My favourite novels of 2017! Best 26 out of 230 books, read this year! by @annebonnybook

In no particular order, a list of my absolute favourite novels of 2017!
This only includes novels I read within 2017.

seas of snow
Seas Of Snow by Kerensa Jennings
Synopsis:
1950s England. Five-year-old Gracie Scott lives with her Mam and next door to her best friend Billy. An only child, she has never known her Da. When her Uncle Joe moves in, his physical abuse of Gracie’s mother starts almost immediately. But when his attentions wander to Gracie, an even more sinister pattern of behaviour begins.

As Gracie grows older, she finds solace and liberation in books, poetry and her enduring friendship with Billy. Together they escape into the poetic fairy-tale worlds of their imaginations.

But will fairy tales be enough to save Gracie from Uncle Joe’s psychopathic behaviour – and how far will it go?

Seas of Snow is a haunting, psychological domestic drama that probes the nature and the origins of evil.
#LiteraryFiction Beautifully written & an AMAZING debut novel! 
See review here
Q&A with Kerensa Jennings here

ararat
Ararat by Christopher Golden
Synopsis:
Meryam and Adam take risks for a living. But neither is prepared for what lies in the legendary heights of Mount Ararat, Turkey.

First to reach a massive cave revealed by an avalanche, they discover the hole in the mountain’s heart is really an ancient ship, buried in time. A relic that some fervently believe is Noah’s Ark.

Deep in its recesses stands a coffin inscribed with mysterious symbols that no one in their team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers can identify. Inside is a twisted, horned cadaver. Outside a storm threatens to break.

As terror begins to infiltrate their every thought, is it the raging blizzard that chases them down the mountain – or something far worse?
#Thriller set in the mountains! Couldn’t read it alone, in the dark!
See review here

Q&A with Christopher Golden Here

devils peak
Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer
Synopsis:
Soldiers never find it easy returning from war. So it is with Thobela Mpayipheli, former freedom fighter, trying to settle back into the new South Africa. But at least he has his boy, an adored companion who is a link to a happier past. Then the boy is taken from Thobela, one of a staggering number of children murdered or abused in South Africa, and Thobela knows only despair…and a cold desire for revenge. Thus is born the vigilante killer known as ‘Artemis’. The police respond by putting on the case a man who can’t afford to fail. Benny Griessel is on the brink of losing everything — his job, his family, his self-respect — and this could be his last chance to drag his life back out of the gutter. And then Benny meets Christine, a young mother working as a prostitute in Cape Town. And something happens that is so frightening, the world can never be the same again, for Benny, for Christine, or for Thobela.
#SouthAfricanNoir at its finest!
See review here

why did you lie
Why Did You Lie? by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Synopsis:
A journalist on the track of an old case attempts suicide.
An ordinary couple return from a house swap in the states to find their home in disarray and their guests seemingly missing.
Four strangers struggle to find shelter on a windswept spike of rock in the middle of a raging sea.
They have one thing in common: they all lied.
And someone is determined to punish them…
WHY DID YOU LIE is a terrifying tale of long-delayed retribution from Iceland’s Queen of Suspense.
#ScandiNoir A deep layered crime fiction feast!
See review here

maria in the moon
Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech
Synopsis:

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges… and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defenses we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…
My Favourite #BlogTour of the year! It was great to read the other reviews for this emotional novel. I loved the united team work of bloggers on this tour. As we all wanted to read how the novel impacted each and everyone of us!
*Credit to Anne Cater for such a fantastic, well run #BlogTour

See review here

A rising man
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
Synopsis:

**SELECTED AS ONE OF WATERSTONES’ BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**WINNER OF THE CWA ENDEAVOUR HISTORICAL DAGGER 2017**

India, 1919. Desperate for a fresh start, Captain Sam Wyndham arrives to take up an important post in Calcutta’s police force.

He is soon called to the scene of a horrifying murder. The victim was a senior official, and a note in his mouth warns the British to leave India – or else.

With the stability of the Empire under threat, Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee must solve the case quickly. But there are some who will do anything to stop them…
#Calcutta #India Historical crime fiction! This novel is an amazing debut novel!
I read it before it won the Dagger and was very pleased when it won. I immediately ordered the next in the series…….
See review and Q&A here

a necessary evil
A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
Synopsis:
India, 1920. Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta Police Force investigate the dramatic assassination of a Maharajah’s son.

