Category Archives: Thriller and Suspense

Book Review: ‘The Venom Protocols’ by John Murray McKay

Title: The Venom Protocols

Published: 8th April 2018

Publisher: KCE

Author: John Murray McKay

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NDaysSeries

 

Blurb:

From the award winning author of The N Days.

“You should have left me alone.”

Charlotte Corday was once called the most dangerous woman on the planet by the FBI until she retired. But it’s not so easy to remain retired when the past is determined to drag her back into the hell she wanted to leave behind her. To uncover the origins of the mysterious Valkyrie program, Charlotte fights through her own dark past, dredged up by those determined to keep her out of retirement… or out of the business permanently… and to find solace in her own razor blade filled mind. Her own words-her own warning-will come to haunt them.

They should have listened.

 

Review:

Action packed right from the start with people after Charlie, she may want a normal life after escaping her past but she is anything but normal and the past just won’t stay buried.

It was go, go, go from the moment she saved Vince in that alley years before. He may have needed a helping hand against five that night but that doesn’t mean he and the mob can’t handle themselves – something that comes in handy later. Charlie has been searching for who she really is and what she is capable of from that night on. Looking deeper down the rabbit hole takes her into the path of the Mafia. Working for them when needed but not by choice. They aren’t the only ones wanting something from her. The skills she has, and what secrets her DNA holds, are the key to something bigger. She’s like a weaponized machine acting on pure instinct alone. Time almost slows down as she’s taking people down. No training needed, her mind lets go and her darker self comes to the surface. This skill is the start of becoming a most feared assassin. But is there more to her skills than meets the eye?

She’s not someone to be messed with that’s for sure. With how it ends you know she won’t be out clear and free. More sides closing in, it’s just a matter of time to see who gets there first and what reception Charlie will have waiting for them. She may not know who Venom are but knows they are after her. Creating someone doesn’t mean you can own or control them. Something they are sure to learn as she is coming for them.

Peter and Richard were great characters, loved them whenever they showed up. Gave her the family she had always wanted. Most rounded characters of the story I think. Charlie almost felt unfinished. Like she was a machine on autopilot going through the motions when in the zone.

Intriguing read from start to finish that had me hooked in a one read afternoon sitting. You will definitely feel a bit of a Jason Bourne vibe throughout, just with a woman in his place instead. Action from the start but filled with quite a lot of violence so be pre-warned with what it throws at you. Charlie may want a normal life but soon learns that ‘normal’ doesn’t really apply to her with the secrets locked inside her mind. Will she get what she’s searching for before others get her? Leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger with what might be coming her way next.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Vic Boyo, Doofus Detective’ by Milo James Fowler

Title: Vic Boyo, Doofus Detective in: Double Murders are Twice as Bad

Published: 15th March 2018

Publisher: Effervescent Press

Author: Milo James Fowler

 

Blurb:

Two murders. One detective. Half a brain.

1931, New York City: Detective Vic Boyo may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but that doesn’t stop him from solving cases as only he can. With a little luck and a whole lot of gumption, Boyo sets out to find the murderer of a local cop. Problem is, Boyo’s more interested in a gorgeous femme fatale accused of killing her husband. She’s destined for the electric chair, but Boyo’s got a hunch she might be innocent. And nobody gets in the way of Boyo’s hunches, not even Vic Boyo himself.

 

Review:

He might not be the best detective around – don’t tell him that – but he does seem to get results. This may be more to do with potluck and others than the skills he possess though. If Vic Boyo is on the case looks like it might, in a round about way, get solved.

Maria Merryface has been charged with killing her husband and Vic Boyo is on the case to clear her name – not that he is meant to be. Stepping in too fast could have been the reason his partner Bill was taken out of the equation or was there another reason? Two murders to solve and it seems Bill and Maria’s husband were connected – gambling and booze too much. Owing debts you can’t pay may get you killed, but who made the first move?

Boyo is just a magnet for trouble wherever he goes, or even if he stays at his home/office (which he mentions, a lot). He doesn’t do too well with kids but one seems to remind him of his younger self so helps him, and visa versa, when the need arises. His receptionist definitely deserves a raise for all the crazy stuff she has to deal with that follows Boyo around like a bad smell. Mostly after he gets a phone call to meet some place new which tends to equal danger and high chance of getting shot at.

