Anne Bonny #bookReview Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke #AmericanNoir #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Literary #NewRelease @SerpentsTail @atticalocke

cover
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
Review Copy ~ Ebook ~ Netgalley
Synopsis ~

Nine-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; instead he found himself all alone, adrift on the vastness of Caddo Lake. A sudden noise –
and all goes dark.

Ranger Darren Matthews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who’s never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his freedom, and she’s not above a little blackmail to press her advantage.

An unlikely possibility of rescue arrives in the form of a case down Highway 59, in a small lakeside town. With Texas already suffering a new wave of racial violence in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, a black man is a suspect in the possible murder of a missing white boy: the son of an Aryan Brotherhood captain.

In deep country where the rule of law only goes so far, Darren has to battle centuries-old prejudices as he races to save not only Levi King, but himself.

My Review ~

I am a HUGE fan of Attica Locke (check out my review of Bluebird Bluebird and Q&A). I think she brings something so unique to the genre. Her novel are diverse, they are intelligent and she is certainly NOT afraid to tackle any form of prejudice (I salute you). I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second novel in the Highway 59 series. So here are my thoughts on Heaven, My Home…

The novel opens in Texas 2016 in Marion County. We are introduced to Levi King’s family. Mother Marnie, sister Dana, her boyf Rory Pitkin and his mother’s lover Gil. I took an instant dislike to this white trash family, but taking a moment to step back, it is not the children’s fault who raises them and therefore, I was intrigued to see how the story/family would develop. The novel will revolve around the disappearance of 9yur old Levi King. But who would take him and why?

The novel is ruthless is its tackling of the tensions caused by the 2016 election of he whom shall not be named. I applaud Attica Locke for saying what we are all thinking.
‘After Obama, it was forgiveness betrayed’

The King family dynamics hit further complexity as Levi’s father Bill ‘big kill’ King is an active member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). He is currently 6yrs into a 20yr sentence for drug offences. In an unlikely twist of events, it is Bill that reaches out for help from Darren…

‘I’m begging you, sir. Find my boy’

The location and setting of the novel is fully explored. This really helps UK readers or NON-America readers such as myself. You get a feel for the town everyone and everywhere forgot….
‘It was a town that time had passed by’

There is also brutally honest descriptions of the family of the missing child…
‘Everything In Hopetown looked as mean and underfed as Marnie King’

The characterisation of the novel is outstanding and the author’s creation of ranger Darren Matthews is one she should be exceptionally proud of. He is just so perfect to carry a series. Almost like a diverse ranger version of Harry Bosch!
WE NEED MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES!
The family and namely Bill’s mother through in their two cents of theories into how the boy went missing. Almost no one apart from his incarcerated father seems to care where he is or if he is even alive. Darren does not give up that easily. Not even on a family who despise him…

‘Darren wasn’t sure Gil Thompson knew who Hitler was, let alone could explain the significant of the seminal text of Mein Kampf that was in his trailer’ 

This is a deeply layered exploration of racial hatred, the need for collaboration as citzens of the same county and politics when divides us all. 4.5*
I cannot wait to read what Attica Locke writes next!

AL
Attica Locke
Twitter
Website
My review of Bluebird Bluebird and Q&A with the author

Anne Bonny Q&A with #Author @simonkernick #NewRelease #CrimeFiction Die Alone #PreOrder

cover
Die Alone by Simon Kernick
Currently on Amazon Wishlist
Synopsis ~

Alastair Sheridan has it all. Wealth, good looks, a beautiful wife and children and, in the chaotic world of British politics, a real chance of becoming Prime Minister.

But Alastair also has a secret. He’s a serial killer with a taste for young women.

Only a handful of people know what kind of monster he is, and disgraced detective Ray Mason is one of them.

Awaiting trial for murder, Ray is unexpectedly broken free by armed men and given an offer: assassinate Alastair Sheridan and begin a new life abroad with a new identity. The men claim to be from MI6. They say that Sheridan is a threat to national security and needs to be neutralised. Ray knows they are not who they say they are, and that their real motives are far darker.

The only person Ray trusts is ex-cop and former lover Tina Boyd, who’s keen to settle her own scores with Sheridan.

With enemies on every side, only one thing is certain.

No one wants them to get out alive.

