#Review Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit @orionbooks

Title: Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit

Release Date: 25th January 2018

Publisher: Orion

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?


Family is everything.

So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?


I received an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley.

Randolph and his family move into a new flat. A man called Dieter Tiberius lives in the basement flat below them and becomes fixated on Randolph’s wife and children. He sends them letters saying that they were sexually abusing their children. They try everything they can to reason with him but nothing works, they even seek legal advice and go to the police but nothing helps. What more can Randolph do to protect his family?

The is the second book I’ve read within a month expecting a tense psychological thriller that turns out to be something different.

I had high hopes when it opened with his father in jail. Why was he in jail? Well you find that out pretty quickly, (I don’t want to spoil it for you) then it goes back in time and you basically get Randolph’s life history, as it documents his relationship with his father, then later his wife and brother.

It does go backwards and forwards between the past and the time they are being terrorised by Dieter but with all the back and forth I felt it lost a lot of the tension.

Then there was our narrator, Randolph. I found it really hard to relate to him, not just because he’s a man but I also found him condescending, selfish with a tendency to waffle on a bit. Okay it is horrible to be accused of any crime, especially if you’re innocent, but I kept thinking to myself why don’t you just move?

Overall not my style but if you’re a fan of character driven plots focusing on family relationships then it might be for you.

Rating: 2/5

Author Bio:

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.

#Review The Call by Amanda Fleet @JoffeBooks

Title: The Call by Amanda Fleet.

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 21st November 2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


What if your ex-boyfriend called you desperately asking for life-or-death help?

Summer Morris gets a phone call from her ex-lover Patrick begging for help. But he’s cut off before he can give her all the details.

He’s in deep trouble. She would have been happy to never hear from him again, but can she really refuse to help a man whose life is in danger?

Patrick turns out to have many enemies who might want him dead. He’s been working in Malawi and uncovered a scandal. He’s involved with a powerful woman. And he’s borrowed money from the wrong people. And that’s just for starters.

Along with an off-duty policeman, DS Stewart, Summer gets swept into Patrick’s world of lies and deceit, in a desperate race against time to find him alive.

Who is behind Patrick’s disappearance and can Summer find out before it’s too late?


Summer Morris gets a phone call from her ex-boyfriend Patrick begging for her help. Their relationship ended badly, with him stealing from her, but she feels the need to help him. But there’s more to his life than it seems. He owes money to a loan shark, is investigating a scandal in Malawi, is having an affair with a married woman and on top of that he is expecting a child with another.

The police do not take Summer seriously until she comes across off-duty policeman DS LB Stewart. Together they must find Patrick before it’s too late.

The story line switches between Scotland and Malawi which I thought was an interesting combination! It is well written and there was no typos or plot holes that I spotted but to be honest I found the overall plot a little disappointing.

I think it didn’t help that the character of Patrick was a womaniser, a liar and a cheat. I mean it was hard to want someone to be saved when their only redeeming factor was him wanting to help kids in Malawi (yet he wanted a woman carrying his child to get rid of it, this made no sense to me). Also the detective, LB, was a bit of an arse most of the time, however I did enjoy his little romance with Summer.

The character of Summer pretty much carried the book for me, with her selfless attitude and free spirit made her very entertaining. I also found her condition synesthesia, where you see emotions as colours, interesting.

There was also a lot of Americanisms, in this book, like Cop instead of copper, which for being set in Scotland and Malawi was a little strange.

Overall not my cup of tea but that will not put me off reading anything else by this author.

Rating: 2/5
Author Bio:

Amanda Fleet is a physiologist by training and a writer at heart. She spent 18 years teaching science and medicine undergraduates at St Andrews University, but now uses her knowledge to work out how to kill people (in her books!). She completed her first degree at St Andrews amanda fleetUniversity and her doctorate at University College, London.

She has been an inveterate stationery addict since a child, amassing a considerable stash of fountain pens, ink and notebooks during her lifetime. These have thankfully come in useful, as she tends to write rather than type, at least in the early stages of writing a book.

During her time at St Andrews, she was involved with two Scottish Government funded projects, working with the College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi. While in Malawi, she learned about the plight of the many street children there and helped to set up a Community Based Organisation that works with homeless Malawian children to support them through education and training – Chimwemwe Children’s Centre. It was this experience that helped to shape the Malawian aspects in her first novel, The Wrong Kind of Clouds.