The fabulously wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore is home to tigers, elephants, diamond mines and the beautiful Palace of the Sun. But when the heir to the throne is assassinated in the presence of Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee, they discover a kingdom riven with suppressed conflict. Prince Adhir was a moderniser whose attitudes – and romantic relationship – may have upset the more religious elements of his country, while his brother – now in line to the throne – appears to be a feckless playboy.

As Wyndham and Banerjee desperately try to unravel the mystery behind the assassination, they become entangled in a dangerous world where those in power live by their own rules and those who cross their paths pay with their lives. They must find a murderer, before the murderer finds them…
Perfect follow up to the award winning debut novel! Abir Mukherjee is getting better and better. I can not wait, to read the third novel in this phenomenal NOVEL!
See review and Q&A here

three
The Three by Sarah Lotz
Synopsis:

*****Coming soon to your screen as a major BBC adaptation by Golden Globe winner Peter Straughan*****

They’re here … The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to­­–
The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012)

Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.

The message is a warning
Another novel that sits outside my usual comfort zone! But I completely and utterly LOVED every page!
see review here

my mothers shadow
My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott
Synopsis:

Hartland House has always been a faithful keeper of secrets…

1958. Sent to beautiful Hartland to be sheltered from her mother’s illness, Liz spends the summer with the wealthy Shaw family. They treat Liz as one of their own, but their influence could be dangerous…

Now. Addie believes she knows everything about her mother Elizabeth and their difficult relationship until her recent death. When a stranger appears claiming to be Addie’s sister, she is stunned. Is everything she’s been told about her early life a lie?

How can you find the truth about the past if the one person who could tell you is gone? Addie must go back to that golden summer her mother never spoke of…and the one night that changed a young girl’s life for ever.
I cried buckets during reading this novel and it remains one of my favourite novels EVER! An outstanding debut novel!
See review and Q&A here

thirteen
Th1rtt3en by Steve Cavanagh
Synopsis:

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.
HE’S ON THE JURY…
‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.
Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.
This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.
But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.
Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.
*Review scheduled for 25th January 2018* Sneak peak, it is pure GENIUS!

bluebird bluebird
Bluebird Bluebird by Attica Locke
Synopsis:
Southern fables usually go the other way around. A white woman is killed or harmed in some way, real or imagined, and then, like the moon follows the sun, a black man ends up dead.

But when it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules – a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger working the backwoods towns of Highway 59, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about his home state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.

So when allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he is drawn to a case in the small town of Lark, where two dead bodies washed up in the bayou. First a black lawyer from Chicago and then, three days later, a local white woman, and it’s stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes – and save himself in the process – before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.
#AmericanNoir The novel deals with some tough issues in society. In the past and current political climate. It is an OUTSTANDING read!
See review and Q&A here

a patient fury
A Patient Fury by Sarah ward
Synopsis:
When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.

Three bodies discovered – a family obliterated – their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.

But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body – the one they cannot find – that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.

What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.
#DerbyshireNoir Brilliant crime fiction, with a cracking ending!
See review here
Q&A with Sarah ward here

IQ
IQ by Joe Ide
Synopsis:
WINNER of the ANTHONY AWARD for Best Debut, the SHAMUS AWARD for BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL. the MACAVITY AWARD for Best First Novel; SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 EDGAR AWARD and STRAND CRITICS AWARD.

East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, the elderly are being mugged, children go missing. But word has spread: if you’ve got a case the police can’t – or won’t – touch, Isaiah Quintabe will help you out.

They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. His clients pay him whatever they can afford, a new set of tyres or some homemade muffins. But now he needs a client who can pay. And the only way to that client is through a jive-talking, low-life drug dealer he thought he’d left behind. Then there’s the case itself. A drug-addled rap star surrounded by a crew of flunkies who believes his life is in danger; and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. If he solves this case, IQ can put right a mistake he made long ago. If not it won’t just be the hit man coming after him …
I think the WHOLE WORLD must know how much I LOVE this series!
IQ has won multiple awards and truly is deserving of all its praise and accolades!
Here is my review from 12th February 2017 here
Q&A with Joe Ide here

righteous
Righteous by Joe Ide
Synopsis:
In a way, the hate felt good. You were righteous, godlike, the dispenser of justice . .
Super-smart sleuth Isaiah Quintabe – IQ to his friends – has built a mostly respectable life for himself, helping out friends and neighbours when he can and taking the occasional case to make ends meet. But there is one mystery that still haunts him almost ten years later – did his brother really die in a hit-and-run or was there more to the story behind his death?

