Anne Bonny #BookReview The Angry Sea by @jamesdeeganMC 5* #SAS #Action #Thriller #JohnCarr #Series @HQstories

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The Angry Sea by James Deegan ~ John Carr Series #2
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Former SAS Sergeant Major John Carr is relaxing on a Spanish beach, when a man with dark eyes attracts his attention. Fixated on a group of young Britons, the man doesn’t notice Carr and soon moves on.

Within the hour, the Costa del Sol will be plunged into one of the most audacious and horrifying terrorist attacks Europe has ever seen.

In a co-ordinated strike, armed men storm both the beach and a cruise ship anchored further up the coast. But the terrorists – hiding personal greed under the veil of religious extremism – have an even bolder plan.

Constrained by the sensitive political situation, MI6 and the Prime Minister must confront the possibility of leading a secret operation against a brutal enemy. And then find the right man to head it . . .

Enter John Carr.

My Review ~

John Carr is back with another action packed read!
The novel opens in open court at the trial of Zeff Mahsoud, whom upon appeal is freed from HMP Belmarsh. The story surrounding Zeff is quite vague initially but then the title jumps ahead three months and we begin to fathom a connection to John Carr.

John Carr is retired from 22 SAS Sqn, leaving at the rank of Sgt Maj. Currently enjoying a holiday with his kids, Alice 17yrs and George 24yrs (currently awaiting selection) at Puerto Banus Beach.
In the distance is a cruise ship and we become acquainted with the ships crew onboard via their narrative. Then a suicide vest explodes, there is an armed man on board; murder and mayhem surely follows…

‘Cruise liners and tourists were just too big and soft and tempting a target’

When a terrorist on the beach opens fire. John and his son George jump into action. As the carnage of hate spills onto the beach, the terrorists locate their target. Under the hail of fire, John and George’s plan is to cease the bullets raining down.

‘Panicking got you killed’

After the attack, it is discovered 50 dead on the ship and approximately 30 dead on the beach. But what was the reasoning? Or was this just a senseless act of violence?
It is then discovered that three female hostages have been taken from the beach. And not just any hostages, one of them is the daughter of the Prime Minister Penelope Morgan.

‘There’s no point in kidnapping the daughter of the British Prime Minister just to kill her’

What is their motive in taking the PM’s daughter? What if you are the most powerful person in the country, but it is your position that may cost your child their life?
The UK government is in a tricky situation, as they can’t be seen to be negotiating with terrorist groups. They also have to plan deniable ops due to international law. John Carr is asked to establish and lead a team of men!

‘Combat was a drug, and he was a recovering addict’

Action-packed, with a cracking protagonist in SAS man John Carr 5*

JD
James Deegan
Twitter
My Review of Once A Pilgrim

Anne Bonny #BookReview Courage Of The Shipyard Girls by @arevellwalton 5* #ShipyardGirls #Saga #Series @arrowpublishing #ww2Fiction

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Courage Of The Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell ~ Shipyard Girls series #6
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Sunderland, 1942: Polly’s heart and her future are hanging in the balance…

Polly’s sweetheart Tommy has been declared missing while serving overseas, and although there is no certainty that he is dead, there is no guarantee that he will return home. Now Polly needs her friends more than ever, and the other women welders are ready to rally around her while she waits for news.

The only one not showing support is shipyard manager, Helen. But looks can be deceiving, and beneath her cold exterior, Helen is wrestling with demons of her own, including one life-changing decision that could lead to potential ruin.

As the war continues, the shipyard girls must support one another as they bravely soldier on.

My Review ~

It feels absolutely awesome to be back with the girls again. This time the novel opens in our regular location of Sunderland in 1942. With the girls on-shift as usual at JL Thompson & Sons shipyard. Gloria is a divorcee, who has battled loneliness by befriending Helen even after her betrayal. Rosie’s husband Peter away in Nazi occupied France. Bel’s moved into the admin offices of the shipyard. But we the reader also begin to wonder if history is repeating itself with Polly, When Tommy becomes MIA.

Miriam’s blackmail scheme surrounding the individual girl’s secrets keeps a tight hold on Gloria. We follow the trials and tribulations of the girls and the narrative makes you grateful for your own circumstances and not having to endure ww2.
One of the girls will seek redemption from the mistakes of the past. Will the girls be willing to forgive?

I cannot wait to read the next in the series Christmas With The Shipyard Girls. I’m not usually one for festive titles, but this is one I will most definitely be pre-ordering. 5*

Nancy Revell
Nancy Revell
Website
Twitter

*Apologies to the author for a late review post*

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Scent Of Death by @BeckettSimon 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #DavidHunter #Series #6

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The Scent Of Death by Simon Beckett
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good.

Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.

The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been there. All he knows for sure is that it’s the body of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

But the collapse of the loft floor reveals another of the hospital’s secrets. A sealed-off chamber, still with beds inside. Some of them occupied…

For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare that threatens everyone around him. And as the investigation springs more surprises, one thing is certain.

St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim . . .

With its viscerally authentic forensics, menacing atmosphere and nerve-shredding tension, Simon Beckett’s new crime thriller will leave you gasping.

