Book Review -The One You Love by Paul Pilkington

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REVIEW

Emma Holden’s boyfriend goes missing on his own stag night and no-one knows what has happened to him.  This is the beginning of a mystery that takes Emma up and down the country, questioning everything she ever knew or thought she knew in a bid to find out what exactly happened that night.

The One You Love is a suspense novel with a romantic element and can be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good mystery. Hints and clues were dropped into the story line but every time I thought I might have it worked out, something else came up to make me change my mind. I liked the way small insights were given as to what was happening that the main characters didn’t necessarily know or, if they did, they weren’t sharing with each other. It unfolded rather like a crime drama seen on TV and kept me hooked and interested the whole way through.

Really enjoyable read and I shall definitely be adding  the other books in the series to my reading list.

DESCRIPTION

Emma Holden’s nightmare has just begun. Her fiancé vanishes, leaving the battered and bloodied body of his brother in their London apartment. Someone is stalking her, watching her every move. And her family are hiding a horrifying secret; a secret that threatens all those she loves. In a desperate race against time, Emma must uncover the truth if she ever wants to see her fiancé alive again.

The One You Love is a fast-paced suspense mystery, full of twists and turns, following in the tradition of writers such as Nicci French and Sophie Hannah.

Since July 2011 it has been downloaded over one million times, has spent a full month at number 1 in the UK Kindle free download chart (July-August 2011), and reached the top of the US Kindle free download chart.

About the Author

Paul Pilkington has had material broadcast on BBC radio and ITV television, and was long listed for the 2004 London Book Fair Lit Idol competition. In 2004, Paul was inspired to write his first suspense mystery, The One You Love, through his love of emotional mystery thrillers, such as those by Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Nicci French and Thomas H Cook. His aim is to create fast-paced, twisting and turning fiction that stirs the emotions. His latest mystery suspense thriller, Someone to Save You, was released in 2011. The One You Fear (sequel to The One You Love), will be published in December 2012. Find out more about Paul’s writing:

Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulpilkington

Like him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/paulpilkingtonauthor

Visit his website: http://www.paulpilkington.com

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Book Review : Primal Origin, Jack Silkstone

primal origin

REVIEW

Take two CIA agents, a British  aeronautical engineer/weapons technician, drop them in Abu Dhabi with a group of terrorists, each wanting the other dead and you have a pacy, action packed novella introducing  the Primal series of books. Primal Origin, is a great little novella that gives the background to how the undercover anti-all-things-bad group, PRIMAL, came into being.

Realistic dialogue, not for those who are easily offended, the CIA agents Vance and Ice are quickly introduced; a couple of cool customers who are experts in their line of work, along with their oppo Mitchell.

What I also liked about the novella was certain technical terminology, that was foreign to me, was highlighted by way of a hyperlink to the author’s website, explaining exactly what a UM45 or M4 CQBR was. An excellent website too, which I would recommend you take a look at – for a moment I could pretend I was part of a MI5/CIA briefing. With a background in Military Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence and Special Operations, the author blogs about his thoughts on the interesting things happening in the world today.

I shall definitely be reading the other PRIMAL books which, if the closing sentence is anything to go by, will be equally action packed …

‘We’re gonna make Mossad look like a bunch of cookie-selling Girl Scouts!’

DESCRIPTION

PRIMAL is a team of elite operatives, hell bent on fighting for the downtrodden and oppressed. A renegade agency waging a secret war against the untouchables; powerful criminals, greed driven corporations, and twisted politicians. With cutting-edge technology and tactics they strike across the globe with impunity, stepping in where government agencies fail.

PRIMAL Origin is the first short story in the PRIMAL series. It is a short 35 page prequel to the full-length PRIMAL Unleashed novel and reveals the origins of PRIMAL.
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Abu Dhabi is a city that dazzles with the trappings of wealth. Beneath this thin veneer lurks a sinister threat. A rich and powerful supporter of terrorism who will stop at nothing to rid the Emirates of Western influence.

Two CIA operatives are given the mission to track down an unknown terrorist group. Forced to question the morality of their government, they take matters into their own hands.

The head of counter-terrorism operations in the Emirates is a man trapped between honor and morality. Surrounded by enemies, he must look for new allies to bring justice to the untouchable.

In this world of turmoil and intrigue, a new organization is formed, a group of men willing to bring justice to a world filled with evil. Who are they?

They are PRIMAL.

