Tag Archives: Crime

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



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.



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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Release Blitz: ‘Girl Watching You’ by J.A. Schneider

Title: Girl Watching You

Author: J.A. Schneider

Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Crime


About the Book:

A young woman, obsessed by a man she considers a predator, climbs a fire escape and thinks she sees a murder.

Out of work actress Ava Beck, reduced to working in a West Village flower shop, starts to watch 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…


What people are saying:

“Just finished…am completely blown away!” Goodreads

“What a fantastic thriller! The action starts with the first sentence and my heart was in my mouth with every page. This stand-alone thriller has such an unusual female character you just love and fear for. I so loved this book – five stars!” Alice Liddell

“Wow, I couldn’t put this book down. Loved the fast pace – no lulls! – and every time I thought I knew what was going on there was a twist. I was left open mouthed at the shocker ending…was reading through tears at one point. Loved this book!” Goodreads

I just finished Girl Watching you and am trying to catch my breath. This suspense-thriller is amazing, it will have you guessing and second-guessing until the end. 5+ Stars!” Crime Book Club


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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US




There he is again. Another girlfriend.

He approaches. I stiffen and – surprise – feel better. Not much better, but not crying bad, either. Because mad is better than sad, isn’t it? That revved feeling that pulls you out of your gloom? This guy makes me mad.

He comes right up to our sidewalk counter, surveying bouquets, hugging one-armed his beaming new girl. I give a helpless sigh. Doesn’t she know about him? He’s in every gossip column. I grit my teeth as he pays, per usual, with his gold Palladium Visa card; barely looks at me from behind his Armani sunglasses.

“Very nice,” I tell him, hands shaking as I wrap the double bouquet of pink roses in gold foil. And I think: Women should steer clear of you, Mister. You’re a predator. I know your name. I know where you live.

He’s oblivious, of course. (Do people realize, when they give you their credit cards, that you can find out practically everything about them?) Men like this enjoy their arrogance. He’s a Greed Is Good cliché who stops here often to gift his girls with bouquets, plush toys, exotic handcrafts. He’s dark-haired and handsome in an aggressive-brooding way, and his name is Peter Greer. He was written up as one of fifteen hot young hedge funders, and that was several years ago; now he’s forty-one. Weeks ago, he bought a party pad a few blocks away. Fancy place. I searched public records for his property sale.

A pity, I think, because Greer’s new girl is lovely, understated in a wheat-colored blazer over a blue dress. She thanks me sweetly, just like they taught her to do in Minnesota or Iowa or Ohio; then her pretty face disappears behind her fall of blond hair as she sniffs the bouquet, so romantic. Thank you, she smiles at him.

Minnesota, I’ve decided.

Shouldn’t warning women about men like this be some sort of civic duty?

She’s early twenties and smart-looking; maybe one of last June’s crop of new grad school types to arrive in the city, still euphoric that they’re in New York, in just the best new job ever working for bankers or media honchos and living in the heart of trendy West Village, woo hoo.

That’s how I felt, starting out.

She gazes at expensive orchids, leaning on Greer’s shoulder as he waves his wallet pointing to tall ficus and a big-leafed anthurium. Wouldn’t she like more plants in her place? It’s so bare!

She shakes her head, maybe thinking where would she put all her Ikea stuff with those big plants in the way. Her place is tiny. Last visit, he bought her potted yellow chrysanthemums. They wound up outside her window on the fire escape. I think her cat peed on them.

“Do you still have geraniums?” pipes a woman holding a poodle.

Oops. Other customers.

“September’s too late in the season, try asters?” I tell her, going back to subtly watching Greer and Minnesota.

By their effusiveness, I can tell they’ve had their early evening glass of wine at nearby Régine’s, as they’ve done for the weeks since I’ve noticed them dating. It’s probably where they met, probably their breathless our place though the poor girl doesn’t know it’s the turd’s favorite pickup joint. He still acts like their affair is new, but I catch an undercurrent of tension from her. She gives me a suddenly troubled look, then reaches – “Aww…” – to pat a plush bunny tied with a bow to roses…

What’s this?

Bruises on her wrist. Her blazer sleeve pulls back as she reaches to the toy, and I see fingerprint marks, jewel-blue over her pulse.

I lean to her, try to find a subtle way to ask if she was hurt.

But he’s already pulled her away.

I frown, watching them head east on leafy West Eleventh to her studio. It’s on the second floor in the rear, barely five hundred square feet but in a pretty brownstone with a view of the garden with its fire escape that doesn’t shake when you climb up, unlike some fire escapes-

“Ah, Miss?”

“Oh, sorry!”