Amanda lives in Scotland with her husband, where she can be found writing, walking and running. The Wrong Kind of Clouds is her début novel and was published by Matador in early 2016. It will be re-published by Joffe Books.

#Review Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker

Title: Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker.

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Published: 8th August 2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller


From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten, a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.


I received an ARC copy of this via NetGalley.

Cass and Emma went missing one night three years ago, now Cass is back desperate to find her sister. She tells of their imprisonment on a mysterious island and Emma is still trapped there. Dr Abby Winter and the FBI face a race against time to try and find her but is Cass telling the truth or is there more to the story?

Okay so this book has been languishing on my tbr pile for a while, I’ve read so many conflicting reviews I finally decided to read it for myself and see what happened.

I have to be honest I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book, I kind of now understand why there’s so many differing opinions on it. It’s very well written and quite clever but I feel it fell a bit short, for me anyway.

It’s told from two viewpoints, Cass’s and Dr Abby Winter’s. The start very slow going, I kind of kept waiting for something to happen, which unfortunately not much did, until about half way through the book, but that sense of ‘where is Emma?’ made me read until the end.

The characters, I found apart from Abby and sometimes Cass, were very unlikeable, especially Cass’s mother who suffers from something called Narcissistic Personality Disorder which made her constantly seek attention and neglect her children. Even Emma, from Cass’s stories wasn’t all that nice either.

It was also very heavy on the psychological aspect of Psychological Thriller, which although I found a bit interesting, I would have liked a bit more action or suspense.

Overall interesting in places but not edge of your seat stuff.

Rating: 3/5

Author Bio:

Wendy Walker is a former attorney and investment banker in Fairfield County, Connecticut who began writing while at home raising her three sons. Her debut thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, has become an international bestseller and was optioned for film by Warner Brothers with Reese Witherspoon set to produce. The paperback will be released July 18, 2017, followed by her second thriller, Emma In The Night, on August 8

#Review Beware The Past by Joy Ellis @JoffeBooks

I just want to say Merry Christmas and thank you all for supporting my blog over these last six months, I can’t tell you how much it means to me❤️

Title: Beware The Past by Joy Ellis

Publisher: Joffe Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Published: 17th December 2017

A stunning new standalone crime thriller from #1 best-selling author Joy Ellis.

Detective Matt Ballard is haunted by one traumatic case he never solved. In the 1990s three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed in a hit-and-run, the killings stopped. But Matt was never satisfied that the real murderer had been caught.

25 years later, Matt gets a photo in an unmarked envelope. It’s of the Gibbet Fen crime scene. Taken before the murder.

More photos arrive, relating to the historic murders, and intimate pictures of Matt’s secret relationship.

Another killing takes place, with some of the hallmarks of the old case. Has the killer returned or is this just a sick copycat determined to ruin Matt’s life and reputation?

In an absolutely breathtaking conclusion, Matt and his colleagues, race against time to stop a vicious killer who knows no limits.

The setting

Rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.



Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Ballard is on the verge of retirement when a letter arrives with evidence linking back to the unsolved murders of three boys, from when he was a PC back in 1991, a case that has always haunted him. Another boy shows up with all hallmarks of the old case, is the killer back after all this time?

Now I have to be admit this is the first book I’ve read by Joy Ellis and I have to say it won’t be the last! This is also a stand-alone which for other people who haven’t read her work is a great place to start.

I often find reading about children who’ve been killed an uncomfortable experience, as a mother something like that happening to my son is one of my worst fears, but I found once I started reading this book that I couldn’t stop.

The killer is one terrible mind-bender. Just when you’re like ‘I don’t think Matt can take any more’ the murder throws something even more terrible at him. Matt is forced to confront his demons and let other people in, and as a career policeman and bit of a loner was really hard for him.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but there were some amazing twists in this book that I genuinely gasped out loud at but Joy has written the book so cleverly they didn’t seem forced or out of nowhere.

My only critique would be that I wanted to know a little more about the older murders and maybe even a few flashbacks would have been nice too but I’m just nitpicking.

Rating: 5/5

Author Bio: Joy Ellis


700,000 books sold and rising!

“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprenticeJoy+and+the+boys+039+jpg florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!