Q&A with Simon Kernick ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) Die Alone is a thriller that can be read either as a standalone or as the third and final book in The Bone Field series, featuring disgraced former detectives, Ray Mason and Tina Boyd. As Die Alone begins, Ray is languishing in prison awaiting trial for murder while Tina is back working as a private detective doing divorce cases.

And then Ray’s broken out of prison by unidentified individuals and given an offer: Kill leading politician and potential Prime Minister, Alastair Sheridan, and he can start a new life with a new identity overseas. Sheridan and Ray have history because Ray knows something about him that very few others do, namely that Sheridan is also a serial killer with a taste for young girls.

What follows is a relentless thriller set over a few days, where nothing is as it seems, and where Ray will need to call upon the help of Tina, and use all his ingenuity to get out of the situation in one piece.
Will the two of them succeed? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea, to writing and finally to publication?

A) The idea for a book usually comes to me as just a single thread, and from there, I work around it, building it something resembling a plot. This often requires walking round the countryside or pacing up and down my living room, thinking everything through. Then, when I think I’m about ready, I write a chapter by chapter plan, which can take anything from 2 weeks to 2 months. Only when that’s done do I start putting pen to paper.

Die Alone took a further five months to write, with a lot of ripping bits out and adding bits in, and I finally finished it in June this year after. Next, it was a matter of editing it alongside my long-time editor, Selina Walker. That process was finished in July, and after that it was on to the next one for me (a standalone this time) while I wait until publication day.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I’m a huge fan of highly underrated American crime writer John Sandford’s Prey series. There are 28 books all featuring the same protagonist, sometime cop Lucas Davenport, set in Minnesota. They’re of a consistently high quality, and I devour the latest one as soon as it’s out.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I used to read a lot of fantasy books, and my favourites were The Runestaff series by Michael Moorcock (I’ve just re-read them now for the first time in twenty-five years, and they still hold their own); and of course, The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. I also used to read a lot of Agatha Christie as my parents were both big fans, and there were a lot of copies in the family bookcase.

Q) What are you currently reading?

A) I’ve just finished The Guest List by Lucy Foley, which was excellent, and feels like a 21st century version of Agatha Christie, and have just started The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, which is also shaping up to be very, very good.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) When my fifth novel, Relentless, was picked as a Richard and Judy Summer Read for 2007. Up to that point, my sales had been steady but not as good as we all would have liked, and I knew that this would be a real boost for me. And indeed it was. Relentless became the best selling crime novel of the year and in many ways I’ve never looked back.

SK
Simon Kernick
Twitter
Facebook
Website

*Die Alone is released in the UK on 28th November in hardback and Ebook. For paperback the release date is 25th June 2020.*
Be sure to pre-order HERE (non-affiliate link)

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Guardians by John Grisham 4.5* #Legal #Thriller #NewRelease @JohnGrisham @HodderBooks @HodderFiction @HodderPublicity

cover
The Guardians by John Grisham
My Own Copy ~ Hardback book
Synopsis ~

He was framed for murder.
Now he needs a miracle.

22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.

The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison.
Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next.

But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought.

My Review ~

I absolutely adore legal thrillers. I also find the American justice system so much more fascinating than here in the UK. Any novel which has the theme of ‘miscarriage of justice’ or ‘death row’ instantly grab my interest. I immediately purchased this from the local supermarket and devoured it in one weekend.

A potential miscarriage of justice, a life sentence without parole, racial injustice and building tension. GET IN MY SHOPPING TROLLEY!

The novel does surround the case of Quincy Miller in a crime that took place 22yrs ago. He was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of divorce lawyer Keith Russo. He was convicted in a largely all white town, the jury was tainted from the get go and evidence was lost/misplaced. Quincy Miller never stood a chance!

‘It’s fairly easy to convict an innocent man and virtually impossible to exonerate one’ 

However, before the novel gets into Quincy’s case, we learn about Cullen Post an innocence lawyer and former preacher. We learn of the work he does at the innocence project. Who he will and won’t appeal cases for and the type of man he is. Cullen is a intriguing character and one I hope to read more of in the future.

There are backstories in the form of Cullen’s other cases. This is where you will meet other prisoners and some of them accused of heinous crimes. Are they innocent? That is for Cullen to prove. When we first meet Cullen he is consulting on a violent rape and murder conviction. The convict Duke Russell already has his execution scheduled. Can Cullen save his life and prove him innocent? Or is this simply too much to ask for one man?