IQ has been approached by his brother’s former girlfriend Sarita, whose younger sister, an erratic DJ and gambling addict, has gone missing in Las Vegas – with a frightening loan shark, Chinese Triad gangsters, and her own deadbeat boyfriend hot on her tail. Accompanied once more by his fast-talking, don’t-call-me-a-sidekick partner Dodson, IQ heads off for the casinos and massage parlours of Las Vegas. His quest takes an unexpected turn when he meets a criminal mastermind who knows something about the murky circumstances that surrounded his brother’s death. But when Isaiah learns the truth, what will he do with it?
For me, this novel made IQ one of my ALL TIME favourite protagonists! A great follow-up to debut novel IQ and I look forward to the release of IQ 3!
See review here

the mountain between us
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
Synopsis:
Now a film starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet

What if your life depended on a stranger?

On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her wedding. Dr Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to return home. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled because of a storm, Ben charters a small plane that can fly around the weather front. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more passenger, Ben offers the seat to Ashley.

Then the unthinkable happens and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness. Ben, who has broken ribs, and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot’s dog, are faced with a battle to survive. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, will they ever be the same again?
Originally picked this novel, as it had Idris Elba on the cover (won’t even lie!).
The novel has exceptional emotional depth!
*Review scheduled for 4th January 2018*

The Last Time We Spoke
The Last Time We Spoke by Fiona Sussman
Synopsis:

Winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel

‘A gripping story about grief and redemption’ Sunday Mirror

Carla and Kevin Reid are celebrating their wedding anniversary with their son Jack. The family together, some good food, a perfect night.

On a murderous collision course with this joyous yet fragile gathering, is Ben Toroa, an unexpected and unwanted visitor.

As Carla struggles to come to terms with the aftermath of the appalling events of the night, and Ben faces the consequences in prison, their stories will be for ever entwined.
*Review scheduled for 3rd January 2018*

The Unquiet Dead
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Synopsis:
One man is dead.

But thousands were his victims.

Can a single murder avenge that of many?

Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto: the body of Christopher Drayton is found at the foot of the cliffs. Muslim Detective Esa Khattak, head of the Community Policing Unit, and his partner Rachel Getty are called in to investigate. As the secrets of Drayton’s role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims surface, the harrowing significance of his death makes it difficult to remain objective. In a community haunted by the atrocities of war, anyone could be a suspect. And when the victim is a man with so many deaths to his name, could it be that justice has at long last been served?

In this important debut novel, Ausma Zehanat Khan has written a compelling and provocative mystery exploring the complexities of identity, loss, and redemption.

Winner of the Barry Award, Arthur Ellis Award, and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel
An incredibly thought provoking novel. A brutally honest depiction of the Bosnian war, with a narrative that reflects deep into the past and the modern day.
See review and Q&A here

the year of the gun lottie armstrong
The Year Of The Gun by Chris Nickson
Synopsis:

1944: Twenty years after WPC Lottie Armstrong was dismissed from the Leeds police force, she’s back, now a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Police Corps.

Detective Chief Superintendent McMillan is now head of CID, trying to keep order with a depleted force as many of the male officers have enlisted. This hasn’t stopped the criminals, however, and as the Second World War rages around them, can they stop a blackout killer with a taste for murder?
HUGE fan of ALL this author’s various series! Especially Tom Harper and Lottie Armstrong! Chris Nickson writes female characters incredibly well and I look forward to his next release in March 2018!
See review and Q&A here

little boy lost
Little Boy Lost by J.D. Trafford
Synopsis:
An Amazon Charts bestseller.

A broken city, a missing young man, and a lawyer searching for truth when nobody else cares.

Attorney Justin Glass’s practice, housed in a shabby office on the north side of Saint Louis, isn’t doing so well that he can afford to work for free. But when eight-year-old Tanisha Walker offers him a jar full of change to find her missing brother, he doesn’t have the heart to turn her away.