And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, and our two second generation Springer spaniels. I had been writing mysteries for years but never had the time to take it seriously. Now I can, and as my partner is a highly decorated retired police officer; my choice of genre was suddenly clear. I have set my crime thrillers here in the misty fens because I sincerely love the remoteness and airy beauty of the marshlands. This area is steeped in superstitions and lends itself so well to murder!”

#Review #BlogTour Truth or Dead by TJ Brearton @BreartonTJ @JoffeBooks

Title: TRUTH OR DEAD by T.J. Brearton

Publisher: Joffe Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Date Published: 11th December


How far would you go to protect your kids?

On her drive to work, Heather Moss gets a phone call which will turn her life upside-down. If she doesn’t do what the caller wants, they will kill her two little girls.

An inmate dies in the county jail. He was a witness who could have brought down notorious criminal Mario Palumbo.

Special Agent Tom Lange is trying to get his life back together after losing his brother Nick. And he thinks Palumbo was responsible for Nick’s death.

Tom desperately wants the evidence to point to Palumbo, but it doesn’t all add up.

Can Tom protect Heather and bring down crime boss Palumbo? He faces a choice between the truth and getting the result he wants.

Set in Florida, this atmospheric thriller will keep you turning the pages till the tension-packed conclusion.


When Heather Moss answers the phone to hear a heavily disguised voice telling her if she doesn’t deliver a package to a man in prison, her little girls will die. Fearing for their lives she does what she’s told which results in the death of a man. In steps FDLE Agent Tom Lange, freshly back on duty after his brothers death, all the evidence seems to point to gangster Mario Palumbo the man he holds responsible for his brothers demise but it doesn’t sit right with Tom. He needs to uncover the truth before anyone else gets hurt.

So this is the second book in the Tom Lange series which I didn’t realise when I started reading it. It can be read as a stand alone but personally I would recommend you read the first, Dead Gone as I did feel like I was missing some information when I first started reading this.

I liked Tom Lange. I found him a good hearted character, much as he wants to uphold the law, he gets emotionally involved with Heather and her children and ends up bending the rules for them. Then there’s Heather, trying to live her life with her girls after the death of their father, who’d do anything to protect them, which even if you are not a mother or a father could probably understand that need to protect the ones you love.

The book contains some really nail biting scenes, not that many twists but there was plenty of mystery and murder to keep any crime fan entertained.

I also liked the fact that there’s a little glossary at the end of the book that explains what the FDLE is, as being from Britain I don’t quite understand the different types of American law enforcement.

But unfortunately there was a lot of legal jargon which I found a little hard to understand and I thought it lack a little bit of tension in places.

Rating: 3/5

Author Bio:

T.J. Brearton is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the novels Gone andTJ Brearton Author photo png Dead Gone, both of which have ranked among Amazon Kindle’s top 100. His Titan trilogy has been an international best-seller. With Ted Magee, Brearton wrote Bare Knuckle, a martial arts film, and wrote and directed Breathe, about amateur MMA fighter Lane Buzzell on an undefeated streak.

He has written more than a dozen novels, mostly crime thrillers, including one paranormal mystery, and published short fiction in numerous literary journals. He lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York with his wife and three children where he writes full time, takes out the trash, and competes with his kids for his wife’s attention.

Website http://tjbrearton.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tjbrearton

Twitter @BreartonTJ

#Review Literary Stalker by Roger Keen @The_Mad_Artist @DV_Publishing

Title: Literary Stalker by Roger Keen.

Publisher: Darkness Visible.

Genres: Horror, Mystery/Thriller, Psychological, LBGTQ

Published: 17th September 2017


If you value your life, don’t dare to suggest to Nick Chatterton that he’s not a good writer!

Nick is embarking on his latest crime/horror novel – a pastiche of the Vincent Price movie Theatre of Bloodwhere Nick draws up a hit list of his enemies within the writing world and gets his narrator to dispatch them according to the plots of classic crime and horror movies, such as Reservoir Dogs.

Top of the list is a writer who is both a superstar of the horror genre and who in Nick’s reckoning has wronged him the most. Nick first met Hugh Canford-Eversleigh at a reading more than a decade ago and fell madly in love with him, interpreting their encounter as the start of a magnificent affair. Nick’s feelings soon expanded into full-blown obsession, and he stalked Hugh, believing his love would eventually be returned. Nick was repeatedly rebuffed, much to his anger, but it was years later that his rage reached murderous proportions, due to an unexpected and outlandish twist of fate.