My Review ~

‘Death is nothing if not full of surprises’

The novel opens with a team already assembled and accessing the dead body of a heavily pregnant female. The body has been discovered on the derelict ground of an old hospital site (St Jude’s) which is planned for demolition. As the team prepare the body for removal from the site, a floor gives way beneath their feet. Some of the team suddenly find themselves in a sealed room within the hospital previously unseen.
But there are two dead bodies strapped to the beds.

The novel deals with the professional lives of the forensic experts and the police officers involved on the case. There are ties to a local woman often seen on the grounds of the hospital, whom Dr David Hunter makes it his mission to befriend. However, Lola has different ideas about if she wants to be befriended, proving to be quite the battleaxe.
There are rumours and speculation of a hospital ghost – The Grey lady which is buried in ww2 history.

The story is very darks and grisly in parts and actually left me with heart palpitations. The authors descriptive writing done so perfectly. This is a complex case with many twists. Most definitely not for the faint hearted due to the incredibly dark subject matter. 5*

SB1
Simon Beckett
Website ~ Which just nearly gave me a heart attack!!!
Twitter

*Apologies to the author for a late blog review post*

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Mobster’s Lament by Ray Celestin 5* Genius #NewRelease #HistoricalFiction @MantleBooks ‘Jazz musicians, dirty politicians, private eyes, the mob, hitmen and scam artists come together to make one hell of a story!’

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The Mobster’s Lament by Ray Celestin ~ #3 in the City Blues Quartet
My Own Copy ~ Hardback Book

Synopsis ~

* In Ray Celestin’s gripping third book, The Mobster’s Lament, it’s a mobster’s last chance to escape the clutches of New York’s mafia crime families: but as a blizzard descends on NYC, a ruthless serial killer is tracking his every move. *

Fall, 1947. Private Investigator Ida Davis has been called to New York by her old partner, Michael Talbot, to investigate a brutal killing spree in a Harlem flophouse that has left four people dead. But as they delve deeper into the case, Ida and Michael realize the murders are part of a larger conspiracy that stretches further than they ever could have imagined.

Meanwhile, Ida’s childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is at his lowest ebb. His big band is bankrupt, he’s playing to empty venues, and he’s in danger of becoming a has-been, until a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . . .

And across the city, nightclub manager and mob fixer Gabriel Leveson’s plans to flee New York are upset when he’s called in for a meeting with the ‘boss of all bosses’, Frank Costello. Tasked with tracking down stolen mob money, Gabriel must embark on a journey through New York’s seedy underbelly, forcing him to confront demons from his own past, all while the clock is ticking on his evermore precarious escape plans.

From its tenements to its luxury hotels, from its bebop clubs to the bustling wharves of the Brooklyn waterfront, award-winning author Ray Celestin’s The Mobster’s Lament is both a gripping crime novel and a vivid, panoramic portrait of 1940s New York as the mob rises to the height of its powers . . .

My Review ~

This series has proven to be phenomenal reading. The author knows how to capture the historical era and atmosphere of post war America perfectly. The characters of Ida Davies and Michael Talbot have continued to grow with added depth to their circumstance. In this novel the focus is heavily on Michael and his doctor son Thomas, who finds himself facing the electric chair for multiple murders….

The title opens with a newspaper article dated August 1947. The article tells of a local NYC hospital worker who is charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Violent and gory deaths scandalised as a ‘Harlem voodoo cult’. The murders took place at a negro flophouse and with the accused an African American male, he is going to need a miracle to be either found not-guilty or acquitted.
This is when Michael brings in Ida to investigate.

Thomas Talbot is the only man left alive, which begs the question; what was he doing there? And how is he connected to the murder victims?

‘Welcome to Harlem’

The novels take’s you on a journey through Harlem, with a variety of characters telling their story. From hookers and their pimps, to junkies and runaways. Ida must interview anyone and everyone, if Thomas is to be set free. But is Thomas telling the truth?

‘The empire of night had arisen’

‘Michael had navigated the torments of people out on the streets’

Aside from Ida and Michael trying to solve Tom’s case. We also meet Gabriel, a man with a painful past who works for the mob. Gabriel works predominately out of the Copa Lounge, when he is asked to investigate missing money. In total 2 million dollars is missing and the mob’s approach to being ripped off is well-known.
Gabriel is a deep, thoughtful individual who has had enough of the ‘gangster’ way of life. He is making his own plans and re-writing his destiny.

‘Like every other mobster, the longer he stayed in the life, the closer he got to a prison cell or a shallow grave’

The novel details the various mobster families the relationships between each other and Gabriel’s connection to each member. I found this fascinating. I think we tend to romanticise the 1940’s, the mob and the post-war feeling. With The Mobster’s Lament the author leaves you under no illusion about how violent the gangsters can be.

There are a series of newspaper articles throughout the novel itself. They add to the atmospheric feel. When I opened the novel, I felt that I was walking amongst the characters and watching all the action unfold.
Ray Celestin does not disappoint, not on one chapter, paragraph or sentence.