It’s after six – coming home time – and I switch gears to catch up with jostling newcomers: a middle-aged woman in artiste black who wants white chrysanthemums; a young man in a tight Gucci T-shirt waving calla lilies; an elderly lady seeking African violets who asks how my auditions are going (I give her a sad face; she looks sad and says, “Oh, honey”), and a pair of lovers buying a hanging fern. They’ve settled in a one-bedroom on West Sixth. When you’re out together buying hanging ferns, your relationship is serious; you are comfortable with each other.

Two reasons why I like this job: I can hide from the world, and simultaneously get a glimpse into other lives. It helps to see some people find luck.

Then I think of Minnesota’s bruises…

About the Author:

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine. She is the author of the Embryo medical thriller series, and of the Detective Kerri Blasco Police/Psychological Thrillers Fear Dreams, Her Last Breath, and Watching You.

She loves to hear from her readers. Her email address is joyce (at) jaschneiderauthor.net, her website is http://jaschneiderauthor.net, and come say hi on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/7fm44mk. Also join her website’s Newsletter to hear about sales and new books about to release! She lives with her family in Connecticut, loves gardening, and is working on her next Detective Kerri Blasco thriller.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.jaschneiderauthor.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/joyce.schneider.142

Twitter: @JoyceSchneider1

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832782.J_A_Schneider

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/j-a-schneider

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Book Blitz: ‘Fireside Chat with Grammar Nazi Serial Killer’ by Ryan Suvaal

Title: Fireside Chat with Grammar Nazi Serial Killer 

A psychological thriller with a female protagonist

Author: Ryan Suvaal

Genre: Crime, Thriller & Mystery,

Suspense, Psychological


About the Book:

Seventeen gruesome killings across the United States, within a span of six months and there was one clear connection among victims. They were all book authors. While media was decorating the murders with sensationalist stories, and law enforcement was playing catch-up, the homicidal maniac remained elusive and secretive. Things got very interesting, however, when one day she decided to appear on an internet talk show for an honest fireside chat. Her reason for being on this show was not a quest for fame, but something much more disturbing.

Suvaal weaves a fast-paced, dark, serial killer tale. It’s a story which is intense in parts yet comic on the edges and keeps the reader hooked in. A psychological thriller with a female protagonist.

Trigger Warnings: Few descriptions of violence and gore.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US / India / Australia / Japan / Spain / Italy



Chapter 1 : Respect

Stella woke up in her bathtub and felt a little hazy. The back of her head and neck hurt like hell. Her vision was still blurry. She definitely was in her bathroom but the lights were dim. She tried to get up but couldn’t.

“Good morning, sunshine.” She heard a soft voice on her left.

She realized there was a mysterious woman standing on the left side of the bathtub. The woman had a sleek build and was dressed in a gray shirt, black trousers, and a black jacket. She was wearing blue clinical gloves and a dark black cloth mask. The mask covered her face from just above her nose all the way to the back.

Her two eyes gawked at Stella from behind the mask. Stella tried to move but she realized she was trapped in a sticky liquid. The bathtub was filled with a translucent, viscous fluid. And she was dipped neck deep into it.

“Oh, forget about moving now.” The woman chuckled. “This is thixotropic epoxy resin, max industrial grade. And you have been set only for a few minutes. Now, after our little chit-chat here, I am going to dip you completely in it. Then I am gonna put in a few thousand-watt light bulbs in here to heat up this place and hasten the curing process. Within 24 hours you should be 95% solid within this resin. The best part is that your kids are not here. They will be back only after a week. No servants, cooks or gardeners in here, so no one will come and disturb you in this remote village house where you were planning to pen down your next magnum opus. Whoever comes next, though, will find your perfectly laid, resin-preserved body here.”

“Please, I have two kids. Please … let me go,” Stella pleaded. She was still stupefied.

“Are you asking me a question or is that a declarative statement? I can’t decide.”

“Please, please, my family my kids, they are dependent on me.” Stella now started to cry. Who was this freak who had dipped her in resin and was threatening her life?

“Let me tell you I do feel sorry for you and your family. Though you can’t see my face from beneath my mark, tears are rolling down my cheeks as we speak. Perhaps they are not tears; I may have something in my eyes that I need to wash off.”

“Please let me go.”

“Oh no, I can’t. My compulsiveness has driven me to the point that I could not have taken your bullshit anymore.” The woman now sounded very angry.

“Bullshit? What are you saying? Why are you doing this?”

“Why am I doing this? Oh, this is my favorite part.”

The woman pulled out a book from inside her coat. Stella realized it was her recently published novel, The Fire-nest in My Belly.

The woman started to read. “On page twenty-nine you wrote, and let me quote you here, you wrote, ‘Polly inverted the pancake and she realized that it was now well done and she then took it off the gas stove and put it on Ramesh’s plate.’ You do remember this line from your book?”