Question: if you know you have a hit out on yourself would you go to a warehouse alone in the middle of the night? No, me neither, seems Boyo didn’t get the memo. Clues coming at him but not quite figuring them out fast enough. Booze ring in the prohibition era – who is playing who and how is it connected to the two murders? JoJo Fenenmen and Marty O’Sheeny are mob bosses who deal in booze and more, but are they the only players?

Boyo thinks very highly of himself and can’t always see how others might view him. He might think he is the best detective but that has more to do with mistakes he makes that help him stumble onto clues than really figuring them out first. Funny how he always gets into tricky situations with one leading right onto the next. He might crack the case wide open but in the meantime he will continue to be the doofus detective not seeing everything right in front of him. Humour throughout with what he gets into so is an interesting read that takes you along the crazy ride with him. Car chases, bullets flying, fires catching and a different mob boss calling the shots at each turn. Which way will Boyo go and will he get out unscathed? A witty read that’s worth checking out.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Moral Panic’ by K.M. Ecke

Title: Moral Panic

Published: 30th March 2018

Publisher: Dream Flow Media

Author: K.M. Ecke

 

Blurb:

How could technology be used to assault liberty? Where are the bounds of morality drawn for those with unlimited access to our data? And how are good intentions manipulated into the perpetration of injustice?

These questions unfold within Moral Panic, a hacker thriller exploring the collision of the most extreme elements of vigilantism, surveillance data, and technological media manipulation. It wanders through the maze of near-future technology with a skeptical eye on the data-driven world we live in, hoping an awareness of the possibility of such a story prevents it from coming true in the real world.

As C.T.O. of the largest corporation in the world, Tanner Moore is about to release the greatest convenience innovation in the history of business: drone delivery services to every inch of the globe.

But when an interview with journalist Amy Noral is secretly recorded and published by the clickbait media, Tanner’s fall from grace is swift and brutal.

He is fired, publicly condemned as a terrorist for comments he never made, and kidnapped by a mysterious vigilante group using surveillance data to track and kill their enemies. Tanner must navigate this underground world of violent zealots and hedonist hackers to find his way to freedom, or see his drone innovation controlled by the seekers of absolute power.

Above ground, Amy, the only person who doubts Tanner’s guilt, delves into the string of mysterious circumstances surrounding Tanner’s disappearance. Risking her own well-being to find the truth, she meets a mysterious conspiracy theorist on the internet offering to help her uncover the vigilante group’s malicious purpose.

 

Review:

Stories you read online don’t always show the whole truth, or any at all, with how easily things can be manipulated to make you see things differently. There is a fine line between good and bad but in this case no one here can be seen as one or the other. Bad seen in all but it’s the degrees of it that define them. Sure there are some bat shit crazy people who think what they are doing is for greater good when in reality it’s just their twisted minds trying to give reason to what they do. Which side would you fall on?

So Tanner has been framed for something he didn’t do as a way to get him out of the picture and the only people who can help him are the Social Justice team. They say that it’s either he works for them or the FBI will get him for his online threats. He sees it as the lesser of two evils but has no idea what he is really getting into. It all started after an article about his job, company and boss Peter went viral, with some off the record bits thrown in. Not clear who leaked them but those that hunt for the truth could get caught up in hot water so you really need to be careful with what stones you turn over.

Peter and the main investor Diana want to get to the bottom of the leak to make the problem go away so nothing can stop the launch of their new drone system. They need help with what goes on online so need to dig deeper. But how much of what they find is real and what is being made up?

The drone system needs a lot more data from its customers to work. Just what is that data going to be used for and why? Seems this is where the Social Justice team comes in with collecting data from all sources and using it for other means. Hunter is the leader of the unit and to say he seems a bit bat shit crazy would be putting it mildly. Tanner needs to keep a low profile but have a clear head to be able to see the bigger picture. Many players seem to have double motives to their actions. Can Tanner see them all before it is too late?