The characterisation is superb, from hitmen with murder counts into the treble digits. To following Louis Armstrong and the rise of the American jazz music scene.
To an intelligent black hoodlum who is aware of the way the land lies and he doesn’t miss a trick.

‘It seemed like madness and addiction followed the whole generation around’

Jazz musicians, dirty politicians, private eyes, the mob, hitmen and scam artists come together to make one hell of a story!
5* Genius

RC
Ray Celestin
Website ~ Well worth a visit!
Instagram ~ Also worth a visit to get a feel for the series!

TAJ
The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin ~ #1 in the City Blues Jazz Quartet

Synopsis ~

Winner of the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger for Best Debut Crime Novel of the Year.
Shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year Award.
As recommended on the Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman.

Inspired by a true story, set against the heady backdrop of jazz-filled, mob-ruled New Orleans, The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin is a gripping thriller announcing a major talent in historical crime fiction.

New Orleans, 1919. As a dark serial killer – the Axeman – stalks the city, three individuals set out to unmask him:

Detective Lieutenant Michael Talbot – heading up the official investigation, but struggling to find leads, and harbouring a grave secret of his own.

Former detective Luca d’Andrea – now working for the mafia; his need to solve the mystery of the Axeman is every bit as urgent as that of the authorities.

And Ida – a secretary at the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and dreaming of a better life, she stumbles across a clue which lures her and her musician friend, Louis Armstrong, to the case –and into terrible danger . . .

As Michael, Luca and Ida each draw closer to discovering the killer’s identity, the Axeman himself will issue a challenge to the people of New Orleans: play jazz or risk becoming the next victim.

DMB
Dead Man’s Blues by Ray Celestin ~ #2 in the City Blues Quartet

Synopsis ~

*Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of 2017*
Dead Man’s Blues is the gripping historical crime novel from Ray Celestin, following on from the events of his debut The Axeman’s Jazz, winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel 2014.

Chicago, 1928. In the stifling summer heat three disturbing events take place. A clique of city leaders is poisoned in a fancy hotel. A white gangster is found mutilated in an alleyway in the Blackbelt. And a famous heiress vanishes without a trace.

Pinkerton detectives Michael Talbot and Ida Davis are hired to find the missing heiress by the girl’s troubled mother. But it proves harder than expected to find a face that is known across the city, and Ida must elicit the help of her friend Louis Armstrong.

While the police take little interest in the Blackbelt murder crime scene photographer, Jacob Russo, can’t get the dead man’s image out of his head, and so he embarks on his own investigation.

And Dante Sanfelippo – rum-runner and fixer – is back in Chicago on the orders of Al Capone, who suspects there’s a traitor in the ranks and wants Dante to investigate. But Dante is struggling with problems of his own as he is forced to return to the city he thought he’d never see again . . .

As the three parties edge closer to the truth, their paths cross and their lives are threatened. But will any of them find the answers they need in the capital of blues, booze and corruption?

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Village by @LornaCookAuthor 5* #NewRelease #HistFic #Mystery #Romance @AvonBooksUK #DebutAuthor

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The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook ~ (Titled, The Forgotten Wife in the US)
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.

2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

‘A coastal village abandoned in wartime, a haunting expression in an old photograph, and a charismatic TV historian: from these raw ingredients Lorna Cook creates an intriguing mystery that will keep you wanting to read more’ ~ Gill Paul

My Review ~

The Forgotten Village is the perfect summer read. It really has a little bit of everything to draw the reader in and warm the heart! It is a dual timeline novel split between the modern day and the historical era of 1943. There is a mystery at the core of the title and a brilliant dash of romance! As I type that, I am aware, I am not known to read romance as such. But with The Forgotten Village I was completely taken in, as much as I was when I devoured the entire series of Poldark!

The title opens in Tyneham, Dorset in December 1943. We become acquainted with Sir Albert and Lady veronica Standish. Their entire village is to be requisitioned and to say Bertie is unhappy about it, is a major understatement. He is furious!

In the Alternative timeline we meet Melissa who is holidaying in the area with her boyfriend Liam. She is captivated by the history of the area, when she reads in the Purbeck Times of the village’s re-opening. Only when she meets historian Guy Cameron and becomes intrigued by an old photo, she is driven to investigate the mystery that lays deep in the war time past.

The novel then  jumps between 1943/2018. We learn how relationships between men and women have changed dramatically. Especially as we follow the events in Melissa and Veronica’s lives. When Melissa fails to uncover death records for the Standish’s; the investigation really heats up! Can Melissa uncover the mysteries of the past? Can Melissa she the romance blossoming before her eyes? Will Veronica find peace in her life? What lengths will Bertie go to, to ensure veronica remains with him for eternity?

‘She had no idea that the worst was yet to come’

There are mysteries and secrets galore and it is the perfect summer read! With a mix of the ‘feel good’ cosy crime. Which would make an ideal Sunday evening TV drama. Huge congratulations to the author on pulling off a fantastic debut novel and I wish her all the best in her future writing career. 5* 

LC
Lorna Cook
Website
Twitter

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