‘Clemency for Mr Russell is therefore denied’

As we follow Cullen in his investigations into Quincy’s case (and various other sub-characters). We learn it is not only the fight for innocence that drives Cullen but the desire to see justice for the real predators out there enjoying their freedom while someone else does their prison time.

Quincy Miller’s case is complex. It involves a messy divorce, kids that don’t know he exits and jailhouse snitches. Even if Quincy Miller is innocent, he is going to need god on his side to get free. In walks Cullen Post a former preacher and unique man with a personal quest for justice and balance in the world.

‘For twenty-two years he has maintained his innocence, but no one is listening’

Whilst Quincy has a theory on who and why someone set him up. It is going to take heaven and earth to get the people from his past to admit they lied under oath, if they so did lie. But Cullen Post has a plan…

‘Very few women are criminals. Their mistakes are picking bad boyfriends’

Along the way we meet other convicts such as Shasta Briley and Gerald Cook. They bring added depth to the legal novel and that is what make John Grisham the king of the genre. There are multiple thought-provoking scenes and moments to pause and reflect. I will leave you with this quote, which is my personal favourite within the novel…

‘Prison is a nightmare for those who deserve it. For those who don’t it is a daily struggle to maintain some level of sanity’ ~ 4.5* 

JG
John Grisham
Twitter
Website

Anne Bonny #BookReview No Mercy by Martina Cole 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction @MartinaCole @headlinepg

NM banner

cover
No Mercy by Martina Cole
My Own Copy – Hardback
Synopsis ~

Family always come first. Until now.

No more waiting, the new novel from the No. 1 bestselling phenomenon Martina Cole is here, and it’s pure Martina gold. No Mercy is a heart-stopping rollercoaster ride of a read that proves there really is only one Martina Cole.

Diana Davis has been head of the family business since the death of her husband, an infamous bank robber. She’s a woman in a man’s world, but no one messes with her.

Her only son, Angus, is a natural born villain, but he needs to earn Diana’s trust before she’ll allow him into the business.

Once he’s proved he has the brains to run their clubs in Marbella, he is given what he’s always wanted. It’s the beginning of a reign of terror that knows no bounds.

But Angus has a blind spot: his wife, Lorna, and their three kids, Angus Junior, Sean and Eilish. And as the next generation enters the business, Angus has a painful truth to learn. Even when it comes to family, he must show no mercy…

My Review ~

BOOM! Martina Cole is BACK!!!!!!!!
Just as gritty, dark and gripping as the early novels I devoured one after the other whilst living in sunny Cyprus. I’ve been a fan of Martina Cole’s stayle since 2005, when heavily pregnant I found her books at the library. Before too long she was my new obsession and I read every copyh the library had.

The title is set between 2011 and 1980, it give an insight into the different ways in which gangland was run and IS run. The novel opens with the murders of gangster brother Jimmy & Christos Fernandez. Whomever is responsible has an X on their back…

I love the whole grit and realness that is written within a Martina Cole title. She certain isn’t going to waste time describing a pair of curtains or the countryside. She focuses on the characters and what is written, is deep, layered and eye-opening. The various family members are all introduced and before long you have a clear picture of how the family operates and who they answer to.
One thing is certain Diana Davis doesn’t miss a bloody trick.

There are affairs, mistresses and hookers. Violence revenge and instigation. There is murder and mayhem and that is what makes it such a cracking read.
The cast of characters is very diverse and it is brilliant to see a range of BAME/LGBT characters come alive on the page in this style of genre writing diversity can often be lost.

Absolutely CRACKING!!!! 5* 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

MC
Martina Cole
Twitter
Facebook

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #GuestPost Bad Turn #13 Charlie Fox #Series by @authorzoesharp #NewRelease #CrimeFiction

cover
Bad Turn by Zoe Sharp ~ #13 Charlie Fox

Synopsis ~

Ex-Special Forces trainee turned bodyguard Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox is back in this, her 13th adventure.

One bad turn…deserves another.

Charlie Fox has quit her job in close protection, been turned out of her apartment, and is apparently out of options.

House-sitting in rural New Jersey has to be the pits—TV and TV dinners. A far cry from Iraq… Bulgaria… Afghanistan. Unlucky or not, she happens to be around at the right time to foil a violent kidnap attempt on Helena, wife of billionaire arms dealer, Eric Kincaid.