AUTHOR LINKS

BLOG

Web page

Twitter : @JSilkstone

Available from Amazon

Book Review : Security by Mandy Baggot

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REVIEW

With a slight shift in sub-genre from romance to romantic suspense, Mandy Baggot’s books get stronger and stronger.  This is probably my favourite one to date.

We meet Autumn Raine, singing superstar and she is not instantly likeable, coming across as spoilt and self-obsessed. However, gradually the walls come down and you get to know the real woman underneath who is both vulnerable and determined at the same time. Underneath the celebrity exterior, there is a genuine likeable person. She’s had a lot of emotional obstacles to overcome and has not always had the best advice. Now she’s up against the biggest challenge yet with her life in danger.

Cue mean and moody, northern bodyguard, Nathan Regan. He doesn’t change his attitude or his mind for anyone, that is until he comes up against Autumn Raine . As if outwitting kidnap plots and extremists isn’t enough for one guy, he also has  demons of his own to battle at the same time.

With unexpected twists in the plot, Security, has suspense and tension all the way through, together with some great chemistry and tough romance, this really is my sort of book.

Description

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?

As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

GIVEAWAY

As part of of the Security launch, Mandy is having a giveaway. Anyone who posts a review on Amazon up until the end of May can enter into the Rafflecopter draw to win a £25/$40 Amazon gift certificate. You will be able to enter via this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e42d6b8/

About the Author

Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read!.

Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US
mandy baggotpublishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube – check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.

Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more on Mandy’s website
http://mandybaggot.com

or check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing
http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/mandybaggot

mandy's books

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Behind the Book and Cover Reveal : ‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black

Today I’m delighted to have on my blog, author of military thrillers, Harvey Black.

Harvey is here to talk about the historical facts behind his novel ‘The Red Effect’ and to reveal the cover. Over to you Harvey …

“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.

The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.

One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.” (Leonid Brezhnev, 23rd Party Congress, March 1966)

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The Cold War and Nitroglycerin had one thing in common, both were stable when circumstances allowed. But, when something rocks the boat, or events are overtaken by Incidents that get out of control, the status quo is lost. The consequence is an eruption that is both violent and lethal.

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The Cold War trilogy will trace the Cold War as it simmers, overheats and eventually turns East against West. The outcome? Start with ‘The Red Effect’ out in April, followed by ‘The Black Effect’ and ‘The Blue Effect’.

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1983: The Cold War has been in existence since the end of World War Two. Although tensions have always been fraught between the Western nations and the members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, common sense prevailed.

Until, as a consequence of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the shooting down of a Korean passenger aircraft in 1983, and the relentless build up of Soviet military strength, everything is about to change.

In a panoramic novel, readers travel from centres of power to the front lines – a war is brewing and events are happening at every angle. Is the Cold War about to turn hot? Can NATO forces endure a mass strike by thousands of Soviet tanks? Can the West survive?

Follow the series of gripping events that culminated in ‘The Red Effect’, in the first instalment of Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

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Harvey Black is a qualified parachutist. Harvey served with British Army Intelligence for over ten years. His experience ranged from covert surveillance in Northern Ireland to operating in Communist East Berlin during the cold war, where he feared for his life after being dragged from his car and attacked by Russian KGB soldiers. Since then he has lived a more sedate life in the private sector as a Director for an International Company, but now enjoys the pleasures of writing.

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Thank you Harvey and very best of luck with ‘The Red Effect‘, I shall certainly be reading it 🙂
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Book Review of Gray Justice by Alan McDermott

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About the Book

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim’s father sees just two options: accept the judge’s decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.
Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it’s a roller coaster ride with an ending you’ll never forget!

My Review

At first you could be forgiven for second guessing how the plot might go; an ex-SAS soldier seeking revenge for the unlawful death of his son and subsequent suicide of his wife. Cue ex-SAS guy blasting away with a semi-automatic rifle, car chases, fist fights, killing all the bad guys but ultimately coming out a hero.  Well, Gray Justice doesn’t quite go like that, it tackles the need for revenge in a rather unique way.

Gray Justice is a fast paced, action packed thriller. Yes, there was a shoot-em-up gun battle, explosions and death, but it wasn’t over-done and it was perfectly fitting of the plot.  The premise of Gray’s revenge was very thought provoking and it did make me stop and think. Without giving anything away, the method Gray uses to decide what justice to dish out is something that could prompt a healthy debate over a pint or two.

The ending wasn’t exactly what I was expecting and leaves the door open to the sequels which I shall definitely be reading.

Gray Justice is currently available FREE on Amazon.