Now through his novel, The Facebook Murders, Nick is settling all his old scores, blurring the lines between autobiography and fiction – and with his obsessions reaching fever pitch, blurring the lines between writing about nasty stuff and doing nasty stuff for real.

Set within the milieu of British horror, fantasy and sci-fi writing, Roger’s new novel continues with the metafictional experiments of The Mad Artistinvolving self-begetting and nested narratives looping and interfacing. As a horror/crime piece with liberal amounts of violence and multifarious nods to simpatico novels and movies, it plays with ideas of genre, and in the traditional of metafiction, it’s very ‘nudge-wink’, tongue-in-cheek and blackly comic.

Review excerpt:

Literary Stalker works wonderfully as a genre thriller with a delightfully absurd comic edge…a clever piece of genre writing, self-aware and self-critical, but uncompromisingly entertaining. If there are any criticisms to be made about the novel, it would take a braver reviewer than me willing to risk pointing them out to the author.” – Noel Megahey, The Digital Fix, Geek Life

Full review: https://www.thedigitalfix.com/geeklife/content/2665/literary-stalker-roger-keen/

Here is some more info about how Roger came to write Literary Stalker in this blog piece: https://musingsofthemadartist.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/literary-stalker-a-novel-by-roger-keen/

Here are links to two recent interviews which contain other angles:




Nick Chatterton is an unemployed wannabe writer. He’s trapped in a loveless relationship with a flamboyant hairdresser called Robin who is constantly putting him down especially when it comes to his writing career or lack of it. His only retreat is his new book, The Facebook Murders, where he settles old scores with other writers who’ve wronged him but as the book progresses Nick starts to blur the lines between fact and fiction…

Now as an unpublished writer myself, I kind of related to Nick, at the beginning anyway, that sense of why isn’t my work out there on the bestseller lists? Whereas I know my writing needs work, Nick doesn’t and believes a great number of people have conspired against him to make sure he’s never going to become a bestseller. He decides to enact his revenge using classic movie murders as a blueprint. As the story goes along, jumping from past to present, you see his obsessive nature really coming out.

The story is written in the first person and you really get inside Nick’s head and see his warped logic up close and personal which I loved. His is such a lifelike character too, I could almost hear his voice in my head as I was reading it. He’s very pedantic, often giving a little too much information and using long words to show how clever he is. I didn’t think my vocabulary was too bad until I read this book, but I was so glad my Kindle has a dictionary feature otherwise I would have spent half my time Googling words!

There’s lots of horror/pop culture references in the story too, notably the Theatre Of Blood, an old Vincent Price movie, which I have never seen. I have to be honest there was quite a few things that went over my head and unless you are a movie/horror buff you probably won’t get either but I wouldn’t let that put you off.

I also did find the story a little confusing at times, especially as Nick was writing his own book within this book, with bits of his character, Jago Farrar’s, story was interspersed throughout.

This was genuinely one of those books I’m not sure how I feel about now that I’ve finished it, but it has really stuck in my mind. It’s not exactly a page turner but it was engrossing enough to keep me reading until the end.

The best way I can describe this book? Memorable.

Rating: 3/5

Author Bio:Roger Keen was born in London and attended Plymouth College of Art & Design and Bournemouth & Poole College of Art & Design, studying fine art, photography and film. Since then he has worked extensively in television, contributing to many award-winning dramas, Roger Keen Author Picdocumentaries and children’s programmes for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. His programmes have won Royal Television Society, Worldfest-Houston and other awards.

He began publishing fiction and non-fiction in the 1990s, specialising in dark short stories and articles and reviews concerning weird film and literature. He has a particular interest in the Surrealists, the Beat writers, cyberpunk and the psychedelic movement. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines including the PsypressUK Journal, Out of the Shadows,Critical Wave, Writer’s Monthly, Threadsand The Third Alternative. He also contributes to websites such as Reality Sandwich, The Oak Tree Review,The Digital Fix, Infinity Plusand The Zone.

In 2010 Roger published The Mad Artist: Psychonautic Adventures in the 1970s, a novelistic memoir concerning his life as an art student. Using nested narratives, it is a piece of experimental ‘reality fiction’, exploring the interface between autobiography, fiction and metafiction. The recently published metacrime novel Literary Stalkertakes these elements further in pure fictional form.