Interesting read that tried to have a few quirky twists within to keep you guessing but they were more like ‘oh yeah that makes sense’ kind of realizations rather than ‘wow didn’t see that coming’ ones. Seems everyone and everything is linked and you just have to figure out what side of grey you want to live on as its not just black and white with good and bad in this world. Dragged a little in places but overall an ok read.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Hollow Town’ by R.A. Marc

Title: Hollow Town: The Dark Side of the City

Published: 27th May 2017

Author: R.A. Marc

 

Blurb:

Hollow Town, The Dark Side Of The City is an exciting new suspense thriller set in London. With a sassy female lead, and enough shocks and twists to keep you enraptured until the very last page, you will not want to put Hollow Town, The Dark Side Of The City down. Hollow Town, The Dark Side Of The City is the first action packed adventure in the new Hollow Town suspense series from the author R A Marc.

 

Review:

Interesting premise for a thriller ride the author takes you on. A girl has been taken, one of many it seems, in broad daylight with no clues as to how, why or by whom. The clock is ticking with trying to find her. The parents call the police along with an old friend Patricia, a private detective, who has means to look deeper into the darker side of things to find answers.

Girls are being selected for order with little hope of finding them without more evidence. There seems to be multiple players from the darker side presented but only just breaking the surface to what is really going on. Trade, slaves, for a harem, nothing is clear just yet as to what these girls have been taken for but whatever the reason it can’t be good. Part two of the book I feel will follow this darker side a bit more with Patricia leading the case for trying to bring back Janet. Lots of characters are brought forward so it’s just a case of seeing who is best to follow to get the clues needed.

Good starting off point but it does need some work. Character development could be better explored but might come with the next part where you know them all a bit better. Now I don’t usually mark down for edits but this one really could have done with another go through as it did break up trying to read it clean as you are trying to figure out what word might be missing or whether the wrong one was down. Their or there, your or you’re, just a couple examples, really needs to work with correct grammar. Sorting this out, along with the structure a bit so it flows better, will give the book a much cleaner feel. For a debut novel this was a good first attempt and with a little help could go further.

2.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review

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Book Review: ‘Girl Watching You’ by J.A. Schneider

Title: Girl Watching You

Published: 27th June 2019

Author: J.A. Schneider

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JASchneiderAuthor

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

 

Blurb:

Out of work actress Ava Beck, reduced to working in a West Village flower shop, starts to watch handsome, womanizing hedge funder Peter Greer, who lives near. He likes to romance his girlfriends with flowers.

Ava notices bruises on his troubled-looking date named Chloe. Concerned, she follows them after work to Chloe’s studio, second floor in the rear of a brownstone. She hears them arguing, climbs up the fire escape just as Greer angrily sees her…. and plunges into a world of stunning twists, murder and madness worse than any she could have imagined…

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A mystery or thriller. What a thriller ride you are taken on.

Joyce sure knows how to write a great thriller book. A few red herrings thrown in for good measure – some too obvious to be true and others subtle – but you will still be thinking ‘what the hell!’ when the big reveal takes place.

Ava is an out of work actress working in a florist until she can get back into the business. Her career has got a roadblock preventing people from hiring her. The roadblock in question is the man she thinks killed her sister – no accident as far as she is concerned. Confronting him in a rage wasn’t the best move after he was found innocent and now all she can do is hope for a win in her civil case suit against him. She just needs to find some more evidence or someone who has been prevented from speaking perhaps? With all this going on you can imagine that sleep has been hard to come by. Her way of coping is a little strange, the whole climbing fire escapes and looking out for people kind of strange. Once was enough to make her feel something other than numbness when she helped someone she knew but this next time she wished she had done something more than just look in and run away. Given that the person who’s flat it was ended up murdered that very night.

The only reason she went to look through the window was fear that the woman was in some kind of danger. She spotted her earlier at the flower shop with her partner, along with bruises on her wrists. She viewed the man as a predator and wanted to make sure she was ok after seeing them leave. A quick look later that night was all she wanted to do to satisfy her curiosity. After spotting a row in the making, and also getting spotted by the man himself, she got out of there fast. It’s not until the next day where she finds out the women was murdered. Thinking she witnessed the murder, or the lead up to it, she makes it her mission to get to the truth. She couldn’t save her sister but she wants to give justice to someone. After meeting the man, Peter, though and finding out more about him she starts to question everything she first thought. Could she be wrong by missing a link between this and another murder? If so then the real killer is out there watching. If it’s not him then she needs to keep looking before she ends up being a new target.

Red herrings time right from the start. One minute you think it could be one person then get a vibe from someone else until the final reveal. Can you guess the correct killer? They may have done this more than once and be linked closer than you first thought.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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