Justin had hoped to find the boy alive and well. But all that was found of Devon Walker was his brutally murdered body—and the bodies of twelve other African American teenagers, all discarded like trash in a mass grave. Each had been reported missing. And none had been investigated.

As simmering racial tensions explode into violence, Justin finds himself caught in the tide. And as he gives voice to the discontent plaguing the city’s forgotten and ignored, he vows to search for the killer who preys upon them.
This novel takes you on a journey across the US, its legal systems and modern racial tensions. OUTSTANDING!
See review and Q&A here 

vaseem khan #1
The Unexpected Inheritance Of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
Synopsis:
Mumbai, murder and a baby elephant combine in a charming, joyful mystery for fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Rachel Joyce.

On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra discovers that he has inherited an elephant: an unlikely gift that could not be more inconvenient. For Chopra has one last case to solve…
But as his murder investigation leads him across Mumbai – from its richest mansions to its murky underworld – he quickly discovers that a baby elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs.
So begins the start of a quite unexpected partnership, and an utterly delightful new series.
#Mumbai #India Modern day crime fiction, with a baby elephant! LOVE this series!
Rich in culture, diversity and very well written!
See review and Q&A here

vaseem khan #2
The Perplexing Theft Of The Jewel In The Crown by Vaseem Khan
Synopsis:
The second book in the heartwarming and charming Baby Ganesh series.

For centuries the Koh-i-Noor diamond has set man against man and king against king.

Now part of the British Crown Jewels, the priceless gem is a prize that many have killed to possess.

So when the Crown Jewels go on display in Mumbai, security is everyone’s principal concern. And yet, on the very day Inspector Chopra visits the exhibition, the diamond is stolen from under his nose.

The heist was daring and seemingly impossible. The hunt is on for the culprits. But it soon becomes clear that only one man – and his elephant – can possibly crack this case…
Rather embarrassingly this is the only one of my favourite reads; that I do not have a review for, or a pending blog post.
So let me explain, I read this novel whilst in hospital in October 2017. I was admitted with severe DVT from the heart to the right knee. I was in complete AGONY! Then I noticed my husband had packed Vaseem Khan’s second novel into my hospital bag.
For a few hours in a noisy hospital ward. I was able to escape to Mumbai India and it was pure HEAVEN! I can not thank the author enough for that small piece of respite from the pain. It is without a doubt, a novel I will not forget!

dead lands
Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis
Synopsis:

The stunning debut from thriller writer Lloyd Otis.

When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alex Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen.

When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge – and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy.
A multifaceted complex novel, with themes of violence, past secrets, lies, police corruption, betrayals, racial tension and civil unrest. 5* Genius
See review here

streets of darkness
Streets Of Darkness by A.A. Dhand
 Synopsis:
The sky over Bradford is heavy with foreboding. It always is. But this morning it has reason to be – this morning a body has been found. And it’s not just any body.

Detective Harry Virdee should be at home with his wife. Impending fatherhood should be all he can think about but he’s been suspended from work just as the biggest case of the year lands on what would have been his desk. He can’t keep himself away.

Determined to restore his reputation, Harry is obliged to take to the shadows in search of notorious ex-convict and prime suspect, Lucas Dwight. But as the motivations of the murder threaten to tip an already unstable city into riotous anarchy, Harry finds his preconceptions turned on their head as he discovers what it’s like to be on the other side of the law…
This novel has themes of corruption, politics, racial tension, Bradford villains, grudges, BNP politics, dirty cops, revenge and redemption. All rolled into one hell of a read! It is most definitely one not to be missed.
See review and Q&A here

dear martin
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Synopsis:
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League–but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up–way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
A compelling read by a very talented writer, who has a bright future ahead of her!
See review here
Q&A with Nic Stone here

you don't know me
You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood
Synopsis:
In London a young man stands accused of murder. All the evidence points to him; the police see an open and shut case.

But at his trial, this man, who has tried to stay out of trouble all his life, tells an extraordinary story. It is about a young woman who tried to protect her brother and got into terrible trouble. It’s about a young man who, in order to save her, entered a dark, violent world he’d avoided for so long.