Stella kept quiet; she did not want to say anything. She just kept looking at her book in the hands of that freak woman.

“This is your book, right? Stella Davidov, that’s the name on the cover.”

“Yes, it’s me.” Stella could just feebly mutter the words.

“IS IT YOU OR NOT?” the woman screamed.

“Yes, yes it’s me…” Stella again burst into tears.

“This is the bullshit you write? You do realize you are missing a few …


About the Author:

Ryan Suvaal is an American writer, passionate about writing page-turner psychological thrillers. His favorite hangout is a coffee shop where he guzzles in tonnes of caffeine and weaves characters pumped up with deadly intentions and worlds full of thrill, suspense, and gore.

“Fireside Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer” is one of the first in a series of Psychological thrillers which he has penned down during past few months, which will now be sequentially released on Amazon.

“A deep-rooted question always keeps broiling inside of me. This question is whether I am writing the story or the story is forcing me to write it? Am I the actor and story is the art, or story is the actor and I am the medium?”

Social Media Links:

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/Ryan-Suvaal/e/B07LBZ79NL

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/18688583.Ryan_Suvaal

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Author Interview: ‘A Lot of Nerve’ by Ian McCulloch

About the Book:

Nothing is quite what it seems…

Jones is a chancer, a schemer, always on the lookout for the next big deal.

In a pub one day he notices some papers changing hands for large amounts of money. He manages to insert himself into the middle of what looks like an extremely lucrative deal, but the can of worms he opens catapults him into a situation more volatile and dangerous than he could ever have imagined.

Caught between a violent gangster and the machinations of the state, Jones finds himself playing each side off against the other in order to stay alive. In a world of deception and intrigue, the only thing he can be sure of is that people are prepared to kill for the mysterious papers.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’d worked for Marks & Spencer and one of their suppliers for quite a long time and when their fortunes took a bit of a downturn I, along with many others, was made redundant. I’d always had the dream of writing a book, so I decided I’d take a couple of months off and give it a go. When I was offered the opportunity to write freelance for Fulham Football Club and then for a number of magazines, the book found itself plonked on the back burner. I tried to write a ‘literary masterpiece’ in my spare time for a few years, but finally focussed sufficiently to write something a bit lighter and, hopefully, a bit more commercial.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Throughout my writing career I’ve worked from home and found concentrating incredibly difficult. Whenever deadlines have loomed I’ve generally gone somewhere like Starbucks to get things finished. But when I started on A Lot of Nerve I took my laptop and a chair out into the garden and discovered that without all the distractions of being in the house I could actually focus on what I should be doing. There is now a little patch of garden that I call my office – luckily I live somewhere warm at the moment. When I first started writing professionally I discovered that mornings are a terrible time for me creatively. Three o’clock in the afternoon to eight in the evening is my good time.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

No idea. I can sometimes feel quite daunted when I first sit down at the computer, but once I start typing something always seems to turn up.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

With A Lot of Nerve, I had a half page of notes – a vague main character, a rough idea of a plot and an ending. While they stayed fairly constant, huge parts of the story and a couple of other main characters appeared out of nowhere. I was definitely carried along by it all – I think I enjoyed not knowing what was coming next. There were two re-writes once I was taken on by David Haviland, and while they didn’t change the feel of the book, it looked fairly different at the end of the process. A big thanks to David for all his support.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

A Lot of Nerve is a thriller, peopled by gangsters and villains. It’s hard bitten but with a sardonically humorous edge. It’s actually a genre I don’t read. Perhaps I was drawn to it because it was a blank page, I had no preconceptions about what it should look like.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Jones should definitely be played by Tom Hiddleston! Finch by someone like Michael Gambon. DI Hernandez? Perhaps by Emily Blunt.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I do read a lot. I particularly like historical novels – writers like Bernard Cornwell and Philipa Gregory are favourites – and cold-war spy novels from writers like John Le Carre.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. He’s another favourite – I’ve read most of his stuff and just marvel at the sheer imagination of the man.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Impossible question! I’ve loved so many books over the years it’s very difficult to name just one, but I’ll say Alice Through the Looking Glass. I read it first when I was little and have read it regularly ever since. It’s like an old friend.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I’m not sure I’m the best person to offer anyone any advice, but I would say that while being a writer is a very, very difficult career, it’s one that can be the most rewarding in the world. In my case I’ve learnt that there is no substitution for hard work, just being prepared to do something over and over until you get it right.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

You’ll find me on Twitter @ianmcculloch

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Author Interview: ‘The Divine Sedition’ by Martin Lundqvist

About the Book:

In the year 2872, a rebel-fugitive of The Martian Humanist Alliance, Keila Eisenstein crashes down on Eden, while running away from the Rear Admiral of Terran Council, Bjorn Muller; killing the God-dictator Abraham Goldstein and gaining the mind-control technology to dominate Eden’s population. Teaming up with Metatron, the Archangel guardian of Eden, Keila fakes her own death to fool Bjorn Muller to give up on his fugitive hunt.