Amazon Links:



Social Media:






Darkness Visible Publishing – About Us

Darkness Visible is a newly formed publisher arising out of the collaboration of three friends with an interest in offbeat literary and genre fiction. Our first venture is the publication of Roger Keen’s metacrime thriller Literary Stalker, and we hope to expand by taking on other authors in due course.

The term ‘darkness visible’ comes from John Milton’s epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’ (1667). It describes the nature of the flames of Hell, emitting not light but something else entirely. It was also used as a title for a 1979 novel by William Golding and a 1989 memoir by William Styron, concerning his struggles with deep depression.

We like the term because of its striking imagery and poetic resonance, and as a publisher imprint it covers a certain territory in writing. We are specialising in dark, edgy and transgressive fiction and non-fiction, which may lay outside or blur the conventional boundaries of literary categories and genres, and in doing so seeks new fusions and syntheses.


Website: https://www.dv-publishing.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarknessVisiblePublishing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DV_Publishing

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dv_publishing/

#BlogTour #Review Breaking Bones by @robwhite247 @EndeavourPress

Title: Breaking Bones by Robert White.

Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Crime fiction, Action and Adventure

Publisher: Endeavour Press


The streets of Preston are alive with music and banter. But nothing can drown out the sound of breaking bones.

Inseparable since childhood and feared by their community, Tony, Eddie and Frankie are beyond the reach of justice. The brutal gang, The Three Dogs, are a law unto themselves. Detective Jim Hacker has watched The Dogs grow from thuggish youths to psychotic criminals. He seems to be the only one who wants to see their empire fall.

Meanwhile Jamie Strange, a young Royal Marine, finds himself embroiled in the lives of The Three Dogs when his girlfriend, Laurie Holland, cuts off their engagement… to be with the most dangerous of The Dogs: Frankie Verdi. Jamie vows to save Laurie, before Frankie damns them both. Every dog will have its day.

This gritty, addictive crime story, fizzes with the energy of the eighties.

Praise for Breaking Bones:

‘Authentic and entertaining. Robert White has written one of the best crime thrillers of the year’ – Thomas Waugh

‘Pitch-black and granite-hard, Breaking Bones delivers over and over. A breathless, sweeping tale of love, blood, crime and vengeance that grips you by the lapels and forces you along for the ride. Highly recommended’ – Robert Parker, author of A Wanted Man

‘Reads like a frightening true crime story. An addictive read. Superb’ – Keith McCarthy, author of A Kiss Before Killing Dead or Alive
Breaking Bones


I want to thank Endeavour Press for my advanced copy of this book.

This book follows the story of The Three Dogs, Tony Thompson, Eddie Williams and Frankie Verdi, the most feared gang on the street of early eighties Preston.

Now this is a book slightly out of my comfort zone (only slightly though). I’m not really a huge fan of gangster type books and I have to be honest from the blurb I thought it was going to be of a police thriller but it ended up being focused on the gang itself. I was quite surprised that I ended up enjoying it.

Although the book had a lot of violence, with almost graphic detail at times, but it had me close to tears on several occasions which was a bit of a shock.

I thought the author paid good attention to detail, using really historical events and adding them into the story to give it authenticity.

I enjoyed the fact that every character was unique and complicated too. Like for instance, Tony, Eddie and Frankie were violent psychopaths but they had their own individual traits. Frankie was power hungry, Tony was a little ‘slow’ (author’s words not mine) with a surprising soft side and Eddie was secretly gay.

The only thing that I didn’t really enjoy was the policeman, Jim Hacker’s, perspective. Written in the first person, it felt more like it was telling me things in the way of a narrator than being part of the story. The best way I can describe it was a bit like someone pausing the TV in the middle of a programme just to explain things to you when you don’t really want them to. I would have preferred the detective to have been more part of the story than a casual bystander.

Overall this is a story that will suck you into a different place and time and not let you go even after you’ve finished the book.

Rating 4/5


Robert White

Website: www.robertwhiteauthor.co.uk

Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/robertwhiteauthor/

Twitter: @robwhite247

Endeavour Press

Website: www.endeavourpress.com

Twitter: @EndeavourPress

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EndeavourPress/

Instagram: @endeavour_press

Breaking_Bones FINAL

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