceit. There are twists, turns, and dead ends in this investigation , as well as a red herring that is nearly Hanlon’s undoing! I never suspected the true villain, and was kept on my toes to the very end!
Hanlon is a beautifully complex character, both horribly flawed and incredibly strong. She knows her own mind, and can acknowledge when that leads her to make poor decisions (usually internally voiced by her therapist); I honestly cannot wait to see what new adventures await her!
Title: Silenced For Good
Author: Alex Coombs
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Released: April 14th 2020
Pages: 286 pages
About the Author:
Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He has written four well reviewed crime novels as Alex Howard.
Where to buy: Silenced For Good is available in both the UK and the USA via Amazon. Currently, here in the US, it is $2.99 USD for the ebook, and the paperback price is $16.99 USD.
East Side Hustler (Alex Cohen #2) by Leopold Borstinski
Monday 23rd to Sunday 5th April
I was lucky to be selected to participate in a Damppebbles Blog Tour this week.
I’d not been feeling well, and this was the perfect book to help me ignore the current state of the world while I rested in bed.
Alex lived through the war, but will he survive the peace?
Jewish gang member, Alex comes back from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has seen. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again.
But the route to the top is fraught with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. When organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein dies, the turmoil caused by his loss sets in train a chain of events which means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to attain your American dream?
The second book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which tears through the Prohibition years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir pierces the heart of every reader like a bullet from Alex’s sniper rifle.
So, this is the second book in the Alex Cohen Series, and while you don’t absolutely need to read The Bowery Slugger, it really does help. East Side Hustler picks up with Alex having returned to NYC from the horrors of WW1 trench warfare. I have to give Mr. Borstinski credit, his portrayal of Alex’s PTSD is amazing.
Like Bowery Slugger, East Side Hustler follows Alex through a decade of his life on the streets as a member of the Jewish-American Organized Crime Syndicate. Alex has to rebuild his relationships with his family, his lover, and his gang associates to become a success.
East Side Hustler is very much a different style of book from my usual crime fiction, while the author refers to is as Noir, I find it to be more Narrative Historical Fiction with a criminal background. Alex Cohen isNOTa good person, and only rarely a nice one. But as you read through his struggles and triumphs in the seedy underbelly of Prohibition Era New York, I can’t help but empathize. Alex is a gangster when we were only just defining what made one a gangster and his decisions and motives are defined within that context.
I think my favorite part of reading this series is spotting the real life historical figures. Most people wouldn’t get the references until they smack you upside the head, but because I’m a history nerd with a love of true crime; I actually know who these mooks were! To paraphrase, “So Benny Seigel wants me to go to the Windy City to meet Alfonse.” I had to explain to my spouse why this made me shout. “Bugsy Seigel wants me to meet Al Capone!” While Alex Cohen isn’t an actual person, that I could discover, there are a few people who he seems to be based off of and if my theory is correct, I can’t wait to read the next book!
Title: East Side Hustler (Alex Cohen #2)
Author: Leopold Borstinski
Publisher: Sobriety Press
Released: March 21, 2020
Pages: 238 pages
About the Author:
Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.
I was lucky to be selected to participate in a Damppebbles Blog Tour this week. I adore crime novels, and British police procedurals are a guilty pleasure! When Emma of Damppebbles told me about Deadly Waters, I was all in!
Several young women have recently drowned in Manchester’s vast network of canals. A coincidence? Or something more sinister?
When star detective DCI Jane Phillips begins to investigate, her finely tuned instinct tells her these are no accidents. And when she discovers that each of the drowned women has a mysterious circular bruise on the back of her neck, Phillips is sure of it — she’s up against a very clever serial killer.
But how are the victims being chosen? And who will be next?
With the body count rising, Phillips and her team find themselves in a fight to the death with a shadowy figure who always seems to be one step ahead.
Can Phillips stop the killer before the next victim dies? Or will she herself become an offering to Manchester’s deadly waters?
This is the second Detective Jane Philips book by Ryan, and having not read the first novel, I was hesitant to dive headfirst (pun absolutely intended). Ryan does a wonderful job of filling in the necessary backstory of DCI Philips and her core team at the Major Crimes Unit. Philips has a full caseload and her supervisor breathing down her neck, but her gut says that these weren’t cut-and-dried drownings. She has to use all her contacts and her wits to get to the bottom of a set of killings by a murderer with a rather convoluted reasoning.