Keila faces overwhelming odds trying to take down the overpowered Terran Council that has been dominating the solar system and oppressing most of humanity on Earth and Mars for over 500 years. She is governed by her primal instincts and premonitions, which made her the Chosen One: Her extra-terrestrial Divine connection. Her telepathic visions are leading her the way, and with access to The Divine Control Centre, Keila can unveil secrets of ancient Zetan civilisations that will help her free her people from the oppression of the Terran Council, Houses of evil plutocrats governing Earth and Mars. But with her Divine connection comes a price, so are the Zetans, using Keila as a puppet to gain control of Earth, or is it Rangda, the Xeno demon who lead her to the path of destruction instead, in fact better than the oppressors she seeks to dominate?


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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

I have always been writing something, from blogs to school essays etc. Back in 2013, I was sick of blogging as it became repetitive and a friend suggested to me that I wrote novels instead as that gives more creative freedom.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I prefer to write things at home with as few distractions as possible. I like to go for a walk in the park or along the ocean pondering on plot lines, but the actual writing I prefer to do at home.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I think my ideas come from my brain but that they are deeply connected with the things I read and play. Most of my works have a lot of uniqueness to them for better or worse, but creativity doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s impossible to be truly unique in a world 7 billion people.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I always start my major writing projects by writing a plot outline where I outline what is going to happen in the plot. I only follow this outline loosely, however, and the result is often quite a bit different from the original outline

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

So, I have written one crime story, two science fiction books, one kid’s book and one parody, so I would say I am genre fluid in that sense. I mostly gravitate towards science fiction and fantasy in my writing though as that gives me more creative freedom than other genres. I tend to be more interested in concepts than in visuals, and I feel like science fiction is a good genre for me to write for that reason.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I am not a fanboy and I usually don’t obsess about actors. I would love to see the Divine Sedition being made into a movie, and I have some thoughts on how I would like the movie to play out and what the actors should look like. Ideally, I would like less established actors so that the movie is the about the plot and not about the individual actor’s stardom.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a moderate amount, a lot of my reading is on forums such as Quora. I am not really into favourite actors, authors etc. and I more interested in the plot and what it is telling me.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I am reading the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and the Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama (Howard Cutler)

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I like the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien, so I’ll vote for that one.

10: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Just start writing. If you have an idea you should be able to get a full-length novel manuscript out in

200 hours or so. It might sound like a lot but subtract that time from when you are doing unproductive and stupid things like watching TV and it all adds up. As writing will be your hobby for now. Only write when you feel like it, but try to set aside time for it like you would any other hobby, (training, sports, holidays, religion etc)

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work? 

Website: www.martinlundqvist.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/martinlundqvistauthor


About the Author:

My background:
I am a Swedish male born in 1985. I have been to Australia since 2012, and I have been with my partner Elaine since 2013.

My writing roots:
When I was younger I used to write blogs for the joy of writing and for attention. Unfortunately my blogs were pretty controversial and caused me more problems in life than I bargained for, so eventually I gave up on blogging.
In 2013 an acquaintance suggested that I wrote fiction instead of blogs. With a fair bit of enthusiasm I wrote my first book a psychological crime thriller James Locker: The Duality of Fate in a couple of months back in 2013.

Late in 2016 I decided to take up book writing again as it is a hobby with more potential upside than playing video games on my spare time. I finished my Science Fiction novel The Divine Dissimulation a year later

In July 2018 I released the Divine Sedition which is the sequel to the Divine Dissimulation. It is faster and slightly more mainstream than its prequel.

I have also written a children’s book as an experiment called “Matt’s Amazing Week” I am currently working on two projects The Divine Finalisation which is the third and final entry in the Divine Zetan Trilogy and Divine Space Gods: Abraham’s follies which is a light-hearted parody on the Divine Dissimulation.

My style:
My personal approach to writing is that I write what I feel like writing with limited regards to what others want to read. As my works are work of fiction I tend to include controversial topics, as I am not bound to political correct self-censorship.

My independence in book writing is not because I inherently want to rebel against what people want to read, but simply because I have no idea what people do want to read, hence I might as well write what I want to write and hope for the best.

The writing style is quiet different in my two novels. While James Locker is mostly character and dialogue driven The Divine Dissimulation is mostly driven by concept and world building. The Divine Sedition is a mix of the two styles.


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