Kincaid offers her a job looking after Helena. The rumours about Kincaid’s business empire say he’s gone over to the dark side, but Charlie is in no position to be fussy. And protecting people against those who want to do them harm is what she’s good at. But when the threats against the Kincaids escalate, and then follow the couple over to Europe, Charlie’s really going to have to up her game. It’s time to take the fight to the enemy.

Charlie’s at her best putting an end to trouble. Now she must learn to strike first. And hope that the Kincaids don’t discover the secret she’s been keeping from them, right from the start.

Guest Post ~ Real People Into Fictional Characters ~

Real People into Fictional Characters
BAD TURN: Charlie Fox #13

by Zoë Sharp

Inevitably, when you write, you ‘borrow’ characteristics or mannerisms you’ve noted in friends, relations, enemies, or complete strangers. This is one of the reasons writers love to sit somewhere crowded and people-watch like crazy. A twitch, a tic, a nervous gesture, the way some people look down at their shoes and pace very deliberately when they’re taking a phone call. It’s all grist to the writer’s ever-hungry mill.

I freely admit there were aspects of different real people in the early Charlie Fox books, although I refuse to comment on which characteristics those were and what use I made of them! It wasn’t until I did an event at my local library while I was plotting book four in the series that I realised people might actually want to appear in my work.

My local library in Lancaster were hugely supportive of my first steps into the world of being a published author. So, when one of the librarians mentioned that another member of staff, Andrew Till, would really, really like to be a character in a book, how could I refuse?

When FIRST DROP came out, Andrew Till was an FBI Special Agent-in-Charge who plays a vital role in helping Charlie defeat the bad guys—even if he does try to arrest her the first time they meet.

Since then, I’ve used numerous real people as characters in the books. Over the course of the series they’ve taken on the roles of PIs, LAPD detectives and CIA agents, as well as billionaire philanthropists, Charlie’s principal, main suspect, and even the outright bad guy.

I usually try, if someone has made a bid at one of the charity auctions held at events like Bouchercon, to include quirks that the donor would recognise. When I included BG Ritts in FOURTH DAY, for instance, she particularly asked me to do so in such a way that only she would recognise herself! (Well, I like a challenge.)

I’m not sure, though, that I’ve ever included quite as many real people in a single book as I have in the latest Charlie Fox outing, BAD TURN.

I ran a competition among my subscribers for two character slots in the book—one female and one male. The female part was of the woman Charlie is hired to protect. She is the wife of an extremely wealthy international arms dealer living in New Jersey and, by common consent among others in the industry, supposed to be off-limits as far as threats are concerned.

Needless to say, things don’t quite work out that way.

The male part was of a very laid-back bodyguard of the arms dealer himself. I initially made him rather too laid back, and I had to trim back some of his idiosyncrasies after my Advance Reader Team had given the book a trial run.

I made random selections from the entries and in the final book Charlie’s principal became Helena Kincaid (née Hoare). Helena admitted that her last name was not perhaps the easiest one to work with, although she also pointed out that it meant ‘white-haired’ from the same roots as hoar-frost.

The bodyguard became Hermann Schade. Because he is a character whose motivation remains clouded for much of the book, having someone whose last name might conceivably be pronounced “Shade” was perfect. I’m not sure his first name gets mentioned, though. Not in this book, anyway…

The reason Helena has the married name of Kincaid in BAD TURN is because I had already decided that the arms dealer himself was going to be named in honour of Eric Kincaid, who I think of as My Absent Host.

I call him this because on several occasions now when I’ve visited New York, he has generously allowed me to stay in his apartment up in Washington Heights, but we’ve never actually met. Eric was away for an extended period looking after his parents, hence having room to spare. Repaying his hospitality by writing him in to BAD TURN seemed the least I could do to say thank you.

And finally, one of my favourite characters is Kincaid’s Personal Assistant, Mo Heedles, who is as good at treating gunshot wounds in the book as she is at arranging her boss’s schedule. Somehow, though, I always thought of the character as Mrs Heedles. I hope Mo doesn’t mind being referred to so formally!

BAD TURN was published in ebook, mass-market paperback, hardcover and Large Print editions on September 27 2019. For more information visit www.ZoeSharp.com

ZoeSharp-copyright-NickLockett-2015
Zoe Sharp
Website
Twitter
Link to first 3 chapters of Bad Turn

banner
*Apologies to Zoe & Ayo, for the post being a day late.*