A bit of a CW, if you will. This book involves a murderer who preys upon women in the sex trade and are also drug users/addicts. There are both unpleasant scenarios dealing with the realities of those who do sex work, and those who deal with addiction. I found that Ryan wrote these scenes believably; so that the reader feels both compassion and empathy.
This book is a roller-coaster! There are a few jarring chapters in the beginning that give shape to the events that molded the mindset of our killer. DCI Philips’ history in the police force as well as her relationships within her team are understandable and each character is written as to give the reader a sense of familiarity. I feel that Deadly Waters was amazingly well written; there are no easy answers. and the first suspect (or second one!) may not be the actual culprit. And when all is said and done, the end of the case may not be a happy ending, but it is an ending.
Title: Deadly Waters
Author: OMJ Ryan
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Released: March 15th, 2020
Pages: 281 pages
About the Author:
Hailing from Yorkshire, OMJ Ryan worked in radio and entertainment for over twenty years, collaborating with household names and accumulating a host of international writing and radio awards.
In 2018 he followed his passion to become a full-time novelist, writing stories for people who devour exciting, fast-paced thrillers by the pool, on their commute – or those rare moments of downtime before bed. Owen’s mission is to entertain from the first page to the last. DEADLY WATERS will be his third novel published with Inkubator Books.
Where to buy: Deadly Waters is available in both the UK and the USA via Amazon. Currently, here in the US, it is free to free to read with Kindle Unlimited, or if you don’t have KU, $.99USD for the ebook, and the paperback price is $10.99 USD.
The Whisper Man by Alex North was previously released in the UK and will be hitting US bookshelves next week. I’ve been sitting on this book review for a while. If you follow my Instagram or Twitter, you know that I tend to announce when I get an ARC that catches my attention.My video of opening this card.
I’ve been spending most of this week on the couch or bed due to powerful rainstorms that are a summer staple in the South. It’s not surprising I’m curled up with the cats to read this!
Here is the blurb from the back of the book:
After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.
But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.
Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.
And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…
Okay, mild spoiler, I am female. The Whisper Man has a central spiraling theme of fathers and their sons, but honestly; it can easily be morphed to fathers and their children. How are we shaped by the men who raise us? What happens when sons who had horrible fathers become fathers themselves? What unintentional lessons do we learn?
The mystery itself, of the disappearances of young boys and their deaths resuming after 20 years is intriguing; especially with the killer still in jail. We follow DI (Detective Inspector) Pete Willis, a recovering alcoholic who is still haunted by the Whisper Man case and the fact another boy has gone missing. We also follow Tom and Jake Kennedy, a father/son duo whose recent loss of Rebecca, Jake’s mother has both of them floundering. Tom had a father that filled him with doubt as to his worth as a human being, and he struggles every day to to relate to Jake, a sensitive, imaginative child. Jake is full of art and stories, and his imaginary friends worry his father. The problem is, Tom is seeing proof that at least one of those imaginary friends isn’t and that Jake is in danger.
While the twists and turns of this story are compelling, and I was thoroughly invested in discovering the identity of the Whisper Man; the most frightening aspect of the book for me was the whispers. Not the whispers of the Whisper Man; but the insidious inner thoughts of Pete as he battles to not drink, the whispers that echo in Tom’s mind that he is worthless and failing Jake, the whispers that any person who fights depression or childhood trauma hears. I have a chronic disease, I hear my own set of whispers often. I found Alex North’s realism in portraying them chilling.
Title: The Whisper Man
Author: Alex North
Publisher: Celadon Books
Released: August 20th, 2019
Pages: 368 pages
About the Author:
Alex North was born in Leeds, England, where he now lives with his wife and son. The Whisper Man was inspired by North’s own little boy, who mentioned one day that he was playing with “the boy in the floor.” Alex North is a British crime writer who has previously published under another name.
About the Publisher:
Founded by publishing industry veterans Jamie Raab and Deb Futter, Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan Publishing, selects each title with thoughtful consideration in an effort to create a list that is at once classic, uncommon, and fosters discoverability of new voices.
Our list includes a wide-ranging selection of fiction and non-fiction, from page-turning thrillers and literary novels to memoirs, works of history and psychology, narrative nonfiction and memoirs. The common denominator is that we aim to publish books of quality with commercial appeal.
The Whisper Man is available for preorder on Amazon in Hardcover, Kindle and Audiobook. The hardcover will retail for $26.99 USD, but is currently on sale for $13.99 USD. The Whisper Man will be in bookstores on August 20th, 2019.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.
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