He now stands in the dock and wants to tell you the truth. He needs you to believe him. Will you?
I absolutely loved this novel. I found it to be raw, urban and edgy! Like nothing on the UK book market currently. It depicts life lessons and a different perspective. Essentially you can engage with a novel where people may not look like you or live like you, yet you fully embrace their character.
See review and Q&A here

lightening men
Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen
Synopsis:

Lightning Men follows the multi-award-nominated, highly acclaimed crime debut Darktown into a city on the brink of huge and violent change – and full of secrets.

Atlanta, 1950. In a divided city, crime comes home.

White officer Denny Rakestraw joins Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith from Atlanta’s Negro Officer precinct to face the Klan, gangs and family warfare in their rapidly changing city.

Black families – including Smith’s sister and brother-in-law – are moving into Rake’s formerly all-white neighbourhood, leading Rake’s brother-in-law, a proud Klansman, to launch a scheme to ‘save’ their streets. When those efforts leave a man dead, Rake is forced to choose between loyalty to family or the law.

Meanwhile, Boggs has outraged his preacher father by courting a domestic, whose dangerous ex-boyfriend is then released from prison. As Boggs, Smith, and their all-black precinct contend with violent drug dealers fighting for turf in new territory, their personal dramas draw them closer to the fires that threaten to consume Atlanta once again.
Boggs and Smith make for perfect reading and their bond is firmly cemented in this case. Fantastic historical crime fiction!
See review here

That’s it folks! Time to get started on a list for 2018!
As January is my blogs first anniversary. I will be running various #Giveaways in relation to the novel’s on this list throughout the month!
So keep your eyes peeled for chances to WIN copies!

Thank you for reading & happy new year!

 

 

#BlogTour #BookReview #FrozenWomanBook by Jon Michelet @noexitpress

*I received an arc via the publisher, in return for an honest review*

cover
The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet
Translated by Don Bartlett
Synopsis:

TWO TIME WINNER OF NORWAY’S BEST CRIME NOVEL

A FROZEN BODY

A MURDERED BIKER

A RADICAL LAWYER WITH A MURKY PAST

In the depths of the Norwegian winter, the corpse of a woman is discovered in the garden of a notorious left-wing lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death.

A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by Thygesen, dies in suspicious circumstances.

As Thygesen receives anonymous threats, investigating detectives Stribolt and Vaage uncover a web of crime and violence extending far beyond Norway’s borders.

Does the frozen woman hold the key?

My review:

This is a novel that is so much more than its cover and synopsis. The publicity team were spot on with the comparisons to Steig Larsson and the millennium trilogy. I was very surprised with the depth of the novel and I think it is written very well, much bigger issues interwoven into a murder.

Vilhelm Thygesen finds the murdered body of a frozen women in his garden. The victim has been stabbed to death and the police quickly suspect she is of eastern European origin. The crime scene offers little in the way, of forensic evidence and the murder appears motiveless. Detectives Stribolt and Vaage from the Gronland police have a complex murder on their hands. Thygesen himself, is not without controversy, with previous links to murder and fraud, the detectives instantly suspect him for having committed the murder.
But why would a man murder a young woman, bury the body in his garden and then call the police?

Thygesen is well known left-wing lawyer, retired now at 63 years old. His leftie socialist politics having caused him various run ins with the law and even led to him assisting the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Are his politics to blame for the murder? If so, who killed the girl and why? Detectives Stribolt and Vaage nickname the nameless victim ‘Picea’, they continue to find no leads and when a local biker is found murdered, they are forced to ask themselves if there is a connection……….

Oystein Strand a local biker and member of the ‘Seven Samurai’ motorcycle club (MC) is found dead after being recently released from prison. When the brakes are found to be faulty on his bike, is this a fatal accident or pre meditated murder? What happened to Strand in prison? And how is this linked to the frozen woman? The MC gang is made up of the undesirables of society. Low end criminals with a taste for violence and mayhem. The inner workings of the gangs, their rivalry’s and their links to drug importation is exposed. But when Thygesen starts receiving anonymous photos of the frozen woman alive, prior to her murder.
The detectives must work out, how it all links in.