About the author

alan mcdermott

Alan McDermott is a software developer from the south of England, married with beautiful twin daughters. When he isn’t creating critical applications for the NHS, he is writing action thrillers.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, has been very well received. The other two books in the series – Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption – were released in 2012.

Alan is currently working on his fourth title.

You can follow Alan on Twitter through his @Jambalian account.

Alan blogs at http://jambalian.blogspot.co.uk/p/t.html

Up Close by Henriette Gyland

up closeToo close for comfort…

When Dr Lia Thompson’s grandmother dies unexpectedly, Lia is horrified to have to leave her life in America and return to a cold and creaky house in Norfolk. But as events unfold, she can’t help feeling that there is more to her grandmother’s death than meets the eye.

Aidan Morrell is surprised to see Lia, his teenage crush, back in town. But Aidan’s accident when serving in the navy has scarred him in more ways than one, and he has other secrets which must stay hidden at all costs, even from Lia.

As Lia comes closer to uncovering the truth, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew. In a world of increasing danger, is Aidan someone she can trust?

My Thoughts

Really enjoyed this book. A bit of suspense, a mystery and a romance too – all the things I love in a novel.

It took me a little while to warm to the main character, Lia, but as I got to know her better and understand her, I did feel a real empathy for her.  This was actually quite refreshing  as I felt Lia was a very realistic character – just like in real life, it takes time to get to know someone and not until you know them properly, can you form a balanced opinion of them.

Aidan had several layers to his character too and although I was sure I could trust him, the way the plot unravelled had me questioning his actions.

The plot revolved around military issues; the impact of going to war and the after effects which had obviously been well researched by the author.  There were other aspects woven into the plot too, which keeps the reader guessing and trying to put together the pieces to solve the mystery. The clues are there, some more subtle than others, together with a twist at the end.  I don’t want to say much more for fear of spoiling the plot but for those who enjoy romance and suspense, this is one I’d highly recommend and will certainly look out for future novels by this author.

Links for Henriette Gyland

henri

http://henriettegyland.wordpress.com/

ChocLit Publishing

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Book Review of London 2012 : What If…? by Ian C P Irvine

london what ifContemplating having an affair, bored with work, and convinced there must be something more to it all, James Quinn is a man just about to enter a mid-life crisis. James leads a successful life. But is it the right life? Instead of a Product Manager in Telecoms, should he have been a plumber, an Olympic athlete, or an artist? Life, as they say, isn’t a practice run. This is it.

Then one day, during the normal underground commute to work in London, he looks up from his book and doesn’t recognise the station name on the Jubilee Line, …and in a split-second, everything changes.

Emerging onto a platform at “New Cross Gate North”, a station that shouldn’t exist, James finds that Canary Wharf has vanished. Gone. And so have Selfridges and mobile phones.

Is the grass really greener on the other side or should he try and find a way back to his old life?

(See Amazon for a fuller description)

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It is a thought that must have struck us all at one time, ‘What if…?’ or something we have idly contemplated but for James Quinn it became more than that.

Think ‘Life on Mars’ meets ‘Sliding Doors’ with a touch of Dan Brown thrown in for good measure. Loved the idea of what might have happened to James had things been different and how he dealt with his new life. The whole concept made me really wonder whether his new life was better than his old life – which one should he choose? I found myself  sympathising with his dilemma, especially as the longer he spent in his new life, the higher the stakes became.  The scenes between James and his father, I found very poignant and touching.

I thought the old professor from university was a great character. I can’t say physics was ever my subject, but there was enough in here to make the theory plausible and understandable, without it going right over my head.

There are some fun differences in James’ new life – one which brought a wry smile was the trains running on time,  always with somewhere to sit and commuters enjoying their journey. Anyone having experienced the rush hour commute into London would understand. 🙂 Other little things were threaded throughout the novel which, again, had me wondering ‘what if?’

I can’t comment too much on the ending, as this would be a terrible spoiler, suffice to say, I have spent all day thinking about it.

There are some great questions at the end to ponder and would make excellent talking points for book clubs.

So, all in all, a really thought provoking read that invokes compassion, understanding, me almost shouting at James at times and a fair bit of day dreaming on my part. Am now off to ride the Jubilee Line, after all, I know how to get back! 😉

London 2012 What if…? can be bought as two separate books or as an Omnibus edition, it was the latter I chose to read.

Links for Ian C P Irvine

ian irvine

Website www.iancpirvine.com/

Facebook : www.facebook.com/ian.irvine.3705

Twitter : @IanCPIrvine

Amazon.co.uk link HERE

Amazon.com link HERE