The politics of the legal/police/ media system in Norway is explained and the writing style is very matter of fact. There is no in-depth background on the detectives. The novel focuses solely on the murder and its relation to other criminal/political events.
A dead woman, political corruption and violent motorcycle gangs.
But what connects them all? 4*

JM
Authors links:
Website: http://www.jonmichelet.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1260891.Jon_Michelet
Via publisher: http://www.noexit.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=1&thisauthorid=368

Author bio:

Jon Michelet has been one of Norway’s leading authors through five decades. He made his debut in 1975 with the crime novel He Who Is Born to Be Hanged, Shall Never Be Drowned. He has since published numerous novels, plays and non-fiction books, and co-authored five bestselling reportage books from the Football World Cup with Dag Solstad. Michelet has also worked as a sailor, a docker, a journalist, publisher and newspaper editor. He is renowned in Norway for his strong commitment to a number of political and cultural causes.

Michelet has been awarded the Riverton Prize for Best Norwegian Crime Novel twice, for White as Snow and The Frozen Woman both part of his long running Vilhelm Thygesen series. He has also had phenomenal success with his epic series, A Hero of the Sea. Telling the story of the dramatic experiences of a Norwegian merchant navy sailor during WWII, the five novels published so far have been topping the charts since 2012, and have sold well over half a million copies, making Michelet a household name in Norway.

#BlogTour #GuestPost #DebtToPayBook by @ReedFColeman @noexitpress

BANNER
Debt To Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman
Synopsis:

All is quiet in Paradise, except for a spate of innocuous vandalism. Good thing, too, because Jesse Stone is preoccupied with the women in his life, both past and present. As his ex-wife, Jenn, is about to marry a Dallas real-estate tycoon, Jesse isn’t too sure his relationship with former FBI agent Diana Evans is built to last. But those concerns get put on the back burner when a major Boston crime boss is brutally murdered. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesse suspects it’s the work of Mr. Peepers, a psychotic assassin who has caused trouble for Jesse in the past.

Peepers has long promised revenge against the Mob, Jesse, and Suit for their roles in foiling one of his hits – and against Jenn as well. And though Jesse and Jenn have long parted ways, Jesse still feels responsible for her safety. Jesse and Diana head to Dallas for the wedding and, along with the tycoon’s security team, try to stop Peepers before the bill comes due. With Peepers toying with the authorities as to when and where he’ll strike, Jesse is up against the wall. Still, there’s a debt to pay and blood to be spilled to satisfy it. But whose blood, and just how much?

#GuestPost:

Jesse Stone and Elvis

It is one thing to write my own series. I’ve written five series characters of my own creation. It was quite something else to receive a call from my then agent and having him tell me I had been selected to take over a bestselling series written by one of America’s most beloved authors. Strange, exhilarating, and frightening don’t begin to describe it. But in taking over the Jesse Stone series from Michael Brandman who had taken the series over shortly after Bob Parker’s passing and had written three Jesse novels in the interim, I was faced with making several difficult decisions.

Chief among these was how to approach the actual writing of the series. Should I try, like Michael Brandman before me, to stick close to Bob Parker’s style, or should I take a different tack and do something new? In making this decision I spoke to three people. Christine Pepe, my editor and Bob’s editor for over twenty years. Ace Atkins, a longtime friend and colleague who writes the Spenser series. And Tom Schreck, a close writer pal and Parker devotee. Both Chris and Ace were helpful and had great insights, but speaking to them didn’t really get me any closer to making a decision about what approach to take.

It was during my conversation with Tom that the proverbial lightbulb went off and the decision was made. Tom said this, “You know, Reed, I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan.”

This was no shock to me. Tom makes no secret of his adoration for the King. He’s the type of guy who can tell you what songs Elvis sang at such and such concert on such and such date at Lake Tahoe. The question for me was, what did Tom’s love of Elvis Aron Presley have to do with Robert B. Parker and Jesse Stone?

“Yeah, Tom,” I said. “I know.”

“Well, the thing is this, I’ve seen every great Elvis impersonator there is and they are really amazing, but there are two things I can never get past. For one thing, no matter how spot on their performance, I know it’s not really Elvis. And they are trapped, because they can never do anything new or different.”

And with those words I knew I would not try to imitate Bob Parker’s writing style because his readers would always see what I was doing as, at best, a good imitation, or, at worst, as pastiche. I also refused to be limited by the past. So although I keep to the spirit of the older novels and to the spirit of the characters as written by Bob and Michael, I write the novels in my own way. Thanks, Elvis.

 Author
Reed Farrel Coleman
Author bio:

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the “noir poet laureate” in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the author of novels, including the acclaimed Moe Prager series, short stories, and poetry.

He is a three-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories—Best Novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Short Story—and a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the Year. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards.

A former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America, Reed Farrel Coleman is an adjunct instructor of English at Hofstra University and a founding member of MWA University. Brooklyn born and raised, he now lives with his family in Suffolk County on Long Island.

Authors Links:
Via publisher: http://www.noexit.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=1&thisauthorid=349
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReedFColeman/
Twitter: @ReedFColeman
Website: http://reedcoleman.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/138518.Reed_Farrel_Coleman

#BlogTour #Review & #GuestPost #AshesOfBerlin by @mccallinluke @noexitpress

Ashes of Berlin Blog Tour Poster
The Ashes Of Berlin by Luke McCallin
Synopsis:

Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2017

1947 and Gregor Reinhardt has been hired back onto Berlin’s civilian police force. The city is divided among the victorious allied powers, tensions are growing, and the police are riven by internal rivalries as factions within it jockey for power and influence with Berlin’s new masters.

When a man is found slain in a broken-down tenement, Reinhardt embarks on a gruesome investigation. It seems a serial killer is on the loose, and matters only escalate when it’s discovered that one of the victims was the brother of a Nazi scientist.

Reinhardt’s search for the truth takes him across the divided city and soon embroils him in a plot involving the Western Allies and the Soviets. And as he comes under the scrutiny of a group of Germans who want to continue the war – and faces an unwanted reminder from his own past – Reinhardt realizes that this investigation could cost him everything as he pursues a killer who believes that all wrongs must be avenged…

My review:

I am a huge nerd for fiction in the WW2 era. I have a whole fascination for the era and the impact it had on people’s lives etc.

Former German intelligence Officer Gregor Reinhardt is working the night shift on a mundane Monday night in 1947. When a call comes in of a body found in a stairwell, in an apartment building in the American sector of Berlin. Inspector Reinhardt is now with the Schoneberg kripo division. The victim appears to have a fallen from the flight of stairs laying at the bottom with a broken neck. When other officers smell alcohol, they are hasty to mark this as a drunken accident.
But Reinhardt has his suspicions……

“sometimes death is better than defeat”

It appears prior to the fall the man had sustained a brutal beating. The police enquire with neighbours to learn of the man’s identity. This leads them to an apartment in the complex and another dead body! This victim is easily identified as Mr Noell and shows clear sign of asphyxiation! But how are the two men linked? Why do they both lay dead? Reinhardt searches the flat and finds a document that states RITTERFELD ASSOCIATION is this a clue to what links the men?

The harshness of post-war Germany is fully explored.
The poverty, defeat and presence of death seeps from the pages, with each character’s story!

Upon further investigation Reinhardt learns that Mr Noell was a quiet, courteous and mystery man. He is a veteran of the air force, seemingly living out a lifeless existence. Reinhardt spots some homeless orphan kids and through talking to Leena learns of mysterious men coming and going. Reinhardt is clutching at theories to link the two men. The surrounding officers mock him, calling him Captain Crow. He continues to investigate whilst being plagued with flashback scenes that show what he has lived through in the war.

“Defeat is an orphan. An unloved only child”.

We learn more of Reinhardt his background, personal history and essentially what shaped the man he is now. There are times with the novel where Reinhardt shows a humanity that is has inner depth and is not always displayed by his fellow police officers. This was an era of great shame for German citizens. The women who suffered the savagery of the Red Armies victory. The children now without fathers. The displaced persons, surviving the experience of a new found freedom in a country that reminds them of their great shame. The rubble women scraping by a meagre life, with a harsh job, in harsh times. The various areas are explained the Soviet zone and American/British sectors.

When more bodies begin to pile up, all with a distinct link in their veteran status. It is clear Reinhardt has a serial killer on his hands! Not just any serial killer a methodical and premeditated murderer, with vengeance fuelling his urge to kill! 4*

“All wrongs must be avenged”

#GuestPost:

‘Closure through character’

When the idea for the character of Gregor Reinhardt—a man on the edge of despair at what his life had become—first came to me it was not so much a question of could I do this—I had a degree of confidence in myself as a storyteller and a writer—but should I do this. What I was trying to write could so easily have been misunderstood as an apology. The time, the place, a character such as Reinhardt—a German, a soldier, a servant, however unwilling of a regime such as the Nazis…

 

I was born in Oxford to parents that had a humanitarian vocation. We moved to Africa when I was five. My father worked for UNHCR—the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—and my mother did work with child soldiers. That upbringing was inspirational, and engendered in me a desire to something similar. I’ve worked for a range of UN organisations around the world, and now work for UNHCR in Geneva.

Somewhere along the way, my work and my vocation to write began to merge. All the places I worked and lived in—in Africa, in Russia, in Haiti, in Pakistan, in the Balkans—taught me something, or I saw something, or felt something. About what happens to people—ordinary people—put in extraordinary situations. Watching the news from Ukraine, for example, I get awful flashbacks to my time in Bosnia, to when neighbours turned on each other. What makes friends of decades suddenly believe the worst of each other? What makes a deliveryman become a gunman? What makes a woman arm her husband or son and send him out to fight the sons and husbands of other women? What happens to people like that when the guns fall silent? When people come home? When the people they tried to expel come home, too? When an occupation force comes in, and when words like ‘justice’ and ‘restitution’ begin to be whispered…?

I’ve found that no amount of work we, as humanitarian workers, can do will suffice to overcome those impulses. You are always going to be frustrated in what you achieve, to only get halfway to where you want to be, and often—far too often—the guilty get away with it. I think with my writing I’m trying to find some way of coming to terms with that. I don’t write about white knights on white horses—Gregor Reinhardt is certainly not one of those—but I try to ask those questions that seem to haunt me, and I try to find answers, and a sense of closure.

McCallin portrait
Luke McCallin
Authors Links:
Web site: http://lukemccallin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lukemccallinauthor/
Twitter: @mccallinluke
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6519002.Luke_McCallin

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#Review #TheGoodAssassin by @paulvidich @noexitpress

cover
The Good Assassin by Paul Vidich
Synopsis:

Paul Vidich follows up his acclaimed debut spy thriller with a suspenseful tale of Cold War espionage set in 1950s Cuba, as foreign powers compete to influence the outcome of a revolution.

The CIA director persuades retired agent George Mueller to go to Cuba during the perilous last throes of the Batista regime to investigate Toby Graham, a CIA operative suspected of assisting Fidel Castro’s rebel fighters with diverted CIA weaponry. Posing as a magazine travel writer, Mueller reconnects with Jack and Liz Malone, old friends who have relocated to Cuba and are unable to see the coming upheaval in their lives, both political and personal. Toby’s betrayals aren’t limited to his mission, and Mueller must make a choice between justice and duty, between loyalty to his profession and to his friends.

My review:

I picked this novel due to two primary reasons. The era, 1950’s and the location of Cuba and I was not disappointed at all. The novel is spy based as described in the synopsis. Retired CIA agent George Mueller is called back into the fold, to assess and report back on fellow CIA agent Toby Graham.

With rumours that Toby is involved in assisting the Fidel Castro rebel fighters, there is cold war politics galore in this novel. The whole element of loyalty vs honour or friendships vs secrets is fully put to the test. From early on, in the novel I questioned everyone’s motives. But this is essentially an era where agents lived dangerously, not only within their job roles but within their personal lives also. There was a specific quote about Havana which I loved
“Havana saloons where the food is cheap and the drinks generous”
Time Machine anyone?

Aside from the glitz and the glamour there is political unrest and none of the central characters fully know what is in store for them. Cuba can no longer afford to continue to sell itself to the USA vis it’s trade in sugar, rum, beaches and women. Without expecting the USA to try and insert some political control. There are two sides to Cuba, the casinos and dance halls and the other more historic side where the quiet Spanish colonial still holds much influence. One thing, is for certain Cuba, is changing!
Will George Muller survive the change and find some distinction between assassin and friend?

This has to be the perfect historical location, Cuba seeps from every page and I felt I walked amongst the characters and their different struggles. 4*

PV
Paul Vidich
Authors Links:
web: http://paulvidich.com/
Twitter: @paulvidich